Hi! I’m Melissa…
Ok, so hopefully you’re in the right place. This is not a diet blog, rather a money diet blog. Because when you think about it, saving money and going on a diet actually have a lot in common. Firstly there’s the good intentions, the throwing out of the crisps and chocolate and the barely spending a penny…until something cracks and you end up buying a new coat on your Visa card (which is the diet equivalent of stuffing your face with a box of Krispy Kremes.)
Of course, in both fields there are the determined few who stick to their guns and manage to lose / save an incredible number of pounds, but for the rest of us going on a strict reduced spend can be just as temporary as the weight lost over a week’s crash diet.
The bottom line is, just like in the world of nutrition, less isn’t always more when it comes to spending.
I’m not a fan of no-spend challenges or doing low paying surveys for 10p a time, and here on my blog you can find smarter ways to save and earn.
Sometimes I find myself dazzled by the bloggers earning a 6 figure income from their work, and while it would be the ultimate goal, I’m not a big-name blogger with thousands of followers, or unlimited spare time around my part time job and being a mum.
But there is still decent money to be made, and on my blog you can find out the ways I consistently make at least £300 a month…and sometimes much more.
I was the main earner by some distance in our household. I was never in debt and had long term savings in a stocks & shares ISA, but other than that I never saved anything for a rainy day.
My husband and I enjoyed luxury holidays and could pretty much do what we wanted- looking back I don’t regret any of this as we were never in debt but I do wish I had appreciated it more at the time and maybe saved up a bit of an emergency fund for what was to come!
One thing I will mention is while this might paint a picture of someone who was quite frivolous or wasteful with money – this was not strictly the case. I have always been great at finding bargains and offers, and when it comes to the grocery shopping, I’ve always been a cook from scratch, supermarket-own brand kinda girl. I took my own lunch to work every single day, and took a bottle of water out with me everywhere to avoid buying one (and still do!)
I guess this is all because I’d rather save the money on essentials so I could spend it elsewhere, rather than save it, but hey ho!
However, these earnings were at considerable cost to my mental health as my job was highly stressful and the hours were long. I was signed off work with anxiety for a number of months twice within 5 years. We struggled to conceive during this time (hardly surprising!) and our only attempt at IVF failed. (There were no free cycles available on the NHS in our area at this time.)
Eventually enough was enough and no number of nights out and holidays was enough to stop the absolute loathing and dread I would get on a Sunday night. After finding a new opportunity within my field, I took the difficult decision to leave my job. I took a paydrop of £15k but all of a sudden I had my life back again. I loved my new job and within a few months, at the age of 36 I became pregnant without even trying!
I returned to work 3 days a week after a year’s maternity leave meaning another drop in pay, but more importantly I was a mum with a work/life balance I had never dreamed was possible in my old job. I wouldn’t swap it for the world, however I did get pretty fed up of having no spare money. Going part time meant that within 4 years I took a pay cut of over £25k a year, with childcare costs on top!
I am very fortunate that we have enough for bills, food and all the essentials (largely due to my husband) but for a little while it took my brain to catch up with my pay packet and although my social life now consists more of nights in front of Netflix and softplay centres, things were still whacked on my credit card before I realised I could no longer clear it easily.
I spent a few months feeling sorry for myself and thinking there was nothing to be done – until I decided to investigate ways to make money in my spare time.