Keene On Saving’s Liebster Award



Recently, the lovely Joe from Budget Breakaway nominated me for the Liebster Award and set his nominees 5 questions which they have to answer – eek! My answers will be included this in the post, along with the people I nominate.

What Is The Liebster Award?

It is an online award given by bloggers to other bloggers in recognition of their content. I know Joe is a fairly new reader to KOS and I am not the best at posting on here, so I truly appreciate that!

I’ve struggled to find  people to pass this along to who haven’t already been nominated (and these people probably have!) but I nominate:

From Aldi To Harrods – The Frugal Cottage – A Disease Called Debt

As I couldn’t think of five, I challenge my readers to answer my questions in the comments!

Here are my answers to Joe’s questions:

If I gave you £100 but told you that you had to invest it somewhere new, what would you do with it?  Ooh, this is a toughie! I know my partner’s family have a couple of good investments so I would probably entrust my money to them – my partner is far more up on the investment side of things, I deal with the debt!

What is your next financial goal and what will help you to achieve it? My next financial goal is to get completely out of debt to anyone that isn’t friends or family. I currently owe around £900 on my credit card and I want that gone. I am side hustling like crazy to get that number down. I’m also helping my parents to declutter my old room and anything I sell from there goes towards what I owe my parents.

Who would you say you look up to as a financial role model? Definitely Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents – she is just so inspiring. From becoming debt free to her awesome monthly income updates, I look forward to her posts all the time and take everything she says on board.

What is your most productive time of the day? The evenings when my partner is working nights and my son is in bed – it means I can give a task my full attention.

If you could go back and undo one of your financial mistakes, what would it be? As a couple, I would say don’t buy the static caravan but I was pregnant and we panicked, especially since we couldn’t get a mortgage. Personally, I would say don’t secretly borrow off my Dad because he didn’t want my Mum to find out – she inevitably did, although she doesn’t know the full amount – and we both got a little carried away. I know he wouldn’t have lent it to me if he didn’t have it but I feel guilty constantly!

My Questions:

1. Apart from your day job, what is your favourite way of making money?

2. Best financial decision you have made so far?

3. Most expensive item you have ever bought? Was it worth it?

4. If you won the lottery tomorrow, how would you use the money?

5.  What is your dream job?

I would love to see your answers!

3 Lessons About Money I Would Beat Into My Younger Self’s Head (if I could)

This is a guest post from the awesome Chris from Spend It Like Beckham. He is new to the world of blogging so show him some support by going over to check his fab blog out!

After I finished University, I would often look back at my time there and slip into nostalgic daydreams where everything seemed at peace. This is due to the fact that my brain, much like Match of the Day, only showed me the highlights; the best bits. When I actually thought of what the majority of my University experience was, I was surprised that I survived. When I looked past the parties, the summers, the guitar playing lecturers, I realise that my head was so far from being screwed on I would’ve made Miley Cyrus look like an upstanding member of society (although I was definitely prettier).

I came to the late realisation that the fruitless spending and the partying was great at the time, I would have been much better off being a little (a lot) tamer, especially when it came to my finances. I’ve learned a lot in hindsight and I feel that I should pass some of it on. Who knows, maybe it will come in useful to some other partying, broke, Miley Cyrus lookalike!


Do not buy something just because it is on offer

I was guilty of doing this, so, so much. I bought things that I absolutely did not need, just because they were on offer. I still, to this day, have an espresso machine in my kitchen when I don’t even drink coffee. When the urge to buy something spontaneously arises, which it will, take a step back and think to yourself, “Do I REALLY need this?” A good rule to adopt is the 48-hour rule. If you see something that you ‘desperately need’, wait 48 hours and go back, and if you are still convinced that you need it, then maybe you do, but there’s an even better chance that you will just forget about it.


If you have to get a credit card, get the right one

There are a lot of negative connotations with students and credit cards; usually from people who got themselves a bad credit card. I, unsurprisingly, was one of these people. I fell for the student branding of a certain bank’s credit card and thought, “Oh, I’m a student. This is ideal.” It wasn’t ideal. It had a really high purchase and interest rate. Banks, believe it or not, take advantage of students. I know, I used to work for one. This one that I got from my current bank (Clydesdale Bank) has 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers (which has been handy in paying off my balance from the aforementioned student card) for over a year, and is available to any member of the public, whether you’re a student or not. The chances are your bank’s standard credit card will be better for you than their student product.


Don’t let the tax man take all your money

The one smart thing I did while at University was have a part time job, which is actually a sound piece of advice in itself. I needed to fund my lavish lifestyle while we weren’t in term, so I worked more or less full time over the summer months. As I was working more hours, I was obviously expecting to be paid more money, makes sense, yeah? When I got my first wage slip I was surprised to find I had barely made any extra at all as a lot of my wage had gone towards PAYE. At first I was thinking that it was correct and I’d just have to live with it, but when I actually looked into it, it turns out it wasn’t correct. I had the wrong tax code and was paying way too much for a student. So, while I got over taxed at that point, I did get a small but welcome tax refund a while later. If you’re a student you can learn more about tax codes and if you’re overpaying on your tax from the HMRC.


These are just some of the ways that you can help yourself financially while you’re a student, but I’m always writing advice on how to save money over at Spend It Like Beckham. I also write about fiscally related football (and other sports) stories if you’re into that kind of thing. You can also talk to me on Twitter or Facebook. I might not answer you, but you can always try 

Budgeting For A Holiday

People seem to think that when you are working towards being debt free, you have to live like a hermit and do nothing at all. This isn’t true. Sure, you can’t go out spending silly money on things you really don’t need but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out for dinner with friends very occasionally or shock horror, even go on holiday!

 We aren’t completely debt free but we know the importance of taking some time to chill out and recharge the batteries when you really need to. The hermit life isn’t for me so I know that if I want to go somewhere or do something, I need to budget for it. The same principle stands for holidays – we try to make sure we budget appropriately in order to enjoy ourselves and get the chance to properly relax.

So how do we budget for holidays? First things first, we decide our maximum spend on everything – this includes travel, accomodation, spending money and some emergency money, just in case. Once we have decided on a maximum budget, we try to book the accommodation (usually waiting for a good deal) and then focusing on the travel, comparing prices on a site like GoEuro and booking tickets then and there. Once the important parts have been budgeted and paid for with good hard work and some waiting around to get the perfect deal, we then try to put aside our spending and emergency money, either putting  a little aside from our wages or through other means such as our side hustles. I take a little inspiration for my holiday budgeting from this article from Mint.

 Once we know we have budgeted appropriately, we can start to relax and look forward to the holiday ahead. How do you budget for your holidays? Do you save like mad and seek out the best deals or do you book without a moments thought towards the state of your finances?