Financial Freedom: Taking the First Steps to Earning Money

There is a great paradox in making money. You need cash to make serious cash. Money ‘seeds’ further money-making – no matter how you are going to do it. We call the money that you need to start with your Financial Freedom Fund – and this is why you need it:

  • If you’re ‘matched betting’ then you’ll need a starting float of around £100. The bigger your starting float, the faster and bigger your profits will be.
  • Blogging needs a £100 or so investment to start off. You need to buy a domain name, web hosting and a WordPress theme.
  • eCommerce sellers need a domain name, Shopify account/ website, and a well-designed logo. Again, this could be upwards of £100 – and that’s before stock.

But what if you have no spare money to start with? It’s a catch-22 situation – the first £100 will be the hardest for you to earn. But all is not lost – with a bit of hard work and guidance you can get together a Financial Freedom Fund in a month or so.

We show you where you can earn your ‘Financial Freedom Fund’ below – but first, continue reading to find out how you should approach the start of your earning journey

Financial Freedom Starts With Thinking Like a Business

Set your Financial Freedom Fund aside for taking those tentative steps into online money-making.

Ways of getting money together from £0 can be tedious, hard work. Many of them are below the National Minimum Wage. Look past that – it’s a temporary step which you hopefully won’t need to repeat.

Resist the temptation to draw on your Financial Freedom Fund for other things! Once you have your seed money it should snowball. Take out £50 for a meal out and you’ll have to start that graft all again.

Separate your Financial Freedom Fund from your day-to-day finances – it’s not a Christmas or holiday fund, either!

Tax and benefits

Register as self-employed if your annual self-employed earnings are more than £1000. Find out more about this here:

You’ll need to declare any earnings if you are on an income-related benefit. These can include Jobseeker’s Allowance, Tax Credits or Universal Credit. Speak to your advisor, HMRC or Citizens Advice if you’re unsure.

Choose cash, not vouchers

Some of the income streams listed below will let you draw earnings as gift vouchers, rather than cash. Gift voucher options will often give a better return on your efforts – however, remember that you want the CASH which you can turn into more cash.

Only accept a gift voucher if you NEED something from that store, and you were going to shop there anyway. In that case, opt for a better-value voucher and put the cash that you WOULD have spent into your seed fund.

Don’t request a gift voucher instead of cash because you fancy treating yourself!

When to cash out

The usual advice with sites such as Swagbucks is to cash-out as soon as you can. There is no guarantee that the site will be around this time next week!

We think it’s worth a small gamble by cashing out only once you’ve reached the level that you would need. That’s because higher-value rewards are usually better value than lower value rewards. If there isn’t value in saving up for a higher value reward then cash out at the first opportunity.

There are small fees to withdraw cash to PayPal from some sites, such as Prolific Academic. There is no point paying withdrawl fees twice in a month if you can get away without doing so.

Sites to use on your Journey to Financial Freedom

What makes a good “earn something from scratch” site?

Building up your Financial Freedom Fund is a bit different from building a long term, sustainable income. You’ll do things that you might not otherwise dream of doing!

There are 3 criteria for any site that you use at this stage include:

  • There is no investment required – you want to earn money, not spend it
  • You must be able to release earnings quickly – there’s no point joining a survey website if it will take you 6 months to get to a cashout point
  • You must be able to withdraw earnings as CASH (either directly to your bank, or to PayPal)

The only exception to the last criteria is if you can get rewarded with a gift voucher that you would otherwise use. So if you intend to shop at Amazon using cash, for example, then you could request an Amazon voucher reward (which is often better value for your time), and put the cash that you would have used towards your fund.

If in any doubt, though, always choose cash.

The sites below all meet these criteria – you can quickly earn (and release) cash, without any investment.


What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a popular rewards site which gives you gift cards or cash via PayPal in return for you completing tasks. These tasks include completing surveys, watching videos, playing games and searching the Web.

Why use Swagbucks?

Experienced online earners often look down on Swagbucks, because you can quickly become limited in how much you can make. In the long term there are much better ways for you to spend your time.

For new members, there are lots of opportunities to quickly make some money. By blitzing the offers and cashing out you can easily earn some of the Financial Freedom Fund that you need. Long term it’s probably not worth your while – but you’ll soon graduate to more profitable ventures.

One of the biggest advantages of Swagbucks it its low cashout thresholds. You can cash out £5 or £10 worth of earnings to PayPal very quickly.

How much can I make with Swagbucks?

Realistically, we think that you can make around £1 per day without too much effort. That’s about £30 in your first month – indeed, with a bit more effort you could probably double that.

[mks_button size=”large” title=”Start Earning With Swagbucks Today” style=”rounded” url=”” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#8224e3″ txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”fa-heart” icon_type=”fa” nofollow=”1″]



What is Prolific?

Prolific, formerly Prolific Academic, is a website which pays you to complete surveys for academic studies.

Why use Prolific?

It’s not just the warm fuzzy feeling that you get for helping academics complete their studies! Prolific Academic is one of the best-paid survey websites out there – they guarantee that you will earn at least the National Minimum Wage based on the typical time it take to complete a survey.

It’s also one of the most ethical survey sites. By completing a profile first of all, you are pre-screened for all surveys. That means you’ll never get one of those annoying “Sorry, this survey isn’t for you” messages for any survey that you start.

You can cash out your earnings to PayPal. They have recently introduced a small fee for this, although this only covers their costs. The cashout level is achievable in a short space of time.

How much can I make with Prolific?

Depending on the time of year and the number of available surveys (academics take the summer off!), you can expect to earn around £20 or more in a month.

Surveys are available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so make sure that you check for surveys regularly.

[mks_highlight color=”#eeee22″]We suggest that you wait until you are ready to use your earnings to spend on the next stage of your earnings plan. Prolific charges a small fee to withdraw to PayPal  – withdrawing less often means that you’ll pay[/mks_highlight].

[mks_button size=”large” title=”Start Earning With Prolific Today” style=”rounded” url=”” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#8224e3″ txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”fa-heart” icon_type=”fa” nofollow=”1″]



What is QMee?

Qmee is a browser toolbar which adds relevant advertising to searches on Google, Amazon, eBay and a few other websites. It pays you when you trigger some of these adverts and click on them.

There is a daily limit to how many times you can earn from clicks. You can also complete surveys for extra earnings.

If you rather not have the Qmee toolbar running whilst you do your normal web browsing then use Google Chrome and add a browser profile dedicated to Qmee.

Why use Qmee?

You won’t earn much with Qmee, but it’s really quick and easy to do each day. There isn’t a minimum cashout value either – you can cashout with just 5p!

[mks_highlight color=”#eeee22″]You should cashout to PayPal every time that you earn – there’s no incentive for you to keep money in your Qmee account.[/mks_highlight]

How much can I make with Qmee?

You’re not going to get rich from Qmee alone, but at a typical 15p per day you contribute £4.50 to your Financial Freedom Fund within a month.

[mks_highlight color=”#eeee22″]Sign up via the link below and get a 50p bonus when you first cash out to PayPal![/mks_highlight]

[mks_button size=”large” title=”Start Earning With Qmee” style=”rounded” url=”” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#8224e3″ txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”fa-heart” icon_type=”fa” nofollow=”1″]


Sites to avoid when building your initial Financial Freedom fund

There are hundreds of legitimate money-earning websites, apps and methods which we haven’t included here – but for good reason.

Some survey sites such as YouGov can be fulfilling and rewarding, but the payout threshold is too high to be worthwhile for building a Financial Freedom fund. You need the cash sooner, rather than later.

You might be able to make a significant amount of money through search engine evaluation, but that takes a significant amount of time to complete the recruitment process.

Remember: the aim of this stage on your journey to Financial Freedom is to quickly make a fund big enough to get started. Pick your income streams carefully – don’t waste time on something which might take several months for you to get paid.

1 thought on “Financial Freedom: Taking the First Steps to Earning Money”

  1. Thorough post, and a very good point about never signing up to something that expects payment from you, that’s generally a big no-no. I never did get on with Swagbucks but I love Prolific, just a shame there’s not quite as many studies around these days. It’s still one of my favourites as it’s actually enjoyable and always different 🙂

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