Interviews

FIREside chat with Mr MoneyJar: Using money to design the lives we want to live

Quirk Team
January 27, 2021
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FIREside chat with Mr MoneyJar: Using money to design the lives we want to live

Hi! Could you introduce yourself

My name is Timi Merriman-Johnson and I am the founder of Mr MoneyJar, a financial education company for people in the UK

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

I am an 'Artist'. The 'Artist' profile was accurate in that it captures my view that money is not at the centre of everything, but it did say I wasn't much of an investor which is definitely not true!

What inspired you to start a social media presence about personal finance? For completely new readers, what is the “tl;dr” of your brand?

The TLDR of my brand is that I teach people how money works using fun and relatable concepts that they already understand, be that reimagining the income tax system through Nandos' Peri Peri scale, or likening a diversified portfolio to a well balanced team of Pokemon. I started a social media presence as I would like to reach as many people as possible

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?

I am interested in personal finance because I believe that if I, and others, are able to manage money well, we can use money to design the lives we actually want to live. Money is about freedom

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

Investing is like gambling. It's not like gambling if you know what you are doing

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

I have a monthly 'money date' that I set with myself at the start of every month where I track all of my money in, money out and balances. This helps me to stay on top of my finances and plan my spending in advance

Is there a specific financial goal you are working towards right now? What steps are you taking to achieve that goal?

I aim to be financially independent by 2030

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

Video games and books. I really enjoy both, and both contribute a great deal to my wellbeing

How often do you check your finances?

Monthly, on average. But I also use budgeting apps to be able to spot-check my finances on a week to week basis

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

Most people have a good idea of how much money they have coming in, but not how much they spent. A great first port of call is to create an accurate record of your spending over the past month and to see if anything jumps out at you. Are there any bills you didn't realise you were paying for, or did you spend way more on takeaways or Ubers than you'd thought? Once you do this, you can adjust you spending going forwards

What’s your stack? (Accounts, credit cards, apps or other tools)

I have a joint account with my fiancee, a current account, and then a secondary account which I use for 'fun' spending. I use a budgeting app to check my finances, and I also invest in a Stocks & Shares ISA

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