Civil servant, 37, on £2,000 a month who makes £420 further along with her Etsy ‘facet hustle’

In our How I Handle My Cash collection we intention to learn how folks within the UK are spending, saving and investing cash to fulfill their prices and obtain their targets.

Zena West, 37, lives in Nottinghamshire along with her husband, John, and their eight-year-old son. Zena works as a board secretariat lead for the Civil Service and likewise runs on-line outlets, through Etsy, referred to as West Artwork And Glass and Eden Stroll Arts.

Month-to-month price range


Internet wage £2,070 (will probably be decrease later this 12 months once I cut back my hours); Revenue from outlets £420; Youngster Profit £87.20

Complete: £2,577.20


Most are break up with my husband. My share is as follows:
Mortgage £499; Diesel for the automotive £52; Groceries £164; Broadband and streaming companies £33.50; Council tax £114; Gasoline and electrical energy £77; Water£18; Cleaner £26; TV license £7; Checking account payment £7; Euromillions £20; Postcode Lottery £10; Cell phones £9; Magnificence remedies £20; social work and
sports activities membership £9; Financial savings/investments £405; Together with a Lifetime Isa, financial savings for my son, a normal funding account and Premium Bonds; Getting my hair carried out and a household meal out £110; NFL GamePass £13; Insurance coverage £71; Pet meals and insurance coverage £60; Telephone line rent £19

Complete: £1,743.50

Till the age of 4 I lived in an expat group in Jakarta, Indonesia, as my father had a well-paid job as a pc programmer there. We had a maid, a driver and my sister and I had personal tennis classes. We ultimately moved again to the UK and in the beginning of my GCSEs I used to be accepted at Benenden College, a boarding college in Kent.

After my first 12 months there, my father had to surrender work and I used to be granted a full bursary for the remainder of my time in school. My dad and mom now stay in a council home in east London. They did not get monetary savings after they had been incomes. Seeing them go from residing on a six-figure wage to residing on incapacity advantages has formed my angle about cash administration.

After leaving college I took on a lot of short-term jobs in Nottingham. I dropped out of college after lower than two weeks to run away and stick with my boyfriend, who’s now my husband. Alongside my day job, I run West Artwork And Glass and Eden Stroll Arts through Etsy. The earnings from each varies every month.

Extra from Saving and Banking

Typically I will not have a sale for days, however different occasions an merchandise will go semi-viral and I will have over 40 open orders. My final annual revenue for each got here in at £5,000. I at all times be sure I rely all allowable bills for my tax return. My side-hustles cannot grow to be my predominant enterprise till our mortgage is cleared, on the very earliest – I do not know the way folks do that kind of factor full time with out the safety of a day job.

We’re nicely off, however are nonetheless having to consider how we spend our cash. I am unable to think about what somebody on advantages or minimal wage will probably be considering. I’m a saver and a squirrel. I like to cover my cash in a number of pots for quite a lot of potential wet days. I fear, panic and fret in terms of cash. I overpay the mortgage every month – it is my largest money-saving endeavor. Our complete compensation needs to be about £870 a month, however we pay £970, with me contributing £499.

I’m obsessive about getting the mortgage paid off earlier than I’m 50, so we repay as a lot as we’re comfortably in a position to. I’ve a spreadsheet to trace my bank card spending, one other one for our joint account and one other for extra financial savings. I additionally monitor the entire household’s obtainable financial savings yearly, and have a spreadsheet from which I can calculate curiosity financial savings from overpaying the mortgage. I’ve one other spreadsheet to trace all of the month-to-month debt we’ve got, so I can see the mortgage determine happening.

I usually prepare dinner an excessive amount of and save the leftovers for lunch. I additionally store round for the very best automotive insurance coverage, gasoline and electrical energy offers yearly. I get pleasure from a very good haggle. Our previous couple of second-hand automobiles have all been negotiated and I bought £1,000 off my second kiln by asking a producer if that they had any seconds obtainable. I purchased my third kiln second-hand through Fb.

I am moderately good at adorning, fixing issues and DIY. I’ve changed rest room cistern valves, wallpapered and painted, and I’ve additionally tiled our balcony. My husband and I take advantage of work voucher schemes and I get cashback on issues like reloadable Greggs present playing cards and money-off Ikea vouchers. We develop veg within the backyard, however this most likely prices greater than it saves as I am not very green-thumbed.

I get pleasure from spending on sure issues. I prefer to carry on high of my beautiful pink hair, we’ve got a takeaway each Saturday and prefer to exit to eat someplace good as a household as soon as a month. I additionally love the cinema and sometimes go alone on a Tuesday night when the tickets are a bit cheaper.

My 10-year bonds maturing in August will probably be going in direction of an enormous once-every-decade month-long vacation to the US. Long run, I want to purchase a small property for my son when he leaves dwelling.

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