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The Aftermath

I have been consistently dreading writing this for public consumption as I am certain if the Kpop stans get ahold of this I'll get videos of Twice dancing along with death threats. I will preface this by saying that if you feel the urge to fight or debate, fight or debate your mother. This is not an open forum. I am not free of the consequences of my words, but I am eternally free to ignore you. That being said, Korea is the worst place I have ever traveled. As I have likely told many of you who have asked me in person, I would suggest going if you're white, if you're obsessed with the culture and its exports, or if you're going for 2 weeks or less.  Everyone else has been warned. I landed back in the United States on Sunday, June 30th, 2019, and approximately 206 days later, I am ready to talk about my 1 year in Korea. The Flight Back So, I almost died. I'm starting here because this isn't really  Korea's fault so much as my exhaustion because of Ko

The M*ney One [Part Three]: Working While on A Student Visa

If you haven't seen part two of "The M*ney One" you can check it out here, and if you haven't peeped my last post you can check that out here. You can also see the Ultimate List of Resources here.

   If you are going to your study abroad program under a student visa, please be aware that most likely, it is illegal to take on work while in your country. You are, however, allowed to take work from your home country and work remotely. The list included here can be used for if you already have a full or part-time job in your home country and want to supplement existing income as well as if you just want some spending money while you are in your host country. Remember that you have to budget according to your new freelance pay schedule and that with income that varies in opportunity, you never actually know how much you will be making in a given month. Most of the jobs require very few if any specialized skills and they pay via PayPal. Make sure to check if you have the required software/hardware and that you are prepared to adhere to the payment schedule outlined by each company. Always spend beneath your means and know the tax implications of freelance work which depends on the amount of money you make from your work. I am not affiliated with any of the services and have personally used all of them unless otherwise stated.

The Survey Sites
   Survey websites are notorious for being awful for making money, but in my experience with survey websites, they can be the most consistent, however low paying work and require the least amount of skill. Swagbucks is my absolute favorite survey website even though they are super annoyingThe method they market most heavily is cash back on purchases you make online which is great, but I'm not in the business of spending to make. Make an account on Swagbucks and on PayPal using the same email for both accounts and once you earn 2500 SBs (Swagbucks) doing a variety of tasks like daily polls, watching videos and of course surveys, you can cash out for a $25 PayPal gift card. 
   The surveys on Swagbucks are easy but very tedious/repetitive and they ask for a lot of the same screening information, like race identification, age, employment status, etc. Some smaller focus or group studies also will use Swagbucks to screen through eligible people and they usually pay about 4000 SBs (approximately $40) each. Screenshot for a study I just got paid for (finally) today below. Because Swagbucks pays out through gift cards, if you want cash, you can only go through the PayPal gift card which you can cash out in $25, $50 or $100 increments. For other gift cards, you need as few as 500 SBs to get $5 gift cards. These are from Starbucks, Target, and several other stores. With only a moderate amount of attention, I have consistently made at least an extra $50 a month just doing a few surveys per day. With more diligence and dedication you could easily make a couple of extra hundred. I like Swagbucks because they always always always have surveys for you to do, whether on your way to work, or using time set aside specifically for completing surveys.  You can see examples of my payments from Swagbucks labeled "The Rewards Store" above or below.

   2020 Panel requires a 20-minute initial survey to find online panels that you are eligible for. These are VERY rare but pay anywhere from $75- $300, especially if they have multiple parts for the study. Sometimes they require you to be apart of studies that take place in a moderated online chatroom, but most of the time they just require a survey and use a point system. Most surveys pay out about 250 points and you can cash out at 500 points for a $5 gift card. One of the biggest pros is that you do not have to consistently check on this website, because they will email you after finding something you are eligible for, though being eligible for anything is a huge rarity in my experience. Since February, I have only been apart of one study. Do not depend on this website for steady side income. 

User Testing Platforms
   Usertesting is a website that works best when you keep it open on your desktop or laptop screen with sound on all day. User Testing has one or two screening questions which qualify you to test out the consumer usability for different websites or apps. UserTesting also has phone-specific tests that require you to download the UserTesting app which doesn't take up much space. They want you to speak aloud while completing different tasks on the website or app then answer one or two follow up questions, usually 2-3 sentences each. They also do some study screenings which pay $50-$150 each but are slightly more involved (complete a 30-minute survey every day for 7 days, etc. ). At sign up, you do have to perform an initial testing session, but that pays $10 just like all of the other tests. Tests involving webcams (they want to track your emotions while you complete the test), or one on one moderated Skype sessions pay $25-$70 depending on the length, but they last no more than an hour. The most common tests you will incur will be about 15 minutes and pay $10. The best part about this website is that new tests are posted throughout the day. Being diligent, I have been able to get 1-2 tests per day which have translated to $20-$45 extra per day. They send directly to PayPal exactly 7 days to the minute since the test has completed, and can become steady side income if you're okay with the week-long delayed gratification. Be sure to always have the website open, so you get consistent reminders of new tests throughout the day via a dinging sound for a new test. You can see examples of the payments received from UserTesting below.
   Userlytics is also a user testing site with essentially the same rules at The only difference is that they do strictly websites and apps, no studies and that they email you directly. The tests are first to come, first serve and they are occasional. I've been a member for a while and have gotten a total of 12 emails ever, though most of them have been while I am at work. I wouldn't suggest depending on this for steady side income. You can see an example of a payment from Userlytics above. 

   These are the biggest payouts but they are so rare and that's why I don't suggest depending on these. Just a couple of days ago, I received a check from one of my studies (it was an AutoZone marketing study) for $150 which helped because I got a parking ticket for... you guessed it, $150. The best ways to find studies to participate in is 20 20 Panel mentioned above, or to just be affiliated with a company. For instance, I got the Auto Zone study because I am an Auto Zone rewards member and almost always fill out the survey on the bottom of the receipt which is also a way to get involved in studies for other companies as well (I know of Arby's and McDonald's also begin the recruitment process this way). Swagbucks and UserTesting also recruit for larger studies, so if you see a 3 minute Swagbucks survey that pays out 4000 points, it's likely that it's a recruitment and they will follow up with you via email for the more extensive study instructions. Despite the larger payout, studies, especially online studies, are super rare, usually take hours to complete, and the checks take so so long to arrive (plus the holds bank put on checks). 

Teach, and Other Stuff
   Writing resume's, cover letters, or doing small tasks can make you SO much money. The key is you must be willing to do those little annoying things other people don't want to do. I started by writing a resume' for my coworker's son for free, and then other people around my office heard and they began to ask me to either start a new resume' from scratch or spruce their resume's. I have also completed two (2!) credit counseling courses for my coworker's bankruptcy case and completed very simple taxes online via Turbo Tax for a coworker. For these services, it honestly depends on how much I like the coworker. The cover letter was for a specific job position which had certain certifications and requirements that it needed to be tailored to. More so, I knew exactly how much of an increase this coworker would be receiving and so I priced the cover letter accordingly. Likewise, I knew how much the coworker would be getting back for taxes as well as her financial situation (i.e. dependents) and priced accordingly. For the bankruptcy case, I really love that coworker and so charged only $20 per credit counseling course and charged $30-$50 per resume' for coworkers I actually liked. May seem petty, but it's how I choose to run this particular business.

   All in all, it is completely possible to make anywhere between $250-$500 extra a month whether or not you need to start aggressively saving, need some pocket money for your study abroad, or just desire to have more spending power in your everyday life. Remember, however, we weren't made to just work, pay taxes, and die. Be smart, always save, but have some fun with some of your new money. 

-For Nour 

P.s. I bought my domain so welcome to the new! Thanks to Domains from Google, I now own a little slice of the internet!

Thumbnail Photo by Manny Pantoja on Unsplash


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