MONEY MUM by Gemma Bird
Gemma Bird set up an Instagram account in 2019 (@MoneyMumOfficial) to share her money saving tips and advice. She now has 255,000 followers on Instagram and has written a book which was published by Octopus Books on 6th January. In it, she explains her story and gives you loads of helpful ideas to save money. Being a single mum, this is a great book for me because I never have enough money!
The book is divided into seven sections, it is clearly formatted and easy to read all the way through (as I did) or skip to the sections you’re most interested in. She begins by explaining her attitude to saving as a teenager and how, once she was sixteen and working full-time, she would save 80% of her wages every month (£800) and spend 20% (£50 a week). While I can understand that could work when you are young, single and living at home, I’m not sure it’s possible in my situation with a child to support! However, I do agree with Gemma that it’s important to talk about money more openly and we should be able to explain honestly that we just can’t afford to do something or buy something. (My friends and I do this a lot)
Some of the things she talks about just won’t work for you. For example, plus-size women won’t be able to find their needs well catered for in Primark (a shop she recommends for bargains), who tend to cater for smaller sizes. Therefore you (I) end up having to buy clothes from more expensive shops like Yours and Evans. But, clothes-wise, she does have some relevant ideas for me like getting email alerts when sellers put your favourite brands up on eBay.
Another good tip she suggests is going through all your toiletries and seeing what you already have, so you don’t end up buying something you don’t really need. I did this recently, so now I know I have enough shower gel to last me six months.
There’s also a good section about pocket money and kids’ cards like Go Henry. I have researched these recently, so that section was interesting to me, though instead of paying monthly fees on a kids’ card, I decided to try just setting a budget for my son’s pocket money each month. But this was a good reminder to sort something else, to stop the endless requests for 99p for Roblox!
Some of her ideas I do find rather laughable though. For example, her suggestion that instead of buying them lots of stocking fillers at Christmas, you put money in their bank accounts. I’d love to see my son’s face on Christmas Day morning if I said “Sorry, no pressies today, I’ve put £20 in the bank instead!”
However, despite its occasional annoying and impractical (for me) suggestion, the book has some good tips in it and I am sure every reader will find at least a few new ideas to try. It is a nice looking book (with a pretty pastel pink cover), easy to read, well set out and easy to find the relevant section, if you want to dip in and out of it.
MON£Y MUM –OFFICIAL -Save Yourself Happy
Your Ultimate Money Tips Guide
By Gemma Bird
6th January 2022
eBook and audio book
“Money Mum here, I am so excited to be publishing my first book. I can’t wait to share my money tips and tricks with as many people as possible and show you that it can be cool to save! My book will help everyone understand the simple value of appreciating a ten pound note and the empowerment and pride that comes from being in control of your money and your life. – Gemma Bird
Instagram sensation Money Mum Official, aka Gemma Bird is a hard-working mother of two from Essex. After years of working multiple jobs at once, from picking mushrooms to working as an estate agent, Gemma never earned more than £25k a year and yet managed to pay off her £225k mortgage. To achieve this, Gemma had to come up with some careful and creative methods of saving every penny.
Money Mum Official: Save Yourself Happy has literally everything you need to know to save money and be happy. When you’re trying to manage a busy family, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that really matter and feel like you’re drowning in worries while the pennies are drowning away.
So many of us feel we have to pretend to be wealthier than we are and try to hide it when we can’t afford something. Why though, when we are all sharing what we had for our tea and how many press-ups we did that morning on social media, can’t we be more honest about our finances? Why is there still so much shame and secrecy about being a bit strapped for cash, or in debt? Gemma Bird feels really strongly that it has got to change, and she is here to help.
From starting small and making little changes to your everyday habits, through building a second income into your lifestyle, to going for the big goals in your life that you might think are out of your reach – this book will help you reboot your finances one money tip at a time.
It contains Gemma’s ultimate deals and tips, covering everything from shopping and bills to selling unwanted items, how to follow her weekly ‘No Spend Day’ and ‘Make Money Day’, spending tracker templates and charts, plus tips for getting the whole family talking about money from an early age. It also explores what your money mindset does to your anxiety levels and the impact social media has on your spending.
Gemma launched @MoneyMumofficial on Instagram to help others save cash. She now regularly shares money-saving tips to her 225k loyal followers. As her platform has continued to grow, brands like Amazon, Pampers, Tesco, Compare the Market, Wilko, Poundland, Superdrug, Febreze and McDonalds have reached out to partner with her. Instagram.com/moneymumofficial