Mrs MummyPenny Talks is back for Season 5
This season I’ll be joined by Faith Archer of ‘Much More With Less’ and our seven episodes will focus on practical advice for dealing with the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
We’re grateful to our sponsors, PensionBee, who are on a mission to make pensions simple. To find out more and or sign up to PensionBee you can use this referral code where both of us will get a £50 credit to our pensions http://refer.pensionbee.com/mQeBiQC
The Seven Episodes
Episode One is an introduction. Get to know Faith and I as we share a little bit of our backgrounds and run through the upcoming episodes.
Episode Two is all about food. It’s one of the biggest bills for most families and we’ll be sharing our tips for spending less and wasting less.
Episode Three focuses on the topic everyone is talking about right now, energy. Which happens to be one of my areas of expertise.
Episode Four will cover essential bills beyond food and energy. What do you absolutely have to pay for? What can you ditch? And what can you switch?
In Episode Five we talk about making money. What works? And what should you avoid? We share our tried and tested ways of raising extra cash.
Episode Six is dedicated to debt. It’s a very tricky subject but we want to open up and share some very personal experiences with you.
Episode Seven will focus on the future. We all need savings, whether they’re for Christmas or our retirement. In this episode we’ll discuss the importance of savings and how you can get started – even in these difficult times.
We’re really excited about this season, and we’ll be sharing all of our tips, advice and experience to get you through the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
Here is the transcript from the podcast episode, for all of who prefer to read rather than listen or watch.
Welcome to my latest season of ‘Mrs MummyPenny talks Cost of Living with Much More With Less’. I have Faith back with me again, for the whole of season five, not just a one-off episode. We’re going to be talking about something that we are extremely passionate about, which is the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
We’ve got six episodes where we’re going to share all sorts of money-saving tips. We’re very honored to have this season sponsored by PensionBee, and here’s some words from PensionBee about the podcast.
“So, we get it, pensions can be complicated, but PensionBee’s on a mission to make them simple with its podcast. So, whether you’re just starting on your savings journey, nearing retirement, or somewhere in between the Pensions Confident Podcast can help you to get the best out of your pension. I joined them for Episode Five to discuss the Cost-of-Living Crisis; why it’s happening and when it will all be over. You can find this and other episodes of the Pension Confident Podcast on all major podcast platforms, which are available to listen to today.”
Welcome to Episode One of Mrs MummyPenny Talks. I am back again with Season Five. And you can see I am not alone. This is very exciting! I’m also in a very posh studio, with microphones, producers and a studio. We are doing this properly, aren’t we Faith?
It’s because we’re here to talk about a really serious topic, the Cost-of-Living Crisis. Prices are going absolutely crazy. Bills are going absolutely crazy. So, we’re here to talk about the practical tips that can make a real difference to your budget.
I’m sure that you will have seen me do lots of work with Faith before. Faith runs the blog ‘Much More With Less’. Faith also used to be a journalist at The Telegraph. That was your job, and you write for lots of newspapers and magazines and do lots of BBC Radio. We are very well versed in cost-of-living crisis. I’m sure you will have seen me recently on Good Morning Britain – it feels like the whole world saw me on Good Morning Britain getting really angry – I think they did that on purpose. I’ve done Newsnight, I did Jeremy Vine last week. You did Jeremy Vine a few weeks ago as well, didn’t you? So, we are doing some quite high-profile media stuff, and we really know our stuff. My specialist subject is energy. I know a lot about energy, and I talk a lot about energy.
We’re going to talk you through the six different episodes. This podcast season is going to be a short one. I normally do longer ones and I normally interviewing various people. I’ve interviewed Faith several times on my podcast before, or we’ve had chats. If you’re a familiar listener or watcher, you will have seen Faith. The wonderful thing about this podcast, which I probably should have brought in earlier, is that it’s sponsored this time by our partners PensionBee. Faith and I have been working with PensionBee for years. It’s about six years for me, five years for you. This is a sponsored podcast, but all views and all things we talk about are our own views and our own personal experiences, and we are going to be sharing a lot of personal stories.
I think that’s one of the really important points. It’s not just that we write about money, talk about money, make speeches about money for a living, but also, we are both working mothers with kids at school. So, we’re going to talk about the things that have actually worked for us.
I have three children. I am divorced, and have my boys 50% of the time.
I’ve got two kids. And I live in Suffolk with my husband, two kids and a dog.
I’ve got a cat. Mustn’t forget Trev! So, in effect, I’ve got three boys and a cat, four boys. I was thinking about getting a kitten. I think this is loading too much into my life. I’m not going to do that.
Maybe not yet! The other thing we should say is that we have a background in money and give practical tips from our own lives, but bear in mind, we are not financial advisors. So, you should not take anything we say as concrete financial advice.
Absolutely. I did a little bio of you but didn’t do a bio of me. I am a qualified accountant and spent 16 years in the corporate world working for Tesco, where I used to buy energy, interestingly. That’s where my love of energy came from. I worked for EE with mobile phones, and I worked for HSBC. I also worked for Threshers, who went bust! I’ve done a lot of finance jobs, so I know a lot about numbers, and I’ve saved a lot of money for companies. I set up Mrs MummyPenny in 2013, so it’s nearly my 10-year anniversary as a hobby. Then I went for it in 2015 as a full-time job. I’ve been running Mrs MummyPenny since 2015 as a full-time job. We started pretty much at the same time.
Yes. I started taking my blog, Much More With Less, much more seriously from 2014. But I’ve actually been writing about money for the past 20 years. As Lynn said, I used to be deputy personal finance editor at The Daily Telegraph. So, I think we’re really excited to let you know what we’re going to be covering in this particular series of Mrs Mummy Penny Talks. First episode number two (out on Tuesday 20th Sept) is about the biggest bill for most families. I’m going to be talking about food and sharing tips from challenges where we’ve managed to slash the food bills for our family by a third.
Ep 2 – FOOD
What I will also say on food, which is going to come into it, is that Faith and I have done a few joint challenges, where we’ve kept spending diaries. We’ve literally kept a spending diary for a month and then compared with each other. We’re quite similar. Well, we’ve both got kids, and we both have families. We’ve both got similar-ish sized houses. Yours is bigger than mine! I live in Hertfordshire and Faith lives in Suffolk.
Yes. Too far away from me, but I have been. You’ve not been to mine though?
No, not yet. But I’m better at driving now. So maybe? I think the driving stuff is going to be one of the things that we cover in one of the episodes.
Absolutely. What I will say about food is that Faith is really good at food budgeting, and I’m not. We have proven this many times in the three different spending diary challenges we have done. We will put links in bios to all of these things we’ve done before, because it’s really interesting comparing your spending with somebody else. You’re quite frugal at food and I’m a bit of a spender on food, because I see it as a luxury/treat. I’m sure you’ll see where I’m coming from. So that’s Episode Two.
Ep 3 Energy
Episode Three is going to be about energy, which is obviously what everybody’s talking about at the moment. It’s a really important subject because we’ve got this situation where our average bills used to be £108 a month back in September 2021. And estimated by Cornwall Insights that that bill will go up to £450 in January. It’s going go up to £350 pounds from the first of October. This is for an average household. So, we’re talking about a three-bedroom household with four people in it. I know personally, I’m paying £165 at the moment per month. When I come to my renewal, I’m expecting that to get to £450.
NOTE – Liz Truss announced on 8th Sept that the price cap would be frozen at £2500 or £175 per month from October 1st 2022. I shared me thoughts on this announcement here.
Ouch, that is painful. It means that, for a lot of people, it’s a truly dreadful situation right now. People have cut and cut and cut. There is just nothing else you can cut. With energy bills and other prices rising so much, I think there are going to be a lot of middle-income families that suddenly are going to have to really watch their budgets and really watch their costs, which they never have before. That’s where we hope this podcast series can help.
It’s unprecedented. It’s not unprecedented though, is it? Because if you look back in history, you know, in the ’80s, there were times where there were extreme financial pressures.
That’s true, when interest rates went through the roof and people were losing their homes.
I was born in 1977, so I don’t really have any memories of that happening in the ’80s. You see a lot of people saying, “I used to be fine with frost on the inside of my windows”. Well, I’m not fine with that now. So, it’s unprecedented for most people.
Ep 4 Essential Bills
In episode four, that’s where we’re going to cover essential bills beyond food and energy. Looking at all those bills you really have to pay. The priority bills where really bad things happen if you can’t. Also, all those other bills that you just have to keep forking out for month after month. We’ll be thinking about which the monthly payments that you can ditch and what can you switch.
Should we just reference here that if you just spend a little bit of time looking at your essential bills, cancelling direct debits of the ones that you don’t need, and getting a better deal on the ones you do need, you can potentially save hundreds of pounds a month. That could roll into savings of two, three, four thousand pounds a year. And you’re spending a few hours going through your bills getting a better deal. When are you ever going to earn four grand for a few hours’ worth of work?
Yeah, it could be the best day’s work you ever do in your life.
So that is Episode Four, which is essential bills.
Ep 5 – Making Money
And then we’ve got Episode Five, which is making money. So, I’ve been running Mrs MummyPenny, as I said, since 2013. And I have tried every single making money scheme there is. The good and the bad. I’ve got some quite interesting views on the bad because there’s some really bad stuff out there, which I will be talking about and that I do not recommend. I’ve tried them and I’ve been burned by them. I think that will be interesting in making money. I will also be sharing so many ideas for genuine ways you can make money. One of my best things is raiding those drawers in your kitchen that are just full of random stuff
All the old tech!
I am sure I could find three phones, maybe an old tablet, an old Amazon Fire, whatever. And I’ve made £100 from using one of these trading sites. Just scan it, get a value, put it in a box, they come collect the box a few days later. They often tell you the amount of money has gone down, but I will warn about that. You know, it’s a way of making a couple of 100 quid. It’s easy and it’s quick, because I think we’re looking for quick ways of making some money.
Ep 6 – Debt
Episode Six is going to be about debt. I am sure listeners and watchers will be aware that I have very personal experience of this. I’ve only just got out of consumer debt in 2019, where I paid off £16,000 worth of credit card debt. Then in 2021, I managed to pay off my car loan. So now the only debt I have left is my mortgage, which is massive, and it makes me feel quite uncomfortable. But I can afford to pay my monthly mortgage, so we’re all good. Actually, I make small overpayments as well. This is an exciting phase; I’ve started overpaying my mortgage!
Brilliant. Because the difference that overpayments can make your total interest bill is massive, because a mortgage lasts for so long.
I’m only making small payments, just to point out!
Even small overpayments will knock a lot of interest off and could potentially cut the amount of time your mortgage runs for as well.
Exactly. I previously said that energy is one of my specialist subjects, but debt is also a thing that I’m so passionate about because it’s so shameful to be in debt. And it doesn’t need to be. I really want to lift the lid on it, that many of us are in debt, give some ways to get out of debt, and how to get some help If you’re feeling like you don’t know what to do.
Absolutely. Nobody has ever said they regretted taking steps to deal with their debt. There is always something you can do, no matter how big your debts are.
Ep 7 -Saving for Future
I think to finish off the series, Episode Seven is going to be about the future. Because I think while we’re in the middle of this Cost-of-Living Crisis, it can be very hard. You’re dealing with so much day to day, but we’re going to be thinking about how it is possible to perhaps start setting money aside. We’ve got Christmas coming up, everybody’s got birthdays, these annual costs, how to build up a bit of emergency savings. Also trying to make sure, if you possibly can, that you’re still thinking further ahead for retirement. We did a challenge trying to live on a state pension for a week. It is less than 10 grand a year. And personally, I don’t want to retire on less than 10 grand a year.
Yeah, we had a total nightmare. It was interesting. It wasn’t just financial constraints. I felt like it impacted on my mental health as well by being restricted. We had £178 pounds to last the week. That included bills, but not our mortgage because we, maybe dangerously, assumed that we would have paid off our mortgage by then. But we’re in this position now where people have still got a mortgage when they’ve retired. Or they’re renting. So, we are going to share some of our learnings. We’ve done a lot of challenges. We’ve done a lot of challenges with PensionBee haven’t we?
We have. I think that’s partly why we’re so incredibly grateful that PensionBee are sponsoring this series of Mrs MummyPenny Talks.
Yeah, I’ve never had it properly in a studio with producers and all the editing done! I hate editing. I hate editing with a passion. We’re really excited to have you join us for this journey. Thank you for listening to ‘Mrs MummyPenny Talks Cost of Living with Much More With Less’. It’s been wonderful having you and we can’t wait for you to come back next week to hear us talk about food, which will be Episode Two. We think it’s really important to start with that topic. I’m @MrsMummyPennyUK on Instagram and Twitter and then my website is www.mrsmummypenny.co.uk.
And thank you to our sponsors, PensionBee. You can follow them on social media as well and have a look at their website. And I think that’s it. We will see you again next week. Thank you for listening!
As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice. This post was written in collaboration with PensionBee.