I'm a lifelong bargain hunter, it's the only way I shop. If it's not a bargain I don't buy it. I use voucher codes, cash back websites, eBay religiously. Since having B my shopping habits have changed. Having to start out buying everything for a newborn baby is hard and expensive.
I found myself in shops if never been in before, looking at products I didn't know anything about. Buying a car seat, cot, pushchair, even the sheets for the Moses basket was a challenge.
Money is a big part of my life, I'm constantly thinking about ways not to spend it, or to save it. When I met my OH, he had debt. A maxed out overdraft and a credit card. I had a loan for a car. We weren't in a bad way, but I knew I didn't want it to get any worse.
We paid off his credit card quickly, and the overdraft was soon reduced and the account closed. We then opened a joint bank account, and got £100 for doing it. Bonus. We then tackled my loan for my car, but once it was paid off, I decided I wanted a new car. Borrowing more money wasn't something I wanted to do.
So we got a 0% balance transfer card, transferred the amount we needed off another card onto that one and asked for a refund on the credit balance - bit cheeky but it worked. So we had a loan over 18 months for 2%. I got my new car.
Then we had some difficult news. I had recently gone through a family bereavement, which was complicated and stressful. I had my first experience of dealing with someone's estate. It was a challenge, but I wanted to help my family out.
Then some months later, everything was handed to the solicitors to finalise. I was left some money. I won't say the amount. But the money enabled us to make some big decisions about our future. Firstly, we decided that we could now afford to have a child. We had put it off due to the fact I panic about being able to afford it. I knew it would stretch us, and I didn't want to just 'manage'. I fell pregnant with B after about 6 months. We busily finished off renovating our house in time for my due date. We packed so much into a small space of time, I was exhausted.
I started maternity leave and B arrived. The inheritance meant I could afford to take a full year off work, and return part time. The money isn't used on a day to day basis. It's put away in several different places earning a poor interest rate, but we have intentions for it. In March 2015 our mortgage deal expires, and with some hard saving between now and then we aim to pay off our mortgage.
That would leave us completely debt free. I never dreamt I would be able to pay off our mortgage by the time I was 30. Yes, I have been very lucky, I know that. I could have blown the money, gone travelling, bought loads of stuff I didn't need, but I didn't. I had no desire to any of that. All I want to do is be mortgage free. We may move in the future who knows, but for now we will stay put and continue saving for our next goal - who knows what that'll be.