Hi, what’s your name? Leta a.k.a. Attachment Mummy
Any kids? Two – Lara, aged 2 & Sophia, aged 8 months
Do you work? FT/PT? No, although blogging is becoming a job it seems!
Why do you work? n/a
If you don’t work why don’t you? I went back to work after having Lara, but soon realised it wasn’t for me, even if it was her dad looking after her, it didn’t feel right. After much debate, we decided it was best for me to stay at home with the children, even though we would really struggle financially.
What are your child care arrangements? I look after the girls most of the time, although Steve’s strange hours (he’s a chef) mean he is around in the late afternoon/evenings so I get some ‘free’ time then.
How do you manage for money? To be perfectly honest it’s a real struggle a lot of the time, but we stock up on groceries, clothes, toiletries, gifts and toys when things are on offer; use vouchers a lot; buy & sell on eBay and local selling sites; cook from scratch and avoid waste as much as possible; and stick to a fairly tight budget, most of the time anyway!
Do you worry about money? Even though things are really tight, and paying the bills is a struggle some months, I don’t see the point of worrying about it really. We can only do what we can do, so we phone the gas people or whoever up, explain the situation, and make an arrangement to pay when we can. Lying in bed at night worrying about things is so unhealthy and counter-productive, I think it’s much better to face up to the situation and see what you can do about it. If the answer to that is nothing right now, so be it, but think again in a couple of days – can anything be done now? There is usually a solution, even if it’s difficult to see at first!
What do you waste money on? We try to buy good food, organic when we can etc, which many would see as a waste I’m sure. My other indulgences (wastes?) are magazines and occasional visits to Costa!
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? The biggest change was me giving up work, esepcially as my income was more than twice Steve’s! Now we no longer holiday abroad, we don’t really buy new clothes for ourselves, we don’t eat out as much as we used to, or go shopping just for the sake of it etc. We definitely have to budget more and be more creative with what we spend, but we’re really no worse off for it.
How do you make extra cash? Mystery shopping and online surveys bring in a bit each month, and we also buy at jumble sales and car boot sales then sell on sometimes. None of that is making our fortune, but it’s a bit extra each month!
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Decide what your priorities are, what would make you unhappy (e.g. not having new shoes each season, or not being able to go out for dinner once a month – for me it’s coffee & a new magazine), and make sure you set aside a little bit of the budget for that, even if it means cutting down on other areas.
3. Buy presents for birthdays and Christmas throughout the year, when things are in the sales, or even secondhand, when you see things, so that you don’t have to find lots of money all at once, or when things are tight anyway. Big cupboards help!
I blog at http://www.attachmentmummy.com/ about family life, parenting, shopping, moneysaving, food, cats, books and anything else which pops randomly into my head!