Hi, what’s your name? Hi! My name is Mel Wiggins.
Any kids? One handsome one year old boy, Levi.
Do you work? FT/PT? I work 3 days a week.
Why do you work? It enables me to contribute to my family’s income and helps me keep an element of perspective on the world around me, rather than my own little world (which is easy to do as a mum!)
What are your child care arrangements? My parents live in Canada, so I we rely a lot on my husbands family to help us out during the week when we’re both at work.
How do you manage for money? Probably the same as every other middle-class family in the UK – some months are tighter than others but we are really careful not to dip into money that isn’t ours (overdrafts/loans etc).
Do you worry about money? I think everyone worries about money now and then, it’s only natural – but we try to put things in place so that we don’t have to panic at the end of the month or go into debt. I think we feel pretty lucky that we can go to bed at night not concerned about how we’re going to make ends meet.
What do you waste money on? Probably food that we intend on using and end up throwing out…I hate that! Must. Get. Bigger. Freezer.
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? We definitely spend less on ourselves – eating out, buying clothes etc. Often more so because of time and opportunity to do those things rather than it being a conscious choice.
How do you make extra cash? I run a little side-project called ‘Magpie Events’ running crafty tea parties for birthdays, hen parties and baby showers and my husband referees football on a Saturday morning. It’s not much extra, but it helps when pesky little outgoings pop up like getting the car fixed or filling up the heating oil tank (a concept that seems to be more of a Northern Irish thing than in the rest of the UK).
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Don’t buy into the buzz. Magazines, books, websites and shops all want you and your family to be kitted out in the latest everything – but the reality is that keeping it simple is almost always better – less fuss, less washing, less clutter etc. Children have needs of course, but we wanted to start as we meant to go on and not get sucked into those distractions, thinking that we NEED every gizmo or gadget that is out there. One of my best tips is that if I see something that I think you want but aren’t sure if I should buy it, I sleep on it and if after a week I still feel like it’s essential then I make sure I have the cash before I get it.
2. Borrow! I’ve had so much help with kit for my son by simply putting it out there on social media tools like facebook and twitter. Often the friends and family in my life that have lots of clothes and toys are happy to give them away and make space in their homes. There are some things that are better off buying new, but for the most part – borrowing is so helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask around!
3. Make it yourself! We have cut down our bills so much since I started making a lot of our own household products such as laundry detergent, hand soap, toothpaste, cleaning products etc. All of these things can put a hefty lump onto your grocery bill as well as be dangerous to your health with chemicals etc. I have loads of tried and tested recipes that I share on my blog!
My Blog – Mel Wiggins: Two For Joy
My name is Mel and like most, my blog is an attempt to document the many different hats that my wonderful life lets me wear.
You’ll find out about my adventures as I stumble through family life and mammahood, try my hand at crafting, get vocal about human trafficking and attempt to be a little more earth-friendly/thrifty.
If that’s your bag, you are MOST welcome! xo
Thank you Mel !