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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 Shoestring Cottage. You can check out the Shoestring Cottage website here.
When did you start blogging?
I started in 2013 as a way of recording my money saving journey – like an online diary.
What inspired your blog name?
It seems to fit – we live on a shoestring, not because we are mean but in order to be debt free and have money to spend on fun stuff, like holidays and days out. We also love cottage style, in the house and in the garden as well.
What is your attitude to money – are you a spender or a saver?
I will spend when I need to, but always research prices to get the best value. I tend not to buy a lot because I just don’t need tons of stuff for the sake of it. A frugal lifestyle is a habit and a lifestyle choice that I enjoy. I save for annual expenses such as Christmas, birthdays, car costs and holidays, and I am working on building a good contingency fund.
What is the best bargain you have ever purchased?
This is a tricky one, as I am always bargain hunting! I found a brand new with tags Phase Eight evening dress with a label saying £120 recently and paid £3 for that. Popping into Sainsbury’s one day I was astonished to find a 48 pouch box of cat food reduced to 99p. Mr Shoestring found a rare Portmeirion tea set in the charity shop for £25 and sold it on eBay for £100 profit! We both keep our eyes open.
What is the biggest splurge you have ever made?
We don’t really splurge. Boring I know! Biggest expense was the house, of course, but it’s pretty modest.
If you had £100,000 right now what would you do with it?
That is actually a significant amount for me. I would pay off the mortgage, invest in a new kitchen and buy a camper van for around £10,000. That would only account for about half of it, so the rest would go in the savings account whilst we considered our options.
If you could go back 10 years & give yourself one piece of money related advice what would it be?
It would be to clarify what I wanted to achieve in advance rather than stumbling along just getting by. I would need to go back further to give myself the best advice: Set your goals. Earn as much as you can and save as much as you can. Live frugally and simply to get where you want to go. My aim would have been to be mortgage free by the time I hit 45.
What was the last item you purchased?
Rather dull – a pair of Hotter shoes for work. Fabulous condition leather shoes for just £10.
What is your favourite ever blog post?
My favourite post, which provoked quite a lot of comment, was Frugal Fran vs Spendthrift Sue, the new me up against my younger self!
What is your biggest money regret?
Oh gosh, where do I start? I was hopeless with money when I was younger. I didn’t understand how it worked and I didn’t want to know. The money I wasted on takeaways, clothes I never wore and nights in the pub! An overdraft was the norm, usually unauthorised. I took out my first mortgage knowing zero about how they work. When my ex-husband suggested we re-mortgaged for home improvements I went along with it – twice! When we eventually separated we owned very little of our house and it was a huge struggle to buy anything else. My biggest money regret is not having a financial education at an early age. I think it should be on the National Curriculum.
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