You could say I’m a natural-born saver. When I was a small girl, on my way to school I used to look for copper pennies. Sometimes, though, I found silver five or ten penny pieces. 

My findings were kept in an old Kenco coffee cup in my bedroom. I also wrote the total on little pieces of paper each time I added a new coin to the pot.

Since I was a teenager, I had two jobs on weekends. They were hard work and I carefully counted the money.

My friends always knew me as the expert on getting deals and coupons. 

By 17 I had saved £7,000 to buy my first car. And by 23, juggling three jobs – as an estate agent, a barmaid and a driving instructor – I put down the deposit on my first home. Adam was my husband and I had sufficient money in the bank to cover his mortgage when I met him.

Among my friends, I was always the one with the voucher codes and the discounts, an expert at getting a bargain or a deal

I am the friend who always had the discount codes or the coupon codes. A master at getting the best deal.

Money isn’t a secret formula that only the wealthy know. I knew this for a long time. It’s a mindset and an attitude that anyone can have.

I’m now a 40-year-old mother to Brody and Bronte living – mortgage- free – in Essex.

At the outbreak of the pandemic, I started sharing money-saving tips via social media. My Instagram account @moneymumofficial has over 200,000 followers.

Now, just in time to help you tackle rising inflation, I’ve written a book full of practical advice to help you reboot your finances without feeling the pinch.

I’m not here to be a bore and tell you that you don’t need a big house or a new car and that you don’t have to go on amazing holidays.

It’s quite the contrary. In fact, I’d say those three things are the most important symbols of achievement to me. But you don’t need to be wealthy or earn a huge salary to achieve them.

Whether it’s listening to a subscription music channel, showering in expensive potions or grabbing a takeaway coffee on the way to work – it’s the small, everyday costs that rapidly accumulate to the point where you could end up spending half a day’s wages before you even reach the office.

You will be able to spend less on your household bills, groceries, insurance, and car insurance, which in turn, allows you to save more money for the other things that you love.

All of it adds up. Here’s how to shrink your expenditure without any sense of sacrifice…

It doesn’t matter if you are using an app on the internet, a notebook, or a whiteboard inside your kitchen. The most important step towards wealth creation is to record every month what income and how much you spend.

In one column, list all monthly expenses: rent/mortgage and bills. Food shop is another. In a second column list the income you earned for each month. This includes wages, tax credits, refunds, bonuses, and birthday money.

Take each column, add them up and subtract the outgoings.

There is a difference in the money you can spend each month and the amount that you are able to save. You need this figure to remember when you’re tempted by a trendy top or expensive hot dog at the movie theater.

This little indulgence is worth the effort?

You can reduce thoughtless spending by comparing the cost of the item you wish to buy with how much you make in an hour.

To find your weekly earnings, you will need to divide 52 your total annual earnings after tax and national insuring has been paid. Divide that amount by your week’s work hours (the national average for 40).

It is important to remember your HRP (Hourly Ratio Principle) every time you go to the shop for coffee or browse through a new pair of party shoes. Also, to make sure you’re asking yourself whether what you are spending is worthwhile. Work.

DO go window shopping …DON’T get a store card 

Shopping is my passion. But I always do loads of research first to make sure that I’ve got the best deal.

DO visit the shops: Think of a trip to the shops as part of your research – like visiting an art gallery or museum. They are decorated with beautiful soundtracks, lots of interesting items to see (especially people), and many have beautifully designed interiors. Don’t think you must buy anything. Instead, just relax and enjoy the place. Take pictures of anything you like – they can serve as an inspiration file for later. And if you find that you’ve forgotten about the items a few days later, you probably didn’t need them anyway.

DON’T miss out on reward schemes: If you buy from one store regularly, download its rewards app and use it to get bigger discounts, even if you are shopping in store.

DON’T get a store card: Only sign up for a store card if opening an account means you get a juicy discount on something you really need – a new TV or a dishwasher – but then cancel it as soon as you can. The interest rates are often horrendously high.

I love clothes and I love shopping! But I always do loads of research first to make sure that I¿ve got the best deal

Shopping is my passion. But I always do loads of research first to make sure that I’ve got the best deal

DO join Honey: Type ‘joinhoney’ into your search engine before shopping online. Honey is an amazing browser extension. It sits in your search bar, and searches for online coupons and discount codes.

Use Google Shopping and ebay: Do a quick Google search to find something specific and click the Shopping tab. 

You will be able to see all of the available places that you can order the product and the prices. You can also save your searches on eBay for favorite brands, and then wait for the second-hand availability of your designer items.


Boost savings with ‘No-Spending Days’

A single day per week of putting a halt to spending can really make a difference in your bank account. It also makes it easier for you to be more conscious about where your money goes.

I’ve been doing ‘no-spend days’ for years – sometimes three or four times a week when I was saving hard.

Yes, it might mean meeting friends in the park rather than the cafe, painting your own nails or getting creative by cooking something from the freezer, but it’s worth it!

Are you looking for something?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to want things – I want things all the time.

However, knowing the difference in needing and wanting will help you make a decision about whether to spend money. Think about these questions:

1. Is this thing necessary for my family’s (including my own) health or safety?

2. Do you think it is necessary for another purpose?

3. What if I can wait until I buy it?

Increase savings 

Half-full tank fuel will give you the best mileage. Full tanks are heavier and your vehicle will use more fuel. You’ll make further savings by removing a roof rack if you’re not using it and emptying your boot so that you don’t drive around with excess weight.

To maximise mileage, only half-fill your car with fuel each time. A full tank is heavier, which means your car will burn more fuel

Half-full tank fuel will give you the best mileage. Full tanks are heavier and your car will use more fuel.


Don’t be fooled by sly subscriptions

Cancel your subscriptions – most of them are money for old rope.

Sign up to receive subscriptions for deodorant refills or vitamins, and cash will automatically be withdrawn from your account. This could allow you to buy something that you don’t need or use. It’s a brilliant business plan that allows companies to make money from people who often don’t even notice.

You should take the time to review all of your subscriptions. I’ll bet you find a few you’d forgotten about and I guarantee that you’ll be surprised by how much they are costing you every month.

I’m not just talking about gym membership or your TV package – look at all your apps too.

You have been lured into a music-streaming or beauty service, a gym, a pet-food delivery service, a discount card at the supermarket, or a membership to a meditation app.

You can now cancel all of them. Yes, ALL! You can always sign up again if you miss them, but I have a hunch that you won’t.

Do not bargain for your household bills

Whether it’s home or car insurance, phone or TV packages, it’s always worth talking to your supplier to see if they can beat the price they’re offering.

We spend hours researching prices and comparing sites before we receive a renewal offer. While it takes effort, you can save hundreds of Pounds.

Tell suppliers that you’ve found a better price elsewhere and see what they say. You could be amazed at what they do to make sure they don’t lose your business.

When we queried our Sky TV package and said we were thinking of leaving, an £8 monthly increase became a £2 monthly reduction and they threw in an upgrade.

Buy the car that you really want and save!

Don’t buy a new car unless you have got money to burn.

As soon as a car leaves the showroom, it loses its value. You can instead buy secondhand, or lease a vehicle (think about it like renting a car from a dealer). Do your homework before making a commitment.

I will phone five or six different garages around the UK – North and South – and tell them exactly what I’m looking for. Amazing how different the offers can be for the exact same car.

You might need to take a journey to collect your car, but when there are thousands of pounds at stake, why wouldn’t you?

Reduce the price of your phone plan

Avoid the word ‘unlimited’. You may not need unlimited minutes and texts. However, many packages promise endless texting or phone calls. You can think about your needs and find a deal that suits you.

Set up text alerts to be notified when your monthly data allowance is nearing its end if you have a contract. You can monitor what you use and not incur extra fees.

Make your beauty routine smarter

Do you know how many cans and half-finished bottles of body lotion or hairspray are currently in your bathroom cupboards?

Here’s how to cut down on wasteful spending:

  • Make them last longer by putting the lids back on properly after you’ve used them and squeezing out every last drop. To get all the contents out, use a freezer bag clip to secure the tube.
  • If you’ve got half-empty bottles of shampoo you no longer use, decant them into travel bottles and you’ve got instant toiletries for holidays.
  • To keep nail varnishes, lipsticks, or other cosmetics fresher for longer periods of time in your fridge, you can store them there. This might not work for products you use all the time, but if you’ve got an eye-shadow set for nights out or a lipstick that you use more in the winter, pop them in the fridge and they’ll be good to go next time you want to wear them.

Use thrifty tips to brighten up your home

  • Chalk paint can be used to revive leather sofas and chairs. You can actually paint leather. Chalk paint is amazing as it goes on easily and you don’t have to prepare surfaces as you would with regular paint.
  • You can buy picture frames or furniture that are neutral in colour. Then you can change the fabric or pictures to make it your own. The same goes for lamps – you can simply change the shade or spray it a new colour instead of buying a new lamp.
  • Personalization is an excellent way to personalize your furniture. Stencil your children’s names on their toy boxes and wardrobes and you get an instant upgrade.

Don’t let kids’ toys mess up your budget

A lot of my children’s clothes come from eBay and other second-hand marketplaces – especially the big stuff such as winter coats.

I love Moncler jackets and I have bought my son Brody one every winter for the past few years – and then resold it when he’s grown out of it. It’s an expensive brand but that’s because it’s such good quality, so they hold their value. Even though I bought one jacket from him, I sold it for far more than what I paid. These are my other top tips

  • Children don’t care about the packaging or if something is from a shop – they just like the novelty of having a ‘new’ toy to play with for a bit. Try toy-rotation. A few can be kept hidden, and you should get some to the surface every day.
  • Stick to your budget for Christmas and birthdays. It can become outlandish and children will begin to expect more.
  • Encourage your friends to organize casual clothing swaps. You can swap your outfits over the years if you find someone with kids who are around the same age as you.
A lot of my children¿s clothes come from eBay and other second-hand marketplaces ¿ especially the big stuff such as winter coats

A lot of my children’s clothes come from eBay and other second-hand marketplaces – especially the big stuff such as winter coats