On the Money: Conversations with money bloggers
Welcome to the first in a new series of interviews with well known money bloggers, On the Money. My first guest is Katy Stevens, from KatyKicker.com. Katy is a UK blogger covering topics including parenting and money saving. She lives in Essex with her husband Thomas and 2-year-old daughter Daisy Blue. Katy loves to help people make and save money, kick their finances into touch and live their best life. I hope you like the series and discover some fascinating new blogs.
I can remember standing in line at school waiting to buy my lunch. I would always try and work out how I could have the most filling meal by spending the least amount of money. Usually because my friend Bradley and I were trying to work on our short stories and needed supplies!
Have you ever felt out of control with your money?
Yes. When I was on maternity leave after having my daughter I was suffering from postnatal depression. Fortunately we have good cash flow, so I didn’t accumulate debt or anything, but I wasn’t controlling my money well either.
What was your worst money decision?
What was your best money decision?
Saving up to buy a house with my husband. We’re feeling so excited for this year and looking forward to having a 50% LTV (loan-to-value) – hopefully!.
What is your best tip for saving money at home?
Meal plan and cook from scratch. Two tips I know…! By cooking from scratch you’ll eat healthier, get better nutrition and save LOTS of money. You ARE trading your time a little but your body will thank you for it, and so will your purse-strings.
What is your best tip for saving money out and about?
Take drinks and snacks with you – particularly if you have children. When we were on holiday recently the drinks were £1.80 a bottle. We took our own bottles and packed drinks every day. As we were out 2-3 times a day this saved us a small fortune, even without the snacks we packed too.
What would be your advice to the 18 year old you regarding finance?
Don’t keep up with the Joneses. They won’t care if you build up debt and can’t afford to live your current existence anymore.
What was your biggest ever bargain?
It’s hard to pick just one! One of my favourite ever bargains was a white gold, diamond and topaz ring. It was reduced by 90%, thanks to an error when I worked at a high-street jeweller. I bought it the same day I saw it. The next day we got the email down from Head Office to advise us to adjust the prices, and my purchase was already safely at home!
What was your most recent purchase (not including bills, groceries, etc)?
Birthday presents for my daughter who recently turned two. We went to Toys ‘R’ Us and took advantage of their closing down sale to get lots of bits, that were only marginally cheaper than Amazon and Argos still. Sad times!
Do you stick to a monthly budget?
Not really…! We have a budget for bills and expenses, and I keep a lose budget for groceries. We’re in a good time of our life. I don’t want to waste money unnecessarily but we have days out, lots and lots of holidays and live a good life too.
Do you have any long term financial goals you would like to share?
We are looking to buy our house this year, with a 50% LTV. I want to be mortgage free in five years – although maybe 10 years is more realistic!
If you won a million on the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Become mortgage free. Maybe my husband would finally quit his job then!
You can find more tips from Katy at KatyKicker.com. Watch out for the next On the Money interview, which will be every fortnight.