Making Money

Posts about making money from a 60-plus perspective. This includes sideline earning opportunities of all types.

Matched Betting: Start Preparing for Cheltenham!

Matched Betting: Start Preparing for Cheltenham!

I’ve talked about matched betting on various occasions on this blog. To recap, it’s a way of making risk-free (and tax-free) cash by taking advantage of bookmaker special offers and promotions.

Matched betting is perfectly legal and (done properly) it’s not gambling. You can read my introduction to matched betting here, and why I believe it is such a great money-making sideline for older people in particular here.

I am writing about it again now because in a few weeks (13-16 March 2018) the Cheltenham Festival will be upon us. This is arguably the best week for matched betting in the entire year. Last year I made around £500 profit taking advantage of bookmaker offers. Others I know made thousands.

For those who don’t know, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the racing calendar, with large, top-quality fields competing for some of the biggest prizes in racing, culminating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. And the bookmakers pull out all the stops at this time to attract new clients and get current and former clients fully involved. I expect to see a stream of offers in the coming weeks, increasing to a torrent during the Festival itself. This gives us the potential to make substantial tax-free profits by applying matched betting principles.

If you’re already a matched bettor, therefore, now is the time to ensure you have plenty of money in your exchanges (I mostly use Smarkets for its low commission fees but others prefer Betfair). And keep watching your email for offers sent by bookmakers you have accounts with.

If you’re new to matched betting, I strongly recommend joining up with a matched betting advisory service. As well as providing tutorials to get you up to speed, these services provide essential online tools, including odds-matching software and calculators. They will also alert you to a wide range of money-making opportunities, and offer support and advice if needed.

There are various advisory services you can use. I cut my teeth with Profit Accumulator and still recommend this very popular service. It’s suitable both for those brand new to matched betting and for experienced matched bettors. You can join PA free initially and they will provide details of two bookmaker offers you can take advantage of. These should make you around £45 in net profit. If you wish to proceed further, you can then pay to become a Platinum member and get access to the full range of offers and services.

Currently I am subscribed to MatchedBets.com, a new service with some cutting-edge features (as long as you can tolerate the rather garish colour scheme!). You can read my in-depth review of MatchedBets.com here.

Joining MatchedBets.com currently costs £14 a month or a best value £99 a year. That is cheaper than most other services, e.g. Profit Accumulator currently charge £17.99 a month or £150 a year. You can also sign up for a free trial, which includes access to three matched betting offers that should generate around £50 in net profits for you.

If you think matched betting may be for you, I highly recommend that you sign up with either of these services today. You will then be perfectly placed to take advantage of the many money-making opportunities the Cheltenham Festival 2018 presents.

As ever, if you have any questions or comments about matched betting, Profit Accumulator or MatchedBets.com, please do post them below.

Disclosure: As well as being a member of Matchedbets.com and former member of Profit Accumulator I am also an affiliate for them. If you join and become a paying member after following any of the links in this post, I will receive a commission for introducing you. This does not affect in any way the cost of the service to you or the benefits you receive.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
Save Money and Make Money with Product Testing

Save Money and Make Money With Product Testing

If you’re looking for an enjoyable sideline that can bring you both cash and freebies, product testing could tick all the boxes for you 😉

A growing number of companies now engage freelance reviewers to help them with product testing and development. This feedback is important to them to ensure they are producing things the public will want to buy, so they are happy to send out products free of charge to achieve this.

How It Works

Product-testing opportunities are generally advertised via company or agency websites.

The businesses concerned send out sample products free in exchange for honest reviews. Reviewers get to keep the products they are sent, and in some cases receive a fee as well. Fees may be paid in cash or gift vouchers.

The type of review required varies. In some cases you may be asked to complete a questionnaire, in others to upload a review to Amazon or some other retail site. There are also opportunities for people who have their own blog or website to get free products for reviewing on them.

Here are seven of the best product-testing websites to get you started.

Toluna

This is a paid surveys site, but they also offer free products for review. Once you have joined and signed in, go to the “Test Products” page under the “Community” tab and choose the item you want. If you are selected to provide a review, your product will be sent in the post.

Tesco Home Panels

Tesco Home Panels offer free products of all types from Tesco – anything from cat litter to clothing. You need to have a Tesco Clubcard to be accepted for this one. As well as keeping the products you review, you are credited with points which can be converted to £10 “Bonusbonds”. You can use these at a number of retailers (not only Tesco).

Boots Volunteer Testers

High street chemist’s Boots recruit people to test a variety of skin-care products, cosmetics and toiletries. As well as home-based testers nationwide, they require people to attend on-site sessions at their Product Evaluation Centre in Beeston, Nottingham. Payment for the latter is from £10 to £125. You need to live within 30 miles of Beeston to apply for these paid sessions.

Clicks Research

Clicks Research conducts product trials for a range of top brands, including Liz Earle, Sanctuary, Marks and Spencer and The Body Shop. They also run surveys. You get Clicks points for completing these, typically 25 to 200 per survey. Once you’ve earned 2,500 points, you can exchange them for £25 cash.

As well as the Clicks Research main panel, you can apply to join their “Sensory Panel”. This involves taking a short online training course. You can then join their on-site food-hall trials and focus groups. You get to enjoy free products on the day with these and a cash reward too.

Savvy Circle

Savvy Circle is a product testing site for Proctor and Gamble products, including food, health, cleaning and laundry products, cosmetics, and so forth.

This site works a little differently in that as well as giving feedback on products, you’re expected to mention them in everyday conversation and online. The site awards stars each time you contribute to a “campaign”, e.g. by submitting a report on a chat you had with a friend or commenting on a blog. The more stars you get, the more freebies you’re awarded.

I-say

This is another survey site that also dishes out freebies. Register to complete surveys and you’ll occasionally receive invitations to take part in product trials. It’s worth signing up for the surveys anyway, as you’re awarded points for doing them that are converted to Amazon vouchers. You get points for taking surveys on the free products you receive too.

Amazon Vine

Amazon Vine is the product testing arm of the world’s favourite online store. As a “Vine Voice” you get to choose from a selection of products on sale at Amazon. All you have to do is test and review the products on Amazon and you can keep them.

The one drawback with Amazon Vine is that you can’t apply for it. You have to wait for an invitation to arrive. You can improve your chances of this happening by regularly leaving good-quality reviews of things you buy at Amazon.

I have been a Vine Voice for several years now and highly recommend it. As I said in this blog post, as a member I have received some great freebies, including an expensive memoryfoam mattress, a lawn-mower and a £1000 gaming laptop. So it really is worth making an effort to get into this if you can. Once you are accepted, as long as you review the items you receive, the freebies will keep on coming for as long as you want them.

More Top Tips

As mentioned earlier, if you have a blog or website you may be able to get free products in exchange for agreeing to review them on your site. You may also be able to earn extra fees by including an affiliate link to the business concerned, e.g. via the Awin affiliate marketing platform.

One thing you aren’t normally allowed to do is sell on the freebies you receive. Amazon in particular are very strict about this and will terminate your Vine membership if they discover you are doing it.

You can also make money testing company websites and reporting back on them (although of course you don’t get to keep the websites!). Two sites to check out for this (both of which I have mentioned on PAS before) are What Users Do and People For Research.

As ever, if you have any comments or queries about this post – or any other product testing websites you recommend – please do leave them below.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
Earn a sideline income renting out your possessions

Earn a Sideline Income Renting Out Your Possessions

Lots of us have belongings we seldom use but don’t want to get rid of. If that includes you, rather than letting them gather dust, why not have them make money for you by renting them out?

This is another manifestation of the so-called sharing economy, where people make money and save money by sharing items of all kinds. The trend has been driven by peer-to-peer rental websites such as Rent Not Buy, Rent My Items and Zilok. These sites make it easy for would-be lenders and borrowers to find each other and agree terms.

People can list items on the sites they are willing to lend, along with what they are charging and any special conditions (e.g. whether a returnable deposit is required). Would-be borrowers can then contact them directly or via the site.

Most peer-to-peer rental websites don’t charge for listing items. They typically make their money by taking a cut of the fee paid and/or other methods such as advertising.

What Can You Lend?

The range of items listed on peer-to-peer rental sites is huge.

At one end of the scale is industrial and agricultural machinery. At the other is household items such as cameras, tents, power drills, computers, kitchen equipment, and so on.

Fashion and beauty is another popular area, with people (mainly women, I assume!) offering to lend their handbags, designer shoes, ball gowns, and so on.

Other items regularly offered include musical instruments and equipment, art and collectables, disability aids, bicycles and cars, and even boats.

Lenders can specify dates when an item isn’t on offer if they will be needing it themselves. A facility is provided on most rental sites to allow borrowers to check whether a particular item is available on the dates they want it.

What Can You Earn?

Lenders specify a rate per day, week and/or month. Obviously, the more valuable the item, the more borrowers would expect to pay. Here are a couple of example items from the Rent Not Buy website.

(1) 5m bell tent

Location: York

Minimum rental period: 3 days

Rate: £20 a day or £100 a week

Deposit required: £150

Other requirements: Photo ID required.

(2) Canon 550D camera with two lenses and a battery pack

Location: Bristol

Rate: £10 an hour, £20 a day or £60 a week

Minimum rental period: 1 day

Deposit required: £150

Other requirements: Must return in same condition and without any damage. Memory cards must be wiped on return. Cannot be rented for more than 2 weeks.

If you want to hire out possessions of your own, the best plan is to search Rent Not Buy and the other sites mentioned above and see what people are charging for similar items. This should give you a good idea of “the going rate” for whatever you want to lend.

More Tips

Here are a few more tips for anyone hoping to make money this way.

  • Clearly you should take sensible precautions to minimize the risk of loss or damage to your possessions. Always check a potential borrower’s feedback on their public profile. This will reveal what other lenders have said about their experiences renting to this user.
  • Asking for a deposit is another safeguard. It’s also a good idea to ask the borrower for proof of identity (a driving licence or passport, for example) and take a photo of this.
  • Insurance is also a consideration. Some of the more specialized rental sites (see below) provide insurance for lenders so they are covered if their item is damaged. With expensive items especially it is important to check what cover is on offer from the rental site, and also whether your normal household insurance would pay out in a worst-case scenario.
  • As well as the general sites already mentioned, there are specialist sites that are worth considering for more expensive and/or unusual items. Examples include Spinlister for bikes, The Handbag Rental for designer handbags, and Curtsy for fashion clothing.
  • Remember that any money you make from lending possessions counts as taxable income and should be declared to HMRC. Failing to do this could land you with a tax bill and a fine on top if they find out.
  • Even if you don’t have any items you want to rent out at the moment, you can still save money by using peer-to-peer rental sites to borrow products you only need occasionally.

Good luck, and I hope you make lots of money from the sharing economy!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, as always, please do leave them below.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
What Users Do: earn a Sideline Income Testing Websites

What Users Do: Earn a Sideline Income Testing Websites!

A few weeks ago in this post I discussed People for Research, a website that pays people to take part in consumer research.

Today I want to share with you another website that pays people to help companies with their research. What Users Do has some similarities with People for Research. Unlike PfR, though, it is entirely focused on website testing.

What Users Do recruits people to visit and test websites from home, and pays them £5 per test for doing so. Tests typically take around 15 minutes, so it’s not a bad rate of pay. A few longer tests pay more, up to £25 in certain cases.

To work for What Users Do you will need a microphone (or headset) to record your commentary. Some tests have to be done on a desktop computer, others a mobile phone, so ideally you should have both. There is no need for any particular technical skills, though.

How to Apply

The application procedure for What Users Do is quite straightforward. You start by filling in an application on this page of the WUD website.

You then have to download their proprietary screen-recording software and complete a short test with it. This involves visiting a sample website and recording a commentary mentioning any issues you can see with the site and how you think it could be improved. My own attempt at this was pretty stumbling, but I was still accepted without quibble.

Once you are on the panel, you will be notified by email any time a new website test is available for you. You can then click through the link in the email, answer the screening questions and – if you are accepted – proceed to the test itself.

Payment for all completed tests is made via the online payment platform PayPal. You are paid on the 25th of each month for tests completed the previous month.

What Will You Be Testing?

You won’t be surprised to hear that the sites concerned are wide-ranging. They include some well-known brands such as Channel 4, Virgin Atlantic and Asos, and others you probably won’t have heard of.

In each case you will be given detailed instructions by What Users Do about what they want you to do in your test. This may involve finding certain information or products on the website, checking the menu navigation, and so on. Clearly, whatever instructions they provide, you should follow them to the letter.

More Top Tips

Here are a few more tips on making the most of What Users Do.

  • You are likely to get screened out of quite a lot of tests with What Users Do. Often they have very specific requirements, e.g. if it’s a website about caravans they might only want caravan-owners to comment. This can be frustrating, but if you are patient and persistent you will definitely find tests you can do.
  • Tests fill up quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on your email. If an invitation pops up, click through to it as quickly as possible.
  • Depending on the quality of the tests you complete, you can expect to receive more and better-paying opportunities. So it really is important to give them your full concentration. This is definitely not something to do while watching the telly!
  • Speak slowly and clearly during the tests and try not to lapse into long periods of silence. Aim to describe exactly what you are doing step by step as you are doing it.
  • What Users Do run easy monthly competitions for panelists with cash prizes, and these are well worth entering as well.
  • Another way you can make money from WUD is by referring friends or colleagues. You will get a small cash payment once they have completed their first website test.

In my view What Users Do is another opportunity well worth adding to your sideline-earning portfolio.

If you have any comments or questions about What Users Do, as always, please do leave them below.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
Earn Extra Cash as a Mystery Shopper

Earn Extra Cash as a Mystery Shopper

If you enjoy going shopping, here’s a great opportunity to get paid for doing it!

In today’s competitive business environment, retailers are desperate to ensure that their shops and other outlets provide the best possible service to consumers.

To check this is the case, many now use mystery shoppers. These people visit stores anonymously – as ordinary customers, in other words – and report back on what they find. As well as physical stores, mystery shoppers evaluate websites and telephone services too.

Mystery shoppers are generally hired by specialist agencies rather than companies themselves. As a mystery shopper you will work for the agency on a self-employed basis and report back to them. The agency will pay you and (in most cases) reimburse the cost of any purchases.

This is a great opportunity for retired and semi-retired people who have some time available during the day. The work is generally interesting and enjoyable, and as well as being paid you will get a bit of fresh air and exercise as well!

Typical Tasks

Mystery shopping tasks are incredibly varied, but here are some typical assignments you may be asked to perform.

  • Visit a fast-food restaurant and order a meal. Time how long your order takes to arrive, check that the condiments area is well stocked, and visit the toilets to check for cleanliness.
  • Visit an electrical store and see how long it takes for a staff member to acknowledge you. Ask them about the different types of appliance they sell, rating their helpfulness and product knowledge.
  • Phone up a hotel and book an overnight stay, noting how easy the process is and how well the receptionist answers your queries. At the hotel evaluate the service you receive, how clean and comfortable your room is, the quality of meals, and so on.

Getting Paid

Payment rates vary, but you shouldn’t expect to earn a fortune. Although a few people do this as a full-time job, mystery shopping is best regarded as an enjoyable money-making sideline.

For a basic mystery shopping job that takes maybe 20 minutes to complete, you could expect to earn in the region of £8 to £12. Travel expenses may be paid on top of this (although by no means always).

  • One thing to bear in mind is that mystery shopping assignments often require you to make a purchase. This will normally be reimbursed, but the money may take several weeks to arrive. So if you can’t afford to be out of pocket during this time, this opportunity may not be for you.

In some cases, rather than a fee you may be offered a free or discounted product or service – a meal at a restaurant, for example. It’s up to you whether to accept such assignments. Obviously, a free meal at a nice restaurant is appealing, but you won’t make any money doing this type of job.

Where to Find Work

Mystery shopping is huge nowadays, and there are hundreds of mystery shopping agencies in the UK alone.

One leading company that works on behalf of many high street stores is Market Force. My fellow money blogger Emma Drew, a highly experienced mystery shopper, recommends Market Force as the first agency people starting out in this field should join.

To become a Market Force mystery shopper, visit their website and click on Register. You will be asked to enter some personal details and complete a short test of your spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Assuming you pass this – and it’s not exactly rocket science – you will be able to download their free app and start finding work near you. Then it’s just a matter of doing the jobs, filing your reports, and getting paid!

Some other mystery shopping agencies I have heard good reports about include Grassroots, Red Wigwam and Retail Maxim.

More Tips

Here are a few more tips for would-be mystery shoppers.

  • When you apply to mystery shopping agencies, they often ask you to write down why you think you would make a good mystery shopper. Saving this for your next application will save time in future.
  • Be sure to read any brief you receive carefully and fulfil the terms to the letter. This way you will avoid disasters, e.g. going to a shop on Monday and subsequently discovering you were required to visit at the weekend.
  • Try to schedule more than one assignment per day. If you’re making a trip across town for a mystery shop, check to see if there are any other shops nearby that also require visits.
  • Set aside time to make notes as soon as possible after completing an assignment, while the experience is still fresh in your mind. The more useful details you can provide, the better clients will rate you.
  • Don’t talk about your assignments. Most, if not all, mystery shopping agencies don’t allow you to mention their clients.

As mentioned earlier, for most people mystery shopping will be an enjoyable money-making sideline, but you can also save a lot of money on leisure activities by this means.

Mystery shoppers are also hired to assess hotels, restaurants, airlines, package holidays and even cruises – so if you enjoy travelling and eating out, you can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds on these activities. Naturally there’s a lot of competition for the most desirable assignments. Someone has to do them, though, and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be you!

If you have any comments or questions about this post or mystery shopping generally, as always, feel free to post them below.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
12 Great Sideline-Earning Opportunities for Over 50s from UK Money Bloggers

Twelve Great Sideline Earning Opportunities for Over-50s from UK Money Bloggers

Today I’m sharing a selection of posts from my fellow UK Money Bloggers. These are all sideline-earning opportunities that may appeal to older people. Of course, most are suitable for younger people as well!

1. Dog Boarding

This is a guest post by Francesca Mason on the Wiser Wealthier blog by Carl Lincoln. Dog boarding (and walking) is an unusual sideline, but getting started is easier than you think, and you will get plenty of healthy exercise too!

2. Mystery Shopping

This is a post by Pete Chatfield on his Household Money Saving blog. Mystery shopping is a popular sideline that may appeal especially to retired and semi-retired people with time available during the day. Pete’s post focuses on one of the better paying companies in this field called GFK.

3. Fiverr

This post by Kerry Marriott on her Money Saving Journeys blog reveals how you can make money offering ‘gigs’ on the popular Fiverr website. There are lots of possibilities for things you can do, and you can download a free Gig Planner worksheet via the blog.

4. Task Apps

Kaya La Roche wrote about this on her Earning by the Sea blog. The post describes a number of free apps you can download to your smartphone. Tasks are advertised via the apps – anything from photographing phone boxes to checking prices in a supermarket – and you receive a fee for each one you complete.

5. Get Paid to Shop

This post by Olly Cator on his Savvy Dad blog also features a smartphone app. It’s called Shopmium and can help you save money on groceries or even get them free. You get cashback on selected purchases, and can also make money introducing friends and family.

6. Ebay Buying and Selling

This post by Michelle Bailey on her Time and Pence blog provides a good overview of the various ways you can make money buying and selling on the world’s favourite online auction site. You can start off by selling things around your home that you no longer need.

7. Flower Arranging

This is another post by Michelle Bailey on Time and Pence. Flower arranging is an unusual sideline but it’s not a hard skill to learn and there are lots of potential outlets for your work. This could even become a full-time job if that’s what you want.

8. Blogging

And here’s a third post from Michelle Bailey on Time and Pence. Blogging can be a great home-based sideline for older people. It’s cheap and easy to get started, and you can easily fit it in around your other activities and commitments.

9. Prolific Academic

This is a post by Elle Finlay on her EL Feelgoods Vintage blog. Prolific Academic is a website that recruits people to take part in online academic studies and pays them for doing so. I am a big fan of Prolific Academic myself and have also written a blog post about them.

10. Selling Stories to Women’s Magazines

In this post on her Savvy in Somerset blog, Fiona Elizabeth Hawkes discusses a range of ways you may be able to make money from women’s magazines, from submitting true stories about dramatic things that have happened in your life to household hints!

11. Selling Items Around Your Home

This is another post by Fiona Elizabeth Hawkes on her Savvy in Somerset blog. In it she reveals some surprising items you may have lying around at home that could fetch a good price on online auction sites or local Facebook pages.

12. Working as an Extra

This is another post by Pete Chatfield on his Household Money Saving blog (see 2, above). It’s another one I have done myself (and posted about on Pounds and Sense). Working as a TV or movie extra can be a lot of fun, and while you won’t get rich the pay isn’t bad either. This is another good opportunity for people who are retired or semi-retired, or perhaps who are self-employed and can arrange their schedule around filming.

I will take the opportunity as well to mention my post on Pounds and Sense last year about Viewber. This company is still actively seeking people to assist local estate agents by conducting viewings when their own staff aren’t available. They pay at least £20 per viewing, plus travel expenses. Older people are especially welcome, and you don’t need to have any estate agency experience.

Thank you to my fellow UK Money Bloggers who submitted posts for inclusion in this round-up, and sorry I wasn’t able to use them all.

I do hope you enjoy exploring the links above and they inspire you to try out some new money-making sidelines in 2018!

If you have any comments or questions, as ever, please do leave them below.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
MatchedBets.com: My Review of This Matched Betting Advisory Service

MatchedBets.com – My Review Of This Matched Betting Advisory Service

I’ve talked about matched betting a few times on Pounds and Sense. Despite the name it’s not gambling but a genuine way of making a risk-free sideline income.

Matched betting involves (legally) taking advantage of bookmaker special offers. By this means you can generate a guaranteed profit for no risk, regardless of how the event/s you are betting on pan out.

You can read my post about how matched betting works here, and my post about why I believe matched betting is particularly suitable for older people here.

Although it’s not essential to subscribe to a matched betting advisory service, if you are new to betting in particular it is highly advisable. The service I used to recommend (and where I learned the basics of the method) is Profit Accumulator. More recently, however, a range of rival matched betting services have launched, and Profit Accumulator have arguably failed to keep up with the best of them.

Today I thought I would take a look at one of the newer kids on the block, MatchedBets.com. I was kindly given complimentary access to this service so I could see what they have to offer for myself. Here’s what I found…

First Impressions

The first thing you notice when you log in to the MatchedBets.com website is the bright – some would say garish – colour palette (see example below). Pastel blues, greens and pinks are particularly dominant. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this myself. It’s readable enough, but makes it look like a site aimed at children. Personally I’d prefer to see something a bit more restrained and professional looking.

MatchedBetting.com colour scheme

The main navigation menu is at the top right of the screen (see below). If you hover the cursor over Offers or Tools, a sub-menu will appear. It’s all quite logical and intuitive. I’d like the menu to be a bit more prominent, and it goes askew on the Information Centre page, but those are minor criticisms.

Menu

As with all matched betting advisory services, the site is organized into a number of sections. The main ones are listed below:

  • Information Centre
  • Offers
  • Offer Calendar
  • Odds Matcher
  • Acca Backers
  • Horse Racing Matcher
  • Calculator
  • Support Forum

I’ll look at each of these in a bit more detail below.

Information Centre

This is the training area of MatchedBets.com. It is neatly and attractively set out. There are 43 articles in all, covering everything from basic principles of matched betting to how to take advantage of price boosts and acca insurance offers.

The articles consist mainly of text and screen captures, with videos also used in some cases. I found the articles clear and well written. While I am already familiar with the basics of matched betting, I found some of the articles (e.g. on how to remove the iesnare tracking software used by bookmakers from your computer) genuinely eye-opening.

Offers

This is divided into seven sub-sections, as follows:

  • New Customer Offers
  • Existing Customer Offers
  • Accumulator Offers
  • Free Bet Clubs
  • Enhanced Odds Offers
  • Casino Offers
  • Bingo Offers

These are all pretty self-explanatory. In New Customer Offers, for example, all such offers are listed in order of expected profit, the highest first (see below).

New Customer Offers

Clicking on Instructions takes you to detailed instructions on how to apply the offer. These generally include a short video plus written instructions. Again, I thought these were very clear, and I like the way the key points of each offer are set out in checklist form at the top of the page.

Offer Calendar

This is a great feature of MatchedBets.com, and one I definitely prefer to Profit Accumulator (where you have to find the relevant topic on the forum). Just by visiting the Offer Calendar page you can see all the day’s recommended offers, along with the expected profit and a link to full instructions for doing them.

Daily Offers Calendar

Odds Matcher

Of course, every matched betting service needs an odds matcher tool, which helps you find the best bets for matched betting offers. The one on MatchedBets.com is certainly bright and cheerful!

Odds Matcher

As you would expect, you can filter results according to sport, odds (minimum or maximum), start time, odds percentage, and so on.

One feature I particularly like is that odds are shown in real time, so you don’t have to keep refreshing the screen. This also avoids the situation that can occur using other odds matching software (e.g. on Profit Accumulator) where the information frequently lags behind, so you think you have found a great match only to discover it has already gone.

Acca Backers

As mentioned in this blog post a few months ago, accumulator offers are a particular favourite of mine. These are where you take advantage of bookmakers’ offers to refund your stake if one leg of your accumulator loses. This gives punters an in-built edge and means they should enjoy steady profits so long as they back and lay appropriately.

MatchedBets.com accumulator software offers four different ways to make money from accumulator offers: Lay Sequential, Lay at Start, Lay With Lock-In, and No Lay. All four methods are explained in the Information Centre, mentioned earlier. This is more advanced than other platforms’ accumulator tools, which typically only offer three options.

Acca Baxker

As you may have noticed, on MatchedBets.com by default you see all four types of offer listed according to their expected value (average profit generated). However, if you prefer one particular type of acca (e.g. Lay With Lock In, which I prefer personally) you can set the filter to show only this type.

Horse Racing Matcher

This is the latest addition to the suite of tools on offer at MatchedBets.com. It is provided for use with horse racing offers, e.g. your money back if your horse is second to the SP favourite. By careful backing and laying you can generate a good return when a refund is triggered and a small qualifying loss otherwise, hopefully producing steady profits overall.

The Horse Racing Matcher is still in Beta at the time of writing, but appears to be working well. As with the Odds Matcher and Acca Backers, the odds in this software tool automatically update when they fluctuate on betting exchange and bookmaker sites.

Calculator

This is another standard feature on matched betting service websites, but the one offered by MatchedBets.com is undeniably impressive. Although it looks simple at first sight (see below), it is actually a very powerful tool.

Calculator

As well as standard matched betting calculations for qualifying bets and free bets, you can use it to calculate bonus on win, bonus on loss, enhanced odds as free bets, and several more. Pretty much any bonus situation is therefore covered. You can also use the calculator to work out what to do in the event of incomplete lays, and if you want to overlay or underlay a bet.

Forum

Likewise, every matched betting service needs a forum, where members can ask questions, share offers and opportunities, or just discuss anything matched betting related (or otherwise).

The MatchedBets.com forum is neatly set out and works well. It isn’t as busy as some forums, as MatchedBets.com is still fairly new and building its membership. There is plenty of good content, though, and staff are usually around to assist as required.

Another thing I should mention is that MatchedBets.com has a bet tracker tool that tracks all your betting activity automatically. It keeps keeps track of profits and bet details and displays them in your account. This makes it easy to keep track of your bets and profits, and does away with the need to maintain your own spreadsheets (although personally I still like to do this!).

One final comment is that the site is fully mobile optimized – so if you like to bet on your smartphone, you should find using MatchedBets.com a pleasanter experience than with some rival services.

Pricing

Joining MatchedBets.com currently costs £14 a month or a best value £99 a year. That is cheaper than most other services, e.g. Profit Accumulator currently charge £17.99 a month or £150 a year. You can also sign up for a free trial, which includes access to three matched betting offers that should generate around £50 in net profits for you.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, I have been very impressed with MatchedBets.com. In my view it is a leading contender among matched betting advisory services, and I now prefer it to Profit Accumulator. Its main rival is probably Odds Monkey, another service of which I have heard good reports, although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try it myself.

My only slight reservation about MatchedBets.com concerns the design and especially the colour scheme. Personally I would like to see this tweaked a bit so it looks less garish and more professional. That’s just my personal opinion, though.

If you are thinking of giving matched betting a go, or looking for an alternative platform once your existing advisory service subscription runs out, I strongly recommend checking out MatchedBets.com. They are adding new tools and features all the time, and joining now will ensure you have access to these at no extra cost.

As ever, if you have any queries about MatchedBets.com or matched betting generally, please do post them below.

Disclosure: This review includes tracked affiliate links. If you click through and sign up with the service in question, I will receive a commission for introducing you. This will not affect the service you receive in any way.



If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
Earn a Sideline Income with People for Research

Earn a Sideline Income with People for Research

If you’ve spent any time at all looking online for sideline-earning opportunities, chances are you’ll have come across survey sites.

Unfortunately, you may also have discovered that many are a waste of time. So-called short surveys can end up taking over half an hour and pay the princely sum of 20p. No wonder many people get disillusioned and decide they aren’t worth the time and effort.

Well, here’s one website that definitely is. People for Research is constantly recruiting people to take part in consumer research studies. Some of these take place in large cities (London and Bristol especially) but many others are done remotely via the phone and/or the internet.

The studies cover a huge range of topics and are for the most part interesting and enjoyable. But the best thing is that they are fairly (and sometimes generously) recompensed – usually in cash, though sometimes in Amazon vouchers.

An Example

Here’s a study I took part in myself just a few weeks ago. All I knew beforehand was that it was something to do with ‘culture’. I had to complete a few screening questions and obviously passed, as I was emailed an invitation to take part.

The study was done remotely over the internet. I had to download a special meetings app called Zoom to my smartphone.

At the appointed hour I made contact with the researcher. Using the app he took me to a cinema website, and I had to perform various tasks on it, including checking the cinema’s location and finding out what films were currently showing. Then I had to book tickets (not giving my actual credit card details, obviously).

The researcher asked me to talk through what I was doing. He could see via the app how I was navigating the site and any problems I was having. All of this will presumably be fed back to the client in the interest of making their website as user-friendly as possible.

The study was fun to do and took about 30 minutes. Afterwards I sent my bank details as instructed and received my £30 fee literally the day after. That’s a rate of £60 an hour, which is more than I get for most of my freelance work!

Longer Studies

As mentioned, the studies vary widely, and sometimes involve participating over a period of several days or longer, e.g. keeping a written and/or video diary. A recent example was a study on cheese. On the website it said:

‘For this study, you will be required to make a 5-minute video each day for the duration of the study (5 days total). In this video, you will first need to state what meal you are going to make and how you are using the cheese. We’ll also want to know what other cheese brand you are replacing this one with, if applicable! After the meal, you will review it and state how it tasted, whether your family enjoyed it and any other comments you would like to add.’

For this interesting and enjoyable task, which was open UK-wide, a fee of £110 was on offer. The study in question is now closed, but new ones are being launched all the time, so it’s worth checking back regularly.

Even if there is nothing you currently want to apply for, it’s still worth taking a few moments to register on the People for Research website. You will then be notified by email when new opportunities are posted.

Top Tips

Finally, here are a few more tips on making the most of People for Research, based on my experiences with them.

  • Don’t expect to be accepted for every study you apply for. There are generally screening questions to answer and only people who match the profile required are invited to take part. There are plenty of new studies coming along all the time, so don’t be disappointed if you aren’t accepted for some of them.
  • Not all studies are advertised by email, so it’s important to return regularly to the website to see if anything new has been posted.
  • Some shorter studies offer prize draw entries instead of guaranteed payments. It’s your choice whether to enter these. Personally I do them if they sound interesting and I have the time, but not otherwise.

I have made several hundred pounds from People for Research since joining their panel earlier this year, and have found the people who work there a pleasure to deal with as well.

In my view, People for Research deserves a place in everyone’s sideline money-making portfolio!




If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
Ten Great Blogs for Over Fifties You Should Follow!

Ten Great Blogs for Over Fifties You Should Follow!

Today, in the seasonal spirit of sharing, I thought I’d list some other great blogs you might like to follow.

All these blogs are written by over-fifties and/or aimed at them. They aren’t all dedicated personal finance blogs, but they all include tips and advice on saving money, and in some cases making money and investing too. All ten are UK-based.

Here’s the list then…

1. Fifty Five and Counting

This is a personal finance blog by Susan Wilson. It is focused on preparing for retirement, and covers topics from solo travel to taking up a new hobby. Sample Post: Unleashing Your Inner Drama Queen.

2. Debt Camel

Debt Camel is a blog by Sara Williams. Sara says: “Debt, including mortgages, is an important issue for the over 50s. The low level of pay rises and cuts to benefits have left many people in a much worse position than they would have expected ten years ago… and they have less time to improve it before retirement.” Sample Post: IVAs – Pros, Cons and Problems.

3. Your Money Sorted

Your Money Sorted is a blog by financial coach Eileen Adamson. Eileen says: “As we get older retirement is something that begins to prey on the minds of many. Don’t ignore those nagging fears though – take action. Find out exactly how much you are likely to need in retirement, as well as how much you are predicted to get on retirement. Then take actions to help you to ensure that you are prepared effectively. The sooner you deal with it, the easier it will be.” Sample Post: Big Savings – Brilliant Tricks with Zeek Discounted Gift Cards.

4. Stupid is the Norm

Stupid is the Norm is a blog by 56-year-old Perry Wilson. Perry reveals on his website, YouTube and Facebook how he is building a fund of £300,000 in 10 years as well as repaying £10k of debt. He says it’s never too late to become wealthy! Sample Post: What Are the Odds of Becoming a Millionaire?

5. Much More With Less

Much More With Less is a blog by Faith Archer aimed at anyone hoping to escape from the rat race. She says, “I blog about moving to the country, living on less and making the most of it. I cover both cutting costs and earning more from investments and pensions, so I can afford to retire.” Sample Post: Investing Isn’t Just for Men in Braces.

6. The Complaining Cow

The Complaining Cow is a blog by Helen Dewdney. It covers consumer rights and how to use them, so you don’t get fobbed off. Sample Post: Think Before You Sign – Top 10 Tips for Saving on Subscriptions.

7. Thrifty Lesley

Thrifty Lesley is a food-focused blog by Lesley Negus. It includes meal plans to help readers feed themselves for £1 a day. Sample post: 8 Sandwich Pastes for Super Cheap Sandwiches and Toast Toppers.

8. Joleisa

Joleisa.com is a blog run by 50-year-old twins Jo and Leisa, who are both teachers who have given up the rat race to live a more fulfilled, happy and stress-reducing lifestyle. Their blog features frugal lifestyle and money-saving tips. Sample Post: Don’t Order Takeaway, Make it!

9. Shoestring Cottage

Shoestring Cottage (great name!) is a blog by Jane Berry. She says, “Shoestring Cottage helps you to save money for the things you love to do, covering everything connected to living a fun but frugal life.” Sample Post: How to Make Money Selling on eBay.

10. Money Saving Journeys

Money Saving Journeys is a blog by Kerry Marriott covering making money, saving money, busting debt, and more. Sample Post: The Beginner’s Guide to Frugality and Freedom Debt Relief.

So there you are – ten great blogs to check out and add to your favourites list! If you have any comments or questions, of course, please do leave them below.




If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media:
Planning Your Finances in Retirement (Infographic)

Planning Your Finances in Retirement (Infographic)

Today I am pleased to share with you an infographic from Ireland-based insurance company Easy Life Cover (shared with their permission). This covers various aspects of finance in retirement, which is of course a core theme of this blog.

One of the most interesting facts shared in the infographic is that 7 out of 10 pre-retirees say they plan to carry on working in retirement. This represents a sea change from the old days when most people worked till retirement, took their pensions, and lived off that for the rest of their lives.

Nowadays retirement is increasingly done in stages, with many people choosing to work part-time in the run-up to retirement, perhaps switching to a different job or role within their organisation. The concept of semi-retirement would have been barely understood fifty years ago, but is increasingly becoming the norm now. I am 61 and regard myself as semi-retired, incidentally.

And even in retirement, many people choose to continue doing some work, part-time or short-term. As the graphic says, 80% do this because they want to rather than have to. Important reasons might include using (and passing on) skills they have built up over many years, keeping physically and mentally active, and providing a source of engagement outside the home. Many older people do voluntary work, while others do paid work to help supplement their pension.

Thank you to Easy Life Cover for an interesting infographic. You can read more about their mortgage protection insurance here (not a paid or affiliate link).

As mentioned above, the nature of retirement has changed dramatically in recent times. The old certainties are long gone. Retirement is undoubtedly more challenging than it used to be, but with people on average living longer, healthier lives, there are many more opportunities to enjoy this period of life as well. But this does mean it is more important than ever to plan carefully for retirement in order to enjoy it rather than merely survive it.

If you are retired or semi-retired, I do of course regularly list opportunities on this blog to generate extra income. They include home-based opportunities such as matched betting and part-time work in the gig economy, such as supervising property viewings for Viewber.

As always, if you have any comments or questions about this post and the points raised in the infographic, please do leave them below.

If you enjoyed this post, please link to it on your own blog or social media: