Today, we share an interview with David Taylor who runs a personal blog about getting into good financial shape. He recently won an award for the Best New Blog at the SHOMO Awards and was kind enough to share with us his story, along with some insightful thoughts about money.

How did you become a financial blogger, David?

I got into blogging properly last December. I had written a few articles for the company I work for, however, when I first attempted to start my own blog I often found myself reporting on the news and sat with total writers block. Then, last year my landlord informed me he was selling my apartment and ideally I needed to be out within a month. It was the second landlord in three years to sell up from under me and I’d had enough.

I sat up all night and made a plan on how I could save enough money to get a mortgage deposit together to buy my own place. And that’s when Thinking Thrifty was born! I decided I’d blog about my journey, detailing any tips and hints I’d picked up along the way. It was also there to keep me accountable for my saving.

What has worked for you so far and what hasn’t?

When I first started I was pretty rubbish. I had an idea about following my journey, but it wasn’t enough to run a successful personal finance blog. I was starting to get writers block again. I work in finance and realised I had a lot more to offer in terms of advice, but it wasn’t really until I truly put my own personality and wit into it, that the blog started to attract attention.

Is your blog part of your financial independence plan?

Yes, most definitely. Once I’d had my financial epiphany and started to seriously think about where my money was going, I realized I could save a lot more. Not only that, the blog opened up several other income stream opportunities
for me in freelance writing and working as a virtual assistant so I could save even more. That’s when it hit me, I could try and save more than I spend and invest the money wisely to create a passive income that would allow me to retire
earlier. That plan to buy a house changed to a plan to retire in 15 years within a few short months!

What is your money philosophy?

To work my way down to spending less than I save, rather than the other way around. I have no intention of working until I’m 70. My whole focus is now geared up to working my way into financial freedom within these next 15 years.

What financial goals have you set in life?

I set myself a goal this year to save £5,000 in 12 months. I’ve saved just short of £8,000 in 10 months so far. The next stop is buying a house, but a house that I can pay off in 15 years. Most of my friends are on 35 year mortgages
and that just doesn’t sit well with me or my plans. I want to build up a property portfolio and then set of on my travels around the world as a digital nomad!

What are your top 3 financial tips / hacks that you’d like to share with our readers?

  • Piggy banking – This is where you select your main categories for spending and open an account for each. You then automate your deposits and set them to go out on payday to make sure you save before you spend.
  • Always check the shopping price per unit – Just because it’s ‘buy one get one free’ (BOGOF), has 30% extra or a bulk buy offer, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good for your pocket. Working out the price per unit helps you to find out exactly what you’re getting for your money. Sometimes buying 4 separate items is better than bulk buying a pack of four. There are some websites that calculate these costs for you, and I use one regularly.
  • Meal planning – It helps me to spread the cost by batch cooking and freezing meals, as well as cutting down on waste. As soon as I started meal planning I started to use everything in my fridge and cupboards and hardly throw away a thing!

Any financial mistakes you’d like to share?

My whole life prior to December 2015 was a financial mistake! I have never had any debt, but I was frivolous with my spending with little thought to an emergency or rainy day fund. I literally scraped through payday to payday by the skin of my teeth. Things have changed massively since I became a man with a plan, it’s all about your mindset.

Thanks for your candid responses, David. It was a pleasure to have you here!