34 articles Articles posted in Money

A New Family Car for Us

It’s a sad fact that our old jalopy just isn’t going to cut the mustard for much longer. It’s 20 years old now and although it’s still working just fine, I’m not convinced it’ll go through the next MOT and there are lots of bits which seem to have just given up the ghost – the door lining is peeling off (although I DID use my new glue gun to mend it, which I was most pleased about!), the wiring has seen better days and the fumes that the exhaust blow out absolutely STINK! Our budget isn’t huge, although we might consider getting a car loan  to help us afford something a little better, but here are the things which will be the most important factors when choosing:

Safety

The main reason we have our current car is that it’s made by a manufacturer which is known to be super safe. Whenever we look at second-hand cars, we always check the safety rating and if it’s less than satisfactory then the model doesn’t make it onto our list.

Economy

As much as I’d probably have great fun driving around in some huge tank of a car, it’s really not an economically sound choice for us. We’re looking for something with a mid-sized engine, decent fuel consumption because I do a fair amount of miles, something which isn’t going to be in the higher Road Tax bracket and also a car which is cheap to fix if something goes wrong!

Size

Our current car is an estate, and while it’s been handy (like when my tumble drier broke in the middle of winter and I went and collected a replacement in the boot of the car!) to have the extra boot space, we probably don’t need it. More seats would come in handy though, so I suppose we’d consider a 7-seater, if there is such a thing as an economical 7-seater!

Comfort

One thing that can be said about our current car is that it’s pretty comfy. The seats are decent and the car feels like our little home from home. Before we had this car, we briefly had a little Fiesta which we drove to Liverpool in a few years ago and the seats were so uncomfortable that I was numb down one side by the time we got back!! I don’t expect Rolls Royce-level comfort but seats which don’t hurt my ass are pretty important.

Entertainment

I know that the girls would absolutely love a car with screens in the back of the headrests for them to watch on our journeys and we do spend a lot of time in the car so I certainly don’t begrudge them that. For me, a radio and decent speakers are super important – I’ve never liked driving in silence and I NEED to be able to listed to Pop Master on BBC Radio 2 every morning!

What family car do you have? Do you love it? Would you recommend it? Do leave me a comment below, all inspiration is more than welcome!

The Importance of Putting Money Away

No matter who you are or what you are doing – financial health is key to life.

While our physical health and our mental health are clearly important, it is money that does make the world go round, and we can be as fit as a fiddle – but if we don’t have two coins to rub together, we can’t really do much at all. Worse still, we can’t do anything in the event of an emergency – say we lose our jobs, our fitness isn’t going to pay our bills and mortgage is it? Financial health is an absolute priority, especially if we are in charge of a family.

Where do you start with financial health? Well – with a full savings account of course! See, we could all do a little better at savings especially if we are in the situation where we spend a lot on goods we might not really need. Savings, like going to the gym to get fit, can be some quite tough work. There are a number of things that savings can do for us. In the first instance, it can serve as an emergency fund for emergency situations. Secondly, it can allow you to buy the things you want, and finally, it can be used as an investment. In fact, savings should really be used for all three situations! Save money to make an emergency foundation, build on that foundation to create money to buy things and then if you don’t want to purchase, use the savings to invest and grow your wealth.

We live in the era of instant gratification thanks to advances in both marketing and technology. It’s never been easier to get what we want, and that is dangerous in a number of ways. Firstly, it’s going to ensure that you either break even or go into debt at the end of every month as you use your money to do whatever you like without consequence. This won’t allow you to save, though. Despite improvements in wealth, it does seem as though fewer people are saving anything at all. If you have no savings, it could very well be a dangerous situation to be in. The other hand of this is that credit cards and heavy interest loans are seemingly freely available and allow anyone to get anything they want with no present-time consequence and then get stuck in a debt cycle down the road. It is very easy to develop bad spending habits in the 21st century. The problem with debt is that it will not allow you to save as the interest rates on debt do outweigh the interest rates on savings accounts – meaning that money is wasted if it is saved instead of paying off debts. Do you see how debt could be so dangerous now? If you are debt free – you’re in the perfect position to save as you will not have to worry about paying off outstanding balances before you start to save money. However, use your debt-free position to keep yourself that way. It is pointless getting yourself into high levels of debt for no reason unless it is a dire emergency.

This all being said – it has never been a better time to start saving. There are more ways to get paid than ever before and more opportunities to invest and save your wealth than in years gone by.The very first thing to do to grow any sort of savings account is to start spending less. By simply spending less than you earn in month you are going to create a profit from your pay-cheque. This profit? It’s how you can save to buy items without dipping into debt. The profit? It’s how you can build a healthy savings account. Anytime you want a big-ticket electronic item – a new television or a Playstation for the kids, then a monthly excess of cash is the best way to make that happen. Not only can it serve as a big deposit on a fair finance deal, but it might also even buy the product outright if you’re fairly frugal. You might find that this is a bad idea, why would anyone spend when they need to save? The point is to build a good financial habit instead of a bad one. Would you rather pay for things yourself or allow debt to take control?

How can you grow your profit? Get a better paying job for one! But don’t worry, you can still grow your monthly excess to put away by doing a number of things. Firstly, it’s time to budget.

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Budgeting requires a lot of thought and work, but once the groundwork is in place, you’ll be good to go. There are plenty of ways you can budget, but the simplest way of all is to simply keep track of money on a basic spreadsheet. Divide your spending into section based on what the item or product purchased was and you’ll have a detailed breakdown of your monthly spend that can be converted into charts for an easy view of your percentages. The information gained from budgeting can be used to make decisions that can lower your monthly spending. Are you spending too much on transport or food? Take the bus or walk while buying cheaper alternatives of the food brands you love. Spending a fortune on energy bills or internet? Compare energy and internet service providers and their costs to see if you can save money on your monthly bills. All this data can be gained from your budget – so make the use of your receipts and gather the information you need to start saving.

It’s important not to waste money either. Are you buying two bottles of bottled water for £1.50 a day? That’s £15 over ten days and £150 over one hundred days. A good water bottle is going to last you about a year and costs £10-15 while a water filter can be really cheap and set you back less than ten pounds. That’s £25 for a year’s supply of filtered water saving you a fair wedge of cash in the long run. This goes for coffee and even washing clothes as well. Spending money to save money goes a really long way.

If you need to be mean to yourself because you are a shopaholic, you might need to treat your savings as an expense. Put away 10% of what you earn a month to start building a savings account regardless of what you earn and learn to live with the rest. This is a good idea even if you are creating that excess every month and can help you build your finances quickly in the short term.

So, there’s a whole bunch of ways listed in how you can save money and we know why it is so important, right? If an emergency does happen, you and your family can deal with it financially before it becomes a real drag on your finances. What’s more you can save up not only to secure a financial future, but to treat yourself and your family to nice presents and amazing holidays! Saving money is a great way to gain a fast pass to the good life. Would you rather that or an extra few coffees a month?

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If you can find ways to save money, great! If you can’t, then you need to look everywhere and anywhere where you can realistically cut down on your spending. Spending should be a reward and not an everyday thing. Stay well clear of spending and debt to start putting money away!

 

Awesome Ways To Find Money When You Have None

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Forget death and taxes because the one thing that is certain in life is the cost of living. Anyone that has a family and a home will know exactly what I mean. I’m talking about the endless bills, the clothes, the food, and the car that all cost a fortune. Now I know that I sound as if I am ungrateful, which isn’t the case. I love what I have, I just now that it can be a struggle. I know other families are the same, too, because money isn’t always available. There have been plenty of times when I didn’t know where my next payday would come from, and it was frightening. Luckily, I have the experience and know-how to keep those days to a minimum. And, because I have a blog, I want to share them with my readers. Hopefully, they will help you out in your time of financial need.

Ask For It

What I didn’t realise was I could just ask certain people for money and they would give it to me. Okay, it isn’t that simple, but the truth remains that you have to ask or you won’t get anything. I found that the asking the bank for a loan was one of the easiest things I could do because all they could say was ‘no.’ And if they did, I could ask another lender that didn’t overly care about my bad credit. Seriously, just read this guide and it says in black and white that your credit score isn’t important. So, I always find ways of sourcing money and my secret is that I just ask. As long as I ask the right people I know I’ll get what I need.

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Sell Your Stuff

We all have so much stuff, and we don’t need the majority of it because it is purely cosmetic. Still, we feel like we can’t get rid of it because it will make our lives harder. Sure, I might not always take the easiest option, but I take the cheapest one. And, do you want to know something? The cheap option leaves me with more money in my pocket. That’s why I take the plunge and sell valuable assets that I don’t need. Take a car as an example. A car gets you from A to B, but so does a bus or a train. The only difference is that a bus or a train doesn’t cost a fortune to run. Plus, a buyer will pay a lump sum for a car upfront. Not only do I save money but I make it by tactically selling assets.

Work Freelance

I used to think that freelancers were skillful people with contacts and college degrees – wrong! Sure, some fit that category, but not everyone has to be at the top of their profession to work on a freelance basis. The work suits anyone who fits the bill, and almost anyone can fit the bill. I like to write and blog, for example. So, I use my writing skills to help my blog which helps make me money. It isn’t rocket science, yet it the right freelance job can positively supplement a person’s main income. Don’t think writing or blogging is the only freelance opportunity on the market because it isn’t. There are plenty of ways to freelance on the side and make a killing.

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Invest

There is a phrase in investment circles which goes ‘you have to speculate to accumulate.’ In laymen’s terms, it means a person has to spend money to make money. Although it seems like a risky idea, it is a very profitable idea. I know plenty of people who invested in real estate or stocks and shares and make a small fortune. Real estate is my particular favorite. I love the idea of someone else paying off the mortgage and the regular checks that arrive every month. Plus, stocks, shares, gold, etc. are not as easy to understand. Whatever the investment, it is important to take calculated risks to make money.

Cut Costs

Look around the house and ask a simple question: ‘Am I spending too much on the cost of living?’ It sounds like a stupid question – how could a person spend too much on living? It doesn’t make sense. It does make sense to me. The reason it makes sense is that I was guilty of spending too much on the cost of living. I like to think I live to my means, but there are things I spend too much on. And, I don’t just mean frivolous items. I mean things like energy or food. The average person spends a lot on energy bills, for example, when they can reduce their bill quite dramatically. All I tell people is to lower the output of energy or use energy-efficient tools. For food, I try and buy as little brand name products as possible because they are the most expensive. These two tricks have saved me a fortune and reduced the cost of living by a big factor.

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Rent

Renting my assets to other people is one of my favorite methods to make money. There are times when my family and I are not always home. When this happens, the house is empty and wasting money. The good thing is I can solve this problem by renting it out for the weekend or the week. With the help of Airbnb, I can potentially make a lot of money just by renting out my home for a couple of weeks a year. It doesn’t have to stop there, either. I know of people that rent out a room while they are still at home, which doesn’t sound appealing but needs must. Or, people that rent out their parking space. The latter one is especially profitable if you live in a commuter town and there is nowhere to park.

I hope you find these tips useful. But, more than anything, I hope you realize that a lack of money isn’t the end of the world.

Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online

Everybody wants to earn a little bit of extra cash, right? Well, if you do, then doing so may be easier than you think; in fact it a way of doing so is right at your fingertips at this very moment, because you’re on the internet. There is a whole host of ways to make money online; granted, some are genuine and bona-fide cashflows, and some, quite frankly, are not. On this list, you will only find the former: the following legitimate hints and tips should help you to get the most out of the modern day goldmine that is the internet.

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An increasingly popular trend in the world of online money making is people choosing to make money taking surveys. It’s no surprise that it is such a popular option: it doesn’t take up a whole lot of time and doesn’t require any real hard work; it is just sharing your opinion, and getting paid to do so. Online survey taking is an ongoing and ever-present staple of modern day internet use as research companies are always recruiting new members to answer surveys and test new products; so for a few minutes of form filling, you can make a couple of quid which is paid as cash or rewards. It should be noted, however, that this form of income should only be seen as a secondary or side one, and you definitely should not quit the day job.

And if doing what you normally do for free: giving your opinion on things online, and making money for it at the same time, sounds good, then why not try getting paid for searching the web as well? This method has to be even easier than the option of taking surveys as you just install a simple add-on to your browser and get on with searching the world wide web. Sites such as Qmee.com simply reward you for searching in Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Then there is the world of investing in stock markets and currencies. Notoriously a hard venture to attempt, has been made easier by the rise of online facilities. Today there is no need to be a fat cat or fund the yachts of Wolf of Wall Street style stock brokers. You can do it all yourself with the help of online market trading platforms. You should always remember when attempting to crack the world of online stock markets, however, that trading can be volatile and you can lose your entire capital, so don’t throw your life savings into it! .

You could even start a blog or website. Blogs have turned into big business and are even hiring people to write for them these days. If starting one doesn’t tickle your fancy, then you can always become a freelance copywriter and do said writing. Or if writing isn’t your thing, and you’re more of a showman, then why not try creating your own Youtube channel? KSI, whose job is to be a Youtube personality, has garnered a net worth of £11 million from his profession. Could you do this?

 

Protect Your Family With A Rainy Day Fund

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Families are expensive, and in the current financial climate, life is expensive. Increasing numbers of people just about scrape by, and some are struggling to get out of debt. Even if you think you’re doing okay, something could come along out of the blue to put your finances in jeopardy. You or your partner could be  suddenly made redundant, or your boiler could break. Any number of things can happen to add an extra burden on your wallet. To protect your finances and your family set up a rainy day fund.

A rainy fund is your get out of jail free card. It’s your insurance against the unknown. If the worst happens, you have peace of mind if you have a little set by to help you.

No Amount Is Too Little

The first thing to make clear is that no amount of money is too little. Even if you can only spare a few pounds a month, this will mount up over time. Make sure you keep your fund separate to your regular savings and don’t be tempted to dip into it.

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Freeing Up Funds

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, try to free up money from other areas to add to your fund. There are many ways to go about this. Start by looking for changes with a high reward but a low impact on you and your family. For example, money from a PPI claim could be considerable, but it won’t cause any hardship. This could be a significant boost to your household income, and it could be split between your everyday savings and your fallback fund.

Other areas you can make savings are your household bills. Get rid of anything that is no longer useful. That lapsed gym membership is taking up funds that could be redirected elsewhere. And it’s worth negotiating your utility bills. The savings that can be made mount up and could be the equivalent of a small salary bump.

Once you have overhauled your expenses, it’s worth considering your everyday spending. These are payments you make on a regular basis without much thought. A useful exercise is to write down everything you spend for a week. This includes cash as well as card payments. Going through this process can be a humbling experience, and it’s possible to find areas where savings can be made. For instance, your daily coffee from the local barista is costing you around £10 a week. That’s £520 a year. It’s not about depriving yourself. If that coffee is something you look forward to, find a cheaper alternative such as making your own in a travel cup.

Other expenses that mount up include buying sandwiches for lunch and purchasing soft drinks and bottled water. Again, there are savings to be made if you take your own.

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Bad things happen to good people all the time. Despite your best efforts, people fall ill, accidents happen, and companies fold. The trauma of these events is bad enough, without added financial worries. Establishing a rainy day fund could protect you and your family during a difficult period. And there’s no cost you can put on peace of mind.

Keep Watering The Money Tree

Money doesn’t grow on trees – that is a phrase which all of us know, right? Hey, a lot of us probably even use that phrase on a daily basis, especially when our kids want, ask, need and throw tantrums over things that have caught their eye on the shelves in a shop. If there was such a thing as a money tree, the chances are that by now they would be kept in secure preservation somewhere like a national museum or a zoo. They may even be a rare species by now, with everyone ripping off their leaves made out of banknotes, and they would probably be selling for a lot of money on the black market. If I ever came across a money tree I would hide it away in my home where no one could see it, and wouldn’t tell anyone I had one. They would be dangerous things.

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Seeing as money doesn’t grow on trees, it is up to us to look after our money in the best way that we can. This can be saving money on bills by using minimal water, gas and electric, only using the car when it is absolutely necessary, and using coupons and taking advantage of deals when they are in the supermarket. However, with a family it can be fairly difficult to keep on top of saving the cash – especially with the demanding needs of the children having to be met.

Instead of splashing out on expensive brands and buying luxurious items when out food shopping, it may be beneficial for you to make a list of what you need, what you use and what you do not use. Take a look in the cupboards and freezer: how long has that tin of chopped tomatoes been in the cupboard? Will you ever use that frozen ready meal? If there are items which you carry on buying, but simply do not use then your best bet is to completely eliminate them from your shopping list. You will be really surprised at how much cash you could save. Also, look out for reduced items in the supermarket. It’s common for a lot of items to be heavily reduced later at night, so perhaps you may want to shop a bit later in the day rather than in the middle of the afternoon. Stock up on essential like bread, and simply put them in the freezer.

Even in bigger aspects of life, like for example if you are moving, look at different ways into how you can save money. It is a good idea to look at moving companies and what they can offer you. Also, you can sell furniture and home additions which you are not taking with you.

A lot of people like to buy second hand goods, so if you have anything surplus in your home, upload them to a second hand website and you will be surprised how many people will pay good money for the things which were lying dormant in your home.

The Reality of Being a Lottery Winner

When people think about winning the lottery, they imagine that such a windfall will be an instant fix for all of their problems and that it will enable them to turn every single one of their dreams into reality in a blink of an eye. However, the reality of being a lottery winner is not exactly in line with the monumental expectations that people have from it. Without any shadow of a doubt, winning a lottery jackpot is nothing short of amazing, but players should be aware of all the aspects surrounding this huge stroke of lottery luck. In this article, we will tell you about the positive points of being a winner, as well as the negative ones so that you can get a complete idea on the matter. When buying a ticket to your favourite lottery, you build up dreams; but the reality of a win might prove overwhelming.

The Initial Enthusiasm

Winning the lottery is one of the best possible things that can happen to any of us and the few that have actually gotten to experience that have all said that the initial enthusiasm is positively overwhelming. What would you do with a million dollars? What about two, or ten, or one hundred? What do you do if you had more money than you could spend in an entire lifetime?

The first things that come to the mind of the winners are the fact that they will never have to depend on a job ever again and that all of their pre-existing debts can magically be sponged off into oblivion. This is a very relaxing and encouraging thought that causes an instant burst of massive enthusiasm that makes them feel like they could do absolutely anything.

“We couldn’t believe our luck when we realized that we had matched all seven numbers, we had to pinch ourselves.”, said Dave and Angela Dawes about their £101,000,000 win in the EuroMillions lottery. Dave announced his immediate retirement during the lottery win press conference and then the couple started planning the extravagant wedding they had always dreamt of.

Making Those Dreams Come True

From fancy sports cars to luxurious vacations and all the things that money can buy, getting your hands on a lottery jackpot can put virtually any material desire within your reach. As such, splurging on those millions can be a very exciting ride. In fact, it is possibly the best part about winning the lottery because it makes anything you’ve ever wished for achievable with no effort at all.

While most lottery winners spend their money on luxury items and glitzy gadgets, some have taken this to the next level. Some of the most outrageous purchases include TV shows, weather stations, and even land on the Moon, because lottery jackpots seem limitless.

It is essential that this remains only a passing phase because turning it into a lifestyle can prove disastrous to even the biggest of lottery winners. Quite a few people who have won enormous lottery jackpots have ended up spending their money on an unsustainable luxury lifestyle, which rendered them bankrupt before they got a chance to realize it.

Putting the Money to Good Use

While most lottery prizes can provide a very comfortable lifestyle for their winners for the rest of their lives, getting used to first-class living can prove to be much more expensive than it appears initially. Even the largest jackpots will eventually run out if the winners do not have a long-term plan for their newly-found fortune.

This is the main reason why it is crucial that lottery winners seek financial guidance from a professional who can help them develop this long-term plan that could ensure that they are able to maintain their wealth. Investing part of the money wisely can lead to thriving business projects that will make winners feel fulfilled and provide them with a solid financial reassurance.

Getting Used To A New Social Status

Winning the lottery will undoubtedly change a person’s lifestyle and with this, it will bring about a brand new social environment. Winners should expect to receive countless requests for financial support not only from friends and family, but also from strangers.

This is bound to have a significant effect on the psychological status of winners because the vast majority of these requests will be dramatic and even aggressive. Winner’s guilt is almost an inevitable stage, which is why it is highly recommendable that lottery winners see a psychologist while they go through all the changes that come with overnight wealth.

All in all, winning the lottery can prove to be quite the modern fairytale it appears to be, as long as the winners remain grounded and take the time to develop a plan for their future. By keeping these essential guidelines in mind, they can use their money to fuel the best possible version of their lives and make all the plans that they have envisioned for themselves come true.

Getting The Best Loan for You

With Christmas out of the way and Summer a distant fantasy, this is the time of year when a lot of people’s thoughts turn to home improvements. We all spend more time indoors during the colder months and this is often enough to highlight things about our homes that we’d really like to change. Unless you’ve saved up enough money to do everything you want to do, there’s a good chance you’ll need a personal loan, so we thought we’d give you a few tips on getting it right.

Shop Around

Don’t automatically go to your own bank for a loan – there are so many loan providers around now and they may be able to offer you a much better deal. Oink Money is the best place to go as you’ll be able to compare loans from a number of different lenders, as well as being able to apply and receive an instant decision all in one place, saving you time and effort.

Can I Afford It?

Every loan will have different terms with varying rates of interest and repayment periods. Ensuring that you can afford the repayments before you take a loan is essential. If it’s going to leave you totally skint, think about whether you want to live the next few years without being able to afford to do anything else, like holidays or other improvement jobs. It might be worth waiting and saving, even if you only have to save half and borrow the other half.

Protection Insurance

There’s a lot of negative press surrounding PPI at the moment, the insurance which protects you if you can’t repay a loan, but in some cases it’s not a bad idea. If you’re borrowing a large sum, you may want to protect your repayments in case you lose your job or fall ill as it will give you the peace of mind that you will be covered.

Will It Affect My Credit?

Sometimes, having credit can actually IMPROVE your credit rating, so if a lender is unable to provide you with the full amount, perhaps you could borrow less, do SOME of the work and hope that the regular repayments will improve your credit rating in the future, allowing you to get a bigger loan and finish the work.

Can I Consolidate Other Debts?

Sometimes, borrowing slightly more and repaying other debts such as credit cards and store cards will actually leave you in a better position as it will reduce the payments you need to make each month and give you more expendable income. Take a look at what you owe and how much better off you’d be by paying it all off at once before you make your decision.

Need to Save Money? Time to Negotiate!

Most of us are feeling the pinch at the moment – January is a painfully long month after the huge expense of Christmas and with living expenses seemingly on the rise every day it’s a wonder any of us can still afford to function! There are things that you could be saving money on without even knowing it, just by giving your service provider a call (check http://www.number-directory.co.uk/ for alternative numbers to cut down waiting times). Here’s a few of them to start you off:

Energy Companies

Many of us are using an energy tarrif which is by NO means the cheapest one for us, so calling your energy providers and asking them to reasses your usage is a really good idea. Also, if you pay by Direct Debit and are in credit, it’s worth asking them to reduce the amount they tale each month.

Mobile Providers

My current mobile package gives me unlimited texts and minutes, plus 20GB of data and I know for a fact that, even as a heavy mobile user, I rarely ever reach anywhere near my limits. This month, I’ll be looking at my actual usage and contacting my service provider to see if they have a deal which better suits my needs.

TV Providers

In our house, we have every channel known to man through our TV service, but spend most of our time either watching Netflix or moaning that there’s nothing on telly, which would suggest that we’re paying for packages which are of no use to us! Our contract isn’t up until the summer, but when it is I’ll definitely be calling them to renegotiate our deal. Don’t be afraid to play hardball or threaten to leave if you don’t offer you anything better! And, if needs be, DO actually leave, even if you have your partner start a contract as a new customer as they always get the best deals!

Car Insurance

I’m not going to lie, I’m dreading my car insurance renewal this year, after my incident with the cyclist last summer, but I know for a fact that I won’t be accepting my current insurer’s first quote. I’ll do a lot of shopping around for a good deal and then seeing if my current provider will match it. If not, I’ll be switching straight away!

Loans and Credit Cards

If you have any outstanding loans or credit cards it’s always worth looking for new deals with 0% rates for balance transfers or first-year deals. This will allow you to save money on the interest you may be paying on any money borrowed and if you have a lot of credit, this could represent a really big saving. It’s also worth getting independent financial advice to see if your mortgage deal is the best one for you.

Living in The Baby Bubble

If you’ve got a newborn baby, you know all too well what it’s like to live in that lovely bubble of baby wonderfulness. They may not be sleeping at night but in the early days it’s all about finding your groove and if it’s your first baby, it’s so tempting to stay at home in your little baby-centric haze for as long as possible. There are, however things that you’ll need to do in those forst few weeks, so we thought we’d give you a little list to remind you of the essentials.

Register Baby

Registering your baby is a legal requirement as it basically informs the Government that there’s a new human in the world! You have six weeks from the baby’s day of birth (although this can be different if baby is in a special care unit, and some hospitals have a registrar on site for these very occasions), but you must do it as soon as you’re able.

Apply for Benefits

Once you’ve registered baby and got their birth certificate, you can apply for any benefits to which you might be entitled, such as Child Benefit and Child Tax. If you need help working out what to apply for, head over to http://www.govukbenefits.com/ for more information and links on how to apply.

Weighing

For the first little while, you’ll probably have midwives and health visitors coming to your home to keep an eye on you and baby, and ensuring baby is gaining weight nicely. Once these visits stop, you’ll need to find a local clinic (usually in a childrens’ centre or doctors surgery) to keep having your newborn weighed and having their “Red Book” filled in.

Keep In Touch Days

If you’re on Maternity Leave from work and are planning to go back at some point, then some places of work have Keep In Touch days to enable you to go back for a few hours to refresh yourself on your work duties. It can often make you feel less out-of-touch with your career and is an excellent excuse to show off all of your adorable baby photos!

Health Check

Obviously, most of your focus in the early days will be on baby but you also need to ensure that YOU are being looked after too. Regular checks with your midwife or doctor will ensure than any c-section or episiotomy wounds are healing properly and it’s also good to have a mental health check to ensure that you aren’t suffering with PND or PTSD after a traumatic birth. If you don’t look after yourself properly, you won’t be able to look after your new precious bundle properly, and that’s the most important thing in the world for you right now.