It is difficult to cope when every day is a financial struggle. You might work all day every day but still not have anything left at the end of the month. You’re not alone. The cost of living has simply escalated too much too quickly, and we’re left scratching our heads to figure out how to pay the bills. There are a few approaches you can take to managing this situation. Doing nothing might leave you even worse off.

Stop Everything

When you’ve reached the point of emotional intensity about your money situation that you find yourself crying or angry, things need to happen now. Emotional reactions like this are normal when you can’t see a way out of difficulty. Taking action, even if you don’t like it, gives you back some control over the situation. It’s time to stop everything that isn’t absolutely essential spend. Try this for one month.

Here are just some of the things that you might need to stop spending money on for a while:

Chocolate, biscuits, sweets, cakes and other non-essential food – You won’t go hungry or malnutritioned by cutting out these items. Of course, you might miss this type of snack so make sure you have something to see you through between meals that perhaps you’ve made yourself. There has been a substantial price increase on sugary and other non-healthy foods lately.

Money

Can you say goodbye to all this for one month? Image credit

Coffees or drinks out – Socialising is really important, so don’t give up the chance to meet up. But choose your venues wisely. Invite your friends to your house instead of spending at coffee shops. Why not walk around the park and bring a mini picnic?

Clothes and shoes that aren’t replacing something worn out – Retail therapy like this has become habitual for many of us. Try buying clothing to replace items that no longer fit or are worn out. This can help to avoid bursting wardrobes, and will encourage you to become more creative with your outfit ensemble choices!

Haircuts and styling beyond a trim and colour at home – We ladies have seen price hikes of an extreme nature when it comes to taking care of our hair. Even shampoo and conditioner from the supermarket is more pricey. Pick a cut that is easy to maintain. Then reduce your spend to just trims. If you colour, try a home kit for a month to see if that can work for you. It might save you hundreds of pounds a year.

 

Cosmetics unless you’ve run out – This is another area where our money can disappear. Lots of us love to change our colours up every season. But this simply isn’t practical when money is so tight. Invest in a multi-colour palette and see how versatile it can be.

Apps and games – If you often pay for apps and game updates, then it might be worth stopping for a month to see how much you really need it. We all need hobbies and interests to enjoy when we have some downtime. It might be time to find some free sites for a while.

Movies and TV packages on demand – One month off shouldn’t cause too many problems, but it might save a little bit of cash when you need it most. When you’ve managed a little while with none of the packages, consider reinstating the bare minimum ongoing. It only needs to be for a while until your finances are in good shape again. The same goes for your music streaming packages.

Gym memberships – All of us need to keep fit, and some of us need particular exercises for therapeutic reasons. However, it is possible to stay in good shape for free. Walking and running are great cardio activities. Perhaps you have a bike? A step can be very useful too. Check out YouTube for some great exercises using just a workout mat at home.

Non-essential Spend Quashed, Time For Other Cuts

Now you might be feeling that this is frugality gone mad, but for just one month to get over a financial bump, it might be an eye-opener. The next thing to look at is your essential expenses. Can they be reduced? Rent and mortgage payments must be made in full each month. You can’t risk the consequences of not covering that cost. But if you can’t afford it anymore, you must consider moving to cheaper accommodation. As a mum, you’re not likely to be in a position to rent out a room to reduce your own burden.

Pull out the knitwear so you can turn the heating down a degree. Image credit

Emergency!

Are you in a hurry to cover arrears before you find yourself homeless? You might quickly sell some unused items like clothes you don’t wear, appliances you can live without, or jewellery. This can be heartbreaking, but a roof over your head is more important. You might need to borrow the rest from a friend or lender like MoneyBoat that works quickly enough. It’s often at this critical time that other things go wrong! The car might break down so you can’t get to work. Or maybe the fridge stops working? These are other costs you need to cover in a hurry, so sometimes you have to make the tough calls.

While you’re searching for something suitable, try to turn the heating down a degree, turn off all lights and appliances not in use, and batch cook. These will all save a lot on your energy bills. Again, these must be paid promptly, but most energy companies will help you out with a payment plan if you struggle.

After A Month

Once you’ve proven to yourself just how little you can live in, you can make some big decisions about moving forward. Ask for a promotion and pay rise at work. You know you deserve it so detail your contributions and their value to your employer. Find some work-at-home work to boost your income too. Most importantly, use a detailed spreadsheet to meticulously budget from now on. This is a great tool to help you avoid overspending and struggling in the future. Hopefully, going forward, you can even put a few pounds away each month to cover shortfalls and emergencies. Perhaps there is just enough for that well-deserved chocolate bar too?

Tammymum

I am reviewing a Palmistry App which is a first for me. The new app is called PalmistryHD

Palmistry App

How do you feel about palmistry and fortune-telling  in general? I have never ruled out that there may be something in such things. As I get older, I am convinced there is more to this life than most of us understand.

My late Mum often told the tale of visiting a fortune-teller in Whitby on a corner right by the sea. She told me the woman told her exactly how her mother would die and that she was right. She also told Mum she would die in a very similar way and was proved correct on that score too although obviously many years later.

I have had a palm reading which predicted my 3 children. I have always had an interest in astrology and might like to do a course on it at some point. I have consulted a psychic along with some other mums at a social event in Leeds a fair few years ago now. Again, there were things she could see or seemed to know that were scarily accurate including a baking history in my family and details of how my relationship with my husband operates. Intriguingly she also told me there was a grandmother (I have four just to confuse things!) who found me frustrating as the world is my oyster writing wise and she was prevented from pursuing her writing.

I am a cynic by nature but to be honest I am more minded to believe in this type of thing than some of the things we are expected to take on without question like things the Royal Family and politicians want us to swallow.

The app is easy enough to download to your smartphone even for someone who does not use apps regularly like myself. It asks for your name and date of birth. It took me a few seconds to work out how to move the birth date from where it landed immediately but that is just because I am a bit dim with technology.

You are asked to take a photograph of your palm and there is good guidance on where to place your hand  so that it is on a dark background and your palm fits inside the circle of a pre-set image of a hand. My photo worked first time and it is quite exciting to watch the circle showing your results being gathered. What could the future hold? At the very least it is a bit of fun.  The analysis can be used to reflect on key areas such a love, success, money and health which  most of us are looking into at this time of year anyway. In fact, these are the very issues we struggle with throughout our lives which is probably why they are incorporated in wedding vows.

I was amazed how spot-on my results were picking up on some ways of thinking I have which do not serve me well like my constant questioning and unpicking of the past and beating myself up too easily for decisions made.

A lack of security was mentioned and anyone who knows me will also know how insecure I am and how very much I would like to feel safer.

Apparently whether I am conscious of it or not I am looking for love. Now if anything was going to persuade me to get a fuller reading for £11.99 this could be the area of interest. We all want a little love in our lives!

The app also picked up that I can be extrovert and affable or introverted and reserved depending on the situation.

It also said I have a great deal of charisma – I will leave that for you to decide on!

You also have the opportunity to check daily horoscopes. I used to do this all the time in the past before parenting and work responsibilities meant such pleasures had to be curtailed a bit.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the app as a bit of fun and also the chance to reflect on my life and times. It helped me think about the things that serve me and the things that hold me back. That can’t be a bad thing at the start of a brand New Year.

Website: https://stellarpalmistry.com

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/palmistryhd/id1324828998?l=en&mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stellarpalmistry.app

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1u_qAK2U5s

 

 

It’s the start of our Happy New Year because I am determined to have one. Looking back all the years that end with 8 have gone well so far from my birth to the best year at college to falling in love to getting married. I have a really strong feeling that this year will be a life-changing one and in a very positive way too.

Happy New Year

I am cheerful because we had a lovely Christmas and how wonderful to wake up in the New Year with money in the bank. We kept Christmas very simple and that worked well – presents, laughter, fun and telly! Nothing wrong with that and food we wanted to eat rather than what Christmas dictates we should. There were of course sprouts and lots of them because I love them with a passion!

We had a couple of relatively wild nights out to keep a fair balance to the festivities too.

We have a new kitten who is learning to keep the two dogs in their place. She is totally adorable, very tiny even though she is 6 months old and a wonderful ginger colour. She has become part of the family very quickly snuggling up with whoever is available to cuddle.

My daughter has decided to write a musical. I admire her ambition.

I have had some good video game sessions with my son and we are now making this a daily event as it gives us some one-on-one time so we can chat too.

My teenage son has said he is just going to have a few weeks more of rest and relaxation before he starts doing something possibly education. I am just pleased he is not going to spend the rest of his life in a horizontal position. Leave them alone and they work out their own answers perhaps.

It is raining a lot but that is not getting me down although I am looking forward to Spring already.

Finally, my husband is away this weekend which means I can focus on some tasks that matter to me without interruption. I also intend to inject a party atmosphere to wrap up the Christmas season before work starts properly next week.

How could I forget? I also started #BestBootForward with my friend Chloe.

What are you feeling positive about this week? Wishing you a very Happy New Year!


R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

”My

With the beginning of 2018 and all that it is a good time to set some goals for the coming year. Here are mine and I look forward to looking back at the end of the year and seeing how I got on. Something tells me I will do well with the  peer support gained via Best Boot Forward which is new and super-exciting!

2018

Physical and mental wellbeing in 2018

I lost weight a couple of years ago and although I have put some back on, most stayed off. I would like to eat more healthily and am going to cut out red meat and booze for January as a starting point. I am looking forward to experimenting with vegetarian cookery so if you have any tips on that, please do share.

After too many years lost to social anxiety and depression, I look after my mental wellbeing as a priority. Only if I am well can my children be so it is vital.  I am thinking of taking up yoga and mindfulness to help on this front although I also celebrate feeling well these days.

Time out/Respite in 2018

I juggle a lot various work projects and home educating my younger two children. Then there is the bulk of housework and planning generally which so often falls on me despite there being five people in the home.

I want to delegate some tasks on the home front this year and to not be so easy to give in when my husband or children complain when I ask them to do things.

I also want to take regular walks on my own with the dogs to just be in the moment and to enjoy nature. It is easy to feel crowded in my current situation and to forget who I am outside of the labels of worker, mum, wife and so on.

Work and money in 2018

I am happy with how work is progressing and can see me building on this proactively in 2018. Changing my mindset and valuing myself more worked wonders in the latter half of 2017 so I believe the future is bright.

I need to regain control of my own money so that I feel like an independent woman again. I earn money and should be able to enjoy some of it rather than it all getting sucked up in luxury items for other people. Again, I am too soft in this area and need to be more assertive in my relationships.

Image and style in 2018

I am happy with who I am as a person. I have a good heart and a fine mind. However, I got lost style wise when I became a parent and have never really recovered. I would like to experiment more with fashion and the like this year as a form of personal expression. I neglect myself too easily and that needs to change.

Relationships in 2018

This is also an area where I need to put in some work. I don’t enjoy my marriage particularly much of the time. It is stale and I have no idea how other couples manage to keep things upbeat and interesting. It is by no means all bad and we do have fun and have some shared values. Perhaps having started to like myself more, I enjoy my own company more than my husband’s sometimes. Is that OK or not OK?  Is it time to give up on fine romance and get real? Anyway, suffice to say I want to put some real effort and thought into relationships this year.

I have recently made new acquaintances/friends and that pleases me. I have had a habit probably due to depression of being overly dependent on my husband.  I need more than that moving forwards and am proud of myself for reaching out and expanding my social life in recent months.

 

So that’s me! Like every other woman I know by no means perfect but good enough and willing to put the work in where it matters to put my best boot forward.

As ever your comments, tips and support are very welcome!

 

 

 

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It’s the start of a brand New Year so all the talk in the media and on social networks is about resolutions and life change. For many that can feel a little overwhelming and yet more pressure when women are already juggling so much.

One of the big problems with New Year resolutions is that they can be over-ambitious and end up being just another excuse to beat ourselves up emotionally for not doing well enough.

New Year

Best Boot Forward is different because you set your own agenda about what you want to achieve or change about your life. You may or may not fit into the common aims to lose weight, to give up smoking and so on. When I first started changing my life for the better, walking once around the block was a huge challenge as I struggled with post-natal depression. Similarly, you may have really enormous goals such as changing career, becoming a student or starting/ending a relationship.and as Rome was not built in one day, you need to break it down into baby steps.
So all we ask this week is that you find a quiet5 minutes (often a challenge in itself!) and really reflect on one area that you would like to change for the better this year.

So you can share with us in a blog post or on our Facebook group the following:

1. What would you like to change?
2. How do you feel this change will enhance your life?
3. Who can support you as you make a positive change?
4. What is the first baby step you can take to move towards your goal?

As we embark on our Best Boot Forward journeys, our hopes and dreams may change. Our lives will throw curve-balls too because most of us go through great ups and devastating downs along the way. What we can promise is that Best Boot Forward will stick with you every step of the way offering our insights, challenges and support.

Oh and as a final bit of fun, why not show us your favourite pair of boots either ones you own already or ones you would like to.

#BESTBOOTFORWARD LINKY RULES:

1. Add a backlink to this post using #bestbootforward and fear not, our badge is coming soon!

2. Please comment on this post and the one from Chloe at Indigo Wilderness and at least one other. Obviously the more you comment, the better and it is a super way to get to know other people and to interest them in your blog.

3. Link a maximum of 1 post per week.

4. The linky is open for a week so there is plenty of time to link up.

5. Tag myself @kateonthinice and Chloe at @IndigoChlo on Twitter for a Retweet with #Bestbootforward