RACHEL RICKARD STRAUS: The legacy of Moneywise lives on
Moneywise HQ is an eerie place these days. Abandoned just before lockdown, the office remains suspended in time
Wed, 07/29/2020 – 09:00
When I went in last week, I found drafts from the April issue we were working on in March on our desks, a winter scarf draped on the back of a chair, the air musty and still. I regretted abstemiously leaving half a chocolate bar in my desk drawer, which I discovered now cracked and pasty.
There are no plans for anyone in our shared office to go back for some weeks, and most of the Moneywise team will never return again. But I wanted to visit ahead of this final issue to look through the Moneywise archive.
Taking advantage of the empty office, I plonked myself down on the floor in front of colourful shelves of old issues and immersed myself in them for hours.
What a history they reveal.
Moneywise has been there, guiding readers through huge events and changes, helping them with their finances every step of the way.
There are features on the dotcom crash, the millennium, the launch of the Isa, the financial crisis, the Golden Jubilee, various UK and US elections – all with a focus on what it means for you, the reader, and the pound in your pocket.
As well as a snapshot of our shared history, the archive reveals many personal moments as well.
I loved reading special project editor Rachel Lacey’s travel tips gleaned from a gap year with her then-boyfriend-now-husband, followed a few years later by her features about parenting and finances and most recently her three-part feature about building an extension to make more space in her family home.
Hundreds of readers over the years have shared their stories with us and each other too, from their run-ins with scammers and saving money on holidays to buying a pet during lockdown.
We have built a wonderful community of readers and contributors, willing to share their ideas, tips, advice and experiences with each other.
Many people think managing your money is about pounds and pence, percentages and cutting down on takeaway coffees. But we know it is about life, being able to fulfil our ambitions – retire, go on holiday, afford a home – enjoy ourselves. The sense of fun leaps out from every issue.
When Moneywise started in a pre-internet world, personal finance information was harder to come by. Our round-ups of savings rates, mortgage deals and fund information printed every month were invaluable to hundreds of thousands of readers.
Today, it is too much – rather than too little – information that is the problem. There is an abundance of information online, millions of sources, with no need to wait for monthly updates unless you wish to.
As the sheer volume of information grows, it becomes harder to know what and whom to trust. The value rises of the few sources that you know you can trust – because they have been showing their credibility for decades. That is just one reason I am so sad to see Moneywise go after 30 years.
Our 40% growth in web traffic in recent weeks suggests that the need for trusted information about money is needed now, in these difficult times, as much as ever.
I am so proud of what we have achieved with this magazine, however sad it is to be the editor to ‘put it to bed’ for the last time.
I’m proud of every pound saved, company held to account, investment journey started, debt pile chiselled away, thanks to Moneywise.
In recent weeks I have been in touch with the former editors of Moneywise and many other members of the Moneywise family. What has struck me is that every single one is still helping people with their finances.
Even the magazine’s earliest contributors and columnists are still writing about money. They have moved on to the BBC, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Fidelity, MoneySavingExpert.com and more.
I know that as the final Moneywise team disperses, we too will still be around, helping people to achieve their life goals by getting money wise. There is lots more work to be done and Moneywise’s legacy will live on.
Thank you from all the Moneywise team past and present to you, our loyal, brilliant readers.
We will miss you.