“I’m Gemma, a navy wife, mum of 2 ‘buttmunch’ boys and an avid bargain hunter! I’m forever trying to find the best value for money in anything I buy, which does get very time consuming! That and my new love of fitness have helped keep me sane when trying to raise two crazy boys and run a household. I’m hoping my daily ramblings about life, money saving, exercise, food and everything else, help lighten your mood, your bank balance or possibly your scales in an attempt to try it as a ‘Mum blogger’. Enjoy!”
Let’s face it being a Mum is hard! Joyful, crazy and filled with love but it’s difficult to juggle so many things in day to day life. Along with running the household, school drop offs, pick ups, washing, cooking as well as maintaining yourself so you look like the ‘model mum’. To add another element to he mix, Mums are expected to go back to work almost instantly.
Speaking from experience, juggling a career and a family is a struggle! The cost of nursery fees made it impossible to work full time, yet working part time angered my employer at the time and to make matters worse there are so little flexible part time roles available. What are mums to do!
I have always enjoyed my independence and I think being a Mum does strip that from you at times, so working is my way to gain some ‘me time’ and earn some money for myself. Now the difficulty comes from being on maternity leave when all of my earnings go into the family pot, spending on food shopping, petrol, nappies and the like. Going back to work actually meant I earned less than that by the time childcare was deducted, so I wasn’t able to go back to having my ‘own money’. This is where I started to look for odd jobs that I could do from home that worked around me and my family.
This all started when I needed to buy the husband a birthday present and I did not have any of my own money to spend. Now I could have used the joint account where my earnings go, but then he will see how much I’ve spent or where I’ve been shopping, and I love a surprise! This made me look for alternative sources of income just to give me a few extra pennies for myself.
I came across market research through a mummy friend, she said she had taken part in a nappy trial and they were looking for extra participants so I jumped at the chance! Free nappies for two weeks and a chance to earn £50 for speaking about your experience (now that’s what I talk about everyday!). Perfect.
From this I started to look for extra market research opportunities and came across plenty.
Now there are different types of market research: face to face interviews, group studies, focus groups, online, product testing. Not all of them pay you in cash, some offer free product whereas others pay you in shopping vouchers.
Although vouchers are not ideal, if you earn any cash from market research you may need to declare this as an additional income if you are above the tax free threshold (Just so you are aware! For more information see: https://www.cashforsurveys.co.uk/paying_tax_for_taking_surveys.htm. Most market research that has paid in vouchers, give the option to choose where you get the vouchers from. In order to make it easier I opt for a One4All or Love2Shop voucher that gives you the choice of retailers of where you spend the vouchers. These give you a lot more flexibility, so seems less like a voucher and more like cash.
Under the market research umbrella is the online survey, these are easy to do and don’t involve going anywhere. I tend to do mine in the evenings when the kids are asleep, but the beauty with these is that you can do these whenever, wherever!
Merchandising and mystery shopping
Merchandising and mystery is an easy way to earn some extra cash. Companies will send you a brief of products to check in a certain store. You have to take photos of the product or display, check prices and if they’re not in stock ask a member of staff. All in all, a merchandising visit lasts about 10-15 mins and earns between £7-10, not ground breaking I know but it’s easy money! Plus I take the kids with me, so it’s perfect to do on a day off with the kids.
Some other merchandising visits will ask you to purchase the product and provide a review, others will ask you to place an order through online shopping, so again it is fairly flexible!
Companies I’ve used:
So here are a list of companies I’ve used in the past to help me earn a little extra. These might not be exactly what you’re after, but hopefully these will give you an idea of how to start earning some extra pocket money.
– KGS http://www.kgs.co.uk/contact this is the company that I used I to take part in the nappy trial. The website does not provide any information on how to get involved but I would recommend calling them directly. As they may be able to provide additional information.
– Take Part in Research https://takepartinresearch.co.uk/ Offering a choice of online surveys, focus groups and face to face interviews.
– Boots Viewpoint https://www.bootsviewpoint.co.uk/Login?returnurl=%2f Provide feedback on products, store layouts, Boots services etc, in return for vouchers. I took part in a 2 week study that required a daily feeding diary in return for £70 shopping vouchers! Again, an easy win.
– People for research https://www.peopleforresearch.co.uk/participant/ A selection of ways to provide feedback on products and services on digital platforms.
– EMystery Shopper https://www.emysteryshopper.com/ Get paid in cash by taking part in local mystery shopping and merchandising roles.
– Red Wigwam https://www.redwigwam.com/all-workers/ Flexible working for everyone, offering choice of temporary roles in your area.
There are lots of different places available all doing similar things such as market research, online surveys, product testing, merchandising, if you google those search terms you should be able to find one that suits you!
Some of the best search terms are:
– Take part in research – this provides some of the companies I’ve mentioned as well as some university studies and health studies, so have a look at those as you might find one that suits your circumstances.
- Paid market research
- Flexible temporary jobs
- Paid online surveys
- Paid product testing
I’m hoping that this will help you get started on your journey to earning some extra money, and gain some much needed independence!
Please follow/like Move! Mum Money on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for various updates on saving money, getting fit and trying to be a ‘normal’ Mum! Or visit my blog www.movemummoney.co.uk.