I’m going to try an experiment.  My little brother has been telling me about all the cool stuff he’s been getting by writing and making video reviews and posting them online.  Most of the stuff he gets is stuff I don’t really want (I don’t like clutter), but he’s also gotten some really cool stuff (like one of those new hoverboard thingies).  So making reviews has officially peaked my interest.

Combine that interest with my current situation and I feel I have a compelling reason to at least try this out.  Oh… my current situation.  I have an amazing wife, four wonderful kids, a nice house, a serviceable car, and I live in a really great town.  I also have a several degrees, an impressive resume, and a great network of friends and family. 

What I don’t currently have is a job.  I’ll save that story for another day, but I can tell you this.  Being unemployed stinks.  The good news is that we had enough money saved that we can get by for several months if we live really frugally.  So that’s what we’ve been doing, and it really hasn’t been that bad.  I’ve had more time with the kids, have been able to do more writing and pursue other hobby-type jobs, and have a much greater appreciation for my amazing wife who went back to work after ten years as a stay-at-home mom in order to pay the bills.

But today is December 2nd, which means that Christmas is just 23 days away.  We didn’t do any Black Friday shopping this year because we have no money to spend.  We had a little bit saved up for Christmas but it all went into some much needed appliances for our house.  So I’m looking at a very meager pile of garage sale toys we bought over the summer under the tree and wishing I had a little more to give to my kids.  

Which brings me back to reviewing.  I’m going to try an experiment.  It may last just one month, or I might pursue it for a little longer, we’ll see.  I’ve given myself a $50 budget drawn from my small business account (otherwise it would be going for toys). I will purchase a domain and set up a blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and then try to get something for cheap or free to review (preferably something that would make a nice gift to my wife or kids).  Then I’ll do it again.  Rinse, repeat. 

I’m a teacher by profession so I’m going to take detailed records as I go along so I can share what I learn throughout this experiment.  I’ll make screen captures and post them on the YouTube channel, write blog posts about the reviewing experience (as well as tips and tricks), and even publish my income reports so others can learn even more from my success, or lack thereof. 

I have a few modest goals.  1) Review at least five things in the next week (five potential presents) and get them from cheap or free in time for Christmas. 2) Earn back the $50 I put into this venture.  3) Spent no more than one hour a day on this. 

And… since I already set up a Tomoson account (15 minutes), purchased the domain www.reviewsofcoolstuff.com (15 minutes), and wrote this blog post (30 minutes) I guess the rest will have to wait for tomorrow (I’ll set the actual blog up then).