Jodie is former Whitehall civil servant who is now a stay-at-home mum to daughter Lily and son Oliver. Jodie has so far made thousands using matched betting and runs a dedicated blog to spread the word. Here, she discusses juggling matched betting with being a full-time parent

I don’t gamble. Well, that’s not strictly true. I dream of a big win on the lottery every time there’s a decent rollover.

Matched betting mum Jodie

Matched betting mum Jodie with daughter Lily

Following in the family tradition, I’ll have a little flutter on the Grand National every year. And if I ever go for a girlie day out to the races, I’ll set aside some cash for a few bets.

Guided by the horses’ names and the jersey colours, it is in fact rare I’ll bring any winnings home with me.

Six months after taking the plunge, I’m singing the praises of matched betting

My experience of bookies is also limited. I’ll be frank, they scare me! In the couple of times I have ventured in I got some odd looks from the regulars.

The cashier wasn’t too friendly when I pleaded for help working out how to complete the betslip either.

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And, apart from getting behind the national football team, I’m only really a fairweather sports fan. Unless there’s a chance of some glory I can share in I don’t really enjoy watching sport.

So, when I had children and took a break from work, getting into matched betting was the last thing I – or anyone I knew - thought I’d do.

The betting world is intimidating, especially if you haven’t really gambled before. And although matched betting is risk-free, it takes some time to get your head around how it all works.

Making the most of rare spare time

Yet, six months after taking the plunge, I’m singing the praises of matched betting. And now I’m on a mission to spread the word, especially among other mums.

That’s because matched betting is perfect for anyone who can spare a few hours a week. And, while life with a five-year-old and a one-year-old is chaotic and hectic, I do have some spare time occasionally.

Rather than do the housework or browse Facebook, I now spend that time matched betting.

By sharing my own experiences about matched betting on my blog, www.matchedbettingmum.com, my aim is to show just what it’s possible for other mums like me to achieve.

I think it’s fair to say I’m risk averse. I remember being overwhelmed and finding the whole process very daunting at first.

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So it took me months to pluck up the courage to place my first few bets. Then I checked, double checked - and checked again – to make sure all the figures were correct before pressing any buttons to place the bets.

The initial effort is worth it

Five minutes later I went back to the different websites to check all of the bets were still open.

What with all the faff of filling out my personal details every time I opened a new bookie account, I wondered if it was really worth all this effort. But, lured by the prospect of some easy money, I persevered.

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And I’m testament that all the initial effort is worth it. You’ll quickly realise how and why you’re making money. Once your accounts are set up, it takes less than five minutes to complete most offers.

All those £5 free bets quickly add up

I now spend a maximum of five or six hours per week matched betting. On the whole, I’ll do this in the evenings and when my youngest sleeps during the day.

I still take the children out for the day, have trips to the park and go to numerous different clubs and groups with them.

I don’t place bets every day and I try to keep my weekends as free as possible because it’s our family time. But there are still plenty of opportunities for me to make money.

Try out all of the offers that are available and don’t dismiss those low-value offers; all those £5 free bets quickly add up.

Making money from home

If I can do it, so can you. So if you’ve been sitting on the fence waiting to try out matched betting, why don’t you follow my lead and give it a try?

My top tips and guide to matched betting terminology are really useful if you’re just starting out. And I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so get in touch if you want my advice on anything.

In the six months since I started, it’s true I don’t have an immaculately tidy house. However, I have made more than £4,000!

And, while I’m still not an avid sports fan, I am impressed with my newfound sporting knowledge!

My husband loves being able to chat about the footie results with me now. However, I tend to keep it to myself when I make money from his beloved team Tottenham losing.

Related: Holidays paid for with matched betting