Megan Kristie says she has saved £5,000 purely from side hustles such as doing online surveys (Picture: MediaDrumWorld)

When Megan Kristie, 25, went on maternity leave with her first child, she wanted to come up with a way to bring in some extra cash.

Side hustles were the solution, allowing her to earn money while spending time with her family.

Thanks to that – along with some smart budgeting – the mum has managed to reach a load of savings targets.

Since September 2021, she has saved more than £5,000, which has helped her reach her goal of £10,000 for a house deposit.

‘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.

Megan started her budgeting journey while on maternity leave with her first child (Picture: mediadrumimages/Megan Kristie)

‘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.

Megan’s £5k savings breakdown:

Around £1,000 from surveys.
£1,000 from website testing.
£2,000 from market research.
£1,000 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,’ she adds.

‘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.

Some of the freebies Megan has received as part of doing mystery shopping and cashback apps (Picture: mediadrumimages/Megan Kristie)

‘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.’

Now back at her £27,000 pro-rata job part-time, Megan has kept up some of her side hustles to keep working towards her saving target of £35,00.

The mum says she earns between £500 and £2,000 a month from her side hustles alone, and that’s on top of what she earns from her main job.

Now, she’s sharing her money wisdom on Instagram, at @thesavvyspenderofficial.

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

‘Then allocate your leftover money accordingly.

The mum now shares her budgeting tips to help other parents (Picture: mediadrumimages/Megan Kristie)

‘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.

‘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.

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‘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.’

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.

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