Today – Mummy Gadgetgeek
Hi, what’s your name? Most people call me Spoon Paws.
Any kids? Yes, two. The Wee Man is 3.5 and Bubby D is 19 months.
Do you work? FT/PT? I work part time as a policy person for social housing. I’m also a student breastfeeding counselor, and have just started teaching antenatal classes.
Why do you work? The housing work is for the money (with the added bonus that I do genuinely find social housing and sustainability interesting), and the antenatal teaching is for my belief that all mums should be entitled to information and support to make as informed a decision as possible about how they feed their baby – whatever decision that might ultimately be.
What are your child care arrangements? They’re a bit mental, to be honest. Bubby D attends a nursery halfway between work and home, which involves a brief trip on the central line, hopping off to drop her off, and then running back to jump on the tube to the office. Meanwhile, the Wee Man is dropped at the childminder’s in the morning, taken by her to preschool at midday and then picked up by his Grandma who looks after him for a couple of hours til I come home, having done the hop-on, hop-off tube and nursery pick up routine again.
How do you manage for money? We do live pretty much hand to mouth – I just keep my fingers crossed that no major expenses come up…
Do you worry about money? Yes, sometimes – although I try not to as there’s not much I can do it about it generally. I think it’s an unfortunate reality for a lot of families in the current economic climate.
What do you waste money on? Buying lunch at work if I’ve run out of time and energy to sort something out to take from home.
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? No holidays other than the Sun £9.50 ones or camping, consolidating all our debt into one larger payment, buying a house rather than renting!
How do you make extra cash? Selling things on eBay or at nearly new sales, and sometimes taking part in research or one-off work opportunities. Oh, and sometimes I work overtime – my job involves presenting at European conferences occasionally which is fun but very tiring, and of course I miss the family when I’m away.
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Join up to local swap shops, gumtree and freegle groups and see if you can get bits and pieces you need for the home, yourself or your kids for free. I managed to furnish pretty much an entire house from freegle and gumtree when I first got my own place! And we’ve had some fantastic clothes for both children from friendly freeglers which has really cut down on what I need to buy them.
2. Think about the activities that you used to take part in as a child – and then think about which of these were fun and also free. A lot of groups and activities can cost quite a lot of money, but den building, a trip to the park, a walk through the woods or ‘water pouring’ – lots of plastic containers and a couple of jugs of coloured water to distribute between them all – are all things that my two love doing and don’t really cost me anything.
3. If you do need to make a big purchase (next stage car seat, pushchair, toddler bed…) then make sure you do a bit of research first. Read reviews, shop around, check google shopping and moneysavingexpert or hotukdeals and make sure that you get something that is durable, suits your needs and costs the least possible amount of money. Just an hour or two doing your research can really cut costs both initially when buying but also by getting use out of things for more than one child.
Mummy Gadget Geek – mummy gadgets, baby gadgets, breastfeeding, baking, books and bringing up two kids. We like new and innovative and we also like make do and mend – our lives are a happy blend of the two.
Thanks so much for you answers.