finance guy

He’s only 28, but yummymummybeauty’s new columnist is worth £10million..

So now that we’ve got your attention, you may want to start listening to what this young entrepreneur has to say.

Tim, who runs Connoco Group with his partner, Francesca and lives in Guildford, Surrey, is going to give us tips to help sort out our money…

Here’s his top tips for budgeting:


Keep yourself accountable:

Be meticulous about noting incomings and outgoings. This could simply be a written list or you can create a spreadsheet to track everything. This can help you identify where you might be “frittering” away money on microspends
i.e. Candy Crush credits or snacks on your commute. When it’s down in black and white, it is easier to identify the problem areas for your pocket.

Cash is King:

dosh loveOutside of monthly direct debits i.e. mortgage, rent, bills and travel try to set a budget for other spend and take it out in cash at the start of the week. Again, if you can physically see money disappearing from your wallet you will find it much harder to part with it.

Keep it in the family:

Often, talking about money can be considered taboo but I think that being able to talk openly and constructively about finances as a family is incredibly healthy. It’s not about scaring the kids but being honest that real-life and money isn’t represented by TOWIE or Made in Chelsea. In school, they don’t talk about household bills enough and it’s so important that children understand this from an early age. We’ve seen hundreds of employees well into their 20s who move out of home without understanding what a gas bill is or the importance of turning off lights when they leave a room!

Be competitive:

Challenge yourself and your families on budget goals – whether that’s saving up for a special treat, finding the best money off coupons or offers or cooking healthy family meals for less. Kids in particular might find the challenge of beating their siblings really motivational and it can make watching the pennies more fun and interactive.

Reward yourself:

Budgeting doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional treat. If you do make savings elsewhere on your spending, you can set aside the money for a special treat every month or once a quarter. This gives you something to look forward to and a tangible reward for your hard work.

rich bookSet good habits early:

It’s never too early to learn how to make money. I was running an alternative tuck shop at school in my early teens and used the profits from that to create my first business. I would encourage my kids to get used to creating budget “pots” with pocket money, wages or gifts: one third saved, one third invested and one third for spending as they like. I would also teach them the difference between a liability and an asset. The book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens” is a must-read!

Smart banking:

There are tons of great tools for helping you plan and manage your money better that you can find online. Some of the new challenger banks such as B from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank or Atom Bank and Mondo which are due to launch later this year have tools built in so you can see at a glance how your spending breaks down, what you have left before payday and what’s due to come out and when. This can be a useful prompt and budgeting tool. If you have credit card debt, pay this off before putting money into savings – more savings accounts pay less than 1% on deposits but you could be paying as much as 20% APR on a credit card.

Shop around:

Loyalty often doesn’t pay so make sure you make full use of comparison sites when it’s time to renew your insurance and check energy suppliers regularly. Rather than cash incentives or one-off gifts on sign-up I prefer to look at offers which include things like discounts on gym membership, or 2-4-1 offers for the cinema which can save you money all year round. Sites like Quidco or myvouchercodes are also worth checking to see if you can save money on the things you buy regularly. Websites like topcashback are great and I always check trivago for good deals on flights and hotels.


The price you see, doesn’t always have to be the price you pay. Get over the traditional British reserve and learnt to haggle over goods and services. If something has a minor, repairable fault i.e. a missing button or a loose hem point it out politely to the manager and ask if you can have a discount. Even if it’s a sale item you can usually get around 10% off as they want to clear the shelves of old stock

If your broadband or TV service prices go up, always call them up and press the option to “leave” and sure enough, a “special offer” will always materialise.

Even though we have been very fortunate in our business success I never pay full price for anything – from taxis to takeaways. I remind them of my loyalty and history as a customer to get anything from an extra £1 off the journey or free prawn crackers!


It’s not just money that makes the world go around – skills and services do too. If money is tight, think about what skills you have that can be of value and see if you can do a skill swap or barter for something else e.g. cookery lessons in return for babysitting.