Impulse buying is something that we all do, and later regret when it comes to checking our online banking. We all make 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 stick at yours? 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.

 

Unfortunately, unexpected expenses can arise at any time and leave us in a difficult situation to deal with — from broken boilers to needing to make a third trip on a return bus ticket; and we need to pull out the extra money. It all adds up.

 

We’ve teamed up with Stagecoach, who have competitive bus pass prices to make some assessments on how extra savings can come in handy if something like that was to occur and listed the following methods below:

 

Travel smart

If you opt for travelling smart, you can see yourself making enormous savings — but how? 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 buying a ticket every day.

 

Motorists on average spend £168,880 on their car; are you prepared to spend so much? 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 cost of running a car is petrol, which stands at around £1,052,04 each year. 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 experience 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!

 

How much is your lifestyle costing you?

Is coffee really that expensive?

Britain has been captured by the coffee craze and has over 21,000 coffee shops in the country — with this, MyVoucherCode has estimated that people in the UK visit at least three times each week; which can be extremely costly. 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.

 

If you were to buy a 250g pack of Douwe Egberts ground coffee, you could make an estimated 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.

 

Is smoking really that expensive?

Not only is smoking harmful for your body, but detrimental to your bank balance — smoking 20 each day with the average pack costing £10.20, you could save an incredible £3,796 each year. MoneySupermarket.com has stated that non-smokers pay around £6,309 less for life insurance, which could be something worth investing in for the new year.

 

Vaping is always a healthier and cheaper alternative too. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around £5 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around £1,900.

 

Is buying lunch on-the-go damaging to our bank accounts?

Gone are the days where we’d prepare our lunch the night before work as it’s becoming much easier to buy our food on the go — whether this is a meal deal at our local supermarket or from those food trucks parked outside our offices. 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.

 

Do unexpected expenses happen that often?

54% of 2,000 people surveyed said that they had to fork out some extra money to deal with an unexpected expense. 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!

 

How are you pledging to save more of your money?

 

 

Sources:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/new-years-resolutions-courses-2016-12

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/782992/car-costs-uk-service-repair-MOT-petrol-fuel-price

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4680432/Britons-spend-2-210-YEAR-coffee-shops.html

https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regionaltickets/north-east/newcastle-upon-tyne/megarider

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/new-years-resolutions-save-you-4927896

https://vapeandjuice.co.uk/blogs/vaping-ecig-and-eliquid-news/how-much-does-vaping-cost

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/03/if-you-buy-a-ready-made-lunch-every-day-youre-throwing-away-1288-a-year

http://www.work-day.co.uk/workingdays_holidays_2017.htm

http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/ocado-compare-prices/Tinned_Soup/Heinz_Classic_Cream_of_Tomato_Soup_300g.html?TrackingCode=AQEBAAI.oKpunYiupEOEyP_-g00B3w

https://www.providentpersonalcredit.com/unexpected-expenses/

 

You might’ve noticed a new trend emerging amongst women that’s to do with their self-appreciation and confidence. It is the rise of the self-love ring; some women are even taking it as far as marrying themselves and others are in a relationship referred to as ‘sologamy’. Angelic Diamonds, online diamond retailers, investigate:

How did the self-love ring begin?

During 2016, the self-love ring became increasingly popular. Many women turned to jewellery stores to make a commitment to themselves. It’s not known exactly what drove the trend, as women have been preaching self-appreciation for many years! But it could be down to a combination of these things:

The rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram has encouraged women to love themselves. Although seeing filtered beach bodies on our news feed isn’t always great, there have been many women who have posted photos of their natural selves too and persuaded others to do the same. For example, there was a trend which involved ‘No Make-up Selfies’ — a photo of yourself without make-up. Many celebrities participated in this and told women to love their natural selves! The selfie culture in general pushes women to appreciate their bodies, as they post photos of themselves and receive ‘likes’ and comments from their friends and family.

The influence of celebrities has also encouraged women to love themselves too. Many famous figures have talked about their tough times growing up and how they’ve learnt to appreciate themselves. Others have encouraged magazines and photographers to not edit their photos so that women can see that their bodies are not in fact flawless.

There has also been a rise in participants of meditation and mindfulness — taking time out of the day to be present within yourself. Research has shown that it can reduce stress, depression and anxiety and experts encourage people to take time out of their day to focus on Meditation interlinks with self-love as it focuses on taking time out of the day to concentrate on yourself.

What do the rings represent?

Many people are talking about the rings to say that they are ‘anti-engagement’ but that’s not what they stand for. They are meant to represent one’s commitment to oneself and a dedication that you’ll put yourself first and look after your own well-being. They are meant to be worn on your little finger — to represent a ‘pinky promise’ to yourself. Some jewellers offered specific ‘pinky’ rings but they can be bought as a smaller regular engagement ring.

Advocates of the self-love ring say that when you start loving yourself, you change the way you are completely. It can positively affect your relationship as you no longer rely on your partner to make you happy.

For some, it becomes a friendship bonding exercise. Females purchase a self-love ring with their best friends to focus on the importance of friendship and make a pledge that you’ll both love yourselves.

Saying the vows

Women can now take it a step further too, to fully commit to themselves in marriage. The first sologamous wedding was thought to be in 1993, when an American woman called Linda Barker married herself in front of her close friends. Marrying yourself is not a legal process (you can’t divorce yourself, claim legal fees and your marital status won’t change), instead it is simply a celebration, although vows can be made. It appears as though it is more women who are taking part in this than men, possibly as a protest against the pressures that they often feel to be in a relationship.

Talking about why they have chosen marry themselves, women said:

  • The ceremony was a deep act of self-acceptance, saying your commitments out loud in front of friends and family solidified them.
  • It was a celebration of the commitment to the health, well-being, and happiness of oneself.

You don’t have to be single to practice self-love. Some women who have gone through the ceremony have partners and husbands, but this day was all about them! A company has been created on the back of these ceremonies called I Married Me — it offers wedding supplies to one-person ceremonies.

And, don’t think that you need a ring to prove your love. There’s other ways to show your love for yourself — treat yourself to some clothing that you’ve been wanting for a while, have a spa day or just invest some time into you!

 

Sources

https://www.vogue.com/article/women-marrying-themselves-sologamy

https://www.self.com/story/i-went-to-mexico-to-marry-myself

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/women-choosing-marry/

https://bemindful.co.uk/evidence-research/

https://www.angelicdiamonds.com/engagement-rings

 

If you move to a new home or are in the  middle of home improvements, it is too easy to cut corners and important ones at that. Although this can seem like a more affordable option, sometimes it is a big mistake. Do not go without carpet underlay. In fact I would go as far as to say that carpet underlay purchase and choices are as important as choosing the colour and material of your carpets themselves.

The purpose of carpet underlay

It gives you a more comfortable experience. We spend a lot of time in our homes especially with more of us working from home as well as bringing up our families there. Underlay provides a cushioning experience for your feet, back and legs as you walk around the home.

Underlay also keeps noise down to a reasonable level. From a financial point of view your carpet really will last longer with good underlay in place. It means your beautiful carpet is not bashed by harsh bare floors. Also it can help you save on heating bills as it provides some insulation in cold weather.

Types of underlay

There are basically three types of carpet underlay available: foam, felt and rubber from outlets such as the Carpet Underlay Shop

If you are on a mid-range budget foam underlay is a good choice.  Felt underlay is not used as much these days but used to be a popular and cheap choice for householders.

Rubber underlay is the waffle looking one and gives superb springiness as you walk. It is hard-wearing but it’s also breathable thanks to its cellular construction. Rubber underlay is pricier but it’s also a quality choice.

Other flooring choices

You can also buy underlay for other types of flooring like vinyl and wood to obtain a springier and softer walking  experience in your home along with  the  obvious insulation properties.

Your choice of underlay

Firstly, I reiterate do make sure you invest in underlay. I confess in my earlier years of being a grown-up householder of not having  underlay at all. All this led to was damage to carpets which then had to be replaced sooner than they would have otherwise have needed.

Carpet and underlay wear out at pretty much the same rate so when you replace your carpet, my tip would be to replace your underlay too.

Think about the needs of your individual family. Benefits of more expensive underlay may be worth the extra cost to you. For example, you may have health issues so really do need that springier and softer walking experience. You may need to keep warmer than most if you have elderly relatives living with you. There will be the right underlay out there for you and once again, I urge you to make that investment as it will mean comfort and money saved in the long run.

 

 

 

We change over the years in so many ways. When I was in my teens, I was strongly of the view I did not want or need a man partly because I felt it would make me lose focus on more important things like my career. Of course, them I became totally smitten in a presumably unrequited way and ended up living with one bloke and marrying another.

I was reflecting recently on whether my taste in men has changed over the years. Do women look for different things as we get older? I have concluded that my must-have list has stayed pretty much the same since teenage years.

Sense of humour

Men who have appealed to me over the  years have always had a good sense of humour which is a good job because I can be quite witty and love a bit of banter and word play. Laugh easily and make me chuckle and I am all yours!

Kindness

I will notice a man if he is kind to others whether adults, children or animals. When I am struggling I want a man to show he cares with  a kind word, a touch or a small gift based on who I am as an individual. If he leaps in to protect me when I am threatened in any way, I can transform into my very own version of Cinderella.

Coffee

The way to my heart may well be through you making  me a coffee. Invite me for coffee, make me a coffee and wake me up with  coffee and you are my dream date.

Intelligence and conversation

I am an intelligent woman and I enjoy good conversation. Despite what many people might think, I love to have my opinions challenged and to get involved in a good debate. So ideally I need a bloke with a great mind who is willing to talk a lot. Lack of deep conversation is a big challenge in my current relationship.

Respect for women

I am proud to have brought up my boys to respect women. It pleases me to think how they will treat women as they leave home and carve out their own relationships. Respect for women is too rare a commodity in society still but that is changing and about time too. So please respect my thoughts, feelings and body and we will get on amazingly.

These days I would be a bit sensible too and look for someone who is ideally working and good with money. Similar interests would be good too such as a love of the arts and history. We live and we learn but it was fun to see how little my tastes have changed over the years.

Lucy At Home

Five Little Doves

So as Meghan has found her Prince I thought I would have a little fun and asked some fellow bloggers for their thoughts on what makes the perfect man. Some common themes emerged so if there is a bloke out there looking for love, you have a reference guide of what women really want.

SENSE OF HUMOUR

A sense of humour! I used to have a thing for Chris Moyles and Jonny Vegas because they made me laugh, they’re not the most ‘conventionally’ attractive men!
www.meanniebee.com

Someone who you can have a bit of banter with, and doesn’t take themselves too seriously
www.wingingitwithtwoboys.com

What attracts me to a man is a fantastic sense of humour, I can’t be doing with anyone too serious plus they just have to be nice. It sounds simple but a nice guy will always be there for you and be somebody you can rely on. https://emmareed.net

Oh it’s all about somebody fun who makes me laugh. Because that will always be there, the looks, money and all that jazz are transient. If his sense of humour leaves him I’ll be off too!
plutoniumsox.com

Someone who makes me laugh and doesn’t realise they are handsome http://thequeenofcollage.blogspot.co.uk/

LOOKS

I’m a sucker for well built arms with tattoos!
mummyswaisted.co.uk

My friends laugh as they say my “type” would be a hobo – basically dirty and unshaven – but in reality I think a sense of humour, kindness and someone who can be a gentleman beats everything! www.kippersandcurtains.com

He can’t take himself too seriously… and he doesn’t spend hours in front of the mirror. I like a mans man, not one of those blokes who goes to get his eyebrows waxed with his Mrs.
www.thentherewerethree.uk

Someone I can have an actual conversation with where I feel my opinion is valid and respected. Looks wise, I like tall! The taller the better! Http://inspiregratitudemanifest.com

TEAM PLAYER

I think seeing a relationship as a team effort and long game. My husband is totally and utterly my wing man and vice versa. I ended up marrying the guy of “my dreams” from my teenage diary (piercings, tattoos, bmx rider with his own car ) but I ended up with a lot more than that.
Www.tinytripping.com

Being a good team mate, my partner is 100% my team mate in everything, hes straight into daddy mode as soon as he’s home from work. That means the world to me, he’s my best friend. He’s got a decent beard too
2nerdsandababy.com

A partner that steps up and supports. I want someone to make decisions with me and not just have to tell them what is going on.
www.sineadlatham.com

My husband is honest, loyal and has been there for me over the last 10 years no matter what. This has included a few breakdowns in my mental health, and I am so thankful for it.
autumnsmummyblog.com

Being someone who can get on with anyone because he doesn’t have to like my friends and family but he has to be able to get on with them and be friendly
www.justaveragejen.com

SHARED INTERESTS

Someone who’s great at sports! I love competitiveness and fitness, so someone who can match me! And always good banter and entrepreneurship
mamamei.co.uk

For me it’s sense of humour and sharing similar values or politics. If you’re a funny, vegetarian, socialist then you’re the man for me
www.theincidentalparent.com

CONFIDENT AND AMBITIOUS

Someone confident who knows what he wants in life. I like a decision maker as it shows self-worth.
www.livingwithajude.co.uk

I’m all about eyes, in particular blue eyes If we’re talking personality then self- assurances is a massive thumbs up for me – I’m basically describing Zac Efron aka the perfect man!
www.mommyandrory.comSomeone secure in themselves there is nothing more attractive. www.sophobsessed.com

Someone with ambition and drive!
www.welshmum.co.uk

Ambition and drive. Very sexy!
www.fivelittlestars.com

.SUPPORTIVE

I want someone who understands that I’m not always perfect myself and still loves me for it. My husband is so patient when I get stressed out about silly little things and he’s always there for me.
http://www.frugalfamily.co.uk/

A man who accepts you for who you are, no matter what size you are, what weight you are. Someone who loves your flaws. Someone who is loyal and has your back 100%.(my husband does all of this)
www.thismummyrocks.com

Someone who stands by me when my mental health isn’t doing so good, who defends me against the bullies and the meanies of the world and of course someone who appreciates the value of a good quiet moment without needing to talk.
www.mummycatnotes.com

Someone who is kind and does not play games. Respects you and has a proper serious conversation when needed.
Http://www.wavetomummy.com

My husband is perfect!!! I fell in love with him mainly as he was a great dad to his kids. I knew he would be amazing for me and any children we might have and I am so lucky and so is our son.
https://freddiesmummyuk.com

AND FINALLY!

Nothing has changed since in my teens I have always gone absolutely and completely on my emotional response to a man and nothing practical at all – oh it’s got me into so much bother but has been fabulous too https://www.abeautifulspace.co.uk

I used to want a man who could dance, had style and was ambitious – my husband is none of those things! But he is intelligent, funny, supportive and his ability to live in the present keeps me grounded.
www.freefromfarmhouse.co.uk

What do I think? I will be sharing that tomorrow. How about you? Who is your dream date?

Mum Muddling Through
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