Welcome to the latest in my series of interviews with well known money bloggers, On the Money. This week’s guest is Helen from the Complaining Cow.
Conversations with money bloggers
What is your earliest memory of having and spending money?
Saving up using the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society money boxes. They had a grid thing across the top so you could put money in but couldn’t take it out! It helped me save! I can’t remember the first thing I bought though.
Have you ever felt out of control with your money?
No, I have always been good at saving. I was brought up not to spend what you don’t have. That has stayed with me throughout life and I instil this in my son.
What was your worst money decision?
Not sure I have one. Although I have bought a few clothes over the years that were certainly mistakes!
What was your best money decision?
To save regularly each month. As a child getting money for Christmas etc I learned to save some and spend some. This attitude helped me buy my first car and flat.
What is your best tip for saving money at home?
Don’t force yourself to go without something. If you keep doing that it will bring you down. It is far easier and kinder to yourself to save what you can afford and live within your means. Don’t deprive yourself from too much for too long or one day you will just stop and blow it all and won’t be able to keep it up. Establish good habits.
What is your best tip for saving money out and about?
If you can be bothered, do your research before hand. There are many deals and discounts to be found.
What would be your advice to the 18 year old you regarding finance?
Save but don’t sacrifice enjoying life too much for it! Also make sure you become aware of your consumer rights. Many young people are easily fobbed off when they get faulty items or receive poor service so they are out of pocket!
What was your biggest ever bargain?
Probably my flat. I bought it in the late ’80s so it as gone up in value quite a bit!
What was your most recent purchase?
I can’t remember, so I must go shopping! Oh – a holiday!
Do you have any long term financial goals you would like to share?
Nope. Mortgage is paid off. I’d like to bring some more money in as soon as possible so that my partner can retire though!
If you won a million on the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Look to see best way of investing to see if I could live off the interest. Then, lots of holidays and I would do more voluntary work.
Helen is the Complaining Cow, a blogger and best selling author who speaks and writes in the media about consumer rights. Take a look at her website here. Her book, How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!, is an Amazon bestseller.
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