I love entering competitions – I call it window shopping with the added bonus of actually getting some of the items you want. This frugal hobby can help you to save money too, by winning cash and vouchers as well as prizes. You can then choose to keep and use your prizes yourself, give them away as gifts, sell them on eBay or donate them to charity. I want to share some of my best competition tips in this blog post.
My first competition win
My very first competition win, apart from colouring in competitions at school, was a phone in competition when I was a child. I won a box full of push pops which, when you are about 10 years old is amazing! I also went on to win two tickets to go and see Gladiators being recorded which was an amazing experience.
I starting ‘comping' again in 2013, and my first couple of wins were small – a box of cereal and a key ring.
Until I checked my emails and I had only gone and won a £3,000 holiday!
These days I dabble in entering competitions. I love this free hobby (although you can choose competitions that require a purchase or cost money to enter) and I love seeing what I win.
Here is where I find competitions to enter.
Start a new email address
When you start entering competitions then your inbox will be flooded with newsletters, entry confirmations and hopefully winning emails.
One of the best competition tips I have for you is to start a new email address. By having a dedicated competitions email address you can easily log in to see just your competition emails.
You can get a free email address from Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and others.
Set up an email filter
One of the best competition tips that I have picked up is to take a few moments to set up an email filter for emails containing the words ‘winner' or ‘congratulations'. Make sure these go to a special folder where you can easily see if there are any new emails in just that folder.
Only enter competitions for prizes you want to win
There is no point entering competitions for prizes you don't want. You can start by writing a wishlist of prizes you want to win and entering competitions just for those prizes, or you could set up a minimum prize amount that you want to win.
You might win fewer competitions this way, but when you do win it will be for something you want.
Check the rules
When entering competitions it is worth taking a few moments to check the rules. You might have entered to win a prize that can only be picked up from a shopping centre…200 miles away. Or you might win a holiday but still have to pay for the flights.
Be sure to check the rules carefully.
Use a form filler
Entering competitions means entering your data over and over…and over again.
You can use a form filler like LastPass and RoboForm to save you from having to type the same information over and over again.
Be sure to still eyeball the information to ensure that everything is as it should be
Put the effort in
Most of us are lazy, which means that the harder a competition is to enter then the bigger chance you have of winning.
This could be things like taking a photo, a caption competition or any other effort based competition.
With fewer people entering you have a higher chance of winning.
Enter local competitions
Local companies such as shopping centres, newspapers and smaller businesses might only get a few entries, meaning that you stand a good chance of winning.
You can find these competitions by following local companies on social media to see when they have competitions running.
One of the best competition tips: Have fun!
Remember that entering competitions is meant to be fun, and you aren't guaranteed to win. If you want a side hustle that gives you guaranteed money then I have a list of 100 legitimate ways to make money. Like most hobbies, if you aren't enjoying it then you can move on to doing something else that you love.
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