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Every Thursday I will be bringing you another instalment of my guest series, Money Talks. I’ll be featuring bloggers from all walks of life giving their answers to money related questions. Hopefully you will find a new blog to read and learn more about other people online. Money Talks will be live every Thursday and I’ve got some absolutely fantastic bloggers taking part! Hope you enjoy it. If you’re a blogger and want to take part then get in touch. This weeks instalment features Homely Economics. You can check out the Homely Economics website here.
When did you start blogging?
I’ve been blogging on and off about different things for years now, but I started Homely Economics in 2014. I had a vague idea that I wanted to make this one different, but I had no clue about how to do it properly, or that it could be done professionally! I almost feel as though I didn’t really get started until 2016, but the truth is that my site’s ugly duckling phase started two years before that.
What inspired your blog name?
I wanted to play on home economics, because it seemed to be such an old fashioned concept, but having to do Home Economics classes in secondary school had a huge influence on my money mindset. We actually covered personal finance topics like hire purchase and savings, as well as things like sewing and cooking. It was definitely an education!
What is your attitude to money – are you a spender or a saver?
I’m a saver, without question. I still like to spend within reason on things that will improve my family’s quality of life, but I have a suspicion that my level of spending is still lower than average.
What is the best bargain you have ever purchased?
I plonked down a few grand for laser eye surgery several years ago. I don’t know if it was particularly cheap, but it changed my life and would have been worth it at double the price. I was so near-sighted that I couldn’t leave my house on one occasion when my glasses broke – just being able to see first thing in the morning is priceless.
What is the biggest splurge you have ever made?
I spent over £200 on an outfit for a family wedding back in 2005. Why on earth did I do that? It still eats me up inside!
If you had £100,000 right now what would you do with it?
I live in one of the few parts of Britain where £100,000 can buy you a beautiful home outright, so without a doubt I’d use it to buy another house and enjoy being mortgage-free.
If you could go back 10 years & give yourself one piece of money related advice what would it be?
Chill out. Ten years ago I was newly divorced and broke, and incredibly stressed about money. I was good at being thrifty, but I was worried about how I could make a living. I should have taken more time to look after myself and found out about all the different ways of making money online instead of ploughing so much energy (and cash) into setting up a business, but I had a long way to go before being able to achieve the contentment I’d need to make a business of that sort work.
Sometimes I think the savings I did have would have been better left in a fixed-rate bank account (this was just before the base rate fell) than invested into a physical business, but we can’t foretell the future and running that business gave me lots of skills that brought me job offers.
What was the last item you purchased?
I just bought myself two white shirts and a blazer. It’s part of a deliberate effort to reduce the amount of clothes I have but never wear. Even though I rarely buy clothes I’ve still ended up with far too many, as I’ve been given lots of items secondhand and felt unable to say no. From now on I’m being much more strict with what I buy and keep.
What is your favourite ever blog post?
This kind of question is difficult as I’m so indecisive! As soon as I choose I’ll change my mind, I’m sure, but I’ll say “Withholding Child Maintenance Is Financial Abuse”. The comments I receive on my child maintenance-related posts prove to me that they are the most valuable to my readers, even if they just show them that other people are going through the same situation.
What is your biggest money regret?
Oh, so many! Again, how can I pick just one? I’ll say that I regret not having a freedom fund of my own back when I was first married. A lot of stress came from financial vulnerability at that time in my life, and I wish I had better protected myself by building up a freedom fund.