Introducing myself

Hello! My name is Kara Gammell – thanks for checking out my new blog, Your Best Friend’s Guide To Cash. 

I am a personal finance journalist with more than a decade of experience writing for national newspapers and magazines. What’s more, I genuinely love finding creative ways to save cash.

We all know that we must chase the best deals on everything from bank accounts to buying groceries (not to mention holidays and household bills) or else we will find ourselves spending more, but getting less.

And let’s face it, while money may not buy you happiness, it can certainly make you more comfortable. In fact, if you ask me, it can buy you the things that can make you happy – whether it is a roof over your head, food on the table or a pair of shoes on your feet. And I should know. When I first came to the UK from my home country Canada at 23 (over 14 years ago now!), financially, I was a disaster.

After five years of fun at my Canadian uni (where I had a great time – probably too great in hindsight) my best friend and I closed our eyes and stuck a pin in a map of the world and landed on Brighton, England. It was bad enough that I wound up with a minimum wage job, but it came as a real shock to be paid just once a month. When I lived on the other side of the pond I was always paid fortnightly. I had no idea what an overdraft was (or why the cashpoint swallowed my debit card) and was so skint I actually had to use shower gel as (gasp!) shampoo.

After living the good life with my parents’ financial help and student loans at Uni, reality hit me like a slap in the face. Then I went to journalism school – just my luck, I wasn’t eligible for student loans in either country. Once during my work experience in London I was so broke I actually cashed in my Oyster card. For £2. Yep. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t good at all.

But, eventually, I’d had enough – and so had my now-husband, who had grown tired of bailing me out. I took control of my money and turned my cash crisis around. By the age of 28, I’d become an award-winning financial journalist at The Daily Telegraph and a homeowner (independent of the bank of mum and dad, too) – but most importantly, I was no longer living life on the brink of a financial disaster.

Here I will share my tried-and-tested tips for sorting your money out. It’s not even that hard once you know what you are doing.

What’s more, some of these posts may be a bit number-heavy from time-to-time, but please bear with them. After all, this is a blog about moneysaving, so you need to know how to do the sums to make it all add up. I’d be letting you down if I left them out and I promise you that it’ll be worth it in the end. Sound fair? Great, keep coming back to my blog for posts about how to increase your cash flow, make the occasional cutback if needed, shop smarter, and enjoy today, while planning for tomorrow.

You can thank me later. But only after you’re done rolling on that huge pile of cash that you’ve managed to save.

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