Hi, what’s your name?
My name’s Penny but I’m known online as Mrs C.
One two year old daughter (Little Miss C) and a second baby due in September 2012.
Do you work? FT/PT?
I don’t go out to work, but do try to make money through my blog and by working with local businesses on social media.
Why do you work?
What I earn at the moment pays for extra treats for me and my daughter. Ideally I’d make more to be able to contribute more towards the mortgage and household bills.
If you don’t work why don’t you?
I made the “mistake” of resigning from my job two weeks before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was on three months notice, so I had assumed I’d be able to find a new job before my notice period was out. Sadly I didn’t and no one wanted to take on a woman who was noticeably pregnant!
What are your child care arrangements?
For most of the week I look after my daughter, but she does go to nursery one day a week. Partly to give me a break, but also as I think she gains massively from having time away from me and having other adults looking after her.
How do you manage for money?
At the moment we can just cover all our monthly bills from my husbands wages and our savings that we built up when both of us were working. Any extras come out of our savings and hence they are getting lower every month. Any unexpected extras can be met at the moment, but not for much longer!
Do you worry about money?
Yes! I’m very worried about what would happen if something happened to my husband and he was no longer able to earn money. Being out of the workplace still feels strange to me. I was brought up as an independent woman and not having my own income is still strange even after two and a half years. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer just four months after my daughter was born and it’s made me realise just how fragile life can be and how we all need to plan ahead.
What do you waste money on?
Coffees out and car parking costs. I should walk more and stop for tea and cake less. Easier said than done when pregnant. I’m also very bad at using up leftover food.
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?
We’re trying very hard to keep ourselves debt free and to keep up to date with all our bill payments. We would put spare money away for our children, but worked out that in the long run it was more beneficial to put it all into our mortgage instead.
How do you make extra cash?
I try to use my blog to make money – mainly through sponsored posts, but also use it to review things that I might otherwise buy for me and my daughter. I’ve made good links with several toy shops and book publishers meaning that I get books and toys to review with Little Miss C so she doesn’t miss out compared to other children.
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Keep on top of your finances all the time. I have a spreadsheet which I balance against my bank account once a month so I can see just how much we have left and what I have spent money on in the month.
2. Try to buy second hand or borrow where possible. Many children’s clothes last for such a short period of time that it’s really not worth buying them new. Many local free cycle groups or NCT mailing lists frequently have people giving away bags of children’s clothes. If you have family who have older children then make sure you talk to them too!
3. Plan meals based around what is already in your fridge and cupboards and also plan around special offers in the supermarket. Possibly make big batches of something on offer and freeze them. Easy meals for other days and saving money too!
I blog at Being Mrs C (http://www.beingmrsc.com) where I write about life with my husband and daughter, crafty things we get up to and also review toys and books.