Side Hustles

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In the search for valuable side hustles, there are many formulas and ideas that are questionable, at best. It’s difficult to know which ones you can make money from, and which “hustles” are simply not worth the time and effort that you have to put into them. 

The Debate

One of the most questionable side hustles out there is poker – for many, poker sounds like an outrageous gambling risk. But others see this as a skill. There are many professional sports out there such as hockey and american football where the monetary stakes are high and yet there is still an element of luck involved.

Talented poker players see the game in the same way and some of these players make thousands, some even millions, playing at live events and on online sites, the most popular of which is PokerStars.

The Similarities Between Poker & Investing

The general idea is that poker is a game of part skill and part chance. The skill element eventually overrides the chance element. Decent players make money by using mathematics to make consistently +EV (expected value) calls. In a way, the life of a professional poker player is very much like that of an investor. Not all plays pay off, but if you consistently make the right investment (or play), you will eventually come out with a profit.

Poker is the only casino game in which it is technically possible to win in this way, because it is the only game that allows you to play against other players. If you are better than them, you can make money from them. The casino, or online poker room, takes a “rake” of the buy-ins or pots.

Of course, it’s important to understand that poker is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Not many players make money in the long run, and the ones that do have studied the game, analysed their play, and practised in thousands of tournaments.

To make matters more difficult, it is not easy to quickly measure your outcomes. Poker players employ a strategy known as bankroll management. Essentially, this means playing at a stake that you can afford, using only a fraction of your total funds for each individual game. This gives the best opportunity to beat the “statistical variance” brought about by the chance factor.

Getting Started – The Safe Way

However, with lots of safe practice at home and with friends, it is certainly possible that you could be one of the stronger players who can make a steady profit. If you want to make this a possibility, start by reading poker books from the people who have already made it happen such as Power Hold’em Strategy by Daniel Negreanu. They can walk you through the psychology and math to help you make meaningful decisions that will bring you the wins.

Then, use play money to practice without any risk – and lots of practice too! It’s possible for any beginner to win a couple of games but you’ll want to play countless times before you can separate your ‘luck from your ‘skill’.  When you are ready, move up to the micro or small stakes sites/apps and start carefully for real. 


Like any potential side-hustle, there are some considerations to think about. Do you enjoy the game? This is really important. If you are going to study and play for hours on end, you need to have a real passion for poker. Are you able to make more money than your hourly wage? You need to evaluate whether you are looking to make a quick buck or build a valuable skill to benefit you in the years to come.

Poker can be addictive and you need to have an amazing level of self control and logical thinking to do well – be prepared to learn and certainly be prepared to lose! But if you think you will enjoy the game it might just be worth giving it a go.

For most people, this is just a hobby that can occasionally result in a bonus. That’s probably the best way to look at it. Very few people take it all the way, and most people lose, but for those who are prepared to put in the effort, this can be a worthy side-hustle.

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delete your swagbucks account

Upon joining the personal finance scene it certainly wasn’t long before I blindly bumped into the blogger’s best friend – Swagbucks. He honed innocent glasses and boasted an honest smile that said:

“I’m going to make you rich whilst you play games all day.”

Being an equally young, handsome and motivated young fellow I decided to periodically follow this digital messiah to see what rewards were in store for me. After all, how could the thousands of Swagbucks fans out there be wrong? Surely there’s some money to be made here…

Unfortunately, anyone with sense will have found Swagbucks to be a barren wasteland, I could genuinely make more money and provide more value to the world by sitting on my doorstep and begging for change. Disagree? Here’s why you should delete your Swagbucks account:

You’re Worth More Than 30 pence per Hour

In their daily login the average swashbuckling swagbucker does the following each day:

  • Get’s Distracted by their toolbar – 1 Swagbuck
  • Complete’s an absurd Daily Poll – 1 Swagbuck
  • Watches the Daily Video – 1 Swagbuck
  • Skips through four ‘No Obligation Special Offers’ – 2 Swagbucks

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some laser focussed swagbuckers out there that could smash this process out in 5 minutes – that’s 5 Swagbucks in 5minutes. I grant these efficient consumers a grand wage of 60 Swagbucks per hour – pretty neat right?

Let’s assume you swap your Swagbucks for Paypal money so that you can invest it in a tech startup and get rich. After all you wouldn’t think of spending your hard earned swag on a mediocre gift from Amazon would you?

So in Paypal money, 1 Swagbuck equates to 0.5 pence. Based on the above process you can output an a average of 60 Swagbucks an hour. This would give you a grand total of 30pence per hour (that’s 50 cents for our US counterparts). Sound a little low? Well let me sweeten the deal, let’s say you save each and every penny that you earn from Swagbucks in your piggy bank, by the time your 380 years old you’ll be a millionaire!

Leisure Time Should Be Exactly That

On a serious note, I’ve talked about the value of your time in the past and feel strongly that you should be aware of which activities are profitable and which are leisurable. Just like separating work from play, some online activities can appear productive but are in fact just distractions. In this case Swagbucks would be nothing more than a leisure activity and I’m not sure about you but there’s a whole host of leisure activities I’d rather be doing instead of completing surveys!

But What Should I Replace My Swagbucks Time With?

Oftentimes we look for ways to make money when in fact it could be more beneficial and much easier for us to find ways to avoid spending it. As much as we like the idea that we have full control over our expenses, each and every day presents us with opportunities to spend our hard earned cash. So, to replace all of the benefits from your Swagbucks addiction: next time you take on your weekly shop, try and cut just £5 off your usual spend. Just doing this will have saved you months and months of Swagbucks tasks – remember, work smarter not harder! This technique is coined ‘addition by subtraction‘ and despite being a simple concept it is a valuable tool in your personal finance toolkit whereby you can cut out the time you spend working by reducing the amount you are spending.

For the Critics…

In addition to the above methods, yes, there are number of ways to make Swagbucks. However, in these instances Swagbucks is simply rewarding you for habits that you should be avoiding at all costs in your hunt for financial diversification:

  • Linking your Swagbucks to your online shoppingDo you really need an incentive to spend money online?
  • Signing up for surveys – So that you can spend more time unsubscribing from marketing emails?
  • Playing videos in the background whilst you work – Multi-tasking will ruin your productivity and the quality of your work
  • Finding and Entering ‘Swag Codes’ – What’s more important: 5 pence or the project you have just been distracted from?

Please note: The point of this article is not to discredit the platform or it’s users but simply to illustrate how some distractions online can masquerade as productive activities. Be sure to know your worth and do more of the activities that will create massive change for you and less of the micro tasks that have little value in the short and the long-term.

Any thoughts? What has your experience with Swagbucks been like?

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One philosophy has always been true with me – work hard and work fast. Maybe it’s learned behavior from working as a chef in a busy Italian restaurant for a number of years but there is a poisonous disadvantage of holding this view. The fact is, sometimes others don’t like to work hard or fast and you don’t want to develop the limiting belief of – “if you want something doing, you should do it yourself”.

Our lives are so busy and as just one person we can only physically achieve so much with the time we are given. As my career develops into a management focused role I have learned to slowly let go of the reigns and train others to take my place; I can now serve five tasks at once thanks to the fine art of delegation.

When to OutSource? The Fast Lane.

The more I read about those in the financial fast lane, the more I realise I need to evolve from working hard to working smart. I am currently reading The Four Hour Work Week which is a guide to making more money whilst outsourcing your life; very fitting for the experience I’m about to share!

I love to learn and hate to think there are things I can’t do with my current knowledge and capacity but a successful entrepreneur should have the vision to allocate their weaker and less crucial tasks to those who are more skilled and/or have the time. You should look to outsource a project when:

  • It becomes clear that the time it will take will far exceed the benefit it provides
  • You are unsure of how to complete a project and can’t invest the time to learn how to do it
  • You have more critical tasks that you should be working on whilst the task in question can be done by someone else
  • You are on a tight deadline and need to clone yourself immediately!

Posting a Job on Elance

My main side hustle is freelance digital marketing for small businesses, this involves a range of skills, one of which is web design. The first time I outsourced a task I had some coding trouble; after spending over six hours trying to fix the issue I finally decided it was time to enlist some online help. There are many outsourcing platforms available out there but for such a specialist request I chose Elance. On my first attempt, posting a job on Elance was a very quick and painless process.

Here’s how you can outsource a task on Elance in around ten minutes!

  1. Create an account – You can sign up here
  2. Post your job/project – Detail exactly what you would like to be done. From Writing and Programming to Legal help and Manufacturing!
  3. Freelancers will pitch their response to you almost instantly!
  4. Check the prices and reviews of each freelancer; find a good balance between price and proven competence in your task type
  5. Hire your chosen freelanceProvide then with any login details or documents that they will need to complete the job
  6. Pay when they’ve finished! – Your funds will be held with Elance until both parties are happy with the transaction.

In my particular case I managed to post a job, get a great price and have it completed within 24 hours! A fantastic experience with an individual I would certainly hire again!

Top Tips!

  • You are likely to receive many offers for your job as soon as it is posted, if you have the time, leave the job for an hour or so to ensure you have a greater chance of finding the perfect freelancer
  • Be specific with your request to ensure you get exactly what you want from the task
  • Don’t ‘babysit’ your freelancer by checking up on them too regularly, you’ve outsourced the task to save time so spend it doing something more useful!

Outsourcing tasks is a great activity for those that want to take their side hustle to the next level. Once you’ve worked out a solid formula for outsourcing you can really start to scale your hustle and take more profits at the same time!

Have you ever hired help online? What sort of tasks have you outsourced to others?

There are thousands of ways to make money in today’s economy; you can make money by dressing up as a hotdog, giving out leaflets, running admin tasks from the comfort of your bed or by starting your own business selling personalised cupcakes! Once you’ve chosen a good (and legal) idea, there’s virtually nothing stopping you from making a living from it. But the hard part is knowing which venture deserves your hard work and time.


To succeed in business, you have to be in business. Anon


The truth is that if you really want to make good money from a venture and you immerse yourself in the industry and invest all of your time and hard work into it, it is very likely that you will succeed. Sounds great right? Yes! Now what happens when another great idea comes along and you decide that you’ll spend half of your time on that and half your time on your original idea? Logic dictates that you will have half of the success from each of these… Tricky. And I don’t like to think about what happens when that next idea comes along; a third of the success from each. Is that acceptable? Am I maximising my revenue?

Cleansing Your Idea Stash

I have always been an entrepreneur at heart; I used to make and sell various items at school, take on various jobs whilst earning a side income from coaching. I’m a restless soul and If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in these years it’s that I’m never short of ideas but I am always short on time. From being a dedicated multi-tasker I’ve always managed to be just one or two steps away from success in my field of choice. So here’s my plan; I’m going to go through an ideas cleanse over these next few weeks. I have listed all of the commitments that are taking a large proportion of my time and am beginning to strip out ventures or projects that have the lowest long term value for me. For example; I have recently set up a copywriting gig on Fiverr that is becoming quite successful, however, it is clear to me that I can earn more from my time by using it for more important ventures so have decided to shut the gig down. But how can you decide which ventures to keep and which ones to let go of?

How to Choose The Right Venture

Anthony Robbins often says that you need to “ask the right questions to get best answers”. So to decide which venture will hold the most value to you, you should find the venture that provides the highest hourly pay and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this side hustle/venture making you more or less than your hourly wage?

If you can make more money doing something else with your time then it may be worth reevaluating your priorities. You can always get your money back but you can never get your time back! This point is very important unless you can answer “YES” to the next two questions…

  • Is the side hustle / venture scalable? Is there potential to earn a lot more in the future?

If your idea can be molded into a profitable business then it may be worth putting in those hard extra hours in order to prosper in the future. A great example of this is a blog; the more work that you put into a blog the more value it creates. Your hourly wage will increase from there if you persist in adding more value each time you work on it.

  • Do you enjoy doing your venture? Can you see yourself doing the same thing in two years time?

If it is a scalable idea then rest assured that it will require hours and hours of your time every week. Estimate how many hours a week you will need to commit, then double it! With that in mind, you need to really enjoy the work in order to become financially independent. Could you see yourself doing the same work as now in two years? It may take that long before your venture starts to take off, you have to work hard and be patient!

Do you have more ideas than you have time? How do you decide on which opportunities to take up?

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Hi all! Today is the last episode of our ‘Searching for Side Hustles’ series (rest assured we will still be side hustling behind the scenes!).

This week we have accrued a ‘personal record breaking’ £237.39 in side hustle income! This was achieved with a huge stroke of luck and some nifty banking skills! Here’s how we did it:

Our Side Hustles…

1. Winning a Competition! – £117.39

Two weeks ago I was browsing for some other finance savvy bloggers and came across a great competition on Budget Blonde’s blog for a Halloween giveaway. This was perfect as I was on the lookout to follow some new PF bloggers and this way I could sign up for a competition too! Yesterday, Sicorra from Tackling Our Debt got in touch to tell me some amazing news – I had come second and won $200! This made my day and has given me another huge step towards clearing my debt at the end of this month. A HUGE thanks to all of the PF bloggers that contributed to the competition for the rather pleasant surprise!

2. Switching Current Accounts – £100

We have recently been looking through various banks to find a good deal on a new current account (more on this in the next blog post). Fi has taken the first big step and made the switch to Halifax; they are currently offering £100 to anyone that switches to their account as well as a payment of £5 per month on top of this! Once, I have cleared my overdraft, I’ll be looking to do the same!

3. Amazon Sales – £20

We still have plenty of university books to sell and this week I have sold another business textbook on Amazon. After postage and Amazon fess I have made a profit of £20 on this one.

4. Fiverr – £0

Last week I listed my first copywriting gig on Fiverr, although I haven’t made a sale yet. I have been approached by a buyer to provide some content for their new website, a promising gig of which I am sure I will complete throughout this week. I am still yet to add some value to my gig: add a video and promote it, so I am hoping that I can drive some more business my way soon!

The October Extra Income Breakdown!

  • Book Sales – £235.48
  • Competitions £117.39
  • Banking – £100
  • Overtime £63.36
  • Coaching £18

Total = £534.23 in Side Hustle Income!

Spending this month searching for side hustles has been great fun. The progress we have made has been a huge surprise for us, especially as this is our first attempt at making some extra cash on the side. It has opened up a lot of options and shows that there’s always money to be made if you go out looking for it! I’ll keep track of November’s side hustles and let you know if we can beat October’s figure at the end of this month!

How have your side hustles been this month? 


Study Abroad

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