Over a year ago I wandered into the competitions section on the Money Saving Expert and started entering competitions. A new hobby was born which is fun, time consuming and has the added bonus that nice surprises arrive though your door from time to time. Is it a hobby or is it an obsession? That I am not sure of.

Its easy to spot a comper, they have the latest gadgets, go on lovely holidays, have bookcases filled to bursting with books and cupboards full of beauty products.  When they go to the supermarkets their trolleys are piled high with magnums, biscuits, pepsi and anything else that is running a promotion at the time. Their children come running up to them going Mam, a competition! They avidly watch all the ITV programs and are regularly seen going to the post office with stacks of postcards. Their desk is littered with old wrappers and ringpulls, and it is hard to get them to leave the computer, they regularly mutter about closing dates and getting finished. They lurk on twitter and facebook in the hope that a competition will come along. They can be spotted in the newsagent buying  stacks of magazines. They wait behind the door in suspense, hoping the postman will arrive soon with a parcel.

So how easy is it to win? Well, if you do not enter you can’t win. All a comper is doing is increasing their chances of winning by entering loads and loads of competitions. At the end of the day its still luck, there is no magic formula. Some people are lucky and seem to win loads. Other people do just as many competitions and seem to win nothing. I spend hours every day doing competitions. I sometimes wonder why, but at the end of the day its fun, I have found some good friends and I have a good laugh along the way. The prizes are a bonus.

There are many places to find competitions. Money Saving Expert has a good competition forum http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/. Loquax http://www.loquax.co.uk/ is another good place to visit. You can also get magazines dedicated to competitions, like the Compers Grapevine http://www.compersgrapevine.co.uk/site/1.asp This site also has good advice about entering competitions on Twitter.

Be warned, don’t start if you are not dedicated.  It will take over your life!!