For shoppers with full-time careers...

And do shopping as a side hustle. Just curious. How many shops do you typically do a week or a month? Curious to know how others balance shopping when they have busy jobs.

I'm squeezing in four on Monday because I have an open day. Other days, I might do none or one or two. I bet I average 6-8 a week. It's help me become debt-free and fund vacations and have a savings account.

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25 in May
Since spending time with my husband is a priority, I take a lot of dining shops. I can't be doing this for the money since I don't make much money to speak of. I look at it as saving money on restaurants. Actually, we are eating out a lot more and usually go over reimbursement. Yesterday cost me around $28. Wait, why do I do this?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2019 02:54PM by Niner.
To answer 2 questions at once; Between zero and 20 shops a month for me. When I'm slammed at work (which is around 2 months each year) I don't shop at all. When time allows, I'm almost at full-time status where I'm only working part-time at my career, but since most shops are going to be hotels or dinners, 20 shops is working full-time.

As for the question @Niner asks herself; I keep a very good record of my expenses each month. Despite me probably not making any profit through MSing, I see a direct correlation of my overall expenses being lower when I'm shopping, to the tune of up to $2k monthly. It keeps me busy,, saves me money and I get to see the world in the process...
Steve,
That makes sense!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2019 03:57PM by Niner.
I am 'full time retired' so have a lot more scheduling flexibility but a lot less energy than when I was employed FT and I think Steve's response works for all of us in terms of letting schedule determine how many and what kind of shops we take on. So, for example, in May I was deeply involved in other activities and there was no time to do shops. My schedule is lightening up so I am now beginning to schedule some June shops. I tend to be a lifestyle shopper so shops pay for what I would otherwise be out of pocket for.

Over the next few months I will be doing some home remodeling and shops will provide me the opportunity to do my research for flooring, plumbing fixtures, window coverings etc. I am not at all opposed to letting shops pay me to do my research!

It is wise for you to have a goal for your shops as it keeps you focused and working. It is a good thing to be debt free as you get little benefit from paying interest except that you can have the goods or services sooner. While in the case of a medical emergency you may have no choice except debt if you have no or inadequate health insurance and in a home purchase interest on mortgage debt is deductible and offsets paying rent, but most consumer debt is an expense of limited merit.
OP:
I have a full-time career. My shops very greatly from month to month... Also, some have huge differences in time commitments so my "10 shops" might not mean the same as somebody else's "10 shops."

I make between $1,000 and $5,000 in a month, depending how much I choose to shop. May was a light month. June will be heavier.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I have a pretty demanding job. I initially started MSing when I moved to a new area. It helped me learn my way around. Then I started MSing to supplement my income. Now, I shop to offset household expenses: gas, groceries, oil changes, household items, etc.

I do about 3 shops per week.

"Been stuck in the middle of a vendetta between me and myself" -Citizen Cope
I set a "profit goal" (profit after all expenses) of the debt (car payment) I wanted to get rid of. Depending on the competition and bonuses, it came out to about 20-40 shops per month. That included a few "reimbursement only" for fun or lunch with my spouse
Around 15 a month. I try to do one fancy-shamancy hotel a month, two fine dining and then the rest just quick lunch visits. I do the occasional apartment/bank shop when it’s bonus over $100+.
I drive a lot for my job, so I can usually do 6-10 a week- usually convenience stores and fast food lunches. On my days off I like to get casinos, sometimes a grocery store or a bar shop. I'm not getting rich but it's a fun hobby.
MSing is perfect for me; the thought of having a P/T..yikes. I do 2-5 per week. I enjoy dining, make up, fast food, chocolate shops. I'm working on doing more quick lower paying shops.
I would say I do like 20-30 a month. Maybe 3-4 during the week if I have time and then majority on the weekend (5-6) And that's a good month. Sometimes its less. For the most part its been reimbursement shops with little profit. I've been switching it up lately to do less "reimbursement only" shops and more shops with profit so we'll see how much shops I'll be doing then.
@KevinE This is a great idea! Definitely going to start making profit goals per month.
I do about 20-30 per month--less during busy times (only 14 in March). I average a little over $500/month in reimbursements and payments....according to my spread sheet. Some are timeshare and hotel shops, lots of dining and movie trailer checking and the grocery store and post office. When I travel, I try to pick up dining (even if it is only Five Guys, or Pret a Manger LOL) or events/movies/"luxury" shopping and a hotel. I've been really busy and in a little bit of a rut and am not doing new shops right now.

Summer is a different story (I'm on an Academic Year and a Liturgical Calendar, so my workload is really light in the summer)...I'm ok with doing Drive-In Movie shops when I don't get home until the wee hours. I'm really liking the shops I can report on my app right now.

I almost always shop alone so doing dining shops and some event and hotel shops are hard. It's been ages since I've done anything for ACL because you have to have someone with you for most of their shops.
I have a full time job with long hours, and do some mystery shopping on the side for fun and to subsidise a lifestyle that I could afford, but am too stingy to pay for. I have a strong preference for the Purchase & Keeps and Restaurants that are largely reimbursement-only - but these aren't always easy to find, so I don't shy away from some fee-only shops either - mostly to build a reputation as a reliable shopper and so the allocators don't forget about me when it comes to Purchase & Keeps.

I do anywhere between 1 to 10 a week: On a quiet mystery-shop week, I'll just do 1 dinner or lunch on a weekend. Other weeks, I'll add on a "shopping trip" on a Saturday, where I'll do 4-5 shops. I'll rarely shop both Saturday and Sunday.

I don't shop during the week, other than a grab-and-go lunch maybe once or twice a week.
I do 10ish per month. I live in a rather small town so have limited opportunities during the week. I can drive 60 miles north or south and hit a larger city but sometimes I just don't feel like burning a weekend day to do it.
Starting out I did most of my $$ shops for NSS who would give me four shops in Beverly Hills, high end retail and two shops in one store, across the street two more same store, so four there taking two hours. Next day same thing in another high end mall., always cosmetics and upstairs to clothing, or handbag. they paid me well and I enjoyed doing it. The past couple years, I have seen a great increase in shoppers in my town, and with my not driving freeways for any work, I am doing 80% food, restaurant, lunch for one, and weekends my many groceries.
I am retired and keeping my finger in it to stay productive and busy. I did a bank recently and really didn't like it, so, I guess I am tired of most, but do love the going out for lunch and able to bring food in for a report. I had a good run, and really since prices don't keep up with the high cost of living, not giving my services away....too many shoppers willing to work for less.

Live consciously....
It really varies, May I did 5. May is a busy time at work, and one day my boss may send me 100 miles away from home, the next I may never leave my home. The problem is I often don't know where I'll be until late the previous day or the morning of. I have two off days and two days I know I'll be in the office unless something drastic happens. So the shops I schedule in May are ones on the way to work on an office day (like a lunch shop since my office hours those days are 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.), or something close to home.
In June, and other months I may do about 5-6 on an off day. I did five my last off day.
As of late last year I pretty much tarted limiting myself to dining and convenience store shops (the five were four stores and a dinner shop). By doing that I can pick up things I'm probably going to buy anyway eventually (gas, food, drinks, etc...) and not worry about the profit anymore.
@KevinE wrote:

I set a "profit goal" (profit after all expenses) of the debt (car payment) I wanted to get rid of. Depending on the competition and bonuses, it came out to about 20-40 shops per month. That included a few "reimbursement only" for fun or lunch with my spouse

A "visible" goal such as yours is spectacular and always useful when it comes to self employment. Starting back into mystery shopping a decade and a half ago my goal was paying my health insurance monthly. Quickly I found I could do more than just that and added other short term or long term goals. Eventually the goal got shifted to paying down my mortgage and I was a very happy camper when my 30 year mortgage was paid off about a dozen years early.
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