So why should you listen to me?
Well, that’s a damn good point and maybe you shouldn’t. I’m not financially certified in any way though I do have and MBA in business and finance if that comforts you at all, though given the substantial number of very intelligent people that I have met who freely admit to being horrendous with money, I’m not entirely sure it should!
What I am though is a planner and a strategist. I’ve been running my own management consultancy business successfully for almost 6 years now and have worked at various levels in multiple types and sizes of business for over 25 years including construction, logistics, freight, banking, insolvency, health care and public health. I’ve also spent many years as a private landlord and a single mum! The common thread with pretty much everything I’ve done has been organisation and planning, I love fixing things and for me money fits quite nicely into this pattern. It’s a real shame that I can’t transfer it to my chocolate addiction with any consistency though!
I’ve developed a number of ways that I manage my money and my debt, I’m not saying they will work for you necessarily but you may at least find one or two nuggets that you feel able to apply to your finances that will help you keep a bit more of what you earn, or earn a bit more from what you have. I hope too that my learnings from the many finance books I have digested over the years adds to my own experience and gives you a decent springboard for your future financial health.
My life as a rate junkie (or credit card tart if you prefer) started many years ago in the good old days when 0% transfers didn’t charge a fee (some still don’t but they are rare beasts these days) Then it was a simple case of transferring free money to my bank account and depositing it in savings at a decently high %, paying of the balance when it came due and pocketing the difference. It’s a little bit more complicated now but the potential is still there. This juggling act with low cost debt and savings or investments has enabled me to buy houses that were maybe a little bit out of my reach at the time but that have gone on to make me quite a bit of money and despite having a few years of sporadic work due to parenting responsibilities and ill health, I’m still ahead which I’m more than a little happy about.
Throughout this blog (and my book) I will cite ideas that have come from other authors, you tubers and speakers where I think you might find value in their work regardless of whether their advice supports or contradicts my own.
I will do my best to not repeat standard information that you can find on Martin Lewis, The Money Advise Service or Experian to name but a few though I may refer you to them for further reading throughout as their advice will be kept up to date and it will provide far more detail on where you can get professional help that is tailored to your specific needs if you so wish.
Most nonfiction books start with a story of the author’s personal trauma in their early life that set them on a path of discovery towards the holy grail of riches, health or ultimate spirituality. I’m afraid, and rather happy that I don’t have the ammunition to be quite that dramatic.
My childhood was pretty normal really for a middle class northerner, apart from moving house 14 times before the age of 11 and never having any money, it was perfectly fine. Despite this we mostly had nice houses, interspersed with quite shitty ones including having to pack all 4 of us (mum, dad and brother) into the front room of my grandparents a two up two down terraced a few times. We also generally had decent cars when we had one at all, so I guess in hindsight, and through the eyes of a child, it was either feast or famine.
I do however remember watching the devastating effect that zero money and mounting debt had on my mother and I decided at a very young age that I would never be at the mercy of anyone else, significant other or not, where money was concerned. Notwithstanding trying to help a few of the wrong people along the way in my own life, that’s the way it’s been and I’m pretty sure I’m far better off than I would have been had I not stuck to this principle. At least this way I can fully own both my successes and my failures