Friday, 23 March 2018

How to stop time, odd socks and a pod cast #LittleLoves

What a week we've had! Blake has got conjunctivitis and has been feeling rather sorry for himself. Its been heart breaking having to get the drops in his eyes. I'm not expecting next week to be any good either as we have a busy one ahead with many appointments for him.

Enough of that lets get on with some of the lovely things from this week.


I've finally started reading How to stop time by Matt Haig. I've heard about it so much and am only just starting to get into it. I'm not sure if  because the hype I'm feeling a bit disappointed, we shall  see.


I've been catching you with my favourite YouTubers recently. I've really enjoyed watching Mrs Meldrums haul videos and even though the video is a week old her 15 ways to spend me time. I've also been enjoying Emily Norris's videos especially on her 10 laundry hacks.

I've also found myself watching a few episodes of waybaloo with Blake this week. It's the only thing he's really wanted to watch strangely enough.


I've got into the world of pod casts by listening to Giovanna Fletchers Happy Mum, Happy Baby the pod cast. I loved her book Happy Mum, Happy Baby where she shared her parenting highs and lows. The pod cast features some great other famous mums such as Izzy Judd, Emma Willis, Frankie Bridge and more. They each chat with Gi sharing their personal thoughts along with highs and lows of parenting. 


On one of the days Blake did go into preschool this week he came out with a broad bean that he had fun planting. I love it when he comes out with things he has been making at preschool.


This week Blake has been loving his jumpers that my mum knits for him. He's been especially loving his new one that my mum had recently made him. With blue being his favourite colour and how snug it looks I can definitely see why.

This week also has seen me wearing odd socks in aid of down syndrom awareness day.

 And lastly...

I'm looking forward to being able to see my bestie this weekend. Even though she is my sister in law too, we don't get to see each other as often as we would like as she lives in Bristol.


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Changing your spending patterns to prepare for the future

We naturally want to spend the money we earn — and we often don’t think ahead about expenses that could be forthcoming! We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions, and they can often be disastrous, with 80% of people failing by February and regretting it instantly — have you managed to keep yours up? One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut down on spending, and although this sounds achievable, if you don’t have a fully-pledged strategy in place, the likeliness of failure spirals out of control.

With unexpected expenses having the capability of arising at any time, it’s important to make savings ahead of time. It all adds up. For that reason, we’ve teamed up with Stagecoach, which offers cheap bus prices, to make some assessments on how those extra savings can come in handy if something like that was to occur.

Travelling by public transport rather than your own vehicle

If you change the way you commute to work, you could potentially see huge savings. Using a megarider ticket, you will be able to travel as much as you want and can tailor your own needs to the ticket type. Whether you’re in need of a weekly bus pass for your travels, or a monthly one — you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to paying for single bus fares every day.

Calculations that detect how much the average person will spend on their own vehicle in their lifetime comes to £168,880. With efficiency growing in public transport, there is no reason for you not to consider making the bold move that could help you fulfil your resolution this year and save you a fortune.

The main contributor to this price was petrol, which totals £1,052.04 annually. Servicing a vehicle costs can add up to £441 over a twelve-month period — which can change depending on the individual’s situation. MOTs can cost up to £168.46 annually. Cost of parking is on the rise, and with more vehicles on the roads, there seems to be a higher demand. Over the year, a motorist can find themselves paying £145.80 on parking. When it comes to insurance, this can sway dramatically as younger drivers will find themselves paying a higher cost to be on the road — on average, insurance costs an experienced driver £436 every year. Tax can equate to £116.35 on a yearly basis. Car supplies can cost a driver £29.61 and if you were to go abroad and wished to drive, holiday rental cars can leave you £180 out of pocket. Speeding tickets equal £25.12 for the average driver here in the UK. This would cost a driver £2,594.38 in total where commuters find themselves paying considerably less for a significant service — imagine the saving you would make with a megarider ticket!

The cost of lifestyle choices

The real cost of coffee
With over 21,000 coffee outlets here in the UK — the average person visits these establishments three times per week. This means that Brits visit coffee shops around 156 times a year with an average spend of £8.52 — with travel expenses, this could go up to £13.85. This creates an annual average spending of £2,600, a majority of which could be saved if you were to opt for taking your own coffee to work.

Making your own coffee can save you a fortune, with a 250g pack of Douwe Egberts making 30 cups. When looking to see how much a 1kg pack would cost, Amazon has priced the coffee at around £15, meaning that each cup of coffee would cost close to 13p. Try taking a flask to work and even purchasing an on-the-go coffee cup that will see you through your day.

The price of smoking
Apart from adding major health benefits to your life, if you quit smoking 20 cigarettes per day on average you could save £3,796. has stated that non-smokers pay around £6,309 less for life insurance, which could be something worth investing in for the new year.

More smokers are taking the route of vaping. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around £5 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around £1,900.

The price of buying lunch at work
As more food trucks appear on business parks, it has become an easier option to buy lunch during work hours rather than preparing it at home. But what if we told you that, on average, forking out for lunch every day could cost you £1,288 according to research carried out by VoucherCloud. Evidently, you could make a huge saving by preparing your lunch at home — whether this is making a quick sandwich or taking in a tin of microwavable soup to heat up. When we looked at the total working days in 2017, there was 252 — if we went by Poundland’s price of tomato soup, which is 50p, you would find yourself paying £126! A massive saving for anyone looking to cut down on costs.

Expenses that are likely to occur

Household expenses are awfully common, with 54% of people they have experienced one, but were financially unprepared to deal with it. On average, these costs totalled £248.70 — showing that any saving is beneficial for occurrences like these. 47% of these issues happened in the kitchen, a room which is essential to the day-to-day running of any home, and if you don’t have the money to pull out instantly, it could cause an everyday stress. Using the savings you would have made by taking your own lunch and coffee to work, quitting smoking, and travelling smarter — you will be able to make life easier. It was also found that 35% of people had to use a credit card to cover the costs of unexpected expenses. With 18% of them not being able to pay more than £100 on their own, 17% had to borrow from friends and family!

What changes will you be making to prepare for unexpected expenses?


Emergency Fund: Why you need one & How to Create one

Having an Emergency Fund is so important! You never know what life will throw at you, lets face it anything can happen. Accidents happen, your car, boiler etc breaks down, you lose your job, the list goes on. 

It wasn't until the last few years or so that I really started saving for emergencies and I'm so glad that I did as I've had to dip into it a good few times and then start building it up again. 

Having money available means that you will reduce the need to get into credit card debt or take out a loanMillions of people apply for a loan which you can see in this handy consumer index .  Having an emergency fund helps with protecting you from these financial implications so that you aren't getting into debt.

How much us enough? The recommended amount you should have squiralled away for emergencies should be enough to cover you for 6 months of bills. I can honestly say my emergency fund is nowhere near that amount. I'm sure many of you are the same or don't even have an emergency fund at all.

First of all don't be put off by the idea of having to save a huge amount. The fact you are wanting to start a emergency fund is good enough and its something you can grow over time. Let's be honest here, 6 months of bills is unfortunately unattainable for a lot of us.

Here are my tips on how you can start creating an emergency fund:

- Lower your bills

One of the things that makes sense is to start cutting down your bills.
Compare providers such as energy, internet, mobiles, insurance etc and make sure that you shop around for the best deals before you're due to renew. There are many places where you can find the right tools and calculators to slash your bills.

- Identify waste 

Cutting down costs also means looking at any subscriptions you have and deciding what you can get rid of. For example can you honestly say you use your gym membership? Do you have the time to be reading the magazine/s you get? All the little things add up and you might be amazed with how much you can save. Imagine how much you could be contributing to your emergency fund by directing those payments into your savings. Also consider cutting down on how often you eat out/have a takeaway, how often you go out, any food wastage by meal planning. 

- Be strict 

Make sure you have a budget and once you do than you can set up a standing order so that X amount goes out automatically each month to your account. By treating it like a bill, you will get into a mindset and be able to save successfully. 

Last of all make sure that you define what an emergency is! For example a pizza on Friday evening doesn't count!  Dipping into your emergency fund when you are short before payday is a habit you don't want to get into.