Funnyman Matt Edmondson talks to ME & MY MONEY
Easy ride: Matt Edmondson earned enough to pay off a one-year mortgage thanks to scooter ad
The best financial decision comedian and TV presenter Matt Edmondson has ever made was to start a board game company during the lockdown.
Sony Award-nominated radio presenter Edmondson, 35, came up with ideas for games when his TV job was postponed due to the pandemic. He told Donna Ferguson that the company he co-founded, Format Games, is now a thriving global business.
The celebrity podcast he hosts, Not Another Love Song, is available for download now and his hit trivia game, So Wrong It’s Right, is priced at Â£ 15.99 on Amazon.
What did your parents teach you about money?
They encouraged me to save. My mother, who was an English professor at the University of Portsmouth, is extremely careful with money. My father was a resource manager and a German teacher at the university. He is a garage sale trawler and loves a good deal.
They both save, and I’m the same. I never buy things on a whim.
Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?
No, but I approached. When I was 20, I was fired from my job on the Children’s BBC. I was spat with no qualifications and few transferable skills. For six months, I used up my savings and started having sleepless nights. I always wanted to be a presenter, but I had nothing in the bank and had to pay my rent.
As a teenager, I had a part-time job as a salesman for magic tricks in a prank shop. So I set up a stand in the Greenwich market, demonstrating and selling magic tricks. I earned more than working at CBBC.
Have you ever been paid ridiculous money?
Yes, to do a fun campaign for Curry’s PC World on scooters. I spent half a day being filmed riding one of them. I probably earned enough to pay off my mortgage for a year.
What has been the best financial year of your life?
It was the 2016/2017 tax year. I have featured several TV shows including Xtra Factor as well as my show on BBC Radio 1.
I really couldn’t say how much I was making. I am not motivated by money. I remember my mom vividly telling me that it didn’t matter what I did as long as I liked it and as long as I was happy she was happy.
As a result, I never felt any pressure to do a job just because there was a status or money attached to it.
What’s your biggest money mistake?
In 2014, I bought a house I hated and put it back on the market three months later. Shortly after moving in, I said to my wife, âI don’t think I like her here. And she said, ‘Thank goodness me neither.’
We couldn’t afford a real estate agent, so I sold the property myself, using an online agent. I managed to sell it for Â£ 50,000 more than we paid for, which covered most of the stamp fees and duties. But, I still probably lost around Â£ 15,000, which still pleases me.
What’s the best financial decision you’ve ever made?
During the pandemic, the TV shows I was going to do were pushed back and did not happen. So my brother-in-law and I started a board game company. We both invested a ridiculously small amount of money to make the games.
It was the best financial decision I have ever made because all of these games sold.
Now we have games in the top 20 bestselling games on Amazon and a thriving global business that not only makes money, but also gives me an outlet for creative ideas.
Are you saving in a pension or investing in the stock market?
Yes. I started about four years ago when I was in my thirties. I spoke to a financial advisor, who told me to do both.
I think it’s important to save in a pension, because you never know what will happen in the future. The television industry is volatile and it is good to have security coverage.
I have very little tolerance for risk so in my mind I wrote off the money I invested in the stock market. I guess it’s gone. Every year when my advisor tells me if he’s gone up or down, I’m surprised he’s even there.
Do you own a property?
Yes, our house, which is a four bedroom Georgian house in Brockley, South East London. We bought it during the pandemic. I’d rather not say how much it’s worth and I don’t care. It is our forever home.
What is the little luxury that you like to treat yourself to?
A massage of around Â£ 65 four times a year. I love them. If I were a multimillionaire, I would have one a week, if not every day.
When I did Xtra Factor, I learned that Simon Cowell had a personal masseuse, who just came to give him a massage. I remember thinking: imagine being so rich, that you employ someone whose only job is to give you a massage, whenever you feel like it.
If you were chancellor, what would be the first thing you would do?
I would find the money to give the NHS whatever it needed right now. I would like to make sure that no one has to suffer or wait because of the resources allocated to the pandemic.
Do you donate money to charity?
Yes, I donate money to cancer research and the Shelter homeless charity. And I never blame these levies. No matter how much the charity is going to spend it on, it will do something much better with the money than I would.
What’s your number one financial priority?
So I can follow my own creative passions, whether it’s an idea for a TV show, a board game, making an album, doing a podcast, or writing a book. Anyway, I want to be able to wake up and think, this idea is really exciting, and I have the freedom to pursue it.
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