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 Scott Nelson, from MoneyNerd, to tell me about his blog.
Please tell me about your blog and why you started to blog about money
I created MoneyNerd to help people deal with their personal finances, especially when it comes to debt. It’s a subject that’s long been close to my heart, yet my background may come as a surprise!
I have been in debt myself, and I’ve also worked in the financial services industry (mostly in high-cost lending such as credit cards and loans). Very few people have seen debt from both sides like I have!
In my work, I saw nothing but heartless lenders offering expensive loans to people who couldn’t afford them. I knew what it felt like to be in that vulnerable position, and realised I had to leave the industry.
I knew I could help people with their financial situations. With my insider knowledge, I wanted to give genuine advice to those who were in debt.
What was your first ever blog post?
The first blog I wrote for MoneyNerd was Get Them to Prove the Debt. I wrote this as a basic starting point for people who receive letters from debt collectors and have no idea what to do. It’s not very long – I think at this point I was just trying my hand at writing about finance in as simplified a way as possible. But hopefully the letter templates are helpful.
It’s really good for a first blog post and I am sure that it has helped many people who simply wouldn’t know where to start.
What is your favourite / most popular post?
My favourite post at the moment is Staying Sane with Debt Problems, I think primarily because the subject matter is so important. The impact financial difficulty can have on people’s mental health can’t be understated. This is particularly relevant at the moment, a time when the COVID crisis has caused so much distress in so many people’s lives – financially and personally.
As I outline at the start of the post, I am obviously no mental health professional, but I hope the coping mechanisms that I’ve written up for this post have enabled some people to take steps towards prioritising their mental health.
I myself like reading back over the post every now and again as a way to check-in with myself that I’m following my own advice and keeping mentally healthy.
That’s a brilliant blog with sound advice that everyone can take something from. As you say, many of us have found ourselves in situations that we could never have envisaged less than 12 months ago.
I think good habits become engrained when it comes to saving money like making your own soups and packed lunches as well as going for short walks instead of hopping in to the car to get a few groceries. You can really live well for washers when you have to and you put your mind to it.
Have you ever had a parking ticket? Was it deserved?
I’ve had a couple of fines in my time, mostly from human error rather than unfair road or parking signs. There was one where I’d returned to my car 4 minutes after the time was up, which seemed a little unfair, but I’ve never appealed one.
You could have appealed that as you have a 10-minute grace period to read the Terms and Conditions of the contract that you are entering in to before agreeing to it.
There are many loopholes and technicalities that motorists can use as part of their consumer rights. Local authorities and private parking operators rarely do anything by the book.
Do you ever complain to get redress and refunds if service or goods don’t come up to scratch?
Yes! Part of being financially savvy is knowing when it’s worth your time and effort (and principles!) to complain and get your money back. It’s important to do so level-headedly though, and not in the heat of anger/disappointment.
True – you have to pick and choose your battles, but it’s always the principle for me. I don’t like being made a mug of, so I will keep going and swallow up as much time, money and resources as it takes until I get the result I want.
With regards to loan interest refunds in particular, I have a few letter-guides on my website that people can follow to keep their emotions out of it: https://moneynerd.co.uk/how-to-get-a-refund-on-your-loan-with-letter-templates
Again, that’s a really good blog that will have saved consumers fortunes over the years.
We live in a society where debt is considered normal and it has been far too easy (and considered acceptable) to take out pay-day loans. Consumers don’t realise that they destroy your credit record with implications that can last for many years.
I’m sure that many people have taken out unaffordable loans and don’t realise that they can make substantial claims.
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?
I’m afraid I’ve never made a claim about a pothole; the roads are pretty good where I live in Malvern. I wasn’t aware it was easy to claim though! Tell me more…
The first thing you need to do is to take a photo if possible and report it asap. This blog makes for an interesting read on how to make a successful claim.
Which Moneyblogger(s) do you most admire and why?
There are so many super money bloggers out there, and also a new wave of money-influencers building and sharing their content on social platforms. In the ‘blogosphere’, I love WannaBeDebtFree. I think Grainne’s story is so inspiring, and I love that she’s used her experience to help other people. I’ve even bought her book to see if I can learn a thing or two and share it with my readers!
Then in terms of influencers, I think @mrmoneyjar’s content on Instagram is awesome. His graphics are really accessible and clear and always tell me something I didn’t know that I wanted to know!
There are so many good and influential bloggers out there and it’s amazing what some of them have achieved. Nobody would believe how much time is involved in running a blog, and few appreciate it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
It’s hard to think that far into the future at the moment, with everything seeming so uncertain. So, I guess I’ll just count myself lucky if I’m still living in Malvern, helping people out with their financial difficulties. One thing’s for sure: now that I’ve left the lending industry I’ll never go back!
I know – nobody would say 5 years ago that they ended up where they are now. It’s great to hear that you have turned your back on the lending industry to help others. My background is financial services as well and it’s an industry that pays well but doesn’t nourish the soul.
Consumers are encouraged to take out debt and to stay in debt, which is wrong on so many levels. There is a wealth of advice in your blog that everyone can take something from to get their finances in to better shape.
Thank you once again Scott for sharing your blog with me. There’s plenty of sound advice and a lot of help that others can use and take something from.
Why not take a look at www.moneynerd.co.uk and see for yourself.