I lost job days after giving birth – but money hacks & clever saving means I've now saved £1000s, here's how you can

A SAVVY mum has revealed why spring is the perfect time to revamp your finances as she shares her money-saving tips and tricks to help others.  

Samantha Edwards, 29, from Manchester, has already earned more than £500 this year – just from using cashback, where you get a percentage of the amount it cost paid back to you – and is always looking for new ways to be thrifty and utilise her expenses. 

The student nurse, who is mum to Grayson, three, and Betsy, one, was forced to become ‘money savvy’ after she was made redundant just days after giving birth to her first child. 

Her son Grayson was born prematurely and Samantha was made redundant the week she brought him home – so she had to cut back costs in order to take 15 months off work. 

She believes the change in season is the perfect time for fellow mums to ‘spring clean’ their finances – especially with her easy tips such as double checking your direct debits. 

Samantha said: "I worked in a bank before I had kids so I was always financially aware but I didn’t really need to put it into practice until after I had kids.

"I’ve done two maternity leaves in two-and-a-half years which led to me becoming more money savvy and looking at where our money went.

"I had my little boy 11 weeks early and was made redundant the week we brought him home. 

"I know I wanted to take as much time off as possible with him – even it meant being unpaid –  so I could make up for the three months we spent in hospital with him. 

"I cut back on things at home and organised our finances so I was able to take 15 months off and then return to work part time."

Samantha started to cut back and look for bargains in everything that she purchased. 

She only bought baby items that were in the sale and always looked for money-off discounts when buying anything new. 

She also made sure to sell on baby items – such as outgrown clothes – when they had finished using them, so she could then use the profit to buy the next size or new preloved clothes. 

"We even walked everywhere instead of using the car," said Samantha. 

"It’s all about cutting back. For food shopping we started going to Aldi instead of the more expensive brands and I stuck to meal plans, batch cooking and lists so we didn’t overspend.

Spring cleaning our finances is a fabulous thing to do and something I believe we should do constantly.

"Even now, we try to stick to a food shop budget of £60 a week. 

"I still write a weekly meal plan and try to not steer away from it; I look at what we already have in the cupboards and bulk out meals with vegetables to make them go further.

"I always buy the reduced food too when I see it and pop it in the freezer."

Samantha believes spring cleaning your finances is a ‘fabulous’ thing to do – especially if it’s not something you do naturally. 

She thinks it’s something people should keep on top of ‘constantly’ but admits it’s easy to forget and fall into odd habits – so setting a seasonal revamp to your finances is beneficial. 

The mum-of-two said while spring is the perfect time to become money-savvy and overhaul your bank account, having a ‘reset’ in the New Year is also a good idea too. 

She said: "Spring cleaning our finances is a fabulous thing to do and something I believe we should do constantly. 

"Simple things such as checking your list of direct debits and making sure you aren’t paying something twice – is something everyone should do daily. 

"We try and have a reset in January and sit down and go through all our finances and then make some financial aims for the year such as saving for a holiday. 

"But I check our online banking every day and make sure there isn’t anything I don’t recognise. 

"We think about whether we need something or simply want it when making each purchase."

Samantha, who shares her money saving tips and tricks with her nearly 17,000 followers on her Instagram Mum Of A Miracle, says it’s easy to become financially savvy, when you know what you’re spending. 

She regularly shares her thrifty tips and hacks under the hashtag #SamSaves and encourages her followers to make the most of the bargains and deals that she hunts down. 

The thrifty mum takes videos and pics of her bargain deals – such as 40p jelly, loose bananas, and surprise shopping bags – as well as Home Bargains Baby Food. 

She recently revealed that she picked up Biscotti for 28p as well savoury meal powdered tubs in Home Bargains – which are 99p each in Tesco. 

We have savings accounts for different things such as holidays, birthdays, Christmas and have standing orders set up when we get paid to make things more manageable

And it doesn’t stop there – Samantha keeps all of her accounts in check to keep her finances organised. 

She said: "We have savings accounts for different things such as holidays, birthdays, Christmas and have standing orders set up when we get paid to make things more manageable. 

"We also have a Plum savings account which helps us 'save the change.' It rounds up our spending and transfers it out to an instant access savings account for us. 

"We use this when we want to treat ourselves and have recently used the money to buy our kids a playhouse and redecorate our living room.

"We have recently utilised the Too Good To Go app, which saves food going to landfill and also our local surplus food store where we can get food for a discount price. 

"We also use Shoppix to take photos of our receipts or forward e-receipts to earn money."

And something that Samantha has already earned £500 from this year is by making the most of cashback websites. 

She said everything she buys goes through ‘top cashback’ – the family recently did their life insurance and got £84. 

The mum also bought a table and chairs from the cashback they earned and even better, they  managed to get it through the cashback website again – so earned 10% of the purchase. 

And if the family is planning a day out – Samantha never just purchases the standard tickets – she looks out for discounted midweek deals and online voucher codes.

"I don’t have a total amount of what we’ve saved this year so far, but on topcashback alone we’ve already earned £500," Samantha said. 

"I have been able to take extended maternity leave with both my children and after Grayson, I managed to budget enough to go from full time work to part time work. 

"We have still been able to go abroad for a holiday every year (apart from 2020 and covid) and I am now confident enough to be able to follow my dream to study to become a student nurse. 

"In the past I didn’t feel able to due to the drop in finances but I am confident enough now that I can budget well enough to enable me to do it." 

Samantha says it’s time to ‘spring clean your finances’ and the best way to start is by looking through your direct debits and making sure you’re not paying anything that you don’t have to. 

She also suggests writing down your incoming and outgoings to figure out how much money you have spare and working out how much money can be saved from this. 


  • Look through your direct debits (don’t pay anything that you don’t have to.)
  • Write down your incomings and outgoings.
  • Check your credit file for free – get it corrected if there’s anything that shouldn't be there.
  • Find if you’re eligible for tax free childcare -It could save you up to 20%
  • Check you’re on the right tax code and claim tax relief for working from home or if you have to wear a uniform.
  • Food shop budget – write a plan, stick to it. 
  • Unsubscribe from emails from shops, if the temptation isn’t there you won’t use it
  • Switch energy suppliers.
  • Don’t take car insurance renewal prices.
  • Save the change – if you struggle to save then get an app that does it for you!

And one of the best ways to keep up to date with your accounts is by checking your credit file for free, says Samantha. 

The savvy mum also encourages her followers to check if they’re eligible for tax free childcare and confirm they’re on the right tax code. 

As well as sticking to a shopping list, she encourages people to spring clean their finances by using things in the cupboards and looking for food reductions or local food surplus shops. 

She said people should buy the ‘wonky’ veg and fruit, as it’s cheaper and download cashback apps such as Shoppix to earn money from receipts. 

Samantha said people should use online comparison sites to see if they can save money on energy suppliers and look online for cheaper providers for car insurance renewals. 

"If you don’t ask you don’t get!," she said.

"Ring up your existing provider and haggle! Also if you struggle to save on your own, get an app that does it for you. 

"Some high street banks even offer a roundup function to help customers save."

For more money-saving tips, we shared three hacks that’ll save you thousands without even noticing – including the 100 envelopes challenge.

Plus a mum who cleared £40k debt reveals the ‘right’ amount of pocket money for kids to help teach them about cash.

In other news, this money-saving mum uses secret food website to save a fortune on groceries as she bags crisps for 10p & posh cereal for £1.

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