Profile of a budgeting mum
Hi, what’s your name? Penny Alexander
Any kids? A 3yo boy and a 5yo girl, both strong willed, spirited, curly haired and creative. They keep me busy.
Do you work? FT/PT? I used to be head of a Film and Media Studies department in a secondary school. I decided pregnancy was my exit strategy from education (I’d only had one year out of schools in 24 years!) I did an Open University Creative Writing diploma, started a blog and now I combine being a mum with some freelance writing, blogging and PR.
Why do you work? I wanted to ease myself back into working before both children started school, the money comes in very handy and it turns out much as I love being a full time mum I wasn’t cut out for it, I’m very impatient. Plus I felt it was time to meet some of my own needs as well as those of my family!
What are your child care arrangements? My daughter started school last September and my son is in pre school which gives me some time, I also use evenings. We get some help from our parents and have a network of friends with kids who I swap childcare with.
How do you manage for money? Our situation changes frequently as we are both self employed. Fast cars and foreign holidays one year, to beans on toast and camping the next. But we live in the moment, have an excel spreadsheet with our finances on, and we’ve got used to adjusting it, lots, and talking about it, lots. Do you worry about money? I am much more risk averse than my partner. However I’m seeing his ‘risks’ have paid off, so I am learning you have to speculate to accumulate and he is learning it’s good to have savings.
What do you waste money on? Eating out, vegetarian meals out are rarely up to scratch.
Have you made any big financial changes since having kids? I spend less on myself.
How do you make extra cash? Blogging has opened some doors. I would also love to do something crafty to sell, just waiting for the right inspiration!
Can you share 3 top budgeting tips for other parents?
1. Keep talking to your partner about your budget, and update each other.
2. Avoid shops, especially big supermarkets with more than 7-8 aisles, it’s amazing what you will think you need when you go near them. Challenge yourself to see how long you can go without going in a shop and empty your fridge before you go shopping again.
3. Don’t take your kids in shops without agreeing beforehand what you will and won’t purchase.
Thanks so much for you answers Penny!
Once a drama and media teacher, now a freelance writer and mum, Penny Alexander blogs and vlogs at Alexander Residence about parenting, creativity and sometimes even parenting creatively. Penny tweets at @Aresidence and can be also be found on facebook.