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The Money Spot™ - UK Personal Finance

Education Podcasts

I’m Heather. A massive personal finance fanatic. I love to answer people's questions on getting rid of debt, saving, stock market investing, property and retirement. Subscribe to this podcast if you want to: earn more, save more, invest more and have fun! No episodes in April, August and December - #SchoolHolidays #MumPodcast

I’m Heather. A massive personal finance fanatic. I love to answer people's questions on getting rid of debt, saving, stock market investing, property and retirement. Subscribe to this podcast if you want to: earn more, save more, invest more and have fun! No episodes in April, August and December - #SchoolHolidays #MumPodcast


United Kingdom


I’m Heather. A massive personal finance fanatic. I love to answer people's questions on getting rid of debt, saving, stock market investing, property and retirement. Subscribe to this podcast if you want to: earn more, save more, invest more and have fun! No episodes in April, August and December - #SchoolHolidays #MumPodcast




#46 How can I borrow more and house hack my way to a buy-to-let property portfolio?

Hi Heather, Here’s my questions. I'm a single first time buyer, I have just under £10k deposit and i can borrow up to £200K based on some mortgage brokers.. is there any way I can borrow more money to buy a bigger house? What are your thoughts on the "helping hand mortgage" by Nationwide. Are there any other schemes for first time buyers? Second question, my plan is to use the house hacking method to save up faster in order to invest in more BTL properties. What’s your advice on house...


#45 I'm renting and own a BTL property. Will I pay the extra 3% stamp duty?

Amrita owns a buy to let property and is a renter herself. She has been renting for over a year and wants to buy a home to live in. She wonders if she will have to be pay the extra 3 per cent stamp duty tax on the purchase of her new home. In addition, if she is subject to the extra 3% tax, she asks if she can she avoid it by buying her home through a limited company? That’s what we answer in this short podcast. If you need advice for your own situation, please contact a mortgage broker or...


#44 Pension SoS for women and the self-employed

I always say that if you get nothing else right in your financial life, at least own where you live outright by the time you hit retirement and ideally much earlier. Well that’s not quite right, the other thing you need to make sure of, is that you qualify for the full UK state pension. Currently, when I am 68, for so long as I have 35 qualifying years, I will get £185/week in state pension until my dying day. That’s about £800/month or £9,620/year. This is not an insignificant amount and if...


#43 How we upsized from a £385k home to a £1.1m home

When you’re at one point in your life it’s often nearly impossible to imagine having much more than what you’ve got – or maybe that’s just my lack of imagination – anyhow, in this podcast I recount the steps we went through to move from our £385,000 beautiful terraced home to a £1.1m detached bungalow in the same neighbourhood. We did all this in 2020 but, even as recently as in 2017, when I walked past the homes on the street where we now live, I thought actually living in one of them was...


#42 How you and your partner can split bills without arguing

If you’re looking for ideas on how you and your partner can split the household bills without arguing about it, I have a few ideas for you. Obviously what you ultimately go for depends on your own specific circumstances, e.g. whether you’re married or in a civil partnership or not in either, employment status, differences in income and personal beliefs, however, you can either: 1. Split bills fairly – this can mean equally, i.e. 50-50; or in proportion to your incomes. 2. Approach finances...


#41 Equity release will rob your kids of their inheritance & you of peace of mind!

If you’re over 55 and own your home outright or have significant equity, banks target you for equity release schemes. There are two types: lifetime mortgages and home reversion schemes. With a lifetime mortgage you generally get a loan based on the value of your house and your age – the higher your home’s value and the older you are the bigger the loan you can get. Then, rather than pay interest monthly, compound interest is charged and accumulates without payment until your death at which...


#40 A student loan is a form of debt, period! Why I disagree with Martin Lewis...

Now, I disagree with Martin Lewis (the founder of on many issues related to debt but on no issue are we more at logger heads than on student loans! Martin Lewis is of the view that UK student loans are not really loans but a form of tax, a graduate tax, in his view…his reasons for thinking this way are based on the way student loans are currently structured. I disagree because viewing UK student loans as a just another tax ignores the following critical issues which...


#39 Don't Go Henry, Go Cash, First - rushing kids onto bank cards could ruin their financial future

There are a lot of apps out there right now purporting they’re the divine intervention you’ve been waiting for to turn your kids into personal finance ninjas…news flash: you can’t delegate teaching your kids about money to an app. The app may be able to relay some basic knowledge but ultimately the best builders of wealth need to only master one thing: their emotions. And, like as not, all the behaviours around money in your house – and yes, not talking about money at all counts as ‘a...


#38 Focus, Improve and Prosper - setting goals for 2021

#38 What is the one financial goal you would like to achieve in 2021? - Reduced debt? - Increase pension contributions? - Increase pension contributions? - Save more for children? Extract from the "2021 Life and Career Planners", link below" Most people want to handle their money better but they don’t take any steps to improve their financial knowledge. Simple commitment you can make to handle your money better include: • Instead of taking taxis/cabs, I will take the bus whenever possible; •...


#37 The Real Heather Katsonga-Woodward (the usual host)

#37 In this final episode for 2020, find out a little more about me, Heather, the Host of The Money Spot Podcast through an interview that I had with Alex Sapala. For more on Alex Sapala click the link just below. Related resource: Ask me a question: Choose a book: Support the podcast: In $:...


#36 The wealth of black people in Britain and factors hindering financial success

#36 In this episode find out what percentage of black people own their own homes and what their pension pots look like relative to other ethnic groups. Further, are the earnings of black people lower than earnings of other ethnic groups? Are black Brits enjoying the same rates of social mobility? What challenges do black Brits face in the job market? All this and more in today's episode. Related resource:...


#35 7 things that hold black children back from succeeding

#35 Do black children really have challenges that are unique to them? What are those challenges? Find out in this episode: black children are excluded from school at higher rates than other ethnic groups and the evidence suggests it's not because they are actually more naughty or more aggressive - in fact, some research suggests black children have a higher aptitude relative to other ethnic groups going into school and within a year that educational advantage has been eroded. Related...


#34 Stay at home mum in her 50s - how can I gain financial independence

#34 D asks: Hi Heather, my name's D I wonder if you can maybe help advise me, I’m hoping to figure out a plan for myself and kids so that I feel secure and I’m financially independent. I wonder if maybe property is something you would suggest. I am in my 50’s, been with my husband since school and married for nearly 25years. We have adult kids who live with us and one is dependent with medical needs. We lived in another country for most of our married life (kids were born there and we all...


#33 5 ways to remain financially afloat during unemployment

#33 Ronjoy asks: Dear Miss Katsonga, What is your opinion on Critical illness cover? What are the alternatives (for lump sum payout to cover mortgage or other debts) in case one partner is unable to work? Thanks! Ronjoy Related resource: Ask me a question: Choose a book: Support the podcast: In $:...


#32 How to manage finances with volatile self employed income

#32 Fifi asks about how best to manage her money when her income from month to month fluctuates a lot with some months bringing in just enough for her to get by. She also wonders how best to manage her credit score and to boost her monthly income. Related resource: Ask me a question: Choose a book: Support...


#31 What’s the alternative to a UK Child Trust Fund? …A Junior ISA

#31 Grace asks: Hi Heather My name’s Grace. I’m looking into saving money for my little one so that it can be invested in the same way as government-backed child trust funds. My older one has a child trust fund but I don’t know how to go about opening something similar for my younger child. As I understand it, banks don't offer government-backed child trust funds anymore. Related resource: Ask me a...


#30 Is the 4% pension drawdown rule before or after tax?

#30 David asks: Hi Heather I’m really enjoying your podcasts and have already given a 5 star rating. I am 57 and plan to retire at 60 so love your retirement items. When talking about 4% draw down for retirement income, it’s never clear if the figures are before or after tax. For example 4% of £1m is £40k, but after tax this could be nearer £30k. If you then get a state pension of say £9k, the figure before tax is £49k, but after tax it is nearer £35k. So when you talk about money needed in...


#29 Starting a side hustle in the UK - things to think about with Sylwia Kotarba-Harris

#29 Jennifer asks: Hey Heather, my name's Jennifer, I want to start a side hustle but I don't know where to start or how to organise myself. No one that I know has a side hustle; they just do the 9 to 5 then chill...are side hustles just not a British thing? Please help me with some tips, I need some direction...thank you! Related resource and Sylwia's contact details: Ask me...


#28 Q&A: when is a good time to release equity from your house for retirement?

#28 Mary asks: Hi Heather, it's Mary here. When is a good time to draw equity from my house: when I retire, which is in about 5 years, or before? Thanks for the help. Related resource: Ask me a question: Choose a book: Support the podcast: In $: In £:...


#27 How to invest a lump-sum: ISA vs SIPP vs work pension?

#27 Nik asks: Hi Heather, just discovered your podcast and blog. Really inspiring. Could I ask a question? I have about £10k to invest and I’m considering three options. I’d really appreciate your help in deciding what to do. 1. Add to my passive investment portfolio which is spread across equities and bonds. It’s down about 8% since Feb. I’m not planning to access this for 7 to 10 years. I could put it in now as a lump sum or drip feed 2.5k every week for the next month. I see the advantage...