The top 10 money bloggers' guide to making and saving money in 2017
When I’m not writing for Moneywise or my own blog, I also run UK Money Bloggers, a community of online writers covering every aspect of personal finance from deals to debt.
So it made sense for the Moneywise team to ask me to pick 10 bloggers to help you save or earn more money in 2017.
Whether you want to save money, make money or manage your money better, there is a blogger or two in this list who could really help you achieve your goal – along with Moneywise, of course.
Money making: EmmaDrew.info
If there’s one person who knows how to make a quick buck, it’s Emma Drew. Her eponymous blog (previously known as From Aldi to Harrods) is chock-full of tips to top up your income – something we bloggers call “side hustles”.
Emma is a big fan of survey websites, regularly pocketing her more than £50 each month. She’s also an eBay aficionado, selling everything she can – including making a profit on bashed-up pairs of old shoes.
You can even see how successful these activities are. Emma publishes a monthly income report, detailing the extra income that allowed her to ditch her full-time job and concentrate on blogging.
Emma’s top tip: “By completing just one mystery shopping assignment every fortnight, you could earn yourself £240 in a year and enjoy lots of freebies too. One of my favourite firms is Market Force (Uk.marketforceshopper.com).”
Annual saving: £240.
Investment advice: MoneytotheMasses.com
The man behind this blog was once helping the rich get richer in the City. But as Damien Fahy grew increasingly frustrated that the people who needed his advice the most couldn’t afford him, he jacked it in to run Money to the Masses full time. Savings and mortgages are covered in the blog, but Damien leads the way in investment blogging.
His articles are often accompanied by tools to help you make the best returns, and Damien also posts regular updates on his £50,000 portfolio – a refreshing visibility in a sometimes murky world. You can also download an entertaining weekly podcast.
Damien’s top tip: “Keeping costs low, while utilising your individual savings account (Isa) allowance and tax relief on pension contributions boosts your returns.
If you cut annual charges by just 1% on a £50,000 pension pot, you’d save £500 in the first year alone. The saving also grows as your portfolio does.”
Annual saving: £500.
Frugal food: ReducedGrub.com
Kelly Eroglu only started Reduced Grub last year, but she’s already making quite an impact. Unable to afford to feed her children in the way she wanted (convenience “crap” is a pet hate), Kelly discovered she could get the goods for less if she hit the reduced aisles.
There are already dozens of sub £1 recipes on her blog to give you inspiration from your yellow sticker haul or leftovers. Think butter curry paneer, stuffed sea bass and Mexican stew. What is more, they are simple to make and often accompanied by clear step-by-step photos.
Kelly’s top tip: “Find out the reduction times at your local supermarket and save around £30 a week, which equates to more than £1,500 a year.”
Annual saving: £1,500.
Getting more for your money: BeCleverWithYourCash.com
Be Clever With Your Cash is a blog for everyday living – from finding the best deal on your bills and discovering the benefits of switching bank to travel money tips and Amazon delivery hacks.
It might seem shameless to include my own blog in this list (OK, it is), but if you want to learn ways to make your money go further, it’s a useful read.
Andy’s top tip: “Stop overpaying on TV. You can regularly find deals to get NOW TV, including all your Sky TV and movie channels, for under £9 a month. That’s £250 less than the average pay TV annual cost.”
2017 saving: £250.
Moneywise editor Moira O’Neill says: “Andy’s blog is good on the detail of how to get better deals with your money and we often commission him to write the ‘Moneywise Investigates’ feature, tackling issues from buying mobile phones to whether you should give gift cards.”
Ethical investing: Good-with-Money.com
It’s all very well finding the cheapest deal, but saving a few pennies can come at the expense of being “good”.
This played on the conscience of Becky O’Connor and Lisa Stanley, an ex-personal finance journalist and PR respectively, so they set up Good With Money. The ‘good money girls’ share how your investments can tally up with your ethical concerns.
Don’t worry, they aren’t preachy. And as they freely admit, they aren’t perfect every time. But if you are worried about your money funding fracking, animal testing or the arms trade, this blog can help you try to be good too.
Becky’s top tip: “Switch from a Big Six energy supplier’s standard variable tariff to a 100% renewable energy tariff. You could save £169.50 a year.”
Annual saving: £169.50.
Bargain hunting: LottyEarns.co.uk
Charlotte Burns is the queen of sharing price glitches. It could be mispricing; it could be voucher codes working where they shouldn’t. It’s certainly something money bloggers get ridiculously excited about.
She managed to deck out her new home in furniture at a tiny fraction of the RRP and stocked up her fridge in M&S wine for just a few quid.
But there is a lot more to LottyEarns than these short-lived deals. It was her wide range of funny and accessible money posts that won her Money Blogger of the Year at the UK Money Blogger awards in 2016.
Lotty’s top tip: “Sign up to a cashback site such as Quidco. With it, you shop as usual, but go via the site and on average you can save £252 a year. Free money!”
Annual saving: £252.
Frugal spending: SkintDad.co.uk
It’s brave to put your money problems on show for everyone, but Ricky and Naomi Willis did just that. A breaking point of having just £6.20 to last a week forced them to take stock and make a change.
While Skint Dad started as a way to document the lifestyle changes they were undertaking to drag themselves out of debt, it’s changed as they’ve rebuilt their finances.
The blog has become a fun and engaging read on all areas of everyday spending, meaning Ricky’s supermarket tricks, ‘fakeaway’ recipes and eBay secrets should save you a pretty penny in 2017.
Ricky’s top tip: “The food bill is something we’re all stuck with, but it’s where you can make big savings. Use cashback apps such as CheckoutSmart, and you’ll save hundreds of pounds a year on topname brands.”
Annual saving: £100-plus.
Family finances: FrugalFamily.co.uk
Having kids can be the kick in the backside some people need to take a closer look at their fi nances, and sometimes the best people to help are other parents.
The Diary of a Frugal Family is as much about Cass Bailey’s family as it is about being frugal, but those two topics are essentially symbiotic. The less money Cass spends on everyday expenses, the more she has to do things with her husband and two children.
The blog is full of articles on thrifty activities to entertain them and frugal recipes you can follow together, alongside some useful articles to help in the fi nancial education of your youngsters.
Cass’s top tip: “With a little meal planning, you could easily shave £20 off your weekly shopping budget – that’s more than £1,000 a year.”
Annual saving: £1,000.
Millennial money: CantSwingACat.co.uk
Even if you’re not part of this generation, you’ll probably have someone in the family faced with the daunting financial reality of life for 20-and 30-somethings.
Can’t Swing A Cat was set up by Jen Hill to share the ways she was saving up for a deposit – including moving back with her parents. It has since grown to cover financial independence, retirement and career fulfilment for young people.
There is anger at the struggles Jen’s age group have to deal with which bites through her posts, jolting her readers to start thinking about their own futures.
Jen’s top tip: “If you’re a fi rst-time buyer, open a Help to Buy Isa and in the first year you could earn up to £850 in government contributions towards the cost of your first home, plus interest.”
Annual earning: £850-plus.
Debt and credit worries: DebtCamel.co.uk
If you want straight talking and jargon-free articles about dealing with debt, you can’t go wrong with Sara Williams’ Debt Camel – a deliberately strange name to signify the blog isn’t part of a commercial organisation.
There is a wealth of guides on everything from Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) to carers’ allowances. There is also plenty for those not in debt, with everyday money such as managing credit cards and water meters covered.
It is noteworthy that Sara doesn’t make a penny from her blog, which grew from her volunteering experience at her local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Sara’s top tip: “A standing order for twice the minimum card repayment gives huge savings. Do this on a £1,000 debt on a card charging 18% interest and it’ll take two years rather than 18 to clear it and save you more than £1,000.”
Also known as discount codes, promotional vouchers or promotional codes, online coupons or discount vouchers, are codes that can be entered at the checkout of many online UK retailers that gives you a discount against the item/s you are purchasing. The codes are generated by retailers and sent to certain members of the public to encourage sales.
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.
A type of derivative often lumped together with options, but slightly different. The original derivative was a future used by farmers to set the price of their produce in advance before they sowed the seeds so that after the harvest, crops would be sold at the pre-agreed price no matter what the movements of the market. So a future is a contract to buy or sell a fixed quantity of a particular commodity, currency or security (share, bond) for delivery at a fixed date in the future for a fixed price. At the end of a futures contract, the holder is obliged to pay or receive the difference between the price set in the contract and the market price on the expiry date, which can generate massive profits or vast losses.