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

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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.