15 great money saving ideas

By: Alex Hartley Nov 30, 2015 15 great money saving ideas We’re approaching a time of year when temptation to spend money is everywhere. However, whether you want some inspiration for keeping your costs down during Christmas, or you’re planning your approach to saving in the new year, here are 15 great ideas to get you on your way. Stop smoking. This is a great new year’s resolution on its own but also a fantastic way to cut down on your monthly budget, particularly given that tax on cigarettes is only likely to continue to rise. Grown your own. Whether you’ve got acres and acres of land or a few window boxes you can save yourself cash by planting and growing some of your own crops. It’s worth noting that fresh herbs are one of the most expensive ingredients that we spend out on and take up just a small amount of space to grow. Use discount designer websites. Particularly if you have a lot of love for designer garb there are plenty of sites where you can get your favourite l


What you can do now to prepare for Christmas

By: Oliver Jones Nov 26, 2015 What you can do now to prepare for Christmas Yes, it’s still only November and, no, we don’t want you to get sick of the word Christmas before Advent has even started but there are some serious benefits to getting the festive season on your agenda before it really hits. No matter what kind of Christmas you’re planning there is plenty that you can do now to make sure that it’s not a last minute panicked, pressured affair. Bake a cake/pudding If you’re making your own Christmas cake and puddings this year then now is the time to do it. A good Christmas cake needs to be fed with brandy for several weeks before it’s eaten to have a really festive zing. ‘Stir up Sunday’ is the day on which you should be stirring up that rich Christmas pudding mix – this fell on 23rd November last year so if you’re intending to do home made puddings for 2015 then you need to make them soon. Send out your invites People have a problem with spontaneous fun at

How to make the most of Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals

By: Amanda Gillam Nov 23, 2015 How to make the most of Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals A couple of years ago, none of us had really heard of Black Friday (this Friday, the 27th November) and Cyber Monday (next Monday, the 30th November) or if we had we’d no doubt written them off as strictly limited to those looking to stock up on ‘tech.’ However, in the last year or so these two days have become huge. In fact they are now widely regarded as the most important shopping days of the year, even bigger than Boxing Day. With sales of £810 million in the UK on Black Friday last year it’s easy to see how this has become a global phenomenon. Both Cyber Monday and Black Friday are terms coined by marketers to create an event that essentially encourages people to spend money. The idea behind these two days is that retailers offer discounts to their customers – a limited number and for a limited time. Black Friday is traditionally in store and Cyber Monday online, although the bou

Can debt ever be a good thing?

By: Alex Hartley Nov 19, 2015 Can debt ever be a good thing? There is no doubt that debt that is badly managed can be problematic for everyone and it’s important to make sure that the level of debt that you have doesn’t overwhelm you. However, the purpose of debt is not to get individuals into a sticky spot but out of it. It should be about achieving your dreams earlier than you might otherwise be able to if you had to save up first. There are many different types of debt in modern society and most of it is designed to be constructive and to help you move your life on another step – if responsibly managed it can do just that. But what kinds of debt are there and how might these help? Mortgages The most common type of debt by far in the UK, a mortgage is essentially a long-term loan. At its simplest, a mortgage is supplied by a lender in order to enable the borrower to buy a property – without a mortgage most people wouldn’t be able to afford to get on the property ladder unl

How to have a healthy family diet on a budget

By: Oliver Jones Nov 17, 2015 How to have a healthy family diet on a budget Healthy eating is a challenge at the best of times and when you’re restricted by a budget it can be even more difficult. Add into that equation the demands of picky children or a houseful of people on different diets and you could find yourself spending a huge proportion of your monthly income on feeding all those hungry mouths. However, it is possible to make sure that everyone is well fed without leaving your budget seriously depleted – here are a few tips on how to do it. Fruit and veges are a winner No matter what the different diets in your household you can normally please everyone with fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are gluten free, dairy free, they don’t contain animal products and they can be served in a way that everyone can add something to them to create a dish that suits their tastes. They are also cheap if you know how to buy them. Opt for seasonal fruit vegetables as these are

Christmas on a Budget

By: Alex Hartley Nov 12, 2015 Christmas on a Budget Dare we say it, Christmas is just around the corner – now that we’re in to November we’re already starting to see the Christmas ads and festive supermarket specials appearing. If Christmas is something that you dread because of the expense of it all then you’re not alone – around half of us worry that we won’t be able to afford to cover the cost of everything from travel tickets to presents, all the food and all the booze. However, you don’t have to completely blow the budget every year at Christmas, there are some simple ways to make savings to enjoy a very festive time on a budget. Budget According to the AA the average adult in the UK spends more than £500 every Christmas on all the components, such as gifts and getting to see the relatives. That’s a lot of cash for a period of three days. Set yourself a limit based on what you can actually afford and make peace of mind this Christmas a gift to yourself. If you’

Tips to help you manage your finances

By: Oliver Jones Nov 09, 2015 Tips to help you manage your finances Money management is often seen as something very boring but it’s actually the key to getting all the exciting things that you want from life. From learning how to make your debts work for you, to making sure that you don’t overspend and have nothing left for what you love, being a good money manager will take you a long way. For most of us, managing our finances doesn’t come easy – there are many temptations and, especially in recent years, times have been tough. However, no matter what your income or where you are in life it’s easy to start getting on top of your financials with these easy to follow tips.Set a  Set a Budget Not just once a year but every month – maybe every week – on an ongoing basis. Budgeting and re-budgeting is basically a very easy way to make sure that you know exactly what’s going on with your bank account and to readjust your planned spending as money ebbs and flows. To work o