All about… Shoestring Cottage
Jane from Shoestring Cottage knows what it takes to turn a financial life around, and take it from just scraping by to thriving. She blogs about getting off the consumer treadmill, growing her own food and living a truly wealthy life through frugality. We talked to her about her blog and shoestring lifestyle.
Tell us about your blog.
My blog, www.shoestringcottage.com was born from writing about my own situation. I have always been a frugal sort of person, but finding myself a single parent in 2009 focused my attention on my situation.
I realised how little I really knew about money and how to manage it. I am no longer single and my children are grown up, but I am still using and sharing the frugal lessons I learned to help manage my budget and grow my savings. I am thrifty but I live a good life without getting into debt. I also aim for simplicity and sustainability, which I find sit comfortably with frugality.
A green lifestyle tends to be cheaper!
Why do you write about money?
I write about frugality as a lifestyle choice. I want to show people that being frugal doesn’t mean living and austere and joyless existence and that you don’t have to get into debt to have fun.
How did you start blogging?
When I first started trying to get my finances into better shape, I scoured the internet for advice. I found lots of it in the form of blogs. The more confident I got in what I was doing the more I wanted to share it. It also acts as a kind of diary for me and helps keep me focused and on track.
What’s your most popular post and why?
A post about cutting my own hair! I think this may have been timing more than the content of the post. I have found that January and February are the months when people are looking to make serious savings in their household budgets and this appeared early February.
What’s your favourite post you’ve written, and why?
Ooh…tricky one!! A post that provoked a lot of comment that I enjoyed writing was “Are you a Frugal Fran or a Spendthrift Sue?”
It showed a day in the life of Fran, who takes her own lunch to work, uses supermarket own brands and puts a meal in the slow cooker before she leaves in the morning, versus Sue, who buys breakfast and coffee on the way in, gets a sandwich and crisps from the shop for lunch and then a take-out pizza because she is tired after work.
What’s your number one money tip?
Plan your food – that means your week’s menus, taking a shopping list, devising your meals around value brands and what you can find in the discount supermarkets and organising your leftovers. This saves so much money.
What’s your top blogging tip?
Blog regularly and frequently. Engage with your readers – read and respond to comments. Also, use social media to promote your blog. I have found Twitter and Instagram good, but I know others have a lot of success with Facebook and Pinterest.
Why are you part of UK Money Bloggers?
Because I find the group very knowledgeable as well as extremely generous and willing to share that knowledge with other bloggers.