Work from home using your smartphone

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If you’re looking for ways to top up your income, choosing to work from home with money making apps and sites is a great way to earn extra cash, without even leaving the house!

It’s not the sort of money that will make you rich, but it is a great way to routinely bring in extra money each month.

An extra £100 to £300 is realistic.

And before you ask, no – you don’t need to use all of these services to start earning that sort of money – I’m not a monster!

Just know that like most things, the exact amount you can make working from home depends on how much time you can spare and how many services you use.

How much time should I dedicate to work from home?

5 minutes or 5 hours – there isn’t a correct amount of time to spend on these apps. Everyone is different.

I found getting myself into a routine, like 20 minutes each evening whilst in front of the TV, was the easiest way to make a difference to my bank balance.

Everything listed here is free to use, and will nicely fit around your existing lifestyle – that could be work, family, box set binges. Just use them when you have a few spare moments and you’ll see the rewards really start to accumulate.

We’ve got apps and sites for all sorts – free or discounted food shopping, ones that earn you money for browsing the web, others for taking online surveys or just clicking a few buttons each day. No experience is needed to get started and begin earning.

If you can find the strength to replace just a few minutes of funny cat gifs with some of these money making apps, you’ll see why they’re so popular with people that top up their income by working from home.

Pick as many or as few of my suggestions as you fancy. If you don’t like the sound of it, or it isn’t your cup of tea – don’t struggle through with it, just skip on to the next one (it’s OK, I won’t be offended!)

There’s bound to be something to tickle your pickle with these fantastic earn from home opportunities

Ryan Reynolds cheeky smile

Keep your shiz organised blue box tip:

Being unable to find or remember the name of new sites and apps is the quickest route to saving failure. Trust me – I’ve been there.

Instead, get in the habit of grouping together similar categories into folders on your phone. 

I found it really revved-up my earnings this way, instead of being scattered all over my phone, and it means when the mood takes me, I can get my fix in one quick hit.

To give you an example, my phone folders are now arranged like this:

Just click any of the links above, to be taken straight to the relevant section – I’ve put together a whistle-stop tour of the most used apps and sites from my phone…

Shopping apps & services

  • CheckoutSmart

I use this little beauty before every single shop, either on my phone, or when planning meals on my laptop.

CheckoutSmart lets you pick up freebies and discounts at most major supermarkets – both in store and online. You also get the odd offer from smaller stores too (One Stop, Londis etc)

Just choose any of the tasty offers they have available, buy it from your chosen store and importantly – keep your receipt.

Upload a pic of your receipt, and they put the cash back into your account.

(I found this pairs really well with the Asda Price Guarantee trick I use in this post)

Doing this each week I have my fair share of free stuff – beers, cider, yogurts, crisps and more. Just take a quick look at CheckoutSmart before you head out shopping, and add the freebies to your shopping list!

Their freebies and deals are updated weekly too, so the list is always fresh!

You can earn cashback with CheckoutSmart by registering here

  • Shopmium

Just like CheckoutSmart, but with different freebies and deals…oh and did I mention YOU GET A FREE JAR OF NUTELLA, just for joining!

I bloody love Nutella! And did you know it’s actually pronounced new-tell-uh? I found that out from my French buddy – he shook my little world when he told me that!

Shopmium let you cash out your rewards to PayPal or straight into your bank account – which takes 3-5 days.

I tend to check Shopmium at the same time I’m browsing CheckoutSmart. Normally I find even more freebies to be had from my weekly shop, which turn into free meals.

And not only can you save money, you also get £4 for each friend you refer to Shopmium, PLUS they’ll get some free New-tell-uh too.

Pancakes ahoy mon amis!

Join Shopmium and get your free jar of Nutella here

Paid online surveys

They are what first got me started making money online, and I’ve taken a lot of them, with a lot of different companies over the years.

They work because companies of all sizes want to understand what customers think about their products and services.

To do this, they recruit survey companies like the ones below, who ask people like me and you, for opinions via online surveys.

And to thank you for your time, these survey companies reward you with all sorts – cash, gift vouchers, free products and prize draw entries.

There’s a mixed bag out there.

Some quite literally pay pittance and others can waste your time by screening you out of surveys part way through – it’s survey lingo that means you won’t get paid for that survey.

But it’s not all bad news, after a lot of trial and error, I’ve found there are some survey sites that do offer good payouts.

If you’re going to test out the water with paid online surveys, I’d suggest you start with the 8 below.

There’s plenty others out there, but these are the ones I find myself coming back to time and time again.

There’s a mixture of big names and lesser known panels in here – ones I’ve found to offer a good variety of topics and payouts:

  • Saros

Use these guys for the long game. Participation is occasional only, but they pay really well for it. Typically £30-£100 for 1-2 hours work.

They run a mixture of online research, user testing of products and focus groups (both online and in-person).

As the invites aren’t very regular, I’d suggest you join their panel and keep an eye out for their email updates.

Just don’t forget to answer a few profile questions when you first join. It helps them find surveys best suited to you, so you never miss a paid opportunity.

Register for free with Saros here

  • Respondi Mingle

Don’t judge this panel by the look of their website!

Granted it doesn’t look too fancy, but get past the dated design and you’ll find they specialise in consumer surveys and product testing – where you get to test and keep brand new products.

They’ve got an active Facebook page with some 91,000 followers, which is one check I use to reassure me about panels I’ve not heard of before.

This may explain why they’re so popular with students looking to earn a bit extra in their spare time. Their minimum age is 16, which is lower than most.

Their surveys are normally 5 – 20 minutes, with longer surveys typically paying more.

You get rewarded with points for completed surveys (even if you’re screened out of a survey) to exchange for vouchers from Amazon, M&S, Debenhams and more.

Great for little treats, or even to use as presents for friends and family!

Join Respondi Mingle with a cheeky click here 

  • Mobrog

Answer varied questions about a ton of topics – your preferred method of travel, opinions on products or different types of advertising.

Their surveys pay between 50p to £3 each…and they don’t take eternity to complete either!

Mobrog tell you know how long each survey takes, up front, so you can decide if it’s worth your time – I like that transparency, as do 1000’s of others…

Their honesty and simplicity has earnt them a 5 star rating on Trustpilot, with plenty of examples of people that have been paid out to Paypal.

Yes, you will find that some of their surveys are niche. It means you’ll get screened out, but they do this early on, so minimal time is wasted.

Just be patient and you are rewarded!

Personally I kinda like that they’re run by a company called Splendid Reseach – it just sounds all rather well to do – what what?!

Do some splendidly paid research with Mobrog here

  • Power of Opinions

Firstly, life rarely deals these little pleasures, so let’s enjoy some toilet humour – Power Of Opinions. Their marketing team must have been so pleased to get that approved!

But contrary to their unfortunate initials, I found them far from POO!

You get a lot of short surveys. Quick 2-3 minute polls plop into my email most days, meaning you’re never cut short on the chance to earn more rewards.

Just like Mobrog, each survey tells you how much you’ll earn and completion time in advance.

So why not take a few minutes to enjoy a good POO every now and again!

Shit yeah – I’d like to POO

  • Pollpass

If you fancy something different to the normal survey invite process, try Pollpass.

You’re never screened out of a survey, and instead of the standard survey format, they ask questions in more of a facebook chatbot style.

It means you can still dip in and out when you fancy, and when you boil it down, it means you’re actually earning cash, just for chatting!

The cool thing about this style is you don’t get caught in time-critical surveys. The ones that can lock you out if you if leave part way through to answer a call/finish dinner.

Every answer to the chat earns you points, that can be cashed out as rewards.

It takes me about an hour of on and off chatting to get a £7 Amazon voucher. You can also cash out straight to your Paypal account too.

Start chatting and earning with Pollpass here

  • Valued Opinions

These guys are one of the biggest survey panels out there, paying up to £5 per survey.

I’ve found they normally kick around the £1-£2 mark though, with the odd higher paying one now and again.

Rewards come in the form of gift vouchers. You can choose from loads of online and highstreet names – Amazon, Saino’s, Tesco, Costa and more.

I use Valued Opinions surveys to stock up on gift vouchers for presents. Or I just sell them on Zeek if I need some quick cash.

Get up to £5 per survey with Valued Opinions here

  • Swagbucks

I first read about them on Buzzfeed – who knew you can actually earn money for things like watching videos, searching the web and shopping online?

And that’s what makes Swagbucks so popular! As well as offering you plenty of paid surveys, you can also complete online tasks for points – Swag Bucks. Cash them out for Paypal or gift cards – normally Amazon.

To boost your balance even quicker, there’s a Swagbucks search engine you can use (powered by Yahoo), and a SwagButton extension that you can install to your toolbar (a bit like the Pinterest button).

It’s easier to join Swagbucks and test them out, to see what I mean. If you don’t get on with them, simply remove them and life goes on as normal!

Sign up for a free Swagbucks account and start earning here

  • 20 Cogs

It’s kind of similar to Swagbucks – another site that’s free to join, and pays out an average of £200 to users that complete 20 tasks – a mixture of Competitions, Offers, Games and Surveys.

I’m currently writing a blog post of my own experience, my payout and tips you can use take to maximise the payment you get from them. When it’s published (it’s pretty in-depth!) you’ll be able to find it HERE.

Earn money for completing tasks with 20 Cogs here

My survey advice blue box thing:

Over the years, I’ve found that some survey panels can stop accepting new members when they have enough new users each month.

I often get around this is by trying to join again at the start of the next month. Their quotas are often renewed and applications open again.

If you hit this problem with any of the above survey companies, drop back here on the 1st of next month and try again.

If you’re in a hurry to join a bunch of survey panels right now, consider joining Paid Surveys. This site asks your age and gender, then finds which survey panels are currently recruiting people like you.

It means you can sign up a load of surveys at once, to save you searching around the web.

If you opt in to the Paid Surveys newsletter, they’ll also let you know when new survey companies start looking for people that fit your profile.  It’s quick, free and easy to use, and actually how I found PollPass.

Join a bunch of survey companies here on Paid Surveys

Mystery shopping

I found this to be a natural progression from online paid surveys.

  • a free dinner with my girlfriend,
  • free bowling games,
  • having my eyes tested
  • getting paid to find out about a loan

They’re just a few examples of mystery shops I’ve been on over the years.

I mean let’s be honest here – being paid to shop or eat at some of my favourite stores….what could be better?!

No experience or equipment is needed, other than a smartphone or digital camera to take pics of the store you visited.

You’ll find most big retailers use mystery shops to check their standards are being met, and to get feedback on the quality of their service – all from the point of view of an anonymous mystery shopper, i.e. YOU!

Specialist firms recruit mystery shoppers to carry out ‘assignments’. And although each assignment varies from job to job, you’re always given a set of clear instructions to follow, and aspects of the shop to try out.

Once complete, you write up a report of your mystery shop, and receive payment for doing so. I’ve had cheques, money paid straight into my account and sometimes gift vouchers.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of mystery shops will reimburse travel costs too – fuel, bus or train fairs. Don’t forget to ask for clarification up front, as this can make a trip much more worthwhile!

Here are a few of my favourite mystery shopping companies to get you started:

  • Ragdoll research

They offer an annual banking mystery shop that pays £50 for an hour of your time. That’s pretty decent!

In my case I had to visit my local Lloyds bank and have a meeting with a loan advisor, however the assignment can change depending on the target bank.

I was sent 2 voice recording devices that hid in my pocket, and just posted them back straight after the mystery shop.

No forms to complete, no hassle, and Alex at Ragdoll was available on the phone to walk through any questions I had at the time.

I was sent a cheque within a week, and cashed it the same day.

Take their short survey here to see if you eligible

  • Market force

They’ve been around since the 70’s and over that time have grown a huge, nationwide selection of mystery shopping jobs you can choose from.

I find it handy to search for assignments based on your current location. It means you can still find jobs if you’re away from home.

There’s even airport-specific mystery shops you can take to earn a little extra cash as you head off on holiday!

Payment generally covers any purchases you’ve made, plus a bit extra to cover your time.

It’s not enough to replace a full time job, but it’s a great way to get freebies AND a little extra cash each month.

My TIP – You can normally haggle travel expenses with them too. Just pop them a message when you accept a job and try your luck!

Start work with Marketforce by joining here

  • Red WigWam

I used Red WigWam as they tend to have a lot of supermarket mystery shops.

Tesco, Waitrose, Saino’s – I try to fit in a mystery shop at the same time that I’m doing the food shop. It doesn’t always work out that way, but getting paid for something I need to do anyway…it kind of sweetens the deal, and I get to try out new products I wouldn’t buy normally too!

They also have adhoc job vacancies. Mainly one-off bar staff and waiting jobs at client hospitality events. Fine for an extra cash top up, but not something to rely on as full time work.

It’s not much, but you’ll earn an extra £1 – £2.50 for each friend you refer too.

It might just be the area I live in, but I found jobs get snapped up quick.

Make sure you sign up for their emails alerts so you can take jobs as soon as they come up!

Join Red WigWam with a hop, skip and a click here

Cashback sites

If you aren’t using them already (apparently over 80% of the UK aren’t), then take 1 minute to get yourself signed up, and start earning money on your normal purchases straight away!

You don’t need to do anything different to get your money back. Just remember to pop by one of these sites before you make a purchase, and use one of their affiliate links.

They earn a commission when you do this, which they share with you – earning you cashback that you wouldn’t have got otherwise.

I’ve found they can help find the cheapest deal on a purchase, and work particularly well for bigger spends – things like insurances, holidays, white goods, TV’s etc.

It’s worth noting that not all cashback sites offer the same – if you have time, it’s worth checking each one to make the most money.

You’ll find some give you a bonus just for joining. And once joined, cashback rewards differ per site, each with exclusive deals you won’t find elsewhere.

I’m not particularly loyal to any one single cashback site, although I use these 3 more than most:

Topcashbackjoin with this link to get £15 on a shop at Iceland

Quidco – register free here

OhMyDosh! They’re one of the newest cashback sites on the block, and are quickly gaining a loyal following for their fun, quirky personality that goes hand in hand with great cashback deals.

And although they’re the young, bright pink upstarts, they’re already catching the attention of money bloggers, and have been featured in The Metro, The Sun and Loveit! magazine.

Oh, and did I mention they have an actual pug as their mascot? What’s not to love?!

Waving pug gif

You had me at hello!

Get £1 added to your account by joining OhMyDosh with this link

Free daily draws

These sites are less of a regular income, and more of a quick daily check that can pay big rewards – up to £2000/day at the moment!

Free to enter, and quick to check, I spend a minute checking both sites each morning. Normally whilst I’m waiting for the kettle to boil.

Here are my favourite 2 sites that giveaway money, or a free meal every day. See if you can guess which is which 😉


Phew, you made it!

It might be a lot to take in at once, but take your time and run through them one at a time.

Find what works and stick with them. Ignore those that you don’t get on with…you’ll find it far more fun that way!

And make sure to let us know how you get on in the comments below, along with the sites, apps or tools that you use to top up your balance each month…

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