All about… Can’t Swing A Cat
This week’s Money Blogger profile is Jenni Hill who won Best New Money Blog at last year’s SHO-MO awards for Can’tSwingACat.co.uk. By slashing her living costs, giving up nights out, shopping second hand and taking on extra work outside of her 9-5 job, Jenni managed to save £10,000 towards her own home in the space of a year.
Tell us about your blog.
I blog about personal finance over on Can’t Swing a Cat. While I like to keep the blog’s content as varied as possible, I tend to find myself writing about saving for a deposit, shopping at charity shops, and the financial benefits of being eco-friendly.
Why do you write about money?
I want to help others to make money, save money and generally take control of their finances. I’m particularly keen to try and encourage young people to show an interest in personal finance, save for the future and progress their careers.
How did you start blogging?
I first started writing about money when I moved in with my parents to save up for a deposit on my first house. I wanted to document my progress and thought that if I made my money-saving efforts public, I’d be more likely to stick to it.
What’s your most popular post and why?
My most popular post to date is a guide I wrote to getting 3 months of Spotify Premium for 99p. Even though the offer has expired, people continue to search for information about it on Google and end up stumbling upon my blog. I think this proves just how important it is for bloggers to keyword optimise their posts! It can be a great way of boosting traffic.
Aside from that, my charity shop tips post also proved to be popular.
What’s your favourite post you’ve written and why?
My favourite post is probably ‘The Truth About Voucher Codes, Coupons and Deals‘, where I look at whether or not discounts are as great as they initially seem. If you need to buy something, I think it’s certainly worth making the most of any discounts you can get your hands on.
However, I think far too many people let voucher codes and coupons influence their purchases and they end up buying things they don’t really need. These discounts were not invented to save consumers money, they were invented to increase sales and make brands richer.
What’s your number one money tip?
Don’t buy stuff in the first place! I know that sounds silly and really obvious, but it’s true. Embrace the concept of ‘No Spend Days’ and find ways to enjoy yourself for free. Avoid the high street, make a promise with your partner to not exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day, and think twice before you purchase anything.
Many people think that spending money and buying things is essential in order to have fun and be happy, but I really don’t think that’s the case. For me, life became so much more fulfilling as soon as I started focussing on the little things in life rather than obsessing over material items.
Of course, I still have my weaknesses. No matter how much I try, I can’t seem to stop myself from buying Diet Cokes and Twirls. I’ll say no to a night out and a new dress, but I’ll buy numerous chocolate bars on a daily basis. That’s ridiculous!
What’s your top blogging tip?
As I briefly mentioned earlier in the interview, keywords can really help to drive traffic to your site. Do some keyword research and be sure to include relevant words and phrases within your posts.
Why are you part of UK Money Bloggers?
When I first started blogging about money, I felt a little bit alone, in a way. There are so many fashion, lifestyle and parenting bloggers in the UK, but the number of personal finance bloggers felt much lower.
However, when I finally started interacting with the money bloggers that I had heard of, it felt great to chat about our interests and share tips with one another.
When I heard that Andy was starting the UK Money Bloggers collective, I couldn’t wait to get involved. Although we all blog about money, we all specialise in different things, so it’s great to combine our knowledge so we can help more people.
Who are your three favourite UK Money Bloggers?
Lauren Snell from The Shrewd Life is great. By being thrifty and cutting back on her expenditure, she managed to buy her first home at the age of 25. I guess I look up to her in a way!
I’m also a big fan of Natalya from Cottage Retreatist. In 2012 she was in £26,000 worth of debt, but by focussing on the simple things in life and living somewhat of a consumerism-free life, she managed to overcome her debt and even put some money in savings. I really admire her anti-consumerist attitude.
Making an effort to be eco-friendly is a great way of saving money (as well as the planet!), and this is why I love Zoe Morrison over at Eco Thrifty Living. If you like the thought of being more sustainable, I’d definitely check Zoe’s blog out.