Inspirational Woman: Laura Turner | Founder, Thrifty Londoner

Laura Turner is the founder of Thrifty Londoner. A personal finance website and Instagram page where she uses her extensive knowledge to provide ideas and techniques on how to manage your money so that both your present self and future self are taken care of.

Laura is passionate about finance and believes that anyone can get to a point of financial wellness. She encourages readers of her website to set financial goals, manage their spending and take control of their money. Through her website and Instagram page, Laura helps people to feel financially confident, change their money mindset, and create new money habits.

Early influences: What first sparked your interest in personal finance, and how did your background influence your approach to money management?

I moved to London in 2016, on a low salary (for London standards!). I realised very quickly that I needed to carefully budget my income to avoid going into debt. My interest in personal finance was sparked by necessity more than anything else.

My background has influenced my approach to money management—growing up, I was always encouraged to save from a young age and to work to get what I wanted. Starting with my first Saturday job at 14, I’ve been working in some capacity ever since!

Thrifty Londoner origin: What inspired you to start the Thrifty Londoner website? How has your vision for the site evolved since you started?

When I started researching money management strategies as a London newcomer, I found I didn’t relate to much of the personal finance content that was available. A lot of content online was US-based or was written by people with a background in the finance industry. Therefore, the information often contained a lot of jargon.

I decided that I wanted to share the personal finance information I had found, but in a way that was easy to understand. I wanted to help break down concepts, jargon and ideas so that other Londoners could benefit! The Thrifty Londoner website has since evolved to cover a whole breadth of London-based money content. My vision for the site is for it to be the go-to place to get any and all information relating to money and London.

Challenges in London: London is known for its high cost of living. What are some specific challenges that Londoners face in managing their finances that might not be as prevalent elsewhere?

Living costs are sky-high in London. London rents are a major area of financial concern for many people. London is known as a place where a box room with a single bed in a houseshare can be charged at £1,000pcm! Unfortunately, London wages often don’t match up to the increased cost of living in the city. This means that rent usually takes up a very high percentage of take-home pay for many Londoners. This is particularly challenging as it leaves little room for saving and investing, and can make home-ownership in London feel like a distant dream for most.

Financial wellness: You talk about achieving financial wellness. How do you define this concept, and what are the key steps someone should take to achieve it?

Financial wellness is essentially about having a good relationship with money. Feeling financially confident and resilient, and able to weather a financial storm if required.

In essence, financial wellness is an ongoing journey. Our financial circumstances change pretty frequently throughout our lives and need regular attention. Having really secure foundations and good money management habits can help maintain your financial wellbeing over the long term.

Some steps that you can take to get started on your financial wellness journey include;

  • Managing and paying off debt
  • Creating an Emergency Fund
  • Setting long, short and medium-term financial goals
  • Building robust savings

Changing mindsets: Changing one’s money mindset can be challenging. What are some effective strategies you’ve found that help people shift their thinking about money?

Identifying any limiting beliefs that you have about money, can set you free and shake up your money mindset. Our money habits are shaped by the age of 7(!). Thinking about how your background may have influenced the way you think about money is an important first step.

It’s also a good idea to forgive any past financial mistakes and to understand any regular thought patterns or emotions that come up around the topic of money. If you’re able to reframe your thoughts and emotions, it can help change your mindset.

Budgeting techniques: Could you share a few budgeting techniques or tools that you find particularly effective for managing money in an expensive urban environment?

My favourite budgeting method is called the Zero Based Budget. The concept of this budgeting strategy is that every penny of your income is assigned to a category. Whether that’s spending or saving. It’s a great tool because you can track the granular detail of your expenses, and get lots of data on how you are managing your money.

For busy Londoners, I love to recommend using a budgeting app to help make money management seamless and easy while living in the city. Once you’ve set a budget, the app will automatically track and categorise your spending for you… so it’s one less piece of admin. Some apps will also allow you to connect multiple bank accounts, plus your savings accounts and credit cards. It gives you a “big picture” view of your finances which can be super helpful.

Success stories: Can you share a success story from one of your readers who transformed their financial situation through your advice?

I have had several readers reach out to say that they have been able to transform their finances by implementing the tips that I share. Particularly around making extra money to reach their financial goals faster.

For example, one reader was able to pay off her debts years ahead of schedule by implementing my money management tips and funnelling more money to her debt payments by increasing her income with a side hustle. She’s found a new level of financial wellbeing and freedom as a result.

Instagram engagement: How do you use your Instagram page to complement the content on your website? What type of content tends to engage your followers the most?

My Instagram page is a little less London-focused. It’s a little more focused on personal finance education and information for millennials in the UK. My Instagram page has the same mission as the website. Which is to help decode the jargon and break down financial concepts into relatable content. This helps get more people to have conversations about money.

Instagram reels are particularly engaging for my audience. I tend to have lots of interesting conversations on topics like homeownership and renting, investing, and making a side income through a side business or side hustle.

Future goals: Looking ahead, what are some upcoming projects or initiatives you’re excited about for Thrifty Londoner?

I’m super excited to be delivering some financial wellbeing talks this summer. As well as hosting some 1:1 drop-in clinics for companies I’m thrilled to be working with.

I’m also collaborating with some other creators on a project for later in the year, which I can’t wait to share with the world.

Advice for beginners: For someone just starting out on their journey to financial literacy, what fundamental advice would you give them? Especially if they are feeling overwhelmed?

My best tip for anyone starting out is to get to know your numbers. By that, I mean knowing what you earn, what you spend, and what you owe. These figures are pieces of important information to have about yourself.

Take a look at your payslip to find out the exact amount you are paid each month. Then review the last 3 months of your bank statements to see how much you’re spending and crucially, what you’re spending your money on. Finally, make sure that you know the total sum of any debts- including your mortgage if you have one.

Once you have these pieces of information, you can formulate a plan for your money. Set your goals, and hopefully become less overwhelmed.

Read more from our other inspirational profiles here.

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