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 Claire, from Money Saving Central, to tell me about her blog.

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

Money Saving Central was a dream of mine since I started becoming a big fan of websites like MSE and HotUKDeals. Being a mum of 5, I was always after ways to save money and I always thought how I’d love to share my knowledge with the public. So, one day when I was laid up in bed with my twin pregnancy, I decided to give it a try. That was back in 2016 and it has taken a LOT of work, but I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made.

What was your first ever blog post?

How to food shop cheaply and get away with it.

I am a bit of a food snob and hate the fact people would see my cupboards full of value branded food, so I learned how to mask it.

It’s something that has never bothered me as a single bloke, although I read it and found it surprising insofar as how judgmental some people can be. Quite sad really, especially just now. 

The own brand products are just as good as the brand names in many cases, and I mostly shop at Aldi simply because it’s only 3 mins away in the car. The quality is fine and you really can live well for less.

What is your favourite / most popular post?

80 free days out and cheap things to do with kids in half term.

I am passionate about helping young families enjoy life for less, so I put together these 80 days out for families to enjoy for free (or really cheap).

I love that blog, least of all because I know how consumer-driven society is and how you can find enjoyment in the simplest of pleasures. Brilliant, and I can see how it is one of your favourites and the most popular post.

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

Yes once, it was in a private car park, so luckily I just ignored it on Google’s advice and it went away. Private car park fines are rarely followed up on.

You would be surprised, and it’s something I would never recommend. I have highlighted this on my blog where people have done that. You have entered in to a contract on private land and have been hit with an alleged breach, which can be enforced in Court.

You have a 1 in 4 chance of being hit with a parking ticket and most people don’t understand their rights in how to deal with it. That is why I wrote and published a book last year to shine a spotlight on it to raise awareness so consumers can effectively deal with this scourge.

What’s your biggest money failure?

Not paying for cancellation cover on hotels! I always try to scrimp and think nothing will happen, but since Covid-19 and having so many hotels cancelled, I have realised that extra few £££s are definitely worth it.

Interesting point – you don’t need cancellation cover as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 covers you for free. You have entered in to a contract which has not been delivered through no fault of your own – contract frustrated and cancelled. You are entitled to a full refund.

What’s your biggest money success?

Definitely my blog. It took many hours/weeks/months of unpaid work before I started making any decent money from it. But now I get to do what I love and earn money at the same time.

Well done! That has to be the aspiration for all bloggers.

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

Absolutely! I encourage anyone to do the same. In this day and age, with reviews being so important, it is a lot easier to get refunds and compensation from retailers when they don’t deliver what they promise.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s about the principle with me and consumers need to be aware of their rights and how to assert them. That’s 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?

No, I barely leave my house. I have been fortunate enough to not have to claim.

Lucky you in a way. Edinburgh’s roads are a disgrace and resemble farm tracks. I actually said that in my response to the claims handlers for Edinburgh City Council when they tried to fob me off – they settled my claim within 48 hours.

Which Moneyblogger(s) do you most admire and why?

All of them! The UK Money bloggers are an amazing team of influencers, all of which have loads to offer for all types of money queries.

Totally agree. There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise within the group – it’s incredible.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Hopefully the same! I would love to earn enough money from Money Saving Central to be able to have a little help, so one of my goals is definitely to get to the point where I can pay someone to help me out.

That resonates with me. You simply can’t do everything by yourself and it’s power in numbers. You can achieve much more together than you can alone, so fingers crossed you can do just that. 

Your motto about every penny saved is a penny earned one of mine too! There are some great deals everywhere and some brilliant ideas and advice on your website.

Thank you once again Claire 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 blog as well as the inspiration behind it.

I love your website and there is plenty of good content there that people can take something from.

Have a look at Money Saving Central and see for yourself.

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