Every mystery shopper wants to find a way to make more money mystery shopping. Perhaps you’re looking for more assignments to complete, or you need more time to complete more assignments. You may be searching for assignments that have been on the job boards for awhile so you can request bonus pay from your scheduler. These are all great ways to make more money as a mystery shopper, but you don’t have to work harder or ask for more money to increase your profits!
Reimbursements. Before you sign up for your next assignment, think about things on your own personal “To Buy” list. Perhaps you need to buy groceries or your gas tank is running low. Maybe you need an oil change or the kids need new bathing suits for the summer. There are all items you have plans to buy out of your own pocket.
With this list in hand, search the job boards for assignments that will reimburse you for not only the purchase but also your time spent shopping for these items. Too often, mystery shoppers purchase items they don’t necessarily need or want to fulfill the assignment requirements. While you may get a shiny new coffee mug or a pair of new earrings out of the deal, you’ve actually just spent money you weren’t planning to spend. So in a way, that assignment cost you some money. When you spend your time focusing on assignments that cover the cost of already-intended purchases, you’ll see your mystery shopping efforts making a bigger difference in your personal budget.
Paid To Drive. Whether you know it or not, you can get paid to drive to your mystery shopping assignment job sites. With each and every assignment you travel to, you can write off the full mileage on your tax returns as a business expense. With the current write-off at $0.55 per mile, you don’t have to travel too far to make most or all of your assignment pay tax-free income! All you need to do is keep a mileage log handy and jot down your mileage for each job site you travel to. There’s no need to pay Uncle Sam 10-25% or more of your mystery shopping income at the end of the year! Keep your cash right where it belongs – in your pocket!
Other Tax Write-Offs. Whether you need a new $1,000 computer or a $30 stop watch, any purchases you make that are used for your mystery shopping job can be written off Or a portion of the expense can be written off anyway – check with your accountant for details on the percentage of each expense you can write off. But for everything from pens and paper to a digital camera, you can save money on your taxes at the end of the year by keeping receipts and writing off as much of these expenses as you are allowed.
These tax write-offs are perks of being self-employed and are legally permissible, so if you’re not taking advantage of them, you’re losing money!
Keep these extra ways to make – or keep – some of your hard earned money in mind. If you haven’t been taking advantage of them up to this point, there’s no time like the present to start reaping the full benefits mystery shopping provides!