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OK, tiny disclaimer – obviously, I don’t have zero money. There are a great many people who are worse off than me. It often feels like I have no money, since having the twins though. I’m definitely not pulling my financial weight in the Becca household.
Going from a full time wage to no real income is hard
I worked full time from the age of 19 to 31. I had a mini break when I went to uni to study Midwifery, but even that was full time work, it was just lacking the full time wage!
Anyway, my point is that I had a pretty decent income for fairly long time. Especially since we lived with my mum until I was 27 and we got lucky with the house that we rented after that – it sucked, so it was cheap! I got used to having a decent amount of disposable income.
And then I got pregnant with twins!
Obviously, after 3 years of trying and 3 IVF cycles, having the twins is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done and being a twin mum is just the best thing ever. But boy, is it expensive!! Not just in the amount of money it costs to buy two of pretty much everything and raise 2 children, but also in the amount of money I can’t earn anymore!
Childcare is stupidly expensive, even with just one kid. Having twins meant that I couldn’t afford to go back to work. My wages wouldn’t have covered our childcare costs and I would have been working just to pay someone else to be with my kids. No financial benefit to us at all. And I was working in a busy complaints department, struggling with my anxiety, so I didn’t think I’d miss my job (turns out I was right).
The decision to be a stay at home mum was made for me. And I love that! I mean, it took all the stress over that decision away, because I had no choice. And I love that I’ve been able to spend the last 3 years at home with my babies. But it also means that I’ve spent the last 3 years with very little income.
As a family, we do just fine
I’m very lucky that Mr Becca has worked really hard to build his career to the point where we’re doing fine, financially, without my income. The twins and I have everything we need. But I really miss having my own income and money that I don’t have to ask my husband for.
It’s January, so everyone’s skint
One of my resolutions every year is to sort out my finances and start saving money. The fact that I make the same resolution every year suggests I never actually succeed… So I start every year skint and promising to do better.
How do you start saving money when you have none?
I think the key is remembering that every penny counts. Look after the pennies and the pounds take care of themselve, right? With that in mind, this is how I’m taking care of the pennies this year.
Penny saving challenge
There are lots of these floating around. You’ve probably already seen one or two. I’m doing this one, by Skint Dad. The idea is that you save 1p on January 1st, 2p on the 2nd 3p on the 3rd, etc. In 365 days, you’ll have nearly £700!
I’m doing it slightly differently, because I think saving £3+ every day in December might be tricky.
Instead of doing it in order, I’m just picking an amount to save each day and ticking it off. In 365 days, all of the boxes will be ticked off, just not necessarily in the intended order. The result will be the same! Next January, I’ll have £667.95 to start the year with.
Saving money doesn’t have to be about pennies in a piggie bank. Despite my low income, I definitely waste money. So I’m going to stop doing that. Or at least try to. I’m going to keep track of everything I spend and I’m going to try to avoid any unnecessary purchases. That will help the little bit of money I do have to go a bit further.
Surveys and other online side hustles
Surveys are never going to make me rich, but they don’t take much effort and I do make a little bit of money from them. My plan is to make a little bit of time for this every day, and put anything I earn straight into savings. Even if it’s only a little bit.
Build my business
Obviously, the obvious way to start saving money is to make more of it! I want to increase my income this year.
My blog is just starting to make a little bit of money and I hope that continues in 2019. I’m also advertising my CWP business, which is still very new, to find new clients and start making more money, while helping people on their weight loss journey. Most of the money I earn at the moment is put back into the business, to build stock etc, but I’m hoping to really make a success of it this year.
How are you planning on saving money this year? Let me know in the comments!