Toda- Lucy Heath from Capture by Lucy
Yes two sons, Sammy who will be 4 in May and Ollie who is 2 is July.
Do you work? FT/PT?
I work part time for an affordable housing company in Chippenham and what sometimes feels like full time on my blog!
Why do you work?
To have awesome birthday parties and to pay the bills! I work because I have to not just because I want to.
What are your child care arrangements?
Sammy is in preschool and we book extra sessions so he has 3 full days a week, plus 2 mornings. Ollie goes to a nursery 3 mornings a week and from September will go to the preschool 3 days a week.
How do you manage for money?
We both work to give us a nice lifestyle. We are always thinking of ways to improve our household income as we always have another project to invest in or adventure we would like to go on.
Do you worry about money?
Sometimes. I became self employed 2 and a half years ago and I really had taken for granted how much paperwork an hr department gets involved with. I worry about filling in tax forms and will be relieved when my student loan from University is paid off.
What do you waste money on?
Excess. I am a terrible hoarder and collector. I mostly buy secondhand toys but have to buy the whole set, as I convince myself it will be worth more when I sell on! So we have every Bob the Builder figure, every Thomas figure even though they would get exactly the same enjoyment from half the amount. I find it impossible to resist a bargain and am slowly cluttering up the house with little bud vases, cake stands and glass bottles that I spy in charity shops.
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?
We changed our cars as both of us work from home and there is no point having money tied up on the drive. We have far less meals out now too as I can remember only going to the Harvester on my birthday as a child and I want our boys to respect the fact that they get taken out for a meal as a treat. It’s my biggest bugbear – badly mannered children in restaurants who are allowed to run around. You don’t see grown ups running and eating do you?!
How do you make extra cash?
We are always discussing how we can pool and maximise our skills. My husband is a talented web designer by trade and often does small freelance jobs. Very affordable for the company but a good amount of pocket money for us. I have a passion for photography and regularly photograph bumps, babies and families. One birthday I was given a home studio set up so I travel to people’s houses and take special pictures. I am now getting enquiries for weddings and have 3 bookings! Again, affordable prices for them but what feels like a lot of money to me.
I also am starting a wedding and special occasion hire business, renting some of our lovely things around our house to help style a wedding or event. Putting the excess to good use!
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Eat out your freezer. I bet we would all be horrified if we added up the value of the food in our freezers. Plus you are only meant to keep it for 3 months so I would bet that almost everyone should throw most of their frozen food away!
2. Be brave and honest. Request that the school/nursery/preschool puts out an email asking for a limit on birthday party presents. There is no reason to spend more than £5 regardless of how wealthy you are. Birthday parties can be a real drain on disposable income, especially when your children get to school age and whole classes are invited. Encourage a toy swap too, especially for younger ones who wouldn’t notice if it was brand new anyway! I find that everyone always ends up complaining after birthday time that their houses are bursting with new things so be better to swap!
3. I love birthday parties but they are expensive to host. Time your party for the middle of the afternoon and do small snacks rather than lunch or tea and do a lucky dip of a single packet of fun size sweets, instead of a party bag (they can end up costing a fortune). Much nicer to still have a party, but on a budget, than no party at all.
Tell us a little about your blog
Capture by Lucy is my online obsession, my life as a Mama with a lens. It features family life with my two stinking gorgeous boys, photography, craft, Bento eating ideas and thrifty finds. I try and make ordinary life extraordinary. Come and have a peek, www.capturebylucy.com hopefully you will find something you enjoy!
Thanks so much for your answers Lucy Heath form capture by Lucy
Thank you for having me!