Having less money and yet more time in which to spend money is the lot of most stay at home parents.  Here are some essential budgeting tips for a sahm or dad to take on board to help them live well on less. 

You can either read or watch it’s totally up to you!

1.    Get creative

From sewing up hems to making simple dresses sewing is a fab skill for a SAHM. Painting plant posts and crafting cards is also a handy money saver. Baking cookie and fudge make wonderful gift ideas, be crafty and creative and it wills serve you well.


2.    Be mindful about money

Know what you have coming in and know what your essential outgoings are. Know what you have to save and save it. Know what you have spare each week to live on. Now you can budget accordingly. I can’t begin to tell you how essential this simple strategy is to avoiding debt and managing well.

3.    Take a Walk

Leave the car and the petrol costs behind and get into the groove of walking. Fresh air is fabulous for you and your child and it’s a great way to stay fit and healthy without the gym cost. You’ll soon get used to it.

4.    Embrace preloved,

Charity shops, car boot sales and eBay all take a little time to browse but you will have more of this now and preloved items are the way forward. From gifts to clothes and toys once you realise how much you save you will be hooked!

5.    Play for free You don’t need to spend your days flitting with your child from class to soft play to swimming lessons spending money. Instead learn all about what’s fab and free in your local area; museums, lidos, parks, nature trails, parent and toddler groups, and of course use your library!

6.    Spread the word.

Tell your family and friends that becoming a SAHM has changed your finances as a family and so for a few years at least gifts and socialising will be affected. Once you have said this out loud you can breather saying no and giving smaller gifts will then become absolutely okay.

7.    Learn to cook. You have more time now and cooking from scratch and knowing how to use up leftovers will all save you money.  The internet is a great place for budget foodie blogs or recipes.

8.    Coffee at yours

Don’t fill your days meeting friends for coffee instead open up your home, children enjoy it much more and it is far cheaper than meeting in a coffee shop. Most will then return the favour.


9.    Use the internet wisely. Don’t let it ever take over from real life but do learn what it can give you; ontact with other mums in similar positions, discount savings site, money off vouchers for pretty much anything and brilliant budgeting advice blogs (like this one!)

10. Change your mindset

You may not have designer clothes but you have time with your child which is one of the greatest ever gifts. You can still have a fabulous life you just need to think outside the box. For example home swap with friends who live somewhere very different for a lovely holiday on a budget. Have Cleudo and spaghetti with your good friends instead of a night out at a restaurant.  Give your partner a back massage a love letter and their favourite tea instead of as birthday gift instead of boring old cufflinks.


 Enjoy your time as a stay at home parents and I hope these tips serve you well. Oh and be a good friend too these budgeting tips for a SAHM could be a great thing to print off and give to a pal in the same boat.


This is a brilliant family friendly franchise opportunitiy for mums wanting to make money whilst tying in well with fmaily life  ..I’ve known AnneMarie who runs the business for a while now she is full of zest and so friendly .Over to Diddidance to tell you a bit more about themselves aand their dancing franchise opportunities,

 Are you ready to get the UK’s pre-schoolers dancing?


franchise opportunity for mums

Have you got what it takes to join our Mission –to Get Children Moving?

At diddi dance we enhance children’s endless energy and enthusiasm through funky, full of fun sessions that build confidence, co-ordination and creativity.

 Diddi dance engages and inspires children’s creativity by blending diddi dance’s exclusive pop songs with dancing games and fun exercises in high-energy 45-minute classes.

 From Salsa to Country, Bollywood to African and Hip Hop to Tap, diddi dance gets boys and girls jumping, turning, galloping, moving and shaking!

 diddi dance also offer a hugely successful private party package and take regular bookings from nurseries and schools.

 We are looking for franchisees with boundless energy and who love interacting with children to bring the diddi dance experience to boys and girls right across the UK.

 Being a diddi dance franchisee is more than just fun. Our unique franchise package gives franchisees the opportunity to build highly successful businesses.

 Your franchise package will include your exclusive territory, full training, equipment, continual advice and guidance, all lesson plans and training DVDs plus much more to set you on the road to business success.

 So if you’re ready to get the UK’s pre-schoolers dancing, then please click onto www.diddidance.com and request a Franchise Prospectus!


 Why not pop over and take a look? Running a franchise was my number 1 way of spending more time with my children when they wer little plus loads of fun! Check out Diddi Dances website -it really is a brilliant franchise opportunity for mums


Being upfront (How to say no I can’t afford it !)

My personal view with family and friends is to be upfront about what you can and can’t afford wherever you feel okay to do so. If you have a partner encourage them to talk to their family and fireinds too. If you can have that uncomfortable converstaion about how now you have a little one your funds are limited and you aren’t going to be able to spend money like you used to that will make a big difference. Once it’s said its out there and smaller gifts, refusals for meals out et. will /should be met with understanding.

Offering alternatives 

Not buying gifts at all or never socialising can make others feel uncared about. Money is not the spice of liffe thought is..so passing on an appropriate book you have read as a gift or a bunch of flowers from your garden can mean a great deal. Inviting friends to yours for  a big pot of soup after a winter walk is lovely and costs no where near the same as a night out. Pop your thinking cap on…doing something is always better received than doing nothing,

When you can’t say….. 

If the friendship is too new or lacks the depth necessary for you to be able to say you are skint then stock up on excuses and make sure they aren’t time linited.

e.g  If your answer to an invite out is ‘I am busy that day’ it  will just result in another day being offered. Instead say ‘Oh I much prefer to cook myself and invite everyoine to yours, making a course each.

e.g Instead of saying that the swimming course  was full when you tried to enrol your child  say something like we are currently thinking we’d prefer to teach her ourselves

eg Rather than aplologising for your gift to them saying it’ll be bigger next time  state proudly that you have put lots of thought into this gift and you truly hope they like it.

Good luck! and please remember if someone falls out with you because you have little money they were probaly never worth your energy in the first place..

I can't afford it

Copyright: Sweetandsimplestyle


Thanks to life coach and successful mum in business Grace Marshall for this fab guest post

The face of motherhood is changing. I think there was a time when the labels were either ‘working mum’ or ‘stay at home mum’. Now there are those who work full time, part time, ‘work at home mums’, employed, self-employed, flexi-time, job share, freelance, contractors and entrepreneurs.

And so is the face of business. Traditionally a business owner might be expected to be suited and booted, working from an office or a shop premises, employing staff, seeing clients 9-5 and working behind the scenes 5-9.

Let’s face it, none of us really want to add to the demands of parenthood by remortgaging the house to fund a business venture. Or spending every waking hour away from the family. And being at the beck and call of other people. We get enough of that from our kids thank you.

But today’s technology and social trends are pushing back the boundaries and offering much more choice, and making it increasingly attractive for women to combine motherhood with entrepreneurialism.

Of course it’s not easy. But mums are used to hard work and actually pretty brilliant at being responsive and resourceful.                                                      

Today you can

  • run a business from home without the overheads of a shop or office
  • cherry pick who you work with and serve customers worldwide without having to travel or relocate
  • define your own working hours, whether it’s in the evening when the kids are in bed and your brain becomes entirely your own again, when you’ve been woken up at 5am or simply to fit in between the school run.
  • take time off and still get paid on holidays, sick days, sports days and spontaneous picnic days
  • market your services without a huge advertising budget

On that last note, here are 10 tips for marketing your business on a shoestring budget:

  1. Define your niche and target market – rather than diluting your message and budget by being all things to all people
  2. Write articles and submit them to article directories like EzineArticles.com
  3. Join or create an online forum relevant to your niche/target market and share your knowledge
  4. Promote your company, product, giveaway or special offer on your email signature
  5. Share your knowledge and build your credibility through blogs, interviews, podcasts or videos.
  6. Make it easy for people to share their email address with you to keep in touch and give an added incentive with a free report, set of tips, e-course or e-book.
  7. Interview an expert or be interviewed yourself and share your expertise
  8. Run a competition
  9. Conduct a survey
  10. Talk to people who serve the same people you do with services that complement yours. See how you can help each other, with swapping links, joint promotions and affiliate partnerships for example.

And a bonus tip

  1. You know all those business cards you’ve got lurking somewhere from other small business owners that you’ve met. Ring three of them and ask for more information about what they do so you can more easily refer business to them.  Ask if you can tell them more about your business.

If you’re a mum who wants to create a business that works for you without being swamped in the process, I’d love to see you on my upcoming teleseminar, where I’ll be sharing real life insights and practical tips, including How to take holidays, sick days, snow days and spontaneous picnic days whenever you need and want to. And why having children can accelerate rather than hinder your business. For more details of this free event visit FromBurnoutToBrilliant.com.

Grace Marshall is mum to two young children, and a life and business coach who loves to help other mums create their own definition of motherhood and business. Join her at FromBurnoutToBrilliant.com.


I have been very busy earning money over the last 6 years of ‘not working’

  • I have sold old books on Amazon
  • Sold old highchairs, clothes bundles, cots and buggies on eBay
  • I have sold my second hand baby /child stuff at NCT sales
  • I have done online surveys
  • I have done a very occasional lecture/teaching day on a freelance basis for m y old job
  • I have done TONs of car boot stalls
  • I have run a Tiny talk baby signing business  1 morning per week – which I then sold for profit
  • I have written a book and had it published
  • I have been involved in market research groups
  • I have mystery shopped
  • I have developed my blog which now features the occasional sponsored post
  • I have marked essays for my old work place on a freelance basis

You're totally worth it but I'm a bit tired!

It’s a busy life being a stay at home mum!!!   In fact I know very few stay at home mums who don’t have to earn money.

 I remember talking about this with my lovely mum and saying it seemed so unfair that it was so hard to manage on one wage these days. She laughed and said it’s always been hard, people were just less materialistic years ago and didn’t expect so much or desire so much. She told me she had done many things to afford to be a stay at home mum, hand sewing, stuffing envelopes, offering childcare. Sounds familiar!

What do you do to earn a bit extra?


Thank you lovely Dot for sharing your fab car boot tips with us. Dorothy Lepkowska is a freelance journalist: www.dorothylepkowska.co.uk; http://twitter.com/DotLepkowska  She is a stay at home mum who also works for m home and her daughter is 6 months old.

Take a good look around your house. Are your wardrobes bulging at the seams? Will you ever have time to read that stack of books again? And isn’t a clear-out of the loft long overdue?

Don’t just take your old junk to the tip. Make the most of a good de-clutter by packing up your car and heading down to your nearest car boot sale.

With the August bank holiday weekend coming up, there may well be events taking place on Monday as well as Sunday – giving you two opportunities to make some cash. In the winter, look out for indoor events.

All you need is a folding/pasting table, a clothes rail if you’re selling garments (though you can hang things off a laundry clothes horse just as easily!) and some plastic sheeting if the ground is damp. And remember to take a bum-bag with a float containing plenty of lose change.

Typically, pitches are charged at between £7-£10 for a car and £10-£15 for a van. 

Top tips for successful car booting:

 – If you’ve never done a car boot sale before go to one the week before and just look round. It will give you an idea about pricing and how to arrange your stall

 – When you’re ready to start selling, get there early to secure the best pitches

 – Make sure your table and rail are packed last so they are first out of the car when you get there

 – Don’t price too steeply. Remember these are things you want to get rid of

 – Arrange all your items so they are clearly visible, if you have the space – though people generally don’t mind rummaging through boxes

 – Go with a friend or partner – it makes it easier to keep an eye on things should you get a rush at your stall, and you can take it in turns to look around or nip to the loo

 – Make sure any garments, including children’s or baby clothes, are dry, clean and ironed. Not surprisingly, people can be sensitive about buying second hand clothes

 – Baby and children’s clothes and toys tend to sell more easily in areas where people are less well-off, so do your homework about the local community

 – If you have new items to sell, make sure interested buyers know they’ve never been used

 –  Be prepared for buyers to haggle – it’s all part of the fun! But only sell at the price you think is fair

 – Make sure you look clean and tidy, and have a ready smile and ‘good morning’. It’s a great ice-breaker

No-one gets rich by doing car boot sales, so don’t expect to make a fortune. But hopefully you will make enough to treat the kids to a day out, or keep the baby in nappies for a couple of weeks.

Have fun!

 To find your nearest car boot sale, go to: http://www.yourbooty.co.uk/ or http://www.carbootjunction.co.uk/


Family firendly franchises abound and are perfect for SAHM (stay at home mums) It can be a popular and lucrative option among stay-at-home  parents to buy a baby-related franchise. I bought a Tiny Talk baby-signing franchise when my son was just nine months’ old. I had rung to book Frankie and myself into our local class only to find out that the classes were all full and that the franchise was soon to be sold. I am experienced at signing, a confident singer and used to training groups and so immediately thought, ‘Oh, this could be for me!’ I was interviewed and approved, then trained by the company, set up with equipment and lesson plans and then you’re off and running.

Running my own franchise was interesting and I earned a good income. There were over 100 mums (and one or two dads) out there running Tiny Talk franchises; we would chat online or at regional and national conferences, it was a real community of support. I was able to take my son along to the classes I taught and I met lots of other local mums and their babies who have remained friends. I only worked one morning a week baby signing, yet I made enough money to keep my car on the road and pay for all my son’s activities. What’s more, it integrated me into our local community and I was able to contribute financially. When I sold up due to baby number two, I made a healthy profit. Plus, I got a great maternity allowance as a result of my very part-time working (this only happens if you pay your voluntary national insurance contributions, though).

During that time, I built up new skills in running a business and these will stand me in good stead when I eventually venture back out into the workplace. Running my own baby business made me feel stimulated, proud and balanced.

There’s a whole family of baby- and children-linked franchises – Tumble Tots, Jo Jingles and Socatots, to name a few – so ponder a while, it could be perfect for your current lifestyle. I worked at my franchise for three years and I loved it.

If you want to earn money in a way that fits with being a full-time parent then buying and running a franchise could work for you. Most websites have contact details where you can express an interest in the franchise, along with FAQs.

Jo Jingles

Music classes for babies and pre-schoolers.

01494 778989


Monkey Music

Music and percussion classes for under-fi ves.

01582 766464


Musical Minis

Fun music group for babies and toddlers.

020 8868 0001



Football coaching programme for under-fi ves.

0113 244 2005



Baby signing classes.

01483 301444


Tumble Tots

Baby and toddler gymnastics.

0121 585 7003



Fun, creative yoga classes for kids aged two to seven.


 For all the information you could possibly want about franchises on one site with lots of tips, ideas and franchise opportunities, check out www.whichfranchise.com.

P>S I hvae not been paid by TinyTalk or approached by them to sing their praises they just are a fab company to work for.


  Hi I’m Abi.  4 years ago I gave up a job as a bank manager to be a stay at home mum. We have two children, so as the recession hit my husbands pay I decided that I needed to do something to help. I’ve been making cakes for years for friends and family for years and really enjoy it so it seemed a natural line of business for me and is something I can do around the children. I also enjoy the fact that all my cakes are made without additives and preservatives so they are better for my own family.  The extra money goes a long way if you watch what you do with it”

three tips…
1) do your grocery shopping online, it’s a lot easier to budget, you won’t be as tempted and you don’t have pester power from the kids
2) use cash when you do go to the shops then you can’t go above what you have in your pocket
3) most importantly, treat yourself occasionally. Budgeting is like dieting, a little of what you fancy keeps you on the wagon!

Kind regards



I have been involved ina blog swap and my swap partner is the gorgous Pippa from a mother’s ramblings. Enjoy her post….it’s fab and it really makes you think. Over to Pippa……………
Hi Everyone!
If I were asked to define myself I would say I was a Stay-at-Home-Mummy. Technically I am a Work-at-Home-Mummy but I don’t really count my job as work as it is a lot of fun. Plus whilst I’m working I am normally playing with Baby Boy or watching him play or Tweeting or reading blogs… you get the picture right?

Last Tuesday I took a day off of being a SAHM. Daddy took the day off and dealt with the school run and looking after Baby Boy for the day. As I went swanning off to London I was worrying. I was worried that Baby Boy was going to scream the house down when he realised that I wasn’t around and then hate me forever more, I was worried that I didn’t have my security of my four walls or my label of SAHM.

I didn’t need to worry though as when Daddy and Baby Boy picked me up from the train station later that day, Baby Boy flashed me a smile to let me know that he didn’t hate me for leaving him and was very interested in the bag of goodies that I was carrying.

When I walked in the front door I could tell that something was different.

A quick glance round the living room showed that the floor was hoovered. The clean clothes that had been dumped on the back of the sofa by me weren’t there. Oh my Goodness was it true? There were no toys spilled across the floor…

I went to the kitchen. The kitchen was shiny. There were no dishes on the side or in the sink. The washing machine was running and there were no piles of colour sorted washing on the Kitchen floor.

That evening as I worked I questioned Daddy on what he had done hour by hour. Minute by minute. He had done all the household chores for the day, he had run some errands, he had played with Baby Boy.

He had done more chores in one day than I had gotten round to in the last week. He was a better me than I was. I shall now have to work hard at being a better him than he is. Now, where’s that copy of FHM…


And a bit about Pippa just in case you didn’t know…
Pippa AKA Mummy  is a SAHM (well WAHM) to daughter Top Ender (age 6) and son Baby Boy (nearly 2) and loving wife to Daddy. She tries to fill her week with housework, playing with Baby Boy and Top Ender and her weekends making memories… she fails on the housework front though.
Her blog name is A Mothers Ramblings and the url is http://www.amothersramblings.com
and her Twitter url is http://www.twitter.com/PippaD as her twitter profile name is @PippaD
Thank you Pippa ….what a beautiful family you have….and do you rent out your husband?