Easy ways to get free money
Who doesn't love free money?
As a freelance layabout there have been times where I've worried my income won't be enough, and I've had to investigate easy ways to get a little more.
You will find loads of examples of panels and surveys, but you can never be sure whether it'll be worth it.
The most reputable survey site is YouGov. They are one of few who give you guarenteed cash payouts. They also tend to have some of the more interesting surveys: often, when you hear about a survey in the news, it has come from them. Prize draws are also available, but I'm not sure which is more reliable.
Valued Opinions (operating under names like 'Irish Opinions') was the one I would recommend. I used to earn about £20 a month, paid for in shopping vouchers. You could then treat it as either money for extra treats or less to worry about at the end of the month.
After two years with them they randomly stopped sending out surveys. A quick look online reveals a sudden wave of hundreds of people being blocked from the website at exactly the same time (June 2018), all being told they were banned for cheating. I can't comment on them but I know I was following the rules.
After a long wait for help, they finally replied to say they had unlocked my account - no explanation or reason given. Things continued well until the day I turned 25, when suddenly the number of surveys I received dropped dramatically.
So in conclusion, it's best when you're a young man, but you're getting something for nothing so it's best to accept the rough with the smooth and don't pretend they actually value you.
You can also win money just for having a post code with Pick My Postcode (formerly Free Postcode Lottery). Every day they hold a prize draw, and if your post code is chosen you'll win a small amount of cash. But here's the thing: with this one you don't want to win.
Every day you check the post code - which only takes a couple of minutes, you add a couple of pence to a bonus which will be added to any winnings you earn. So the less success you have, the more your prize will be.
Make money from your ordinary purposes
Quidco is something I've read so much about, and always forget to use. For the consumer, it is fantastic. Basically various online retailers will offer you cash back if you purchase from them via Quidco. So if you were thinking of buying something online, always check if they're on Quidco first - especially for hotels!
It works because the different retailers will be on there competing with each other. For example, all the different hotel websites look the same to me, so if I know which hotel I'm looking for I book it via whoever offers me the most cashback.
But if you were planning on booking something else, you might as well bookmark the link and check whether they're on Quidco anyway. For example I had already chosen who my car insurance would be with, and then I checked and found out Quidco were offering £70 cashback if I went via their link. A no-brainer, but always check the terms and conditions.