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I am Clare, a full-time Mum to Gregory who is nine and really good at it. I am an expert level worrier and obsessive planner. The latter takes up a great deal of time. In a former existence, I’ve dabbled in journalism and had stints working for magazines like Good Housekeeping and Country Living, and also The Guardian’s travel and obituaries desks as an assistant. I never knew quite how to answer the phone while I worked there. ‘Hello, death and travel…’ hardly seemed appropriate.
Dividing my time between the scorching sand of Dubai and the more temperate climes of Cornwall for the last five years has provided me with ample writing fodder.
Nicknamed ‘Coupon Clare’ at art college, I’ve continued my obsession with discounts.
Both my husband’s family and mine live in Devon and Cornwall, which is also where I was born and spent my early childhood. I’ve moved over 50 times. I’ve lived in Plymouth, High Wycombe, Reading, London, Wellington, Salisbury, Guildford, Godalming, Farncombe and in accommodation ranging from bedsits and caravans to rented houses.
I would describe my financial situation as ‘schizophrenic’. With half our life spent flitting 3,000 miles back and forth between the United Arab Emirates and the UK, it is a constant source of frustration that people assume, woefully incorrectly, that we’re loaded and live the life of Riley. I’m happy to shatter those illusions and proudly lay claim to an eBay-sourced wardrobe, an unhealthy overdraft and nothing much in the way of bricks and mortar to show for my 40 years on the planet. Not a luxury yacht in sight.
I would describe my financial situation as ‘schizophrenic’.
I am hoping to change that in time for retirement, which will need to be early at this rate.
Nicknamed ‘Coupon Clare’ at art college, I’ve continued my obsession with all things discount-related, and have almost trained my friends and family to never pay full price. I rarely leave the house without some kind of discount voucher. My husband, Gary, fully approves of this tactic as it feeds into his long-held frugal belief system. When your other half is convinced that any spending is bad and vegetable stir fry every day for a week is a totally acceptable way to save electricity and reduce grocery bills, it means you have to get creative. So that’s what I’ll be sharing with you lot!
Clare Lawrence, nicknamed 'Coupon Clare' at college, lives mostly in Cornwall. Proud mum to Gregory, she'll stop at nothing in her quest to save cash!