When we moved into our house 5 years ago our old fridge freezer moved with us. It had been clunking and clanking in an increasingly worrying way for a little while, but we figured it would limp along for a bit until we had some spare cash to replace it.
In the event it limped along for four more years. For most of those four years I was constantly chipping chunks of ice out of the bottom of the fridge, glancing at it worriedly as it whirred and clanked away to itself in the corner.
It had crossed my mind that I should start saving for a replacement, but cash was in very short supply. I had hoped that the fridge freezer fairy would look kindly upon me and just magic one into my kitchen. No such luck.
In the end I began asking family members for cash and vouchers for my birthday and Christmas so I could “save up” that way. I probably got about half way there before it clunked its last shortly after Christmas. We didn’t want or need anything flash, we just needed something that would keep things cool for us, with enough room to store food for the family each week.
The fridge died at both the best and worst possible time. Straight after Christmas when there are no pennies in the piggy bank, but at least the sales were on. I sat down and did my research, found one that would be suitable but was more at the budget end of the spectrum. I counted the cash and vouchers I’d saved but still found I was £150 short.
I quickly did some research on short term loans. We didn’t need to borrow much and I knew if we tightened our belts for a month or so we could pay off the loan quickly. Vivus offered us a pretty good deal, you can borrow £100-£300 from them on a short term basis, as long as you pay it back in time there’s no problem. It was enough to get us over the post-Christmas dead fridge freezer bump.
I’ve always tried to have some money put aside for a rainy day, but sometimes it’s not enough. Our new fridge freezer is doing a sterling job, it’s virtually silent compared to the last one and I hope we’ll have many happy years together.
Being a stay at home mum (or SAHM) can be extra stressful when between you and your partner you find that you’re not making ends meet, and that you’re struggling to pay the bills. As a stay at home mum you can do some additional things to contribute financially to the household pot. Raising a family is already a full-time job, so for many SAHM’s they have to get creative when it comes to making money.
Save Money with Vouchers
Benjamin Franklin once said “A penny saved, is a penny earned”, and I have to agree with him. Saving money is just as good and as important as making money. So one way you can contribute to your family’s finances, is by shopping around for bargains and discounts. There are useful websites such as VoucherBin which can be used to help save you money. On VoucherBin, you can select your category, and also your budget to find the right voucher for you. This online voucher portal is a very useful tool to find discount vouchers for you, but it also helps to find deals on your favourite websites. Saving that much on something you were already going to buy not only saves you money, but also gives you the satisfaction of finding a great deal and feeling like a champion bargain hunter!
Work from Home
Working from home is a great way to earn some extra money while you juggle childcare. If you do decide to try working from home, then it can be a tricky balancing act, lots of very hard work and a financial challenge. Nevertheless, working from home does have many advantages over an office based job, although it’s not for everyone. I’ve written about the challenges of working from home, it’s not an easy option but it is one which suits me and my lifestyle.
Avoid the Scams
Although Facebook posts like “make £4,000 a month from home!” may be tempting, it’s important to know when something is legitimate versus something that is unrealistically hopeful. Most of these scams need you to pay a start-up fee. This is where these companies make their money, not from their representatives and their consultants selling their products or services. Be careful when dealing with companies like these because they can be more of a money drain than a financial gain.
Contributing financially to your household income can be very rewarding, but it can also be exceptionally difficult. That’s why it’s so important to be organised and have structure. After all, there’s a reason most offices don’t have children running around asking to be fed or wanting to play. For most people, their first step into money making and saving is looking at current expenditure and seeing how that can be reduced, you might be surprised at how much you can save in this way.