Monday Money comes to you today from distant lands. I am trying a week of being a digital nomad. I am working from Corsica and a Mark Warner week away. Timing wise is not the best as I have a ton of deadlines this week, so I am spending time on my laptop in my beach office writing. I feel that my writing can only improve with the motivation of being near the sea. But what did I get up to last week that saved me lots of money or was interesting, like appearing on Victoria Derbyshire.
It was the last week of the summer holidays, so I tried to fit in fun stuff, but that did not cost the earth.
My week started off with an unexpected appearance on the Victoria Derbyshire show on Tuesday. I was invited in as the personal finance expert to talk about the bank of mum and dad. Me more of a cautionary note to get good advice before taking any big decisions about releasing equity to children or gifting money that you might miss later in life. Here is the iplayer link, my section is after 21 minutes.
Bonus was a free haircut. Make-up cut my fringe for me, I normally cut it myself! I need to cut the section from the show and pop it on my YouTube channel. I did well, I am really pleased with my guidance. Sensible but warm and engaging.
Cambridge Day out Swimming and Botanical Gardens
We live on the Cambridge to London trainline, so we planned a trip to Cambridge for one of the days. We got the train, using my Network railcard. It was £19 return for me and three children. Parking alone in Cambridge would have cost £15 so I feel train is totally the way to go to get to Cambridge to save money and be kinder to the environment.
First stop was the Swimming Pool, a 15-minute walk from the train station. We have driven past it many times on route to Cambridge United Stadium and the boys have noticed the flume slides. So, they were at optimal excitement point of going here.
It is run by Better, a not for profit leisure company that also runs the Gosling sports and trampoline park near to us in Welwyn Garden City, so it was a bargain. £12 for the four of us. This kept the boys happy for a good two hours and I was able to get in a 40-minute swim as well.
We then grabbed a picnic lunch from a nearby Sainsburys and walked for another 15 minutes to the botanical gardens, which I LOVED. Totally loved. These are huge gardens in the centre of Cambridge with tropical plants, scented gardens, rose gardens, huge trees, rock gardens, veg patch. Everything you could imagine. And it cost £6 for me, free for the boys. We sat under a willow tree by the lake and ate our lunch. It was wonderful.
And then we got the train back home. A very fun day.
Clean Eating Continued
My clean eating and train dirty exercise routine carried on until Thursday. This week saw us do Boxing, core strength and upper body strength. I really enjoyed the boxing session, maybe something to carry on with.
My eating has not been the best with this plan this time, I must admit. I had maybe three good days and three not so good days. I really struggled with the loss of sugar this time, and totally caved in and had ice-cream.
A pass in terms of lots of exercise, but a fail in terms of ice-cream.
Packed Lunch Photoshoot
We spent a few hours on Friday working on an Aldi case study feature. I had to devise 5 heathy packed lunched to feed my three boys for a week for less than £15. I recipe planned it, did my shopping and got idea for five colourful and healthy packed lunched for less than £10. Boom.
It included some homemade egg muffins and flapjacks, so we spent time making them, then they were devoured by the boys. They came in at 10p each, watch this space for the recipe and the lunchbox ingredients.
Bike Rides to the Woods
Josh, my middle son has a new obsession with BMX dirt biking, doing jumps, pelting through mud, burning down slopes etc. On three days this week he went to local Mardley woods for biking adventures. A wonderful activity that is completely free. And either biking it over or walking is great exercise, its 1.5 miles away. The woods are beautiful, especially on the hot days.
Second hand September has begun
During the month of September, I am taking part in the Oxfam campaign #secondhandseptember. I pledge to not buy any new clothes for me or the boys. Amazing for the environment and great for my bank balance, as I need to have a money saving September. Read more about the challenge here and I would love to hear about you joining too!