By Chloe Shakesby


THIS MUM has shared how she saved more than £5k in just NINE MONTHS by embracing side hustles – all while juggling a job and a baby.

Learning and development co-ordinator Megan Kristie (25) from Birmingham, UK, has always been savvy with money, but after going on maternity leave with her first child (now 1) decided that she wanted to put a budget in place and find other ways to make money.

Now back at her £27k pro-rata job part-time, Megan has developed a system for saving money while still being able to spend time with her family.

Since September 2021, Megan has saved more than £5k, which has helped her now reach her 10k goal for a house deposit, and the rest is now going towards buying a property for her to rent out as a landlord.

Megan, whose saving target is £35k, said that she earns between £500 and £2k each month from her side hustles on top of the money she earns from her job, with her outgoing bills coming to about £1,150 including energy bills and groceries.

“I have always been a saver but have never budgeted,” said Megan.

“I started my budgeting journey when I started maternity leave – knowing money would be tight whilst on SMP (statutory maternity pay), I wanted to make the most of the money I did have by implementing a budget.

“The first step was writing down all of my outgoings versus my income. From this I was able to distribute my spare money to other bills such as grocery shopping.

“I save money on grocery shopping mainly by using cashback apps and by taking advantage of new customer discount deals.

Meg while pregnant with her daughter.

“For instance, I recently saved £20 off a £60 shop for being a new customer with Ocado.

“I have lots of different savings pots. One for a house, one for a flag to hopefully soon become a landlord, and a general emergency fund, should I ever need it.”

As well as budgeting and using cashback apps, Megan has several ‘side hustles’ which allow her to earn money from home.

“My side hustles are mystery shopping, website testing, market research and surveys,” said Megan.

“There are lots of apps and companies out there to start side hustles with.

“How much I do varies depending on how much spare time I have.

“I tend to do surveys in the evenings and website tests throughout the day.

“I apply for lots of market research so depending on if I get chosen, I’ll do them on specified dates and times.”

Megan shares her budgeting journey on her Instagram account, @thesavvyspenderofficial.

Since Megan began posting, costs of living have increased significantly, so she does her best advise her followers on how to budget.

“My advice is to write down all of your finances –  Outgoings, incoming money and see how much you’re left with,” she said.

“Then allocate your leftover money accordingly.

“Find a budgeting method that works for you. You can find these on Google or Instagram finance pages – having the correct budget can work wonders.

“Finally – Use cashback apps.

Meg while pregnant with her daughter.

“The cost of living criss has affected my own saving slightly, but not drastically as I have been side hustling more often which means my budgets haven’t changed too much.

“I tend to spend more time making extra money so I can still save and enjoy my life whilst affording the higher energy bills and other rising costs of living.

“Utilities for me is the hardest area to save in. It’s not so easy to just stop using as much hot water or cook less.

“These are basic necessities and I don’t believe we should have to choose between staying warm or eating, it’s not fair that people have to make this decision.”

Megan’s goal was originally to help other mums surviving on maternity pay, but she has now built up a following of more than 6k, some of whom have contacted Megan to say she has inspired them to change their ways of working.

“When I started maternity leave, I wanted to share my journey with other mums so they could take inspiration from my money savviness and hopefully help them make their maternity money go further,” said Megan.

“My platform then grew wider than just mums, and I started sharing more generalised money saving tips to help the wider community.

“I get all sorts of comments. People tell me I’ve helped them save money and make money all the time.

“I’ve also inspired people to cut their hours at work to spend more time with their family as they are now aware a budget can help them get more from their money and that they can make money online.”

Meg with some freebie fragrance samples.


Around £1,000 from surveys.

£1000 from website testing.

£2000 from market research.

£1000 from a mix of mystery shopping product tests and referral schemes.

I don’t include cashback as profit but I have made around £300 additional to the £5k from cashback apps.

For more information, see