Profile of a budgeting mum: Emily Carlisle (MTJAM)

 Hi, what’s your name?

I’m Emily Carlisle and I blog at

Any kids?

I have a four year old boy and three year old twin girls.

Do you work? FT/PT?

I work full time in the public sector at the moment, and supplement my income from freelance writing.  I went back to work partly because we couldn’t afford for me to stay off, and partly because I needed to rediscover myself after two and a half years on maternity leave.  The continual juggling is proving impossible to sustain and from September I will be giving up my full time job and relying solely on my freelance income. 

What are your child care arrangements?

Currently we have a nanny who works between 7am and 5pm each day, while I’m at work.  She will leave us in September when I stop work, when my oldest will start school.  At the same time his younger sisters will start pre-school. 

How do you manage for money?

At the moment we’re fine.  We don’t have lots to spare but we’re never overdrawn and we don’t miss out on much.  When I stop work that will all change and we’ll take a significant drop in income. 

Do  you worry about money?

Constantly!  The pressure for me to increase my freelance work is immense and I do worry that I won’t be able to bring in enough money. 

What do you waste money on?

Not that much really.  We’ve almost eliminated food waste by careful meal planning, and we’ve stopped buying alcohol.  We rarely have takeaways or meals out and never have expensive holidays.  I’m not sure where it all goes, really!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

We had to change our mortgage from a repayment one to interest only, so we’re not paying it off very fast.  It’s not idea, but it was that or move house. 

How do you make extra cash?

Freelance writing is my ‘extra’ source of income at the moment, but will shortly become my primary source.  I have started selling things on eBay where previously I would give them away.  It pains me that I have to do this, but we have to make money where we can.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Think of your expertise and consider if it could earn you money.  Perhaps you could give language lessons, teach someone to knit, or alter clothes for people.

2. Plan your weekly menu and shop accordingly.  Leave one night designated as ‘left over night’ where everyone gets a mixture of whatever’s in the fridge.

3. Grow vegetables.  Even if you have a tiny garden, a balcony or window ledge, you can always find space to grow something.  

Thanks so much for you answers Emily Good luck with your writing and do come back and share your first novel with us!  Becky

Emily Carlisle blogs at where she shares her experiences of the ‘extreme parenting’ of three children born within fifteen months.  She is a columnist and freelance feature writer currently working on her first novel.  


1 Comment

  1. July 6, 2011 / 4:09 pm

    Loving the left over night for food, that is something I really need to tackle meal planning and sorting food out so that we don’t waste it. Great tips there xx

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