The £450 a month challenge

July 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments
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I am embarking on some hardcore saving.

In December, our second child will arrive and being self-employed I don’t have the luxury of a decent maternity pay.

So, I put pen to paper, totted up what I’ll receive in statutory maternity pay (£500 per month), plus the earnings I’ll get on a residual basis from my business and compared that to a figure I felt comfortable with to live off each month with a newborn baby, a four-year old and a large mortgage.

Yes, I am lucky to have a husband to support me, he pays a larger share of the bills and mortgage than me, however we contribute jointly to our family outgoings so my income will remain and important consideration.

Having decided that I don’t want to be housebound for my short maternity leave, I was left with a figure of £2250 in total to save between now and December.  If I save what I should do in July, I’ll be £450 of the way there – except it’s half way through the month and so far I’ve made £30.  Yup thirty quid from selling a car seat on Gumtree.  Shite.

The thing is, and call me selfish/ridiculous/optimistic, whatever you like, but I don’t want to scrimp and save, I want to earn extra money.  So I’m looking for inspiration.

I’m all for cutting costs – I’ve stopped using the tumble dryer and I’m meal planning like a military chef, but I don’t want to give up the things I enjoy – Costa hot chocolate, nice beauty products or clothes – and I need clothes, my waistline is expanding on a daily basis and we all know that a lack of properly fitting clothes coupled with pregnancy hormones spells the start of a very bad day.

So what do I do?  You may still be calling me absurd/blinkered/dumb, but this is the decision I’ve come to and I’m sticking to it.

So I gotta make some cash.

So far, here’s are the concepts I’ve come up with.

– Gumtree sales – old clothes, old toys, CDs and DVDs – maybe £100.  Not enough.

– Blog ads.  Must investigate.

– Google adwords.  Must find out rules – can you have Google adwords on a site?

– Blogger consultancy.  Good uptake in past with big family and grocery brands, must reignite interest.

– Increase work income – one extra client (I run a PR agency), but do I really have the time?!

– Finish and publish my children’s book and hope for Potter-style success.  But how much will it cost me to publish it?

– Adult rate phone lines…… well, times are tough!!!  I really doubt I have it in me to get someone excited over the phone though!!!! Back to the drawing board*

– Rent my son our for modelling jobs…he’d like it, honest.


So who has a magic answer for me?  I quite fancy going and watching Thelma’s Girls so comments between now and 11pm – and on an ongoing basis of course, most appreciated.  I need to find my money making forte!


* For those who haven’t been here before and aren’t sure on my humour, I’m not serious….mostly not.

Original image from images_of_money Flickr Creative Commons.


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  1. you sound like you’ve planned it just as much as me (mind you me and mr b have an equal income so we take a big hit and I worked out that we would have to dip into savings after 2 months of statutory maternity leave aka this month!) and you’ve gone through all the all the same-money making thought processes as me (my weakness is cafe nero lattes). Other things I have come up with are i) ebay ii) online surveys such as (I make a slow trickle through these) iii) joining local facebook groups to see opportunities because this week I’m doing a driver trial for £60 and got an invite to a paid focus group iv) finding and using vouchers v) changing your main supermarket… we swapped from waitrose to lidl and so far I’m really happy with the change (and with the extra £20-30 a week we dont spend on groceries any more). Ah, and the penny has dropped about your tweet the other day… one of my biggest savings was changing our gas/electricity contract to an eco, pay-monthly british gas tarriff. Now I just have to work on the OH to try and reduce the sky bill.

  2. We have to watch what we spend. It is quite annoying but I am a full-time mum and can’t have it both ways. I seem to be stuck in the house a lot but I am going to have to change this as it is driving me mad! I am sure you will be able to earn some extra cash! Hope everything goes well with your new addition! x

  3. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this blog as it gives me hope! As I am also self employed and do hope one day to have children people do give me ‘the fear’ about not getting maternity pay. Although it sounds hard it seems like it is possible with a little planning! Maybe you will pick up an extra client at the Fe-line event on the 25th September 🙂

    • I’m really looking forward to speaking!

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