I have been lucky to meet a very lovely lady – Naomi Willis from Loyalty Card Points. Check my interview with Naomi to find out more about her and her blog. Over to Naomi:
1. What do you blog about?
I write about everything related to high street reward cards. Loyalty Card Points shows you ways to maximise the points you earn and lets you see how to get the best value from the points when you spend them. My husband, Ricky runs Skint Dad and I also support him from time to time too!
2. Why have you created your blog?
I created Loyalty Card Points after breaking my purse! I had so many reward cards that it literally broke the zip! I realised that I knew a great deal about how loyalty cards work, and always look to get the best deal with reward schemes. I also found out that there are £6 billion of unspent loyalty card points going to waste, so thought it was time that the UK started to spend their points, instead of losing them.
3. Top tips for saving money/ saving students money?
Without a doubt, I would say to sign up and register with every single reward card out there! If you are going to be parting with your money anyway, you may as well earn some money back. Some of the best ones to start you off are Tesco, Boots and The Works. The all see a decent return on points for you to treat yourself later on.
4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I genuinely enjoy blogging, but I must admit it’s nice to shut the screen off every now and then! I play a ukulele (although not very well) and scare my family half to death. I’m a mum to two gorgeous girls and spend a lot of time entertaining them. One thing we love to do together is Geocaching, which gets us out of the house and helps me exercise – all for free!
5. How do you save money? I look to save money on absolutely EVERYTHING I do. Although it’s easy enough to get household bills and day to day spending down to a minimum, one thing that it harder to control is our food shop. In the last few years we’ve been able to cut our food bill in half! We now share our tips, tricks and ideas with a community of like-minded savvy savers on an exclusive Facebook group called Reduce Your Supermarket Spend.
6. What was your biggest financial mistake you made?
My biggest mistake was getting a store card with TopShop when I was 18. I had no idea what credit was and had no real education about it. I thought it was great to get clothes, essentially for free. Although I only used the card for six months or so until I realised my mistake in having a card with a massive interest rate, it took me six years to finally pay it off. It was certainly a costly winter wardrobe!
7. What saving (or investment) mistakes do you think most people make?
I don’t think people save realistically. Either people save far too much and then have to dig into it before pay day, or they don’t save anything at all.One of the most important places to start is building an emergency fund. This will make sure you’ve got a bit of money put aside (and don’t need to turn to credit) if a kitchen appliance breaks or you need an unexpected car repair.
8.What’s the most extravagant thing you’ve ever bought?
I would have a to say the most expensive thing I’ve bought was a cocktail in a roof top bar in London. One drink set me back £27 and was gone in less than 15 minutes! Although £27 is not a lot of money per se, it was a massive extravagance for one drink. However, I was celebrating a special occasion and we managed to watch the sun set over London, so we were paying for an overall experience.
9. What’s the one piece of financial advice you would give your younger-self?
Don’t just save, learn to invest – and do it as soon as you get your first pay cheque. I first started earning when I was 15 in a part time job and had no idea of the value of money. If I started to invest back then, I’d be sorted financially now.
10. What’s in your wallet?
I don’t actually carry a wallet (since it broke!), but carry any cards in a compartment in my bag. I try to carry as many reward cards on me at one time, just in case, so I won’t list them all out! I use contactless payments from my phone and rarely draw cash out from the bank. I find it a good way to limit my spending.
11. What is your most popular post to date?
On Loyalty Card Points, one of the most popular posts is about all the different ways to earn free reward points.
One of the most delicious and popular recipes I’ve shared on Skint Dad is four ingredient cheese puffs: skintdad.co.uk/cheddar-cheese-puffs-recipe. They are fool proof to make and I love seeing photos from readers after they’ve made their own.