In the run up to this month’s Talk Money Talk Pensions week, our Financial Capability team tell us about their worst and best financial decisions, their plans, and why it’s important to know what you’re doing with your money.
Here, Debi Howell – our Financial Capability Relationship Manager for South Wales and South West England – tells us about the benefits of overpaying her mortgage and paying off her credit card each month.
Worst financial decision
Buying a dodgy second-hand car with no warranty.
I bought a Renault Laguna from a private seller and the gear box failed shortly afterwards. I had to sell it for much less than I had paid for it.
Best financial decision
To buy a house as early as I could. I bought my first house with my boyfriend, now husband, when I was 25. In ten months, we were very fortunate that our house price rose considerably, and we were able to sell it and buy a larger house.
What age are you planning on retiring or semi-retiring?
65 or may be later. I enjoy working, and unless I come into a lot of money I will keep working!
What is your next financial goal?
Paying off my mortgage.
I aim to make overpayments each year to reduce my interest payments and overall balance. I hope to be mortgage free before my children leave home, so that I can help them financially to set up their own home.
Which money decision, each week or month, makes you feel good?
Paying off my credit card balance in full every month and gaining points on my credit card.
I pay for everything on my credit card to maximise the points earned. I then spend the points on things such as RAC cover, days out, meals out, Euro Tunnel crossings and holidays.
Why is FC important to you personally?
I have always taken a keen interest in trying to be as savvy as possible and make my money stretch. I love to research the best deal for everything I buy from washing powder to car insurance.
I really enjoy helping others to try and save money too. It really annoys me when people spend over the odds for goods.
When I was a teacher, I ran finance days focusing on budgeting to help the next generations to spend wisely. Watch out Martin Lewis!
More in this series