November is turning out to be a crappy month for mystery shopping work. I had a small gas station route that I wrapped up on the 1st. I also had 16 gas station mystery shops. That provided me a huge reserve of extra gas - I have over 30 gallons stored in the shed - but the pay on these simple shops is just $6, so they don't move the needle. After that, I've been picking up the crumbs in one or two shop increments.
The months of November and December are unique in the mystery shopping world. Companies put more effort into scheduling shops earlier in the month because of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The nice thing about this is that you can usually find decent bonuses on shops early on; the downside is that if you don't scoop up the jobs when offered, the second half of the month is going to be slow. For example, I don't normally shop McDonald's, as the fee hardly goes over $7.50 in my area. But this month I already found a shop paying $15, so I took it. Another walk-in only location that I biked to was paying $10. In fact, the vast majority of my work the past several days has been restaurant shops.
This week is no different. Monday I have two restaurants to shop. Wednesday and Thursday I have one each. I am attending a conference this weekend and Sunday night I am shopping a hotel in the Orlando area. On one hand, I hope I find more work. I like being able to pay down my debts (plus these deadbeat tenants aren't helping things). On the other hand, I have so many projects around the house that I want to tackle that it isn't so bad if I have some free time in my schedule.