13 articles Articles posted in Lifestyle

Sailing Through The Sale – How To Get Your Home Off Your Hands

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When it comes to selling your house, the main thing that people want is for the process to be completed relatively quickly. This is not the case in the majority of sales; there is usually a chain involved which means that you have to wait until people further up the chain have completed with their move and all sorts of other problems. It can get very tricky, and very frustrating. However, if you’re in for the ride then hold on tight – here are some tips on how to shift your home from under your feet.

Give It Curb Appeal

The one thing that potential buyers are going to be looking for when having a snoop around your house is whether they would actually like to live in it. By this, it means whether or not your house is attractive – if their family would like it, if it would make their friends envious, if it’s something they’d proudly put up on social media once they’ve completed. We’re always on the lookout for something to better us, whether this be physical or spiritual … and our houses are a direct reflection of the physical side of this. Ensure that you keep everything neat, minimal and accessible for when viewers come round. Keep on top of the lawn/garden, repaint any outer doors or windows which are wooden to keep them looking fresh and make sure that the path leading up to the front door is free of clutter and tidy. They sound like really basic things to master, but a lot of people get this wrong.

Ask For No Chain Sellers/Cash Buyers

There’s no harm in asking your estate agent to keep a look out for those who can complete a cash house sale – although you may be waiting quite a while. It could be that you’re waiting longer than it would take a sale to complete if you were getting involved with those who are part of a chain. However, if you did get a cash buyer at the beginning, it would definitely work out in your favour. Seeking a house yourself to move on to that doesn’t have an upward chain will also be extremely beneficial in terms of getting everything motivated and together. It’s a form of progress at least!

Rent It Out

If you truly just want your house off of your hands and you’re dying to move into a new property, you could consider renting it out. For the most part, this means that you in turn would probably have to rent the house that you are looking at in turn, but it’s still a way to get your home off of your hands. If you have the funds available to go forth and still buy the property that you were looking at then it’s a double bonus! You should be able to sail through without too much of a hitch – at least not the same hitch that you would’ve had to have been waiting for before.

Why ‘Just Outside Of London’ Gives You More For Your Money

When tourists visit the UK, they are drawn to the centre of London. The bright lights of the West End, the iconic architecture of Buckingham Palace, and the spectacle of the London Eye are certainly alluring. However, accommodation right in the centre of things is never cheap, and it’s rarely as effortless as you might need. Those that are in the UK know that ‘just outside’ of these tourist hotspots can offer the holidaymaker a lot more of London than they thought.

The M25 is the outermost ring road for London. Within this motorway circle are the affluent suburbs commuters love to live in. They offer leafy environments, bigger houses, and less pollution. Move in a little closer, and you have the North Circular – London’s original ring road. This is busy and passes through a number of residential and key business centres that serve this area. So why are these parts of London ignored?

Thanks to Pexels for the pic

Perhaps some of the most convenient areas of London are the ones that are still served by London Underground and the Night Bus services. This means you can stay as late as you want at Piccadilly Circus or the West End comedy clubs. You’re still just a few minutes from your accommodation. You might be staying somewhere like the Dorsett Hotel Shepherds Bush or a nationwide hotel chain in Barking. East or West, you can be served well, without being stuck right in the middle. Best of all, these areas provide their own attractions and delights for the tourist.

If you are accommodated just outside of London, you are likely to enjoy plenty more choice of accommodation. This can include private rooms, apartments, bed and breakfast, and hotels. This might better suit your circumstances. You’re less likely to be penalised for taking your car and parking it at your hotel too! The congestion charges are due to change soon, so make sure you check what you will owe before you travel.

So what more can outer London offer? There are more parks, commons, and heaths to explore. Each will offer a better variety of view too. There are plenty of acclaimed theatres and arts houses to enjoy too. Places like Wimbledon are home to world class eateries, and Enfield offers a superb array of independent retail outlets. Each area is different, so why not try more than one?

How can you get in and out of London from the outer reaches? The underground system is one of the quickest and most efficient modes of transport. You pay for a travel card to last the day or the whole week. This can usually be used to cover your cost of travel on the buses and some overground trains too. Check which zones you need. You may be able to save some money.

If you really love spending time in London, don’t be afraid to explore what is just beyond the tourist hotspots. There is an endless amount of things to see and do, and every area has its own unique character too. What is your favourite area of London in spring?

Shop-Bought Vs Homemade

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I’m sure you will have read a lot about the benefits of trying to become a little more self-sufficient and relying more on homemade items and products. It’s true that making your own things is a great pastime and often works out more environmentally friendly, but is it really worth going to all that extra effort? To try and figure whether shop-bought or homemade is better, here are some of the pros and cons.

Food

Ideally, you should be cooking and baking everything from scratch as it gives you chance to see exactly what is going into your food. Plus, ready-made meals are often packed full of salt and sugar and can be extremely unhealthy. If you have the time, it’s also worth baking bread and biscuits as well, as you can then control how much sugar goes into them. However, when it comes to food items such as hummus, mayonnaise, and other condiments, you might as well buy them from a shop as getting all the individual ingredients can work out expensive.

Clothes

Have you been thinking about making your own clothes? If you are already pretty good with a sewing kit, then you will be able to make some excellent pieces. However, if you haven’t picked up a needle before, and don’t have much time to practice, you might as well just buy your clothes. Finding cheap deals isn’t too difficult now that there are lots of coupon sites like DontPayFull.com, and the shops always seem to have sales on. At the end of the day, if you have enough time on your hands to learn how to sew, then making your own clothes is a great new skill to learn. No time? Don’t feel bad about buying clothing!

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Cleaning Products

One great way to help the environment is by making your own cleaning products. You will find lots of recipes online: eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm. Homemade cleaning products are also non-toxic, so they are a lot safer to use in households with young children and pets. They are also a lot less abrasive on your hands compared to shop-bought ones! I’d highly recommend making your own cleaning products – you’ll soon notice just how gentler they are!

Cosmetics

Did you know that it is also possible to make your own cosmetics? There are now lots of kits you can buy that will guide you through the process, or you can just buy all of the individual ingredients and have a go at coming up with your own products. This is a great option for anyone who suffers from sensitive skin, as you can make each item as gentle as you need it to be. You can also add in any extra ingredients you like to boost the concentration of certain vitamins and minerals. If you have always wanted tailor-made cosmetics, making your own is the best way to go!

As you can see, it’s quite alright to buy your own clothes and some food items. But when it comes to everything else, why not try making your own?!

“You MUST Do This…” – Really?

There’s not enough hours in the day.

Really, when you think about it, what was the sun doing when it chose to make a day 24 (well roughly) hours long? Surely 48 would have been a better number? Or… 100. That would have been useful.

Have you ever actually stepped back and thought about all the things that we’re “meant” to do all the time? Probably not, because it might just make you burst into tears, feeling like you’re trapped at the bottom of a well from which there is no possible escape. It’s no surprise that, as a result of this general overload, mental health is something more and more people are suffering with.

If you stretch it out to consider, it’s pretty frightening – so… is it any use? If we hit all the things we’re “meant” to do, are we not just making lives stressful? And, correct if wrong, but stress is a bad thing isn’t it? Oops, did everything on the list apart from “don’t be stressed”, that’s a black mark…

So what’s actually necessary? And what that you’re “meant” to do can you actually ignore, getting around to it when you please?

Eat Healthily

Image: PixaBay

Okay, an easy start: yes, eating healthily is important. That’s not to say you can’t have the occasional day of indulgence, though. In fact, it might be healthy for your metabolism if you have treat days that can give you a jolt.

Plan Everything

Meal planning. Bullet journalling. Using apps to help with organisation. Decluttering.

Are the above useful? Well, yes. A system like the above is going to prevent you failing to renew a prescription, forgetting to buy your Frontline Plus for dogs stock, and having to write another “sorry I forgot your birthday…” card. But planning life down to the nth degree is unnecessary – there’s always got to be a bit of room for spontaneity, surely?

Exercise Three Times A Week

Recent studies have shown that it might need to be 30 minutes of activity five times a week. Or, other studies have shown, 10 minutes per day is more than sufficient.

So basically, the quantity is something that is still very much up for debate. Just try and be on your feet as often as possible and do low-impact exercise like swimming, yoga or even just taking the dog for play in the park.

Image: PixaBay

Drink Eight Glasses of Water A Day

If you’ve ever looked at this figure and thought: “eight glasses is a bit arbitrary”? You’re right to be sceptical. It is arbitrary – for one thing, there’s little definition on the volume of liquid that constitutes a “glass”. That’s your first sign this is more a vague perception than a scientific necessity.

Image: PixaBay

We do need around two litres of water per day, but we get a huge amount of it from food and other liquids. Try and stay hydrated (especially if you drink coffee or alcohol, both of which can be dehydrating), but shooting for some random “eight glasses” measure is utterly unnecessary.

Take Vitamins

Nope, just eat a decent amount of varied vegetables. There’s no proof vitamins do anything unless you have a specific deficiency and what’s more, overuse of vitamins has been linked to cancer.

50 Shades Of Green

Okay, perhaps there aren’t fifty, but there are quite a few ways you can go green without even trying. If you do, you can save money for your family, make life easier and help the planet. How cool is that? It is something that all parents should be thinking about this year, so what are the options?

Upgrading Tech

If you upgrade your business tech, you will almost automatically be saving a lot of energy. New tech is almost always eco-efficient. So, if you purchase a new laptop this year, you can bet it will save you an absolute fortune in the long run. It’s worth upgrading all the tech in your home every few years. You’ll cut down your energy usage as well as your home cost.

Look For A Renewable Supply

You need to think about looking for an energy supply company that offers renewable resources. There are plenty available, and all you need to do is check out this possibility. You might find that the rates are cheaper, so again, it could save you a lot of money in the long run. Switching isn’t hard either, and the new company will typically set this up for you making the switch pain free.

Recycle It All

You should be recycling everything that you no longer use. This includes things like newspapers to electronics. When you do upgrade your tech, think about recycling it straight away. You can easily do this with things like mobile phones and tablets. Find out how in the infographic below and take one more step towards green living.


Infographic Created By My Trendy Phone

Online Gambling – an Alternative Way to Get Some Extra Cash

Internet Gambling Can Be a Fun and Effective Way of Making Money Online.

When the Internet is not used for entertainment and as a source of information, it can act as an instrument for making money. The vast majority of those who use it are not overly concerned about maximizing the return on investment. The best part is that even those who have a regular job and go online for reasons that have to do more with leisure, can make it lucrative. The alternative ways to get some extra money online are not difficult or very time-consuming and can actually be quite entertaining.

Turning Hobbies into Profitable Activities

Generally speaking, hobbies are the pleasant activities that we enjoy after work is over. Quite often, these costs money rather than generating it and we accept this situation as a given. Depending on what type of activity you enjoy doing in your pastime, you might be able to make some money off it. Once again, the Internet acts as a catalyst for such a smooth transition. People are presented with several alternatives and the best part is that even if you don’t make a lot of money, you will enjoy every single attempt.

Pretty much everyone can succeed online, even those who don’t have certain training. Those who for some reason need to spend more time indoors, are the main beneficiaries. Mums have to look after the kids and young ones can require a lot of attention, therefore plenty of time. The biggest problem for those mothers who want to stay active is that the amount of continuous time they have available for lucrative activities is limited. Even under these circumstances, there are many ways for mums to make extra cash.

As long as they have a computer connected to the Internet, they can use it to put their skills to good use. Writing articles for blogs, designing websites and maintaining them are just a couple of options. In fact, one can even make money from childcare and educated advice is much appreciated and well paid for. The list of potential activities is so long that there’s a good chance to find one that appeals to you.

Making Online Gambling Profitable

Those who know little about the industry might be tempted to think that gambling is a money consuming activity, rather than a source of income. Luckily for those who take it seriously, this is actually an alternative way to get extra cash. They obviously need to consider it more than a pastime and treat it as seriously as possible. Proper bankroll management, equal allocation of time for research and gaming, as well as intelligent use of newfound knowledge are needed to succeed.

Instead of regarding online gambling as a get rich soon scheme, people should consider it more as a part-time job. You can make money by following the rules and as you spend more time online, this activity will also grow on you. At the end of the day, there’s a good chance to make a nice side income, while also having a lot of fun online.

There is no shortage of online gambling operators today and they cover all popular genres. The only challenge is to find one that can act as a reliable partner in the long run. PLAYOJO has the potential of meeting the expectations of people who take gambling seriously. They offer enough games to provide the much-needed diversity, have them audited for fairness and offer bonuses and money back rewards.

How Often Do Your Change Your Profile Picture?

I often say that the world is a really different place now than it was when I was younger. Things like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist until I was well into my twenties and I was already a married woman, and growing up in a digital age must be quite tricky at times. It only takes a quick Google of a name to see stuff about people and there are photos of basically everyone and everything out there for all to see.

According to Facebook, I joined on Monday 25th June 2007 and this was my very first profile picture (you can tell it was taken pre-kids because  of how young, well-rested and relaxed I look!!):

First Facebook profile picture

Just recently, bidvine conducted a survey to see how long people’s profile pictures had been used for and the results were quite surprising. According to the research: “The results found that those using dating apps such as Grindr and Tinder were more likely to change their profile pictures more frequently (every 2-3 weeks), while Facebook and Instagram users on average would change their pictures every 5 to 6 months. Dating websites seemed to be the least up-to-date when it came to profile pictures, with Plenty of Fish users keeping the same profile picture for 3.2 years and Match.com users on average waiting 4 years to change their picture.”

People were also asked WHY they only changed their pictures with seeming rarity and the answer was quite simple – people don’t like the way they look in photos! According to the results, the majority of respondents (62%), stated that they struggled to find pictures they were happy with, while nearly half (49%) admitted that they wanted to appear younger to others looking at their profiles.

Sohrab Jahanbani, CEO of Bidvine.com said,

“Looking at the regularity with which people change their profile photos, it appears that older, more conventional dating websites and the networks people use on a regular professional basis, such as LinkedIn and Twitter lag behind, while younger single people are more likely to want to use newer photos.

“It appears that people don’t change their photos because they struggle to find photos of themselves they like. So with this in mind, Bidvine is setting up pop up photo booths offering free professional photography for those who want to update their social media profile pictures. As we all know, whether it’s for a wedding, a company headshot or your online profiles, professional photos make a difference. We’ll be announcing cities and dates for the photo booths on our website shortly.”

I change my profile fairly regularly so I’m quite surprised by how rarely other people change theirs – perhaps this makes me really vain?! How long ago did you change you profile picture? Do you wait until you’ve taken a picture that you love? Are you as surprised by the survey as me? Leave me a comment below!

Is it Time for an Intersex Olympics?

Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

(I apologise in advance if I use any incorrect terminology, my aim here is not to offend anyone, only to start a conversation)

If you’ve been anywhere near the news in the past few days, you can’t fail to have missed the furore surrounding South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya and the questions over her gender. In case you have missed it, here’s a TL:DR of the situation: Caster, born in 1991, won a gold medal in Rio in the womens’ Olympics, however there have been complaints from other athletes because she has high levels of testosterone, which they claim gives her an advantage.

Caster Semenya

When I first started reading about this, I came across an article where they said that it had become common practice for Semenya to go into the bathrooms before a race to show one of her competitors her genitals to “prove” her femininity, which sounds absolutely appalling and like a gross invasion of her privacy and I was genuinely shocked to read that she had to go to such lengths to confirm her eligibility to race.

However, the controversy takes a slightly different slant when you consider her internal physiology. You see, according to official reports, Semenya has high levels of testosterone which is produced by internal testes and she also lacks a uterus and ovaries. The officials who deal with eligibility to race have stated that there’s insignificant evidence to suggest that testosterone gives her a significant advantage over the other athletes, however, several other athletes with the same physical attributes as Semenya took steps to change this, as reported in the New York Times:

At the London Olympics, four female athletes, all 18 to 21 years old and from rural areas of developing countries, were flagged for high levels of natural testosterone. Each of them subsequently had surgery to remove internal testes, which produce testosterone, as well as procedures that were not required for resuming competition: feminizing vaginoplasty, estrogen replacement therapy and a reduction in the size of the clitoris.

One could argue that many athletes have physical attributes which make them “unusual” in the grand scheme of things, but which give them an advantage when it comes to sporting prowess. Take Miguel Indurain, for instance. He’s a Spanish cyclist who won FIVE consecutive Tour de France in the early to mid-Nineties and is considered cycling royalty to this day. However, he has a huge physical advantage; his blood took almost double the oxygen of a normal person and his cardiac output was 50 litres a minute; a fit amateur cyclist’s is about 25 litres. No-one suggested that his physiology was an unfair advantage, just a happy anomaly which, ultimately, made him a legend.

So, if the issue isn’t physiological, then is it a gender issue? Well, Semenya identifies as a woman and has spent her entire life living as a woman; from what I can gather there’s never been any suggestion in her life of any sort of gender dysphoria or questions over how she identifies, which makes it clear cut, right? Maybe not.

Fallon Fox Tamikka Brents

Fallon Fox in white, before her fight with Tamikka Brents (pink bottoms)

Another similar case in sport was that of MMA fighter Fallon Fox. Featherweight champion Fallon underwent gender reassignment surgery back in 2006 and entered the MMA as a female fighter. Not only has she had her male reproductive organs removed but she has been on hormone therapy for many years, however she’s faced massive opposition and controversy within the MMA community because people feel that her physicality gives her an advantage, not least of all when she fought Tamikka Brents, and “Brents suffered a concussion, an orbital bone fracture, and seven staples to the head. After her loss, Brents took to social media to convey her thoughts on the experience of fighting Fox: “I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right,” she stated. “Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch…””

Fox argues that her hormone therapy probably means that she actually has LESS testosterone than her competitors, but this doesn’t alter the fact that testosterone played a part on how she developed physically in the first place, until her reassignment surgery.

It’s all such a grey area. Traditionally speaking, men and women have never competed against one another because of the clear physical differences, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no middle ground. Obviously, it’s rare to see a woman who’s the size of say, Mike Tyson, with the same bone structure and heavy musculature, but there are plenty of female fighters who probably make Conor McGregor look like a leprechaun with his featherweight frame. But does size equal strength? No, definitely not.

All of this is leading to a point…honestly!

While I’m not suggesting that being intersex or hormonally different is a disability (quite the opposite, in fact), is it time that we offered an Olympics for competitors where gender isn’t clear-cut, in the same way that we have a Paralympics for differently abled athletes? This way there can’t be any suggestion that they’re somehow exploiting a physical advantage. Issues of gender have become far less taboo in recent years, allowing people to live exactly as they wish to without the previous levels of prejudice, which is great, although there is still a long way to go. Should be we accommodating people for whom gender/sex isn’t black and white? A ‘third-sex’ Olympics? It would certainly level the playing field, but is it getting into dangerous levels of classification and potential prejudice from different angles? Is submitting to hormone tests before being allowed to enter a step too far, or is it no different to submitting to a drugs test to ensure that performance-enhancing drugs aren’t used? Is it all just sour grapes from the losing athletes?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this, so please do leave me a comment below!

Retirement: Everything You Need To Know And Consider For The Future

Being a parent, it’s difficult to see beyond the here and now. We focus so much on the daily routine. The school runs. The fact whether our kids are eating. The chores, our work life perhaps. Not feeling like we have the right balance, but yet hoping to have as much quality family time as possible, sound familiar? This is the norm for most parents of today. There is so much focus on what you should be doing right now, and less about the future. It was a different story for our parents and grandparents. They tended to make provisions for the future.

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It’s not that modern parents don’t think about it, I think it may be more to do with the issue of it seeming like a big task. Future finances, our retirement plans. They seem like such big decisions to make for our lives that seems so far away. But as we all know, time moves exceptionally quick. Before we know it, that will be us. So I thought I would take some time to break down exactly what you should think about for the future. It’s not as difficult as perhaps you believe.

Your finances

Finances are possibly one of the biggest things you need to tackle for your retirement and future. Once you or your partner leave employment, that is it for income. Of course, you can draw your state pension. The one everyone gets. But that may not leave you accustomed to the life you have gotten used to. Don’t threat. There’s plenty of things you may have already put the wheels in motion for, and certainly, things you can start doing right now.

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Equity Release

Have you bought a property that you own? Whether you live in it or rent it out for income, that’s one big step for securing your financial future. If you haven’t bought a property yet now’s the time to start saving to do it. It’s a great investment and one that can secure you in the future. Equity release is one of the things you can consider. This is where you draw down some of the equity in your property, it can be done in a lump sum and then used to live off or pay for things like holidays. Some people love this kind of option whereas others see it as using up funds that could be passed down to children or grandchildren when you pass away. The choice is yours to make, but it is an option.

Pensions

You may have one you pay into already, which is perfect. However, many employers now offer the workplace pension scheme, and it is one you should consider. The money is taken directly from your wages each month so you don’t need to think about it. Your employer also pays a set amount, which means you get more investment. It’s a great scheme that many of you can take advantage of. If you want to consider a personal pension, then there are many advisors who will be happy to advise on some of the best packages available.

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Savings and investments

Finally, when it comes to your finances, you could always look into your savings and investment options. This is where you could tie in your money to a high interest savings account for a set period. Or consider investing in the stocks and shares market, although that can be quite risky if you are inexperienced.

What you might do with your time

On a positive note, now is a great time to consider what you will do with the time you have. Retirement is a new chapter in your life and one that should be embraced wholeheartedly. You should make the most of the time. If you are unsure, here are a few suggestions.

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Make a bucket list

Start now and sit down and make a bucket list. This could include all the places you want to see and experience. It’s a great idea to get some perspective on where you want to go in life. Retirement is the perfect time to take advantage of seeing these pleases, but don’t let that stop you if you have the chance to begin exploring now.

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Travel

Now that you have some time, and no doubt have saved for retirement, you could consider travelling. There are many options like taking extended cruises, seeing different countries or travelling to the other side of the world.

Take up a new hobby

Whether it was something you stopped years ago or something you have always wanted to try. Retirement offers you the chance to start a new hobby, and invest yourself into it. It could be anything you like. If you are stuck for ideas, there are plenty of websites to provide some inspiration. Taking part in a hobby or pastime allows you to get involved in your community and could ensure you make some firm friends in the process.

The future beyond

The one thing we cannot predict is our health. It’s one of those things that would love to prepare for in advance, but sadly that isn’t the case. While you may take care of yourself with a balanced diet and regular exercise, you never know what the future holds. This is why it is worth having a plan in place, just incase.

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Would you consider a care home?

Many people are put off by the idea of heading into a care home when they are older but these days these places are state of the art and luxurious. A care home could provide you with everything you need around the clock, and provide you living that is more comfortable and rewarding. Care homes can cost, so this is why it is something to consider for the future, it’s worth knowing whether this is what you would want. If you want some more information, you can find it from HC-Care-Homes.co.uk.

Family carers

Alternatively, you could consider staying at home and having a relative or family member care for you. There are many benefits to this including being able to stay in your home. You could consider having it adapted to help with mobility. There are many options, depending on what you need. Carers get allowances to help cover the financials. If you wnat to look into this further, then check out https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/overview.

Have you made out a will?

Making out a will is often something we can forget to do. But it’s our opportunity to make a note of how we want things to proceed when we pass away. While it is never a pleasant subject to think about, what is nice is that you can ensure your family’s future. You may want to make sure that your children get the house, or that your grand daughter gets your wedding ring. It might even be to make a note f how you want things to happen when it comes to a funeral. It is your time to have your say, so don’t miss out on it.

Funeral plans

So as we mentioned this isn’t exactly a nice subject to think about, but you may have strong beliefs that you want taking into account when the time comes. Perhaps you don’t want a fuss at all, or want people to wear bright colours instead of black. Perhaps you want someone in particular to say a few words, or you prefer to be cremated instead of buried. These are all things that you have every right to request and note down. This is your last song. This is where you still get the chance to be in control when you have no control whatsoever. It’s one moment in your life that you have to think about it, and then it’s done, and noted for when it is needed.

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Dividing of assets

Again, perhaps not the nicest thing to think about it, but you have worked hard for your money and assets. The last thing you will want is someone else taking control of matters. In you will you need to make a note of who you want things to go to. Mostly people keep things simple and state that their estate is divided between their children, or to their partner. Many couples agree to have their assets transferred to one another in the event of someone passing before the other. Then it would be divided after that. It’s up to you. You can go into as much detail or keep it as simple as you want. Again once it’s done, it’s done. The only thing to bear in mind is that assets change over time, you may purchase more property or get a bigger house. Try and remember to keep your will up to date.

I hope this has opened your eyes a little about the future and made you realise it’s not as difficult to plan ahead as you once thought. It’s just about taking a few moments to consider some things, and then carry on living your life.

The UK’s Most Expensive Neighbourhoods

Living in the South East of England can be an expensive business; our proximity to London means that house prices and rents are still very high and that expensive perimeter around the capital is only increasing with improved high-speed travel. In the area we previously lived, we saw house prices steadily creeping up to the point that, when it came to moving house, we decided that enough was enough and moved to a less expensive area.

Property Rescue has created an infographic, showing the top ten most expensive places to live in the UK and I was COMPLETELY unsurprised to see that 90% of them are in London! Here’s the full list:

According to their research:

“The East of England continually sees the biggest growths in house prices with homes worth 8.4 per cent more than last year, seeing the average price of the likes of Chelsea, Notting Hill, and West Brompton comfortably sit above £1million.

London property averages at almost £500,000 but sitting top of the list is Kensington, where residences are worth an average £1.74million. Such is its regard, the area includes a street which is home to the ambassadors of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Finland just to name a few.

Located in the west of London, surrounded by other affluent areas including Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, and Chelsea, the area includes a wealth of London’s premiere hotspots including the Natural History Museum, the Royal College of Art, and the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace.

The list is entirely made up of London locations, with neighbourhoods in Kent and Hertfordshire missing out, whilst the quiet commuter town of Virginia Water, Surrey is the only area outside London which makes the list.”

The saddest part about the list is that so many of the areas which have now been gentrified were once areas which were homes to average working people, people who would have absolutely no hope of living there ever again. It reminds me of the episode of Only Fools and Horses where Uncle Albert tries to go back to Tobacco Road where he grew up and finds it full of million-pound Docklands apartments and penthouses.

Do you live in an area which has become unaffordable over the years? Do you think it’s a good thing when older areas are regenerated or are you, like me, sad that working class people are being driven out of their home towns? Leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear what you think about it all.