Guest Post: Francesca is a mum of one and a personal finance blogger. She writes about earning extra income, working from home and achieving financial freedom.
“Becoming a parent becomes expensive as soon as you fall pregnant. One of the first ways you can save money before the baby arrives is…to look at what you can get second hand. Many people think that their baby should get the ‘best of the best’, but in reality, the baby doesn’t care where the toys or equipment has come from, and how much it is. Good places to look are car boot sales, charity shops and nearly new sales.
I was inspired to start my blog From Pennies to Pounds when I couldn’t find anything that would have helped someone on a similar journey to me. I had a little girl and wanted to spend all of my time with her and not pay for childcare – but I was struggling with a lack of income coming in. When I additionally got into debt, I panicked because I could see no way out. I wanted to set up a site where people could come and learn how to manage their money through budgeting, cutting expenses, and learning of ways to earn extra money from home even if you have little ones and are busy doing things like studying (I’m at University part time also).
If you haven’t heard of the phrase ‘Side Hustle’ that’s probably because it is a term that is predominately used across the pond in the US! It means a way of making extra money on the side to your main job. I believe that a side hustle is key for paying off debt, and achieving your financial goals. I have a few that I do, and they have all helped me so much. I have a list of 100 ideas over on my blog which should hopefully help people find at least one that they could do!
Debt causes a lot of stress and can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed my biggest tip for combating debt is…to create an action plan for paying it off. It can seem overwhelming, but once you have a plan in place you can start taking positive steps. Knowing how much you have and what you need to do will help you pay off your debt as quickly as possible.
My advice to anyone struggling with debt is…to find support. When you feel alone, everything feels much harder. I really enjoyed the debt community over on Instagram for support and encouragement. I am obviously a big fan of blogs, so I would recommend finding a blog that can help you with your journey (such as mine!).
As a mum myself I know how costs can add up, I make sure I’m always in control of my finances by keeping a close eye on my budget. Budgeting gets a bad rep but it allows me to ensure that I can pay all of my bills, and work towards my financial goals. I use the zero-sum budgeting method which ensures that I don’t spend money on silly things.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t know what they spend on food shopping! This is the most variable expense that I see, and is normally wildly underestimated because of all of the little trips to the shops that are done throughout the week, and especially if you include eating out as well. I spend approximately £35 per week for 3 of us on our food shopping, which includes meat every day.
As a single parent you may be entitled to reduced council tax, help with rent and benefits. As a ‘Mum Plus One’ you could save more and spend less simply by finding free or cheap activities that you can do with your little one such as trips to the park, beach, geocaching, walks in the woods, swimming, library and much more. My blog has lots of advice on ways to save money through budgeting, reducing your food bill, frugal living tips, ways to make more money through side hustles and ways to pay off debt successfully.
You could earn extra money from the comfort of your own home by blogging! I love blogging and I wish that I had started sooner. It is such a good creative outlet and a lot of fun – although it is hard work as well.
Blogging is not always a quick way to make a lot of money but you could make money from your blog by promoting companies and getting a commission when you refer them (called affiliates), sponsored posts, adverts, creating a product to sell. My favourite way is through affiliate marketing, because you can make money from a post that you wrote months or even years ago. I only recommend companies that I personally use.”
You can follow Francesca at
or visit her blog From Pennies to Pounds