We are delighted to have on the Side Hustle Heroes interview today Francesca who writes her own fabulous blog in the Money Saving/Making niche. Francesca has amassed a huge social media following and is a very well respected blogger and expert in her field.
Francesca, a young Mother to a daughter decided she wanted out of the traditional rat race after she was born so started taking action and documenting her journey through her blog ‘From Pennies To Pounds’ and her social media accounts.
I know myself as I Father to two daughters myself what this feels like so I admire and respect the decisions Francesca took here.
[JOHN] Thank you for agreeing to do this Francesca. First off, can you give us a little insight into your background and how you become to starting a blog?
Thank you for having me! After I had my daughter, I struggled with money because I was on maternity pay, and then I found a small job that I could do from home in the evenings but it wasn’t well paid at all. I simply didn’t have enough income to pay for anything except my bills, and it was a really hard time for me.
I had looked into ways of earning extra money, but I wasn’t sure what I could do around my daughter, as she was only a baby at the time.
Soon realising that I would have to try new things to get the life that I wanted, so I went for it! I then wanted to share with other people the things that I had tried, in case anyone was feeling as lost as I was. Initially, I started off on a free platform, but when I realised that you could make money from blogging as well, I switched to a paid one and started learning about how to make money from a blog.
[JOHN] I have read your backstory on your About Me page, a similar trend to a lot of new parents wanting to be at home more. Do you still actively partake in side hustles such as matched betting and doing surveys? Or is your main focus now your blog or other side income streams?
Well done for making it through the whole of my About Me page – it’s very long! I still do a lot of the side hustles that I have been doing for years, but I focus more now on the ones that I really enjoy.
The ways of earning extra that I really enjoy are freelance writing and blogging, so this is what I concentrate on over everything else. I do little things as well that I can do anytime, such as surveys and using apps.
Related Read: If you fancy having a go yourself a building a blog then read about the huge returns you can get from building websites in your spare time!
[JOHN] What is your favourite side hustle you have ever done?
Ah…that’s a difficult one! Can I have 3?! One of the most fun side hustles that I’ve had is dog boarding, because what’s not to love about playing with puppies and looking after a bunch of lovely dogs?
Of course, I love my blog as well – it has honestly changed my life for the better, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I love it because I truly love helping people and making a difference in their lives. I love writing and it helps my creative side be happy.
My other favourite is freelance writing. I wouldn’t have even thought about trying it out if I hadn’t started my blog, and it gave me the confidence that I needed to go for it.
I love freelance writing because ever since I was a child, I have loved writing and being paid for my writing is a complete dream for me.
[JOHN] What do you recommend to new starters trying to earn a little online to have a go at?
I personally recommend starting a bit slow in order to get your confidence up a bit. I started with mystery shopping, but to start earning online I would suggest starting with survey sites.
If you are unsure about which survey sites are worth your time and are legit, I’d definitely say to look at recommendations from people.
RECOMMENDED SURVEY SITE: If you fancy having a go at earning some money through surveys then we recommend Swagbucks. You can use our sign up link here.
The Birth of ‘From Pennies To Pounds’ Blog
[JOHN] Your blog has a tremendous following. Do you set yourself targets or goals with it? For example, what is your 5-year goal for the blog?
Oh gosh, I wish it had a tremendous following! I’m not going to lie, I am pretty bad with setting goals etc for ‘From Pennies To Pounds’, as I just tend to plod along doing what I want. But that’s not great for monetisation and growth!
I have started making some more plans and goals, and they are mainly income based. There are lots of little things that I want to do for my blog, and these are things that I am working on every day.
You can visit Francesca’s superb blog here for tons of useful tips on saving and making extra money!
[JOHN] Can you tell us a little bit about your savings journey?
In order to keep afloat and be able to pay my bills, I had to be pretty good at budgeting – and I saved up money for a house deposit for the first house that I bought which was shared ownership (deposit was around £5,000).
When I got divorced, I needed to make sure that I could pay the bills as a single mum and pay off my debt. I managed to do this, and then I looked towards savings goals for things that I had really wanted for a few years – so I knew that they were important to me.
I managed to save up and pay for: laser eye surgery, Invisalign, taking my daughter on holidays abroad and the biggie – a large deposit for our new house with my partner and daughter. I couldn’t have done any of this without following a budget that allowed me the freedom to do so, and from bringing in extra income on the side.
[JOHN] Thanks again! We always like to end on a super-hot tip. What would be your number one tip for people looking to take control of their finances? Something that they can implement straight away.
My number one tip would be to start tracking your expenses and creating a budget. A lot of people think that a budget can be restrictive, but in actual fact, it is the opposite.
You can make sure that your bills are paid, have fun and buy what you like, and still have enough for paying off debt and saving. It does really work!
Final Thoughts & Wrap Up
First off I would like to thank Francesca for providing a wonderful insight into her journey saving and making extra money. I know its incredibly tough when a new arrival enters the world and you have extra mouths to provide for.
I hugely respect the decisions Francesca has taken and would like to wish her and her family all the very best for the future ahead.
Over on her blog, From Pennies To Pounds, she provides some cracking resources such as budget templates, savings charts, and meal planners.
You should also check her out on Instagram where she provides extra tips and great motivation!