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Here on Funding Her Freedom, 2021 is officially The Year of the Side Hustle.
Each month, I’ll be featuring a different side hustle, how you can get started, interviews with those who have seen success with it, and the pros and cons associated with said side hustle.
By the end of 2021, I’m hoping you may have a couple of new income streams under your belt, have a fair bit of extra cash in your bank account, and that you may even have paid off any outstanding debt that you currently have to your name.
Who knows, you may even be on an entirely new career path thanks to launching a new side hustle before the year is out!
I wanted to start the New Year with a side hustle I have a great deal of experience with, and that’s matched betting.
For a long time now, matched betting has been a reliable and consistent way to make a little extra money from the comfort of your sofa.
But, the rumours are true: it’s not quite as profitable as it once was.
So, with that in mind…
Can you still make money with matched betting in 2021?
The short answer is a resounding yes. I am still making an extra couple of hundred pounds each month, with only a couple of hours invested each week thanks to reload offers and casino offers – and I certainly intend on continuing to in 2021!
But let’s rewind…
What actually is matched betting?
First up, it’s a legal way to make a little extra tax-free cash each week.
Almost every gambling website uses offers and promotions for both new and existing customers. We use these promotions by betting on both outcomes using a bookmaker (e.g. Coral, Paddy Power), and a betting exchange (think Betfair or Smarkets, for example) – so we always win, because they cancel each other out. We then qualify for a free bet – which is where we make the money.
I know it sounds complicated – especially for those who may never have placed bets before – but the best thing about matched betting is that there are companies out there whose sole purpose is to hold your hand throughout every single offer and promotion, telling you exactly what to do (and when), so that you don’t lose a penny.
I personally swear by Profit Accumulator, who provide guidance through each offer to maximise profits and minimise risk. They also have an incredibly active forum so that if you have any urgent questions or really just want to double check anything, you’re bound to find an immediate answer.
Failing that, their super-helpful team are also on-hand to help out, seven days a week. Providing you follow each of their carefully-described steps, you can’t go wrong!
I’d always recommend signing up to their free trial before committing to the long-term, which typically will see you make around £40 in tax-free cash. You can then either reinvest this into more matched betting offers, or walk away with the cash, if it’s just not a side hustle for you.
Clicking the banner below will take you straight to your free trial sign-up page.
Disclaimer #1: I am a Profit Accumulator affiliate, meaning I will make a small commission should you sign up with them. However, my opinions and experiences are all completely unbiased, and I wouldn’t recommend a company or software I don’t believe in.
Disclaimer #2: this next bit will sound a little complicated and overwhelming, but stick with me here (or watch the video above – it’s a great visual way of explaining exactly what the process is!)
How do you make money through matched betting?
We’ll all have seen a bookmaker’s odds when it comes to sporting or entertainment outcomes – you know the ones that offer you 3/1 odds of Giovanna Fletcher winning I’m A Celeb.
Well, by matched betting, we’re able to bet on all outcomes (Giovanna to win, or not win), and make a very small loss (usually around 20p), to then be eligible for a free bet. It’s these free bets that make us the money, as by using higher odds on this free bet with the bookmaker, we can match this bet with a betting exchange by the same process (betting on all outcomes), to win money no matter the result.
This is where Profit Accumulator come in – you don’t need to work any of this out for yourself (thank God!) as they will tell you the exact bets to place on various sporting events to ensure you are able to maximise your tax-free returns.
How much money do you need to start matched betting?
The £40(ish) that you’ll make from the free trial is a great starting point, but do be aware that, in order to maximise your returns more quickly, you might want to invest a little more.
Disclaimer #3: this probably won’t make much sense if you don’t embark on a matched betting journey, but if you do, this next bit will eventually click – I promise.
The way betting on the exchange works requires a higher stake (or liability) which at first looks scary, but if you bet on both outcomes as instructed, even with this high liability, you will still make the profit described on Profit Accumulator.
The more money you put in, the more money you will make, but obviously it’s up to you what you feel comfortable with in terms of what you’d like to invest.
Bear in mind, if you follow each process described on Profit Accumulator properly, you will always win – but in the interest of caution, I’d only ever put in an amount you are able to.
Personally, on top of the £40 I made from the free trial, I invested an additional £160 to take my initial outlay to £200. I personally keep around £200 in the betting exchange so that I’m ready to take part in bets with higher stakes (or liabilities) at any time – this isn’t an absolute necessity, but it does mean I can complete bets quicker and not have to keep moving money around.
I’m now making on average about £200 every month, with only a couple of hours of matched betting each week, so as far as investments go, it’s personally been one of my best.
However, don’t be put off if you don’t currently have any spare cash available to you right now.
You can still start with whatever amount you make during your free trial – it will just take a little longer to scale and allow you to invest more.
Why is it harder to make a large income through matched betting in 2021?
If you’re currently doing your research on matched betting, the chances are you’ll have read about people who were able to replace their 9-5 income with their winnings.
A few years ago, it wasn’t all that uncommon, and a quick visit to a number of different Facebook Groups would have you dreaming about your new lifestyle within half an hour. However, that’s not quite the case anymore.
Whilst matched betting isn’t illegal, bookmakers don’t like customers that solely use them for their free promotions – and they’ve definitely wised up to this side hustle.
Offers and promotions aren’t as good as they used to be, so the gain is less. Years ago, bookmakers would entice new customers to them with huge promises of £50 (even £100!) free bets – but now, you’re looking more in the region of £10 to £25.
Additionally, a lot of bookmakers make things a little more complicated nowadays, to qualify for your free bet. No longer are they all as straight forwards as ‘bet £10 and get a free £10 bet’. Instead, some require you to complete in-play bets, and have you jumping through more hoops (which Profit Accumulator will help you navigate).
There’s also always the chance you might get gubbed from a bookmaker, meaning you are no longer eligible to receive any of their promotions. In the couple of years I’ve been matched betting, I’ve been gubbed from four different bookmakers, so that’s now four less bookmakers that I can take advantage of their promotions on.
If the bookmakers don’t like you doing it, is matched betting legal?
It sure is – it’s both legal, and tax-free!
In the eyes of the law, matched betting is classed as gambling, and gambling winnings aren’t currently taxed.
However, it’s not traditional gambling in that you’re betting on all outcomes – so you can’t lose.
Talk about a win-win!
Is it true that mortgage lenders don’t like matched betting?
As matched betting is classed as gambling, it can be a tricky one to explain to any new mortgage lenders.
It’s not a definite that they’d refuse you a mortgage because you’d been matched betting, but to play it safe (and make your mortgage application as straightforwards as possible), I’d always recommend setting up a separate bank account – or using an old one – that is away from the account you have your wages paid into.
What makes matched betting such a great side hustle?
For me, my favourite thing about matched betting is that I can do it from my own home, and fit it around my life – I can put in as much or as little time as I want each week, and with average returns of around £200 each month for quite minimal output, it’s certainly a side hustle I’ll be continuing well into 2021.
If you’re looking to make a little extra cash this weekend, why not sign up to Profit Accumulator’s free trial, and see how you get on? Find a quiet room so you can concentrate, give yourself a couple of hours to work through the instructions, and see what you think.
Disclaimer #4: matched betting isn’t for everyone, and if you have a history of gambling addiction or temptation to go a little further than Profit Accumulator states, I’d recommend one of the other side hustles featured in my free ebook below.