Money

5 Tips to Save on Electric Bills This Summer

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Summer is on our doorstep, but we are likely to spend it indoors this year. Due to the current lockdown, we might not be able to make the most out of local parks and beaches for a while. If you are confined at home, there are tips you can count on to see your money go further, without having to change up your lifestyle too much. Best of all, the tips below can help you enjoy your time indoors a little more!

Leverage natural light

As summer approaches, we can start to enjoy longer days, more hours of sunlight, and later sunsets. With all this natural light, it would be a pity to switch lights on during the day. And, ultimately, this might cost you quite a lot more than just letting the sunlight come through the windows.

However, for the best results, you might need to reevaluate your window coverings and curtains. Heavy drapes might prevent your windows from working at their best. Instead, for the summer, opt to switch to a lighter option. This alternative allows the light and fresh air to change the atmosphere of your rooms.

Switch to a better lighting system

Even if you are trying to limit the usage of lights, we rely on them for most of the day. However, some tricks can help you reduce your energy bills. Start by switching to a more sustainable lighting scheme and low consumption light bulbs. 

Moreover, if you often end up working late, invest in task lighting, which allows you to switch off the primary source of light and stay focused with just a small lightbulb. Additionally, it might be worth considering swapping to LED lights which are much more efficient than your standard bulb.

Use air conditioning mindfully.

As summer approaches, temperatures also start to rise. If your outdoor space is limited and your windows don’t seem to allow enough fresh air in, you are probably thinking to invest in a proper air conditioning system. While this is an excellent idea, you should Compare Energy Prices and implement other forms of air-cooling appliances, such as fans. 

Live more sustainably

Deciding to live more sustainably this summer has excellent benefits, among which the opportunity to save a little more on electricity. Some tips to reduce your footprint include:

  • Taking shorter showers
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug electronics that are not in use
  • Let your dishes air-dry
  • Use lower temperatures settings on your appliances
  • Buy fresh food that won’t need much refrigeration or cooking

Make the most out of your garden

Staying indoors for such a long period might have forced you to find new ways of entertaining yourself and your little ones. However, having the TV on all day long or charging your phone multiple times can end up being costly. Instead, if you have a garden or small terrace, opt to make the most out of it. Dinners al fresco and sunbathing afternoons can be an excellent way to turn off the lights in your home for a few times and forget about the TV!

 

Family

Gifting During Lockdown

Lockdown GiftingSince lockdown began, there’s been a whole load of special occasions so far, including Mother’s Day and family birthdays. My birthday is actually next, on 18th June, followed by Husband and Sausage later in the summer, and it’s got us thinking about what we can do to make sure all of these are special, even though we’re in lockdown. Even though we can’t be with our extended families, we’ve been managing to send gifts and cards using various different services. Here’s just a few of them:

Vouchers

Online retailers like Amazon and Love2Shop all offer online gifting options which will deliver vouchers straight to your loved one’s inbox, allowing them to shop online and have their item delivered straight to them. It means that no-one has to leave home and your friend or family member gets exactly what they want, brought to their door.

Online Catalogues

If you’ve got an account with an online catalogue, you can usually send something directly to your chosen delivery address, which is another great no-contact way of having something sent direct. Don’t worry if you have bad credit, that doesn’t mean you can’t use catalogues – just find a bad credit catalogue. This can also help you to build your credit rating in the long run.

Homemade Gifts

Let’s face it, we’re probably all more interested in actually getting to spend time with family rather than getting material things at the moment, and my girls love nothing more than making handmade gifts for people. We’re also lucky enough to have a postbox about 50ft from our front door, so we’re able to weigh things and print postage off online. There are also courier companies which will collect parcels from your doorstep for a relatively small fee, so you could send your loved one a handmade gift which is full of love and uniqueness.

Make a Video

My Mum and Mother in Law are both missing the kids like mad at the moment, so making a video of them full of precious moments and photos would be one of the best gifts we could send them. There are loads of free or cheap video editing apps out there and videos can be emailed over, making them a low-cost, idea full of love and sentiment.

Do you have any great ideas of how to send gifts to your loved ones at the moment? Leave me a comment below!

Kids

Back to School Budgeting – Save Money This Summer

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It’s been a strange year for many families. The kids have been at home, the grown-ups too, and it just seems odd thinking about going back to a normal routine of school and work. With the summer coming up and schools rushing to reopen, it’s come to that time of year again to stock up on back to school supplies. 

The average parent spends £230 on school uniforms alone every year, not to mention PE kits, stationery, books, and lunches. With all parents in the same boat, there must be ways to cut these costs down. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to save money on school supplies this year.

Second-hand Uniforms

Many parents use social media groups to swap uniforms. Facebook is a good place to do this, or you can advertise in school. It’s better for little kids who grow so quickly before their uniform is even worn. It’s also a good idea to swap books and revision guides. There are many apps and websites for swapping second-hand items in your local area if you can’t find anyone. 

Make a Realistic Budget

It’s a good idea to write a checklist of only essential items and see what you already have at home. You can then make a realistic budget for what you actually still need to buy. Budgeting apps can help your with this as well. Explain to your kids that a new pencil case every year might not be that necessary. Think about where you can cut a few costs. For another quick and easy solution to any financial situation, check out payday loans.

Factor in Hidden Costs

Don’t forget about extra-curricular activities that you might need to budget for as well. Things like sports clubs and music lessons can set you back a bit. For lunch costs, you could set up an account and plan it with your children so they’ll know what to expect. If you’re looking for inspiration there are plenty of cheap lunch box ideas online. Get creative with leftovers and fun treats. Home-cooked food is much better for them than prepared meals anyway, besides being a lot tastier.

Shop in Sales

It’s hard to rely solely on second-hand items so when you do need to do some shopping, give your self some time to wait for the sales. Take into account your child’s growth in that waiting time, don’t forget. Supermarkets often have crazy cheap offers in the summer, and you’ll be able to find deals online as well. Here are some more tips and tricks for buying school uniforms. 

Determine a Savings Timeline

If you plan how much you’re going to spend on school supplies you can start developing a timeline and save up with plenty of time in advance. Put aside a piggy bank for school funds. School stuff costs a little more nowadays due to technology being implemented into their studies. Plan ahead a little for your children’s education to make sure they don’t go without.

Health

Struggling with Sleep Apnoea? Here Are Some Tips That May Help

sleep apnoeaAre you struggling with sleep apnoea? This condition means that while you are sleeping and your body is in a relaxed state, you suddenly stop breathing. When this happens, the sufferer is normally jolted awake and gasping for breath. Other suffers don’t even realise it is happening. This can happen more than once during a sleep cycle and can lead to many other health issues.

  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • An increased risk of coronary issues
  • Anxiety and other mental health problems

Sleep apnoea can occur for lots of reasons, although primarily it is directly linked to obesity and weight issues but also injuries, like ones sustained whilst serving in the military – want to know how is sleep apnoea rated by veterans affairs? Click the link to find out more.

If you suffer from sleep apnoea or you’re worried that you are, then seeking help from your doctor is crucial so you can get a diagnosis and subsequent treatment. But, what else could you do to improve your condition and get a good night’s sleep? Read on for some simple tips that may help.

Reduce your weight/maintain it

As sleep apnoea and weight issues go hand in hand, it makes sense that you consider changing your weight and maintaining a healthy one. Consider more exercise, reducing your salt and sugar consumption, eat more fruit and veg and drink more water. Of course, any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle should be met with your doctor’s approval first.

Try some breathing exercises

Sleep apnoea occurs to the lack of oxygen levels in your blood. Therefore, engaging in activities that improve your oxygen levels will certainly help. Consider trying a little yoga, diaphragmatic breathing exercises and even meditation.

Reduce your alcohol intake

We all like a glass of wine after a hard day, and a beer or two to relax with on the weekends. However, your tipple of choice could be impacting your ability to sleep and making your sleep apnoea worse. When we drink alcohol, the muscles in our throat relax – this is usually why we snore after a night of drinking – this can severely exacerbate the symptoms of sleep apnoea, so reducing your alcohol intake will hopefully make a difference.

Don’t sleep on your back

Sleeping on your back can trigger sleep apnoea, so consider sleeping on your side instead and see if it makes a difference. Consider talking about sleeping positions with your doctor.

Adulting

Services-To-Hire That Every Working Mum Should Know About

Working mumThere is hardly any doubt that working mums often feel overwhelmed with daily life. While it can be challenging to stay on top of a chaotic day, especially as a single mum. When you do not have a male counterpart to help you out around the house, there are a few hirable services that will help to make your life easier, and free up some time on your busy schedule:

Yard Care Services

Being able to enjoy a neat and tidy yard with your little ones in your free time is irreplaceable, although, when it comes to keeping your yard up to standard, a beautiful outdoor area is not always easy for busy mums.

Yard care services, such as and other similar services, could be the perfect solution. Relying on a professional service team enables you to enjoy your yard, rather than applying yourself to the time-consuming and strenuous task of mowing the lawn.

Home Cleaning

Many mums shy away from the idea of welcoming cleaning services into their homes as they have several plausible concerns. By opting for a service with an excellent customer review, you can locate a service that is trusted to complete all those dreadful chores.

If you are not entirely for the idea of having full-time help, it would be worth your while to consider keeping a reliable cleaning service on hand for days when you feel you cannot manage. Some house cleaning services may even offer one service instead of a hull-house spring clean, such as only getting your laundry done, or washing the windows. 

Tax Assistance

Even though absolutely everyone does not need an accountant on hand, if you are self-employed, own a rental property, have investments or foreign accounts, or have recently gotten married or moved, it would be worthwhile to consider the assistance. Filling out confusing tax forms for an entire day can be an absolute nightmare for a working mum, which is what makes the extra spend for peace of mind entirely worth it.

Birthday Planning Services

Some mums may be entirely against the idea of outsourcing a birthday party. Although, when considering that removing all the stress of planning and baking and catering will allow you to be a bit more relaxed, birthday planning services are well worth your expenditure.

You will be able to hand over your ideas and have no anxiety over wondering if you can bake that large “Paw Patrol” cake with exceptional detail and instead enjoy the day with your child, friends, and beloved family members.

When to Consider Services-To-Hire

If you are wondering what you should outsource, keep finances and time in mind. Rather than outsourcing everything, you should consider only outsourcing tasks you dread. Should you enjoy planning birthday parties and doing your taxes, having such services might benefit you when it comes to budgeting for the unplannable. It makes sense to keep contacts for trusted services on hand just in case you need them one day. 

Sources

Parentlightly.com Blog

Scrubbi.com Blog

The Wirecutter.com Blog

Lawnstarter

Oasis Turf and Tree Blog

The Balance Small Business