Interviews

FIREside chat with Courtney: "My financial habits used to be terrible"

Quirk Team
August 13, 2020
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FIREside chat with Courtney: "My financial habits used to be terrible"

Hi! Can you introduce yourself?

Hey! My name is Courtney, I'm 25 years old and I'm from Northern Ireland. I currently work in retail as a part time Sales Assistant, however, I have a degree in Media Studies and Production so I'm hoping to get a job in my degree sector soon.

What personality type did you get? Did you find the results to be accurate? 

The Artist - Creative Spirit. I can’t believe how accurate this as I’m 100% a creative person!

Courtney took the Quirk money personality test and received the artist personality type.

What inspired you to start? For completely new readers, what is the “tl;dr” of your brand?

I created Courtney Budgets to hold myself accountable to my debt journey and to enable myself to be more open about my debt as I didn’t talk about it much beforehand. I followed The Budget Mom on my personal account before deciding to make my budget Instagram and she was definitely my inspiration.

Her file binder that contains her receipts and a written out expense tracker.

What is your relationship with personal finance? - If applicable, how has that defined your current pursuits? What changes have you made that have helped? How has it changed over time?

My financial habits used to be terrible - I had no savings, I was an impulse buyer and my credit card was regularly used as if it was a debit card. When I started focusing more on my finances, I started by tracking my expenses.

This changed my life as I became more conscious about my spending habits and triggers and it helped me to realise that I had an impulse buying addiction.

Now, I’m more thoughtful with money which has allowed me to both save and pay off a huge chunk of my debt!


What are some things that worked for you for maintaining balance and managing your spending?

I have a sinking fund category called ‘personal’. This is a savings category which allows to keep a balance as I can treat myself without ruining my budget.

What’s the worst money advice you’ve ever received?

“You’re too young to be worrying about your debt - pay the minimum and enjoy your youth”


What do you most enjoy spending on? Or any guilty pleasure you can share. 

My biggest guilty pleasure is homeware - I’m an absolute sucker for storage baskets and cushions!


How often do you check your finances?

I check them every night when I’m updating my planners!

What’s your stack?

My main bank is Halifax - I use them for my Current Account, Rent Account, Regular Spending (separate account), Help To Buy ISA, Sinking Fund Savings & Long Term Savings. I like using Halifax as it’s all under the same app and easier to transfer between different accounts. I’m still paying off a bank overdraft with Bank of Ireland & my Virgin Money credit card but I never use those cards other than for repayments. I did previously have credit cards with Marbles, Vanquis, Halifax and Bank of Ireland but thankfully they’re all paid off.

For someone who is starting completely new to personal finance, how would they get started? What specific tips would you have for newbies?

Track your expenses and work from there! This will help you to realise where your money is going and where you need to focus on first.

Follow Courtney on Instagram

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