What Advice Will You Give Your Kids About Money?


Back when I was 18, I went to uni, opened a student bank account and did that classic thing of spending into my overdraft (free money!) and running up credit card debts (more free money!). I spent my weekends buying ‘going out tops’ in Miss Selfridge… and bottles of Bacardi Breezer in the local Wetherspoons. Three years and £3000 of debt later, my parents helped me repay what I owed and I vowed to get on the financial straight and narrow.

I was really lucky that my folks could help me (they also gave me a HUGE talking to and made me realise how stupid I’d been) and actually, since then, on the whole, I’ve been sensible with money. It helps that Mr P, who I met around the same time as I cleared my debt, is super good with money and reigns me in any time I get grand ideas about making big purchases or booking extravagant holidays. “Do we really need some Eames-style chairs and a table from Made.com?” he’ll say. “Shall I just paint the cheap IKEA table and chairs we’ve had for eleven years?” He’s a keeper that one.

But I do think about the advice I’ll pass onto our daughter, as she gets older and gets pocket money, before eventually opening up her own current account

  • I’ll tell her that there is so much more joy in buying something that you’ve saved up for.
  • I’ll tell her that while it’s tempting to buy on credit, if you don’t have the funds to pay it off, it can bring you a lot of stress and worry – and end up costing you more in the long run.
  • I’ll tell her however that credit cards aren’t the root of all evil – it’s sensible to have one for emergencies, or even to spend on for daily purchases providing you can pay off the balance in full each month.
  • I’ll tell her to read up on interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates – making small wins in these ways can make a big difference.
  • Most of all though, I’ll tell her to be sensible, and that if she gets into any financial difficulty, she can always tell me about it.

What advice will you give your children about money?

This post was written in collaboration with TSB – for details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me Page.


The Elms Hotel: The Most Peaceful Family Hotel In Britain?

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Family-friendly and peaceful aren’t often phrases that go hand in hand together. Usually, family-friendly can mean noisy, chaotic, buzzing, fun. But we just spent a couple of nights staying at The Elms Hotel in Worcestershire and I’m wondering if we have discovered the most peaceful family-friendly hotel in Britain.

There were plenty of families there, many with babies and toddlers and some, like us, with pre-schoolers taking advantage of being able to go away midweek outside of the school holiday period. But despite the number of little ones at The Elms, there was an incredibly quiet and chilled atmosphere, all around the hotel and grounds. Of course, there was the odd cry, babble or laugh to be heard but the majority of the time, all I could hear was birdsong, the trickle of the garden fountain and clicking of tea cups on saucers as parents relaxed in the sunshine.

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Set in an impressive Queen Anne building, The Elms is as cosy and plush inside as it is colourful and fun outside. The lounge and bar areas have inviting sofas, huge fireplaces, grandfather clocks and endless rows of cushions for you to sink into. Our bedroom was traditionally styled with soft pink hues and beautiful period furniture.

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Review of luxury family hotel, The Elms in Worcestershire

Outside on the front lawn, guests can play croquet, play football or jump on the large trampoline. Through the back, there are tables and chairs on the grass, benches by the water fountain, beautiful flower gardens, a vegetable patch (complete with scarecrow) and a path that leads to the outdoor kids’ play area….

Read More »

Mum Mathematics

The other week, we spent a Sunday afternoon with some friends. We had lunch, then wandered around Sevenoaks in the sunshine before finding a lovely little restaurant with a leafy courtyard. We sat, drinking prosecco cocktails while the kids played games and had a great old time. I texted my friend later that night…

Sun + prosecco + happy children playing

It got me thinking about Mum Maths – there are some situations that can always be either predicted or explained by a simple sum. A Mum Sum, if you will. Here are some of them…

Sun + prosecco + happy children playing-4

Sun + prosecco + happy children playing-5


Sun + prosecco + happy children playing-2

Birthday party + lots of sugar = crash

Birthday party + lots of sugar = crash-3

Birthday party + lots of sugar = crash-2

What do you think – do you have any more Mum Sums you’d add?

What Are You Too Embarrassed To Talk About?


As a mum of a four-year-old who is increasingly becoming more aware of the world around her, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about helping her navigate the path from here. She tells me that when she grows up, she wants to teach mermaids how to swim … or maybe be a Mummy. She tells me when she’s older, she wants to marry a boy in her pre-school class but also the girl she’s “best friends” with. I explain to her that mermaids aren’t real, but she can be a teacher if she likes. I explain that while she can marry a girl – of course she can marry a girl – she doesn’t need to marry her best friend… they can be best friends and she can marry someone else who she really loves.

I also explain that she can’t tell fibs and that it’s not nice to bark “MORE” when she’d like me to share some more of my chips with her. There are lots of things I’m trying to guide her on. One big thing is her attitude towards her body. I’m so careful never to say that fat is bad, thin is good. I tell her I go to the gym because exercise is healthy, not because I want to lose weight. When she asks me about why Mummy has blood on the toilet tissue, I’m really aware that I need to be honest and tell her that grown up women have periods once a month.

I want her to be confident and comfortable in her own skin, as she gets older, and able to talk about body and health issues, no matter how embarrassing….

Read More »

Not Another…. DADDY Blog?


Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! To celebrate today, Mothercare have asked if Mr P would like to take over my blog for a day. So here he is….

Over to Mr P

It’s that time of year again, when dads across the land can rejoice in the wonder and splendour that is fatherhood (and get a couple of pressies to boot!) Talking of presents though, the choice of ‘stuff’ that our beloved families get to choose from can be a bit of the ‘socks and slippers’ variety. So here’s my top ten things, experiences and some silliness that would make ace Father’s Day presents:

  1. A super lie in. Not one that ends at 8am, like they often do as a parent, but one that lasts until I say so!
  2. A day at the races (motor or horse kind!)
  3. A selection of worldwide beers. The twist being that I can have ALL of them because someone has arranged for me to be absent from work the next day!
  4. A theme park day. This has been arranged with only dads being allowed to go on the best rides! This means spending time with the family, but also cuts down on queuing time.
  5. Beige buffet all day long. Crisps, scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pizza, onion bhajis, you get the idea. Houmous is NOT allowed because it’s not baked or fried!
  6. Father’s Day to be renamed West Wing day. You will refer to me as Mr President and I’ll be eating all the food as mentioned in no.5 whilst seeing if I can break my personal record of watching more than 12 episodes in one day.
  7. A giant Haribo sweet is made in my likeness and it tastes good!
  8. Being a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car à la Top Gear!
  9. An old style trolley dash in a technology store.
  10. A BBQ hosted by Barbecoa in my back garden with lashings of their finest meat products and the best damn BBQ to cook it on you’ve ever seen!

Clearly I live in a dreamworld so if none of these are possible then a handmade card, a fry up to end all fry ups and no “Dad you’re soooo embarrassing!” comments when I say or do something silly!

If any dads are reading, what would your ultimate Father’s Day prezzies be?


• Thanks to Mothercare for asking us to get involved with their #Fathercare campaign – research done by them, to celebrate Father’s Day, reveals fresh insights into the role of the modern-day dad, including their desire for equal involvement in raising the kids. More than two thirds (65%) of dads say that inflexible working hours interfere with their parenting duties, and given the choice 69% state that they would prefer to work part time in order to focus on childcare. Perhaps surprisingly, more than half (55%) state that they would prefer to take on the primary parenting role to become ‘stay at home’ dads. When is comes to dads-to-be, the majority welcome the new parental leave law, with 70% planning on splitting leave with their partners in the first year with their new baby.

Have you seen Mothercare also changed the signage outside their Oxford Street branch this week, to say Fathercare? I thought it was genius.