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Published on March 17th, 2014 | by Pete


Eco Thrifty Living Interview

It’s that time of the month again, when we start yapping to another member of the UK personal finance blogosphere. This month, we have been chatting to the simply delightful Zoe, who is responsible for Eco Thrifty Living. This is not just a personal finance blog, it also looks at the moral, and environmental implications to financial decisions, and has some useful tips as well. Here is what Zoe had to say:

What made you start blogging about personal finance?

I started blogging about being eco-friendly and thrifty while I was on maternity leave.  I really didn’t want to go back to work for various reasons, but I felt like I had to – we had just moved house and had our second child, plus I wasn’t prepared to stop buying organic food and eco-friendly products which can often be more expensive.  I became determined to work out how I could be eco-friendly on a budget and to make enough cutbacks to not just survive, but thrive on one salary.

2.       What is your favourite money saving tip?

I don’t think I have a favourite one, but I think it is important to make the most of what you have and think for yourself. Ask yourself questions like these before you spend any money – do you really need it, can you make it/ do it yourself, what kind of impact will your purchase have on the environment (often the genuinely eco-friendly option is also the cheapest option).

3.       What is your proudest achievement since you’ve started blogging?

I am really proud of myself for sticking with it for as long as I have. It could have been so easy to just give up and think what is the point in all this – sometimes it feels like no-one is reading the blog, or paying any attention, but then at other times lovely comments and opportunities come up unexpectedly.  Plus I did actually achieve what I set out to do.  I made enough cutbacks and extra money on the side (e.g. through renting out our garage and having students) that I was able to quit my job and have been happily unemployed for over a year now.  I am also really pleased with all the eco-friendly changes I have made to my life, which have definitely improved my health and wellbeing as well e.g. over the last year I lost two stone in weight after quitting sugar (and the vast majority of processed packaged foods along with it).

4.       What’s your favourite way of saving money, and the environment simultaneously?

There are too many ways to mention, but one of the things which costs people a lot of money and has a big impact on the environment is taking overseas holidays.  We used to take one each year, but haven’t had one for a couple of years now.  We have signed up to a house swapping website, where you swap houses with someone and take a holiday in their town.  We haven’t actually been successful with this so far, but I think it is a great idea.  We have instead stayed at relatives and have taken a staycation at home, which was great. To take a family of four overseas during the summer school holidays would cost around £2000 for a fairly budget holiday I think and even if you spend £500 in a week at your home or someone else’s, you will have saved yourself around £1500.

5.       What advice would you give to others who want to start blogging about personal finance?

I would advise that you write about the things that most interest you and that are most important to you – just be yourself.  It is also important to set expectations low – don’t expect a big readership overnight and don’t expect to make any money from blogging. Blogging is a great platform to share your ideas, get yourself known and other opportunities may come from it, but you need to stick at it and persevere.

So there we have it. Massive thanks to Zoe, for taking the time to answer our questions, and for sharing her thoughts with us. You can find Zoe, an more of her work over at Eco Thrifty Living. Check it out, it’s become a must see for us here at MoneySuperstar.

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