get paid to do market research

Top trips for the family this half-term

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and it’s most definitely getting colder. Yep, summer is well and truly over for another year. And, as kids across the country put on their shiny new shoes and sharpen their pencils ready for the new school year, before you even know it the October half term will roll around again. So, to ensure you make the most of the October break for your family this year, why not earn some extra spending money and get paid to do market research? It’ll come in handy! To make certain you enjoy this half-term, we’ve put together some of our favourite family-friendly trips to keep everyone happy.

Indoor snow sports

Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, sledging or even ice skating, there’s something for everyone  at an indoor snow centre! From taking lessons to prepare for your winter skiing holiday, to showing off your skills on the slopes, enjoying some family sledging fun or making snow angels at a Snow-play session, there are a huge range of exciting activities available for all abilities and ages. Check out The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, The Snow Dome in Tamworth or Snozone in Milton Keynes for more info.

Kidtropolis

A fantastic event for families with children aged 12 and under, Kidtroplis is a kids paradise with live shows, adventure-filled activities and unmissable entertainment all in one place. There’s inflatable assault courses, Bumper Carz and Mess Around messy play – and the best part? Because the whole event is indoors it’s the perfect activity whatever the British weather has in store. Kidtropolis takes place at ExCeL London from 20-22nd October and you can book tickets in advance here for the best deal.

The Great British Autumn

From 20th October – 4th November, Longleat Safari Park is hosting The Great British Autumn. Celebrating – yep, you guessed it – all things autumn and British wildlife, there’re tons of exciting activities on offer for all the family, from arts and crafts to pumpkin carving and even mini tractor rides! Entry to the event and all the activities on offer are included in your day ticket or annual pass, and you can save up to 15% by booking online. Check it out here.

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Stratford-upon-Avon hosts its annual Halloween Festival throughout all of October. It’s held in Magic Alley on Halloween Street, and this year’s spooktacular event is set to be the best yet. There are activities for the whole family as well as plenty of wizarding history and quirky quizzes. You can even pay a visit to the Haunted Manor for an unforgettably spooky experience! Tickets start at just £7 and under twos go free – check out their website for more info!

RSPB Events

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds host events across the country throughout the year, giving kids a chance to learn all about nature by taking part in hands-on activities and fun games. From stargazing parties to family festivals in the woods, feed the bird weekends to quiz trails, RSPB offers a whole host of activities that are both educational and super fun. Have a look at the website to discover events taking place near you.

Pumpkin Picking

At this time of year, there’s nothing more festive than picking your own pumpkin. It’s a great day out for the whole family, and it beats buying a pumpkin from the supermarket! One of the country’s best pumpkin picking patches is the Spookyard at Over Farm in Gloucestershire. Activities include picking and carving your own pumpkin, finding your way through the spooky maze and tractor rides for all ages. At night it turns into the Frightmare Halloween Festival which is perfect for those who fancy something a bit scarier. Book your tickets in advance here.

National Trust

During October half-term, the National Trust hold different events for families. From conker battles to bat trails, boat trips to spotting scarecrows, there’s lots to do and see at various locations this autumn. Check out their website to find a fun event near you.

So there you have it – our top picks of fun activities for all the family this October half term. And, don’t forget, if you fancy making a bit of extra cash to make this half term even more special, why not sign up and get paid to do market research with Angelfish Opinions?

Sign Up Here.

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? Start getting your voice heard!

Sign Up Here.

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!

Sign Up Here.

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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?

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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.

Sign Up Here.

Make money from ux testing

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!

Sign Up Here.

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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 the simple tips in this blog. Plus, for new ways to make money on the side, why not sign up to paid market research with Angelfish? It’s a great way to top-up the piggy bank!

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.

If you’re looking for new ways to make money on the side, why not try paid market research – not only is it fun, but you can put a few extra pennies away and give your budget a bit of a nudge in the right direction too! If you’d like to sign up to paid market research with Angelfish Opinions, register below.

Sign Up

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Assisted shops 101: a different way to take part in market research

Paid focus groups and online surveys are the best-known methods of conducting paid market research. Though taking part doesn’t always involve just talking. Assisted shops, or the more snappily titled ‘shopalongs’, are an increasingly popular way of a brand gaining feedback and finding out why people shop the way they do. An assisted shop involves someone joining you on a shopping trip and learning about the decisions you make when shopping. Whilst a verbal explanation of the way you shop is helpful, actions often speak louder than words. Here are some guidelines on what you can expect if you take part in an assisted shop.

 

How do assisted shops work? 

An assisted shop is very simple. A researcher accompanies you whilst you go about your shopping trip, observing what you do and the decisions you make, but without interfering. They may ask you some questions whilst you browse, but they won’t attempt to influence you in any way. By observing your shopping habits first hand, the researcher can capture all sorts of things that they might not have learned using another method of paid market research, such as a focus group or online survey.

What exactly are they trying to learn?

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The researcher will closely watch everything you do in the store, from where you go first, the way you walk around the shop, what catches your eye, to making a purchase. They will observe the way you make your way around the shop, what is important to you about a shopping experience and whether the retailer is providing it, how you feel about the layout of the store, what you think the store is doing well and what you think it could do better. Creating a good shopping experience for a customer means you’re more likely to buy something from a well-organised, attractive shop than a messy, disorganised one – so this type of paid market research is very important to a brand.

What’s the format?

An assisted shop usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours, depending on the size of the store and how in depth the research is. The location of the shop you’re visiting will be chosen depending on how convenient they are for you, so you don’t need to worry about having to travel any great distance to take part. As with all paid market research, you will receive an incentive as a thank you for your assistance, which generally ranges between £40 and £150 – again depending on the length of the shopalong.

Assisted shops and technology

Assisted shops go a step beyond the usual interview-based market research methods. They replicate real life shopping experiences and allow your behaviour to be observed in the moment. Just as in every other area of our lives, this type of research has been affected by new technologies, meaning that you may not be ‘physically’ assisted on your shop, and may have a digital assistant instead. Using mobile technology to log customer journeys through pictures, videos, texts and checklists is becoming increasingly popular and may be a more effective method. You are likely to feel more relaxed and therefore act more naturally, giving the most authentic insights to the way you shop.

Do you love a bit of retail therapy? Sign up  now to take part in an assisted shop and earn some extra cash.

Sign Up Here.

V Day

Date ideas your other half will love!

Valentine’s Day is easily the most romantic day of the year. People traditionally express their love and appreciation for each other with a special dinner, cards, and boxes of chocolates. But, as lovely as these things are, they can become a little bit run of the mill. So, here are some thoughtful Valentine’s Day date ideas that your other half will truly appreciate. And, if you’d like to discover ways to make money online to fund your Valentine’s date, why not take part in paid market research with Angelfish Opinions?

Spa day

Everybody appreciates a really good pampering, so rather than buy your partner a solo massage, why not enjoy some quality relaxation together? Unwind in the hot tub, bliss out with a couples massage, sip some bubbly and enjoy a delicious meal. If it sounds expensive – don’t worry! There are some excellent deals on Groupon and many spas do offers, so you can find something to suit any budget, and both SpaBreaks.com and SpaSeekers.com are offering tailored Valentine’s Day packages.

Skype date

If you’re in a long distance relationship or your partner is working away, Valentine’s Day can seem terribly bleak, but it doesn’t have to be – you can still enjoy a romantic date for two. Dress up, prepare a nice meal and pour yourself a glass of wine, then switch on Skype or Facetime and enjoy it with your loved one, no matter how far away they are. Don’t forget a toast to the wonder of modern day technology for making your date possible!

Classic home-cooked meal

Going out is all well and good, but all of your favourite restaurants are going to be heaving on Valentine’s Day, which won’t foster the intimate and romantic atmosphere you’ll be looking for (plus it will be expensive!). Cooking together is fun, or, if your partner isn’t much of a chef, you could let them relax whilst you whip up something delicious. If neither of you wants to cook, there are some great deals available for easy, home-cooked dinners: Marks & Spencers offer a quality meal for two at just £10, including wine, Waitrose has a special Valentine’s Day meal deal, offering a starter, main, two sides and wine for £20 and the Co-op will be selling one of the cheapest deals of a main and two side dishes for just £6.

Ice skating and après skate

Just because Christmas is over, it doesn’t mean ice skating has to be. There’s something about ice skating that is delightfully romantic, even if you aren’t up to the standard of Torvill and Dean. Whether you’re performing twirls for your partner or clinging onto each other’s hands to stay upright, you’re guaranteed plenty of fun and laughs. And once you’re all skated out, you can head to a cosy bar for some post-rink drinks.

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Spend the night somewhere unusual

Spending the night somewhere other than your own home is automatically exciting, so why not pack an overnight bag and escape this Valentine’s Day? A swanky hotel is a great option if you have the inclination and the budget, but why not think outside the box and go for something really quirky? Airbnb has thousands of cool properties in the UK, so you could end up spending Valentine’s night in a yurt, a tree house, a converted cowshed or even a ‘boatel’.

Brunch

A romantic evening dinner is usually associated with Valentine’s Day, but, for some, all of that sentimental nonsense is a little bit cringeworthy. If you want to mark the day without excessive soppiness, why not go out for a casual brunch? Every town and city in the UK has plenty of cafes offering a truly stellar selection of hipsterish brunching opportunities, so take your loved one to their favourite place; food, after all, is the way to everyone’s heart.

Recreate your first date

Sometimes the small, thoughtful things make a much deeper impression than the big, flashy ones. Recreating your first date for your partner will show them just how much you care and how much you appreciate the first moments of your relationship journey. Take them through the evening down to the last detail – where you went, what you did, what you ate and drank, even what you wore – if you can remember! It will be deeply romantic and make them weak at the knees all over again.

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Whatever you decide, it’s about making the effort to spend quality time together. Want to discover ways to make money online to fund your romantic day? Then register to take part in research with Angelfish below. 

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page to keep up to date on the latest market research opportunities that you could take part in! 

 

Sign Up Here.

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How to get the most from your loyalty card

Most of us have a stack of loyalty cards crammed into our wallets, and nowadays pretty much all retailers offer their customers some kind of reward for loyalty. From big brand supermarkets to individual retailers and even coffee shops and restaurants, whatever the shop, it will more than likely have some kind of loyalty offering. But what are the best loyalty schemes? How do they work? And how can you get the most out of your loyalty cards? We’ve rounded up the best loyalty offers out there as well as some handy hints and top tips on how you can make the most out of them. Read on to find out more…

Have you thought about how you could be making extra money online in your spare time? After all, the more you spend, the more loyalty points you could accumulate! Just head on over to our projects page to see how you could get involved in paid market research such as online communities.

Tesco Clubcard

As one of the best-known loyalty schemes out there, Tesco Clubcard offers customers the chance to accumulate points at a rate of one per £1 spent. The points can be collected in loads of ways, from in-store and online to Tesco Fuel and Tesco Mobile, as well as through Tesco bank accounts, credit cards, and mortgages. The amount of points you’ve accumulated are then sent out as vouchers every three months. You can choose to spend your vouchers in store, online or at the pump, or alternatively, Tesco Reward Partners is a great way to do more with your vouchers. Choose from family meals, hotels, train tickets, magazine subscriptions or even a family day out – there are so many options available! Have a look online for a full list of exactly what’s on offer.

Sainsbury’s Nectar

Another great supermarket offering is Sainsbury’s Nectar that allows you to gain one point every time you spend £1 – but make sure you keep an eye out for special in-store promotions that give you the chance to double, triple or even quadruple your points, too. With lots of partners to choose from you can collect and spend your points on what really matters to you – and with offers changing weekly, there’s always tons of choice available. You can redeem your points across 500 different brands such as Argos, BP, Debenhams and more, put them towards theme park passes and concerts or even meals and cinema tickets – or alternatively just put it back towards your shop. Check out the website for updates on what’s available and when.

Boots Advantage Card

Boots Advantage Card is one of the most popular reward schemes out there – and considering it gives you four points for every £1 spent, it’s easy to see why it’s such a firm favourite! You can use your points in store or online with points lasting for an impressive three years. There are loads of offers available that change every day, so make sure you keep an eye on the website, sign up to receive news and offers via email or download the app. Alternatively, in larger stores, you can also enter your card details into ‘Extra Offers Kiosks’ for offers that are personal to you. There are even more bargains to be had if you’re over 60 with 10 points up for grabs for every £1 spent, and members of the Parenting Club can also get 10 points per pound for baby products, too.

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ASOS A-List

Everyone automatically qualifies for ASOS A-List as soon as they make a purchase worth more than £1 with a registered UK account. So if you’re a frequent ASOS shopper, chances are you’ve already started accumulating points without even realising it! In order to redeem them you need to ‘unlock’ the first level by accumulating 400 points (at five points per pound that’s the equivalent of spending £80) to get benefits such as double points days, 15% off for your birthday and exclusive competitions and offers from ASOS as well as a £5 voucher for every £100 you spend. Phew! As you accumulate more points, you can unlock more levels which offer double and triple point days, 20% off for your birthday as well as advance warning and early access to sales. You’ll have six months to spend your points – so don’t forget to use them!

My Waitrose

Unlike other reward schemes, you don’t actually collect points with a My Waitrose card – but if you ask us it’s definitely still worth it for the free tea and coffee! Not only that but you also get to enjoy the rewards from day one without having to accumulate points, allowing you to save money on shopping and win exclusive prizes. Offers include a free Waitrose Food magazine, Waitrose Drinks magazine and online access to the Good Food Guide as well as special offers in store at the fish and meat counter, discounted dry cleaning and seasonal offers and prizes, too. Check out the website to keep up with the offers available.

When it comes to using loyalty cards, make sure you shop smart to get the most out of your points. It’s definitely worth putting a little bit of thought and planning into  – who knows, you could just get a family trip out of it, knock some money off the Christmas shop or even indulge in a little treat for yourself – you deserve it, after all!

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money

How to budget your 2018

As 2017 draws to a close it’s almost time to reflect on the last 12 months and start making plans for the year ahead. Each year we say we’ll start doing this, or stop doing that – only for our plans to get ditched sometime in January. But what if this year you set realistic goals and resolutions that are actually achievable?

Christmas is an incredibly expensive time, and if like most people you end up overspending during the festive season, January is the perfect time to get your finances in order and start off the New Year right. Just the word ‘budget’ is enough to bring out a groan in most people – however, the reason most budgets don’t work is because they are simply unachievable, and when people place such high demands on themselves they are basically setting themselves up to fail.

Not this year, though! Here we take a look at the best ways to plan your budget for the year ahead, make sure you stick to it and save yourself some serious pennies along the way, too…

Look at the bigger picture

Start things off by deciding who exactly you are budgeting for and why. Are you planning your own budget, or are you organising your family’s budget too? Ideally you want to be planning your budget for the entire year, so make sure you’ve got your last three months of bank statements and bills to hand. What is your monthly household income? And what are your outgoings? Make sure you use worst-case scenario figures instead of underestimating your spending habits so you can ensure you’re completely prepared.

Drill down and be specific

Be detailed in your budget so you know exactly what’s going where – and why. Broad categories such as ‘car expenses’ make it easy to forget the little things that add up. Instead make sure you note down every last detail, from MOTs and new tyres to petrol, insurance, breakdown cover and more, so you can have a full overview of exactly where your money is going every month.

 

pexels photo 259209 300x200 - How to budget your 2018

 

What can I afford to spend?

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. We’d recommend recording what you’re spending daily or taking out a certain amount of money to last you a day as well as always paying in cash to make sure you keep on top of your spending.  

Start small

You know the saying every little helps – well it’s true when it comes to saving, too. Little lifestyle changes here and there can make a huge difference, from cutting out your daily takeaway coffee (which could save you a whopping £650 a year!) to other little daily expenditures such as magazines, chocolates, cigarettes, and parking. Every time you make a purchase, ask yourself two questions: Do I need it? And if so, could I do it more cheaply? Yes, you might be watching movies on Netflix rather than taking trips to the cinema, swapping Sky for Freeview or giving up holidays abroad in favour of staycations – but you’ll be surprised at how quickly the little things add up and your savings start to grow.

Make allowances for special occasions

Is there anything specific you need to save for, such as a summer holiday, birthday presents or Christmas? If so, factor it into your budget throughout the year rather than just splurging in one go or even worse spending on credit. For example, if you typically spend £800 a year on Christmas put aside £67 a month over the course of the year so you’re ready and prepared come December next year.

Shop smart

A really important part of successful budgeting is to be a smart shopper. Compare prices online, use vouchers and promotional codes where possible and make the most of reward schemes, too. When it comes to online shopping, use click and collect if you can instead of paying for delivery and when you’re doing your food shop try to plan meals ahead so you don’t waste anything. It’s also worth using money saving sites such as MySupermarket to see which products are the cheapest and where.

Use budgeting apps

There are tons of tools out there to help you budget, with money management apps such as Mint, Wally and You Need a Budget making it easier than ever before to watch what you spend. These apps act as an all-in-one resource for managing your money, allowing you to sync your bank accounts, credit cards, and monthly bills to one account and get a snapshot of what’s going on with your money at any one time. You can track what goes in and what comes out as well as sorting your spending into categories so you can figure out exactly what you are splurging on so you can keep on top of it all.

Why should you budget? Well, to put it simply, budgeting in this way and watching what you’re spending and where means you’ll have more money in your pocket to enjoy life. The typical savings from implementing a budget are between £3000-£5000 – so it’s more than worth having a go in 2018.

Another great way to make a bit of extra money is by taking part in paid market research. If you’d like to sign up to paid market research with Angelfish Opinions, register now!

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