Conversations with money bloggers
In this week’s edition of my On the Money series, we meet money blogger Victoria from LyliaRose.com. She says, ‘I live with my husband Ben, our young children Bella and Reuben and four chickens. I’m a full time blogger, home money maker & mum. I’m also a pretty rubbish wife and homemaker as I spend most of my day blogging, which I absolutely love!’
What is your earliest memory of having and spending money?
I started a paper round when I was around 14 years old. This was my first experience of regular money as I’d never had pocket money. I used to spend most of it on junk food and stationery at the local shops!
Have you ever felt out of control with your money?
Yes absolutely. Before I hit 20 I got into dreadful debt as I opened loads of store cards and credit cards when I turned 18. I’d had no experience or education in money before and got hooked on being able to buy whatever I wanted without thinking of the consequences.
What was your worst money decision?
Definitely opening store cards and credit cards to buy things I couldn’t afford.
What was your best money decision?
Deciding to buy my first home. Yes, I have a mortgage at the moment, but at least my payments are paying towards an investment for myself and the children and I’ll own something at the end of it. I rented for 11 years prior to buying and I dread to think of the total amount I paid towards someone else’s mortgage!
What is your best tip for saving money at home?
Use cashback sites for everything! They’re not just for online shopping, but also for utilities, broadband, mobile phones, insurance and more. You can make a saving and get cashback for most of the things you pay for at home.
What is your best tip for saving money out and about?
If you’re visiting an attraction, check for online tickets before you go as they are usually cheaper than buying on the door.
What would be your advice to the 18 year old you regarding finance?
Budget budget budget! Work out your incomings and outgoings to see what’s left for spending and stick to it! If you can’t afford it, save or don’t buy it.
What was your biggest ever bargain?
My Nutri Ninja. I wasn’t sure whether to buy one, but I’m so pleased I did. I use it almost daily to make smoothies or homemade oat milk and it’s still as powerful as new. I’ve had a few years now. Even though it wasn’t reduced I’d class it as a bargain as I get so much use out of it and it wasn’t high priced in the first place. Sometimes I see more value in getting something I’ll use constantly rather than a bargain that might sit in the cupboard for years!
What was your most recent purchase?
A TV for the children’s playroom. I saw there was cashback available online so I managed to get the store manager to match it.
Do you stick to a monthly budget?
Yes, we try to. I work out our household income and outgoings every month then put a portion into savings and divide the rest into weekly spending money. We do our best to stick to it, but sometimes something unexpected might pop up like our vacuum cleaner breaking last month. Luckily we have our savings to dip into if we really need to. Without a budget we just spend willy-nilly so I find it makes us a lot more careful with our personal spending.
Do you have any long term financial goals you would like to share?
I’ve only just started saving towards my pension in the past year so I’d really like to get on top of this and save as much as possible in the next thirty years. I’d like to be able to have the option to retire in my early 60s and be financially comfortable in thirty years. I’m not sure I would retire then, but I’d like to be in the position to be able to.
I also want to pay off my mortgage asap. It’s huge and we’ve only had it four years so we’re at the very start of the mortgage journey. It’s rather depressing seeing the large chunks of interest go out each month and I’d love to reduce it drastically. However, having two young children and doing up our first home is our focus at this moment in time.
If you won a million on the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Pay off our mortgage!
Thanks to Victoria for her contribution to On the Money. I love the tip about checking to see if tickets are cheaper online – they usually are and we often forget to do it! You will find her blogging about making money and healthy living at www.lyliarose.com and www.healthyvix.com.