Article by Sarah Freeman,
Starting up a business makes money tight and even more so when you are a mum with the added expense of children and all that comes with them. You have to make decisions which could make or break your financial situation. Deciding whether to go back to work after being on Maternity leave is probably the biggest one – but when you realise you need to have your children in childcare to be able to run your business even if just for a few mornings a week, money becomes tight. Although you hope that this will only be a short term thing you need to learn to become money savvy in the best ways you can. This comes quite easily to me as I have been brought up to save and not spend money when it’s not needed or to save for the things I want.
Any business needs to be accessible for it to make money. My business involves selling Handmade gifts made by small businesses via my website. These small businesses use my website to sell their items – they need to make money from my website and I need to make money from my website. Being a new business you have to be certain that if you are going to spend any money on advertising it is going to reach your market – it’s a waste of money to spend your small advertising budget on advertising in the wrong places. Get as much free advertising as you possibly can – it is hard work but if you have no budget – you have no choice!
Home life can be expensive too, think of those areas in your life which use the most money – mortgage, food, bills, nappies, presents and gifts, cars are probably the biggest expensive for most families. Being money savvy in these areas is vital to help you spend as little as possible.
Here are my top tips for saving money in these areas:
Mortgage: The only thing you can do is make sure you have a good interest rate or you fix at the right price and time. Seeking a free financial advisor for the best mortgage is a really good idea here, and taking the time to do this properly really pays off.
Food: You have to buy food, but try to be good at managing your shopping and leftover food by following my tips
1. Plan you meals and make your shopping list according to those meals.
2. Stick to your list but do make sure you keep a look out for deals such as buy one get one free, buying 2 for a cheaper than normal price especially on things that can be frozen or stored away – it may make your bill that week a little higher but it will save you money in the long run. I’m not saying stick to your list if it means leaving a bargain behind (on something you would be buying soon anyway!) Super markets often have deals of fresh meat – if you don’t need it just freeze it. Think about your expensive buys and look out for offers on those items, especially if you think you may need it soon. Washing detergent, dishwasher tablets, nappies are all expensive so keep and eye out for deals, savings or coupons on these items.
3. Make meals last, you can cook a Sunday roast and use the leftover meat for several meals, although it may seem expensive to buy you may actually save money. I quite often buy a chicken for a Sunday roast and use the left overs for sandwiches, stir fry’s, pasties, tarts, pies etc. Planning is crucial but if you have more meat that you need, freeze it and next week’s Sunday roast (or any other meal) is free. Freeze left overs when you cook too much, once a week we have a meal from our freezer which is left over from a previous meal – it saves you from having to cook on busy days and it’s a free meal. It might mean you all eat something different but it’s saving you money and saving you from wasting food.
Bills: Get yourself on a water meter as this usually saves you money. Only put a wash on if you have a full load and those types of water savvy things. Think about ways in which you could save your house from using and losing energy such as good Insulation. Look into Free PV panels – we went to a company who rents our roof space from us to put their PV panels on. We get all the power we need from them and the rest is sold by them to the national grid. You soon learn to charge up laptops and phones in the day, put your washing on when the suns out etc.
Nappies: Try using reusable nappies, it may have an initial big cost to buy them but they will save you money in the long run – if you don’t mind the washing and the idea of them they are a really great way to save money. Look into it properly though by seeing a consultant about it, it’s free to have a consultation with them and see what different types of nappies they have for sale, it can be a little bit mind boggling at first. If you buy them for your first baby, you can then use them for your second and so on.
Presents and gifts: This is my favourite money saver. Making presents is perfect for saving money, its personal, so much more appreciated, you get to be creative and the time and effort put in will be really appreciated. Home ware and food is always popular as gifts and you can quite often make a batch of cookies and put a few in lots of little bags which will make several gifts. Using your talents is a great way to make gifts, but if you are stuck for ideas have a pop over to my blog on the website www.withlove.uk.com where there are ideas for things to make yourself.
Car: This one is plain and simple. Ask yourself these questions, ‘Do you have more than one car? Can you afford more than one car? Can you walk to where you are going on a regular basis? Have you got time to walk? Could you bike instead?’ Obviously shopping around for car insurance is essential if you have to keep the car/s.
You can search a whole range of beautiful handmade gifts on my website www.withlove.uk.com where you will be supporting small businesses who are trying to do their passion for a living by creating beautiful gifts. And don’t forget to check out the blog for loads of ideas of things to make to save you money. More will be added very soon, so sign up to the newsletter on the website to ensure you don’t miss out.
Click to see more articles on morethanmummies.com
Would you like to write an article for morethanmummies.com? Click here to find out more
If you like this post please share, like or tweet