money, piggy bank, finance

Being a mum on a budget

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June 15th 2020

Hi everyone,

I’ve been a bargain hunter since I was a little girl. I remember buying my niece a pair of Red,  second hand patent leather shoes for Christmas when I was 12 with some pocket money I had as I wanted to buy her something from me.. Her aunty.  I felt so happy to have bought her something with my own money, but even happier than it was within my budget.

Why I look for bargains..

There was 4 children in our house.  My sister, who is 8 years older than me and my twin brother and sister who are 22 months younger than me.

Dad was the main earner, so money was sometimes a bit tight.  But I can honestly say that I don’t really remember it being a ‘poor’ house at all… My mum was just really savvy with money (and now that I am a mum myself, I am more than positive that she went without for us 4… Like all mums do)!  If we went on holiday, it was a self catering caravan holiday, if we went out for the day we’d always take a packed lunch and there was always drinks in dads rucksack so we didn’t have to go to cafes, restaurants etc.  We visited museums, had walks along rivers, mountains and beaches and it was great fun. We’d moan about not having many treats around the house but doesn’t every kid? My mum actually told me a story the other day about how there was an offer on at the supermarket where you could get 3 packs of penguin biscuits for the price of 2, so we had them for weeks on end!! I think we got bored of them by week 6 she said! haha. We had the best childhood! I was in Brownies, the sea cadets and all the sports related clubs you could imagine! Mum and dad would save for months for us to go on school trips and holidays. As I say, they sacrificed a lot for us 4 and we will be forever grateful to them both for being so amazing!

Why change? Especially if it works?

That way of life has lived with me every since. Not just me actually, my siblings too.  Every time we speak we have to brag about how much something cost, how much we saved etc… It’s like a second language in our family I swear!!

Once I moved out of the family home and got my own flat I was on the look out for bargains at car boot sales, half price sales or second hand furniture stores and would make sure we stayed on budget with food bills.  It became addictive.. I still do it now.  My leather sofa and arm chairs in our living room cost me £140 on Facebook Marketplace, what a find!!  I’m now at the stage where I will look for the cheaper option if possible because I begrudge paying full for a lot of things.  I’ve even downloaded the Top Cash Back app to build up money when I shop online… See? I wonder if there is a word for someone like me? Ha!

Should I still be doing this?

When I found out I was expecting Ffion I knew that I wanted to save as much money as possible so that I wouldn’t worry too much about bills when I was on maternity.  I’d ask friends for practical presents at my baby shower, my mother in law bought us our pram (which again, I did lots of research to get her a good price), look for second hand cots (don’t worry, I bought a new mattress), never turned down hand me down clothes from friends and in the end I don’t think I spent more than £300 altogether. . I still can’t believe I managed that (proud moment).  In 2 years I honestly don’t think I’ve spent more than £100 on clothes for Ffion and she’s in size 3-4 years now. I’ve been extremely lucky to have very kind friends with beautiful clothes from their children and YES! I have kept them all and my little girl will be using and wearing them too!

At Christmas we asked for vouchers and annual passes for family attractions so that we could save on day out trips also. Making memories rather than having a house full of plastic toys that Ffion won’t play with… That’s how I sold it to them all!  I mean in hindsight, it was a terrible idea because 2020 is on complete lock down! But, I’m sure the passes will be honoured for next year (hopefully!).

How I try and make money too!

Last year me and my mum did a few car boot sales (we’ve been doing them for years!! See image below.. This was taken about 15 years ago) over the summer and along with selling some bits and bobs on Facebook we raised £400. Which came in very handy when we needed a new fridge last winter.  See? Savvy saving… It’s a long term commitment, but it really does work.

Now I have another little girl due in October, I’m starting to get the house in order for her arrival.  I’ve kept absolutely everything we had for Ffion so I don’t envision us spending much again.  Some may think I’m being too frugal, but when you are on a tight family budget and you’re both trying to save so you can build and extend your family home in a few years I really don’t think wearing a second hand adidas tracksuit is that embarrassing for a 1 year old.  I try looking at the bigger picture and when I look back I’m glad I did what I did.. Ffion is 2 this week and is in aged 3-4 clothes and we’ve just moved her up in to size 8 shoes!! She’s going to be tall, just like her dad (who is a handsome 6 foot 6 inches tall!!).

Please tell me I’m not alone?

So, tell me… Do you buy all brand new? Do you look for bargains? Or do you go all ‘Lynne’ and look at second hand items before you buy? I’d love to know your thoughts, I’d love to know.

money, profit, finance

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Lots of Love xx

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