Blog posts have been a bit sporadic over the past few weeks. I last posted Monday Money two weeks ago after our return from Cornwall. After four days at home I zoomed off to Las Vegas for a well deserved treat with Neilboy (friend not husband as I had to explain around 234 times). We went for five days, but were gone from Thursday to last Wednesday including the travel time. I had the most amazing time. Lots of content to come on that over the next few weeks.
Top Travel Money Saving Tip
Although I might possibly include one top money saving travelling tip here which is do try to travel with someone who has BA club membership (if flying BA). The BA flights to Vegas were around £300 cheaper than Virgin so I obviously booked these. But this also meant we had to pay extra for seats and hold luggage.
Alas Neilboy is a silver club member, he travels a lot. This meant he booked our seats (saving £160 each, yes the seats we wanted were £80 each there and back!!). We also had fast passes to zoom through check in and onto plane. And the best bit we had free access to the lounge. At Heathrow it was amazing! Unlimited drinks and food, with a cracking view watching the planes take off and land.
Oh and we both only took hand luggage so saved on the £80 return cost to put luggage into the hold. I used my network rail card to get the train to airport and back again, this set me back £30, rather than around £80 for petrol and airport parking.
Adding all of that up I think I saved around £400 in extras that I would have to pay for. We also enjoyed the lounge in Vegas for our return flight. The temptation of the free food and drink stopped me shopping in duty free and spending any more money!
Back to the Money Saving back in the UK
Changing up currency to pounds
I headed to Debenhams to change my $ back to £. I had $300 to change back, a lucky slots win on the last day netted me some money to take home. The Debenhams exchange rate could be far beaten by companies you can post your currency too, but they had an offer where you could change your money to pounds on a gift card, plus a 20% bonus. I was given a rate of $1.4 to £1, plus a 20% bonus on top. $200 turned into £142 plus a 20% bonus meant £170. The best exchange rate from a postal company would have got me £154. I did turn the remainder $100 into £71 at Debenhams so they gained there, but they need every pound at the moment.
I am so sad about Debenhams and their financial problems. My local branch is amazing and I get lots of bits there. Luckily its one of the ones doing well and stays open.
Sending the hubby shopping
Turns out the hubby going shopping means we spend less on food. He managed to spend £50 rather than my usual £100. Although he did get mostly unhealthy stuff, burgers, sausages, pizzas, pork pies(??). I have since had to pop to shop to get fish, apples, pasta. Appreciate him trying and he did remember to get food for Trev (and got some strawberries).
Super stardom in a Youtube advertising campaign for Pensionbee
Rachael from PensionBee sent over our family YouTube appearance whilst I was in Vegas. Take a look its fab! I am feeling very assured and confident in my future income now that I have restarted my pension contributions. My target is to put 10% of my turnover into my pension, to catch up on the years missed through my 20s. Oh and the last 4 years after leaving the corporate world. I quote my buddy Emma Maslin, did you know 20-30% of self-employed people do not have a pension? PensionBee are worth looking at, of course I am a customer. If you open a plan we both get a £50 bonus added to our pension scheme. Read about pension consolidation in my last collaborative post.
Octopus Energy Bill Savings
I have been super exited to see lots of readers benefiting from my Octopus energy offer. If you switch over to Octopus using my link we both receive a £50 credit to our bill. Octopus are amazing value for money (I pay £92 per month for a four-bedroom semi-detached house). I managed to get through winter without getting into a negative balance. I feel like my direct debit is at the right level at the moment, and can hopefully make some savings and get a refund over the summer months where usage reduces. Do you need to check to see if your energy company is the best value? Use this link to do a comparison of Octopus to your energy company.
A Sunday well spent
Since returning from Vegas I have been tired. Waking up has been hard. One day I didnt wake up and Josh woke me at 8.42. School starts at 8:50. On Sunday I started to get better, I was woken at 9am as we had booked early tickets to go see Avengers End Game at the cinema, using my kidspass discount card obviously. The tickets were 40% off. I also used my kidspass to get 2 large drinks and a large popcorn for £7 rather than £10 it would cost at the counter. The film….LOVED IT. We all loved it. I cried, but then I cry at most things. Go watch it, its incredible. An get a kidspass to save 40% on your tickets at any time.
I came home and decluttered my office as I want to move back to working from my calm space (as I write this sat at breakfast bar in kitchin)
And finally a last note..on something that has cost me £220.
DO not speed. There you go I have said it. Today I went on my speed awareness course, which was actually very good. But I have been caught twice in past three months, and drove in a bus lane. The result being £220 in fines, three points on my license (the course wiped three of them) and four hours sat in a course, not earning money. Also speeding kills. I wish I wrote down the stats but around 1750 people died from traffic accidents in 2017 (latest data). This is mostly from accidents in rural areas, not motorways, although most injuries are from town/city areas. I know the rules and I will not be speeding again. And the rule- lamp-posts generally mean 30 miles an hour UNLESS signs state a different speed limit.
Thank you. This post has a few affiliate links in it, if you do click and sign up I will receive a payment, as disclosed in the Octopus and PansionBee posts. Kidspass I get nothing;-) but you can sign up for £1.