How to get paid for market research

Our top FAQs from people who take part in paid market research

Taking part in market research is a fantastic way to let brands know your thoughts and opinions on their products and services –  it’s great fun and a chance to meet new people, too! But that’s not all: paid market research is also an excellent way to earn a bit of extra cash that you can easily fit in around your work or family commitments. If you’d like to find out how to get paid for market research, or would like to learn a little bit more about it before you sign up, read on for our top FAQs…

What will you do with my information?

Here at Angelfish, your privacy is incredibly important to us and we will do everything in our power to protect. We’re members of the Market Research Society and strictly adhere to their codes of conduct which include the Data Protection Act 1998. And don’t worry, we also never sell or pass on information to third parties. If you’d like to find out more, have a read of our Privacy Policy which explains how we process and handle your information in detail.

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What will the research be used for?

Market research is used for a number of different things from one study to the next, but in general the results of market research are used to influence things such as branding, market positioning and to improve customer experiences. If you do decide to take part in paid market research with us, we always give our participants as much info as possible about the study and will always ask for your consent when it comes to things such as using research for advertising purposes.

Will I be paid?

Yes, when taking part in market research with Angelfish you will always receive an incentive to show you how grateful we are for your time. Incentives vary depending on the study you are taking part in, but can be in the form of cash, cheque, bank transfer of gift vouchers. We’ll let you know as soon as possible what the incentive will be and when you will receive it, whether it be cash on the day, a cheque or bank transfer or a gift certificate (which can take up to three weeks).

Can I refer a friend to take part?

Absolutely! In fact, by participating in our refer a friend scheme you could earn up to £20 in Amazon gift certificates if they successfully take part. All you have to do is tell your friends and family about a specific Angelfish project and ask them to give your name and email address when they sign up – it’s that simple! For more information, check out our Facebook page!

If you have any other questions about taking part in market research, our friendly team will be more than happy to help. Just send an email to info@angelfish-opinions.com or call us on 01242 240849 and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Ready to start making waves with your opinion? Sign up today and start getting your voice heard!

paid market research

Real life examples of paid market research

Taking part in paid market research for the first time can be a bit daunting if you don’t know what to expect. However, there are two important things to remember: firstly, your opinions are really valuable to brands – and secondly, market research is great fun!

If you’re thinking about taking part in a market research study, we thought we’d share some real-life examples from a few of our respondents who have taken part in market research with Angelfish Opinions.

From their initial preconceptions to their overall experience, what they gained from taking part and the types of projects they completed, it’s all here. Read on to see for yourself what taking part in paid market research is really like!

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It’s the taking part that counts!

So how did our participants really find taking part in market research? Well, one participant said that taking part in the project showed them that companies really do care about the thoughts of their customers, whilst another was worried beforehand that he might be a bit embarrassed to open up but that on the day everyone was really friendly and interested in what they had to say. Despite not knowing each other before the project, another respondent felt that nobody was afraid to share their opinions and that she really enjoyed the relaxed nature of the study.

Not all market research projects are location-based such as focus groups or assisted shops, though. We also carry out research such as online communities, user experience testing and even in-home interviews where participants can join in from the comfort of their own home. This is something that one of our recent respondents found really convenient as it meant they could look after their family alongside the research, and they also said that their allocated researcher was really friendly and easy to talk to online too.

Examples of our recent projects

Still not convinced? Here’s a few real-life examples of some of the projects we’ve recently completed for a variety of different clients to tickle your fancy. We’ve got a huge variety of clients ranging from a vegan food brand to a tech giant:

Project one – technology giant
This project looked at internet browsing behaviours and involved participants spending 20-30 minutes each day for a total of 10 days taking part in a market research online community. They completed a variety of different tasks, including recording video content of themselves whilst browsing the internet as well as responding to written activities and uploading photos and videos in relation to their shopping experiences.

Project two – vegan food brand
For this project, participants were required to spend 15 minutes per day for a total of 12 days as part of this market research online community. There were a variety of tasks set, including written responses, photos and videos, and participants were also sent a product to test and review mid-way through the online community too.

Project three – large homeware brand
For this particular project, participants were required to complete a 14-day online blog. Tasks throughout included written, photo and video responses about their home such as photographing items in their home that they liked/disliked, screenshotting where they get their home inspiration, video tours of each room, and photos of family and pets doing different activities to bring their home to life.

Real-life feedback

See, we told you paid market research was good fun! If you still don’t believe us, then have a peek at what our participants themselves have to say…

“I would say to any of my family and friends, go for it! Everyone is really friendly, starting from the recruiters to the people on the day – and at the end, you end up with more money in your pocket too!” – A participant from a study on beverages

“Great website, app and moderator. I thought the questions were interesting the overall estimate regarding the time it would take to complete every day was spot on!” – Respondent from a study on health and fitness

“Best evening out in a long time! It felt like hanging out with a group of friends which made it easy to open up, and being able to go to the store was a brilliant touch as well. Without a doubt, it was the best research experience I have ever done – and the foodie bag at the end was a lovely surprise too!” – Participant from a study on fashion

Conclusion

Although taking part in paid market research isn’t for everyone, we hope that hearing about other people’s experiences and the type of studies you could take part in has removed some of the fear of the unknown. As you can see from our respondent feedback, there are tons of benefits to be had from taking part – as well as the obvious financial gain!

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in trying something new and taking part in paid market research, sign up to our panel today and get involved!

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The hottest holiday destinations for 2019

We know it’s sweltering, the school holidays have only just started and 2019 seems like a million light years away – but if you want to grab a bargain, now’s the time to start holiday hunting for next year. And whilst it’s never too early to start looking, deciding where to go and finding the best deal can be a bit of a nightmare. Don’t worry though, that’s where we come in. Whether you’re longing to strut your stuff on a chic city break or want to indulge in some well-deserved R&R on a lazy beach holiday, we’ve picked out some of the best holiday destinations of 2019 so you can start to save up. And if you fancy making a bit of extra cash to put towards your cocktails, why not sign up to take part in paid market research with us?

Holiday 2 300x199 - The hottest holiday destinations for 2019Our top five holiday destinations

Spain – a city break with a difference
If you want the best of both worlds for your holiday and fancy combining a sophisticated city break with beautiful beaches, then Barcelona might just be the place for you. Spain’s capital boasts a 4.5km coastline in addition to it’s delicious food and drinks, historical sites and sensational shopping. There’s even the FC Barcelona stadium, so there really is something for everyone! With return flights available from as little as £60 and at just two hours away from London, it’s the perfect location for a quick getaway year-round.

Italy – total foodie heaven
Italy is home to some of the world’s most popular foods and finest wines – in fact, with all the delicious pizzas, pastas and gelato on offer it’s no wonder that Italy is one of the world’s top destinations for foodies. With food tours available in most cities and regional vineyards offering tours and wine tasting, Italy is a total foodie heaven. Budget flights are available to Italy year round with some starting from as little as £20 – so you can spend more of your budget on the fantastic food. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it. Buon appetito!

Austria – an action-packed Alpine adventure
If an active holiday with breathtaking scenery is what you’re after then there’s no doubt that Austria is the destination for you. You might think that it’s a strictly winter destination, but as Austria comes into its hottest season, the area of Tyrol is the perfect place for adventure seekers too making it a winning destination throughout the year. From hiking and rock climbing to cycling and kayaking – and even skiing in the Alps – there’s an activity for everyone. Easyjet flights to Austria start from about £180 return in the summer.

Croatia – culture and coastline
Stunningly scenic beaches, natural beauty, ancient Roman ruins and impossibly pretty towns – there’s a reason why Croatia is set to be one the hottest holiday destinations of 2019. Whether you want to party in Hvar, head to Outlook festival or soak up some culture, it’s a great all-rounder of a destination – and with a beer costing about £2 and food and hotels being great value for money too, it’s the perfect spot for a cheap getaway. Flights for next summer start at about £35.

The Maldives – a little taste of luxury
For a once in a lifetime luxurious getaway, the Maldives is the ideal destination for those looking for a bit of indulgence. Many of the resorts have their own private islands, complete with luxury spas, azure blue waters and powdery white sand beaches – making the Maldives the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. The best time of year to visit is from December to March, making this the ultimate winter escape. Prices start from approximately £1000 per person for a once in a lifetime trip.

So there you have it! Our roundup of the hottest holiday destinations of 2019. We hope you like our suggestions – and don’t forget, if you’re looking for a bit of extra spending money, you can sign up to take part in paid market research with Angelfish Opinions today.

shopping

10 shopping secrets revealed

Think shopping is simple? Think again. Whether you indulge in a little online haggling or employ the nifty trick of abandoning your shopping cart and waiting for a discount, there are plenty of ways you can get what you want for less. Here are our top ten shopping secrets revealed!

tag 300x200 - 10 shopping secrets revealed1.Have a close look at the store price tag

We generally only look at the label for sizing and pricing information, but for those in the know, they are a treasure trove of hidden information. Store staff often scribble letters, numbers or symbols on the price tags of items that are about to be reduced, so look out for codes like B14, G4, )B9 and S13; the numbers signify what the sales price will be once the item is reduced. Retailers like Next and River Island adopt this technique, so if you see these on the tags, hold off on your purchase!

2. Abandon your online shopping basket

When shopping online, if you get through most of the process but change your mind at the last minute before actually purchasing an item, this is known as ‘abandoning your basket’. With abandonment rates running at a whopping 75% in 2017, stores are very keen to find ways to tempt you back and will usually do this by offering you a discount via email. Be aware that this might not happen every time, but it’s definitely worth a try!

3. Spend your gift card as soon as possible

With the UK high street being as unpredictable as it currently is, we can’t be sure which stores are going to be around for the long haul. If you’re given a gift card as a gift, don’t just shove it in a drawer and forget about it, as you might find that it either expires or the store goes bust before you get to use it. Spend it as soon as possible, and combine it with online discount codes for a brilliant double discount.

4. Use the John Lewis refund trick

If you’ve heard the famous John Lewis slogan of ‘never knowingly undersold’, you’ll be aware of how seriously the department store takes their customer service. But that does it mean? Well, if you find a product on sale that you’ve purchased at John Lewis cheaper elsewhere within 28 days of buying it, John Lewis will give you the difference!

5. Find discount codes online

You can get some impressive discounts online if you find the right codes, but you have to be clever! Most of the popular stores wait until Wednesday to launch their codes, so hold off your search until then if you want to grab the best bargains. The best websites to usecare Vouchers and Hot Bargains, but dedicated bargain-hunters will also find decent discounts on other code websites.

6. Spark vouchers

If a special offer item is out of stock, a product line has been discontinued, or a customer has a problem, Asda staff are allowed to give out what are known as ‘spark vouchers’. These are goodwill vouchers which are worth up to £1 and can be spent on anything in the shop apart from tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets. So if your favourite item is nowhere to be seen, approach a member of staff and you might just get a little something back.

7. Designer outlet clothing

Outlet shopping centres, such as Bicester Village in Oxfordshire and Cheshire Oaks in Cheshire, sell designer clothing at a much lower price than you’d find them for in a posh boutique. This is both a blessing and a curse as, whilst the clothes are much cheaper, many of them are actually made specifically for outlet sale and are therefore of lower quality. However, all of the items you find in outlet centres display st

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atements informing shoppers of the origin of goods on sale, so you’ll always know what you’re getting for your money.

8. No receipt? No sweat

How many times have you wanted to take something back to a shop but not been able to because you can’t find the receipt? If you’re anything like us, probably loads. However, it turns out that you can use other methods as a proof of purchase, such as a bank statement. The majority of high street stores will now offer to email you a receipt as well as given you a printed one, which is worth taking them up on as you won’t be able to lose it.

9. Haggle via online chats

When you’re shopping online, you may have noticed a window popping up offering you a chance to chat with a help assistant. You may just dismiss these as an annoyance, but you can actually get some amazing discounts using this method by speaking with them about a particular product and then asking them for money off; some examples we’ve come across are of Nike offering 10% off, Dell offering £55 off and Dyson offering £10 off. Worth a try!

10. Be wary of special offers

When shopping in a supermarket, you’ll see the special offers positioned at the end of the aisles to tempt you into putting things in your basket. However, these items may not be the cheapest available and you could end up not getting a bargain at all. Do your own price comparisons whilst you shop rather than just trusting what you’re told by the store.

Sign up to paid market research now and help fund your shopping habit!

loyalty card

How to boost your loyalty scheme points

Most stores offer a loyalty scheme nowadays, so you’ll be well aware of the benefits of saving up your points and receiving great discounts or other incentives. The question is: are you making enough of the opportunities to boost your points even further? Here’s our breakdown on how to make your loyalty schemes work for you.

Tesco Clubcard

  • Tesco Pay+ Wallet. This is a free app that lets you store your credit or debit card details and Clubcard details. You can quickly and conveniently pay for your shopping and then automatically collect your Clubcard points by scanning the barcode in the app. You can use it at all Tesco stores and petrol stations, and earn 25% extra points.
  • 2018 offering. Tesco are offering an extra point for every £4 spent until 31st December 2018 on top of the current one point per pound offering, meaning you get five points for every £4 spent.
  • Clubcard Boost. This scheme gives you great offers on train tickets, cinema tickets, magazine tesco 300x180 - How to boost your loyalty scheme pointssubscriptions, theme park passes, hotel rooms and gifts.
  • Tesco credit card. You’ll get extra points every month when you pay for things using the credit card.
  • Tesco bank account. If you set up a bank account with Tesco, you’ll receive one extra Clubcard point for every £1 spent in store or on fuel with Tesco, and one point for every £8 you spend anywhere outside Tesco (minimum spend £8).
  • Tesco mobile. Collect one Clubcard point for every £1 spent on pay-as-you-go top-ups and monthly bills.

 

Nectar

  • Your Nectar card isn’t just for Sainsbury’s! Whilst you’ll earn one point for every £1 spent at the store, you can also use it with BP, British Gas, eBay, Expedia and others.
  • Nectar Website. This is a great little trick: redeeming your points through the Nectar website rather than in store results in a slight boost, usually 2 or 3x in value.
  • Collect points for Virgin Trains advance sales. You can earn two points per £1 spent when booking through the Virgin Trains East Coast website.
  • American Express. You’ll earn two Nectar points (worth 1p) per £1 spent on the card (plus your usual Nectar points).
  • Sainsbury’s credit card. Earn one point for every £1 spent in store or on fuel with Sainsbury’s, and one point for every £5 you spend elsewhere.
  • Online surveys. You can earn extra Nectar points for completing online surveys – up to 120 points a time plus an entry into Sainsbury’s quarterly £5,000 draw.
  • Donating goods to Oxfam. This brilliant scheme allows you to earn two points per £1 when your items are sold and 100 points when registering.

 

Morrisons More

  • You can collect Morrisons More points in more places than you might think: all Morrisons stores, flower shops, garden centres and petrol stations, receiving 5 points for every £1 spent.
  • Fuel. Once you’ve accumulated 5,000 points you’ll receive fuel vouchers.
  • Join Morrisons Clubs. Morrisons run clubs for various groups of people, such as More for Students and Baby&More. These clubs offer extra discounts and points on particular products.


Boots Advantage Card

  • Boots offer four points for every £1 spent, which can be redeemed in store and online (on all products except infant milk, prescriptions, stamps, gift vouchers and mobile phone top-ups).
  • Mega points weekend. If you spend £50 in store or online, you’ll receive a whopping 1,000 extra points (worth £10).
  • Boots app. Download the Boots app for free and receive offers tailored specially to you.
  • Weekly emails. Don’t bin these without opening them as you could be missing out on deals to earn extra points and coupons that can help you maximise existing points.
  • Boots Clubs. Boots Parenting Club and Boots Over 60s Club have some great offers that are tailored specially for you, plus Parenting Club offers an extra 10 points for every £1 spent on baby products.

Looking for more ways to earn a bit extra? Sign up to paid market research now.

survey

Why am I never selected to take part in paid market research?

So, you’ve expressed an interest in taking part in paid research in a focus group, paid surveys or online interviews. You’ve filled in an online form, you may have even spoken directly with us about what you can expect, we’ve run through some questions with you and then… you get turned down. We understand that this can be frustrating, but there are a number of reasons why you haven’t been selected to take part. Let us explain in a bit more detail…

What do we do?

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At Angelfish Opinions, we work with big brands to find people to give their opinion on products and services. This gives businesses a very valuable insight into consumer habits and allows them to learn about new and existing customers, identify any issues and solve problems.

We gather opinions in various different ways, depending on the requirements of the client,you could be asked to take part in paid surveys, online market research, focus groups or assisted shops so clients can find out the specific information they need.

Expressing your interest in taking part in paid surveys is easy: simply sign up to our site here. Other routes in include applying to Facebook adverts, and we sometimes also get in touch with people via email if we have their email address on our database.

So why didn’t you get the gig?

So, if it’s so simple to get involved, why haven’t you been asked to take part yet? If you’ve gone through the process of signing up, spoken with us and then received an email saying we won’t be using you this time, we understand that it can be a bit frustrating – but trust us, there are a number of reasons why. These include:

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  • You didn’t fit the specific inclusion criteria for the research. For example, the client might have wanted to speak to people within a certain radius of their shop, or to people with children of a specific age because they sell products for children, or even to people with certain hobbies and interests, and so on.
  • There are many different variables and it’s impossible to fit into all of them. It’s just down to the numbers. Sometimes the only reason you haven’t been asked to take part is because we simply had too many people interested and not enough spaces available – it really is that simple!
  • You have recently taken part in research. We carefully monitor who takes part in our studies and have to leave out anyone who has recently been involved so we can keep the research as genuine as possible.

If at first, you don’t succeed…

…Don’t give up! Although you might not have been the right fit for a particular project, the perfect one could come up at any time. It’s important that you carefully read through the criteria in our adverts or emails before you get in touch, as this will help you make sure you’re applying for the right things and avoid any initial disappointment.

Taking part in market research is great fun and means you can make a real difference to big brands, which is why we offer a variety of incentives to quality respondents for paid surveys, often in the form of a bank transfer or gift card. We’re always on the lookout for new people to take part in research and your opinion is highly valued so please don’t give up at the first hurdle!  If you’re interested in letting big brands know what you think – and getting paid for it! – then sign up here.

data

What will happen with my information when I take part in paid market research?

More people are now aware of what is happening with their data, where it is stored and how it is being used. More questions are being asked about data protection and privacy and quite rightly too: it’s something that we take very seriously as a company providing paid market research.

We’ve put together this blog to explain what happens to the information you provide us with when you take part in paid market research.

Your data: what do we have and why?

As a market research company, we have always had to be good at data collection and protection. We only ever collect the data we need, but because at times our clients have very specific criteria we can end up with a comprehensive picture of someone. For example, in addition to the usual contact details of address, email and phone number, we might also need to collect information on someone’s income and bank details (so we can pay them).

How do we collect your data?

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On any given project we will initially we collect data via an online questionnaire. These can often be quite in-depth because it’s important for us to ensure that you meet the criteria set by our clients. Once we’ve established that you meet the initial criteria we will follow up with a phone call to ask you a few more questions.

What do we do with your data?

The information you give us is important because it determines your eligibility for the study – our clients often want to speak to a very specific person. But we know your information really matters to you too, so we have very strict policies on keeping it safe and only using it in ways you know about and are happy with, including stopping contacting you if at any point you no longer wish to hear from us. You can read more about that in our privacy policy here.

You can rest assured that:

  •      We will only ever hold detailed information on you for the duration of the study.
  •      We treat your data in the strictest of confidences and comply with all GDPR regulations.

If you would like to take part in paid market research you can sign up to Angelfish here: https://www.angelfish-opinions.com/take-part-in-market-research-register/

refer a friend

How does our refer a friend scheme work?

Taking part in paid market research is a great way to let big brands know what you think. From fitness to fashion and technology to food and drink, whatever your interests, we work with loads of different brands so there’s bound to be a market research project for you. If we do contact you about a study that’s not quite right for you though, don’t scroll on – refer a friend!

 

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Our refer a friend scheme

If you’ve signed up to Angelfish Opinions to take part in market research, we’ll send you invitations to take part in studies via email. If the study isn’t right for you – or if you received an email or spotted something on our website that made you think of a friend or family member, they could be suitable to take part – and you could earn a reward for referring them!

Spread the word about a specific project by telling your friends and family to provide your name and email address when they sign up to our panel. If they successfully take part in a research project, you could earn up to £20 in Amazon Gift Vouchers as a little thank you from us! And if that isn’t enough of a reason to refer a friend, here are a few more…

Give them the chance to have their say

Paid market research is a great way for people to have their say on products and services that interest them. So if you’ve got a foodie friend who is keen to test the latest kitchen equipment or if you know a technophile who can’t wait to get their hands on the latest gadgets, send them our way! By taking part in paid market research they can share their opinions on everything, from trialling new products to reviewing existing ones, and even share their thoughts on prices.

Paid market research is fun!

Another great thing about taking part in market research is that it’s really good fun. Joining in with research such as focus groups is a great way to meet new people and participate in a discussion where their thoughts and opinions are really valued. Not only that, but it’s also a really good way to meet people with similar interests – who knows, they might even make some new friends!

They can earn some extra money

Another reason to refer a friend to take part in market research is the financial incentive. Companies know how important it is to listen to their customers’ opinions, which means they are prepared to make taking part in research worthwhile. Depending on the type of research and the amount of time it takes, your friend could take home anything between £40-£150 in the form of cash, as a gift voucher, cheque or a bank transfer – not bad for a few hours of fun!

So the next time you see a market research project that isn’t necessarily for you, don’t just hit delete or scroll on by – refer and friend and you could both benefit! Find out more about paid market research here or sign up to our panel to take part.

Sign Up

Influence brands with paid market research

4 mind blowing ways your opinion can really change a brand

From your favourite cereal to your preferred washing up liquid, we’ve all got opinions – but we often don’t realise just how important our opinions are, especially to brands. Whether they’re selling loo cleaner or luxury cars, brands want to make their products as appealing as possible to customers – and as a result, consumers’ wants, needs and opinions are more important than ever before. That’s where paid market research comes in. From focus groups to online communities, there’s loads of ways you can get involved in paid market research and have a real impact on what brands do and why. Here’s four important ways your opinion can change a brand…

Help them to launch a new product or service

Before they launch a new product, companies will always have identified a gap in the market and have an idea of what their customers need. They will then use paid market research to prove or disprove these ideas as well as find out any suggestions you have on how they could improve their product so they can be sure they are only bringing the best possible products to market. So when you think about it, your opinion is the only way brands can guarantee they are creating a product or service that their consumers actually want to buy – which makes it pretty important!

laundry test paid market research 300x200 - 4 mind blowing ways your opinion can really change a brand

Help them to improve an existing product or service

Just as with launching new products, your feedback gives brands a chance to review, amend and tweak existing products to check they still solve a customer problem or fulfil a need. This means they can be confident that they are always offering the very best products, and that they can continue to improve on products in the future, too. As a customer, your needs and expectations change over time. Would you have thought even 10 years ago that you would want a watch that could monitor your fitness levels, for example? Nope, we didn’t think so – but keeping up with your changing wants and needs is exactly what gives brands their competitive edge.

Help them to create a better customer experience

Offering an amazing customer experience is how brands stand out from the crowd and keep you coming back for more. In fact, today’s marketing is all about people’s experiences with brands – but they can’t perfect their customer experience without you! From customer service to how easy it is to use their website, it all counts. By telling brands exactly what you want from your customer experience, you can help them to improve theirs – which means better brand experiences and happier customers, too. Win-win!

Help them to make better business decisions

By conducting paid market research, brands can collect data from their customers to make decisions. Customer feedback is by far the most reliable source for this type of data – and brands can then use this info to make better informed business decisions. From what colour their logo should be and how much they should sell a product for to what products they should even sell in the first place – your opinion is what decides it all!

How you can take part in paid market research

There are a number of different ways you can get involved in paid market research. Paid focus groups consist of a group of 6-10 people taking part in a discussion monitored by a moderator – and they’re great fun. Alternatively, there’s online communities where a small group of people take part in a discussion or complete tasks via a private secure platform – so it’s a great option for busy mums as you can take part whenever and wherever you like! There’s also in-home interviews where a researcher comes to your house to interview you on a one-to-one basis.

If you would like to have your say and influence everything from products and prices to logo design and customer experience, paid market research could be a great option for you – and it’s a good way to earn a few extra pennies, too! Sign up today and start to get your opinion heard.

Sign Up

Coin 2

7 ways to track your spending habits

Take back control of your money…

Have you ever tried to eat more healthily by keeping a record of everything you eat? If you have, you’ll know that sometimes the results can take you by surprise and you don’t actually realise how many biscuits you’re scoffing with your tea until you see it written down. Well, budgeting is the same – you probably have no idea how much you’re really spending on the daily coffee run or frittering away on your lunch break until you actually track the data. Just as a food diary allows you to monitor your diet, noting down all your spending habits will help you discover where your money is really going. If you want to start keeping track of your spending, follow these simple tips…

Choose a time period

To get a true idea of your spending habits, we’d recommend tracking your spending for two weeks to one month so you can get a clear idea of exactly what you are splurging and where. By tracking your spending you can also start to put together a budget and keep on top of your outgoings every month – don’t forget to keep checking back to make sure your spending habits actually line up with the ideas you’ve outlined in your budget, though!

Be detailed

In order to successfully track your expenses, you need to know exactly what’s going where – and why. Broad categories such as ‘car expenses’ or ‘pets’ make it easy to forget the little things – and it’s the little things that really add up. Instead, try and make sure you note down every last detail, from pet food to insurance and cat litter to treats, so you can have a full overview of exactly where your money is going.

Write it down

Make sure you always ask for your receipts and keep a small notebook in your bag – or make a note on your phone – so you can jot down every transaction you make. Writing everything down will not only ensure you have a detailed record of exactly where your money is going, but it will also make you think harder about each expense and help you to become more conscious about your spending habits.

 

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Stop using cash

If keeping a physical record of every penny you spend doesn’t appeal to you, you could always stop using cash completely. After all, you already have automatic electronic records for every credit card, debit card and online transaction – in fact the only type of transaction that isn’t recorded is cash. If you stop buying things with cash, you’ll spare yourself the hassle of having to manually record your spending and have an electronic record ready to view instead.

Unless you need to track your cash

It’s all very well and good to stop using cash – unless you’re the type of person who flashes the plastic and finds it hard to track your digital spending, in which case you should most definitely stick to physical money. If cash is king for you, you could always withdraw a certain amount to last you for a week and make sure you stick to it so you still have a clear idea of your cash flow.

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Try the envelope system

At the beginning of each week, fill a series of envelopes with money which you can divide into different categories – for example, ‘lunch’, ‘petrol’ and ‘misc’. This is a really easy way to track your cash as you’ll be able to see your spending habits in broad categories, as well as if you need to move some money across from one envelope to another one so you can start to identify patterns in your spending as well.

Use an app

Another great way to keep on top of your spending is to use an app to track everything that goes in and out of your bank accounts by taking details of your spending and organising them into categories. There are tons out there, from Mint and Money Dashboard to Monzo and more. Just remember to read the reviews and check the ratings before you make a decision – and keep an eye out for add-on tools you might have to pay for, too.

Once you know where you’re spending your money, you can start to prioritise what’s important to make sure you stay within your means.

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