Profile of a budgeting mum: Nicola Semple (Life after maternity leave)

Hi, what’s your name?

Nicola Semple

Nicola Semple, Life after maternity leave, stay at home mum

Any kids?

Olivia – aged 3 (going on 33!) and Lucas – aged 7 months

Do you work? FT/PT?

I am a Stay at Home Mum and have recently set up Life After Maternity Leave  which provides information and support to new or ‘new again’ parents as they make decisions about returning to work, balancing a career with parenthood and defining what life will be like for them ‘After Maternity Leave’.   At the moment this is a very part time venture fitted in around the children.

Why do you work?

I am primarily working to have a bit of sanity but I am also planning ahead and trying to build the foundation of a business so that when the children are at school I can devote more time to it.

What are your child care arrangements?

Olivia will be starting at school pre-school in September but Lucas is at home with me all the time.   He loves to bang on the laptop keyboard but isn’t always so keen on going for a sleep when I need him to!

How do you manage for money?

We are very lucky that my husband is able to cover our basic living expenses but we have certainly had to cut back substantially to allow me to stay at home.

Do  you worry about money?

I think you will always worry about money no matter how much/little you have.  

 What do you waste money on?

We really try not to waste money but if anything it would be on drinks and snacks for Olivia which never get eaten.    She’s never had a great appetite and drives me crazy sometimes taking one bite out of something and then that is it!

Have you made any big financial changes since having kids?

Yes, yes, yes!    We now rarely eat out and my shoe shopping habit has had to be seriously curtailed.   Sadly Sainsburys is now my boutique of choice!

 How do you make extra cash?

I have published an eBook How to be a Stay at Home Mum:  Stay sane, stay ‘you’ and enjoy your time at home with your children  I sell bits and pieces on eBay and also at a local children’s Nearly New sale.

Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?

1.   I always try to think ‘Do I need this or do I want it?’    I have realized that there are many, many things I would like to buy for the family but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we actually need them!   

2.   Try to put off the big purchases until you actually need to make them.   We are currently living on one income but before we know it, the children will be a bit older and I will have more free time to work and bring in an income.   So, until that happens we will be putting off as many of the big purchases as possible.

3.   Other than mortgage/household bills our biggest expenditure is on food.   I try to make sure we have absolute minimal food waste and try to use leftovers in inventive ways.    Some weeks I don’t do a food shop until we have used up all the bits and pieces we have left….. we’ve had some huge successes which have become family favourites and some absolute disasters!

Life After Maternity Leave provides information and support to new and ‘new again’ parents as they make decisions about returning to work, balancing a career with parenthood and defining what life will be like for them after maternity leave.

Thanks so much Nicola and your site looks wonderful! What a great resource for so many baby budgeters.



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