Top tips for money-saving, from Gemma Bird AKA Money Mum

Ah the irony – you’re finally free to go out and have fun again after nearly two years of lockdown restrictions, and then you realise that, thanks to the cost of living crisis, you can’t actually afford to do so. Sigh.

Luckily, advice on personal finance is becoming increasingly easy to come by, thanks to the rise of money-saving influencers, and few have made more of an impact than Gemma Bird, AKA Money Mum.

money mum
Image: Sarah Brick

Dubbed the Mrs Hinch of money, and every bit as glamorous, mum-of-two Gemma has turned her obsession with saving into her personal brand, sharing discounts, deals and bargains with her budget-conscious followers.

With new research from eBay UK revealing that four in five UK adults are currently feeling concerned about inflation, we’re more in need of Money Mum’s advice than ever. Here are some of her easy money-saving tips to start following right away…

Money Mum’s money-saving tips

Allocate a no spend day – Once a week, pick a day that you won’t spend any money on food or drinks. Say no to the coffee shop, and instead of buying ingredients for dinner, go through your cupboards and see what you can make with leftovers.

Check your statement – Reviewing your statement is a great way to spot your spending trends and where you’re spending more than you really should (takeaways!). By going over your statement every month, you can make sense of exactly what you have to play with when it comes to your spending money (or saving money).

Rotate your toys – A great way to get the kids involved is to bring their toys into the picture. Make it a rule that if they want a new toy, they have to sell one they no longer play with, I call this the ‘Toy Rotation’, and it’s a great way for kids to get into better spending habits for when they’re older.

Shop second-hand – Buying second hand isn’t only better for the planet, it’s better for your wallet too. Before buying something, I recommend checking on eBay to see if anyone is selling the same item, as chances are it will still be in pretty good knick and at much better value.

Get resourceful to save on energy – As energy prices jumped up in April, don’t ignore the little things that can reduce your energy bills. For example, when you boil the kettle in the morning, pour the remaining hot water into a thermos so you can use it later, rather than having to boil the water all over again.

Opt for low-cost family weekends – One thing I’ve always done when saving up for a family holiday is having low-cost family weekends in the lead up. Rather than taking them to an indoor jungle gym, head out to the park for the day, or instead of going to the cinema, make some popcorn and watch a film at home. The most important things for the kids at the end of the day will be spending the time with their parents!

money mum

Diarise a money-making day – Once a month, go through your home and find at least 5 things you can sell on eBay. Whether it’s clothes, kitchen utensils or something from the attic – you can even get the kids involved, with them picking one thing from their bedroom they want to sell. Some of my top tips when it comes to listing items on eBay are:

  • Perfect your styling and lighting – It’s important to get good pictures of what you’re trying to sell. Make sure the lighting is bright, the pictures aren’t blurry – you can even add little props.
  • Use the right key words – Use as many descriptive words as possible when you list your items. The more you include the higher the chance the item will pop up when someone searches.
  • Get the timings right – When listing items for auction, I’ve found giving people 5-7 days to bid works best. Make sure you also set the auction end time to around 8pm in the evening, rather than mid-day when people are busy or at work.
  • Remember, anything goes! – You might be surprised by what will sell on eBay. I once listed an old eye shadow make-up palette from MAC with some of the colours missing and it sold for £50 on eBay.

Be open and honest with the kids – Honesty is the best policy, I personally think. The kids are much more likely to understand having a meal at home rather than out at a restaurant if you explain it means going away over the summer holidays.