Hi, what’s your name? Jen Stanbrook
Any kids? Two girls aged 5 and 7 (going on 17)
Do you work? FT/PT? I work part time running a baby signing business for TinyTalk and I write a family home interiors blog.
Why do you work? Two reasons I guess. Firstly to maintain some sanity whilst juggling homelife and the children, and then secondly for the income. We couldn’t survive on just one salary.
What are your child care arrangements? As my baby signing business is term time only I am able to drop off and pick up the girls from school, and the blogging just fits in whenever and wherever to be honest.
How do you manage for money? If business is good then we’re ok. If I have a very quiet term and the classes aren’t too full then it can be a bit tight and we have to watch what we spend. What is lovely though is that the business money comes in relatively big chunks and it does then feel like a real treat if it’s been a good term!
Do you worry about money? Only when the big bills come in. Last summer our boiler broke down after 26 years of service and we had no choice but to have it replaced. That was hard and we had to make special arrangements to find the money.
What do you waste money on? I’m not sure we do waste money really. We do have a fair bit of technology in the house and we love our Sky HD package so we do treat ourselves there when we can. When things were tougher a few years ago we did cut back on all of that and go down to the minimum. Now the girls are both at school and we have a little more cash this is what we spend it on.
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? Yes, we don’t have holidays abroad anymore, we don’t spend money on meals out except for really big treats and we don’t buy things for ourselves very much. Any ‘spare’ money we have goes on the girls and their needs/clubs/activities and clothes.
How do you make extra cash? I sell the contents of our attic on Ebay! Probably about 3 or 4 times a year we have a big clear out of all sorts of things and I get busy listing and selling. And when we’re really desperate I persuade the OH to sell a piece of his beloved HiFi collection! Last time we made over £500 on one item that we then had to send to Russia!!
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Try not to get into debt. If necessary and possible ask family if you can borrow money from them in extreme circumstances.
2. Buy a Supermarkets own products rather than brands, they are just the same in the majority and you can save lots of money on the weekly food shop this way.
3. Hunt online for the best price/deal for whatever you are looking for, from a holiday cottage to a new phone deal to home interiors.
Thanks so much for you answers Jen x