Week 17

Week 17 sees a welcome improvement and a change of strategy.Last week was somewhat of a shambles, so I was keen to get back on track quickly and not allow this to become a permanent dip. I have made the decision to try and scale back the amount of mystery shopping I do. My reasons for doing so are that, whilst it provides a decent amount of income, it is never going to deliver the kind of ongoing, regular income I need to fulfil the dreams I had when setting out on this venture. Whilst it has been a vital part of getting me this far, it has perhaps outlived it’s potential, and my time could more effectively be spent elsewhere. Not only this, but the money it brings in has, on reflection, at times lulled me into a false sense of security. It has perhaps without my conscious knowledge stopped me from being more ambitious as I always had that buffer to fall back on. I will continue to pick up the odd bit here and there when it is particularly good, but I have scaled back significantly.

Whilst I hope this will in the long run pay dividends, it will almost inevitably lead to a temporary dip in earnings that will be painful, but hopefully rewarding. It is a strategic decision, and one that I believe will show itself to be the right one, but there is always some element of doubt and risk involved with a change of strategy.

So with that cleared up, we can move on to what else I have been up to. I have had a bit of a run-in with TopCashback over recent weeks – my account was mysteriously suspended and I couldn’t access it. I feared all the money I had built up with them was lost. Upon getting in contact, it transpired that they were unhappy that I held duplicate accounts with them. The reason for this is that I was already a customer with them, but decided to start a new account specifically for the sole use of this project, so I could keep things separate and simple to track. I did not realise (but admittedly should really have foreseen) that this was against their terms of use. I tried to explain my situation, and after much backward and forwards, with me pleading ignorance, explaining my predicament and even pointing them to this blog in an appeal to their sensitive sides, their hearts eventually softened and they were kind enough to restore my account, including the nearly £400 in it, that I had feared lost! It was a very happy day indeed and a relief that I wasn’t going to have to wipe this from my stash and start all over again. Not only this, but when it was restored, there were a few new credits to the account that had tracked during that time, so a nice little icing in that particularly sweet cake.

Perhaps even more pleasing is that I got my first proper work through my Computer Repair service. I was starting to fear that it was never going to take off, but after getting contacted for a fairly big project last week that is still in the process of finalising, this week I recieved a simple repair job. Hopefully this is the start of more work rolling in – if this was to take off, I feel it could contribute a significant amount towards reaching my goal. It is not the largest amount at £40, but it is certainly satisfying to see it finally begin to pay off.

White Xbox 360 console finally sold

Goodbye old friend. Finally gone after months of cluttering the desk.

I also finally offloaded the Xbox I bought in auction months ago now. I had spent some time trying to work out what kind of condition it was in, and then after failing to shift it at the car boot sale, I listed it on gumtree. After a few weeks and some time wasting enquiries someone eventually came and bought it off me. I made a decent amount on it (£7.66 – a 62% markup) but after all the effort it probably wasn’t worth the hassle. Lesson learned though, and I can at least say I made a 62% profit from my first auction purchase.

Nothing else particularly out of the ordinary apart from one small matter of note. I had a spare half hour while watching some Tennis so decided to get another bingo offer underway. This time with Iceland Bingo… yes the frozen food specialists have made the obvious sideways integration into online bingo… Anyway, much as I might mock them it was a fairly profitable half hour. On a deposit of £10, I made £12.83 back and got a little over £15 on TopCashback – not bad for time spent enjoying Wimbledon.

In Summary:

A far better week than last, but still not the level I need or expect. However, it is a period of rebuilding now as I step away from the old and develop more sustainable sources of income to replace them. It might be a painful process in terms of the stash taking a hit, but it should be in the long term interests of the project.

Revenues in Week 17:

Less expenses of £40.00:

Week 17 Total: £144.57

Running Total: £2939.58

For a full breakdown, see the balance sheet.
The Week Ahead: 

A couple of disappointing weeks and a change of strategy leave me slightly unnerved about what to expect. I have some projects that are beginning to come to fruition but it’s too early to say whether I will see the benefits quite yet. I’m taking a step out of my comfort zone slightly and hoping that I can find success by doing so. I hope to be able to carry on a steady income as I do so though, and so will aim to make £200 in week 18.

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  1. Brian says:

    Good work Shoestring, a difficult decision to make bigger bets but one that will definitely prove crucial. Stay confident, even when things go slow at the start. Things will start happening slowly and then really take off.

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