28 September 2021

5 Ways to Save Money for the Non Saver!

 There are so many phrases that are flung around when it comes to talking about money and saving.  None of them sound much fun, which I think is half the problem when it comes to needing to save up or cut down on your spending.

Tightening your purse strings, cutting corners, every penny counts, waste not want not.  I’m bored just by typing them out.  

I think it was Sophia Amoruso who said “Money looks better in your bank than on your feet”.  Clearly she has never owned a pair of Louboutins.  (Never have I TBH, but one day…….)

What I wanted to do today is share some tips that you can incorporate into your everyday life that will save you money and also cut down on your spending in the long run.   

So let’s start with the fun tip to begin:

Go shopping to save more

Yes. I did tell you to go shopping in order to save money.  

Every day on my lunch break I walk into town to look around the shops.  

Whoever you are, there are always things in your life that are the staples that you use time and time.  Skincare, haircare, makeup.  It can be anything really that you use on a regular basis.  The rule is simple, regardless of whether you need one or not, if it is on sale at a great price, buy it.  But only if it is something that you use regularly.

That does not mean that new shade of nail varnish that Sally Hansen brought out that you are convinced you will wear all the time.  This means the moisturiser that works for your skin that you use every day.  The BB cream that brightens up a tired work day face.  The expensive shampoo/conditioner that you love but is now on three for two.

This will not only save you money in the long run.  It also enables you to continue using the products that you love, keeping that extra luxury, but at a more affordable price.

For example, I love John Frieda products (not a recommendation, everyone’s hair works better with different products.  I like the range for what it does to my hair, but also that there are a wide range of products).

So, my staples from the range are the regular shampoo, conditioner, the blonde shampoo and conditioner, the hair serum and the frizz ease product (I do recommend that last one for anybody, I love it).

All of that costs £37.00.  Not cheap.  Buying them in bulk on three for two means I buy two of everything (£74.00).  Averaging the price of each item at £6.17, knocking four products off I get for free, means the price goes down to an average of £4.11, £49.16 total.  A saving of nearly £25.00.

I can justify a price of £4.11 per product much more than £6.17.

Store Advantage Cards

Get them.  Get them all and use them.  But don’t just get the card, download the app.  Stores like Boots regularly have an offer such as extra points when you spend a certain amount of money, or things like double points on certain products.

But again, only buy what you need and ideally, try to use these offers in conjunction with the offers already on in store, such as three for two.  

I try my best to save these points for Christmas year which I can then use to buy presents, perfume, that Clinique moisturiser I love that is NEVER on sale.  Last year I had saved £90.00 worth of points.

Go Through a Cashback Site Online

Every time I go online now, even when I am not intending to purchase something; I open up a tab with my go to cashback site provider, in my case, TopCashBack.  A lot of the cashback you get can be minimal, like 2% on purchases at a clothing store; but it does add to your total.

What you can really make money on are the larger purchases that you need to buy every day.  Home insurance, car insurance, holidays.  Everything you buy on the internet, you can usually get some form of cashback on.

Recently I needed to renew my VPN.  Instead of paying £120.00, I ended up paying £60.00 with the offer, plus 55% cash back.  Meaning that instead of paying £120.00, I will have spent around £36.00.

Over the past couple of years, even with forgetting sometimes to use the site, I have got £275.00 in cashback.  That’s nearly one Louboutin right there.  Or a good payment towards a holiday (whenever we get to go away again).

Save Your Change

When I first thought about saving the cash in my purse, I started with saving pound coins and fifty pence pieces.  Don’t do this.  Because at the end of the month I inevitably opened up my savings jar to raid the money to pay for my lunches for the week before payday.

Instead, do this.  Save only silver.  Every few days when you come home from work, open your purse and spread out your coins.  Put back the pound coins and the fifty pence pieces (unless you have a lot).  Put away in your savings any tens, twenties and fives.

Today I put away 85p.  Not a lot, but it adds up.  Every few months I accumulate around £40 - 50.00.

For the Product Lovers

Again, another fun one.  Subscribe to a beauty box.  There are many out there, I am currently with Glossybox and pay £11.75 a month.  

Most boxes have a minimum value of £50.00 worth of products, sometimes I have had a box worth over £100.00.  Last month I got a face serum worth £43.  Another month I received an Illamasqua highlighter worth £27.00.  

My skincare has definitely improved with the products that I have received and saves you buying items at the regular price.  I can’t remember the last time for example I needed to buy face serum.

What I love is that they also put up regular short surveys for the products that you receive. which then gives you credit to spend.  Again, it all adds up.

Click on this link to subscribe (if you wish, I am not pushing you) and you will receive £5 credit which you can then spend on the Look Fantastic site.

I know that this has been a long post, but I hope that it helps someone like me who likes the nice products in life, but would like to cut down on spending.

If you use all of these tips in your life, you will save a decent amount of money in the long run.  That first pair of Louboutins may not be that far away!

I was not paid to write this piece, all comments and suggestions are my own

21 July 2021

The Basics of Life We All Need To Be Happy

 No one’s figured out the meaning of life yet, and it’s likely that nobody ever will. As such, we get to make up our own meanings. And doesn’t the pursuit of happiness seem like a pretty reasonable ambition? Life’s not only more enjoyable when you’re happy, but it can even extend your life! Plus, there’s no denying that happy people want to make the world a better place. It’s the haters that hold us back. But what are the keys to happiness? We’re going to run through some of the essentials in this blog.

Pexels - CC0 Licence

Somewhere to Live

It’s amazing how often people take their good fortune for granted. If you have a roof over your head, then you should be grateful. There are plenty of people out there who don’t have that, and if you extend the catchment area to all people who have ever lived, you’ll find that virtually nobody had that. It’s impossible to quantify just how much having a home to call your own can impact your life. Without it, you’d be sleeping outside in all weather, have nowhere to store your stuff, nowhere to relax, and so on. 

The Right to Live Where You Are

Having a roof over your head is one thing. But what if you didn’t have a country to call home? If you live where you were born, then this won’t be something that you’ve thought about all that much. But it happens all the time -- people have to leave their home country for all kinds of reasons. Thankfully, there are options out there for other people, especially in the UK. From arriving on a visa to applying for British passport after indefinite leave to remain, the immigration journey can be long but eventually worth it. And if you have the right to live where you are without giving it a second thought, then consider yourself blessed!

Other People

Some people have a low opinion of humanity or wish that everyone would disappear. But can you imagine what life would be like if that were to actually happen? It’d be impossible. You’d have to catch and cook all your meals. If you got sick, then, unless you’re a doctor, you’d have no idea what to do. And it’s not just about the technical details. It’s other people that make us laugh and keep us entertained. Where would we be without them?

Capacity to Improve

It’s true that life isn’t always a stroll in the park. There are times when it feels like we’re up against it or when it feels like we’re no longer enjoying what we had. But the good thing about life is that you don’t have to settle for your situation. In nearly all instances, there are ways that you can improve your situation. Even if we don’t decide to change our lives, knowing that we have the capacity to improve can have such a big influence on our lives. If you know that everything’s possible, you’ll be well on your way to happiness! 

6 July 2021

QuietOn & Camping

 Last weekend I went to Wales to go camping for three days.

Now anyone that knows me will know that I am not a camping person.  I have memories of camping years ago and my recollection of it included cramped tents, always been cold, uncomfortable on the floor and being woken up at 5.00am with blazing sunshine and the birds singing.

Now I love sunshine and birdsong, but not at 5.00am.  I am not a morning person it has to be said.

Having been promised a comfortable tent that I could stand up in, a double mattress and a cozy duvet to sleep with; my only qualms led to being woken up in the morning.  Our tent had a bedroom with blackout so the light would not be a problem; but what about those pesky birds?

So I decided that this weekend would be the perfect time to try out my new QuietOn 3 earbuds.  I have previously reviewed the previous generation of these earbuds and use them to great use in my home office.  They drown out the sound of the household perfectly and enable me to get on with my work.  But for the outdoors, I decided to go for the newest version to see how they would work out.

Here is what they say about the QuietOn 3 earbuds:

"Everything that we want in life – professional success, personal well-being, physiological health – begins with a good night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep begins with quietude. QuietOn 3 leverages breakthrough ANC technology to create a better environment for sleep, effectively eliminating the low-frequency noises that so often disrupt our sleep.

Some of the most common noises that interrupt sleep are low-frequency sounds from heating systems, appliances, traffic, airplanes, snoring and noisy neighbours. QuietOn 3’s ANC technology eliminates ambient sound by automatically generating opposite waveforms to nullify the low frequencies, resulting in a much quieter and more peaceful environment for sleep."

As you can see, the carrying case that holds the earbuds is tiny and therefore easily transportable to wherever you need to go.  You get a charging cable within the case with a USB and four different sizes of earbuds to ensure that you get the perfect fit.  The case also has handy lights to indicate when the earbuds are charged.

A single charge lasts 28 hours which is amazing frankly and lasted me for my whole trip without losing power.

But did they work you ask? Well the answer is, perfectly.  I tested out each earbud for sizing and found that the second smallest fit my ears perfectly.  The buds expand slightly when in your ear so there is no worry that they are going to fall out during the night or when you turn over in bed.  I can attest to this.  My partner says I turn around and around in bed all night and they never moved.

I think that I slept more soundly in those three days than I have in a long time.  As promised by QuietOn, the earbuds removed all of the noises that would normally have woken me in the night and ensured that birdsong did not wake up at sunrise, which I was extremely grateful for.

I lent them to my partner for a few days in the next week as he is often woken in the night by the cat padding around and street noise.  He said that he too had a wonderful sleep and I think we may be battling to use them from now on.  At least now, I know what to buy him for Christmas!

I can highly recommend the QuietOn 3 earbuds.  Sleep is so important to have a productive day and uninterrupted sleep is a rarity in modern life.  They are a must!

Here was our view while we were in Wales.  We will definately be revisiting, with our earbuds in place!