We catch up with Mouthy Money’s first ever personal finance report, Dana Raer, on cancelling subscriptions, getting WFH tax relief and why she admires US ‘finfluencer’ Tori Dunlap.
Tell us a bit about yourself and Mouthy Money
I’m Dana, a personal finance journalist at Mouthy Money. Every day I write news articles, features on real life money stories.
I have full creative freedom over the content of the website, which is great fun. I can write about issues I am passionate about as long as they’re money-oriented and help people with tips on how to improve their own financial wellbeing.
I’m also working on a financial podcast, which is coming out very soon!
What have you enjoyed the most from your first six months as a journalist?
Have you ever been so positively impacted by a conversation that you start pacing around and jumping up and down the room?
Quite a specific question, but I definitely have. The perk of working from home means no one sees you do it!
I speak with so many people who either succeed, find clever ways of managing their lives better, or who learn from their own failures, that it is impossible not to feel enthusiastic for their stories.
As a journalist I absolutely love connecting with people in interviews and hearing their stories, experiences, and tips. That is what I have enjoyed the most in my first months of journalism.
What issues do you think are most important for personal finance media at the moment?
The cost-of-living crisis is a major news event that affects people in all instances – from their lifestyles to their wallets.
Inflation is one of the most important issues for personal finance right now, and the reason why I write so much about it, giving tips and advice from experts on how to manage your money in tumultuous times.
What is the best personal finance tip you’ve learned since joining Mouthy Money?
There are so many, it’s hard to choose! The best personal finance tip I got recently is that you can get tax relief for working from home, and you should get it as soon as possible as the loophole might soon close.
If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
I have a long list of people I want to interview, but if I had to choose someone from the personal finance community, that would be Tori Dunlap.
Tori is the founder of a financial education company, an investor, feminist, and social media personality. I absolutely love how transparent she is with her finances online. I am a firm believer that financial transparency is key to education, understanding money and building financial wealth.
I’d ask her questions regarding her previous job in marketing before becoming an internet personality, how difficult it was to make that first step of posting the first video ever, why financial education and transparency in family matters.
Otherwise, I’d love to interview Emma Watson or Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
What positives have you taken from the whole lockdown experience?
I found out that I’m resilient and can adapt to any unpredictable situation. I was also reminded of the amount of support and help I have from my loved ones. Those are a few of the positives I learnt during the lockdowns.
Is there a book or podcast that is essential reading / listening for your industry?
I recommend the Financial Feminist podcast by Tori Dunlap, but also the WorkLife Wellbeing Podcast, created by Leah Heath.
Who has single-handedly made your industry better?
Tori Dunlap. She’s in the US, but still inspired me to work on my own financial freedom and wealth.
Also, Vicky Spratt, a fantastic journalist in the UK who writes about housing issues in the UK, speaking out about the need for security in renting. She’s a great writer, making such a big difference to my industry.
If you could give a younger version of yourself one piece of financial advice, what would it be?
I’d tell my younger self to cancel the subscriptions I never used. I should’ve also contacted the bank to cancel the direct debit instead of going back to the accounts. Some sites make it really difficult to unsubscribe which is so annoying!
What would you do if you were head of the FCA for the day?
Tough question, but I have one specific idea: I’d properly investigate and penalise greenwashing in financial companies. It’s time we acted on climate change and kept our promises, we can’t wait until Gen Z grows up to save the world, we should act now.
What is the one column or website that you read every day?
Every single day I read the BBC, Bloomberg or the Guardian for general news, but also Refinery29, Stylist magazine, or Vogue for content about fashion and women’s issues/stories.
What would you do if you received a windfall of £10,000?
I’d either invest it in a diversified portfolio, or in my education. Both work for me.