7 March 2018

5 Tips To Sort Out Your Finances

I used to be a couple and utter scatter brain when it came to money.  If I wanted something, I usually bought it, without thinking of the consequences to my bank account, or credit rating for that matter.

This lead to credit cards, loans and ended up in a situation where I could barely keep my head above the water; but my head was buried in the sand.  After getting paid one month and realising the day after that there was barely anything left, I realised that something needed to be done.

I was getting to a stage where I needed help paying bills, my credit card bill was sky high and the dollars coming in did not match what was going out.  I managed to remedy the issue and my debts over the next few years and picked up some tips along the way which I thought I would share with you today.

Find out just how bad it is

When you realise that you had gotten yourself into a situation, everything has to come out.  Find out exactly what you owe, just how many credit cards you actually have, what you are spending your money on every month.

The first thing that I did was to look over my bank statements and credit card bills for the past six months to look at what I had been buying.  I made a chart with my justifiable expenses on one side, and the extravagances on the other.  I bet that you can guess which side had more entries.

Make A Budget

Sounds basic, but when I say make a budget, I mean for everything.  Break down every cent that is coming in and list everything that has to come out and on what date.  Make a 30 day planner and write down when bills are coming out and how much for.  If you are buying your lunches, make them instead.  STOP BUYING EXPENSIVE COFFEE SHOP COFFEES!

Be honest with your credit providers

When I realised just how much I owed to my credit card providers and loan company, I started to look at debt management companies.  Many seemed to offer the same sort of service, for a fee of course, which involved going to your credit providers and negotiating a lower monthly payment and a halt on interest.  I decided to cut out the middle man and go to them direct.

I managed to get my credit card company to freeze my account and stop any more interest going on.  I was completely honest about what I could afford and made a payment plan with them which was management.  Remember, they want their money back, what they don't want is you to stop paying completely.

I managed to make a payment arrangement with all of my debtors, with varying degrees of helpfulness from them.  But it did ease the situation and enabled me to pay them back faster and without the worry of demand letters and Court judgments.


If you are trying to pay off your debts, can you really save?  Yes, but start small.  I was given a large piggy bank styled as a fashion boots many years ago and decided to put it into action.  I only put the smallest denominations into the boot, pennies, cents etc whenever I had them in my purse.  It took around 6 months to fill the boot and I was presently surprised just how much it added up to.

I would like to say that I used the money to pay more off a bill, but I didn't.  I did use it to buy someone a birthday present so that still counts, right??


If you have been throwing your money around for the good few years, the chances are that you own more stuff that even thought.  Go through everything and be brutal.  Sell what you do not need or had forgotten that you had bought.  Stuff will only ever be stuff and does not enrich your life, or your bank account!

Finally, don't beat yourself up about it.  It does not help.

You got yourself into that situation and you will get yourself out.  It will take time, effort, concentration and a stranglehold on your finances for a while, but you will get there.

Fast forward a few years and my finances back in order and I am saving for the first holiday abroad in 8 years.   Time for a long awaited cocktail by the beach.  I think I have earned one.

*Collaborative piece

5 March 2018

A Weekend Away To Make You Feel Like A New Woman

Whether you’ve got kids, a hard-hitting career, or your schedule is simply jam-packed with things to do, it’s important you prioritise yourself by taking some time away to rejuvenate and feel like a new woman. Planning a great weekend away could mean returning home to your career/kids/husband/life feeling like a brand new person and ready to tackle whatever life throws at you.

Here are some pointers and ideas that can help you to plan this:

Take A Look At Spas In Your Area

If you don’t want to go too far but you do want a weekend filled with relaxation, then take a look at any spas in your area and see if you can find a great package deal to save some money. Alternatively, you could drop some hints to a parent, sibling, or spouse if you have a special occasion coming up, like an anniversary, birthday, or even mother’s day. Spa days aren't as expensive as you think - it’s only when you start adding treatments to your package the price begins to shoot up. With a good book in hand, you could have just as good a time at a spa using the facilities without having a single massage or treatment. Great even for those on a budget!

Treat Yourself To A Stay In A Luxury Hotel

If you don’t want to stay in a spa, how about a luxury hotel? Many luxury hotels have spa and gym facilities anyway for their guests to make the most of. Dorsett City Hotel is a good example of what to look for in a high quality hotel that will meet all of your needs. Make sure you take the time here to pamper yourself, and spend some time getting to know yourself again. You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to feel great, as long as you’re enjoying the time you’re spending with yourself.

Plan A Loose Itinerary

If you do like to have a few things planned, plan a loose itinerary so you can change your mind at the last minute if you need to. Maybe you could look at walking tours, see a monument, or go to a show.

Explore Somewhere Brand New

Exploring somewhere brand new can give you exciting butterflies in your tummy - there’s nothing more exciting than going on an adventure with yourself! It also increases your dopamine levels, so you’ll feel on a high for ages afterwards. The great thing about exploring somewhere brand new on your own is that you can do what you want when you want, and you have absolutely nobody to answer to. It’s so much fun!

Stay Away From Technology

Try not to get stuck on technology. This is about you spending some quality time with yourself for a change, so you can go home and feel amazing. You don’t want to spend your time scrolling friends news feeds even though you haven’t spoken to them in 5 years, or consuming the fake news that’s all over the internet these days. Stay in touch with your loved ones, but stay away from technology the rest of the time.

Read A Good Book
If you’re not using technology, then what can you do? Read a good book! Story books are great, but how about an amazing self help book if you really want to reduce stress in your life and get some actionable tips on how to feel amazing permanently? There are so many out there - just take a look at Hay House’s back catalogue if you’re stuck on ideas. There are books on learning how to love yourself, how to feel happier every day, how to be more productive, and so much more. Reading a book like this for the first time can really open your eyes to how powerful you truly are.

Treat Yourself
If your budget can stretch, aim to treat yourself to something nice on your weekend away. If you’re used to spending your money on bills and treating the kids all the time, this can feel strange. However, it’s important you don’t feel guilty about spending some money on yourself for a change. You deserve it! Get your nails done, or have your hair done. You’ll feel great even if you can only get a trim, or a blow dry. Maybe you could even treat yourself to a new outfit, or a special piece of jewelry to remind yourself to love yourself always.

Do A Class
There are so many classes you can do, so think back to something you’ve wanted to try for a while and see if you can find one in the area. For example, yoga is a great form of exercise that also incorporates the spiritual, or you could simply de-stress by doing some x-biking. If you don’t want to exercise, you could do a still life class, a cooking class, or something else entirely. It’s totally up to you! Take this time to explore new things and see if you can find a new hobby while having some fun.

Write A List Of Realistic Goals For When You Get Home

Before you get home, write out a list of realistic goals that you want to stick to for the next few months. Here are some ideas:

  • Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day.
  • Drink 2.5 litres of water per day.
  • Get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
  • Put your physical and mental health first.
  • Exercise 3 times per week.
  • Read for an hour a day.
  • Spend time on goals/hobbies for at least an hour a day.

It can be tough to fit everything in, but you can do it if you make them a priority in your life. Stop putting yourself and your goals on the backburner and realize how important you are. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and when you feel full and happy, your family will too. Thanks for reading!