Highlights of 2019 for Mrs Mummypenny
What a year it has been!! Mrs Mummypenny continues to grow in popularity and the momentum continues. I wanted to reflect back on the year month by month to celebration the achievements and proud moments. My highlights of 2019 for Mrs Mummypenny.
I am in my 7th year of running my blog. With 4 ½ years since I left the employed world back in 2015. It feels like a completely different world away. I am beyond proud of what I have achieved. Even more so I am proud of the constant stream of messages I get from people thanking me for inspiring them and helping them to become more financially secure.
I started off the year with vigour and a health kick and shall be doing the same in 2020. Exercise and running was a regular activity and I was eating well.
I worked on some exciting campaigns including a brilliant day in the Zopa offices. They had a bunch of celebs in for a day to take calls and I was there to cover the day on my blog and social media. The celebs were Big Narstie, Frankie Bridge, Lauren Laverne and the legend Frank Bruno.
I had a day with cute puppies on Blue Monday with Staples UK. And I had an article in The Sun with the boys talking energy saving and smart meters.
January saw the start of my regular work with one of my favourite brands PensionBee. The safe keepers of my pension money and whom I regularly mention.
This was the first month that I started to see income from Mediavine on my blog. It was a big moment to reach 25k monthly sessions which meant I could apply to this rather brilliant advertising network. It has been amazing to work with Mediavine and make improvements to my blog, the improvements have resulted in my monthly Mediavine income tripling!
My health kick continued with lots of running and the sun came out. It was just as well it was a short month as not much else exciting happened!
My birthday month arrives, and I just had this month to get through before an exciting trip to Vegas with my friend Neil.
March was a busy month for big pieces of work with Vanguard and Investec (Investec sadly no longer trading). I wrote some great pieces about saving for your children to go university and also how savings in cash are really not the best place to stash your money. There was a brilliant Twitter chat from the Vanguard offices with my fellow personal finance blogger and friend Faith Archer.
I celebrated my birthday at Lucky Voice with my friends and at Fire Jacks with nachos with my boys.
A very exciting month for lots of reasons. But I will keep this to the highlights!!
Firstly, April saw me pay off my last debt repayment, meaning 16k had been paid off in two years!! For the very first time of my adult life I was debt free!! The feeling was and still is incredible, knowing that I no longer have that dreaded monthly payment to make. The challenge going forward was to stay out of debt.
I had two very different but equally special holidays. I took the boys to Cornwall for a caravan holiday in the Easter holidays and then had five days in Las Vegas with my best bud Neil. We had the best time with so many new experiences.
We ate in amazing restaurants, went shooting, went Vegas room smashing, went to Neon Museum and had cocktails downtown in 35-degree heat. And I got to spend quality time with my Vegas friends Mama Mildred and Eve Dawes. I have been to Vegas so many times that I now have friends there!
I got to attend the Oscars of the personal finance world in May, the Headline Money awards. A black tie sit down fancy dinner with the elite of my finance world. I wasn’t nominated, this will come at some point in the future, but I did get to go and share the excitement of the awards and do some serious networking. And yes, I secured some great work with people I met at the awards, including my series of insurance pieces with Drewberry Insurance.
I decided to pitch my debt repayment story to the press, top of my list was the FT, who said YES immediately. The Sun also wanted the story, a brilliant idea as I would have covered a large proportion of the country with my story in these two papers!
And a total personal highlight, the benefits of having a son playing academy football. I got to meet Jamie Redknapp at Chelsea and even sat next to him watching our sons play each other. Totally got a picture and it remains my Facebook profile picture to this day!
June started off wonderfully with one of the best family holidays ever. A week in Corsica on a Mark Warner holiday. We went back to venue we had been to before as we were offered a bargain deal in return for a review post. It was too good to turn down, so we pulled the boys out of school for four days and disappeared off into the sun. A week of water sports, beautiful food, new friends, relaxation was very much needed by all.
The holiday also kicked off a new chapter of my life which hugely affected everything from June onwards and to this day. Something I will write about when the time is right.
June was the month that saw my debt repayment articles appear in the FT and The Sun. Google decided that my debt story was the story of the day when the online article went live. I popped up on everybody’s home page when they switched on their computers at work!! Traffic and social media surged.
My blog turned six years old and I got my second tattoo done (tattoo by Matt Smale, St Neots tattoo studio). This time a beautiful mandala on my right forearm.
The summer of fun begins. I was determined to have the best six weeks with the boys packed full of adventures and travels.
The holidays started well with the hottest week of all time coinciding with our time in Wells in Norfolk. I hired beautiful cottage and we spent every day in the beach or by the mud flats in Blakeney. It was the most wonderful week and introduced me to the beauty of Norfolk.
As soon we returned from Norfolk, we headed straight for Standon Calling. Three days of camping, music, dance, swimming and festival fun. Yes, it rained for 24 hours, of course we were camping, it had to rain. It didn’t dampen the spirits too much!
We go every year and write about it on my website, this means we get weekend tickets and backstage access. Meaning the best of view of the top acts on the main stage, highlights were Louis Capaldi, Chic, Rag N Bone man and Friendly Fires.
The summer months are light on the work side, everyone is off on holiday so very few campaigns are running. Perfect timing when my boys are on their long six-week holidays.
After nearly thirty years of loving Kylie I finally got to see her perform at Brighton Pride. I went with Neil, of course, we were VERY grateful that we booked the golden circle tickets near the front avoiding the crowds. It was the busiest event I had ever been too. Queuing for drinks was not fun at all. But Kylie was amazing, such a show girl. Loved it
Other Summer adventures included a trip to Bristol to see my wonderful friend Beckys’ production (she was the actual producer!) of Moby Dick on the SS Great Britain. Also, a fun trip to Brighton beach for a picnic with fellow money blogger Super Lucky Di and Eco Thrifty Living Zoe.
And then it was back to school and a cheeky week away for Neil and I again. Reflecting back whilst writing this post I have had a lot of holidays this year! We returned to Corsica for another bargain week away. I knew it would be a relaxing break for the both of us, and much needed after a very busy summer.
And I went viral! I did some work with Aldi where I created packed lunch for my three boys for a week for less than £10. The story was released during back to school week.
Firstly, The Sun and The Mirror picked it up, then before I knew it every regional paper in the UK was running the story. I was getting messages from everyone saying they had spotted me in their local paper. My Instagram following increased by 2k in just one week!
I did two public speaking gigs, the first one sharing some of my commercial secrets and successes at the annual UK Money Blogger conference and I spoke on the panel at the very first Money to the Masses event talking paying off debt and taking a leap into starting my own business. It was incredibly stressful leading up the talk but then amazing afterwards as you feel the rush and love of the audience.
October began with one of my favourite annual events, the Aldi Christmas spectacular. A chance to eat and drink all the best of the food coming for Christmas. Along with the best of their gifting and home wear range. I caught up with Kara Gammell at the event and we made the most of the sparkles and amazing food!
This year has been a year of needing to be near the sea. As I get older the need to be near the sea increases. We booked a last-minute Airbnb to Norfolk during the October half term. It was literally a bargain £100 for a chalet for a few days. We climbed down a cliff to the beach and just along the coast was a breeding spot for seals. There were hundreds on the beach at low tide. It was one of my favourite sights of the year!
Huge excitement for November saw my ‘The Chase’ appearance make it onto TV! Just the one year after filming it! I was reminded of my disappointment of getting 9 questions in the individual round and the losing out on the final rung of ladder to Jenny The Vixen. I was bombarded with messages from friends and strangers who tracked me down on Twitter, messages on congrats and bad luck on missing out.
Mrs Mummypenny work was very busy with big jobs for Zopa, Esso & Nectar and PensionBee continues throughout 2019 and will be a regular feature during 2020 as well.
The last month of the year saw me doing so many radio and TV appearances. I did my first Talk Radio Business breakfast slot, along with appearances on BBC Kent, Five Live and BBC Berkshire. I also appeared on a TV show for CGTN talking consumer debt.
The year had ended with lots of fun with the boys and friends in London. We headed to Cornwall for Christmas to see my family and visit the beach of course. I make that eight different visits to the beach or sea during 2019.
I am beyond grateful to everyone who has read my blog this year, all 300,000 of you!! I will continue to create content that you want to read. Content to help you to save money, content to help you prepare for the future and be financially free.
Yes, there will be sponsored content, but only from approved companies whom I believe and trust and use myself. Expect much more from partners such as PensionBee, Aldi, Octopus, Smart Energy GB and Drewberry Insurance. Plus, much more.
Here’s to 2020.