Hi, what’s your name?

Joanne Dewberry

Any kids?

3! Charlie 5, Megan 4 and Olive 1 

Do you work? FT/PT?

I run my own business I’d love to say part time but sadly I seem to spend every spare minute during the unsavoury hours working!!

Why do you work?

Initially I started my business not long after the birth of my first child and the reason was – sanity!! I really missed the mental stimulation my previous job had given me.  But now 4 years on and my business is part of me 🙂

What are your child care arrangements?

I don’t really have much in the way of childcare arrangements – my partner is also self employed so on occasion he can be around to help out with the children Charlie & Megan are now at full time school which reduces the burden somewhat.  I usually either have meetings with people who don’t mind Olive being there or when my mother in law isn’t working. 

How do you manage for money?

Humm we get by but sometimes we aren’t the best when it comes to money! We don’t always budget as well as we should.  And I’m a bugger for treating the children with money probably better spent on everyday essentials instead of luxurys!

Do  you worry about money?

I don’t worry as such but I am conscious of money and what we have and what things cost.

What do you waste money on?

Everything!!! I’m one of those people when the bank account is full can do a weekly shop for over £100 then suddenly when I only have £40 can feed the family for a week!! See no budgeting!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?


How do you make extra cash?

I do partake in the selling of unwanted items especially the children’s bits and pieces.  Not really making extra cash as such but I do have a Tesco clubcard which I don’t take any points from until Novemeber then I double them in to spend on toys last year we had £50 which we used to buy the 3 nephews presents! I do the same with Nectar points save them until Xmas.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1.  My first would be to get and use (doesn’t have to be all the time) a Tesco Clubcard – the money off vouchers they send you everyso often to lure you in store are always really welcomed at my home!  Especially now they use your shopping to decide what to send you I had £1.50 off Pampers last week.

2. Buy presents throughout the year so that Xmas isn’t a huge shock on your bank balance.  I buy clothing and toys in the supermarket with my shopping, when it’s on  sale and put it away.  I already have a couple of outfits for the children in the next size up, bedding and books all a fraction of the price it will be in December.

3. Grow your own!  We grow a lot of fruit and veg. Charlie loves picking apples off the tree to put in his lunch box.  It’s not just a great way to save money, but its a great way teach your children about where food comes from and HAVE FUN!


Thanks so much for you answers Joanne . Joanne ‘s business is the fabulous Charlie Moo’s  where she sells gorgeous handmade party bags, gifts and toys.

charlie moss, joanne dewberry, budgeting mum, wahm,


Joanne is also a very savvy business woman whose latest book is out now!


The Miss Thrifty Blog, dedicated to money-saving tips and living well for less, is written by a working mum in North Yorkshire. It was named Best Lifestyle Blog in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2011 and, in the words of The Daily Telegraph, “Miss Thrifty has become hugely popular. Her posts tackle all cash problems: beauty, fashion, holidays, weddings, personal finance and food.”

The Miss Thrifty Blog

Miss Thrifty on Facebook

Miss Thrifty on Twitter

Miss Thrifty on Pinterest

Baby Budgeting, Profile of a budgeting mum


Hi, what’s your name?

Miss Thrifty.

Any kids?

One! He is called Thrifty Baby (although that may not be his real name…). He is eight months old.

Do you work? FT/PT?

I work full-time.

Why do you work?

I run my own company: it’s a second baby, if you like. A high needs baby who pays the mortgage…

What are your child care arrangements?

My husband works Tuesday to Saturday, so Mondays are Baby & Daddy Day. Fridays, I work from home. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are when Thrifty Baby trots off to nursery.

How do you manage for money?

With care! As readers of my blog will tell you, I have tightwaddery down to a well-practised art. When Miss Thrifty launched in 2008, I was thousands of pounds in debt, and on my uppers. Talking about money, however, just wasn’t “done”. My friends and family had zero interest in hearing about my new passion for making ends meet, so I began sharing my money-saving tips, tricks and discoveries online instead…

Do you worry about money?

Yes, but in the current climate, doesn’t everyone? I’ve noticed that my blog readership is extraordinarily wide-ranging, in terms of lifestyle and income level. What they all have in common is that they all want to save cash.

What do you waste money on?

I live frugally, so I’ve had to think hard about this one. I have a holiday every year, albeit a thrifty holiday: is that a waste? Argh, I’m making myself sound like some po-faced paragon of fiscal responsibility, which really isn’t the case. I bumble along like everyone else – just in a leaner sort of a way.

Come to think of it, I did go a bit blotto on the Marks & Spencer website last night. Twenty per cent off jeggings, two jumpers for £20, free delivery and Quidco cashback sorted my winter wardrobe for a bargain price – but really, how many jeggings does one woman need?

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

No, but I have made sacrifices in other ways. I returned to full-time work after three months of maternity leave, which was hard.

Also, I am finding it difficult to save at the moment because nursery fees take a whopping great bite out of my monthly payslip. I shouldn’t moan though: one advantage of living here in Yorkshire is that the nursery fees are almost half of what they are in some parts of the south-east.

How do you make extra cash?

Blogging and eBaying. We’re planning to go and sell at a local car boot sale too, but we’ve been hanging out all summer for a fair weather day.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Invest in a slow cooker.

2. Stop your food from going mouldy.

3. Make your own floor cleaner.


Thanks so much for you Miss Thrifty!



This weeks budgeting mum…

Hi, what’s your name? Cass Bailey  (you may know Cass from her awesome thrifty blog The diary of a frugal family)


Any kids? 2 – Bethan who’s 9 going on 15 and Johnny who’s 7.


frugal family

Do you work? FT/PT? I work part time.


Why do you work? Unfortunately, I have to work to pay the bills.  I’d love to be a stay at home mum or be in a position where I could work from home but it’s just not possible at the moment although changing some of our spending habits has allowed me to reduce my hours from full time to part time.



What are your child care arrangements? Our school have an excellent breakfast club and I drop them both off at 7.30.  They get breakfast (often hot) and do crafts before school starts at 8.40.  All for 50p which I know is fantastic and we’re really lucky.


How do you manage for money?  We often struggle and still spend too much occasionally but we are so much better than we used to and are much more aware of what we buy.


Do  you worry about money?  Yes but I think most people do at some time or another.


What do you waste money on?  Lots of things but I’m getting better 😉  I like the kids to look nice and love to buy them new clothes but now, I buy the clothes second hand from eBay mostly and then sell them on again where possible.  I also love to buy handbags and notebooks, oh and cookbooks too.  I’m not nearly as impulsive as I used to be but I do still have my moments.


Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?  Before kids we used to travel a lot – nowhere exotic but we used to have two or three holidays a year and we would regularly eat out and go to the pictures together.  Now a meal and a trip to the cinema costs more than a weeks shopping so we don’t go nearly as often as I’d like us to.  We went to see the Avengers film yesterday and it cost £30 just for the tickets


How do you make extra cash? I try and sell things on eBay when we’re finished with them and always use cashback sites like Quidco when shopping online. 


Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Am I allowed to say meal planning for 1, 2 and 3?  I would if I could as it’s the best budgeting tip I can ever give anyone – Plan your meals, write a shopping list and stick to it!

2. Make sure you have the best deals for everything – gas, electricity, phone, internet – basically anything you pay for.

3. eBay – especially if you have children.  Buy their clothes on there and then sell them on when they’ve grown out of them.

Thank you Cass you are a top budgeting mum


What’s Your Name? Kerri Middleton

 Kerri Middleton

Any Kids? A daughter who is six and a son who is five


Do you work? (FT/PT) In essence I work pretty much full time hours but in a pretty flexible way where I work 3 days in the office and lots of evenings when the kids are in bed and a bit at weekends.


If so, what do you do? I run a company called K TWO Products, we design, manufacture and sell stationery products to help busy people get organised with their home admin, home/work schedules and keepsake special occasions like babies and wedding.


Why do you work?

There are three reasons why I work:

1)      product design is a passion of mine, it’s what I studied at art school and I love developing products that people genuinely enjoy using and that make a difference to their lives (all be it in a small way!)

2)      to earn enough money to be able to enjoy life and give my family security

3)      to set a good example for my children – to teach them if you work hard, you will reap the rewards and that if you set your mind to something and don’t give in, you can achieve it!


What are your childcare arrangements?

My daughter goes to school and my son to preschool, I also have a great husband who does at lot at home and with the kids while I am working.  I can work very flexible hours; its lots of juggling but it works okay (I have never missed a Nativity Play or Parents Evening!).   I feel lucky to have a very supportive family both in my husband and my own parents (and parents in law) who have always encouraged me.


How do you manage for money?

Usually okay


Do you worry about money?

I worried alot in the early days of the business when I didn’t know where the next order would come from our how I’d fund more production but as we became more established and better controlled the worry has eased.  Worrying doesn’t help but it’s hard not to!  Personally, we plan ahead as much as possible and separate out money for different things at home – if I know a big expense is coming (e.g. Christmas or a holiday) we save for it separately.


What do you waste money on?

Stationery – you can never have enough pens, sticky notes or notepads!  I am an absolute stationery addict!


How do you make extra cash?

When my youngest started using his “big boy bed”, I sold his cot on Gumtree and the buyer even came to pick it up so it was really hassle free.  I also love collecting reward points on my Boots Advantage Card and I buy things on my John Lewis credit card which gets me points and vouchers which I have no problem spending – I’m a real John Lewis fan!


Please share top 3 budgeting tips:

1)      Only buy what you need – keep a magnetic pad on the fridge to keep a list of any food that you need to buy more of, take it to the supermarket and stick to it!

2)      Look out for discount codes – in this downturn, retailers are having to slash their profit margins to get sales, so sign up to newsletters and Facebook or Twitter accounts of retailers you like and you’ll reap the rewards (even if it’s just free delivery).

3)      A small home made gift is often better than an expensive shop bought one – I know I love it when anyone gives me something home made – it’s creative and much more personal and it shows you care enough to put in extra effort yourself.  We have great instructions on our blog on how to make a chocolate bouquet – perfect for giving to the host at a dinner party.



Where can we find you online?

Online: www.ktwoproducts.com

Blog: http://www.ktwoproducts.com/blog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KTWOProducts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/KTWOPRODUCTS


Thank you so much Kerri for this fab profile: We’ll be hearing more form Kerri tomorrow as she share s someof her top organising tips with us.


Hi, what’s your name? Kate Ladd

Any kids? Yes one son (Joseph (aka Youngling) he’ll be 3 in March)

Do you work? FT/PT? I do occasional part time work at a tots group which I set up and run and working on the elections for the local council once a year etc. I sometimes get sponsored to write an article on my blog too: www.makeshiftmummy.com

Why do you work? To give me a little ‘pocket’ money and Independence.


What are your child care arrangements? Youngling goes to pre-school 2 mornings a week which I have to pay for until the term after his 3rd birthday.

How do you manage for money? I do have help from the government etc. after the separation between my sons father and I, 10 months ago. I try to save as much as I can.

Do you worry about money? Yes most of the time but I am much better at managing my money nowadays. Most days I have a good sense of value which has taken me years to appreciate.

What do you waste money on? Food!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? Yes I don’t just go out and buy something when I see it anymore. I generally only treat myself to clothes on special occasions, weddings and birthday’s etc. I learnt very early on not to buy everything ‘named’ for my son. Most of the supermarket own brand products worked out cheaper and better for me and my family and I am not ashamed to buy them. They saved me a great deal of money.

I am also trying to teach Youngling the importance of saving, something I wish I had learnt when I was younger. I am teaching him by giving him money boxes and encouraging him to put his pennies away. Then we take it to the bank it’s an exciting outing to a 2 year old 😉

How do you make extra cash? Again from my tots group (though most of the ‘profit’ goes back into the group for the parties etc. and writing on my blog: www.makeshiftmummy.com I wish to write more sponsored posts in the near future. I also sell some of clothes and books etc on eBay.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Shop around. Look for the best deals, especially for food options. Don’t be a label lackey. Even with clothes, shoes and household products.

2. Save a penny every day. If you can save more then go for it but put at least a penny away every day. You never know you may need it for a rainy day.

3. Sell, sell, sell. Don’t be wastefull with your old belongings. Sell them on ebay, gumtree, amazon, play and the like. Go to carboots and even if you make 20p for a jumper thats better than nothing.

My blog: www.makeshiftmummy.com Two Cats, Youngling and Me,

Hi everyone and welcome,

I am Makeshift Mummy (aka Kate) I am a twenty-seven year old Graduate of Drama (and Spanish). Since I was absolutely hopeless at acting I focussed on writing and after graduation completed a Journalism and Freelance Writing course from The London School Of Journalism and then I had a baby.


Youngling and I live in a three bed rented terraced house in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire. Younglings daddy (Doo) and I separated in April 2011 so we have been learning to survive and thrive on our own, and the two cats of course. Polly (aka PolPol) is our five year old white and tortoise shell feline who licks your hand if she likes you. Charlie Cat (aka Larley) is our one year old Ginger Tom cat who we adopted from a friend at a lose end mid 2011. We couldn’t imagine our lives without him now as he really has become a part of the family.


So this blog (adequately named Two Cats, Youngling and Me) is an online journal of my life and examples of my writing. I am learning every day and hope to share my experiences with you all and make a living as a Stay At Home Mum (SAHM).


If you have any questions, feedback or would just like to be friends then please get in touch via my Email. Or if you would like to discuss any PR Pitches I would be happy to hear from you – please see my Contact Page for details.


I hope that gives you a little insight into me and mine. I look forward to getting to know you all and hope you enjoy my blog, the good, the bad and the ugly.


What’s your name?

Claire Meredith



Any kids?

2 Boys (4½ and nearly 2)

Do you work?


If so what do you do?

I run my own little Payroll Bureau from home, processing the wages for small businesses, charities and parents who employ nannies.

 I also run a blog for parents on the money matters which affect them: www.pennies4parents.blogspot.com

pennies for parents


Why do you work?

To enable me to contribute a little financially to my family and I love being my own boss!!

What are your childcare arrangements?

My eldest is at school full time and little one goes to nursery 2 days a week.  I also fit work in during the little one’s nap times and in the evenings.

How do you manage for money?

With only one main wage things can be tough but luckily I have a good head for figures and I’m a bargain hunter!  I am always researching the best prices for EVERYTHING we buy.  I’ve become an expert at comparing prices, using vouchers and getting cash back when I buy things online. 

Do you worry about money?

Not often.  There are lots of sacrifices – we don’t take expensive holidays and there aren’t many nights out but we have two healthy, happy boys and a lovely home life so that’s the most important thing.

What do you waste money on?

I really try to spend carefully but my main downfall is chocolate!!

How do you make extra cash?

I sell my son’s toys and clothes on Ebay and the local Facebook selling pages.  I am also a loyal cash back website devotee (they pay you when you go through them to purchase goods/insurance etc online) – it all adds up!

Please share 3 top budgeting tips –

1.         Use comparison sites before you buy ANYTHING online!

My favorites are: http://www.megashopbot.com/ and


2.         Sign up to a cash back website such as www.topcashback.co.uk and complete online transactions for purchases via them to earn cash.

3.         Use Ebay, charity shops and local ad pages (Facebook, FreeAds etc) when you need to buy new baby equipment/clothes etc.  They are used for such a short time that second hand items are usually still in really good condition and they are a fraction of the new price.


Where can we find you online?






Hi, what’s your name?

Zoe Woods, nice to meet you!


Any kids?

Yes, one daughter called Ines

Do you work? FT/PT?

I’m a full time mum and also run two businesses from home, Baby Dubois (www.babydubois.co.uk) making baby clothes and slings, and Crafty Baba (www.craftybaba.moonfruit.com) teaching sewing and knitting from home.

Why do you work?

Partly to pay the bills but also to keep myself sane and in the game workwise.


What are your child care arrangements?

I work when my daughter’s asleep but when I have a show or classes to teach, my daughter goes to her Grandparents for the day.

How do you manage for money?

Ummmm… just about.

Do you worry about money?

Worrying about it won’t make it appear! I try not to worry and channel my energy into making more of it.

What do you waste money on?

Buttons! If I have one extravagance it has to be haberdashery but to justify it, it can turn an outfit into a super gorgeous one, and your kid into a little cutie pie.

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

It’s hard to say if the recession or having a child has changed things, probably a bit of both. I have downsized my house which was a big change and the car is being repaired, not replaced.

How do you make extra cash?

So many ways! I give sewing and knitting lessons, I take in dressmaking jobs, I design websites and I pop my daughter’s clothes into NCT Nearly New Sales, a great place to snap up a bargain!

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Learn to sew a simple kid’s t-shirt from some jersey fabric. Kids get through so many of them and they are easy to customize.

2. If you can’t make them, learn to repair them. Reinforced knees on a pair of jeans will make them last a whole lot longer.

3. Homemade birthday cards are so much nicer than shop bought ones and treasured. I try and keep them a little “rustic” so they keep their hand crafted appeal.


Hi, what’s your name?


Any kids?

I have two girls aged 8 & 10

Do you work? FT/PT?

I work full time in the NHS as a midwife.

Why do you work?

…because I need to. If I won the lottery I’d give it up in a shot! Saying that, I do really love my job. I get to help bring life into the world everyday. How fabulous is that? I also wasn’t a wonderful stay at home mum when the girls were younger, I got bored faster than the girls! I worked part time then because it gave me some sanity, I think it was a happy medium – for me anyway.

What are your child care arrangements?

The village school has a breakfast and after-school club, which is a life saver because there is no other childcare option in the village. Our family all live 20 miles or more away so we’re reliant on the provision that school provide.

How do you manage for money?

We’re debt free and we make ends meet every month, but there isn’t much disposable income left. I think we’re in the same position as many families at the moment. We’re lucky that we’re in stable jobs and a roof over our heads – I don’t worry about those things like some people have to.  We still get out and about having fun, we just plan things more carefully these days. That’s why I set up my blog www.havingfun-spendingless.co.uk. I wanted to share the hints, tips and bargains that we’ve come across (as well as the occasional witter about family life!).

Do  you worry about money?

No, it’s our number one rule for a happy marriage. We put a little away in an ISA every month, so have a rainy day fund for drastic emergencies. It goes out by standing order on the same day that my wage is paid in, that way I don’t miss the money ever being there. Two years ago, I lost a friend to suicide and I believe that was finance related. I refuse to let money, or lack of affect my family in the same way.

What do you waste money on?

I like gadgets. I have an iPhone (which I love almost as much as my husband) on a really good contract. It’s an indulgence but it only costs me £25 a month. I also have a Kindle, which is convenient for traveling/ commuting etc.  I’d really, really love an iPad.

Our family waste/ indulgence is that we like brand named foods. I couldn’t contemplate not having Kellogg’s cornflakes or Heinz ketchup and beans.  We like to shop in the local (expensive) deli for weekend treats such as good olives. I also only buy good cuts of local meat. If we can’t afford it, we just eat less of it. We eat a predominantly vegetarian diet anyway.

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

Before having the girls we would often decide on a Friday evening just to go away for the weekend. Sometimes we’d catch the train down to London t see a concert at Wembley, party all night and catch the first train home in the morning. Gone are those days, I don’t think I could keep pace anymore anyway!

It’s only since having the girls that we have made wills and taken out life insurance. Now we have the responsibility of ensuring that they are financially secure should anything happen to us.

How do you make extra cash?

We don’t. We both have jobs with long hours and I work shifts too. There is no way we can increase our hours or take on a second job without it having a detrimental affect on the girls’ childhood. We just make the most of what we have.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. We both have credit cards but we always ensure that we only spend what we can afford to pay back at the end of the month, maybe over two months at Christmas. We work hard for the money we have, I have no intention of paying more in fees than I have to.

2. Always search online for discount codes. This counts for clothes/ gift shopping and also for days out. We nearly always find a discount code/ voucher for places we’re going to visit with the kids.

3. Plan your meals and do your food shopping online. This is a very recent discovery for me. It costs around £5 to have the shopping delivered, but there are many pro’s. No more buying silly BOGOF’s you’re not going to use, no children filling the trolley with magazines and cheap DVD’s, but most of all…you don’t have to set foot in the supermarket. We’ve cut down our food shopping bill by almost £50 a week.


Hi, what’s your name?

Nicki Cawood


Any kids?

2 – Kieran is 5years and just finishing his first year at school (GAH!) and Taylor is a cheeky 7.5m old.

Do you work? FT/PT? Full time from home

Why do you work? Both to contribute to the household and because I want to! I am a Mum and I love it but I’m also me, and “me” needs to be kept busy and out of trouble!

What are your child care arrangements?

Working from home I don’t need paid childcare (luckily!). Kieran is at school Monday-Fri and my (fantastic) Mum has Taylor one day a week so I can really crack on. Taylor is a very laid back child and I work around mealtimes, playtimes and walks etc but a full uninterrupted day is great for catching up!

How do you manage for money?

I budget strictly and weigh up purchases properly. Being aware of our budget means we can live within it and we try and make sure we put a bit away each month for those rainier than usual times.

Do  you worry about money?

Who doesn’t!? Prices seem to be going up monthly, as do our other expenses; our income doesn’t seem to rise in the same fashion! I think a certain level of worry or apprehension about overspending is good (certainly for me) as it keeps you on your toes and stops you being complacent.

What do you waste money on? I’m not sure we do! Things we spend on the kids I’d never consider a waste, and our food (which is the thing that seems to cost the most!) is within budget although I suppose I could cull the grocery spend some but I love to cook and experiment with new ingredients!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

HUGE changes. In fact everything has changed. I went to my “back to work” interview after having Kieran, about a month before my maternity was due to end… and put my notice in. There was no plan, it just wasn’t going to work for us as a family and it wasn’t what I wanted to do. My salary disappeared like magic overnight so yes, lots of changes – not least in how we thought about spending and money in general.

How do you make extra cash? Being freelance I can usually take on extra work as and when required which helps in leaner months. I used to do a variety of thing from ebaying bits and pieces, doing surveys and what not, all of which helped, but to be honest I just don’t have the time nowadays.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

  1. 1. KNOW your budget. Use a diary, a spread sheet, post it notes… whatever words for you. If you know you have £X  to spend on food then you are more likely to stick to that. If you have rough amounts and estimates it is easy to lose track.
  2. 2. Be realistic! The best budget is one that takes into account the things you really need and want over the month. You will never stick to your budget if it includes nothing but bills and food. What about the occasional treat and your entertainment? What about Christmas and birthdays? It all needs to be included. Your budget is helping you live your live within your means. The key word there is live!
  3. 3. Be savvy and shop around. Be it for your groceries or your utilities. Don’t assume you are always on the best plan for you. I review all my direct debits etc every six months and quite often I can shave a fair bit off some bills, not necessarily by moving suppliers but by changing plans. Use cashback sites such as Quidco when shopping online and comparisons from anything from car insurance to gifts. It doesn’t have to be difficult to save money!

Thanks so much for you answers Nicki.

Nicki Cawood Bio

Freelance writer and blogger (her own blog Curly&Candid is primarily a parenting blog but content includes anything from children to current affairs – and her candid opinion of them!) Based in North Yorkshire, Nicki is mum to two boys, Kieran 5yrs and Taylor 7m, wife to Roy and is a keen money-saver!


Hi, what’s your name? I’m Kirsty, and you can find me on twitter as @imperfectpages.

Kirsty younger

Any kids? I have two sons; the older is nearly three and my ‘baby’ is 15 months.

Do you work? I do occasional freelance writing and social media work under the name Perfect Pages, but I also look after my kids full time so can’t take on too much.

Why do you work? The extra income is really useful, but I also want to maintain my skills and not have a huge gap in my CV when I return to employment after my children start school.

If you don’t work why don’t you? I don’t want permanent employment at the moment because the childcare costs for two children would mean I was hardly making a profit at all. Plus my kids will be young for such a short time, I’m willing to take a small break in my career to enjoy this time with them.

What are your child care arrangements? We’re very lucky to have both my and my husband’s parents living nearby. My parents work full time but they have my two-year-old for a day and night at the weekend to give us a bit of a break.

How do you manage for money? It’s hard. Things like eating out or longer car trips have become an occasional treat. We very rarely buy new clothes (I buy all my clothes second-hand for ethical reasons, and most of the kids’ clothes too). For every big purchase I try to think “what’s more important – having this, or staying out of debt?”.

Do you worry about money? Yes, I do – although I think in a few years when I’m back in employment our situation will get better again.

What do you waste money on? Although I plan our meals every week, I’m not perfect and we sometimes throw food away. We also have the odd takeaway as a treat.

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? Before we had kids, my husband and I both worked full time (and I was a high earner for my age), so going down to one income has meant massive changes for us. We used to eat out twice a month and have a holiday every year – nothing too extravagant, but for now they’re ‘luxuries’ we can’t afford.

How do you make extra cash? As well as my freelance work, I sell our used toys and kids’ clothes at NCT sales. I also use Quidco to get cashback when shopping online (although I’m careful only to use it for things I need to buy anyway, otherwise it isn’t a ‘real’ saving).

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Be honest about your finances: make a budget spreadsheet that shows what you have going in and going out, and don’t spend more than you can afford. My husband and I give ourselves a small ‘allowance’ each month so we can have little treats or save up for something bigger, without feeling guilty or spending too much.

2. Shop around for the best deal on insurance, mortgage and utilities. It’s pretty easy to change and you could save a significant sum.

3. Don’t go mad at birthdays and Christmas for your children. Our kids get so much from family and friends, and really they appreciate a small, thoughtful gift as much as big, extravagant presents.

Thanks so much for you answers Kirsty.

Kirsty writes about family food and recipes on her blog Eating with Kids, and about family life, good living and iPhoneography on Imperfect Pages.


1. What’s  your name?       Kerry Goodman

Scrapbookerry2. How old are your Kids?                  2 and a half

3. Where do you work?  Home/office?       Home

4. What childcare spot do you have?            Baba goes to pre school all day on a Monday and Friday morning, he also goes to his Nannies every Wednesday and sometimes on a Tuesday depending on how busy I am and if it is the school holidays! He goes to his Nannies on Tuesdays in the holidays every week as I don’t have the pre school in the school holidays.

5. What inspired you to start your own business? People always asking for my albums to be made for gifts.

6. When did you start your business?          March this year

7. Any start up fees?           Nothing as I scrapbook myself so I have always brought supplies for that. I can get a few albums out of one pack so the cost is not a huge amount but I do keep on top of what I buying so that I know I am not over spending.

8. Tell me about your business?     Scrapbookerry is a scrapbooking business, I make keepsakes and mini albums for people to buy and then put their own photos in, these can be brought for themselves or can be brought for gifts. Every item is original and there are various forms of mini albums available, with others being added to the collection regularly. The business has lots of other services to be added in the near future as well.

9. What are your aims for your business? To help people who love the idea of scrapbooking, and mini albums, but a don’t have the time to make mini albums, or just want to use them as gifts. We are all so busy  now a days but we still like our pictures and memorabilia to be stored and kept but lots of people don’t the time to do that. I hope that I try to sort out that problem, as all of my albums just need the pictures added making the final process nice and easy.

10. Have you got 3 tips for any mum thinking of starting a business on a budget?

1) Manage your time, trying to start a business is really difficult with young children, there are always things that crop up, illness etc so plan your time effectively so when you have time to work, you work!

2) Have a plan, I don’t have a massive business plan, but I know where I want my business to be in a few years time. I also know the services that I want to be able to offer.

3) Get your other halves, family members, or friends to support you, as you will need help at times with childcare or just a good sounding board. Remember to ask for it as well.

Website: www.scrapbookerry.co.uk

Folksy: http://www.folksy.com/shops/Scrapbookerry

Coriandr: https://www.coriandr.com/shop/scrapbookerry

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/people/Scrapbookerry

Twitter: www.twitter.com/scrapbookerry

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Scrapbookerry

Thank you Kerry and lots of luck!


How do you budget?

Hi, what’s your name? Isil Simsek
Any kids? Defne 4 years old and Derin 16 months
Do you work? FT/PT? No
If you don’t work why don’t you? I prefer being a SAHM during the early years of my children

What are your child care arrangements? I don’t use childcare.
How do you manage for money? We try to save money by only eating out occasionally. I prepare packed lunches for my husband.
Do  you worry about money? We are yet to buy a house and with the prices in UK, it’s hard not to worry.
What do you waste money on? Chocolate, my guilty pleasure 🙂
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? No
How do you make extra cash? Children grow out of clothes so fast! I sell my kids’ clothes on e-bay and with that money I buy preloved clothes for them.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1.I plan our weekly menu and do the grocery shopping accordingly.
2.I try to cook everything from scratch.
3.I check out the charity shops. You can definitely find nice things if you frequently visit them.

I blog at Smiling like Sunshine. My blog is an eclectic mix of natural family living, food, books, decoration, design, kids crafts, childhood, motherhood and whatever takes my fancy.

Thanks so much Isil!