Moving Forward

[WARNING: ramble-style post]

After declaring my journey was over yesterday, I’ve reconsidered.

There are a few different directions in which I’m thinking of moving forward with this blog and other creative projects.

CODENAME: Project Diary

I still want a place where I can talk about stuff from my own life in a pretty unfiltered way. Selfishly, it’s a kind of therapy for me, plus my experiences can sometimes be helpful for other people.

I’d want to cover mental health, depression, personal development, and the ongoing exploration of a meaningful life.

I also want somewhere where I can be fully open and honest about my recovery from addiction. Not everyone I’m close to know the full extent of my recent drug problems. And for that reason, this Diary Project would need to remain at least semi-anonymous.

CODENAME: Show Me Da Money

I’m also really keen to explore various ways in which to make money online. I’ve been trying my hand at matched betting recently and have been successful.

I also want to review various products and services, providing my honest reviews. I’ll include affiliate links so I can earn some commission.

Really, I’d like this money-making project to be totally separate from Project Diary. I want to be able to share my product reviews on Facebook without fear that my father-in-law will find out about my drug misadventures and hunt me down with a shotgun.

Another core design goal for me: I want to be different from all the existing 10-billion websites trying to sell people stuff.

Sure, I will stick closely to my guiding principles of Truth, Honesty and Humility. I will never sell trash to people just to make a fast buck.

But being an honest salesperson isn’t particularly a unique angle. I need some other way to differentiate myself. Some clever branding trick which helps me stand out. I’ll keep mulling this over.

CODENAME: Don’t Kill Yourself

I’d also like to do something around suicide prevention. An old friend of mine killed herself around a month ago. And I’ve already lost far too many people to suicide in my lifetime. I want to do something more to help, but I really don’t know what.

I feel impotent on this matter.

It’s such an important topic, and yet, if I’m honest, there are plenty of other things in my life which feel more important right now. I feel awful for being so selfish, but it’s the truth.

I have one good friend who I feel is very vulnerable at the moment. His moods have been swinging wildly in recently months. He’s come close to suicide several times. I’m helping him by using my Samaritans listening training to try to be there for him. Really, giving him my time, attention and empathy – it doesn’t feel to me like I’m doing very much, though I’m sure my friend is grateful for my help and understanding.

Maybe that’s enough? Just being there for people in my life? I don’t know.

I’ll keep mulling over this one.

CODENAME: No-one Likes My Music

I’m perhaps a little unusual in that I’m in my 40s and I’m still just as passionate about new music as I was in my 20s. There’s tonnes of dance music and electronica which are a vitally important part of my life.

Music literally keeps me sane and keeps me alive. I listen to Spotify for several hours every single day.

Ironically, virtually no-one else seems to like the same music as me, which makes me feel a bit sad.

I want to do something creative in which I celebrate the music that’s important to me… But without annoying my friends with different music tastes.

When I share music on Facebook, I’m lucky if I get a single “Like”. It’s demoralising… and I don’t want to annoy my friends with stuff they don’t care about.

I’ll keep thinking about these different creative endeavours and how I might best progress them.

Any and all suggestions welcome!

My New Job Pays £1,800 per Hour

Wow – seems too good to be true, right?

Until a few days ago, NatWest (a UK bank) were offering £150 to new customers who switched their current accounts.

It took me about 5 minutes to apply, which works out at £1,800 per hour. If you’re in the UK, over 25 and earning minimum wage (£8.21/hour), that’s over 200 times as much.

Who here wouldn’t like to earn 200 times as much as they do currently?

Most of us would kill to earn that much, yet we often overlook such incredible offers. Why is that?

The Human Brain is Weird

It’s because humans are not particularly good at thinking about figures, money, costs etc. That’s why I find it useful (and enjoyable!) to play with how we express monetary amounts, like with the bank account switching above.

When considering how much something costs, or how much I might save, I convert it like this:

“How many hours (working at my usual hourly rate) would it take for me to earn an equivalent amount of money?”

Suddenly, when we express money in terms of the time it takes us to earn it, relatively small amounts can seem much more valuable.

Another Example…

I spend quite a lot of time at home in front of my PC. So, recently I’ve started investigating easy ways for me to earn a bit more money. I mean, very few of us would say no to more money for minimal effort, am I right?

I recently added the QuidCo browser extension for Chrome. It alerts me when I’m browsing a website on which I can earn cashback.

If you’re thinking of signing up to QuidCo yourself, please use my referral code – we’ll both get a £10 reward!

By coincidence, later on I was browsing the website Look After My Bills. It automatically switches my home energy provider to whoever offers me the best deal. No longer do I need to manually search for the best deals every few months.

A pop-up appeared from QuidCo, telling me I could get cashback by signing up with Look After My Bills. I checked it out – it was over £20!

There was a good chance I would have signed up with LAMB (nice acronym!) anyway, but now I had the opportunity to earn some extra cash at the same time.

Let’s say it took me 10 minutes to complete my sign-up with LAMB. That means the £20 cashback from QuidCo is the equivalent of earning £120 per hour. Not bad!

And that’s on top of the savings my household will make on its energy bills via LAMB.

If you’d like an extra £20 while signing up for Look After My Bills, please use my referral code:

Your Turn…

What bargain(s) have you discovered recently? Any cool ways to make a little extra money?

Do you have any novel ways to think about money which help you to make sound financial decisions?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.