When Megan Christie, 25, went on maternity leave with her first child, she wanted to find a way to bring in some extra cash.
Side business was the answer, allowing her to earn money while spending time with her family.
Thanks to that – along with some smart budgeting – Mum has been able to reach a slew of savings goals.
Since September 2021, she has saved over £5,000, which has helped her reach her goal of £10,000 for a home deposit.
“I’ve always been a saver but never budgeted,” Megan said.
My budgeting journey began when maternity leave began – I knew money was going to be tight while I was on SMP (legal maternity pay), I wanted to make the most of the money I had by doing budgeting.
The first step was to write down all my expenses against the income. With this in mind, I was able to distribute my surplus cash to other bills such as grocery shopping.
I save money on grocery shopping mainly by using cashback apps and taking advantage of discount deals for new customers.
For example, I recently saved £20 off a £60 store for being a new customer with Ocado.
I have a lot of different saving pots. One for a home, one for science I hope will soon become an owner, and a public emergency fund, should you ever need it.
In addition to budgeting and using cashback apps, Megan has several “side businesses” that allow her to make money from home.
Meghan’s £5,000 savings details:
- About £1,000 of surveys.
- £1,000 off site testing.
- £2000 of market research.
- £1,000 from a combination of Mystery Shopping product testing and referral plans.
“I don’t include cashback as earnings, but I’ve earned about £300 extra to £5,000 cashback apps,” she adds.
“My side struggles are mystery shopping, website testing, market research, and surveys,” Megan said.
There are plenty of apps and companies to start having side struggles with.
How much I do varies based on how much free time I have.
I tend to do surveys in the evening and site tests throughout the day.
“I do a lot of market research, so depending on whether I am selected, I will do it on the given dates and times.”
Now back to her £27,000 part-time job, Meghan has continued some of her side activities to continue working towards her £35.00 savings goal.
The mum says she earns between £500 and £2000 a month from the side business alone, on top of what she earns from her main job.
Now, she shares her financial wisdom on Instagram, at @thesavvyspenderofficial.
“My advice is to write down all your money — expenses, money coming in and see how much you have left,” she said.
Then allocate your remaining money accordingly.
Find a budget method that works for you. You can find it on Google or Instagram Finance pages – getting the right budget can work wonders.
Finally – use cashback apps.
The cost of living slightly affected my own savings, but not significantly because I often struggled which meant my budgets didn’t change much.
I tend to spend more time making extra money so I can still save and enjoy my life while incurring higher energy bills and other rising costs of living.
“Facilities for me are the hardest area to save on. It’s not very easy to stop using the same amount of hot water or cook less.
“These are basic necessities and I don’t think we have to choose between staying warm or eating, it just isn’t fair for people to make that decision.”
If you want more money-saving tips and tricks, plus chat about cash and alerts about deals and discounts, join our Facebook group, Money Pot.
Do you have a story to share?
Contact us by sending an email to MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.
MORE: This travel entrepreneur shares luxury on a budget
More: 21 quick and easy things you can start doing now to save some money
MORE: Best Money Apps 2022: 28 Free Savings, Budgeting & Coupon Apps