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 Melissa, from Skinny Spending, to tell me all about her blog.

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

I had thought about starting a blog for a while but I didn’t really have a clear focus on exactly what it would cover, so that stalled me for months. I have always loved seeking out bargains and making my money go further, so when I thought about writing with this in mind it was like a lightbulb moment!

I’m certainly no financial expert, so my blog, Skinny Spending, is more about how I save money through different aspects of my lifestyle including beauty, parenting and groceries. I also branched out into covering ways to make money too.

What was your first ever blog post?

5 ways to save money when you think you’ve done everything” – I think a lot of us cringe looking back at our early work, but after a quick read through, these tips still hold up nicely and I am still following my own advice with them all!

That’s a great blog that everyone can take something from. Downshifting on products and mobile phones resonated with me as it’s something I swear by. You generally don’t notice any difference on quality with own-brand products nowadays and mobile phones do everything you need them for from one year to the next without needing to continually upgrade. It’s the small savings that really add up over time. I need to have a clear-out as well and get signed up to eBay.

What is your favourite / most popular post?

I think because I titled this post “How I earned over £600 side hustling in January 2019” anything about earning money attracts the traffic!

I love that blog! I have never used eBay yet I have so much stuff I could sell and get rid of (note to self – get that done asap). Everyone needs to read that blog as there is something that we can all take from it.

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

Yes, it was a bus lane ticket. I think it was deserved as I was in the wrong but it was through a complete mistake. I had gone to pick up a Domino’s pizza order from a branch I had never driven to before. It is located off a busy main road very close to a bus only turning that leads to the bus station. To cut a complicated story short, I was flustered and confused as where to park for the Dominos, as if I drove past and missed the turning it would take about 10 minutes to go round again, so I accidentally went in the bus lane for about 3 seconds which resulted in the £30 ticket. Most expensive pizza ever!

Mistakes happen and there are some landmark rulings that have been made that motorists can rely on to contest tickets based on confusing, misleading and hidden signs. I have published them on my blog and they make for an interesting read. The Road Traffic Act cuts both ways and motorists need to take the fight back to greedy local authorities who are exploiting motorists.

What’s your biggest money failure?

Buying things I simply didn’t need in my younger days, and spending beyond my means on credit.

It’s an easy trap to fall in to nowadays and one that most people are probably guilty of. It’s easier now than it ever has been and I believe that financial education should be taught in school to enable the future generations to avoid the same pitfalls.

What’s your biggest money success?

Paying off my credit card and my car in 2019 and becoming completely consumer debt free (other than house payment), on a part time wage that is less than half what I earned 5 years ago.

Well done! Discipline and perseverance certainly pays off in the long run.

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

Yes, I would definitely do this. I can’t think of a time when I have needed to in the past few years.

That’s good. Consumers need to be aware of their rights and hold traders to account where necessary.

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 have never claimed for this and I have definitely had a tyre damaged in the past!

This is a big problem that blights every motorist with Councils discounting legitimate claims based on a statutory defence that they cannot be held liable for potholes they are not aware of. It is completely unacceptable. Edinburgh City Council tried to fob me off and paid out within 48 hours when I responded, knowing that I wasn’t going to wear it. Motorists need to submit robust claims to get the compensation they deserve.

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

Emma Drew was the first money blogger I discovered an I have learnt a lot from her website.

Katy Kicker’s website is fantastic and she is always so supportive.

I also love keeping track of all Thrify Clair’s bargains and deals.

There are some great blogs out there and I am grateful to Jane www.ladyjaney.co.uk for introducing me to everyone and for the support, advice and help she has given me since we were both featured in the Daily Mail as consumer champions. I also appreciate the support, advice and generosity given by everyone and I hope to be able to repay that in different ways in years to come.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would love to reduce my working hours from 3 days to 2 and be earning an income from my blog and other side hustles. I like the security and benefits of my job, not to mention the job itself, but it would be great to have multiple income streams too.

I share the same goals and aspirations with my blog too. Perseverance is the key to success and it takes time not only to build a blog up but to monetise it. It can be done and being a part of the blogging community is invaluable because you can’t do it alone.

Thank you once again Melissa for sharing your story with me. I found your answers really interesting and there’s something everyone can take from it. I love the theme of your website and there is plenty of advice there for everyone.

Have a look at www.skinnyspending.co.uk and see for yourself.

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