Sunday 28 May 2017

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

I love to save money and I hate to pay more than I need to for anything! That doesn't mean I need to sacrifice my lifestyle though, I nearly always have pretty nails; a magazine for long journeys and yummy coffee. I just go about it in a different way.

1. Do You Own Gel Nails
Now I'm not saying never get your nails done professionally ever again but making a small investment in getting the equipment needed to do gel nails will save you a lot of money in the long run. I tend to save professional manicures for special occasion as more of a treat.

2. Buy A Magazine Subscription
If you are one of those people that tend to buy magazines a lot, whether it be monthly or more than that a magazine subscription will most likely save you money. I have the Cosmopolitan subscription which is £12. This means it is £1 a magazine and whilst it may sometimes be offer for a £1 it's not for definite. There are also lots of other magazines that you can buy annually.

3. Make You Own Food and Coffee
Think about how much you spend a day on a morning coffee and your lunch. Times that by 20, and that's how much you spend a month on food and drink. Lunch doesn't need to be a basic sandwich, there are so many amazing recipes you can make. I like to make coffee with my Tassimo, whilst it's still not the cheapest option ever it's much less than it would cost me in Starbucks or Costa.

4. Don't Be A Brand Snob
In some cases buying branded food is better; whether it be health wise or taste wise. There are times when it pays to spend more. That being said there are some really great supermarket own brands out there. For example I love the Lidl Coconut Cove White Rum and it's only £3.99 compared to that of Malibu which is £15, mixed with coke or juice you really can't tell the difference!

5. Use Cashback Websites
Cashback websites are great because you can get money back on so many things that you were planning on buying anyway. I really adds up if you try and use it wherever possible. Once it has cleared you can then withdraw the money whether it be in cash or vouchers (you tend to get a better deal with vouchers!)

6. Mix and Match with Primark and Topshop
Now I'm not suggesting you buy your whole wardrobe from Primark but for me when it comes to vest tops and sandals there I see no reason to spend over the odds on them. Vest tops are the pretty much the same whether you get them from Topshop or Primark and I don't know about you but my sandals always seem to get all sandy and dirty and I replace them every year anyway! This may be different for everyone but the easiest way to save money when it really think about whether what you're buying is worth the money.

7. Don't Accept The First Price You See
Shops like Urban Outfitters like to charge a lot more than necessary for some of their products, for example Fujifilm Instax film is £30 for 20 sheets at Urban Outfitters or £14.55 on Amazon. Now I like Urban Outfitters as much as the next person but that's ridiculous! So check online that what you're getting is actually a good deal and you're not getting ripped off. My camera itself was from John Lewis which was must less than it would've cost me anywhere else so shop around before you buy.

8. Switch Utilities
Until recently I had no idea how much money you could save simply by switching your utility providers. You can save hundreds a year by switching, it's not complicated either! uSwitch makes it super quick and easy, all you have to do is give them your bank details address and the new supplier will contact you with information about your service switch over date. It's best to check a couple of times a year that you are still getting the best plan.

9. Don't Get A Takeaway Every Week
It may be tempting to get a takeaway every week, but a take our every week really adds up. I used to be obsessed with Deliveroo, I don't even want to think how much money I spent! Now I only have it as a treat. If I want pizza I buy a fresh or frozen pizza from Aldi, Chinese I buy the 'takeaway' style food from Tesco or Asda. There's so much options and it's normally on offer. Admittedly it's not quite the same but the saving you make is well worth it. You definitely appreciate it more when you do have it too.

10. Plan For Everything
It may seem like common sense but if you plan for Christmas, it will save you money. You tend to get better offers on most things before the festive period starts. Saving money throughout the year can also really help! Then you don't have to pay for it all outright in December or January. Equally, if you plan your meals and only buy what you need and you will save so much money. It will also stop you wasting food. Plan your travel, and book your train tickets in advance. Thinking ahead can save you so much money in the long run!

Those are my 10 Easy Ways to Save Money I hope it has shown you that you don't need to completely change your lifestyle in order to save money.

Sunday 21 May 2017

Summer Loving - Swimsuit Wishlist ♥

I can't believe it's almost Summer! The last couple of years I haven't really felt comfortable enough with my body to wear cute swimwear but this year I am feeling much more comfortable in my own skin and so I want to treat myself to a new bikini. There are so many styles that I am in love with; from scallop bikinis to embroidered one pieces. I may just have to order a few different ones and try them, because they always look so different on. I also don't have a holiday abroad planned for this year but I do have a week arranged in Cornwall so I need to make sure it's appropriate for British beaches and isn't too risque so that I feel as comfortable as possible.

*this blog post contains affiliate links

Thursday 18 May 2017

Are you registered to vote?! Your vote matters.

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” – PLATO
This is a bit of a different post compared to what I would normally write about but it is something that I believe to be important so I thought I would write it anyway. On the 8th of June there will be a General Election. If you are not yet registered to vote it is very important that you do so. In 2015 34% of women didn't vote in the General Election. If you are one of those people who did not vote, and are not registered here are 10 things to consider.

1. It gives you the power to generate change
If you have a complaint about the way the country is being run voting is a simple way to make change. By choosing a candidate that suits your views they then represent you on a local and national level.

2. Voting is still important even if you don't think you'll candidate will win
Living in a 'safe' seat constituency doesn't mean your vote won't make a difference; if everyone just 'gives up' nothing will change. Brexit is a perfect example of that as people thought Remain was a sure thing and so didn't vote.

3. You can leave your ballot paper blank if you don't agree with any of the political parties
By not voting it is assumed that you are not interested but by leaving your ballot paper blank you will still be counted and included in subsequent reports. Your apathy will be recorded instead of forgotten. 

4. It'll make your age group relevant
It is important that enough of each age group votes otherwise there is not a correct representation and laws matching the views of the people will not be created. 

5. Democracy shouldn't be taken for granted
Many movements have fought to give us the right to vote, such as the suffragettes. There are also many countries where people do not have the opportunity to make decisions about their country so it important for us to not take it for granted.  

6. It's easy and free!
Registering online takes 5 minutes, and if you are unable to attend the polling station it can be done either by proxy or postal. So no matter how busy your life is; it's really easy to do.

7. You'll be helping decide how YOUR money is spent
We all pay taxes, if you go shopping you pay tax, and by voting you'll decide how they are spent.

8. Being registered improves your credit rating
Bit of a selfish one but being registered makes it easier to get mobile phone contracts, credit cards, housing and so much more.

9. It's your future
Around 75% of people aged over 65 will vote and only 42% of 18-24 will. Don't let older people vote for what will affect you the most. The scrapping of maintenance grant, and the reductions in housing benefit are no coincidence.

10. It gives you the right to moan
If you don't vote what right do you have to moan when it doesn't go your way? 

In order to vote you need to register by the 22nd of May. 
Your vote matters. It's your future. Fight for it.

Sunday 14 May 2017

Being Honest ♥

In the last few days I've seen so many incredible posts for Mental Health awareness week and it's inspired me to open up about my own mental health. I've been struggling. Everyday is a struggle, some days I don't feel like I can get out of bed. Some days no matter how hard I try I just can't get dressed, can't do my make up, can't live my life. Just can't. It's taken me a long time to realise I'm not the only one who feels this way and that it's not my fault.  There aren't reasons for why I feel this way and I'm not lazy. It's not something that I can control and 'just get over'. I'm ready to seek help.

This post doesn't have a happy ending, there isn't an easy solution. I just know that I can't keep living my life like this, and it isn't fair on the people around me who I am pushing away. I know that there is so much love and support out there for me if I open myself up to it. I'm done suffering in silence.

There is so much stigma surrounding mental health and it's okay to not be okay. There are thousands of people feeling the same way that you do. In fact one in four people in the world will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lives. You are not alone. It needs to be talked about; we need to live in a world where it's okay to admit you're struggling. So look out for the people around you and be kind, you never know what they may be going through. Hopefully one day I'll feel comfortable enough to openly share my story but it's something I am still coming to terms with myself. 

If you or someone around you is struggling with mental health there are people that can help.

Mind                                                       Time To Change                                           Samaritans

Please don't suffer in silence, it's okay to not be okay.

Sunday 7 May 2017

5 Products To Keep You Organised

I love to be organised. I mean who doesn't, and being organised means that I able to save money and be prepared for any occasion. So I put together a list of products that either I love and use or that I've been lusting over recently. 

1. Busy B Birthday Card Book - £12.85, Amazon
I love the idea of this! It has pockets to store cards, and a calendar so you would never forget anyone's Birthday again. I've used Busy B products in the past and they are really good quality and well worth the money.

2. Meal Planner - £2.75, Wilko
Planning your meals is one of the easiest things to do and it can benefit you so much. It means that
always know that there is a meal planned and that you have the ingredients needed. This therefore means you waste less and spend less.

3. Budget Book - £12, Paperchase
Who else gets to the end of the month and has no idea where their money has gone? That's why I started using a budget book. By writing down my income and outgoings I was able to see where my money was going and if I was overspending in any areas.

4. Ultimate Blog Planner - £12.50, Dot Creates
I love blogging and this planner really helps me to keep my ideas organised and help me remember what blog posts I'm planning. It's got a ton of pages for a ton of blog posts! There's really no better way to organise your blogging world than with this planner. 

5. The Happiness Planner - £28, Anthropologie
Completely different to the other planners it helps you work towards your goals, make changes in your life to make you happier and build your mental strength. This planner has so many sections to help with every part of your life, it even has an app!

Do you own any of these products? Do they help you stay organised?