Mum reveals how she saved £5,000 in 9 months with side hustles and mystery shopping

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Megan Kristie is a 25-year-old learning and development coordinator from Birmingham, UK. She makes money by using market research companies, survey sites and website testing.

A mum has explained how she saved more than £5,000 in nine months while on maternity leave – and is now on a mission to inspire other new parents.

Megan Kristie is a 25-year-old learning and development coordinator from Birmingham. She makes her living by conducting market research, surveying and testing websites.

This money-savvy mom also takes advantage of mystery shopper and cashback sites to make extra cash.

Megan plans to use the money that she has saved for her first home.

After giving birth to her first child, she realized that she wanted to be smarter about her money.

Megan is now back at her £27,000 pro-rata job part-time and says her outgoing bills come to about £1,150 including energy bills and groceries.

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

“I started my budgeting journey when I started maternity leave. I wanted to make the most of the money I did have by implementing a budget.

Have you managed to save money through side hustles? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

“My side hustles include mystery shopping, website testing and market research.

“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 do most of my surveys in the evenings, and also conduct website tests during the day. I apply for many market research opportunities so depending on my selection, I will complete them at the specified times and dates.”

Megan says she is also a huge fan of cashback sites and tries to get money back on almost all her spends.

Cashback sites do what they say on the tin. You’ll get money back for a qualifying shop as you complete the transaction via their website.

It can take a while for the money to go through but if you’re making that purchase anyway, then it is essentially free cash.

“I use cashback apps to save money and take advantage of customer discount offers.” said Megan.

“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 home, one to become a landlord and one for an emergency fund.”

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

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

She says her top advice is to write down all of your finances – including your outgoings and incoming money – and see how much you’re left with.

“”Then, allocate your remaining money accordingly,” she advised.

“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.

“Cashback apps can be a good option. My savings have been affected by the rising cost of living, but not too much. I have also been side-hustling more frequently which has meant that my budget hasn’t changed 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.

“My biggest area of savings is in utilities. It is not easy to stop using hot water or to 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.”

Meg has earned a lot of money

  • £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 spoke.