Profile of a budgeting mum: Jane Parker

Hi, what’s your name? Jane Parker
Any kids? One little boy


Do you work? FT/PT?

I run two businesses from home. One running fantastic classes that boost children’s communication called Talking Tots and my other business is Alphabetty Designs – hand appliquéd children’s tees and bags using recycled felt.

Why do you work? I think that I would go crazy if I didn’t! I love both my little business but we do need the money too.

What are your child care arrangements? My son is in pre-school 2 ½ days a week and luckily both my Mother and Mother in Law are able to help.

How do you manage for money?

We budget for everything, both my businesses are start ups so finding the money to start them up was hard going! My husband has a good salary but his travel to and from work is so expensive and keeps rising each year!

Do you worry about money?

Yes – but I’ve found that keeping a track of what we are spending has really helped take the worry away and whatever is left at the end of the month (if any!) goes in to our savings. I plan what we are going to eat in advance – in fact I have 4 weeks of menus planned together with shopping lists so it takes the hassle out of shopping and cooking and means that I have to stick to my plan and not buy processed food! I try to make everything from scratch as its much cheaper and also the added benefit of knowing what is in my Shepherd Pie!

What do you waste money on?

I adore Charity shops and we have some brilliant ones locally – so I have to be really careful not to be silly and not go every week!!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

Not sure if these come under a big change but we don’t eat out as often as we used to nor do we order in take aways (these are limited to special treats). Holidays are spent in this country, I can’t remember when we last flew anywhere. I renegotiated our mortgage and managed to save £100 per month, changed energy supplier and saved there too, started to plan our meals and changed supermarket too – made massive savings there. We also had to say goodbye to our two cats which was very very sad it also meant that we didn’t have the cost of pet plan (really expensive for our rather old cats) and the cost of pet food too. So quite a lot of savings which meant that I was able to stop working for the council and really work hard on both businesses, it also meant that I am the one who can take our son to pre-school.

How do you make extra cash? Ebay!

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1. Shop around for everything – use voucher codes when you can and link your clubcard/nectar card to everything you can. Save this for Christmas – made a massive difference to our food shop! Always ask if you really really need it and how useful will it be.
2. When your mortgage is up for renewal go to a broker (who does not charge!) they will find the best deal for you don’t just renew without shopping around. The same with utilities and insurance – again shop around.
3. Plan your food shop – plan menus and stick to them. Freeze left-overs or have them the next day, I always make enough for two days (sometimes its even taster the day after!). You can make massive savings if you plan first. Take a calculator and work out of BOGOF offers really are worth it and if you are not going to use it that week then don’t be tempted it could push you over your budget.

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Thanks so much Jane



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