Profile of a Budgeting Mum: Helen Neale

Hi, what’s your name?

Helen Neale

budgeting mum, Helen Neale

Any kids?

Yep – I have two; Chatterbox is seven and Stuntboy is five

Do you work? FT/PT?

I work part-time running my business blog; KiddyCharts; I also do the accounting for my husband’s business as well. I used to be a full time business analyst, then a part-time school librarian. I have spent a good few years trying to find something that I could do that would bring in additional income, and fit in the with kids.

Why do you work?

I tried to be a stay at home mum; giving up my job as a business analyst. However, I am no good at it. I am totally not domesticated. I am pretty rubbish at running a home properly, so everything from cooking, to cleaning  – about the only thing I do OK is looking after the kids. The rest is generally a bit of a disaster!

As I wasn’t too good at it, we felt perhaps it was better for me to find something that fitted in around the kids, and kept me out of trouble in the home 😉

I enjoy working as well, I just think that I have to accept that I can’t do the domestic me, and need to do the business me an fit it around the children.

What are your child care arrangements?

Both kids are now at school, and do the occasional after school club. i fit in work around their activities an school days.

How do you manage your money?

We use excel spreadsheets; my husband is an accountant so is obsessed with Excel, and so am I! I haven’t lost those analyst tendencies just yet. We keep track of what goes in and what comes out, so that if we have anything one off we know whether and when we can afford it.

Do  you worry about money?

Yes; but not so that I don’t just get on with this. Economic times are hard for everyone, and you have to try and make what you have work the best you can. Its also important to make sure that as a family we show the kids the importance of budgeting from an early age.

What do you waste money on?

Shoes and clothes; though since having kids I have reigned this in – mainly because I can’t possible find the time without them to do the shopping!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

Very much so – I used to work fulltime as a business analyst, and now I don’t. I work part-time on building a business, and that doesn’t bring in anywhere near as much as I used to.

How do you make extra cash?

Mainly selling on the kids things, and also through my business and its blog, which helps a lot.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Buy clothes and toys from charity shops; it’s made a massive difference to us. Clothes are so expensive, and toys can be too. Keep your eyes out and you can grab a bargain

2. Join local MUM (parent) selling sites on social media; I am a member of a Facebook group for my local area and have got some excellent bargains on anything from clothes to toys. If you sell there too, it’s also a great way to make a few extra bits for yourself too

3. Get to know all the local playgrounds well!  We can walk to a few, and we can drive for pretty short distances to some others. The kids love going there after school for a picnic, as long as I remember to make the sandwiches. It’s free, fun and you might just get a sit down too!

About myself

Helen Neale can be found at KiddyCharts Reward Charts‘ blog, Mummy’s Little Stars which provides great tools and advice on parenting little ones. Her blog can be funny, as well as helpful; but it’s always brutally honest. Before having kids, she spent 15 years as a business analyst. She is now a freelance writer, and contributes regularly to the parenting press including Britmums, Small Steps Magazine and MumsClub. She can be contacted at info@kiddycharts.com.

Thank you Helen !

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