Secret Hobbies and the Big Match

a celebration-football-on-a-england-flag_1048-449Have you a secret hobby?

Something you’ve not mentioned to any friends or family because it would mean too much explanation (and even then they might put you on their People-I’m-Worried-About List?)

Mr FU and I have.

We’ve all the necessary apps on our phones, an inboxful of related emails and tons of SMS messages.  But no-one else can see them!  It’s all very cloak-and-dagger.

The other day I had to snap my laptop shut sharpish when my dad came round, for fear he’d see the list of most-visited sites on my Google homepage!  Oh my…it was close.  He has eagle eyes and is so genuinely curious that he’ll open a notebook if it’s lying on the kitchen counter to see what’s in it so I was very lucky to get away with it.

So do you want some clues? Our secret hobby involves money. (Naturally!)

And a lot of excitement when it’s an important sporting event like today – when England play Sweden in the Quarter Finals of the World Cup.

Fire up the bookies’ websites, Mr FU!

Yep, it’s matched betting.

I didn’t even know it was a thing!  Which is why we keep it under wraps, because I reckon those that know us would be filled with horror and assume it was straight-up gambling.  I know I did initially when Mr FU told me he’d read about it in his early FI-discovery days.

With our only experience of bookmakers being an annual punt on the Grand National we decided to give it a go and have been at it sporadically since Christmas, but the World Cup and Ascot meant we started getting a bit more into it. We’ve done loads of bookies’ sign-ups and are currently working through ‘bet x get an x free bet’ reload offers whenever they appear on sites like Matched Betting Blog and Team Profit.  The World Cup ones have been my favourites. So while I’m looking forward to the Big Match today (come on, England!) I’m more looking forward to some free bet offers on it  – much less stressful!  I don’t think my nerves can take any more penalties, to be honest.

We’ve made enough money on MB in these past few months to cover half of our annual extravagance – the all-inc Spring family holiday to Spain – which is pretty good going, seeing as we travel as a family of four adults and four children, and such trips don’t come cheap. (A holiday that’s not very FI-friendly, I know, but with our eldest two potentially on the verge of never-holidaying-with-us-again we see it as an important and worthwhile deviation from the FIRE path.  Just watch – they’ll still be holidaying with us well into their twenties, not wanting to forgo a freebie in the sun!)

So it’s definitely been worthwhile.  I love seeing our profit total go up but we do need to up our game.  I know there people making seriously good money doing MB ….and I want in on that good money!

The trouble is, we’ve not got the big bankroll these guys have.  But even if we did, I’m not sure I have the nerve to place big money on horses either, despite it being matched with a lay bet.  It just seems wrong.  I suppose it feels like gambling even though it’s not.

I’d also love to get into the casino and bingo sign up offers but here’s another problem I have with matched betting…

I hate reading instructions. I don’t do instructions at all – I’ve no patience for them. So I start an online guide on how to do the offers, get partway through then the words stop going in!  It’s a nightmare.  Honestly, I just about made it through the sign-up offer guides without my eyes permanently glazing over.

So if there are any experienced matched bettors out there I’d love to hear your best hints and tips.  Is it something you’ve shared with family and friends, or like us do you think they’ll completely misunderstand what it’s about (even if you explain it) and sign you up for Gamblers Anonymous?  Are you making good money from it, or is it a small side hustle?  What bankroll do you like to work with?

And can you help me stay focused enough to read through the guides, please? Haha.

Mrs Fu.

P.S. Come on, England!  Please!

 

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10 Responses to Secret Hobbies and the Big Match

  1. Ms ZiYou says:

    Haha, your secret hobby is amusing! I did a bit of matched betting years ago, made quite a bit – enough to cover a road trip for three weeks to the US!

    • Mrs Fu Mon Chu says:

      I think I’ve been living with blinkers on – I’m so annoyed I didn’t know about it before! That road trip sounds amazing. Something I would love to do! I bet it was brilliant.

  2. Tuppenny says:

    I keep saying to myself I’m going to start MB but have yet to do so. I think I should be ok with the instructions as I do love a bit of detail. Problem is because I love detail it can take me long time to do anything – too much research time!

    • Mrs Fu Mon Chu says:

      I think that’s where we were going wrong initially. We spent a lot of time reading about it and there’s so much to read with all the different types of MB around. In the end we decided to just try out one intro offer and see how it went. Then we did another and now we are ready to branch out into casino or bingo offers. Again I think I’m going to find a good guide and work through the stages in an experimental way.
      We’ve found the oddsmonkey walk through very helpful. I’d never have got anywhere without those!

  3. Firethe9to5 says:

    I’ve been Matched betting for about a year now and made a good side income on it. The problem for me is it is more of a part time job really – and having the energy after a full days work to do another stint on the computer can be hard. So I seem to have lost my mojo for it at the moment.

    I plan to take a break for the next few weeks and then double down come September.

    It’s time consuming but very lucrative so I just need to get back into the routine.

    As for the guides, once you’ve done a few of the same type you won’t need them anymore. Make sure you read the terms and conditions for each offer though – I’ve been caught out a few times on that.

    • Mrs Fu Mon Chu says:

      I know what you mean bout the terms and conditions. Mr FU did one the other day to qualify for a free bet. As soon as he pressed the button to place it he realised it was mobile bets only! Grr.
      I’m not sure what I’m going to do over the summer with no football on. I don’t think I’ve ever been looking forward to a new season as much in my life! Haha
      It is time consuming though and I can appreciate it is definitely not easy to sit down after a full day of work to do MB. We aren’t into tv so we’ve used it as our way to relax of an evening now. We try to do a bit each day to keep it going.
      Hope you feel more up to MB after a few weeks off. I suppose it’s like anything that you’ve got out of the habit of – it takes a while to get back into it. Good luck!

  4. weenie says:

    Great to see another matched betting convert and congrats on your profits so far!

    I’ve been doing MB for just over 2 years and it’s one of my favourite hobbies and the only one which earns me any money. However, as @Firethe9to5 says, it can be time consuming and there is a correlation, ie the more time you put in, the greater the profits. When I first started, I put in a lot of time but also I was learning. After a while, you do place bets a lot quicker etc.

    A couple of members of my family are aware of what I do and understand what it’s all about.

    My friends and ex-colleagues think I have a gambling problem! Attempts to explain have fallen onto deaf ears!

    Although I would love to hit high profits, it is all to do with time (and risk) – I’m just content with the time I spend on it and the low/moderate profits I get.

    As a former gambler, I don’t do any of the casino offers lest I be tempted, just stick to mostly football and horse racing.

    • Mrs Fu Mon Chu says:

      Two years! Wow. I honestly wonder if I’ve been living under a stone sometimes.
      We are still learning, too, but I can see that the more we do the less time consuming it is. I really enjoy it – especially seeing our profits total creep up and lovely free bet offers in my inbox. We aren’t tv watchers so it’s good to have a little hobby that can bring in extra money. We stick to footy and horses, too, although my previous methods in selecting a horse (as per our annual flutter on the Grand National) such as liking the name or the jockey colours are out of the window. Oddsmonkey doesn’t work like that. Haha.

  5. I know your not gonna like this advice but you must read and understand the T&C’s thoroughly. I’ve been caught out and lost hundreds of pounds on this before (in fact that was even after I’d read them, I just didn’t understand the implications properly).

    My current opinion is that if the offer looks too complicated I just won’t bother with it unless it is worth a lot of money e.g. at least 50 guaranteed (or 100s in potential if it’s not a risk free one).

    If you want to make the big bucks you will eventually have to look at non risk free offers including the casino ones. Or just do each way sniping (see my latest post for a brief on that… Part 2 should be out tomorrow)

    Good luck! Shame about England but they did us proud I think!

  6. Mrs Fu Mon Chu says:

    Mr FU read your post in EW sniping part one and has been doing a bit of each way sniping this week, so he’s looking forward to part two.
    Thanks for the advice. It’s always good to get tips from more experienced MB people.
    Shame about England – it just wasn’t to be this time. I couldn’t bear to watch the last bit.

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