Investing – Our dip into Crypto

Every few months or a year Mr Calamity comes at me going on about Bitcoin. How its the place to be, making millionaires left, right & centre and if only we saved/invested rather than eating quite so many takeaways.

So I had been saving for a while now, just keeping what I could in a different bank account, transferring a couple of times per month what I thought I could get away with (then taking it back if needed!), but I decided to throw caution to the wind and agree to try this out.

We agreed £400 as an initial investment and opted for Coinbase as that looked like a fairly simple set up.

It took around 30 minutes to set up the account, the most tricky part was linking the bank account. Also if you use the app you need to switch to web browser for certain parts or they don’t work.

We decided to split the £400 between Bitcoin and Etherium. I actually wanted some VeChain (heard about it on Mumsnet !!) but I wasn’t able to buy that on Coinbase.

The site took a cut and it worked out around £196 of each.

What I didn’t know at the time was that we actually jumped in on Bitcoins highest high price of all time (do I sound bitter!?)

Almost immediately Bitcoin started to drop. At first we were checking every few hours but it got too painful. After a few days though Ethereum started to really go crazy and was making up for the loss.

2 weeks in and our £400 was worth £724. Which was an amazing return, I was delighted with how it was doing. So delighted in fact that I let Mr Calamity pop a bit more in (this time using Binance as had more options to buy smaller coins).

So the high was brilliant, but it unfortunately didn’t last. Apparently Elon Musk made a tweet about something. Then China said something else and I don’t even know what happened after that but our £400 is now £354. From £400 its not a massively loss but it is really hard not to dwell on the £724 that it was.

We haven’t sold. Mr Calamity tells me this we are in for the long haul and that it will all turn around. I will update each month on how our investment is doing anyways, but for May we are currently at a £46 loss.

No Spend Diary – 11th-18th May

Can’t stop, Won’t Stop. I REALLY NEED TO STOP

It has all gone wrong, I don’t even know how it went so wrong when I thought I was doing so well.

I have literally bought every cake I can find, then I did my weekly shop at Iceland to save money and still spend £80. How is that even possible?

It is the smallest ones birthday, so I spend £45 on his presents plus my mum bought his cycle helmet but isn’t giving me the money until she sees me so it actually came to £64. I had a few World of Warcraft subscriptions come out this week at £9.99 each (one mine, one Mr Calamity’s and one spare… don’t ask!) as we play classic a bit and are planning to play TBC.

Then Mr Calamity had ‘borrowed’ £200 earlier in the month, to invest on Crypto but that has gone pear-shaped, so I couldn’t get that back, I’m raging !

But, on a more positive note. The cake was truly delicious.

My Spend: £95.95

Cake – £10 from new coffee shop near me. Was a lot of cake

Birthday Presents (& helmet) from Argos. £63.95

Birthday Balloon to collect Monday. £5

Pre-booked a play centre for next week both children. £17

I don’t think next week will be that much better, but I’m going to try and get it under the £50 mark. How are you getting on?

No Spend Diary – 3rd-10th May

Did I mention I like to spend? Well this week I have blown it out of the water and barely bought a thing.

  • Mystery Shopping (see my Side Hustle #2 blog) took a bunch of my money, which I won’t get reimbursed until next Monday 17th! So that helps a lot since you can’t spend what you don’t have.
  • I had a small amount of money remaining put aside for moving all our bedrooms around next week (we only have 2 bedrooms, but we are going to split the bigger one into 2 so each child has a room) but Mr Calamity asked to take it to put in crypto until next week since we don’t need it until then. That stopped any risk of me spending it (though I do have the risk that he is going to put it all on a dodgy coin) I will write a few posts at some point about the cryptocurrency stuff as it is quite interesting.
  • The butchers is closed this week! So basically living out of the freezer.

In other news this weekend, I sorted my son a balance bike from Facebook marketplace. It was a good quality one and was free! It has a flat tyre but that is easy enough to fix. I am delighted, going to give it a little clean & sort out ready for his birthday in a couple of weeks.

Not spending is going to keep getting harder and harder as more things open. Treating the children to little lunches out (even cheap ones at our community centre) and things like swimming all add up, but I really don’t want the kids to miss out.

Total Spend: £62.60

£3 school trip money (they are literally going to a park 20 mins walk away) £3 – 2 x water bottles (the little one needed a bottle for his sports classes he just started & I got a spare) then £30 rubbish pick up from council (as we are moving things around), £15 on trainers and £4 magazine for the little one, then £7.60 on bus fare to go and collect the free bike.

Wow that is actually a lot when it is written down in that way and I thought I had such a good week.

Side Hustle #2 Mystery Shopping

Oh this is the best work if you can get it.

For starters, it is now available ONLINE. No more, popping round the shops incognito. Now you can do it from the comfort of your sofa in the relative warmth of your living room.

The payment for this isn’t great as a time to money ratio, however you do get to keep the things you buy, you can either return for a refund, sell yourself or give away. So it has major monthly potential.

Two major companies for this one, Appen and Lionbridge. The mystery shopping assignments are sought after but once your foot is in the door you should get it monthly for the campaign duration (or until your 12 months is up)

I’ve been doing this for a few months now, takes 1 or 2 evenings per month. Basically you get shown some adverts, you click through to the website, purchase item, fill in a survey then about a week later you are reimbursed with a small payment on top.

So the best thing we have had so far has been the Donut Delivery for sure. It was amazing, the donuts were that special kind of heavy that you can hardly eat a whole one at once and you end up skipping dinner to finish it.

Other favourites have been

  • Pyjamas
  • Blade & Rose socks for the smallest
  • Child’s Farm toiletries set
  • Bonsai Gift Set

Not everything turned out so great though

  • An actual Grinch to go in my garden. A Grinch?
  • Vikings necklace that took 10 weeks to arrive

But every month when I get the email, I look forward to going through and seeing what I get. I have a slight tendency towards a shopping addiction too, so this helps me get it out of my system. it also takes a wad of money out of bank for about 10-12 days dropping it back in towards the end of the month, so think it helps me save a bit too.

I also have now a huge stock of presents for every occasion (I feel bad returning the items, its mostly small companies).

Difficulty: 5/10 – Fairy easy but make sure you organise yourself properly

Profit: £20 per month (Approx 4 hours work) but you get a lot of items which you can return/sell for further profit if inclined

Tried & Tested: Yes, another favourite of mine. I do this monthly.

No Spend Diary – 27th -3rd May

I had to switch to weekly as I was spending so much that it was just taking all my time up tracking it.

I’m starting to think I might be some kind of compulsive spender. Though that does sound a bit harsh. This week things started to open up again after lockdown here so I had a few spends that aren’t going to happen all the time.

2 sports classes per week for the littlest one. Thankfully he starts nursery in August so this is the only term I need to pay for the weekday one. So that was £95, then he needed new shoes which was another £15…

Then I accidently bought too much pizza, which came to £25. But that was a big treat for us since it is a pizza van so doesn’t come often, otherwise a new coffee shop opened by the park. Now I hate the park. It is busy and noisy, my kids are not well behaved at all, the big one is thankfully scared of everything, but the soon to be 3 year old is a nightmare and constantly has to propel himself all over the place and off everything tall. So I figure a treat for me is okay in this circumstance. A nice latte (£2.50) for me to sip at the park, and then a cake (£4) for each kid to bribe them at home time.

I then had my post lockdown hair cut. Which involved highlights, cut and even opalex. My hairdresser didn’t give me a choice about Opalex so I’m assuming I didn’t have to pay more for it. It was in honesty still an expensive luxury though at £110.

Otherwise I have actually been pretty good for once. I managed to do a good shopping order so we didn’t need any top ups, which was fab since it is almost impossible to just get a couple of bits from co op.

I’m currently torn about Body Shop at Home though, I think I mentioned before that I did try it and it wasn’t great for me (I will write a post just about that soon!) but they sent me a decent reactivation offer and I have run out of the things I like, so I’m tempted to give it another shot. Even if just to stock up my bathroom. BUT… I am supposed to be not spending.

Argh.

So this weeks no spend total: £251

It was the week after payday, so the rest of month will be pretty skint.

No Spend Diary – 26th April

Another day, another trip to Co-Op. I’m in two minds about this. Mr Calamity will only eat Stephens Rolls that we get from Co Op, so I can’t add them to my weekly food delivery and I think they are fairly essential, I can’t find a suitable alternative to them at least. So maybe they shouldn’t count against me?

The lettuce I bought should though, not because lettuce is bad but because I need to budget my food shop to last the entire week since top ups are soooo expensive.

I did however forego any cake, which was a small miracle considering how awful my eye is. Its incredibly painful and putting me in a terrible mood all the time. It is starting to get a tiny bit better now, but only just and it still looks an absolute disgrace.

Talking of absolute disgraces, Mr Calamity finished the tub of Ice Cream from yesterday today. I was raging at how fast it went and now we all have to wait until Thursday (shopping day) for more. He literally added some toffee sauce and Rich Tea biscuits then gobbled it from the carton.

April 26th – 0.49 (Lettuce only being counted as I’m taking rolls from shopping budget!)

Side Hustle #1 Ad Rating

I decided to start by sharing one of the best in my opinion. Does it count as a side hustle if it is a legit job? I’m not sure, but this one is not to be overlooked.

Social Media Ad Rating pays around £10 per hour (in $ so you sometimes fall victim to a poor exchange rate). If you have access to a PC it is fast & easy.

The sign up process is fast, you need to do a repeatable test and some training materials, give your tax info (as it is a real job) and then just wait… this is the slow bit. I signed up and did the tests in January, but didn’t get accepted on a project until October. Once accepted, it is happy times.

The rating work itself is straight forward, you aren’t paid for training but the training doesn’t take very long.

These 3 companies are very popular. If you take to Google you should find them easily, or if you comment below I can send you links to them.

  • Lionbridge
  • Appen
  • Crisp

The project I am on, is for 1 hour per day Mon-Fri, you can do weekends if you want to. You initially need to wait 5 weeks for your first week pay (they pay weekly but the Work Market system charges you for withdrawal if you withdraw early). Now that I waited my initial 5 weeks I can withdraw weekly. It takes 24-48 hours to reach my bank account. I earn a consistent £50 per week here and it can be up to £70 if you do weekends too.

I believe Crisp is a system where you can do as many hour shifts as you like but the payrate is slightly less.

Difficulty: 6/10 – Straight forward but requires training

Profit: Approx £50 per week upwards

Tried & Tested: Yes, this is a favourite of mine.

No Spend Diary – 25th April

The day started off on a bit of a low when I checked my emails to find there was nothing to say I had won the lottery.

I then ventured into the kitchen (at 6.28am on Sunday thanks to the 2 year old) to discover Mr Calamity had left the Ice Cream out all night. I rather resentfully poured it away, then checked my phone to discover that Mother in Law was planning to arrive at 9am.

Just Great. I have a stye, not a normal one but a massive 4 in 1 style beast that really really hurts so I start a frantic clean up operation with a hot compress attached to my face and a real mood on.

From this start my day didn’t improve much, I replaced the ice cream and in a moment of weakness bought a packet of rich tea biscuits and a 2l bottle of Fizzy Water, then ate about 6000 calories worth of pudding whilst still nursing my face.

Just tallying up my daily spends and it looks like I was overcharged in co op by 66p, I only bought 3 things and definitely checked the prices of them (I was aghast at the £3.30 carton of Ice Cream, the one it was replacing from Asda only cost £1.30), when I got home the ice cream carton had been dropped and bust open too, I know that a better person would go back and complain but I’m just too tired and sore.

25th April – £4.99 / £5.65

£3.30 – Ice Cream (Co Op)

£1.20 – Rich Tea Biscuits

£0.49 – Fizzy Water

No Spend Diary – 24th April

And so it begins… rather than just focus on earning extra money it is time to get real and cut right back on spending it.

To this end, I’m likely not going to go zero spend but I’m cut it as far down as I possibly can hopefully without anyone noticing.

One thing I can’t control though, is the draw of Minecraft to the 8 year old. So aside from letting her buy 3 Minecraft coin packs with her Birthday money I then agreed to buy her the Lego City Undercover Game for £12. 3 days after I bought her an Xbox for £249 (actually more like £269 as I had to pay for insured fast delivery). What a mug.

The real money waste though was the Lottery. 2 lines for £2 each and no I did not win. I’m a bit worried that I won’t be able to stop the lottery, it is a teeny bit of a compulsion. I just feel like it is soon to be my time.

Total Spend:

24th April – £16

A bit about me

Hello! I’m Lydia. I live in chilly Fife with my partner (aka Mr Calamity), 2 children (age 8 and almost 3) and my dog.

This blog is about my journey to Financial Freedom. A bit like the FIRE movement but way less structured and with more money wasted on the National Lottery.

I have a few goals, short & long term.

  • Refurbish/fix up my house.
  • Make a savings cushion/emergency pot
  • Take the children to Disney World Orlando (& then big holidays every 2/3 years thereafter
  • Move to Cornwall and buy a bigger house
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

To achieve these goals I will need to find a few different revenue streams. I’ve dabbled with side hustles before. Rented maternity dresses, Body Shop at Home, Second Hand Children’s Clothes, Postal Gift Boxes, Match Betting and Social Media Ad Rating to name a few.

So far some have worked better than others. Match Betting was brilliant, but Mr Calamity kept spending my bank and it became depressing fast starting from zero every month, The postal Gift Boxes had a lockdown boom, but it turns out I’m really bad at going to the post office and The Body Shop made my house smell amazing but didn’t actually net me any profit.

This time should be different as I do actually have Mr Calamity on board. He says he is ready to be a grown up and start thinking about the future, I hope he means it! I have always wanted to live in Cornwall so maybe… just maybe we can bring in enough.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, are you with me? What is your financial goal?