Change of Plan!

I have taken out a new credit card!!! Possibly something you were not expecting to hear from somebody who is doing everything they can to pay off debt… But, there is method to my madness…⠀

I’ve talked about this before, but my consumer debt is made up of three things – credit card, personal loan and car loan. I have been working to pay off those 3, with the highest interest debt being attacked first. Up until this week, the highest interest was on my Credit Card – so it’s been normal payments for the Personal Loan and Car Loan, and extra cash being thrown at the Credit Card. ⠀

However, when I realised that I had the chance to cut my credit card interest to 0%, I made sure I did what I could to secure that. So I switched to a Credit Card that gave me 0% on the Balance Transfer amount for 6 months. 6 months interest on my previous card would add up to approximately €350, so this is a nice win! I don’t actually use the credit facility any longer, purely paying off what’s owed – so I am planning on paying this off before the 6 months is over.⠀

So as the Credit Card is no longer costing me the most in interest, I’ve decided to start attacking the next highest, which is the Personal Loan. If I pay this off earlier than scheduled, I could be looking at a saving of approximately €550. ⠀

I’ve made 2 small changes to my debt pay-off plan, and will save €900 – even more, depending on how quick I can get the 2 loans paid off. It’s all about making your money work harder for you, even when it comes to paying off debt. If you’re in a similar situation, see if a 0% Balance Transfer would work for you. Two VERY important things to note – you have to promise yourself that you will close the old credit card account and also not increase the amount owed on the new one. ⠀

It’s a Match!

In my continued efforts to maximise the money I have, I have been looking into the various different ways of making my money grow. Matched Betting is something that has come up in a lot of searches so I wanted to see what it was all about.  

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it – Matched Betting is often described as ‘gambling with no risk’. The idea is that you use the many different online bookmaker free bets and special offers, together with a betting exchange site. To simplify it; you are betting on both outcomes of a sporting event – both the win and the loss. For example, you bet on the horse to win with the bookmaker, and you bet on the horse to lose on the exchange.  

Online Bookmakers give free bets for a variety of reasons – new joiners, big sporting events – all to entice you to use their site. Examples of these might be ‘Deposit €10 and get €30 in free bets’ or a free €5 bet in a specific event. So when you are matched betting, the idea is that you find and use these free offers, along with the ‘lay’ bet on the exchange site.  

There are a number of sites that will help you with odds calculation and finding the offers; and I used Oddsmonkey to help me. Oddsmonkey has an easy to use interface and their Oddsmatcher tool shows you realtime bet and lay information, along with step by step guides to availing of the free bookmaker bets. They have a free trial version, but also offer a premium subscription service. They also have a busy forum where tips are shared daily. 

My Matched Betting Stats over a week period: 

  • I signed up to 7 Bookmakers 
  • I used Betfair Exchange 
  • I lodged €71.95 in total to the Bookmakers 
  • I lodged €300.42 in total to the Exchange 
  • I made 19 bets in total 
  • The profit I made was €69.06 

So my thoughts on Matched Betting are that it is possible to make a tax-free profit, it isn’t that hard to get your head around and it doesn’t take up much time. There are plenty of people who are making a lot of money from it, and it seems like a nice little side hustle. However, I don’t think it’s for me at this time. I’m not sure I can put my finger on why, but I just didn’t enjoy the gambling side of it. Yes, it’s not gambling in the true sense of the word – as long as you don’t make any mistakes, the element of risk is removed. Perhaps it’s the influx of promotional mails and notifications from the bookmakers, or perhaps it’s that I don’t have any big interest in sports.  

It may be something that I look into again, when I have paid off my debts – the lure of tax free profits is too tempting to completely give up on! How about you, have you tried Matched Betting? Are you turning over a nice profit from it? Or perhaps you have some questions – let me know! 

Book Review: The Barefoot Investor

No, I haven’t given away all my shoes – but I have just finished listening to The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. This book is cited as ‘The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need’ and for the approach that Scott takes in the book, I am in agreement! Though in complete transparency, I do have a number of other financial advice books on my To Do list!

Scott is Australian, and as I listened to the audiobook version, I got to hear his Aussie enthusiasm bounce off the virtual page! In this book, we are introduced to Scott’s 9 Steps to become financially independent and secure, but most of all he teaches us how to be financially confident. He doesn’t believe in strict budgets and in depth financial planning, but he does assure us that if we follow his advice and each of the steps he has developed, then each and every one of us can achieve our financial goals.

He starts with Date Nights and finishes with Leaving a Legacy – all the time sharing stories from his own experience and from others who have followed his advice. He offers a step-by-step formula and takes away a lot of the confusion around managing your finances. The one thing I will say is that the specific detail is very much geared towards the Australian financial market, but with a small amount of research it’s easy to tailor to what’s available to us in Ireland, the UK, US or wherever you are located. This localisation does not make a difference to the message that he is putting across or the principles of his method.

I really recommend this book to those who want to be inspired to get ahead financially – the directions are given in a clear, easy-to-understand manner; with plenty of humour thrown in too. In true frugal fashion I listened to this audiobook for free on Borrowbox, which is the free audiobook and ebook platform you can access using your library card!

Vote For You!!

So today is Election Day in Ireland – a day where we cast our votes for our preferred candidate and/or party; with a new government to be formed in the coming days. Hopefully you all had the chance to research your local candidates and were able to (or have plans to) head to your polling station – every vote matters.

But what about taking a few more moments today and make the decision to give yourself a vote – invest in your future, put yourself as Number 1 😊 Let’s take a look at our manifesto!

💰Savings Scheme💰
Think about your wish-list for over the next year, or longer – it might be a holiday, Christmas, a house deposit or home renovation. Work out how much you can afford to set aside each month for your savings goals and set up auto transactions so you don’t have to think about it again – just let it build up.

😷Health Reform😷
They say your health is your wealth – and “they” are right. Look after your physical and mental health – we get one body and one mind.

💹Reduce Taxes💹
Ensure your taxes are in order, ensure you are claiming the credits you are entitled to. Contribute the max amount you can to your pension – it is 100% tax free (employer pension scheme).

🌎Environmental Policy🌎
Be aware of the world around you, and the impact your daily behaviour has on our lovely Earth. Reduce your food waste, reuse where possible and recycle, upcycle, use the bicycle!

📚Free Education📚
There is a world of information at our fingertips. Join your local library for books, ebooks, audiobooks and more. Take a look at free online education courses with the likes of Trinity College with FutureLearn or for a wide selection.