After I had Grayson, I was lucky enough to have a year off to be a full-time mum. I recieved a small amount of maternity pay from the government, and the rest of our income was from Mark’s pay packet. We’re very lucky that Mark earns a decent wage, but having 3 people living off of it did mean that we had to be careful about how we were spending. These were the main ways that we managed to live comfortably for the year.
Weekly meal planning.
Before Grayson was even eating solids, and even more so now that he is, we sit down once a week and plan all our meals. By doing this we will go in to our local supermarket with a clear idea of what we’re getting and usually stick to our list. We still get a bottle of wine and chocolate occasionally, but if its not on the list we don’t tend to buy it!
Find cheap / free activities
This is always a good idea, whether you’re trying to live on a budget or not. When I wasn’t working I’d take Grayson to our local children’s center, we’d go to the park and the beach or do activities at home. If we did go out anywhere properly, it would be at the weekend so Mark could enjoy himself as well, which saved us a lot.
Don’t refuse hand me downs
If someone you know is kind enough to offer you something for free or for a discounted price, or even just to borrow, there’s no shame in that. We’ve had clothes, toys, books from family and friends. There’s nothing wrong with helping one another out!
Don’t spend unnecessarily
I’ve always had an issue with spending other people’s money, I absolutely hate it and so I would basically outright refuse to spend any of Mark’s money unless it was for Grayson or general necessities like the food shop. If you don’t have a problem spending your other half’s money, and you can afford to then awesome. It’s always been something I’ve hated though, even now I don’t like spending money I haven’t earnt. I think this probably did us a lot of favors, due to the fact I was living in my maternity clothes and using out of date make up for the first 9 months of Grayson’s life!
If you’ve just had a baby and you’ve gone from 2 pay packets to 1, or you’ve always lived off of 1 but now there’s an extra person in the mix – don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to save yourself some money.
I also want to mention, like I did at the beginning of this post, we are extremely lucky to be in the financial situation we are in. Not everyone is so lucky, so if you’re really struggling, please don’t suffer alone. Speak to your local council or citizen’s advice to see if there’s any extra help you can get. There are also charities and a number of other organisations that can offer help, advice or assistance.
Do you have any advice on how you save money?