All about… Thinking Thrifty
David Taylor is the prolific blogger behind Thinking Thrifty. He documents his money-saving journey – everything from snapping up reduced food in his local supermarket to renovating a café for under £500 – in a humorous, personal style. We were pleased to talk to David and find out more about his blog, its beginnings and its journey.
Tell us about your blog.
It’s starting to take on a life of its own!
What initially began as a means to keep me accountable for saving money towards a mortgage deposit has quickly evolved into an extension of my life in the pursuit of early retirement in the sun. I talk about all the things I’m doing to make, manage and save money.
From yellow ticket ninja raids in the supermarket, to investing my money in a cafe instead of the bank. On top of all that I provide practical financial advice that I’ve picked up from my own experiences, as well as my former fields of employment.
Why do you write about money?
I was a serial excuse maker when it came to managing and saving money. I didn’t earn enough, my outgoings were too high and it was impossible to put anything to one side in savings.
The truth was I threw my money away like it was about to go out of fashion. Luckily I was sensible enough not to rack up any debt, but still, I frittered it away big time. When I finally pulled my head out of the clouds and realised there was much I could do to cut back without it ruining my life, I decided to write about it to show that anyone can do it.
How did you start blogging?
There was a lack of content going on my workplace blog at the time, and I was approached by my mate who worked in marketing. He loved the stuff I gave him, and later when he went on to be the marketing manager, offered me a place on his team when it became available.
He helped me set up Thinking Thrifty (originally The Blog Spot when I thought I’d invented the most unique name ever – true story), as a way for me to practice blogging and the techniques I’d need to use in the job.
I caught the bug: it was perfect for someone who has far too much to say, and it focused me into achieving a complete lifestyle overhaul.
What’s your most popular post and why?
A typically rainy Manchester day meant that by a complete fluke I couldn’t face the monsoon and didn’t walk home for my dinner. I stayed put at my desk, mooching about on the internet and up popped a news alert from the BBC that people were selling the new five pound note.
I whipped a blog together about it after some quick research on eBay and it ranked second to the BBC on Google for numerous search terms. It’s still getting good daily views now and it was a massive lesson in newsjacking.
What’s your favourite post you’ve written, and why?
It would have to be Back To The Future: My Advice To A 16 Year Old David.
I try to live without any regrets, but I do wish I had the mindset I have now much earlier in life. I spent far too long in an abusive relationship which dragged me down and drained all the ambition and confidence out of me that I’d always previously had. I thought without making an appearance in the club every weekend would mean I’d lose friends, truth was they were never friends (on the whole), they were acquaintances.
If I could go back I’d concentrate on making a success out of my life much earlier.
What’s your number one money tip?
Don’t try and kid yourself, be honest and take responsibility for what you’re spending.
Everyone can skim something off their monthly outgoings in the attempt to build an emergency fund – regardless of how small you start. Having one can be the difference between a good night’s sleep ‘problem solved’, and an emergency loan with a rip off APR complete with a one way ticket to debt struggles.
Build an emergency fund until you’ve reached a minimum of three months’ wages!
What’s your top blogging tip?
Don’t compare yourself to others, your journey is no less significant than anyone else’s, we all have to start somewhere so make your own goals and stick to them.
Never imitate, I’d rather be the best version of myself than an pale imitation of someone else, regardless of how many pageviews they may be getting. Do your own thing in your own voice, the internet is big enough to accommodate us all, make your space interesting, real and appealing.
Why are you part of UK Money Bloggers?
I’m a community driven person, I believe in good karma and helping others.
I received tremendous support from many of the UK Money Bloggers and I believe we are stronger as a community than on our own. Now, as new members join us almost weekly, I try my best to encourage support and advise them just as the other UK Money Bloggers did, and continue to do for me.
Who are your three favourite UK Money Bloggers?
I honestly cannot whittle them down to three, and you can’t make me!! Ha! How about we compromise and I give you my favourite bloggers from the categories I’m most interested in? OK deal, rules are made to be broken and all that!
Money making – Katykicker and Emma Drew. These girls are money making machines and inspired me to take the leap into self-employment well before it even happened. If there is a way to make money on the internet, these ladies will find it.
Money saving – Be Clever With Your Cash – Andy blows me away with some of the money saving hacks he digs out. Student discount and paid to watch Game of Thrones, say no more! Eco Thrifty Living is a girl after my own heart and I love her stuff on reducing food waste, helping the environment and therefore saving your pennies when it comes to food shopping.
Frugal foodies – Reduced Grub and Thrifty Lesley are a massive inspiration to me, I love cooking and like to be able to create amazing dishes without it bankrupting me. These ladies have that boxed off perfectly and I highly recommend you give them a look!
Lifestyle money savers – Mrs Mummy Penny inspires me to do better and we have regular pep talks, a shrewd negotiator that is always happy to lend her advice and support. I love Lynn’s style of writing, so honest and straight from the heart. Chammy in Real Life gives me regular giggles with her realness, it shines through in her writing and I’m always interested to see what she’s been up to.