Over the course of the next 8 Wednesdays, I am posting interviews with the other members of the M-Network so you can get to know them a little bit better. If you don’t already read these sites, you really should check them out! To be fair I am going in alphabetical order by site name, and next up is Plonkee from Plonkee Money.
So Plonkee, when did you start Plonkee Money and why?
Well, I’ve just had the first anniversary of plonkee money – it was last Saturday – although I changed from a blogspot domain to my own in about April. I’d started reading a number of personal finance blogs in the previous September and was actively commenting on a lot of them. Sometimes I found that I had more to say than could be reasonably put into a comment, and I also noticed that there weren’t many British personal finance blogs, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.
How much time do you spend each week on your site?
Honestly, I spend between 3 and 4 hours most days (so around 20-35 hours a week) but at least half of that is reading other blogs – since my blogging grew out of commenting it’s something I like to keep up with.
For other people contemplating starting their own personal finance sites, what are a few tips you could offer them?
Start doing it. If you comment on other people’s posts, submit to carnivals and generally get involved in the personal finance community then you’ll get noticed. Also, most personal finance sites host adverts, don’t think that means that the pounds will roll in quickly it’ll take a lot of work to make any money, and more work and time if you aren’t an American (some of the best affiliate programs are US-based only).
What are the most essential habits that you’ve formed to achieve your financial goals?
I’m rubbish at habits, so I’ve learnt to work around that. Every bill that gets paid, and every penny that’s saved or invested does so automatically. This leaves me free to concentrate on the things I’m better at – strategy, the bigger picture and spending money.
What achievement are you most proud of in the last 12 months?
I haven’t done much that I’d consider an achievement in the last 12 months. I’ve done some memorable things, buying a house, starting plonkee money, and my second blog (the religious atheist) but they aren’t really achievements. I’d say that probably my biggest achievement was painting my living room and dining room – I’d never done any DIY before, they look absolutely beautiful and I did it all by myself. It’s something that makes my life better every day which is the ultimate return on the time and money invested.
What would you consider the single most important thing people can do for their finances?
Start increasing your net worth. Live within your means and then pay down debt, build savings and invest for the future.
But the most important thing you can do with money is to donate it – it’s not how much you give, but that you do, that’s important as far as I’m concerned.
If you had to pick three of your own posts to call your “favorites”, which would they be?
On the theme of giving money, atheists should tithe is my all time favourite post. I know that atheists do donate to charity, this is really an explanation of why they should.
Last summer I had possibly the most personal finance related fun ever, when I interviewed Christopher Traulsen from Morningstar, in the first part of the interview, we discussed the differences between the US and UK investment markets (Christopher is from Chicago).
Finally, planning for retirement: 3 simple steps is short and sweet, but really sums up how I feel about retirement planning.
Thanks Plonkee! And be sure to look for the interview next week with Single Guy Money!