Category Archives: Personal Finance

Why you should consider investing in stocks and shares.

Why you should consider investing in stocks and shares to make you money

A post by Rebecca Megson

When my hubby said he was taking out a £5,000 loan in order to buy some shares I have to say I honestly thought he had gone mad!

Such a move felt a lot like gambling, with to my mind the very real possibility of him losing all the money and yet still having to pay back a loan on a monthly basis.

In actual fact since he made the investment – in a single oil company, having done some pretty straightforward research online and with a view to this being a five-year investment (in line with the loan) – he has seen his shares steadily increase in value.

Now it’s really important to state upfront that investing in stocks and shares is fundamentally risky. This after all is why the returns on your investment are likely to be higher and therefore more interesting.

The Maths

But what sold my husband’s plan to me was, unsurprisingly, the maths.

In the same way that it’s pretty impossible to make any money in savings accounts at the moment, the flip side is that interest rates on loans are pretty low.

So his £5,000 loan has an interest rate of 3.8%, meaning that by the time the loan expires he will have repaid a total of £5580 (including fees).

In contrast he purchased £5,000 worth of shares and, on the basis of the research he’s done into the market, anticipates that over a five year period the share price should reach £7500 at worst and £25,000 at best (come on oil price!!!).

At worst that’s an earning of 50% on the initial outlay (39% more than he’s paying in interest on the loan) and at best it could be as much as 400%.

Tracking The Progress of the Shares

My husband tracks the daily progress of his shares via the Google finance app and keeps on top of news and information about both the company and the oil market in general. This might sound like a lot of work but it takes about the same amount of time as checking in on the latest football news.

He monitors in this way to ensure that the value of his shares doesn’t go below the amount he owes. If it looks like it’s going to he can cash his shares in, pay his trading fees, pay the loan back early and, importantly, STILL break even.

Inverse Savings Account

In a funny way on this basis the loan acts as a kind of inverse savings account. It’s really easy when you’re faced with a tight month to stop the monthly payment into your savings account, or worse still dip into it ‘just this once’. But because he has to pay the loan company back that money is definitely set aside. And so long as the oil price does continue to rise in the long run by 2021 there’ll be a chunk of money that we can play with.

Now in terms of practicalities, it definitely does take some research and there is no guarantee that the investment will pay out but at least he does have checks and breaks in place to avoid or at least reduce any potential losses.

For me, this really shows that trading on the financial markets is actually opening up to people outside of the City and that it really can be something that you can get involved in as a pastime.

There are actually an increasing number of ways to do it, some more and some less risky than this approach.

Online Trading Platforms

One alternative would be to get an account with an online platform such as eToro. These platforms are really interesting because they work much more like social media accounts so you can chat with other ‘traders’ and learn from them.

Moreover you can copy the entire portfolio of a successful trader, such as Jaynemesis, and trade in exactly the same way they do. This could be particularly useful if you didn’t want to spend as much time and energy on the research side of things.

Each trader on the platform has a profile that you can view which includes information including how successful their investments have been in terms of return so you have some degree of surety on the likelihood of success for you in copying them.

Other options, that are less risky again include investing in an index fund tracker like the FTSE all-share index, investing in government bonds, or investing in gold (a commodity even traders tend to turn to when things seem precarious in the financial markets!). The return on your investment tends to  reduce in line with the decrease in risk of course!

It’s certainly an interesting space and one to watch….

This is a collaborative post.

My Financial Regrets and what I have learnt from them




My Financial Regrets

This post was inspired by a podcast I guested on with Andy Webb from Be Clever with your Cash. Part of the interview was quick fire questions, one question being my biggest financial regret.

Have a listen to the podcast, it’s a fab insight into both Andy and my financial lives and we chat about de-cluttering, financial independence for women and terms and conditions. Tis a great podcast if I say so myself!!

Reaching 40 this month is causing reflection on the decisions I have made over the years. I have made some huge financial decisions in my life, which could have been deemed to have been the wrong decision or not the best use of money.  Of course there are others that were really quite clever or maybe lucky, I’ll write about them in another post!

Not paying into my pension until the age of 31

I remember feeling relieved at the age of 22 that I wasn’t allowed to join the HSBC pension scheme (you had to be 25). I wanted as much of that first job salary into my pocket not into a pot that I wouldn’t be able to touch for 40ish years. So when I was able to start contributing at the age of 25 I declined. And then when I switched over to work for Tesco’s, aged 27, I declined to pay into my pension there as well.




This was a bad decision, this was life before children and actually my richest time in life so I 100% could have afforded to pay into the pension. I missed out on double the amount of contribution from my employers as well. I would hate to think what that is actually worth in terms of my actual pension pot.

After some recent organisation and assessment of my pensions written about here, all has been consolidated into one place and I have 45k built up from subsequent companies worked for in my 30’s. But this 45k although sounding like a lot is only actually worth £4500 per year when I retire. I have a long way to go to build enough money for retirement.

Please please please pay into your pension as early as possible and from as young an age as possible. It will be worth it I promise.

Spending A LOT on material goods such as designer handbags

Maybe linked into my spending habits ingrained from my 20’s, but I had a bit of an addiction to designer handbags. I bought my first Louis Vuitton wallet aged 23 with my first ever bonus. Over the years I have bought 2 Louis Vuitton wallets, 2 Louis Vuitton Bags, 1 Louis Vuitton Filofax case(!!), 1 Gucci bag, 1 Christian Dior bag, 2 Prada bags. Cost of these bags..sadly I know as I have kept all the receipts – £4,500…that is rather eye watering.

Why did I buy these? At the time I used to reward myself for every new promotion or bonus with a bag. I loved those bags and loved the fact that I could buy them if I wanted, they were status symbols.




I have just recently started selling them off on eBay. They were gathering dust under the bed (in their dust bags obviously), it just didn’t make sense to keep them anymore. So far I’ve sold 2 wallets and I’ve made £200, keeping the receipts has helped me out there proving they are the real deal. So I guess they are now providing me with an income, next to sell is the £1000 Christian Dior bag.

Spending a ridiculous amount of money on dining out

Another extravagance that has resulted in £1000’s of pounds being spent. Now part of me isn’t sure this is a regret, because we loved every minute of it. Except that 15-course tasting meal in Joel Robuchon’s 3 Michelin star Las Vegas restaurant, the bill was $1200 for 2 of us. Ridiculous.

Since hubby and I got together in 2004 we have maybe eaten in amazing restaurants 4 times a year for birthdays, or anniversaries or holidays. Each meal costing £500, as its usually tasting menus with wine. So after 12 years = 12* 4 * £500 = £24,000. OH MY GOSH. That’s just astounding. Okay I’m feeling slightly regretful now about all that money spent on food.

Oh, but the experiences we have had, cheese soufflé and meeting Michel Roux, Heston Blumenthal’s Bray restaurant before it closed, Gordon Ramsey’s Royal Hospital Rd. We have eaten well and have had a wonderful experience eating and drinking. So, I’m feeling less regretful about this one.

What happened to all that Redundancy money?

I have been made redundant 4 times in my life. Whilst at university I was made redundant from my Marks & Spencer graduate scheme before it began (they ran out of money big time in 1999). I took voluntary redundancy from Tesco in 2007.  Threshers went into administration in 2009 so I eventually got some redundancy there. And I took redundancy following relocation from EE in 2015.

I blew my M&S redundancy of £1500. I was 22 who knows what I spent it on. The Tesco money was substantial, £25k in total. It paid for our wedding, our amazing honeymoon to Capri & Positano and gave me one year of not working whilst pregnant and after Dylan was born. The Threshers money was more complicated. Redundancy pay was £800 with less than two years’ service. And my notice pay took 3 years to be paid in the administration period so I only got 30p in each pound owed so I ended up with maybe £3k which was rather extravagantly invested in a painting.

And then the money I got from EE, I had worked my way up the corporate ladder and had 5 years’ service…I got a nice chunk of cash around £40k. I did use it to buy a few big things, it paid for a holiday to Vegas & New York. A holiday to Spain with boys for 2 weeks. Hubby’s 40th birthday. And then the rest has paid the bills whilst building up the business to a point where it is earning enough. It’s now all gone.

So, there is £80k there in additional money I have received and spent rather than invested in the house and that’s not even including inflation and the fact that the money is worth more today than it was then. We have an outstanding mortgage of £200k, maybe just maybe we could have been mortgage free if all this money had been invested into the house? Do you know what, the thought NEVER entered my mind of putting the money into the mortgage. There has always been something to spend the money on.

Do I think I made the wrong decision here, probably not. We had a fab wedding and hubby had a brilliant 40th birthday. And we’ve had some amazing holidays for us as a couple and as a family. A slight concern that we could be mortgage free..but really??

Are all of these financial regrets?

So, it turns out that I mostly don’t regret my financial decisions. Despite some of the amounts of money involved being huge and a potential for living mortgage free. Okay it would be lovely to be mortgage free!!

The next post in this series of turning 40 musings will be all about my most sensible financial decisions.

 



Buying a car? How we have funded this purchase?

Buying a car?

Sometimes things happen in life and you need some help, with help I am referring to financial help. Maybe you have a kind relative that might lend you some cash or maybe you have some savings you can dip into? Or maybe like me you don’t have these options available? Sometimes it might be a significant chunk of money needed, what happens then?

We have been in this situation where we have needed a large chunk of money and we didn’t have these suggested options open to us.

A new baby arrives

Back in 2012 we had our third baby Jack. A third baby ended up costing us a significant amount of money, much more money than baby no1 or baby no 2, I wrote here about the essentials you need with a new baby. We were to have 3 children aged 5,3 and baby and after investigations into car seats realised that our car was not big enough to fit 3 car seats in the back seat. This was a time critical matter and an essential that required a solution quickly.

We did our research and worked out the best car was a Ford S-max and hubby did a fantastic job at finding a great priced showroom pre-registered (we were going to be the second owners despite car only having 50 miles on the clock) car. The list price was £26k but we managed to find one 70 miles away for £20k. A huge saving that that we were happy with.

Car was bought

We did a part exchange deal with our existing car which put 6k towards the car. We also used some money from savings of 8k. This left us with an 6k balance. We could have taken a car loan from the dealership but the interest rate was high so instead we chose to source our own loan to cover off the remaining balance. We knew that we could afford the repayments over 3 years. Back then I was on maternity leave and was to return to a well-paid job so all was well with the loan repayments.

Sometimes a loan is the only option and in this situation, it made sense. The interest rate was low, lower than we could have got from the car dealership and it meant that we had a safe and sensible car with plenty of room for the boys.

5 years on the car still goes strong, it was a sensible investment for a car. Buying it nearly new has meant we have spent little money on it with repairs. It also means that at 5 years old we still have a car in great condition and are not needing to replace the car with a newer model. The investment upfront has paid off now with a car that we own 100%.

If you are thinking of getting a loan please ensure that you check the terms and conditions and most importantly the interest rate and the APR. A rate at the moment of 5-6-7% is a great rate. And please ensure that the payments are affordable for the full term of the loan.

This is a collaborative post

My Financial Health at 20, 30 and now as I turn 40




My Financial Health at 20, 30 and now 40

March, next month marks my 40th birthday. I thought it would interesting to compare my financial health as each decade has passed.

Aged 20

I was in my 2nd year of maths degree at Brunel university, for 6 months during the second year was work experience time. Off to work I went for a small accountancy firm to test it out, maybe I wanted to be an accountant, I was being paid £150 each week by cheque. I was living in the box room of a police man’s house in Hillingdon which cost maybe £150 per month as all my friends had gone home! I am second from the left.

Student saving My 18 yr old self

This is where I learnt the basics of tax and allowable expenses and tax returns. Joy. I also worked evening in the 6 bells pub in West Drayton so financially I was doing okay. I had lots of spare cash!! I had just discovered store cards so I knew I had a few of them. I thought nothing of shopping for the clothes I wanted or going out for pizza hut dinners.

University wasn’t an expensive time for me like it is now. My parents had both died by this time but my step mother who had inherited everything used to transfer me money each month to pay for my rent. Each year I got a grant at university and I did take out small loans for 3 out of the four years.

I left university with 5k worth of debt but landed a well-paid job with HSBC studying for my accountancy exams so it was paid off by the time I was 25 I think.

Aged 30

I was 9 weeks pregnant on my 30th birthday! Hubby and I got engaged on my 30th birthday as well. Financially I had bought my second house after having got on the property ladder at aged 25 with my ex-boyfriend. I had been working for the whole of my 20’s for HSBC and Tesco, qualifying as a management accountant. I think at the age of 30 I was earning maybe £45k.

8-2-17 Financial-health

I had a 2-bedroom house in Knebworth with £30k of equity in it. The equity had been built up from the first house that was sold when I had split up with the ex. Most of my 30th year was spent pregnant and at the same time I took redundancy from Tesco this paid for a fabulous wedding, honeymoon and paid the bills until Dylan was 8 months old. It was nice to have an 18-month break from work.

Aged 40

The family grew through my 30s and we made a very sensible and lucrative financial decision by moving to a 3-bedroom house in the same village, Knebworth, when the market was at rock bottom. We bought our house for £220k and its now worth more than double than that. We have a very nice chunk of equity (not that we can touch it!). We released some money from the mortgage 3 years ago, to extend the house to 4 bedrooms and created a lot more value and space. Another sensible financial decision.




3-2-17 5-frugal-things-post-15-photoshoot

We don’t have much in savings or investments, mainly because it all has been used up paying the bills whilst building the Mrs Mummypenny business. Thankfully now the business is at a point where it is making money and I can start building the savings back up again. I did pay into a pension for much of my 30’s whilst employed so have a great chunk of money stashed away there.

It’s Interesting to look at Financial Health

It’s interesting to look back at some of the financial decisions I made, some were right, some were maybe not the best of ideas. I regret not saving more in my 20’s when I had no children and a much cheaper mortgage. I regret not paying into my pension in my 20’s. However, the investments we made into property have really paid off and it feels great to know that we have that.

At all points in my financial history I have had credit card debt, ever since I can remember I have had a balance being paid off on an interest free credit card so it feels like the norm rather than wrong. This is something that I am keen not to have going forward so we are working hard to pay off what credit card debts we have. 12 months left and counting!

How does your financial history look at the different points of your life? Is there anything you are super proud of or maybe a big lesson learnt?

How to Declutter your House and Make Money with Emma Drew




Emma Drew helps me to Declutter

I have been reading Emma Drew’s blog (previously known as From Aldi to Harrods) for nearly 2 years. She was one of the first money bloggers I read and I have learnt so much from her about money making techniques for my blog and life in general. The biggest thing I gained from her blog is inspiration, that it is possible to make really great money from blogging. She is living proof of a blogger completely on her A-game who has reached the dizzy heights of £5000, £6000 of income (she shares income reports!) PER MONTH from her blog.

During 2016 we met at various events and have always got on really well, we starting chatting over Facebook about blogging, fees and other advice. At our last event, Christmas Food tasting, in the cab on the way back to Kings Cross we struck gold with a You Tube idea. Last week Emma drove over to mine and we put our plan into action.

I need to declutter!

I have a huge clutter issue (as my friend Jane will tell you all about) and Emma is the queen of making money out of clutter. I prepared a pile of clutter upstairs for us to go through and we also went through the dreaded cupboard under the stairs. We have filmed 2 Youtube vlogs. Under the stairs is on my channel and can be viewed here. The upstairs pile of clutter is on Emmas YouTube channel here.

27-1-17 Declutter and make money 11-1-17-zapper-clutter

Under The Stairs

Here are the highlights from under the stairs

  • Roller skates and protective pads. These are hardly used and heavy. Check out price on eBay then pop it on Facebook for a few pounds cheaper.
  • Footballs Boots, pop these on eBay. Branded and in good condition so should sell well.
  • Brand New Copper Picture Frames, on trend. eBay.
  • Inflatable sofa. Facebook as its heavy
  • Scan them into Zapper, Ziffit to see who will give the most money.

Upstairs Clutter

  • Designer Handbags, check out prices on eBay and sell showing receipts to prove genuine
  • Skiwear with tags on, sell on eBay as a bundle
  • Ted Baker clothes, sell individually on eBay with lots of pictures
  • Printer, difficult to sell, give away!
  • Keyboard, another diffiucult one to sell, giveaway
  • Unopened coffee machine, big and heavy so sell on local Facebook page. I did sell it but then buyer changed mind.
  • Unopened bedding, duvets and protector sheets, try local Facebook or donate to local refuge whom always need bits like this.




Declutter Progress

21-1-17 5-frugal-thingsThe selling plan has been put into action, so far I have listed the ski wear as a bundle item on eBay and one of the designer bags. I am properly nervous about selling designer bags on eBay as I would hate to get £10 for a bag that cost me £500 originally. So I have listed a Louis Vuitton Wallet original cost of £355 with a £50 starting price. The sale ends on Sunday and I have already had bids of up to £55. I am hoping for at least £100. I’ll be happy with that.

 

 

Top Ten Selling Tips from Emma

  1. If the item is heavy put it on a local Facebook page rather than eBay
  2. Use lots of photos on eBay to show off the item and any imperfections.
  3. Printers are hard to sell, best to just give them away
  4. Clothes work well on eBay in small bundles
  5. Try to set you price so you can offer free postage
  6. Branded clothes and plus sized clothes sell really well on eBay.
  7. Sell designer paper bags that products have come in. A prada paper bag will sell for around £8, yes really!!
  8. You can sell make up boxes and packaging on eBay too. Save up your MAC boxes and sell in bulk.
  9. Think about gifting toys to a local toddler group or pre-school.
  10. Likewise with clothes/curtain/home wear maybe there is a local shelter/refuge that would benefit from them.

We had a great few hours going through my clutter and already Emma has helped me to make £70 so far. You have to go check out our You Tube videos, we had such a laugh making them.

You can read more from Emma at her website and why not give her a follow on social media too. Here is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Savings Accounts for Children – My plan for saving for my children

Savings Accounts for Children

I have a confession to make, as Dave Grohl sang…my boys do not have savings accounts. There you go I have said it out loud, or rather written it on the internet for the world to see. I have a story of course.

When they were little I did so well!

Back in 2007 when Dylan was born and 2009 when Josh was born I had a stable well-paying job. Savings accounts were set up and payments were made into each account regularly. I paid in quite a bit, maybe £100 each month. Every time they got money as a birthday or Christmas present it went into these accounts as well.

Jack came along in 2012 and well, I never got around to setting up his account. Shortly after Jack arrived (3 children thus needing more room) we extended our house. I’ll be the first to admit that we got carried away with the extension. We didn’t just do the extension and make that new bit of the house look nice we ended up doing the whole house, from new windows to the garden to carpets and flooring. It ended up costing quite a bit of money, more than we had taken out of the mortgage.

Savings Accounts for Children Raided

Consequentially the children’s savings accounts were raided and invested into the extension. It was for them after all, a bigger house with a bedroom each. We justified it.

It’s now 3 years on from the completion of the extension and we never did re-open those savings accounts again.

Birthday & Christmas Money

The boys are very lucky to get money birthday and Christmas presents from a few family members. They transfer the money straight into my bank account. I really try to use this money on something useful for the boys, be that new football boots, clothes or remote control cars as Dylan chose this Christmas. But it sometimes seems a waste when it could go into an account and be squirrelled away for the future.

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mortgage application

Top Tips to Prepare financially for a Mortgage Application

Follow these Top Tip to Prepare yourself financially for a Mortgage Application

The process of applying for a mortgage can be daunting, but if you approach it with knowledge about your current financial situation and are fully prepared for what they will be looking for then it will be much more likely that your application will be accepted. The rules have changed with mortgage applications the last one I did was two years ago and it was extremely time consuming and fairly painful. All I wanted to do was change the term of our mortgage and 2 hours later after examining every cost going through my bank account it was finally agreed.

Time

The first thing to say is that you will most likely need a good amount of time to prepare for your mortgage application. You will need to prepare your financial health well in advance of any mortgage application. I mean at least a year, particularly if you find any issues that need to be repaired.

Check your credit score

A really important part of the mortgage process is your credit score. This needs to be in order for the application to be accepted. This can be checked for free at the big credit agencies Equifax and Experian. If your credit score (a rating between 0 and 999) looks low ( the agency will give you a traffic light rating if its high or low), then you need to order your credit report. All the agencies have a free 30-day trial of the detailed credit report, just order it and then cancel before the 30 days is up.

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piggypot

PiggyPot – A savings app to help you reach goals

PiggyPot

In the past I have been ever so guilty of wanting things right now. I would buy now and pay afterwards. This has been done using various methods of payment that we are all very familiar with such as interest free repayment loans (furniture), 0% credit cards (car) and pay monthly contracts (phone).

I have always been of the mindset that it is fine to have some debt and pay it back afterwards. There has not been one point in my adult life where I have not been paying off debt. At the moment, we are paying off interest free credit cards that have paid for holidays and house expenses from last year.

But there is a different way!!

The more I work in this personal finance world and write about this world, speak to other bloggers and speak to various finance brands I realise there is another way. It’s almost like there are two mindsets of people, those who spend and then repay and those who save and then spend.

I want to be more like the person who saves and then spends on the things they were saving up for. I want to not be in a position of debt where a portion of my monthly income goes towards paying off my debt, I currently pay £200 per month off my debt and it’s a killer.

PiggyPot to the rescue

I have discovered an App, available on IOS, which will help with my new savings goals.
Within the app, you can set up very specific savings targets and then transfer savings into your pot aiming towards the target you have set. You can set up weekly or monthly transfers into the pot. The money can be simply transferred back to the bank any point of time.

You can be really specific with your pots so for this year I have set up the following
1) April 40th Birthday Vegas Holiday
2) August Summer Holiday with the family
3) Sept Mobile Phone Renewal

Setting up your pots

Firstly, click on create your pot. I am choosing April Holiday. Next set goals. A target of £500. Make first deposit 20th Jan. Reach target by 13th April. That’s £41.66 per week I will be transferring to my holiday pot every week. Click on connect card and create pot. Add you card details by the secure process and you are done. Payments will commence.

Here is a YouTube clip to show you the process too.

19-1-17-piggy-pot-setup

Saving Money with your Mobile Phone Pot

This is great example of a savings pot that will end up saving you lots of money in the future, as you tend to pay more for things when you buy now and pay back over a period of time.

Let’s say in Sept I want to get the latest Samsung mobile phone. I could take this on a pay monthly contract for 2 years where I could get the phone upfront for free and then pay maybe £40 per month for 24 months. A total of £960.

Instead I could save up some money in my piggypot to buy a phone outright in Sept. I would need maybe £450 for that so would need to save £50 a month to be able to buy that phone outright. Obviously the earlier you start saving the lesser the monthly amount.

Then I would need a SIMO deal, you can normally pick up a good deal on a sim with average data usage of 4GB for around £10 per month.

In September I would then have the specific funds set aside to buy the phone and I am not getting into any debt plus saving a ton of money in the process. Buying the phone this way costs just £690 over the two years rather than £960. A huge £270 saving.

My favourite feature

My favourite feature has to be the bonus you can get when you are ready to use your money. You can transfer it into a digital gift card and get a 5% bonus on top of your savings. Suddenly your £400 saved for a new laptop becomes £420 on a gift card to spend in Currys/PC World. Here are bonus partners at the moment with plenty more planned to be added through this year.

19-1-16 piggy pot spending options

Simplicity

I love the simplicity of this product that makes saving for a specific target so easy to set up. This is going to mean you are more likely to achieve your savings goals. How great will that feel to have the money in place to pay for something rather than adding it to a credit card. I am so looking forward to having the money in place to buy my dollars for my America holiday.

Savings towards a goal rather than a savings account

Often when you pay into a saving account the sight of the goal is lost. And once the goal is lost saving becomes a lot harder. This app changes the mindset and makes the saving goals more tangible and achievable. Plus, you can have as many pots as you want, I doubt anyone would have 5 different savings accounts for short term goals!

Why not download the app and take a look yourself? What are your savings goals this year?

This is a collaborative post.




5 Frugal Things Post 12 – Making Extra Money for January

5 Frugal Things Post 12

Its been a few weeks since I last posted my regular 5 Frugal Things. Christmas happened, New Year happened and 5 Frugal Things didn’t happen! So I have a few things stored up from the past few weeks to make 5 Frugal things post 12 a good one.

A huge priority at the moment is to bring in as much cash as possible. I am really keen to get ahead of myself in terms of earning and build up as big a safety fund as possible. I feel a lot more comfortable mentally if I know that I have a stash of at least 3 months worth of cash, preferably 6 months then I feel better and happier. This is really important for this time of the year when I really struggle from a mental point of view.

Zapper

11-1-17-zapper-book-haulI discovered this tool this week for scanning books, DVD’s, CD’s and, games, old mobiles and electronics and making some money from their value. I had a pile of book that was destined for the bin, but after scanning I found they were worth £7. Great news so I am now de-cluttering the house and realising the value in things that were not being used or ready to be thrown away. I wrote about it here.

20 Cogs

Another money making tool. This is a website that you sign up to and you work your way through 20 offers and make some money for each offer you sign up to. The things you sign up are questionnaire websites, trials for products (that you can cancel when the free trial period ends). I have completed 14 offers, just 6 more to go then I will be able to transfer the cash I have earned to my bank account. So far I am up to £140 so it will hopefully be more than £200 when I get through all the offers. If you are interested use this link to sign up yourself and earn £200 for yourself.

Amazon Tickets

13-1-17 5-frugal-things-post-12-theatreLast week the 2 older boys and I went to the theatre to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Going to theatre at any time other than Children,s Week (August time) is expensive. Not since I discovered Amazon Tickets. We got 3 tickets to the matinee performance for £40 each. Believe me this is a great price for the theatre which normally costs maybe double this on a popular day. Okay we were high up, in the balcony section but fairly near the front of the section and in the middle. I highly recommend getting your theatre tickets from here to save some money.




Happiness Planner

13-1-17 5-frugal-things-post-12-happiness-plannerA new year requires a planner and I ordered my happiness planner slightly late, which arrived this week. Now planners are not the cheapest of products especially the happiness planners, so I did a quick internet search for voucher codes and hurrah found a 10% off code. This is brilliant planner which I love and they currently have a great sale on loads of planners so take a look a the website. I bought the 52 weeks planner for £30.

Using up beauty product’s

I am making a real effort this January to not buy any new beauty products and ensuring that all old products are used up before buying anything new. This included everything from shampoo to shower gel to conditioner to toothpaste. I tend to always buy new stuff so often have half used bottles. I think I can get to at least March without spending any money on new products. Its feels good to save as well as de-clutter.

Do you have any fantastic money making ideas for the new year that others could benefit from, why not leave a comment here and help others reading this post?

I’m joining in with the #5frugalthings blog linky. If you’d like to join, or just want to check out other thrifty suggestions, hop on over to visit Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family, Becky at Family Budgeting and Emma at Emma’s Savvy Savings

Introducing Money Life Live – A day of financial resolutions

Financial Resolutions with Adam Piplica

Here is a guest post from Adam Piplica of the website Magical Penny. Adam is a fellow money blogger who I have had the pleasure to work with on a few campaigns and have met in person several times. He has the interesting story of starting off as a personal finance blogger and is now training to become a financial planner.

He is running a fantastic 1 day Money Life Live being held this Saturday 14th January in York. Are you interested? Then read on.

New Year, New You?

It’s the start of a new year and many are using the turning of the calendar to make new year resolutions and plans for 2017 and beyond. Planning and making resolutions are a bit like babies. They are fun to make but more of a handful and sometimes an annoyance to keep! (are you nodding your head right now, parents?)

When the excitement of a new year begins to wear off, you will need something more substantive to sustain you in your new quest. You will need a strong vision followed by an actionable, non-overwhelming plan.

It can be hard to keep all the various plates spinning in a busy household and sometimes finances and budgets can be knocked off track unexpectedly. However, if you have a strong vision of where you want to be in the future it can be easier to get back on track after setbacks.

Have you got a strong vision of your future?

What is your vision for the future?

Asking a child what they want to be when they grow up is a common question. Perhaps some adults ask it to get inspiration for their own lives! And quite right too, as it’s not just a question for children. Everyone can benefit from some introspection every now and then.  It can be all too easy to stop looking towards the blue sky of the future when we’re wading through the sometimes-muddy-waters of life. But if you take some time out to dream, you might be surprised with what you come up with and see how your life can change and develop in beneficial and meaningful ways.

It starts with having a clear vision for your future. Give yourself permission to dream this January, and write down some of your ideas and visions for the future. It’s much easier to get to where you want when you know what it looks like. Make it crystal clear but know that it doesn’t have to be 100% right first time.

Introducing Money Life LIVE

So who am I to tell you this? I’m Adam Piplica, a former market research executive who, after looking at lots of numbers every day, took some time to reflect on what numbers mattered the most, and decided to move into the career of financial planning – helping people find clarity in their own financial numbers and how they can translate to their life goals.

I’ve decided to host an event to educate and inspire you; to help you take some time to identify where you are at in life and what you might want for the future. Even if you are happy with your life right now, you might not know what you are missing out on in your financial infrastructure.

The event aims in 1 day to help you gain clarity on what matters in your life, and learn how to optimise your financial life, together with a community committed to creating a life they dreamed.

The speakers who have agreed to speak are fantastic and include professional financial planners will be covering other personal finance topics ranging from debt and savings, to investing and financial wellbeing, and also ways to earn more.

You’ll leave with some great ideas, and inspiration to put things into action, for the benefit of your entire family.

Money Life LIVE is a full-day life-changing event happening in central York on Saturday 14th January 2017. Can you come? For more information and tickets visit: MoneyLifeLIVE.com