Stacey Solomon reveals she was 'sad and struggling' on tax credits and milk vouchers when she had Zach at 17

STACEY Solomon had to be so "vigilant" with money as a teen mum because she was living on the "bare minimum".

The 31-year-old Loose Women favourite, lived on tax credits and had to get milk vouchers to feed her first son Zach, 12, who she had at the age of 18.

Stacey opened up about the origins of her habit of being very organised and creative with her tidying methods in her new book, Tap To Tidy.

She admitted being 'vigilant' about her tidying because it helped her feel control during a tough period.

But she also had to be very careful with her money because she did not have anything.

"It was also time in my life when I didn't really have anything – as a teenage mum, I was working on tax credits," Stacey wrote in her book.

"So, I would collect my Giro (as the cheques were called) and have to be really organised with my money to make sure that I could afford everything I needed."

She added: "For instance, I'd get milk vouchers from the government to buy formula for the baby, but I only got a certain amount.

"I had to be really strict about what type of milk I was going to buy and where I was going to get it from (it definitely doesn't all cost the same) and how I was going to use it."

Stacey had such a tough time of it all, but her love of Zach is what kept her going.

"I found it all difficult because I was really sad and struggling," she wrote.

"The only thing that kept me going was knowing I had no choice but to get myself for this little human that I loved so much.

"So, I do think that aspect of my organising, the one that helps me avoiding food or money, comes from becoming a mum as a teenager and having the bare minimum to survive on, meaning I just had to make it stretch."

The star is mother to Zachary, 12, and Leighton, eight, from previous relationships.

She also has son Rex, one, whom she shares with former EastEnders star fiance Joe Swash.

Last month Stacey revealed on Loose Women that she felt ashamed of her baby bump as a pregnant 17-year-old.

She explained: "I just remember feeling so ashamed. I know that sounds awful but when I was pregnant with Zach, all I  felt the whole way through was shame.

"I looked like a baby as well. I looked about six. I think people just looked and were like, 'ugh, why is she pregnant?' Maybe it's a bit of a trauma I just haven't addressed."

Stacey has previously said her parents didn't put any pressure on her when it was revealed she was pregnant aged 17.

She said: "Even though they were really upset with me, and hurt and disappointed, they never told me whether I should go ahead and have the baby or not have the baby.

"Which at the time was absolute turmoil because all I wanted was for my mum and dad to tell me what to do."

Stacey's book book Tap To Tidy: Organising, Crafting & Creating Happiness in a Messy World, is out now.

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