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Eco Thrifty Living – Mums Talking Money Series

This week we have the pleasure of welcoming Zoë, who runs blog Eco Thrifty Living, to our Mums Talking Money Series. You may recall our recent blog post, Wrapping paper alternatives to reduce waste this Christmas, which was inspired by Zoë’s initiative to #cutthewrap. You can read more about it on Eco Thrifty, but for now, please enjoy learning a bit more about Zoë’s relationship with money and her top money saving tips!

Please introduce yourself and your family 

Hi, my name is Zoë and I have a husband and two boys aged 9 and 11. 

Tell us a little bit about your relationship with money

I’m pretty sensible when it comes to money. The only debt I’ve had was a small overdraft when I was a student and now a mortgage. I always pay credit cards off each month. I’m good at sticking to a budget and I save up for the things I want rather than putting them on credit. 

Do you have any money saving tips? 

Don’t waste anything!  This applies to every area of your life. If you: 

  • Put too much food on your plate and it gets scraped into the bin or compost afterwards, that was a waste of food and money. 
  • Leave the tap running the whole time when you are brushing your teeth and you are on a water meter, you are wasting water and money. 
  • Have clothes sitting at the back of your wardrobe that you never wear, you could get some of your money back by selling them on eBay. If you leave them – the clothes are going to waste and so is the money you spent on them! 

Over time the little seemingly insignificant bits of waste really add up to negatively impact the environment and your wallet! 

Did your attitude to money change after your welcomed your little one? 

Having children massively impacted my relationship with money. After my second child was born, I wanted to quit my job and become a stay at home mum/ blogger. It meant that we needed to live off a lot less money than we had previously and I didn’t want to compromise on my eco-friendly principles. That is when I started thinking about, blogging about and living the eco-friendly thrifty life! 

Best money saving blog post on your website. 

There isn’t one specific post I would point you towards, but what I would recommend is buying my book. It has 11 chapters filled with everything I have learned over the last 8 years of saving money and the environment. A central theme in the book is reducing waste, which is really topical at the moment. You can find out more about the book here: https://ecothriftyliving.com/book 

Who do you go to for money advice?

I would ask my family and the UK Money Bloggers who have such a wealth of knowledge between them! 

What’s your biggest money failure? 

When I quit my job to become a stay at home mum, I focussed on spending less, too much and didn’t do enough work on making money as well. Over the years that has put a lot of pressure on my husband being the main breadwinner. It also means I haven’t been putting money into a pension and thinking about saving for retirement during that time. 

What is your biggest money success? 

My biggest success was working out how to spend a lot less money, to the point where I was able to quit my job and in a way that we could thrive, not just survive on one salary. 

What one piece of money advice would you like to share with other mums? 

Have financial back up plans! When I quit my job, I felt like it was less of a risk because of our financial back up plans. Our financial back up plans included: 

  • having savings in the bank in case my husband is out of work, 
  • life insurance in case one of us dies, 
  • have multiple income streams. For example, we rent out our garage and rent a room to students and now I have written a book. 
  • having more savings that we can make if we need to e.g. cancelling cable tv 

What one piece of money advice would you like to share with your children?

Don’t waste anything and have financial back up plans, but I would also tell them to save as much as possible while they are young. I have been very interested in the FIRE movement, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. I don’t want them to retire at a young age, but I would love for them to be financial independent so that they don’t have to feel stuck in a situation they aren’t happy with because of money. The more thriftily they live and the younger they can start putting money in savings, the easier and quicker it will be for them to achieve that financial security and freedom. 

What is your dream family holiday? 

I really like the idea of going on a walking or cycling holiday, where we get to see beautiful scenery, explore new places, get fit and then spend some time relaxing at the end of each day! 

Thank you so much for joining us Zoë! We have loved learning a little bit more about why you started Eco Thrifty Living. Make sure you check out Zoë’s socials!

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