I have set myself a challenge:  starting with just £10, I will turn it into the equivalent of a years salary. This will be achieved simply by adding the investment of my time, hard work, and initiative to my initial £10 sum. The average UK  graduate starting salary is £22,800. As such my aim is to turn the £10 I start with into £22,800 by 1st March 2014. To do this I will utilise just about any money-making opportunity I can think of, be it cashback websites, investments, small business start-ups and so on. The purpose of this website is to keep track of the project, and allow anyone who is interested to follow my progress, and perhaps you might even learn some money-making tricks along the way. I think the best way to explain in more detail is through some common questions I have encountered about the project:


Q. Why are you doing this?

A. There are many reasons I am passionate about doing this. One is simply because I can. I am in a position right now where I don’t have long-term commitments, a mortgage, family, dependents and so on. I imagine this won’t be the case for long, and I wouldn’t want to look back in 10 years time and wonder what could have been. I also believe that it can be done, and I want to prove this to myself as much as I do others. I think it isn’t done because we tell ourselves that’ll never work, so why not try it, and if it doesn’t work, worst case scenario is I wasted 12 months of my life, but I envisage even then I will come out of it having learned many valuable lessons. On top of this, I think it is exciting. I want to spend my life doing something I enjoy, so why not give this a try. If I can make it work it provides a model for what I can achieve for the rest of my life. Alongside this, we are in a time where good jobs are increasingly hard to come by, and job security is not guaranteed. Given these circumstances, more and more people will seek alternative ways of making a living, perhaps this is one of them.

Q. What are the rules of the project?

A. I intend to keep things pretty simple, but there are some basic rules I have set out:

  • I’m not including living expenses, such as rent, food, bills etc. This will come from separate savings.
  • I will not include travel expenses unless very directly linked to the money-making idea (eg. hiring a van)
  • I am not including the costs of this website as it is an integral part of tracking my progress.
  • I won’t go in for anything illegal or bordering on the immoral – just to be clear.

Q. What is ‘The Stash’?

A. It is just the name I’ve given my current total. No other reason than I like the sound of it. Catchy isn’t it? You can see it at the top of every page on this site. If you would like to see a breakdown of where that has come from, just click on the total at the top of any page to see the balance sheet.

Q. Why choose a graduate starting salary?

A. I chose to have my goal as an average salary because that is the level I would want to reach for the project to be financially justifiable, otherwise I might as well just go and get a job. The reason behind choosing a graduate starting salary is twofold. first, it is the kind of salary I would be looking to earn if I was to join the conventional workplace. Secondly, data on it is more readily available.

Q. Who is ‘The Shoestring Investor’?

A. In essence, just an ordinary bloke. I am in my twenties, have studied a little economics at university, have had a few standard jobs – nothing out of the ordinary. I have no significant experience in investing or business operations. If I can do something like this, then it proves the average person can.

Q. What kind of content will be on this website?

A. I have many plans for the site, and I’m sure it will grow and develop as time goes on. Some of the features it will include are:

  • Reviews: Any books or other materials I use in my endeavours I will review, to help others who might also be interested in such topics.
  • Ideas: Any money-making idea I come across will be assessed using certain criteria. Following that I will decide whether to go ahead or not.
  • Progress: Alongside other regular features I will write a weekly summary of how I am progressing. I will also keep a running total of ‘the stash‘ –  my money so far and an account of where that has come from.

These are just a few of the things that will be on the site, and plenty more will be developed.

Q. Is this some kind of strange ‘get rich quick scheme’?

A. No. Although the essence of it is to make a lot of money pretty quickly, this isn’t some dodgy con that is trying to get money from people. It will all be done through legitimate means.

Q. What income are you living on?

A. I intend not to make any drawings from ‘the stash’ for as long as possible, and hopefully not during these 52 weeks. To make this possible I have some savings available that I will be using to live on in the main. I will perhaps pick up the odd bit of occasional work here and there to pay the bills, where the need arises. I have fairly low living expenses currently, so should be able to afford to survive for a while. If I hit hard times and end up having to make a withdrawal from ‘the stash’, this will be transparently documented in my reports. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that though!

Q. So what about tax?

A. I will pay applicable taxes at the end of the project, where possible. While there will likely be some taxes incurrable during the process, the majority will be paid at the end in the form of a self-assessment tax return. This is in keeping with how a salary would be measured. People speak of a salary as a before tax figure, so this is how I will treat my goal as-well.

Q. There is something I would like to contact you about, how can I do so?

A. If you have any comments or questions, please get in touch here.


Please be aware: The content of this site is not intended to constitute any kind of financial advice. It is for information and entertainment purposes. Any replication is done purely at that person’s own risk.


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