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Irish Budgeting Sensation, Caroline Mooney Shares Practical Money-Saving Wisdom for Families; Deets Here

With a substantial following on Instagram and TikTok, Mooney shares insights into her journey and offers advice on managing finances effectively.
UPDATED JAN 22, 2024
Cover Image Source: The TikTok logo is displayed outside a TikTok office | Getty Images | Photo by Mario Tama
Cover Image Source: The TikTok logo is displayed outside a TikTok office | Getty Images | Photo by Mario Tama
 A Sock with 500 Euro banknotes | Getty Images | Photo by EyesWideOpen
A Sock with 500 Euro banknotes | Getty Images | Photo by EyesWideOpen

In the face of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, many families are seeking innovative ways to save money on everyday expenses. Caroline Mooney, a mother of three and the viral TikTok creator behind @irishbudgeting, is making waves with her practical and accessible money-saving tips. With a substantial following on both Instagram and TikTok, she recently shared insights into her journey and offered advice on managing finances effectively, per RTE News.
Caroline Mooney | Image Source: Instagram 

Caroline Mooney, a mother of three children aged 12, 10, and 1, previously worked as a gym manager. However, she took a career break after maternity leave, delving into the world of social media during her downtime. Balancing the responsibilities of motherhood with running her social media pages, Mooney has become a source of inspiration for those navigating financial challenges.

Mooney started her social media journey in mid-December 2022 with the initial intention of anonymously sharing her family's financial journey. Facing a shift to a single income due to her career break, she gradually began sharing money-saving tips and building a supportive community. Caroline Mooney's page has grown exponentially, reaching audiences with relatable content amid the cost-of-living concerns.

Mooney's financial acumen developed early in her relationship with her husband, especially during the financial crash when they were expecting their first child. Faced with financial challenges, including a period of single income, Mooney learned to manage money judiciously. After retraining and returning to work, the couple experienced a financial setback following an extravagant holiday. However, they rebounded by clearing credit card debt and saving €15,000 ($16,453.77) for a house deposit in 2019.


Caroline Mooney believes that people often perceive finances as complicated and may feel they lack the time to set a budget. However, she emphasizes that dedicating just 10-15 minutes before each payday can result in significant savings. Breaking down the stigma around discussing money, Mooney aims to make financial tips accessible and relatable, encouraging others to overcome barriers to thriftiness.

Caroline Mooney's "five meals for €5" ($5.48) series has gained popularity for its practical approach to economical meal planning. Her key tips include checking existing food supplies in cupboards and freezers, planning meals around supermarket specials, and budgeting with cash to avoid overspending. Additionally, she highlights the importance of proper food storage to minimize waste, a common source of unnecessary expenses for households.

As winter approaches, Mooney suggests practical approaches to save on gas and electricity. Her recommendations include installing an immersion boost timer, switching to energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, and reducing heating usage by investing in dressing gowns and extra blankets. These measures not only contribute to cost savings but also align with sustainable practices.
Caroline Mooney | Image Source: Evoke

Mooney advocates for alternatives to traditional oven cooking, such as using a slow cooker, pressure cooker, and air fryer. These appliances not only consume less energy but also offer time-saving benefits, allowing for meal preparation in advance. She emphasizes the importance of using the right-sized pan to minimize energy consumption.

Caroline Mooney stresses the importance of involving children in the family's financial journey. By explaining financial decisions and setting goals as a family, parents can impart valuable lessons to their children. Mooney's own experience includes engaging her kids in saving for a house deposit and fostering a sense of financial responsibility and accomplishment.

Mooney's primary method for keeping track of finances is budgeting by paycheck. A few days before each payday, she allocates every euro to specific expenses, ensuring a proactive approach to financial management. This method involves prioritizing bill payments, withdrawing cash for variable expenses, and using tangible budgeting tools to avoid overspending. Caroline Mooney's current financial goal is to become debt-free, excluding the mortgage. As of January 1, 2023, the family aimed to pay off a €4,666 ($5,118.04) car loan, a milestone they expected to achieve in October 2023. Additionally, they are saving for future expenses, including Christmas and braces for one of Mooney's children.

Caroline Mooney's practical and relatable approach to money-saving resonates with her growing online community, providing families with actionable tips amidst economic challenges. As her social media presence continues to expand, Mooney remains committed to making financial literacy accessible to a broader audience.