Be Clever With Your Cash is nine!

The highlights for me and the blog over the last 12 months.

As has now become tradition, I use Be Clever With Your Cash’s birthday as a chance to share with you the good and the bad from the last year.

I rarely write about “blogging” itself or the challenges of running my own business, so also it’s a good opportunity for me to reflect on how things have gone and give you a bit of an insight into what happens behind the scenes.

Plus, I’d really appreciate it if you can fill in my annual survey so I can get your feedback on everything I do.  You’ll also be in with the chance of winning a £25 gift voucher or an hour long video chat with me.

The biggest year yet

In recent birthday updates, I’ve shared how I quit my 9-5, presented a TV show and undertook a huge site redesign. All massive changes for the business and myself personally.

But this year, for the first time, there’s been nothing new. Nothing seismic. Or at least on the surface.

In reality, it’s actually been the biggest and most successful year yet. With 4.8 million views of the blog and 3.3 million views on YouTube, there was an amazing 60% growth compared to the previous 12 months. The podcast has also increased listenership, with 250,000 total downloads in the year, up by 40%.

Though I have an indie/blogger mentality, where I’m doing my own thing (on my own), this was the year where Be Clever With Your Cash really hit the next level.

If you forgive this tortured metaphor, it feels like the site is no longer a big fish in a small (blogger) pond. It’s moved up to an even bigger stretch of water, with some even bigger fish.

As I write this, the all-time views for the blog have passed 15 million, while the 10 millionth visitor should reach the site next month.

I’d never have dreamed of that kind of reach and impact when I started. To have saved so many people so much money is something I still struggle to comprehend.

And it’s not just about numbers. Getting Rishi Sunak on the podcast last spring was a huge coup, as was having Cash Chats featured as “Show of the Week” in the Radio Times in November. This isn’t “indie” anymore.

So, the question is what next? Very soon I’ll hopefully be able to share with you what the next chapter of Be Clever With Your Cash looks like. I’m really excited about the plans. Fingers crossed!

The pros and cons of a digital nomad

Something I’ve really loved about the last few years is the complete autonomy I have in when and how I work. I can choose my hours, allowing me to disappear to play tennis mid-morning or take afternoons off to binge the Olympic TV coverage.

Though it also means I do more hours than I’ve ever done before, and I often end up working late and at weekends. And I never get a chance to “switch off”, even on holidays when there’s always something that needs to be done on the site.

Even so, it’s a flexibility I’m always keen to take advantage of. So when my wife was between contracts in September and October we took the opportunity to try out remote working for an extended period. In theory, I can do what I do anywhere, so we headed to California for seven weeks. Part holiday, part working.

There were fantastic parts to the trip, especially the weather and the food. I studied there as a student so it’s always a place I feel at home.

However, the work side of things was tougher than expected. I found the eight-hour time difference an issue when responding to the day’s events, while my laptop wasn’t up to the job of live streaming and editing.

And there wasn’t really any proper holiday time as I had to do some kind of work almost every day, including filming a video about a Bank of England base rate rise in a LA hotel at 5am before heading to Disneyland for the day!

It also coincided with the collapse of the Liz Truss government and the chaos of the “mini-budget” so I woke up every morning wondering what fresh financial hell awaited me (and stressed about how much the pound had fallen against the dollar).

I’m glad we did it, but I think I’d rather put things in place so I can actually get away completely, and switch off for a fortnight!

Deprioritising other work

In last year’s birthday blog, I wrote how I’d refocused on what I viewed as a success for me and the business. Previously I’d seen being a TV money expert as the ultimate end goal. However, I’d not only accepted that might not be, but also that I wasn’t actually that bothered.

Instead, I was enjoying the success that I’d built on my on channels. Prioritising the growth of the blog, YouTube and podcast to help as many people as possible.

That’s still the case, and I frequently turn down local radio requests as I don’t have the time. I even had to rebuff some approaches from publishers to pitch book ideas as I knew there was no way I could do that and deliver the content I want to provide for all of you. Freelance work has been restricted to my weekly column in Metro and my monthly one for Reader’s Digest.

Still, it was nice to have a few TV appearances under my belt again for the first time since Shop Smart Save Money ended in 2019.

It took a while though! In the spring I filmed a pilot with Helen Skelton that didn’t get picked up, and I had to turn down some Jeremy Vine discussions in the summer due to availability.

So I didn’t get back on screen until a Channel 5 documentary back in September that looked at the cost of living crisis. This was followed a few months later by ITV Calendar news.

Then earlier this year I appeared on BBC News to discuss bank switching and then a few days later joined the Steph’s Packed Lunch team for Channel 4 to talk about haggling down bills.

I really enjoyed the experiences, especially the live element of the latter two. But I also enjoyed how I didn’t put any pressure on myself on what happens next.

I did some TV, and it went well. Then back to the day job. Which is how I like it.

Connecting with you

The real highlight for me in the last year though has been the growth of the community via the Facebook group and YouTube live Q&As. “Speaking” regularly with you has been transformative in how I run the business, so thank you for joining in and contributing.

My annual survey: Win a video session with me or a £25 voucher

It’s important to me that any content I produce for you is what you actually want to read, hear or watch. So please do take a few minutes to answer this short survey. 

If you also enter your email address at the end of the form you’ll also be in with a shot of winning a £25 gift voucher or an hour-long video chat with me. This prize draw ends 30 March 2023 and one response will be randomly selected and asked whether they want the voucher or money chat. Open to UK followers only.

Our podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, our award-winning podcast, presented by Editor-in-chief Andy Webb.

Episodes every Tuesday.

2 thoughts on “Be Clever With Your Cash is nine!

  1. “Andy’s podcast
    Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.”

    Is the podcast moving to be twice a week in the future then? That’ll be really great – I love listening to it and have often wished for more!

    1. Ah, I had to drop the Friday episode last year but hope to bring it back soon


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