Wednesday, 27 August 2008

save guinea pigs to save money

Animals are great. You can ride on them, make jumpers from their wool, be entertained by them etc etc etc. Theoretically they are also good at cosmetic research, but I don't want to wear lipstick that has been shoved into the eye of a poor little monkey. So save the animals the pain, by testing the cosmetics on yourself.

AOR was established at City of Bath College, where students of Beauty Therapy took part in testing cosmetics for a local toiletries manufacturer. As the demand for trials grew, so did the number of volunteers. Other companies started to use AOR to conduct their trials.

AOR launched a global appeal for Volunteers in 2003 from its UK base, and now it has spread all over the world. Join them by clicking here, and you too can be part of the testing frolics.

So not only do you save the poor animals the indignity of wearing eye shadow, you get some free make-up to wear when you go out tonight.

(I accept no responsibility if you come out in a nasty rash and people laugh and point at you calling you 'puffy-face' )

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

clothes for free

When I was younger, I didn't really care for clothes that much. I was a bit sad and pathetic actually, preferring to play with my Star Wars toys than dress up for the girls at the school disco. Over the past year I have found myself paying much more attention, and much more money, to my clothes. My wife puts it down to having a mid-life crisis. She's probably right, last weekend I was shopping for a 2 seater sports car. Not a good money saving tip.

Unless you shop at Primark or Asda, clothes can work out expensive. So don't bother paying for them, just swap them.

Go to bigwardrobe or fashionspace and start swapping now. It's a bit like ebay but without the money. Just go and swap your old pants for someone elses. You will never buy anything new ever again!

(Ok, I wouldn't do it myself, sounds a bit manky)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

sort out your tax to save money

Tax is bad. Fact. Yes I know it helps to pay for stuff like hospitals, defence and MP's second homes; but that still doesn't make it any easier when you get your payslip at the end of every month and see a huge chunk taken out by the Government.

Well unfortunately we all have to pay tax (not strictly true, but as an accountant I charge for that advice :P) so you might as well pay as little tax as possible whilst claiming back some nice benefits which you have already paid for through your PAYE.

You can claim back upto 6 years in overpaid tax, which usually occurs through having time off work or being given the wrong tax coding. An accountant can help, or go here to calculate it yourself.

This sounds like something complicated to do with your tax code, but it isn't. In real terms its cash paid into your account every month (or week if you so desire). You can claim them whether or not you have children, and whilst you are working. Go here to see if you qualify.


Via this method, a deduction is made from your salary and turned into vouchers to pay for childcare. Via this method you do not pay Tax or NI on £243pcm. This is per parent, so if both are working it can make quite a saving.

I know this sounds like a big advert for myself, but it is worth doing. It is especially useful if you are self-employed, rent property, are a Director or shareholder of a Company or generally have multiple income streams. Many accountants, myself included, would not charge for an initial consultation to indicate where savings could be made. Contact me at

Friday, 15 August 2008

buy a house now to save money

Although times are hard, and credit is increasingly more difficult to obtain, there has not been a better time to buy property in the past few years as now. Prices are dropping as demand decreases, and the sad rise in repossessions does provide opportunities for some fantastic deals. So here are 3 tips on getting your property portfolio started in the cheapest way possible.

A great place to find a bargain, but do not get caught up in the excitement and end up bidding more than you anticipated. Set yourself a limit before you start and stick to it. Also ensure you have the funds to put down a 10% deposit on the day (a cheque is fine) and finance available if required for the remainder. Otherwise say goodbye to your deposit.

Apparently over 30,000 people build their own home each year in the UK. Find your land, builder and architect and you're sorted. Use the Self Build Website for advice.

A good option to increase your buying power, and to make you more attractive for finance. Ensure that you have an adequate legal agreement before you enter into a commitment with a friend. It surprisingly common for such arrangements to turn sour.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

sort out your dentist to save money

I have always thought that whilst the human body is an incredible machine, it has one design fault. Teeth. You get one set for like 6 years, then another set for 70 years. Seems daft. I do not understand why you could not receive a third or fourth set at, say 30 years and then 50 years. It would save a lot of problems and expense.

Anyway since this is not going to happen, we all have to make our twice yearly trip to the dentist which inevitably costs money. So I have provided my best tips on tooth related savings.


This is the cheapest option, but it is now ioncredibly difficult to find a NHS dentist if you are not already registered.

If you are under 18, in f/t education, had a child in the last year, pregnant or on a low income treatment on the NHS is totally free.

People who are not in those categories have to pay according to the three tiered system of charges.

To try and find yourself an NHS dentist, contact NHS Direct. Good Luck.


So you have not been able to find yourself an NHS dentist, so you need to go private. There are 2 main ways to save money.

1.Go Abroad

It is increasingly popular to receive dental treatments in the Eastern European countries. I myself visit Poland frequently and use their private dental care system which is excellent. Hungary and the Czech Reoublic are also popular.

2. Dental Hospitals

Here you can be treated at a reduced rate by Dental Students, if you are brave enough.

3. Insurance

These plans help with your private dental treatment costs.

With a Dental Cash Plan you make contributions monthly, and when you require treatment the make a payment towards your total costs. It differs from Dental Insurance as there is a maximum annual allowance for dental costs and if you exceed that amount, you'll have to pay for the total cost.

Dental insurance is more expensive than a dental cash plan. This is because dental cash plans are designed to help you with normal dental costs and probably any serious dental work that you require will exceed the annual limit. However, dental insurance will cover larger costs and as a result the premiums are more expensive.

There are a variety of Insurance plans available, and I am not in a position to make recommendations. Search Google and carefully evaluate each plan.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

cheap car insurance

There are a variety of ways to dramtically cut your car insurance, the best ones I have found are listed below.

1. Paying Monthly
Be careful if you elect to make monthly payments for your car insurance. Usually they charge you a ridiculous amount of interest. If you can afford it pay it all in one lump sum, or use a 0% Credit Card.

2. Your Employment Status
Insurers give preferential rates to occupations with the smallest history of claims, so by tweaking you job description you can save ££'s. Martin Lewis at MSE has a fun job-picker tool for doing this.

3. Comparison Sites
Everyone knows about price comparison websites. For insurance, they are especially useful since they can save hours of time searching for the best quote. But since each comparison site has different insurance providers, you have to ensure you search as many as you can. By searching all the sites below, you will cover 99% of the Insurance providers. It may take you up to 25 minutes, but savings can be huge.

Money Supermarket

Go Compare
Only Insurance
Direct Line (is not included on any comparison site)

Tesco Compare

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

holiday in a tent to save money

The inflation figures are out today, showing an overall rise of 4.4%, with food increasing by a massive 12%. Whichever way you wish to look at it, times are getting hard and we all need to watch the cash in our pocket.

Holidays are always a good way to escape the depression, but they do not work out cheap. That is unless you go camping. Gone are the days of roughing it in a muddy field, eating cold beans and having your pathetic tent chewed by a cow. These days camping is 5 star luxury (well, almost). Most sites now have electric hook ups for tents, so you can take your kettle/laptop/plasma in fact anything you fancy with you.

Tents are avaiable from about £10 upwards, but if you are willing to spend £100 plus you can have seperate bedroom(s)/living and dinig areas. Finish them off with luxury beds and you will believe you are in the Hilton. Almost.

Pitches start from around £10-£20 per night depending on season and location.

You can almost give it all up.,stop paying your mortgage and live in a tent in a field full-time.*

* (not recommended)

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

rent anything for money

As I type I'm sitting in my office, which is rented. So is my photocopier. So is my credit card terminal. Unless you are extremely rich (which you may well be if you have been reading this for the last 3 months) you will have in your life many things which you rent, since it is either uneconomic or simply too expensive to buy. So dig your fingers into this market and rent anything you have, anything at all. enables you to rent anything to anyone. So if you're not using you house because you are travelling around the world, rent it. If you are not using your car because you have decided to become healthy and bike everywhere, rent it. Hey, if you have something in your house and you are not using it you might as well rent it.

Unfortunately you cannot rent out people, like wives or husbands. That would be prostitution. And wrong.

Monday, 4 August 2008

sell sim cards for money

People love mobile phones, myself included. I know we all moan about them, but life is impossible to imagine without them. So much so that many people now have more than one. It can be useful, being able to seperate your business life from your personal. You can then safely switch off your work mobile at weekends, safe in the knowledge that if Auntie Doreen wants to call you about your birthday present she can get hold of you on your personal phone.

Therefore selling PAYG sim cards can be quite profitable, if you can find enough people to sell them to. The best bit being sim cards are free to get hold of. Go to any of the major networks websites, and you will find a link to request a sim card which they will send straight to your home. Some providers such as O2 will send up to 5 cards.

Once they are in your little mitts, sell them to friends, at car boots etc. There is no point trying to sell them on ebay, as there are too many already. However, if you are lucky enough to receive a golden number (easily remembered with consecutive digits, or many digits repeated eg 07*** 554554 etc) they can be auctioned off for hundreds of pounds.

Friday, 1 August 2008

savvy shopping to save money

Its a fact that food prices have increased dramatically over the past year, and all the indications are that this trend will continue. Since we cannot manage without food, here are my top tips for getting that bit extra out of your money:

1. If you are going to the Supermarket, eat before you go! :The hungrier you are, the more chance of you buying products you don't need

2. Have a good look around: The Supermarkets are devious monkeys, placing the most expensive items at your eye-level, hunt up and down the shelves to find the best buys

3. Don't even bother going to the Supermarket: Instead of walking up and down aisles and being tempted by things you don't actually need. shop online and buy your essentials. Go to, enter the products you want to buy, and it will tell you the cheapest supermarket to go to,

4. Try Alternative Brands: Often the cheaper or own brand items are just as good as the big names, try them.

5. Get a Loyalty Card: You might as well earn points whilst you are spending money

6. Buy Bulk: Either get yourself a cash and carry card, or visit Aldi or Lidl

7. Shop at Night: You can get great deals on perishables at night. Then take them home and stick them in the freezer.

8. Stop buying readymeals: If you bother to make the food yourself, you will find it will be upto 2/3 cheaper. Retailmongous!

9. Stop wasting Food: When you have finished eating, consider using the left-overs as part of tomorrows dinner. Shoptastic!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

invent a gameshow for money

TV Gameshows are great. I could spend all day watching them. Actually sometimes at weekends I do, thanks to the wonders of Challenge TV on Sky. Some are good, some are rubbish. You can tell that at some point a brainstorming session went really wrong when they thought up tat like Pets Win Prizes

So invent your own game show, and sell it to TV companies and become rich. If you create something as good as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or Big Brother you will be richer than Roman Abramovich (maybe).

1. This afternoon, sit down and think of mad idea
2. Find production companies (get their names from the closing credits of existing TV Shows)

3. Bug the Production companies with your idea. Form a brief synopsis of how the show will work, clever gimmicks etc etc.

Get some ideas from Bob Boden’s video on creating game shows.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

spend all your savings to save money

I know the whole point of this blog is to help you save money, but sometimes you have to be brave and spend that money you've saved.

If you have credit cards with outstanding balances, and you have money saved in the bank, then use it NOW to pay off your credit cards. Banks make their money by lending the money you have already given them. So if you have savings and outstanding credit card debts, you are in effect paying the bank to borrow your own money.

Here is an example: (thanks to MSE for this)

Johnny Comelately currently has £5,000 saved up, earning 4% interest after tax, in case of emergency, yet he also has £5,000 on credit cards at 18%. Thus while his savings are annually earning him £200 a year, his debts cost £900; overall he is paying out £700 a year.

Now compare what happens if he pays off his debts with his savings, with not doing so:

Situation A: No emergency happens

· No change. Keeping both debts and savings costs Johnny £700 a year.

· Pay off debts with savings. Johnny now neither earns nor pays any interest, thus is relatively £700 a year better off, and all the new cash he puts aside can actually go towards genuinely saving.

Situation B: After a year he has to pay £5,000 in an emergency roof fix

· No change. Johnny uses the savings for the emergency. This leaves him with no savings and £5,000 of credit card debt at 18%.

· Pay off debts with savings. As Johnny has no savings, he has to borrow the £5,000 on his credit cards. This leaves him with no savings and £5,000 debt on his credit card at 18%.

In other words, Johnny is in exactly the same position in situation B, regardless of what he does. Yet before the emergency he was £700 a year better off by paying off his debts with his savings.

I know it's hard to do, especially if you have been saving for years and now I am telling you to use it. But if you sit down and think, it makes total sense.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

get rid of green water for money

Well it looks like at last Summer is here, 4 days of sunshine which has been great. However, if you have a pond like me, you may well now start having trouble with your water going green with the bloom of algae that is no doubt going to appear. If you haven't got a pond, then take advantage of people like me by selling us water treatments.

Posh people have UV lamps which fit in the filter and kill the algae as it goes through. However they are expensive, and no fun. Common people like me go to their local garden centre and buy mini barley straw bales, drop them in the pond and wait for the water to turn clear again. Don't ask me how it works, it just does. However for 2 small bales (about the size of a large toblerone) you will pay around £5.

So undercut these money grabbers by going to your local farmer, smiling nicely and asking for a bale of barley straw. When I went last week I was told I could have the remnants from the shed for nothing, which I readily did, scooped them up, put them in a bin liner and wandered home.

Once home, pull out equal lengths of straw (about 30cm long) and bundle them together in an old pair of your wifes/girlfriends/sisters/neighbours tights. Tie them securely at the top, and flog them at car boots for a healthy profit. Cash-a-plenty.

You know, sometimes I even amaze myself at my ingenuity.

Monday, 28 July 2008

send texts for free

Im useless at texting. Im not saying I can't do it, I just find it a waste of time. Things would move much quicker if you just called the person and spoke to them, you know like in the old days. A 30 second conversation would take about 10 texts. Time wasting and expensive.

But if you disagree and you still want to be unsociable and are incapable of having a proper conversation, you might as well send the texts the cheapest way.

If you go to TEXTMEFREE they have loads of sites where you can send texts for free. The site explains exactly what you need to do to get free texts on each different website. If you send texts to foreign mobiles, check the overseas sites too.

Often you can send free texts from the website of your mobile provider also.

Or why not just pop round and see your friend and have a nice chat over a cup of tea. Its free, and if you walk the exercise will do you good.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

buy old magazines for money

As I've mentioned before, I used to have a mini. A nice old classic Austin one, not one of those BMW monstrosities. I loved that car, and used to buy everything at the time associated with it: badges, books, videos etc etc.

Well many people are much like me, and treasure their classic car. So take advantage of them by flogging them old magazines cuttings.

This is what you need to do. Go around car boots and junk shops and buy any old magazines with car adverts in them. Cut out the advert for say a Vauxhall Viva, frame it or laminate it, and then sell it on ebay. Some Vauxhall Viva enthusiast will snap your hand off. Well, pay you about a fiver anyway. Repeat ad nauseum. Theoretically I suppose you could scan it, and make lots of copies, but Im sure that breaks some kind of copyright laws so I cannot condone it.

Friday, 25 July 2008

find the cheapest petrol to save money

The best way to save money on fuel is to use your bike. But if you're just too lazy, you might as well put the cheapest possible petrol in.

The easiest way is to go to Petrolprices. You have to register, enter your postcode and how far you want to travel and bingo, there are the cheapest petrol stations.

The information comes from the data the fuel card companies collect when their drivers pay for petrol.

Other filling up tips (thanks to Martin Lewis for these)

  • Always fill up at least fifty miles before your tank's dry.

    This way there’s no panic and you’ve enough time to get to a cheaper petrol station. Leave it longer and you’ll fill up at ‘the next one I see’, and that means you're not focused on the fuel price. Of course this is slightly offset by the fact that a lighter car uses less fuel, but with 50 miles of fuel left, the difference is miniscule.

  • Only use ‘better fuel’ if your car can cope.

    Many stations sell ‘high performance fuels’, yet there’s little or no performance difference for most non-performance cars; so only fill up with the super-fuels if you've a sports car that you've been specifically advised will actually utilise the petrol correctly.

  • Fill up at night, but don’t overfill.

    This is a slight urban myth, as the differences are miniscule, pennies at best. Petrol pumps are calibrated by volume, so fill up at night when it’s cold and you get a tiny tiny extra bit.

  • Don't try and put more in after the clunk.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

drive nicely and save money

Since everyone is talking about the ridiculous price of petrol and diesel, I thought I would provide some tips on saving money whilst driving. Tomorrow I shall let you know how to find the cheapest fuel in your area, but for today just some good and worthwile suggestions.

I acknowledge the RAC for the information below.

It's possible to make big improvements by making minor tweaks to your vehicle. It's estimated that someone who averages 35 miles per gallon (in old money) could get 40 mpg by driving better, a near 15% saving.

  • Keep your tyres correctly inflated. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 3%

    Lower tyre pressure increases the drag on a car meaning you need more fuel, so regularly check the pressures are correct and your car needs less oomph to keep it moving.

  • Declutter your car. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 2%

    The lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to make to accelerate. Therefore, by decluttering, clearing out junk from the boot, and not carrying unnecessary weight, you can make extra savings.

  • Take your roof rack off. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 2%

    A roof rack, even unused, adds massive wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and making the engine work harder. So if you don't need it, take it and anything else that's inefficient off. Even closing the windows'll make the car run slightly more efficiently.

  • Turn off the air con. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 8%

    Air conditioning also uses an incredible amount of fuel, so make sure it's turned off unless you really need it. However, if it's really hot, it can become a more effective proposition, as driving with the windows closed is more economical than having them all open, due to the extra drag it causes. Also, don’t keep the engine running; drive off as soon as you start up and switch off the engine as soon as you reach your destination.

  • Don't fill it up. Efficiency Improvement: Up to 1%

    Fuel is heavy, so by filling the car up you're adding quite a weight. The less fuel your car has in it, the more efficiently it drives. Thus filling up slightly more often and putting less in (to 1/2 or 3/4 full) will make the car run more efficiently.

It's possible to drive the same distance in the same time, yet use considerably less fuel. You can chop up to 60% OFF your fuel costs without cutting your top speed. It’s simply about driving more smoothly to boost your fuel efficiency.

  • Accelerate gradually without over-revving.

    Speed up smoothly; when you press harder on the pedal more fuel flows, but you could get to the same speed using much less power – a good rule is to stay under 3,000 revs.

  • Drive in the correct gear.

    Always drive in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine.

  • Slow naturally.

    Rather than brake all the time, let your car slow naturally and use its stored momentum.

  • Think about road position.

    To do all this takes road awareness, so the more alert you are, the better you can plan ahead and move gradually.

In many ways this all comes down to one little rule of thumb...

Every time you put your foot on the accelerator, remember the harder you press the more fuel you spend.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

look like someone else for money

People used to say I looked like Mr Bean. In fact they still do. I also used to drive a mini which helped I guess, or maybe I just look weird.

If you are lucky or unlucky enough to look like someone famous, then use your God given talents and become a lookalike. Get yourself with an agency (you will find loads if you search with Google), and send them a picture. Preferably with one as you dressed as the star. Being able to do an impression also helps with bookings.

Depending on the occasion, you could receive between £300-£1000 for an appearance maybe even some film work.

If you fancy a laugh, or want to apply, look at Fake Faces. Some are fantastic, others are just hilariously bad. Having said that, at least it proves you don't even have to look like your lookalike!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

drink water to save money

Water is great isn't it? You can wash in it, swim in it, make ice out of it, keep your fish in it, cook food in it etc. etc etc. The possibilities are endless. That's why I love water.

I guess the best thing about water is that you can drink it, which is good otherwise you would be dead. The second thing best thing about water is it is free. For something that is so useful, for it just to fall out of the sky is a miracle. Apparently some people don't appreciate the true free nature of water and proceed to their local shop to pay £1 for the privilege. Not only that but they have a nice plastic bottle too, which will look lovely in a landfill site for the next 1000 years.

So why not be sensible and turn the tap in the kitchen and drink that stuff. Its cleaner, better for you and it costs nothing. Think of all the money you would save in a year.

Or you could just get an old bottle, fill it up with tap water, put your own exclusive label on it and sell it for a profit to a friend, telling them its the water that all the celebs are drinking.

Just a thought, if the mineral water you buy in bottles has taken 1000's of years to be filtered through rocks, why is the use before date on the bottle just 3 months?

Monday, 21 July 2008

sort out your utilities for money

You cannot have failed to notice that Gas prices could rise by up to 2/3 over the next year, which is quite worrying, so it is a good time to have a look at where you are with your utility bills.

Firstly, check how much you are paying with your current supplier, and see what else is available. Apparently there are over 5,500 different tariffs available as we speak, so there is a good chance there is a better deal.

Go to USWITCH, enter a few details and see what is available for you and at what price. Make sure you have your latest bill to hand. If the deals are what you want, click on the appropriate links and switch your supplier today.

Some market analysts are strongly recommending that fixed-capped plans are the best option. You will pay a little more initially, but theoretically you will save in the long-run if the forecasts are correct.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

write cards for money

The whole greeting card industry to me is a bit of scam. They've invented stupid occasions just to make you buy cards and make the card companies lots of money. So either get a petition, walk to Downing Street and complain to the Government about this scam, or join in and have a bit of money for yourself by writing the bits inside.

The types of card messages required varies greatly, as do the tone of the cards. Some require funny punchlines, others pleasant verses that rhyme that your Granny will love. Apparently for a decent pun or joke you can get about £100-£120 and about £30 for a nice little poem.

So sit down, have some ideas and be creative. The next step is to send them to the relevant publishers. With the advent of the internet, the market has expanded greatly with e-cards although the revenue received from them is a lot less. Go to your local card shop and make note of the publishers (details are on the back of the cards), and what type of card they publish. Make sure your submission is relevant to the type of cards they make.

Also try the Greeting Cards Association for money information.

Friday, 18 July 2008

get your friends a job for money

So you already have a job, and you are also making some nice money on the side by following the tips on this blog. But your mate is a bit of a lazy monkey, and sits at home all day watching Homes Under the Hammer and eating Baked Beans out of a tin.

Well send them off to work, and make yourself some hefty cash in the process. Zubka rewards people like you for referring people to them to fill vacancies. It works like this:

1. Sign up to be a Zubka Connector
2. Search the Zubka Job Board to match a job with a friend.
3. Send your friend (the Candidate) the job details. If they're interested, create a profile about them. This is a summary of their experience, skills, etc and you can also attach their CV if you want.
4. Send your Candidate's profile off to the Hirer.
5. If the Hirer likes the sound of the Candidate, they swap details.
6. If the Candidate is successful, Zubka sends a big proportion of the placement fee to you.

Apparently just one successful referral could earn you over £5,000 (although this is probably for the position of Primeminister or something).

Then spend the money on anything you want, and buy your friend a can of beans for old times sake.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

go clubbing for money

I've never been a great fan of nightclubs. Never really saw the point. The drinks are expensive, you have to PAY to get in, people are sweaty, never anywhere to sit and the music is too loud to have a conversation. Daft if you ask me.

But if you aren't asking me, and for some reason you actually enjoy these places, then you might as well try and make some money whilst you are there.

Many, many clubs will pay you to get more punters through their doors, whether they are your friends or someone you have just met on the street.

Get in touch with all the local clubs in your area and offer your services as a Promoter. For every person you bring in you will receive commission. Some smaller clubs may only offer you and your guests free admission or a drink but I guess it is something.

Some larger clubs will pay you a percentage of your guests expenditure if they take a table for the night.

Income will vary, it is all down to how good a negotiator you are with your commission, and how many people you can pull through the doors.

Start small and get in touch with friends, family, work colleagues and then build up from there.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

touch people on the beach for money

On a recent visit to a local beach, I was interested watching the numerous traders peddling their wares up and down the beachfront: food , inflatables, kites etc. etc. But one idea which caught my eye was a rather scary looking lady offering a massage whilst you sunbathed, and surprisingly despite her butch and unfortunate looks she was being very successful.

Obviously some degree of skill is invloved, and I would fully recommend attending a course of some kind. There are numerous available from your local college offering all types of alternative therapy and massage: swedish, thai, shiatsu. indian-head etc etc. I would suggest that performing massage on strangers with no training is at best dubious and at worst dangerous. So get yourself taught first then get yourself on the beach.

By doing it there you have a captive audience, no need for premises and have readily available massage tables. Well the sand anyway. In the interest of this blog I questioned the 'lady' on the beach and she was charging £15 for a 10 minute session. Whilst I thought this was reasonable, her moustache put me off so I made my excuses and left.

find me a penny is back - and better!!

It has been a very exciting week at find me a penny HQ, with many new ideas and projects getting off the ground which has unfortunately left me too short on time to post every day. But as promised daily tips resume from today, with a nice tip to get your teeth, or fingers actually, into.

The reason behind the delay will become apparent over the next weeks, and I shall inform you of more details as soon as I am both able, and allowed! One small hint that I shall give you is that someone has been approached by a national TV station with regards providing a money saving tip slot on a weekly basis. I shall give you more information just as soon as I can.

Many of you have also contacted me wondering whether find-me-a-penny T shirts and bumper stickers are available. Well the answer is soon to be YES with a plethora of other goodies. I am in the process of vetting good quality items, and as soon as these are available you shall be the first to know.

Finally a number of fmap readers have requested whether it would be possible to organise a money making convention in the near future, where ideas could be explored and maybe some seminars provided from entrepreneurs. If you are interested, think it would be a good idea, or for that matter have any opnions on site, please email me.

Monday, 7 July 2008


Due to exciting new projects and money saving ideas, this site is undergoing major maintenance for the next week. Therefore it is with regret I must inform you there will be no updates until 16th July. However, please mark this date in your diary as tips will return that day - plus some VERY exciting new additions to the site. Thanks for the patience and remember, FIND ME A PENNY remains the ONLY daily updated, not-for-profit money saving site on the net.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

play with sand for money

Making sandcastles are fun, whatever your age. So if you have a modicum of talent, go down to your local beach, create some masterpiece out of the sand and put your hat in front and look pleadingly for donations. Being talented helps, like the people here. Just using your basic bucket will not make much cash. Also ensure that you are making your sculpture near the promenade where people will pass in the evenings and throw their small change. Putting it 1 metre from the sea is going to be shortlived.

You do not even have to live near the beach. The last time I was on the South Bank of the Thames, two people had the same idea as me, and were creating their masterpieces at the shore edge about 300m past County Hall.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

save peoples lives for money

Summer is great. You go on holiday, drink cheap beer, get drunk, decide to go for a swim, and then nearly drown. But you don't drown because you are saved by a big burly lifeguard wearing a funny hat.

So repay your debt to these great people by being a lifeguard in your spare time. Obviously being able to swim is required, but you will also need a qualification such as the The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) if you want to hang around swimming pools, or the RLSS National Beach Lifeguard Qualification if you want to sit on the beach.

Some pools will offer the qualifications whilst learning on the job, otherwise contact Learn Direct.

Pay is around £7 per hour.

Friday, 4 July 2008

get into debt for money

At the time of writing, 2 credit cards (MBNA and VIRGIN) offer 0% on credit card cheques (CCC's) paid into personal accounts for an introductory period. This provides an easy way to make money over a period of 9/12/15 months depending on the offer.

Apply for a 0% on CCC card, and once accepted pay a credit card cheque to yourself for the maximum you can (most will only allow upto 80% of the credit limit). Put this money into a high interest account for the length of the 0% introductory period. Only use this money to pay off your mininmum amount every month. Once the introductory period is about to end, pay off the balance in full. The credit card will then have a zero balance, and you will have all the lovely interest earned over the past months sat in your account!

Please make sure you check the agreement for the cheque handling fee, normally 2-3% of the value of the cheque, to ensure that this cost does not outweigh your interest rate on savings. Also introductory offers change, so please check all agreements before you sign anything.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

promote for money

After reading all the ideas on this site, chances are you have already decided on a couple of ideas to further your income. It is important to ensure that you promote your venture as economically as possible, since marketing and advertising eat heavily into your pocket. Taking out a full page newspaper advert may look great, but in the short-term you are not going to get your money back and are going to be much worse off.

Choose free ideas, such as cards in shop windows andsupermarket boards. Make your own leaflets on your PC and drop them through peoples letterboxes, but target areas in your town where you believe your customers will come from. Don't for example offer a gardening service to someone who lives in a block of flats. You can print business cards for next to nothing in automatic machines which you usually find in supermarkets, or go to Vistaprint online who will make FREE cards for you (as long as you dont mind them saying Vistaprint on the back!)