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 Tracey, who manages Mind over Money Matters with Taz, to tell me all about her blog.

Please tell me about your blog and why you started to blog about money

Our blog is called Mind over Money Matters, which shares how to Maximise Joy and Maximise value in what you spend anyway. My 3 passions were always Behavioral Economics and the psychology of money, money saving and travel – I’m a proper Air Miles geek.

We (Mr D and I) went in to town one day, did a bit of shopping, had lunch etc and later that evening Taz said, ‘you know what, nobody spends money like you do. We have had free Pizza Express, free coffees, picked up free chocolate and a headphone splitter from Smiths, 20% off a coat and kettle in Pearsons and we’ve earned double Air Miles. Loyalty points in every shop. Got home and ordered a phone via Quidco with £175 cashback (The exact same deal that Carphone Warehouse in town were offering with no cashback) You should share it somehow’

What was your first ever blog post?

My first post was ‘A Kettle or an Ornament that boils water’ and I still love it. This is my love of psychology taking over, and the Maximising Joy message.

This blog struck a chord with me. I have a kettle that is over 30 years old and still works fine (it’s buried somewhere in my storage cupboard), yet I replaced it with a glass kettle that lights up blue with silver trim because it would look nice in my John Lewis kitchen! They both boil water as kettles do, although my new one is much faster and looks nicer.

What is your favourite / most popular post?

My favourite is the Weekend away without going anywhere, which I recently also made in to a video. There is so much fun to be had that does not involve spending money.

I love that blog – so funny! I live so close to Edinburgh city centre that I could do something similar myself if I put my mind to it. There is a lot you can do for free here with free entry to museums and plenty of green spaces, although you would have to work around the weather (an umbrella is a must here every time you leave home). That reminds me of the old joke of summer being the best day of the year in Scotland.

Most popular has been the Booking Flights and Hotels separately need to knows along with the British Airways and Thomas Cook advice articles.

They are good blogs that everyone can connect with. It’s such a shame that an iconic brand such as British Airways has declined and lost its way. As you say, people understand that shit happens – it’s how it is handled that makes the difference.

Your focus on customer service (or lack of it) resonates with me too. In an era where everything is much the same, this is the only variable that sets a firm apart. It’s something I regularly mention in my blogs.

Have you ever had a parking ticket? Was it deserved?

Never had one.

Good to hear! If you ever do get one though, just give me a shout!

Best pieces of Money advice?

Live within your means. 100% spend less thank you bring in.

Use an Air Miles earning credit / charge card for everything. Use it like a debit card (i.e. pay off straight away – no interest). That earns you (free and valuable) miles and S75 protection on your purchases.

Great advice Tracy. It’s something that I have always tried to adhere to throughout my life, although I have made some costly mistakes over the years (mostly with cars). You live and learn – usually the hard way.

What’s your biggest money failure?

That’s a tough one – I can’t think of anything.

What’s your biggest money success?

I have been to the Ombudsman with a refused S75 claim by Nationwide. It took 6 months of absolute stress but got fully refunded plus interest in the end.

I recently had to pursue a court claim against British Airways for a refund which they had refused (without addressing the issue) over a dozen times. They refunded ‘as a gesture of goodwill’.

I read that case online – well done! Perseverance is the key to success every time.

Do you ever complain to get redress and refunds if service or goods don’t come up to scratch?

Yes, always follow the golden rules and it generally works.

There is a knack to getting results. It’s good to know that you follow the golden rules and do just that.

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?

Not something I’ve come across but I know where to turn to if I need to.

I spoke with the Edinburgh Evening News about this topic here as the roads here have more potholes per square mile than any other city in the UK. I shared my top tips so road users can successfully lodge pothole claims.

Which Money blogger(s) do you most admire and why?

You know what, we started our site with no idea of what we were doing or what was involved. We’d never heard of SEO, widgets, DA or links. The UK Money Bloggers are been so amazingly generous with their knowledge. The SHOMOS were fantastic. Everyone involved in organising that is admirable.

Totally agree. We all have to start somewhere and that is where I am at as we speak. I have learnt so much this year on this and I still have much to learn. It’s a whole new world and language and you have taken the words out of my mouth with the UK Money Bloggers being so generous with their time, knowledge and advice. I hope to meet you all at the next SHOMOS in 2020.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

5 years’ time we will be living half the year in Cyprus, travelling the rest. Working on the website which by then will have thousands of engaged readers that are Maximising Joy and Maximising Value. And #SmallJoy will be a thing – everyone enjoying those moments.

Sounds fantastic! I have been to Cyprus many years ago and it left a lasting impression on me. Being a digital nomad is the dream and I’m sure you will achieve it.

Thank you Tracy for sharing your story with me. I am impressed with what you have achieved so far and knowing what your goals are inspires me to do the same.

What you said about the UK Money Bloggers precisely echoes my sentiments. It’s power in numbers and you can achieve so much more together than you ever can alone, and you get what you give.

Have a look on www.mindovermoneymatters.co.uk and see for yourself.

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