I have been lucky to meet a person who inspires me to keep going on with y blog 🙂 A very clever lady – Katy Stevens from katykicker. Check my interview with Katy to find out more about her and her blog. Over to Katy:
1. You’re a successful blogger, how do you do it and what do you blog about?
I’m typically a finance blogger however my blog has evolved in recent times. I started out blogging about the ways that I make money online. Then I branched out to including some ways to save money too – as that is also important. Now my blog is a mishmash of everything related to me, Katykicker! My blog covers recipes, money, parenting, lifestyle and more. I like to have a couple of days a month where I work on my content for the coming month. This works well for me and allows me lots of time with my family still. Also it means if there is an emergency in the family, or I’m busy with paid work, that my blog is still functioning with regular content for my readers.
2. Why have you created your blog?
I initially started my blog because somebody on a forum asked me if I was able to share the ways that I make money online. I decided that it would be easy to create a website, share the websites that I use and then distribute it that way to people. It certainly saved me typing out some long private messages on forums in the coming months and years. People still regularly contact me to ask me how to make money online through various forums so I am able to link them to my website.
3. With so many money saving bloggers out there how do you keep your blog different?
I keep it about myself, my family and our life together. I like to be real with my readers. If I’ve tried out a money making method and it is only going to make £50 or £100 a year I like to be honest. I’m always staying true to who I really am with my blog posts. I don’t mind if people know that I spend chunks of money on a holiday, or that I like to help those close to me and improve their lives. I’m happiest when I’m being true to myself online. I’ve had two strokes and I just don’t have the brainpower to ensure that I live some facade online. For a start I’d struggle to remember what I’d said after 400+ posts! I share the highs and lows of my life with my readers. Whether that is financially, emotionally or physically I talk about who I am, the challenges that I face and what I am doing to stay motivated in my life.
4. Top tips for saving money/ saving students money?
There are a number of ways to save money. Firstly, look at the basics. Utilities, council tax banding, food shopping costs and then look more in-depth at things. Ensure that you have the basics covered – home insurance, car insurance (if applicable) and life insurance. Don’t think that emergencies won’t happen to you. If you are living in student accommodation ensure that everybody is pulling their weight with money saving. Don’t waste water where possible, don’t leave lights on and consider ways that you want work together to save money. Also – utilise that student discount card!
5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love spending lots of time with my family. My husband, my daughter and my Mum are really important to me. We have an allotment so we are often down there weeding, digging, planting and looking after our crops. Our allotment is fantastic for spending time together, enjoying the fresh air, being sociable, getting away from devices and saving money too of course! We managed to buy our entire years seeds this year in the end of season sale in Wilko and we saved a massive amount of money!
6. How do you save money?
I save money in a variety of ways. Firstly I look for discount codes and vouchers. Then I keep a tight control on our grocery shopping. I batch cook, meal plan, use my slow cooker and we have cut back on takeaways considerably. Also once a year at least, I go through our different bills; broadband, gas, electric, water, etc and I ensure that we are not overpaying for any services. I also look online for new imaginative ways to make savings around the home. I’m not a penny pincher but if I can save water or electric etc then I’ll give most things a try.
7. What was your biggest financial mistake you made?
Spending money on property right before the recession and a huge breakup! What a mistake. Still, you live and learn in life!
8. What saving (or investment) mistakes do you think most people make?
Not thinking about the future enough. People often don’t have an emergency fund, a pension or any long term savings. This is definitely a huge mistake. If you are working on earning more then why not work on saving more too?
9.What’s the most extravagant thing you’ve ever bought?
A watch probably. I’ve bought things that cost more money however they serve a purpose other than just looking pretty and telling me what the time is. I’ve treated myself to a few watches over the years. My most recent watch was a Tag Heuer Aquaracer after my daughter was born. I almost died and I wanted to treat myself. I could afford so I did!
10. What’s the one piece of financial advice you would give your younger-self?
Don’t waste so much money on friends. During my younger years I spent, and lent, money to undeserving people. Instead I’d stick to still being generous but to those people who will still appreciate me during the leaner times too.
11. One bad financial habit you’d like to kick?
Buying takeaways. They are convenient yes but they are expensive, usually unhealthy and you have to wait an age for them to arrive – might as well cook in that time! My husband and I have cut back considerably after a spree of takeaways after our daughter was born. Being tired new parents left us with little motivation. Now we meal plan every single week and if we have a night where we want to veer off track then we visit the supermarket not the Just Eat website!
12. What’s in your wallet?
Lots of cards. Loyalty cards, two debit cards and an emergency credit card. I have a loyalty card for my local hairdressers (they are super cheap too!) plus a few business cards and a photograph of my husband and I together from a few years ago. I mostly keep an emergency credit card for things such as a trip to the vets that can come with an unexpected price tag. If the credit card gets used then it is typically paid off long before the next statement is even generated. Having an emergency credit card, rather than just a credit card for anything that takes my fancy, keeps our finances in check. If we have a genuine crisis where we can’t access savings promptly enough we are always able to pay our bills and still live our life.
13. What does your ideal lifestyle look like?
I know it sounds like a cliche but the ideal lifestyle for me is the one that I am living now. I get to spend everyday with my daughter and can spend 3-4 days a week with my husband when he isn’t working. Also, I am able to spend lots of time with my lovely Mum. I manage to fit in working online, spending the day with my daughter, seeing friends and family, relaxing with my husband, working on allotment, cooking, baking and a few hobbies too. I feel really grateful for the lifestyle that we lead. We may never be rich, or own a huge house, however, we are happy and this is far more important to me in life.
14. What is your most popular post to date?
I had to have a little look on Google Analytics for this one! I was surprised to see that my most popular post for the last year, besides my homepage itself, was my huge list of ways to make and save money online. To prove how random some of my posts are the next most popular ones is about roast potatoes in the airfryer. I like to keep it random that is for sure!
If you want to find out more about me then you can find me over on my blog, on on Instagram , Facebook and on Twitter too. I am really active on social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram. I love to chat with people so do come and say hello if you have time!