Meet The UK's Smartest Shopper 2014 Winner - Jennie Hammond!
Smartest Shopper 2014 is officially over! Thank you everyone who entered, the standard was higher than ever. After a gruelling and competitive month-long search, we are delighted to introduce you to the winner of Savoo’s Smartest Shopper Competition 2014, Jennie Hammond!
To read more about her journey, visit our blog here >
Yes, the competition to find the UK’s smartest, shrewdest and most imaginative money-saver is over! After the success of last year’s competition we simply had to run this again because the standard of entries was just so high!
The UK is awash with consumers who know a whole lot more about getting deals and saving money than we ever imagined…and we were impressed!
Meet Last Year’s WinnerClick to show
Unfortunately there could only be one winner, and last year it was Ricky Willis, aka Skint Dad, who has gone on to do great things in the 10 months since he won. Ricky’s blog skintdad.co.uk is growing day by day and he even appeared in an ITV morning chat show!
We decided to interview him on his experiences:
Tell us about the last year since you won the competition! It’s been quite a journey, hasn’t it?
Well what can I say. It's certainly been an amazing 12 months! Since winning the Smartest Shopper competition I've been able to cement the Skint Dad blog as one of the best Personal Finance sites in the UK. From appearing on numerous radio shows to sharing the sofa with Eamonn and Ruth on This Morning; the opportunities that have presented themselves for me to share my money saving advice have me phenomenal.
With the help and advice from the team at Savoo, I've landed my own weekly money saving column with the Kent and Sussex Courier and my own bi-monthly column in Moneywise which is the leading personal finance magazine in the UK. To top this off I have been able to work with and write for organisations such as National Debtline, Stepchange, Quidco and The Sun newspaper to name a few.
Becoming Savoo's Smartest Shopper has opened doors I would of never imagined. It has also given me the confidence and belief that no matter who you are or what position you are in life, you really can achieve things you may have only dreamt of.
You’ve just won the best thrifty blog at the MAD blog Awards and have been shortlisted for the Plutus Awards – where does your blog go next?
Well we've just launched a brand new Facebook page entitled Skint Dad Deals which where we will be posting the best deals from the High Street and online. This will also tie in with a new site we are looking to launch sometime in 2015 (that's a Skint Dad exclusive right there!). Other than that I will be looking at ramping up the content on the Skint Dad blog and really make it a go to resource for people wanting to save money. Perhaps even a money-saving podcast!
You’re a great money-saver – what are your top three tips for people who might find themselves in financial trouble?
My top three tips are as follows:
- Make sure you know the whole picture. It's no good wanting to get out of trouble financially unless you know exactly where you stand. I know it's not the easiest thing to do but dig out all the bills and statements and work out what you have coming in and what is going out.
- Audit your finances. Once you have a complete financial picture (see tip 1), you then need to audit your finances and take control. First of all see where you can cut back. You can do this by reducing your food bills by cooking from scratch, cancelling unused gym memberships and moving to different utility providers. Once you have done this and know what money you have left over, you can deal with any debts. Work out what you can pay back and then offer them that. Don't over promise as you'll only end up in the same position as when you first started.
- Last but by no means least, you need to start talking to people. From my personal experience, as soon as I starting asking for advice from friends and family, things became easier. Also make use of services such as National Debtline and MoneyAware. Trust me when I say "a problem shared is a problem solved". Just admitting we were in debt and not being afraid to seek help was the biggest turning point for us taking back control.
Finally – what are you looking for in this year’s Smartest Shopper now that you’re a judge?
Let's face it, everyone who puts their mind to it can be smart when it comes to saving money. What i'm looking for is someone who is hungry for it. For me being a Smart Shopper is not just grabbing a BOGOF from the supermarket or finding that price glitch online. For me, being a Smart Shopper is a way of life and in everything I do, I try and get the best value. That's what I would expect from this year's contestants.
What were we looking for?
Great ways to help you save money in your everyday life that will make a difference to you and your family. But we want you to tell us about new ways to save; ways even our experts haven’t thought of.
While the chance to win a massive £10,000 is a great incentive to enter, please remember that Savoo wants to work with the winner and help them create a money-saving blog like we have with Annie & Ricky. This is more than a one-off payment even though there is no contract between the winner and Savoo.
We want to help the people of the UK save money and we think it’s the people of the UK that have the knowledge to do that best – we just act as a go-between.