Interview: Save money every day with Empty Pocket Guide

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One of Liftshare’s biggest draws is the way our site empowers every day people to save a great deal of money through shared travel. We thrive on helping you save because we’re nice like that.

We recently came across a money-saving site that we simply had to share with you. It’s called Empty Pocket Guide, and while it’s focussed on ways to cut down living costs in London and Brighton, the site’s tips and advice are applicable almost anywhere.

It’s the brainchild of Lisa Raynsford, who has been finding new ways to be thrifty for years and sharing them with the world. Today, the site boasts a directory of local businesses in London and Brighton that offer discounts or freebies, free exhibitions and activities for you to enjoy and more.

While it’s no secret that London has a bit of a reputation as an expensive place to live, the Empty Pocket Guide suggests that with a little self-control and planning, life in the capital can become manageable.

We spoke with Lisa to learn more about her background, the site’s creation and some of her insight into the world of thrift.

Take it away Lisa!

Liftshare: Can you give us some insight into your background and why you decided to make the Empty Pocket Guide?

Lisa: I set up the website and blog when I went to visit friends performing at Edinburgh festival 2012. I used it to connect audiences and performers, as I saw so many fantastic things but people didn’t know about them. It proved so popular I then continued the website and blog with the focus on London and Brighton. It has evolved loads since my original idea.

I love exploring and getting the best out of a city, and I very much love living in London. I was born in Brighton so I still have a connection there also. The money saving angle came as I very experienced in managing money as I am a actor. I don’t have a regular income and sometimes have no idea when I’ll work again so need to be careful with money. I’ve never been someone who stays in every night and count pennies, I do my research and head out and have a great time.

Liftshare: It’s no secret that times are tough right now for a lot of people, but what would you say are the greatest personal finance issues facing people in London and Brighton today?

Lisa: I think the biggest issue people have is buying a house and being able to afford the ever increasing rent. I myself have witnessed most of my friends having kids and moving out of London as they don’t want to bring their kids up in a flat and want to know they have place in a school.

Liftshare: To many, it seems like saving money is next to impossible these days. What advice would you give to them to show that it can be done?

Lisa: Tiny changes can go a long way, you don’t need to have an overhaul. Taking a hot drink in a thermal cup to work, instead of spending £2.50 a day can save you £700 a year. Use a cashback card or website whenever you shop on line and put the money you get back into savings. I’ve saved over £500 using these websites.

Knowing exactly what you spend on is the only way you can make improvements so use a website like money dashboard to give you an overview so you can see what you are spending on in the first place. It’s a harsh reality, but very necessary.

Liftshare: Have you ever used a car share before? If so, how did you find the experience and would you recommend it?

Lisa: I think car sharing is a fantastic idea and absolutely makes sense. It’s cheaper, better for the environment and you get company for your journey. The cost of train journeys, especially last minute are crazy and you could save yourself a fortune by car sharing instead. For instance a train ticket from London to Brighton is £26.70 on the day, £11 advanced and a Liftshare seat is only around £5.

Thanks to Lisa for her insights into the world of London saving, and remember, you can search Liftshare for cheap lifts in the capital now, or download our free Android and iOS apps to find even more journeys.

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