Tagged: money

Balls

Schemes active/complete: 36
Money made: £58.77

Another dense wedge of silence between this blog post and the last, but Rowe and I have now successfully acquired the keys to our new flat so the principal reason for calling a rain check on this project is hopefully now behind me. To prove I still have a glimmer of attention wavering about the money making schemes please draw your attention to my new financial total!

Gratifyingly my overall earnings can no longer be encapsulated by a single note of British currency, and the extra tenner I’ve popped on since last checking in didn’t involve a harrowing amount of hours being a slave for a music review site (Scheme #23) or amassing months of receipts (Scheme #71), but was earned swiftly and leisurely over a couple of pints last night.

The 203rd scheme to grace my list is bingo, and not the virtual Gala-Sun-Foxy-bingo which is constantly advertised as played by mothers in the bath whooping aloud with glee (for that is Scheme #174: Free bingo sites & other tacky online games), but rather the original, old-school variant involving a trundling cage of numbered balls and a superabundance of senior citizens. Thankfully I live in Bournemouth which has an average age of about a hundred, so a 5 minute walk past the charity shops, opticians and funeral homes sits my local bingo hall, and they offer free games on a Friday. Consequently yesterday evening saw me dragging Rowena out for an exciting night of marking off spoken numbers from a grid of paper.

Registering upon arrival was a simple process but I could already feel wary eyes upon us as we strode in; not only were Rowe and I not regulars but we were easily the youngest there by two entire generations. I was the only male not wearing something beige. It was a similar feeling to the police lot auction we attended for Scheme #112, which likewise hosted a much older demographic sitting in silence before a person with a microphone.

We awkwardly took our seats, ordered some beers and a £2 burger, and waited for our game to start. If you’re thinking of channelling your inner pensioner and losing your own bingo virginity then a warning to you – you are not explained the rules at all. I sat gripping my Carling (as they only sold Carling) and staring at my pad of colour-coded spreadsheets in a bewildered panic as a man at the forefront of the audience called out numbers with the microphone far too close to his mouth and everyone around me confidently scribbled away. It was the closest I’ve felt to sitting an exam I hadn’t revised for since I sat my last exam.

Besides the muffled numbers pouring rapidly from the speaker’s mouth (I was disheartened to hear ’88’ was just “all the eights, eighty-eight” and not “two fat ladies” which is probably considered too offensive nowadays), the rest of the room was in total silence, save the soft fluttering of the ceiling fans which did nothing to disperse the miasma of stale smoke. The only time anyone made a noise was to yell “Bingo!” or “House!” or just a generic excited yelp to indicate they’d ticked off a complete line or box of numbers, at which adjudicators would literally run to the source of commotion to validate the win. Again, like the auction house, I was constantly paranoid I would cough or sneeze or spasmodically waggle my arms which would be misinterpreted and bring the whole room’s attention to me.

It was quickly evident that our fellow players were here not to have fun but simply to win cash. There was no jovial atmosphere during or in between games, and it’s no exaggeration to say I didn’t see anyone except Rowena smile all evening. Us two were the only patrons I could see drinking alcohol as well, everyone else was glugging back Pepsi to keep their reaction times sharp. I genuinely saw women clutching their heads with rage when they were just one number shy of a cash prize only to have Dawn from the neighbourhood watch swoop in with a sneaky full house at the last second.

The lady sat alongside me was unmistakably a pro, spread out over two tables and utterly motionless besides the flurry of the pen in her hand and the odd crafty vape. When Rowe asked her for help as to which of the games we were eligible to participate in she sat resolutely in silence, not even registering us. “Excuse me… sorry, excuse me…” Rowe proffered. But nothing – the woman was in the bingo zone, it was impossible to shake her out.

Eventually one of the workers was kind enough to vaguely explain the structure of the games to us, how we were only to cross off numbers for the 8 red games which started on lilac, not the middle two national games or the special game, but we could do our special game which came after the last red red game (preceded by the red blue game), which was the final of the 8 games out of the total 8, before our 9th game. I smiled blankly back at her and ordered another Carling.

Gradually I figured out what we were doing and became one of the silent masses intently poring over a number sheet. It was strangely, unexpectedly absorbing, and I could see why the regulars were so hushed during games. I have never before experienced a buzz from a chart of recited numbers but I kid you not when I say bingo actually had me adrenalized.

At around the half-way stage I was marking off numbers on the brown grid, having played through lilac, yellow and grey, and I was doing very well for myself – all I needed was a 32 to complete my box and win me £20. The caller rattled through 56 and 87 which naturally each elicited a wee whispered fucking swear from myself before clearly and casually he announced “three and two, thirty-two.”

It’s very rare that I win anything – take coming a close second in The Write Contest’s short horror fiction competition worth $100 for Scheme #173 as an example – so I forced myself to quadruple check that I really did have a complete box before I spluttered “rehp! Yep! Me!” and chucked both arms into the air.

I heard the urgent patter of a bingo worker’s feet heading over and smugly turned in that direction, only to see them congregating around someone else! A woman a few tables up from me had also been waiting for a 32 and had obviously screeched longer and harsher than I so as to drown me out! Her ticket was verified and the booming voice of the bingo God was about to continue listlessly hollering numbers, so I had to cry “woah woah are you having a fucking laugh??” which was sufficient to capture the attention of the nearest bingo hall droid.

My ticket was ratified, the caller commented “OK, joint winner there, joint winner” before continuing, and the woman whose cash prize I’d just halved treated me to her most withering glare. But I couldn’t have cared less; the free entry meant that the £10 prize from this scheme was all profit. Yes I’d bought beer and a burger and the bingo pens themselves which had discharged red ink over my hands all night but that’s simply me being portly, boozy, disorganized Matt Rose. If I was a tee-total vegetarian who carried a pencil case everywhere then this scheme would have bagged me money at absolutely no expense to myself!

Following my brown victory I had no further luck, and Rowe won nothing at all, until finally all the games were complete. I still had half a pint left and expected the congregation to stay for a while chatting and finishing their drinks, but as soon as the last number had been called the entire room stood up as one and marched out sternly like they couldn’t wait to leave. Not a murmur of convivial chatter was to be heard, nothing but the tramp of feet and the clop of walking canes.

So I would recommend Scheme #203: Bingo – it’s surprisingly exciting, you can win, and if Bournemouth’s anything to go by then their burgers are cheap. Just don’t expect to be accompanied by anything other than an angry geriatric cult who would sell their granddaughter for a lilac 29 in the second to last box.

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Tax breaks

Schemes active/complete: 33
Money made: £24.97

Well, fuck. That’s any pretence of regularly updating this blog neatly dismissed. It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything, not because I’ve completely given up on this project but neither as I’ve been labouring so hard at it that I simply haven’t had a spare evening out of the last 36 to get to a device and upload my inner monologue.

What happened is that I had a stag do, which gracefully slid into a bout of the flu, that in turn naturally led into an unplanned hiatus and a step back to reassess, to see which schemes were working and the considerably larger quantity of schemes that weren’t. That is an element of this project which I’m grateful for, in that it’s simple to drop for a stretch of time and then swiftly resume – it’s for this reason that I’ve decided to lose the day counter which prefaced each post, as such a measure isn’t all that necessary when it transpires I’m going to sporadically spend a month here and there uninterested in £5 note serial numbers and police auctions but rather PS4 games and rum.

Now I’ve had a chance to work through my video game backlog, and with the deposit for a new flat an imminent expenditure, I thought I’d again gingerly lower myself into the cold, cold ocean of money-making ideas. There’s not a massive amount to catch up on since last throwing a tantrum and deleting my dare app back in February. My knee has now healed following Scheme #125 and the yen is doing rather well to cast a happy light onto Scheme #164. Thanks to Scheme #61 I’m teasingly close to the total £25 mark, having found a penny on the floor in Wetherspoons, a 2p coin in Burger King, a 10p in a car park, and to my astonishment a shiny whole £1 coin sat flagrant and unabashed right in the middle of the entrance to a busy Tesco!

Before this project even commenced I always picked up spare change if I saw it in the street, even if doing so had me dancing perilously between oncoming cars just to scrape up a penny so obfuscatingly caked in gunk it was no longer recognizable as a coin; this is almost certainly a trait of being raised by an accountant father who not only stoops down to pick up every bit of loose change he finds but genuinely keeps a record of them all in an Excel spreadsheet. This said, I can totally understand and respect your decision to not pick up every speck of shrapnel you spy, after all a penny is only good for taking up space in your pocket and really isn’t worth the energy extended to bend down. But a quid! The second most valuable coin in our currency! Surely that’s worth anyone’s trip to the ground and back, yet there were seas of shoppers obliviously stepping over this free money, and only as I’ve now been conditioned to walk around staring at my own feet did it end up in my possession!

In more dour news not a single other scheme has contributed anything in the entire month of March. Some have been my fault – I’ve spent a lot of weekends bedridden with a hangover so my Bounts score has barely moved (Scheme #117: Walk yourself wealthy), indeed on one idle Sunday I registered a record low of zero steps all day – whilst other schemes have died all on their own – TaskRabbit (Scheme #77) has found absolutely no errands to run in my local area and is now threatening to cancel my account should this inactivity continue. Not only that but I’ve had no interest off Gumtree in any of my rare £5 notes (Scheme #144), not even my prized AA01 exhibit, so it looks like I’ll have to list those on eBay to get them sold.

Most galling of the misfortunes to befall me was the verdict of Scheme #173: Write a short story, after The Write Contest finally revealed the winner of its Horror Short Story contest. I entered this on the second day of the project, submitting a 350-word nail-biter focusing on a man named Calvin who gets murdered (or does he….???) while sat on a toilet. Calvin, that is, was sat on the toilet, in the story. I wasn’t on the toilet when I wrote it. Well not for much of it.

Clinching first place came with a $100 reward so obviously my heart soared when I opened my emails to find a message from The Write Contest with just the subject line “Congratulations”. I tore into the email, skimmed through the niceties they opened with, and I was three paragraphs deep with the taste of a hundred dollars on my tongue before I found the line “Congratulations for placing second”….

Those bastards. They included some cursory critique about my prose in the message but I think I needed to give them some sage advice instead, namely not to title a message “Congratulations” when you’ve ranked the recipient simply as the best loser and instead of sweet cash money they’ve only won a PDF of a tacky certificate!

The closest I am to my next chunk of get-rich-scheme revenue is from a method I’ve been labouring on since Day 8. For almost the last 3 months I have been asking for receipts from every single transaction I make, photographing them and uploading these to my ReceiptHog app for Scheme #71: Scan your shopping. Every single day I have been sure to do this, and not only that but I’ve been collecting every receipt I find on the ground, asking all my friends and coworkers to keep their receipts for me, and scooping the odd surreptitious handful from the receipt bins sat beneath self-service checkouts, swiftly darting out the door like I’ve stolen something of actual value. I have submitted literally thousands of receipts via this app, it’s been a daily bugbear for practically a quarter of the year, and I’m now on 1,338 points.

If you assume this to be the equivalent of £1,338 then I’d suggest you lower your expectations somewhat. You see 1,500 points is redeemable as… £5 (the minimum payout). 3 months of fishing wet receipts from puddles of muddy rainwater and I’m effectively on £4.46, and I can’t even withdraw that yet.

It is through utter stubbornness that I am persevering with ReceiptHog; much like Weegy and Slicethepie I cannot imagine any sane mammal possessing the patience to work so hard for such little reward, unless they too were embarking on a project which forced them to. At least I recently discovered ReceiptHog aren’t too finicky with the receipts they receive, as unbelievably this shredded receipt which I painstakingly stuck back together was accepted for another paltry 5 coins to the total:

There may be something to this scheme after all, however. On the same day I downloaded ReceiptHog and began that laborious hell I also applied for ShopandScan and The Nielsen Panel, two more shopping-data-farmers only these send out barcode scanners for their users to wield like shit pistols. Nielsen’s application I fumbled as I accidentally revealed my occupation was in advertising and thus was promptly informed I could not proceed, bizarrely told to me in French. Meanwhile my request to join ShopandScan had seemed equally improbable as you either had to be personally invited or join a gargantuan waiting list, and I’d expected to never hear anything back so was surprised to receive an email two weeks ago to say I had been accepted and my barcode “clicker” had been dispatched. I look forward to having a hefty unfashionable piece of technology create an unsightly bulge in my pocket like I’m a businessman who still uses a pager.

The only other gossip is a scheme which basically fell into my lap, although not literally, it’s important to stress that. A somewhat NSFW image below if your colleagues are prudish – look at the tattoo my friend Shan had inflicted upon himself a few weeks back:

That is a real tattoo. A real tattoo penned by the young artiste P.Mongey, who has signed his work top left. P.Mongey is not a tattoo artist, but did find himself in possession of a tattoo gun and thought the unblemished buttocks of a drunken Shan would make for a sublime canvas. The love-heart on the right cheek represents Shan’s eternal passion for the sesh, and everything sesh-related. I don’t know who S.Traynor is.

Although drunk enough to allow someone to permanently decorate him with this, Shan’s astute enough to recognize the foolishness of his actions and actively encouraged me to submit this to Lad Bible as a candidate for the most terrible tattoo of the year so far. This actually is a money making method found on my list (Scheme #19: Make a fail video/image), and while I’d always planned to star in my own viral fail video, opportunities like these don’t occur every day.

It’s been some time since I’ve tried to usher Shan’s ruined anus onto the esteemed Lad Bible pages and I’ve heard nothing back so the £100 they reward each successful submission with is looking unlikely. I’ll certainly revisit Scheme #19 though – from Jeremy Beadle routinely dishing out £250 for scratchy home videos of old ladies falling off deckchairs in the early 90’s, to today’s FailArmy YouTube channel paying for vines of near-fatal motorcycle crashes, schadenfreude is ingrained into the best of us and it seems there’ll always be someone willing to fling money at the funny fall down man.

March has been a quiet month it’s true, nothing but a literary silver medal, a fuckton of receipts and a small tattooed arse to remember it by. But April is a new month, potentially bursting with opportunity, and what sort of Bournemouth-based Horatio Alger could I claim to be if I didn’t at least try to chase some of those opportunities down?

How dare they

Day 50
Schemes active/complete: 32
Money made: £23.84

Good news and bad news since my last injurious blog post, plus the usual smattering of anodyne admin news.

The bad news is unshockingly related to what has definitely become my least favourite of the money making schemes so far, the Double Dog dare app for Scheme #125. For one, I’m still slithering up and down stairs at a pensioner’s pace thanks to the torn left knee my skateboard dare resulted in – admittedly the aftercare I’m administering is a little lax, as I stopped bandaging it up after the first day because the dressings were too itchy, and it’s doubtful I’ll go to my scan on Tuesday because the hospital’s miles away and the coffee machine there is terrible. Usually when I sustain damage I exhibit the healing speed of Deadpool so I’m sure if I ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist my tattered meniscus will put itself back together shortly, it’s just an irritating thing to accidentally bang on the desk at work or have your mates buckle for a laugh.

However what has really pushed me over the edge with said app is that I left things last time with a plan which seemed to be working well. I would cast out the custom dare to throw a cactus into the air and catch it, secure in the knowledge that a cactus isn’t necessarily a common household object yet is something I have in my flat. The common reaction for most upon receiving that would be to double dare it back to myself, and as proven last time I can perform this task quickly and safely, bagging a few dollars each time. With my first patsy Frederik this worked like a charm, and I assumed that after a month of falling over and eating emetic amounts of salt I had finally discovered the way to easily milk this app for moolah.

After Frederik the cactus dare next landed upon a girl with the user name ‘scapone’. Within a minute Scapone declared the challenge done; I was concerned that of all the people in the Double Dog database it had just happened to be picked up by a botanist at a cactus nursery, but was immediately reassured when I saw her proof:

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It was obvious Scapone did not own a cactus or indeed any succulent, and must be terribly ignorant to think I would accept that blurred snapshot of her sweaty palm as adequate proof of a monetary bet. I rejected her submission and it was taken to trial, where she lost, and rightly so. My belief was that once the Double Dog jury found you unfit to carry out a task it would be double dared back to the creator and so I was getting ready to pull my spine-resistant gloves on and win me some money, but instead Scapone was given another chance. This time her proof was even more pathetic, an equally nebulous video of her catching not a cactus, but a banana.

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I thought this was all getting a bit embarrassing now. Chow down on that banana peel and you might be Double Dog material love, but this is a cactus-orientated dare and if you don’t own a cactus and aren’t prepared to obtain a cactus then it’s time to give up! Obviously I took Scapone’s proof to trial once again and look, what, fucking, happened, next:

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You may be unsure what’s occurring in that image. I had to read it a few times over too, for I could not believe my very own eyes. I’d sent Scapone’s video to trial and the jury had sided with the tricksy banana juggler! There’d been no doubt in my mind I was about to take home another easy $2 windfall, and yet utterly unjustly I’d lost a dollar!!

This latest mockery of justice was the final straw. I instantly withdrew what money I had in my Double Dog account and deleted the app. For all the dares I’d successfully gained from (scouting out a pair of guitars, chewing on a garlic clove, etc) there were others I’d lost on (shoving a cotton bud up your nose, shaving off an eyebrow, etc) so the amount I came away from Scheme #125 with was exactly the same as that I initially deposited. I’d made a grand total of nothing, but at least I hadn’t lost anything either, besides dignity, time, leg muscle and taste buds.

If you’re intelligent enough to read words you should also be sufficiently astute to correctly predict whether or not I’m going to recommend this scheme as a money making method. For the everyday pleb like you or me you’d be better off catching pigeons, plucking them and stuffing pillowcases to sell than relying on this, or indeed any dare app/website, for financial gain. That said and as mentioned in my Pie-rate treasure post, if you’re a spunky and free-spirited young girl you can cash in on the plethora of guys who use the app as a way of getting that terrifying and elusive opposite sex to interact with them. Out of the stock dares Double Dog allows you to choose from there’s a whole category dedicated to flirting with examples such as ‘Belly dance’ and ‘Use a pickup line on me’, and I’ve seen ladies receiving $5 a time for a 2-second video of them blowing a kiss or waggling their toes. I do believe the only reason Scapone got away with the ol’ cactus-banana-switcheroo is that the nervously excited men in the jury thought “m-maybe if I vote that she did the dare she’ll maybe like me and k-kiss me..”

So that’s the bad news. Bad for me as it’s another scheme crossed off the list which has proven to be absolutely fruitless, bad for you as that scheme was one which caused me great pain and discomfort which obviously makes for pleasurable reading and has now been halted.

Before we reach the good news a few tiny insignificant updates. I’m 6p up thanks to Scheme #61, finding a penny at work and on the same day a 5p dropped by my friend Simon in the pub. He watched it fall to the ground from the lofty heights of his barstool and nestle among the detritus of fag ends and broken glass, and said if I was prepared to army crawl under the table across the soaking beer-garden ground to reach it then it was mine. So yes, 6p up there.

People for Research (Scheme #13) are being more loquacious than I expected which is a nice surprise, and nicer still the trials don’t seem egregious in the slightest. Most recently I’ve been told I could stand to earn £120 for just a 90 minute chat about “my aim”; it’s unlikely I’ll even be chosen as I participate in no such sports as archery or clay pigeon shooting and the only occasion on which I even think about aiming is when lazily trying to minimize the amount of piss which ends up on the toilet seat, but it’s still promising that these opportunities are presenting themselves at such regular intervals.

I’ve had no enquirers biting my hand off for the AK37 serial number £5 note (Scheme #144), but it’s here we sneak into the good news. Firstly, thanks to a different bus driver this time, I now have a £5 with a code commencing AK22, and this is an actual gun type!

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Like its AK37 brother this went straight on sale via Gumtree and swiftly garnered interest, namely from a Liam who asked if I would trade it for an AK47 note. The AK47s seem to be the most valuable of the artillery-themed £5 note clan so I eagerly took him up on his offer and await to hear back.

Liam’s email was gratefully received if anything to reassure myself I wasn’t completely mad and alone in still believing that some fivers are collectible due to their serial numbers. I guarantee you when the batch number reaches BJ69 we’ll see some more plastic fives going for more than face value, that’s a bonafide Matt Rose financial forecast. Until then, with our new dodecagon £1 coins entering circulation next month for the purpose of winding up counterfeiters, it’s worth keeping an eye on your old-school circular nuggets as some will be much more valuable than others when they’re antiques. Here’s a handy reference chart:

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Actual monetary advice supported by charts! I bet you weren’t expecting that from a project blog of mine. It’s certainly surprised me.

But the main piece of good fortune to float my way was on Friday night. I’d already procured 6p as mentioned previously plus my Receipthog had gorged well all day (Scheme #71) so I was in a fairly chipper mood. I was at the bar drunkenly ordering a round of San Miguels and saw the bar staff approaching with my change, genuinely thinking to myself ‘I hope I don’t get an uncommon £5 note, I’ll probably get pissed and spend it on tequila!’, when what gets slapped down in front of me:

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Boom!! An AA01! The holy grail! One of the first million to be circulated! Some clumsy eBaying whilst pissed had me believe for a while that I could sell this baby for several thousands before some more precise eBaying while hungover the next day informed me it might fetch £20 if I was lucky.

I popped it onto Gumtree instantly; I know eBay is going to be a simpler method of shifting these but I’m sticking with Gumtree for the time being as I’m keen to meet the buyer in person and find out exactly why they’re willing to spend over £5 on £5. As well as offering it to the public I also let a trade professional know in the shape of Pam West, British banknote buyer & seller. It was Pam whose dispiriting quote I used in a previous post “AK47 notes… do not actually sell,” and she continued to resolutely crush my spirit as when I fervently emailed her with news of my AA01 acquisition she told me “unfortunately a folded note may only be worth face value”. Of course my fiver was folded, it had been passed between Wetherspoon till, punter and fruit machine for Lord knows how long, so I decided to ignore Pam’s professional advice. As the Devil as my witness I will get that AA01 note sold!

Name your price

Day 30
Schemes active/complete: 22
Money made: £15.77

An entirely perfunctory post simply as a Windows update led me to believe for several livid minutes that I had lost my document of notes on this project, teaching me it’s good to preserve them in blog form at regular intervals.

Things are ticking along, albeit very slowly. I somehow spotted 20p in the dark a few nights ago (Scheme #61) which is the only extra funding I’ve made since last time. My Qmee (Scheme #16) has reached the dizzying heights of £0.51 now I’ve learned that most days it’ll flip me 5p for Googling ‘Tesco’, and my slice of Slicethepie’s pie (Scheme #23) is on $2.32 after my generous reviews of such up-and-coming chart-toppers as ‘Deaf Rhino’ and ‘Slickeraci’.

My porcine receipt app is also feeding well (Scheme #71). Am I buying more things than necessary because subconsciously I want those receipts? Happy to spend £9 on tat to claim a receipt worth 0.3p to me? I can’t know for sure, all I know is I’m still pestering my friends for all their receipts too, then slyly pocketing their bare toilet roll tubes when at their houses (Scheme #126).

A couple of grumbles. I keep having incredibly bland and thus frustratingly realistic dreams about finding a treasure trail of loose change whilst walking on the street or a single Google search returning £2.46 on Qmee. Also whilst rereading old blog posts to see if I was missing anything I realized I’d forgotten to check We Dare You To (Scheme #125), hence missing an opportunity to give myself a papercut for $5. I’ve intentionally given myself papercuts for free before just to upset and nauseate my more lily-livered friends, so it was annoying to overlook a chance to finally get paid for the pain, particularly as the monetary dares of Double Dog I now appreciate are a lot rarer than originally thought.

Two new schemes are now in play. I was notified by a work colleague of the most recent money making scheme around – an app named CPM which is making headlines at the moment, the gist being that if you take a photo of a car parked illegally the CPM (UK Car Park Management) will grant you £10. This became the latest addition to my list (Scheme #233: Snitch on cars parked illegally) as sources such as Moneysavingexpert.com are now including this as part of their database of get-rich-slowly methods.

My fears were first piqued when I saw the quantity of bad reviews clinging to the CPM app, complaints not only about its tattletale ethics (the phrase “snitches get stitches” appeared more than just a couple times) but also that the whole premise was misleading. Sure enough when I downloaded it I was informed I couldn’t just run around snitching on whatever bad parkers I wanted to, but I had to provide details of a car park I own, receive some signs to stick up, and only then could I grass on an unauthorized car parked specifically in that space. Still, there’s a scrap of gravel outside my flat which is technically for residents only so I’ve decided I’ll start vigilantly monitoring that.

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I’ve also started putting my innate talent at generating terrible puns into good use with Scheme #120: Name a business. There’s two sites I’ve found which fledgling businesses will use to crowdsource ideas for their brand’s name – they pay for a mass of suggestions all gushing from the same thinktank, largely terrible, and whoever has created the most passable option wins a cash sum, normally around $100.

Naming Force I couldn’t use as you have to be a U.S citizen, but Squadhelp wasn’t so xenophobic and welcomed me with open arms. My account has been active for the past day or so and I’ve been helping name businesses willy-nilly. Not literally naming them ‘Willy Nilly’ you understand, however that genuinely is a better option than some of the truly appalling ideas I’ve cooked up for the many e-commerce businesses, healthy snack companies, electric car manufacturers and more that I’ve helped brand.

That’s about everything I think. Obviously I’d like to be on a greater sum at this stage of proceedings, and this probably qualifies as the tamest and most agoraphobic first month of any of my projects to date, but I do have some interesting plans over the next few weeks, some of which I’ll even be leaving the house for!! Stay tuned.

Makin’ it drizzle

Day 25
Schemes active/complete: 20
Money made: £15.57

I’m aware I’ve let another lengthy passage of time slide between blog posts, I’ve had some pretty big events in my life occur which have had to take priority, such as a weekend piss-up in Sheffield and starting Dishonored 2 on the PS4. That said, look at the total I’m on! I’m finally into whole tens of Great British Pounds with enough money now to buy a lobster dinner, and all thanks to another scheme besides Scheme #61: Look down when you walk (besides the filthy penny I found outside the Sheffield Sainsbury’s (just Googled to ensure it was “Sainsbury’s” and not “Sainsburys” as last time I bothered researching the potential possessive apostrophe of a supermarket chain with Tesco, Qmee gave me 7p. Alas this time nothing, and I’m stuck beached on 30p with them.))

Yes for all their faults Weegy have at least had the decency to endow me the money I earned through answering the hundreds and hundreds of gormless questions from dunces cheating on their homework around the world. Technically I should have been due $20.44 as visibly evidenced in the last post, but since then I was docked to $20.32 because I probably answered that limes don’t have legs and Weegy belched “ERRONEOUS!” for no reason, and then I was informed only now on payday that Weegy take a cut and PayPal take a percentage also, so the £16.15 I was actually due has come in a little light at £15.30.

That said, I can hereby state, with the first authority mustered in this blog thus far, and carrying a confidence you can literally take to the bank, Scheme #31: Answer stranger’s questions – WORKSWith Weegy it is possible to earn enough money for a reasonably sized round at the pub from copy-pasting chunks of Wikipedia at the sound of a little bell in your spare moments of an evening. Would I recommend it? Absolutely fucking not. The amount of labour is so intensive and the quantity of time sacrificed not insignificant, plus I still flinch when I hear the ding of a bell, and I feel I got off lightly. There are some answerers who consider the Ctrl+C Ctrl+V double-tap sacrilege and actually research and write their own lengthy essays on each subject matter for 10 cents at a time, which strikes me as madness. There must be easier and quicker ways of amassing the kinds of riches found in a poor child’s piggy bank, there has to be.

Speaking of piggy banks my ReceiptHog is growing in size (Scheme #71) as not only am I bugging my friends for their receipts but also diligently nicking the untaken bundles which bloat Tesco’s self-service checkouts each time I go shopping. I’m not sure if it’s just me, and historically after prefacing a thought with that it usually is, but I find a strange, subversive, voyeuristic pleasure in reading the discarded receipts from others. Take this example from yesterday – do you think this shopper left their home and travelled through the rain just to buy this combination of items??:

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In regards to new schemes I’ve had several friends concur with the many online sources I pored through that Slicethepie is a nifty little money-maker, as part of Scheme #23: Become a music reviewer. There are several sites that will pay you to write your opinions of tracks even if you know the contents of a vasectomy patient’s balls about music, which is perfect for me as I enjoy silence over the vast majority of songs and haven’t held an instrument in years save a pink ukulele two weeks ago.

It didn’t take me long to whittle through Slicethepie’s competitors for this scheme – Music Xray flatly didn’t let me make an account with them for reasons unknown and minimal research taught me that HitPredictor pays out not in cash but in CDs and DVDs like anyone wants them anymore – and soon I was signing up as surely Slicethepie’s most tone deaf applicant.

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That’s what I like to see! A confident and straight-spoken opportunity. You write your first name there, your last name there, and you start making money. Lovely.

At this time of writing I’ve “critiqued” something like 40 songs, reviewing the best efforts of everyone from ‘Suave Poet’ to ‘Da Realest’. You’re required to let at least 90 seconds of what is sometimes sheer audible shite percolate into your brain before you can continue, plus your review has a minimum word count too, and the calibre of wank I was writing to fill these comment boxes was cringe-worthy. I was calling things “edgy” and “raw” and “gritty”; just sounds! Of course they’re not edgy or raw or gritty! They’re shapeless, they can’t be cooked, and they don’t stop cars skidding in icy conditions!

What none of my sources mentioned was that you can also choose to critique clothes or mobile phone accessories for the same rate as reviewing songs (about 3 cents a pop). This did save having to endure a minute and a half of edgy raw grit every time, but it’s near impossible to think of a completely independent review for each of thirty almost identical iPhone headphones.

You also have a star system out of 5 which apparently increases as you write high-standard reviews, and in turn awards you more money for each one you produce. However I’ve watched my rank increase from 1 to 4 down to 2 and then back up to 3 with complete whimsy yet have been paid pretty much the same every time, namely 3 cents besides a little less for my objective dressing down of Da Realest:

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It could be I’m doing something wrong; this would make sense, for I am Matt Rose, and in which case if you’re reading this and you know your Slicethepie stuff don’t hesitate to tell me. Anyway I’m on $1.31 currently with a $10 minimum payout so I see plenty of nitpicking headphones and gritty suave poets in my future.

Two more schemes I sparked into life this evening, the foremost of which we won’t spend long on as I imagine it’ll flicker and die almost instantly. Scheme #77 is to Become a taskrabbit, a titular labourer of TaskRabbit whereabouts you perform menial tasks for dribbles of cash. You offer your services for essentially quite brainless chores such as lifting, cleaning, couriering, etc, so I was surprised to find the threat of:

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“An extensive vetting process”? “In-person onboarding”?? This was conveniently omitted by those blithe eeeeeasy-money-making lists I used as reference which all agree you could breeze into the TaskRabbit community just as they equally promised RentAFriend would have doting comrades chucking money at you for a chance you’d take them bowling.

I completed my application form, stating I was ready and fully qualified to take on every task they offered (which included professionally queuing as a hark back to Scheme #154), but I’m doubtful I’ll hear anything from them as the TaskRabbit’s hutch seems to principally be in London. And by that I mean when I was asked to list my city of residence, I wasn’t given a choice of all the cities in the UK, but rather just “London” or “Greater London”. A boy in Bournemouth with no car doesn’t stand much chance of surviving their infamous vetting process, no matter how good of a queuer he’s lied to say he is. We’ll wait to see what happens – best case scenario, I have to get a 3 hour coach to Camden to help move a sofa up some stairs.

With my TaskRabbit appeal hot on its way to near-certain refusal I turned to Scheme #88: Host a meal. This is self-explanatory and somewhat reminiscent of Scheme #25: Become a tour guide (radio silence on that by the way, what’s with you guys not wanting to pay me to get you drunk near a cliff-top??), in that you are paid by the lonely, lazy, hungry, friendly or varying strange combinations of these traits to host them a nice meal for the evening. I signed up to Cookening, which has now very slyly changed to become VizEat, as well as EatWith, to invite a lucky someone to sample my cooking talents which are very much on par with my levels of musical appreciation.

It’s worth pointing out for the concerned few noticing a banal trend here – not all of my schemes will simply involve me sitting at home drinking red wine and signing up to websites. At some point I’m going to have to shave and sell the hair of a celebrity somehow (Scheme #217), to illustrate my point. Registering with sites for the unlikelihood of people paying me to take them to a party or attend a funeral (no reply from Jo since her initial enquiry by the way) isn’t the most interesting to read about, but I need to get these sorts completed early to allow them to germinate. I’ll soon be shining boots on the street and renting out truffle-snuffling pigs for livelier and more interesting posts, that’s not just a promise but a straight-up inevitability.

On both VizEat & EatWith I had to delineate the culinary voyage I was prepared to take guests on and for both sites this took the form of “a wicked steak with a fine scotch”, as steak is the only food I can and will cook. I’d say my chances are finer with VizEat as they didn’t necessitate I include a high-res photo of a meal I have prepared before. EatWith did, however, and so I leave you with my only dietary construction ever immortalised on camera, the bacon-wrapped Big Mac deep fried in Pepsi batter. Wouldn’t you care to sample the menu of the gourmet who can bring this into existence?:

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The answering machine

Day 16
Schemes active/complete: 17
Money made: £0.26

Obviously the sheer notion of updating this blog every other day if not every day has firmly been quashed, but really the last 6 days haven’t amounted to much. You may have noticed I’m 10p richer, predictably thanks to Scheme #61 which is the only way I’ve made anything thus far – I found a 5p in my local HSBC branch and on the same evening another 5p in the pub, so now I can afford half a pack of Super Noodles.

The reason for my silence is as I have been concentrating on Weegy, the website which pings their “experts” (including yours truly) questions asked by its users, disdainfully chucking us a handful of pennies per correct answer. This has turned out to be the only method to achieve Scheme #31: Answering stranger’s questions, having been rebuffed by AQA and 118118, and a more tiresome process I couldn’t imagine. Weegy has a $20 minimum payout which is shelled out on the 1st of the month, and I was keen to get this scheme out of the way in January so have spent the last week essentially living on this site and churning out replies to as many questions as I can.

This has averaged out to answering something like 30 questions an evening, already a tall order when you can easily sit for 20 minutes without a single question rolling in, but made worse when I realised Weegy deducts money from your account if an answer is flagged as incorrect. Fair enough as a deterrent to poorly researched answers, but sometimes they’re deemed wrong even when they’re unequivocally correct; I was asked which is most alkaline out of milk, stomach acid or oven cleaner, I answered oven cleaner (which it is, it definitely is), Weegy said NOPE and docked my funds!

During this period I was asked predominantly dry questions on the government or Macbeth or the D.N.A of an onion – the closest I came to amusingly bizarre enquiries were “What is the magma carter?”, “Why is Gavin a brony?” and “What is mattyb’s cell phone number (I love mattyb)?”, the latter of which was so inane I couldn’t resist responding with my own phone number but alas have received no correspondence for mattyb as of yet.

Reaching $20 doesn’t sound like much but can seem an insurmountable, Sisyphean task when you’re on $11 and each question is only adding 2 cents to your wallet, sometimes not even registering, and other times you’ll answer that beef comes from cows and Weegy will yell “WRONG!” and knock 3 bucks off your total. Eventually however, in the wee hours of this morning, I got there:

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I’ll wait to see if my earnings dribble into my PayPal come early February before giving my overall assessment of this scheme but, spoiler alert, I think there’s a reason this site isn’t very popular. I’ve only been a part of the Weegy society a fortnight and already I’m 6th on their list of top ranked experts:

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As for my other distractions, I’ve sprinkled around the corners of the Web some freelance alternatives to Scheme #8: Hire out your services as a mateScheme #27: Pretend to cry at a stranger’s funeralScheme #65: Look young and buy booze. Interestingly the only one to garner any response is my availability as rented giref, with emails from ‘Scription’ asking me if I was serious, Sue informing me “you are a strange person”, but lovely Jo actually asking me for my rates for a nearby funeral and wake!

I scrambled together some research on Rent A Mourner for an idea of what I should charge Jo, and in doing so found Envisage Promotions offer a very similar service. They also specialise in actors, models, etc which tickles the as of yet unexplored Scheme #56: Become a film or TV extra, and whilst someday I will spend a full blog post on that particular scheme I signed up with Envisage regardless to expand the net of interments with empty seats I might get paid to attend. Unfortunately I was trying to complete my profile with multiple tabs up (including Googling Lego Batman to confirm my suspicions that Michael Cera was voicing Lego Robin which elicited the biggest Qmee hit so far, 13p for a click!) whilst handling Weegy questions about “what causes lightining” and hence inexplicably included a link about why storm clouds are grey as part of my Envisage application. They must have thought that made me lugubriously kooky however as I learned today my request to be on their books was successful.

Also throughout the past few days I’ve been feverishly checking the Double Dog dare app for any challenges which could bag me money, although sadly the only dares I can find have been for worthless ‘bones’ tokens. It was this afternoon that eventually, finally, I stumbled across a dare someone was willing to pay cash money for. Coincidentally it was from Robert who ruined a Sunday of mine earlier in the month by making me bumble around on the hunt for guitars, and this time his request was even more unforgiving: “Video yourself shaving off an eyebrow.”

Now there was no way I was doing that for one dollar – my eyebrows are hearty bushels like those sat atop the stern frown of a Russian chess Grandmaster, things to be proud of – but I suspected Robert wouldn’t perform the same even for $2 so I Double Dared him back, smug with my plan. Aggravatingly Robert replied almost instantly with a photo of himself with just the one eyebrow (I would attach this image but I’m ashamed to say I deleted it in petty rage). I argued that the dare demanded video footage of him shaving the eyebrow clean off, it was taken to trial and voted on by other Double Dog users, and they sided with Robert! I’d lost my $2!! And to add insult to poverty, Rob snidely informed me afterwards that he’d had that brow shaved off for weeks now. He’d essentially cheated, so I called him a knob, and that’s when the aforementioned deletion of our interaction occurred.

I sulked to Tesco to buy some wine to drown my Double Dog miseries, sweeping up the discarded receipts at the self-service checkouts as I went, all good food for my ReceiptHog. The Tesco workers get surprisingly funny about you doing this, and I had the bearded employee on duty staring at me as I collected stranger’s receipts like I’d just ripped the head off a dove.

A pub crawl would have satisfactorily taken my mind off losing money to one-brow knob Rob, but I’d need 3 times my current get-rich-scheme income just to afford a cup of milk in a Wetherspoons, so I came home tonight, opened my wine and looked into how I could get someone to pay me to take them on a bar crawl. The closest my list stretched to was Scheme #25: Become a tour guide, achievable via Vayable which allows you to offer yourselves as a hospitable and accommodating guide in your home town. Mine:

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For just $20 each tourists to the South coast of England can pay to follow me around pubs and buy me scotch! I think this is my favourite scheme of the list so far.

Walk idiot, walk

Day 10
Schemes active/complete: 16
Money made: £0.16

Can you believe I’m still only on 16 fucking pence? That’s a single penny per active scheme! 16p for a week and a half’s work; I can’t even afford 4 carrier bags with that! If I was on The Apprentice with this sort of entrepreneurship Alan Sugar would be groaning and spluttering and yanking at his ear hairs and clutching that wizened old head of his at my incompetence.

I have to try to remain impartial though. This is an experiment after all, and even if I end the year on 16p it simply means I’ve debunked the thousands of money making sites out there. Data must be valued over dollars.

It’s probably time for a big catch-up list. I imagine this may become a recurring feature as it seems a good way to keep on top of the dozens of plates I have spinning. So here’s where we are so far:

Scheme #1: Start a blog – Well I can state with confidence that at least this one is up and running. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to update every single day and lived up to that pessimistic idleness almost immediately, yet still I have a handful of followers and thanks to a little WordPress tracker I know my blog has been read as far afield as Australia, South Africa & the Philippines. Only 1 view each from those countries so the respective Australian, South African and Filipino who visited clearly liked the blog so much they didn’t tell any of their family or friends and indeed never came back, but still it’s good to see my financial foolishness has some breadth.

Scheme #8: Hire out your services as a mate – Radio silence from RentAFriend, save a monthly newsletter from their Friendship Coordinator, whose name oddly enough is Mrs Rose. No-one wants to pay to spend time with me thus far, maybe I need to change my profile picture to one where I’m not in the sort of shirt worn by a Hawaiian sex offender.

Scheme #16: Get paid to Google – Qmee is still perched on my toolbar watching me Google and occasionally squawking offers at me. I’ve tried researching ways to cheat Qmee, certain search terms which prompt the adverts that pay, but all sources concur it’s best to let the money trickle in organically. £0.17 is in my piggybank at present, which I can withdraw at any time if I want to more than double my current paltry income, although I think I’ll let it grow into a beefy 50-something-pence nest egg before touching it.

Scheme #26: Have adverts appear on your phone’s lock screen – So far Qustodian has done absolutely nothing besides sapping my phone’s battery life. My Yoad’s a loada shite.

Scheme #27: Pretend to cry at a stranger’s funeral – Rent A Mourner not even acknowledged my courteous email. I may have to start offering this service freelance.

Scheme #31: Answer stranger’s questions – I’m still sitting on Weegy and answering the questions of people who don’t know how to Google things for at least a half hour a day. Currently I have $7.78 in my Weegy wallet, and it reports I’ve answered 85 questions, however I know I’ve answered at least 150. It’s extremely frustrating, a good few times now I’ve gone fact-finding and written a comprehensive reply to the query posed (I’d say 95% of them are homework questions asked by the thick and lazy), only to watch in horror as my total answered questions didn’t increase, didn’t even stay the same, but went down! Still, only $12.22 to go until I can get my hands on that irrefutably well-earned cash.

Scheme #41: Take part in a police identity parade – Having left Bournemouth Police Station with the constable on duty, and even the criminals waiting to be fingerprinted, all looking at me suspiciously, it’s VIPER who’s now looking after me. They hid their surprise at discovering someone was willing to travel from Bournemouth all the way to Yorkshire just to get their photo taken and possibly incorrectly identified as an arsonist, and emailed me just today letting me know “We are not currently recording at the moment, I will update you on our next recording session.”

Scheme #61: Look down when you walk – This still has me walking at 75% my normal pace, developing neck ache and striding out into the street straight into oncoming traffic. No joy besides the five- and ten-pence I’ve scooped up, unless you count the beguilingly circular scrap of gum wrapper I bent down for today thinking I’d added something to my funds.

Scheme #65: Look young and buy booze – Bit of a disaster with this one. As it transpires the idea of becoming an I.D’er was a bad one and I was informed by email yesterday that my application was unsuccessful, either because they’re currently not recruiting or, sadly more likely, I don’t fit their age profile. I replied to tell them I was very disheartened to hear this and demanded information on why I’d been rejected. Like pretending to weep beside the caskets of strangers, acting pubescent to deliberately get refused beer may have to be another service I provide freelance on Craigslist as a last resort.

Scheme #71: Scan your shopping – ReceiptHog is ticking along despite my near-constant forgetting to request receipts at the bar, sitting down with a pint and then suddenly announcing “fuck’s sakes!” to thin air, seemingly inexplicable to my drinking buddies around me. Realistically most of my receipts are going to be from the pub as that’s where I get the majority of my sustenance, so I was disappointed to find ReceiptHog had some previously unmentioned stipulation that a maximum of 3 receipts from the same date & same retailer can be submitted in a day. Tipsily smug I’d amassed a whole ream of Wetherspoons receipts discarded on tables before I read that little pisser.

Scheme #125: Do some dares – I was hoping yesterday that Jack would falter at the thought of plunging a cotton bud into his brain but clearly he was more empty-headed than I thought:

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Genuinely I could barely watch him inflict this upon himself but still he’d rightfully earned his money, and this has left me to recoup my Double Dog losses. Annoyingly it’s not been so easy to find a darer who deals in real currency, they’re all playing for valueless bones, which has just made me even keener to take on a $1 dare no matter what it entails.

Scheme #126: Collect and sell empty toilet roll tubes – I have 6. Huzzah.

Scheme #130: Login to paidtologin.com – This simply does not work, and will never be an effective scheme, so will be mentioned no more.

Scheme #154: Queue for quids – Bidvine have gone awful quiet on me after an enthusiastic start to the friendship, and they certainly don’t seem to be promoting my incredibly crucial queuing company as I’ve had precisely no bookings. Perhaps another to start offering freelance.

Scheme #173: Write a short story – The deadline for the short horror story competition I entered is the 31st of January so I have at least a fortnight to wait before I hear if the judges were scared shitless by my tale of Calvin and his bathroom terrors.

Looking at this list as a whole it’s inarguable I have my fingers in a lot of pies, but also inarguable that some of those pies are stale, some pies are stone cold, some are just empty pie tins, some of the pies have mousetraps in them, etc. I decided to bolt one extra on to make this post worth the time, and landed on Scheme #117: Walk yourself wealthy. Like all forms of physical outgoing I try to keep walking to a minimum, but what little trudging I do in a day I figured I might as well be paid for.

There are two apps I could find which measure your daily steps and convert them into points which can be turned into monetary rewards. The first is Bitwalking, not available on iOS like all apps which are fun and work, but I’ve signed up to test the beta version for iPhones whenever that’s released. Bounts is the equivalent for my phone, and true to form is not fun and does not work, at least according to the cornucopia of negative reviews it’s garnered.

Apparently this time a year ago Bounts was the bomb; steps equalled points which equalled cash in your pocket, simple as that. However following a rejig in 2016 these points are now barely worth squat – at this present time of writing they’re redeemable solely for an out of stock women’s cycling jersey. To get my hands on such a sweet prize I’d need to walk over 7,000 steps a day for 100 days, so my only hope is that Bounts take their overwhelming amount of criticism on board, hugely increase the quality of the rewards and massively drop the distance you have to walk to earn them.

Still, the app’s free and can run harmlessly in the background so I’ll keep it there for now. It’s synced up to my Health app I didn’t even know I had, which I realised has been pedometering me without my consent for months now. 7,000 steps is the total Bounts requires for you to log any points for the day, about 3 and a half miles. Disconcertingly I’ve only reached that total once this year, and that was on Sunday when I was sprinting around in a tizzy trying to find guitars (11,000 stressed steps I put down that day). One weekend in November when my hangover was above normal magnitude it states I walked a total of just 112 steps! At the very least when trying to hit my 7,000 plods a day I might find some more coins in the road…