An annual tradition is to celebrate the birthday of my fourth baby, Happy Birthday to Mrs Mummypenny with a celebratory blog post. June is my business birthday month and I want to indulge in a few of my favourite moments for the year.
The past year has been incredible for my profile and business which has seen huge growth. Personal life not so great, as the past year also marks the time it took to progress from separation to divorce. What I learn in real life impacts and creates content for Mrs Mummypenny.
Here are my Happy Birthday to Mrs Mummypenny Hightlights
Publicity for my £16k of debt repayment story
I had a huge amount of press and PR from newspapers, magazines, TV, and brands sharing my debt story. I had recently paid off £16k of credit card debt in two year and it felt like everyone wanted to share my inspirational story.
The first pieces I wrote was for the FT and The Sun in June 2019. I figured those two publications would cover a huge % of the population. There were many more pieces throughout 2019 and 2020 and it is the story that keeps on running. I get daily messages from people reading these articles and finding out about me. Its ironic that my biggest financial mistake has given me huge business recognition and success. I love it. And if you found me through my debt story I am happy to have you hear with me.
Summer of 2019
I decided to make the summer of 2019 the summer of fun with the boys. Their dad and I had split up in the June and I was feeling sad. Not sad for splitting up a marriage but sad for what my beautiful boys were going through and the unknown they had to come.
I had them for five weeks of the six weeks of the summer holiday and wanted to make the most of the time together. We had five days in Norfolk, the hottest five days on record in the UK. We followed Norfolk with three days camping at Standon Calling festival.
It was such a wonderful week on the beach, on the mud banks, collecting crabs, seal spotting, eating ice cream and fish n chips. Followed by a festival that we love going to every year (too sad that there are no festivals in 2020). We have finally worked out (after four years!) that it is best to get a recycled tent put up for us by Camplight, to hire beds and book a camp spot in Lavish Lands. A nicer camping area with clean toilets, showers, hairdryers and plug sockets. These extras cost around £200. Every year I promote the event before, during and afterwards, in exchange for free tickets for the boys and I, including backstage passes (Priceless when you add in backstage passes) It is the best perk ever!
The festival is the best, with bright colours, artwork, dogs everywhere. The food is the best, on which we spent a small fortune, on pancakes, hot dogs, pad thai, ice creams, cider (for me), maybe £200. We bought sparkly festival clothes, and I had face painting done every day by Orchard Pig (for free). We took free classes in wood carving (with the amazing James from Wild Thyme), head flower garland making, nature walks and yoga. And the music, OMG the music, Chic, Lewis Capaldi, Friendly Fires, Rag N Bone man. Brilliant acts that we got to watch from backstage and close up. We had a ball, despite the rain and the mud.
A Solo Trip to Corsica
I ended my Summer of Fun with a week away with a friend to Corsica. An interesting week! We grabbed an absolute bargain with the hotel soon shutting down and it being out of summer holidays. The price we paid was £450 each for a week of hotel, flights, food, wine, water sports, everything. We ended up having separate rooms too as we had a teensy argument about levels of drinking and snoring.
A week for relaxation and a chance to get over the summer of fun. And a week away from my deteriorating home situation. My friend and I both needed an escape, both struggling at home, but mixing in the amount of unlimited alcohol was probably not the best of ideas! On reflection I adored this holiday, I attempted to learn to windsurf, and realised I am not a natural talent. But I am very good at sailing and paddle/SUP boarding. Both of which I did every day for hours, bobbing around the Mediterranean Sea. It was heaven.
Whilst in Corsica my social media and website went boom. I had written an article for Aldi just before my holiday where I created fifteen packed lunches for the boys for five days. 15 healthy packed lunches for less than £10. The article was sent out as a press release and the story went crazy. The Sun, The Mirror and the Mail lead with it, but then every single newspaper in the entire UK ran with it too. Before I knew it, my face was on every news website and my social media numbers were increasing hugely every time I pressed refresh. By the end of my week in Corsica my social media followers had increased by 5000! It was a good week.
Winter of 2019/2020
The Winter months were about surviving. Living from one day to the next, not thinking too far ahead due to my home situation. Mrs Mummypenny was my saviour. It kept me going every day, the routine of weekly structure was just what I needed and spending a day in London each week was amazing.
In December I was sat in a meeting with PensionBee talking about 2020 plans and agreeing a retainer exclusivity contract with them. Such an incredible way to end a tough year. And such a feeling of security, an amount of money each month that was guaranteed, almost like I was back in the employed world at EE. PensionBee now refer to me as part of their team, it is a hug in a word.
I have produced some incredible work in the years that I have worked with PensionBee (since Sept 2016!). I am most proud of the spending diary work that Faith and I have completed in collaboration with PensionBee, it has made a huge difference to many peoples lives particularly during Covid times. And already filmed just before lockdown, and soon to be released is the 2020 PensionBee marketing campaign that I am a star of. I cannot wait to share the offical pictures, although here is a sneaky peak.
Working with Incredible Brands
This past year has seen relationships deepen and grow with some old and new brands. I love working with brands with the same ethics and ethos as I do and have lots of fun chatting and meeting various CEOs and founders about their business model. To see what I can learn and what I can do to help them get their message out to new customers. I try and test EVERYTHING that I talk about, I have my money in the game.
My private pension is with PensionBee, my life and income protection insurances are arranged by LifeSearch and some of my savings are with Zopa. I adore getting cashback from Top Cashback (£100 just secured as I am switching from Virgin to EE for broadband), I shop at Aldi, Co-op and Tesco, depending on my needs (!), my monthly energy bill is paid to Octopus Energy. To name a few of my partners.
I am incredibly grateful to the brands I have been working with in the seven years, and to the new brands that have welcomed me on board this past year. Your income meant I could extend my mortgage and keep my family home.
A New beginning and Transformation
March 2020 was a monumental month. Lockdown began and the ex moved out. A strange series of day was mid-March. Wed 18th March saw me head to Manchester for the best day with PensionBee shooting their marketing campaign, with hair, make-up, styling. Thursday 19th saw the ex leave and then lockdown started from Monday 23rd March.
I spent March and April in shock. Surviving. Focussing on my boys, doing my best to ensure they were happy and getting the help they needed to cope with huge situation they had just been through. In May I turned to me and began delving into my mental health. I completed a course called Emotionally Wealthy People that taught me about my 9 basic needs for life survival, relationships, parenting, work, money. A brilliant course, on which I met a wonderful therapist, Jennifer. Once the course was over, I decided to book in a few sessions to help process the past 16 years of my life.
June has been a month of cleansing, detox and therapy sessions. I am now armed with the tools to cope better with life. And am able to process the trauma from the past 16 years. It has given me huge strength to make things right.
I am detoxing my body with no booze, sugar, caffeine, dairy, meat, gluten, and acidic food. I am doing lots of exercise, my daily walks of course, plus I am learning kundalini yoga and loving it. All the weight I gained over difficult times has gone. I have detoxed my wardrobe with a style session at John Lewis.
Mrs Mummypenny is re-branding and a new website is being launched imminently with the help of Lingo Design. And of course, I am ever so close to finishing my book – The Money guide to Transform your Life. My book will be available to read from 1st September. Pre-order will be live very soon.
Onto the next year
And so we move into the next year of Mrs Mummypenny. I am incredibly excited to see what will happen in the next year. Particularly excited about my book release and the PR that will follow that. Be sure to watch out for me on TV, radio and in the papers!
I am now a STEM ambassador for science, technology, engineering and maths. I will be doing lots of voluntary work with them talking about the power of maths, particularly to teenage girls. And be sure to see me on the speaking circuit. Hopefully we get to meet in real life!
The hugest of thank you’s goes out to you, the readers, watchers, listeners of everything I share on Mrs Mummypenny. Without you I would not have a business. THANK YOU.
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