Welcome to my new guest series where I invite fellow bloggers to write about their blog, how they make money from it and share their top tips and success stories. I would like to give a warm welcome to Or, from Cord Busters, to tell me about his blog.
Please tell me about your blog and why you started to blog about money
My blog is Cord Busters (https://www.cordbusters.co.uk), and it’s mostly about cutting the TV cord – as in, leaving those expensive cable/satellite TV contracts for cheaper alternatives – usually streaming TV and Freeview.
I started the blog in 2016, shortly after I moved to the UK. I’ve been a cord cutter myself for several years before that, and wanted to help people save money by taking these steps – all while writing about a topic that interests me.
What was your first ever blog post?
I started my first blog 20+ years ago (sadly it doesn’t exist anymore), so I can’t even remember – probably something about celebrities!
But on my current blog, Cord Busters, my first post was my general TV cord cutting guide, since it gives the basis for everything else.
I used to pay for Sky many years ago but I watch any TV now through a Freesat Sky box card. I paid £25 for it a few years ago. I don’t watch much TV really and use it more for digital radio now.
What is your favourite / most popular post?
The most popular post on my site, for years now, has always been the review roundup of the best Freeview boxes. While buying a standalone Freeview box is an expense, most of my readers who buy it are usually on their way to ditch their Sky/BT/etc’ TV box that comes with a monthly contract.
So while it might not be the most “exciting” post, it makes me happy to know that it helps readers on their journey to save on those monthly bills.
It’s the little things that add up, and paying for TV can be a costly expense. Many people probably don’t realise how expensive it is or if it represents value for money at all.
Have you ever had a parking ticket? Was it deserved?
No, never – I guess I was always careful (and lucky). But it’s easier these days, since I no longer have a car – I don’t really need one in London.
Same here, although I would know what to look out for if I did get one. It could be said that I don’t need a car either as I live in Edinburgh, but I have had a car for over 30 years and I couldn’t imagine life without one. I don’t use the car that much but it’s handy to have, especially just now as I can’t walk far after falling ill with coronavirus.
What’s your biggest money failure?
If we’re already talking about cars – keeping that old clunker for too long was probably one of my biggest money failures. Over the years I probably spent its worth several times over in car repair costs, not to mention the endless search for parking space.
Eventually I figured out I don’t really need a car at all, and can do well enough with public transport, so I sold it – and never looked back.
Fair enough. I have had some good cheap cars over the years but it’s pot luck a lot of the time with cars. I have made a couple of poor choices with cars over the years as well – Japanese all the way now for reliability.
What’s your biggest money success?
Getting completely out of debt. Years ago, my husband and I found ourselves with a combined debt of more than £10,000, and decided that enough is enough. We started living off a strict monthly budget, used the snowball method of clearing debts, and ended up with a clean slate within about a year.
Well done! Perseverance is the key to success and setting clear goals is the way to do it.
Do you ever complain to get redress and refunds if service or goods don’t come up to scratch?
Yes, often – but not always. I certainly do for the expensive stuff, but sometimes – even though I know I should – I just give up when I think about the energy and time it would take.
That’s the problem, not the solution. Too many people give up too easily. There is a knack to smashing claims and disputes and part of the problem is that consumers are not aware of their rights and how to assert them. That is what inspires me to do what I do to raise standards for everyone.
Potholes and the state of the roads are the bane of our lives. Have you ever won a pothole claim? Do you know how easy it is?
Never had to.
I did with Edinburgh City Council in April 2017 and won my claim within 4 weeks despite having a 29% chance of doing so.
I am currently dealing with a £1,100 pothole claim on behalf of a single Mum in Dunfermline which destroyed her car axle. She had a 10% chance of winning it and it could have taken up to 2 years for it to be resolved, which is outrageous. I now have the authority on it so I will make an example of this and get her the justice she deserves.
Which Moneyblogger(s) do you most admire and why?
It’s hard to pick one, because there are so many excellent money bloggers – but I would say Andy Webb. Not just because of his super-useful website – Be Clever With Your Cash, but also because he runs the UK Money Bloggers group, which is a treasure trove of information and assistance for other money bloggers.
Totally agree. Andy does a great job in running the group and it’s power in numbers in being able to openly share and help each other.
Andy’s website is really good and I’m sure he has made a difference with his tips and advice there.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
My blog has seen some positive growth this year, so I really hope that trend continues, and it becomes even more popular in the future. Plus, I’m pretty sure that by then I’ll have additional blogs – I love to write, and there are too many topics that interest me.
Running a blog is more time consuming than most people can ever imagine. I certainly didn’t expect my blog to mushroom the way it has, and it certainly gives me some clout now on consumer issues and motoring disputes.
I also love to write but I know I don’t have time to keep more than one blog going. I have tried to with www.awriterinedinburgh.com. I have loads of ideas and a desire to create more content with that blog, but it’s not a priority just now.
Thank you once again Or for sharing your story with me. I found your answers interesting to read and it’s great to see what you have achieved from your Cord Busters blog as well as the inspiration behind it.
Your website is great and there is plenty of good content there that people can take something from. Paying for TV is something that people can definitely cut back on.
Have a look at Cord Busters and see for yourself.