A few days ago I had a chance to interview Nick Daws – a great writer and blogger from Pounds and Sense, over to Nick:
1. You’re a successful blogger, how do you do it and what do you blog about?
I have been a blogger for around ten years. Originally I just blogged about writing, as I am a freelance writer and editor. My writing blogs are www.mywritingblog.com (now archived) and www.entrepreneurwriter.net. But I also recently started a new blog called Pounds & Sense (www.poundsandsense.com) . This is a personal finance and lifestyle blog. That is really where my passion lies these days, so I’ll be talking mainly about that in this interview.
2. Why have you created your blog?
After ten years of niche blogging I wanted to write about other things apart from writing! Personal finance is a particular interest of mine, so I wanted the blog to be mainly about that. But I did also want to give myself the freedom to write about other subjects that interested me, from health to cooking.
3. With so many money saving bloggers out there how do you keep your blog different?
My blog is only partly about saving money. It is also about making money and investing it (and other topics too, as I have mentioned). Also, I am in my early sixties and semi-retired, so I wanted to address personal finance issues from an older (if not necessarily more mature!) perspective.
4. Top tips for saving money/ saving students money?
Cashback sites such as Top Cashback and Quidco give you money back on purchases from a vast range of online stores – I have saved hundreds by shopping through these sites. Also, if you ever travel by train, get a railcard. I recently got my Senior Railcard (available to anyone aged 60 or over for just £30) and get a third off all my rail journeys now. There are various other railcards available too, of course, including ones for young people, families and people with disabilities.
5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Swimming, walking, seeing friends, and going to the theatre or concerts when the opportunity presents itself. I like doing online courses (e.g. the free ones on FutureLearn.com) to broaden my horizons. I enjoy eating out as well.
6. How do you save money?
As mentioned above, cashback sites are one good way. I also buy store vouchers at below their face value from the online platform, Zeek. And I am always on the lookout for bargains on eBay!
7. What was your biggest financial mistake you made?
I bought a laptop computer on eBay. It never arrived and the vendor disappeared without trace. I tried to get my money back but was told I was out of time to make a claim (in those days I think you only had 30 days to do this). I should have noticed the warning signs and put a stop to the transaction sooner.
8. What saving (or investment) mistakes do you think most people make?
Putting all their eggs in one basket and then burying their head in the sand when things go pear-shaped. My dad (sadly now deceased) made this mistake. Based on poor advice from a friend in the pub he invested a large sum of money in a speculative venture which always looked dodgy to me and then went bust. I always vowed not to make this mistake myself.
9. What’s the most extravagant thing you’ve ever bought?
I am sad to admit I can’t think of anything. I’m not really an extravagant guy!
10. What’s the one piece of financial advice you would give your younger self?
Start saving earlier.
11. One bad financial habit you’d like to kick?
I buy far too much on Amazon, including some things I don’t really need…
12. What’s in your wallet?
I just checked. About £20 in cash, some old rail tickets, my U3A (University of the Third Age) membership card, a myWaitrose discount voucher, and an assortment of old receipts I haven’t yet filed away.
13. What does your ideal lifestyle does look like?
Not too far from where I am now, I’m pleased to say. A few more holidays (and cruises especially) wouldn’t go amiss, though.
14. What is your most popular post to date?
Hard to say. There are lots to choose from if you include my writing blogs as well. But my recent post on Pounds & Sense about making money as a TV show contestant certainly generated a lot of interest! http://www.poundsandsense.com/wants-make-shedload-money-win-big-tv-show-contestant/