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?
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.
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.
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:
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…
Schemes active/complete: 13
Money made: £0.16
Just a quick post checking in. Not a whole lot to report as yesterday was spent drinking and today spent grotesquely hungover. Appropriately enough the only new scheme I have underway is Scheme #65: Look young and buy booze – Serve Legal operates a programme whereabouts if you look underage you can get paid to purchase alcohol from different retailers and test to see if they ask for I.D, sort of like a mystery shopper only with a 100% chance of having some alcohol to drink afterwards. Even though I’m 27 next month and never get asked for I.D anymore I’m sure if I have a close shave and start using the parlance of the youth of today (“on fleek”? Is that one? Have I spelt that right?) I can make for an effective Serve Legal agent. I guess I could wear a T-shirt which literally says “I am a 16 year old” on it as well.
I applied for this yesterday and, much like the vast majority of schemes so far, must now simply wait to hear back from them. You have to send a scan of your passport along with your application, and in my photo I have the gimp long hair only a teenager would dream of sporting so hopefully that will help when I’m being judged on whether I look underage enough.
Very little movement besides that. The Qustodian app has still done absolutely nothing at all, my Qmee total hasn’t increased and nobody has paid for me to be friends with them for the day yet. I did have my first dream about the project, which I’ve found in previous undertakings is a sign that it’s truly taken hold of your life. In said dream I was walking around finding dozens of coins on the street which unfortunately has thus far proved pathetically unprophetic.
Only other announcement is that VIPER came back to me RE: my request to participate in a police identity parade. The good news is that they confirmed a “cash reward” is on the cards for taking part, the bad news being they “are not recording in the Dorset area due to the distance to travel from West Yorkshire.” I replied to say that I could not overstate my interest in volunteering and was happy to go anywhere in the UK they wanted me.
Now contrary to what you may think based on some of my past exploits, I am not an idiot. I know full well that the cash sum they provide would be significantly less than a train ride to Yorkshire, meaning the whole endeavour would net a loss and so wouldn’t be a money maker at all. However I’m attempting it regardless, likewise with all the methods which I know from the offset will ultimately leave me out of pocket. My role is to test these schemes, to see what each experience is like and moan about them for your amusement, not necessarily to make a profit. Even if a Bournemouth to Yorkshire train costs £150 and VIPER only tender a tenner, it’s my duty as a stupid little project boy to attend anyway just in case there’s a skint Yorkshireman reading this for whom my write-up might actually be useful. This is why I’m not factoring outgoings into the daily total; this is a study into how much money potentially sits in these schemes, irrespective of how much it costs to get there each time.
With that all said and done, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put my hangover to one side and answer some questions on Weegy about tractors. Good night.