Whether you’re struggling to keep your head above water, saving for a house, or simply in desperate need of a holiday, money-saving advice is useful to all of us at some point in our lives. Here at Lifeline24, we’ve been lucky enough to sit down with Nick from Pounds and Sense for this Q&A guest blog. Pounds and Sense is a blog that offers excellent money-making and money-saving tips from an over-50s perspective. Nick started the blog in December 2016 to offer his thoughts on financial matters for older readers. Read more to find out about Nick’s blog and what inspired him to share his budgeting wisdom, and don’t forget to check out more of his excellent money-saving tips on the Pounds and Sense website!
What did you do before beginning Pounds and Sense?
For over thirty years I was a professional freelance writer and editor. I worked for a wide range of clients on projects ranging from career information articles to quiz books, travel guides to online training courses, novelty products to advertisements.
What inspired you to start the website and blog?
Personal finance has always been an interest of mine, and as I moved towards retirement I decided it was time to indulge it! Also, there are relatively few blogs or websites that address financial matters from an older person’s perspective, so I thought there was a need I could help to meet.
I should make clear that I’m not a trained financial adviser; I provide a layman’s view of money matters, albeit a layman with a particular interest in personal finance. I can’t – and wouldn’t want to – offer personal financial advice. Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you are unsure how to proceed, you should always speak to a qualified financial services professional.
How would you summarise Pounds and Sense for our readers?
Pounds and Sense is a UK personal finance blog aimed especially at over-50s. I am 65 and semi-retired. Through my blog, I aim to provide financial tips, advice, and information from an older person’s viewpoint.
Do you cover any topics other than budgeting and saving?
Yes, I do. There are five main categories on my blog: Making Money, Saving Money, Investing, Pensions and Benefits, and Everything Else. The latter category covers any other subject that (a) interests me and (b) I think will interest my readers. That includes health, travel, holidays, food and drink, current affairs, and more.
Who reads Pounds and Sense? Is it just for people with cash to invest?
The ratio of readers is about 55% men to 45% women. As regards age, I originally expected that PAS would appeal mainly to older people, as those were the ones I was targeting. But in fact, I get a lot of younger readers as well. My readership is actually fairly evenly distributed across all age groups.
I can’t give you chapter and verse about my readers’ financial circumstances. The UK has quite strict privacy and data protection laws, so I am limited in what information I can gather about that. However, I would say that I aim to cover most financial circumstances. So I have some blog posts about welfare benefits that older people (in particular) may be eligible for. But I also discuss investment platforms that may be of interest to those with larger disposable incomes.
Do you think your money-saving tips are for people of all walks of life?
Again, I try to provide tips and advice that will be valuable to everyone. Obviously, some topics will be more relevant to people with a higher disposable income. But many of the ideas I share are equally applicable for those with very little money to spare.
If you could give people one piece of money-saving advice, what would it be?
We live in strange and uncertain times. I think everyone should therefore aim to build up a financial ‘cushion’ so that if an unexpected crisis occurs, you have enough money to tide you over for a few months at least.
I recommend a two-pronged approach to achieve this. Firstly, look for ways you can save on your outgoings, e.g. use a price comparison website such as Uswitch to see if you could save money by changing your energy supplier. And second, look for ways of maximizing your income, e.g. by checking out grants or benefits you may be eligible for, or starting a ‘side hustle’ to provide an extra income stream. Of course, these are all topics I discuss regularly on Pounds and Sense.
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