Being happy despite being hard-up is familiar to blogger and mum-of-five Amy Kelly. She promises to reveal her best tips at this year's Festival of Thrift

A MUM-OF-FIVE from North Yorkshire is to share her secrets on how to have a happy life no matter what the bank balance is at this year’s Festival of Thrift.

Amy Kelly, who writes the How to be Hard-up and Happy blog from her home in Sleights, near Whitby, is featuring in one of the Big Talks at the hugely popular event, which takes place on September 17-18 at Kirkleatham, near Redcar. She will be in conversation with Stella Hall, the director of the Festival of Thrift, as part of the programme of activities at the event, which is now in its fourth year of inspiring people to live a fulfilling life in style.

Amy, 35, is married to Paul and between them they have five children. They have brought them up on a very tight budget, doing everything on a tight rein – Christmases, birthdays and even their wedding. my started her blog a year ago to offer tips, recipes and more to people bringing up families on a shoestring and now has thousands of followers.

“I realised that there are lots and lots of people in a similar situation to me and I wanted to pass on things that help our family to live very happily even though we don’t have a lot of money. I left home at 17 and didn’t even know how to boil an egg but over the years I have learned so much from watching cookery programmes by Nigella and Jamie Oliver, for instance, and have adapted it to fit my tiny budget. I wanted to help others by sharing what I now know. My blog ties in with my life so, if I am making tea or have found some bargains shopping or have ideas about fun ways to entertain children over the summer holidays without breaking the bank, I add it.”

Amy’s free talk is at 2pm on Saturday, September 17, in the Lawn area of the Festival.

The eldest of nine children, Stella learnt early on the importance of thrift. She is currently spending a year without buying any new clothes or household items. “The Festival is all about sharing creative ideas about how to have fun, live life to the full, but pay as little as possible to do so," she says. "My talk with Amy aims to inspire people to avoid letting money dictate how happy they are. You really can create magic for your family for free.”

Amy’s Big Talk is one of more than 140 things to see and do at this year’s Festival of Thrift which has a programme carefully planned to offer something for everyone, from cutting-edge art installations and street theatre to a wide range of films, talks and workshops where festival-goers can get hands-on and try something new.

  • For full details visit; Twitter @Thriftfest , Facebook @festivalofthrift
  • Free entry. Parking £5 per car. £2 per motorcycle.