70 articles Articles posted in Money

Saving for the Summer

Saving for the SummerWith the summer holidays fast approaching, many of us have started to think about our finances over the coming weeks. Keeping kids entertained for six weeks isn’t cheap, and the cost of summer can seem truly daunting. With that in mind, I thought I’d look at some things you can do to top up the funds, ahead of this expensive time of year.

Get a Part Time Job

Childcare can be super expensive, but if you’re not currently working and need some extra cash, there are lots of part time jobs out there which can fit around family time. From courier work to bank nursing at your local hospital, out of hours options are there, providing you’ve got someone to watch the kids in the evening.

Get a Loan

While I wouldn’t usually suggest getting yourself into debt, as long as you’re sensible with making your repayments on time a loan can be a useful buffer at this time of year, and getting a loan can even help to repair bad credit if you ensure you stick to your repayment plan. There are also loans for bad credit if you don’t have the best credit rating.

Cancel Any Services You Don’t Use

This is a great time of year to take a look at your finances and cut back on anything that you really don’t need. I currently pay £10 a month for a gym membership, which I barely use, and although a tenner doesn’t seem like much, it’s enough to make your eyes water when you think about it as £120 a year!

Streamline Your Shop

If you’re like us and end up wasting food because of less-than-savvy shopping, this is a good place to start when it comes to money saving. Sit down and look at HOW you shop (weekly, monthly, day-by-day) and work out where most of the waste is coming from. You could also think about WHERE you shop and whether there’s a cheaper option out there, like Lidl or Aldi. Meal planning is also often a good way to help you to be more frugal. 

Get Your Walking Shoes On

Many families are guilty of jumping in the car for short journeys, which would actually be more than walkable. Unless you’re in a massive hurry, try to make any journey of a mile or less on foot – or even better, get the bikes out and get the whole family cycling. As well as cutting your fuel costs, it will get you all moving and will also reduce your carbon footprint – everyone’s a winner! 

Do you have any fab money saving or money making tips for my readers? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. 

Here’s How You Secure Your Child’s Financial Future

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We all want our children to grow up and do well in life, and sometimes it’s possible to give them a helping hand with this. For instance, you could help them with their education to make sure that they get a head start. Read to them as often as possible when they are young and encourage them to always do their homework to a good standard once they start to go to school. It’s also worth spending time working on their social skills so that they can grow up into well-rounded and confident individuals. For instance, you might want to sign them up for nursery from an early age or arrange lots of play dates with your friends and relatives who also have children of a similar age.

Of course, it will also pay off if you help your children with finances.

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Start Saving For Them As Soon As They Are Born

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your children have a bright financial future is to start saving some money for them on a regular basis. You don’t have to save too much, but you might be surprised that even a very small amount could quickly add up for your kids. If you just save £10 for them every month from their birth to their eighteenth birthday, then you will be able to save £2160 for them. If you place these savings into a high-interest savings account, then they will also get quite a bit of interest paid onto them over the years, which should help the pot of cash grow even more. You will be allowed to open a bank account for a child as soon as they are born, and it really is something you should think about.

Take Out Some Life Insurance

It’s also a really good idea to take out some life insurance for yourself and your partner. This will help to protect both of your incomes should anything happen to you. For instance, if one of you were to suddenly pass away, then the life insurance will then pay out every month to replace all or part of the monthly income that was being brought into the family. This way, your family wouldn’t also have to deal with any money issues while they were grieving and dealing with the loss.

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Write Your Will

haven’t already, you should also think about making a will. It may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but it will be super beneficial for your family. In the will, you will state how you want your money and estate divided up between your loved ones in the event of your death. For instance, you can say that you want your money split up equally between your partner and your children. You can also state who will inherit any property that you own. The will will make it a lot easier for everyone once you do pass away. They won’t be able to argue the terms of the will, so there won’t be any debate regarding who gets what. Not only that, though, but it also ensures that your children get what you want them to, as no one will be able to state any claim to what they are due to inherit.

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Think About The Potential Cost Of University

There’s a chance that your kids might want to go university to get a good education in order to further their careers. This is a really good path for them to take, however it can be really expensive. The cost of university has been gradually increasing for the past decade or so, and there is no sign that it will be reduced anytime soon. So, this is going to be an expense that you will need to prepare for. If you can afford to, it’s worth saving up for it as soon your kids are born. You could start a separate savings account for your child alongside one for general savings. This could be a good idea even if your kids decide to not go to university after all – at least they will still have these savings that they could put towards a house deposit or their first car.

Talk To Your Children About Money From An Early Age

As well as making all of these financial preparations for your children, it’s also a good idea to be open with your discussions about money. You should explain why it is so important to save as much money as possible. It’s also necessary to teach them the concept of interest so that they know to always look for the bank accounts that will offer them the best interest rates. Make sure that you talk to your children about various financial products as well, such as loans, credit cards, and investment opportunities.

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Avoid Loans And Credit Cards

You should talk to your children about loans and credit cards so that they are aware of them, but it’s best to try to discourage them from using them once they become financially independent. If they do start to use these kinds of products, they will be a lot more likely to end up accidentally sliding into debt and with huge bills to pay. So, make sure that your kids are aware of the fact that there are some financial products that they need to be wary of.

Give Them A Piggy Bank

Piggy banks may seem quite old fashioned these days, but they are a great resource when you need to teach your kids about the basics of money. They will be able to save up any change that they are given. Eventually, if they leave it for long enough, they will have a nice little pot of money to use however they want. By doing this, it’s a great way to show them just how useful saving money can be.

As you can see, teaching your kids about the basics of good money management can be incredibly easy. This should help secure their financial futures!

 

Top Things to Consider When Setting Up an E-Commerce as a Full Time Parent

Top Things to Consider When Setting Up an -Commerce as a Full Time ParentPhoto by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Looking for a way to earn income as a full-time parent? Starting an online shop could be a great idea.

Being a full-time parent is a job within itself. So, how can you find the time to look after the kids and set up an e-commerce business? It may be tough, but it’s definitely doable. To help get you started, below you’ll discover the top things to consider when setting up an e-commerce as a full-time parent.

Focusing on the right things

There’s a lot to do when setting up an e-commerce business. From deciding what you’re going to sell, to setting up the shop, finding stock and generating customers; with so much to do, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things. For example, you may want to offer numerous new product lines. However, when you’re just getting started it’s a much better idea to focus on just one product line.

The delivery process

The delivery process is one of the most important factors in your business. Customers today don’t want to wait days for delivery. So, you’re going to need to make sure you’re offering several delivery options, and that you have a good system in place to deal with orders quickly.

Using a courier app, such as the one offered by Parcel2go can help you to get orders out quickly and easily. It’s crucial you choose a courier you can rely on.

Automate parts of your business

One thing that’s really going to help you when you’re just starting out, is automating parts of the business. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you to automate numerous parts of your e-commerce store.

As you’ll be using social media to build up your brand, you might want to consider using an automated application such as Hootsuite. These enable you to schedule posts in advance. You can also automate email marketing and potentially orders if you use Shopify’s clever apps.

Setting up a business as a full-time parent is challenging. However, if you follow the tips above, it will give you the best start, helping to increase the chances of your e-commerce store’s success. Make use of weekends and evenings to focus on the business when the kids are asleep. Running an e-commerce store as a busy parent isn’t going to be a 9-5 job!

Looking for a way to earn income as a full-time parent? Starting an online shop could be a great idea.

Being a full-time parent is a job within itself. So, how can you find the time to look after the kids and set up an e-commerce business? It may be tough, but it’s definitely doable. To help get you started, below you’ll discover the top things to consider when setting up an e-commerce as a full-time parent.

Focusing on the right things

There’s a lot to do when setting up an e-commerce business. From deciding what you’re going to sell, to setting up the shop, finding stock and generating customers; with so much to do, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things. For example, you may want to offer numerous new product lines. However, when you’re just getting started it’s a much better idea to focus on just one product line.

The delivery process

The delivery process is one of the most important factors in your business. Customers today don’t want to wait days for delivery. So, you’re going to need to make sure you’re offering several delivery options, and that you have a good system in place to deal with orders quickly.

Using a courier app, such as the one offered by Parcel2go can help you to get orders out quickly and easily. It’s crucial you choose a courier you can rely on.

Automate parts of your business

One thing that’s really going to help you when you’re just starting out, is automating parts of the business. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you to automate numerous parts of your e-commerce store.

As you’ll be using social media to build up your brand, you might want to consider using an automated application such as Hootsuite. These enable you to schedule posts in advance. You can also automate email marketing and potentially orders if you use Shopify’s clever apps.

Setting up a business as a full-time parent is challenging. However, if you follow the tips above, it will give you the best start, helping to increase the chances of your e-commerce store’s success. Make use of weekends and evenings to focus on the business when the kids are asleep. Running an e-commerce store as a busy parent isn’t going to be a 9-5 job!

The Iraq Dinar: When Will It Go Up?

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Iraq has been in the news for many years. Iraq is located at the very end of the Mediterranean Sea between Jordan and Iran and north of Saudi Arabia. Iraq is part of the Middle East. Now we all know that the US invaded Iraq. We all watched the fall of Sadam Hussein. The country has been working to rebuild itself day by day. The currency in Iraq is the Iraq dinar. The exchange rate with the US dollar is about 0.00084 today. This fluctuates every day, but as you see, the value of the Iraq dinar is low. What is on everyone’s mind is when will the Iraq dinar be revalued?

Who Revalues Currency?

A revaluation of the Iraq Dinar is set by the country’s government. The valuation of a currency is relative to a baseline. This baseline could be any number of things. The price of gold, wages, and the price of foreign currency may be taken into consideration for the baseline. The main issues surrounding the Iraq dinar being revalued is for both the political and economic planes in Iraq to become stable. Until there is stability, the dinar will remain at the low evaluation.

Everyone Has To Work Together

There is oil in Iraq, so the ability to create a stable thriving community is there. Everyone in Iraq has to see the future for the bright place it can be. Cities are in ruins in Iraq. The infrastructure is in dire need of rebuilding. Islamic extremists and the fight between the Sunnis and the Shias have been fighting each other for years makes it hard to try to get anything done. Until there is some sort of understanding among all, it will be a long time before Iraq becomes the thriving beautiful country it will one day be.

What Can The Dinar Buy You Now?

Here is a comparative look at what you can buy in Iraq. A three bedroom apartment in the center of the city costs about $656.99 or 781818.10 Iraq dinar. Milk is about $4.56. Fruits and vegetables are under 50 cents a pound. Beef is $5.00 a pound and chicken is about $2.00 a pound. Basic utilities for a 915 square foot house is about $108.00. The Internet costs about $40.00 a month. The price of normal living is okay. The average Iraq person makes about $572 a month. There are smaller apartments for about $248 and $364. Beer is about $2.00 a bottle. This is all reasonable, but until the fighters start seeing a future where everyone gets along, good economic stability will remain at a snail’s pace.

Iraq Dinar Appearance

Like most foreign money, the Iraq dinar is beautiful in color. You can find purples, oranges, reds, and greens coloring different denominations of the money. The denominations of the money are: 50, 250, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 25,000. The 50 and 250 are rarely used. The money has statues, palm trees, important people, Arabic writing, and more on each denomination. The dinar is issued by the Central Bank of Iraq.

The Dinar Scam

There has been a lot of talk about the dinar scam. There are people investing in the dinar hoping that one day when the dinar is revalued, the investments will be worth a lot more than they are now. There is nothing wrong with investing in the dinar, but anyone should do so with caution. It is a risk right now as there is no certainty as to when the country will stabilize. You have to watch out for paying big fees for exchanging the money. It would probably be wise to invest some money in dinar, but see it as a long term investment. The money is real, it is just that if anyone is promising high returns soon, they are misleading. The country is just not stable enough.

There is a lot of hope for Iraq. It is a beautiful country with a lot of resource in oil. Iraq has the potential to be a real player in the global travel trade and other lucrative businesses. Until the wars between the people in Iraq and the Islamic extremists find peace, there will be uncertainty and setbacks. We can all hope a resolution can be found and the dinar will one day be revalued.

3 Investment Ideas For Financially Savvy Parents

When you’re a busy parent, it can be difficult to think about investment. After all, how are you going to afford to do it, and how will you find the time to keep on top of it consistently? However, investment doesn’t have to be a terrifying and difficult prospect; it could be something as simple as investing in the future of your family with something like a savings account. We’ve put together some of the best ideas for using your money wisely here, if you’re a busy parent who wants to get something back for their money, without all of the stress.

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Start up savings accounts

The easiest way to invest some money into your future, and the future of your children, is to open up savings accounts. You can put one in your own name, of course, but have you ever thought about saving up a few pounds a week so that your children can get the benefit of it when they’re 18? If you saved £2 a week for them from the time they were born up until their 18th birthday, they’d have almost £1,900. That’s a lot of money, without a lot of stress. The same applies to your own savings account, as even a small amount will pile up over a long period of time, and it could help you out on a rainy day, should it come along. Look into this if you’re looking to save!

Invest in cryptocurrencies

Whilst cryptocurrencies have only recently become a popular way of investment, there are many benefits to having a few of these under your belt. Not only did those with Bitcoin get a whole lot of money when it all blew up recently, but this type of currency is increasingly prevalent, and could see you getting a profit no matter which type you choose. On top of this, it isn’t controlled by banks or governments, so your money is unlikely to be affected by any financial crashes or changes in the economics of the ‘real world’. Whilst you may need to do some research into this before you splash out, learning about cryptocurrencies could help you to invest some cash into the future of finance, and you’ll get a big payback if your investment pays off (although this isn’t always guaranteed).

Invest in property

Whilst you may not have much extra cash lying around, particularly during those financially draining periods, saving up some cash to invest in property will really help you to see a return for your money. Even if you can buy a small flat or apartment (by remortgaging your own home, for example) you’ll be getting monthly rent payments which will help you to keep your family afloat financially, and will pay off any bills on your home if needs be. This is a reliable way to get money back from your investment, and you can always sell the property on if you no longer want to maintain it.

So, there are many ways to invest your money, try these 3 tips if you’re interested!

7 Ways to Save Money on Your Daily Coffee Habit

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So, you love drinking coffee but your daily habit is burning a hole in your wallet? How we can relate to the feeling! Drinking coffee in large amounts can get a little expensive over time, especially if you are fond of the premium varieties.

Fortunately, there are some useful life hacks that you can rely on if you’re serious about spending less money on coffee without necessarily drinking less of the good stuff. It’s the next best thing asides from outright finding money you didn’t know you had!

Use Cash Instead Of Credit

If you’re purchasing your coffee using your credit card, you waste money in needless transaction fees every single time. Something as simple as making a point of always paying your coffee related expenses using live cash can add up to meaningful savings over time. Cut back on transaction fees and make sure to spend all your coffee money in actual coffee!

Make It At Home

Another typical reason why some coffee lovers will break their budget too quickly is because they refuse to go down the DYI route. You really don’t have to spend a lot of money to be The Coffee Maven around your neighborhood – you just have to know how to brew great coffee! Even learning how to brew like a pro by taking a barista course from Kimbo! Sure enough, those trendy coffee shops you love do have delicious and Sure enough, those trendy coffee shops you love do have delicious and foamy drinks that make your heart sing… but think about the needless sugar you’re putting into your system and all the money you’re wasting.

Be Aware of Your Expenses

It might be worth tracking your coffee related expenses for a while, in order to illuminate on the matter. It could be that you’re actually wasting a lot of money on related expenses such as pastries, chocolates, and cigarettes; if so… you may want to consider cutting back on those things first.

Find an Alternative for Your Coffee Habit

If you feel you really are drinking too much coffee and it’s actually working against your well-being, maybe cutting back is the right thing to do. In this case, you may want to try substituting some of your coffee breaks throughout the day with other beverages (like tea) or other habits (like going for a walk).

Make Coffee Ice Cubes

Here’s an ingenious trick to use all your leftover coffee rather than simply letting it go to waste: make coffee ice cubes! Not only it’s a great way to preserve brewed coffee, but you can use those coffee ice cubes at any time to add a little flavoring to other drinks.

Create Your Own Creamer

If you like having creamed coffee, you can save a lot of money by simply making your own coffee creamer rather than purchasing the ready-made versions available on the supermarket. The base recipe calls for equal parts of cream and condensed milk, but you can also try different textures and even add a little extra flavoring such as vanilla or chocolate.

Download Coffee Apps

In this day and age, there are many useful coffee apps out there worthy of your time and attention. From learning new recipes to staying on top of the best deals and latest promotions, there are many ways how relying on a good coffee app will help you cut down your expenses.

Find Money You Might Not Even Know You Had!

MoneyWith the summer holidays just days away, a lot of us will be thinking about how we’re going to afford all of the days out and activities that we’ll be wanting to do with the kids. It would be nice to be able to do a different thing every single day, but with the best will in the world, that’s just not in the budget for most of us. There might be, however, some money hanging about that you didn’t even realise you had, and we’ve got some suggestions of how to find it:

Outstanding PPI?

It’s hard to believe that anyone could still have any outstanding PPI claims with all the reminders on TV, radio and in the papers, but there are still a whole bunch of people who still haven’t claimed. It’s a simple process that could see you entitled to hundreds, even thousands of pounds!

Old Accounts

If you’ve changed bank accounts over the years, there could still be accounts in your name, laying dormant, with money in them. Write to the bank who you were once with and ask for details of any old accounts and you could be in for a surprise windfall!

Premium Bonds

If you’ve got Premium Bonds and haven’t seen much of a return, you might actually be better off cashing them in for an injection of cash now, rather than hoping they’ll come up long term. If you are hoping to win the top prize you probably need to know that the odds of winning £1million are 1 in 35,926,766,878. So I wouldn’t count on a payday anytime soon.Even winning the lowest prize of £25 is a 1 in 24,500 chance!

Pension Plans

If you have a pension plan that you don’t pay into any more, it’s worth having a look at the terms, as some plans will allow you to release the funds early, before the term is up. Have a think about any plans you may have paid into and contact the companies to see if it’s possible to withdraw the money. a

Cash Around the House

This one might be slightly less lucrative, but still worth a try. Gather up any old purses, handbags, wallets and money boxes and pillage them to see if there’s any cash that you forgot about. My kids own about 20 money boxes each and have managed to gather together the cash for some desperately needed toy on more than one occasion!

Don’t forget, the PPI deadline is 29th August, so you’ll need to get your act together if you think you might be entitled to claim!

Are You Sitting on Hidden Treasure?

treasureUnless you’re one of those people who’s a sensible adult with a savings account or an emergency credit card, there’s a good chance that you’ll come to a point in your life where you need quick cash and struggle to find it. There are, however, a few raise to raise some funds and most of us have things in our houses which we no longer use but are of value to someone else. Here are some suggestions of things you could sell to make some cash:

Jewellery

While I’m not suggesting that you flog your family heirlooms, many of us have jewellery boxes full of outdated items that we basically never wear, and there’s never been a better time to recoup some of the value in your items. It’s simple to get cash for gold and you could get a decent amount if you sell enough of it.

 Art

I’ve watched enough Antiques Roadshow in my time to know that the most valuable art is often the smallest, most unassuming pieces which don’t look like much which are worth a small fortune! If you’ve got any paintings which look like they might be originals, have them evaluated by an expert to see if they’re worth anything.

Bags and Purses

Bags and purses hold a surprising amount of value if they’re designer pieces, or even if they’re just made from decent leather. Look on eBay or other selling apps to see what sort of items sell well and to get an idea of what sort of price you’re looking at, and then sell anything that you’re not likely to use again.

Retro Games Consoles

If you’re the sort of person who puts things away nicely and stores them in the loft, and you have retro games consoles squirrelled away, you could be sitting on a small fortune! Retro games consoles are incredibly collectable and the more games and accessories you have with them, the more the bundle will be worth.

Vinyl

A lot of vinyl isn’t worth much these days, purely because there’s only a limited amount of collectors left and the condition isn’t always great. There are, however, particular albums which are worth a LOT of money, especially if they’re ones which are printed on a special vinyl, like clear or coloured records. Go through your collection and see if you have any of the valuable ones.

Indispensable Money-Saving Tips for Moms

It’s not easy to save money, especially if you are a working mom. Not only will you be responsible for your tasks at work, but you will also be expected to take on the responsibility of budgeting and to manage your time for your family.

At first glance, it looks undoable. But with enough patience and knowing the right decisions to make, you can turn around your budget and make sure to save up at least a few hundred dollars.

Here are a few ways working moms can save money for their families:

Create and Stick to a Budget

First, you will want to start a budget. If you’re new to creating budgets, the first thing you must do is determine what your expenses are for each month. Next, take your monthly salary and subtract all the costs that need to be made.

Doing this can give you a rough idea of how much money you spend each month. It can also show you what you can take out of your expenses to free up some money. Here, you can determine what can be cut out and what can be replaced with a cheaper product with the same quality.

A budget also lets you determine how much you can set aside each month and put it towards something like a vacation to Newcastle or even car finance for a new car.

Buy in Bulk

Buying items in bulk can benefit you in two ways: fewer trips to the grocery store and a fully stocked pantry of supplies and more.

When you purchase wholesale, it saves you money as a lot of stores offer their wholesale items at a lower price compared to retail. With that said, having a supply of household items like detergent, soap, shampoo, and some canned and boxed foods, can help you and your family stay on track.

Generic is Your Friend

Some people say that the branded goods are always superior. But that is just not the case. Some generic brands are just as good as the branded ones.

There are several products you can choose to get generic including baking powder, spices, sugar as well as produce and dairy products. Cleaning products and over the counter meds are also some of the most frequently bought generic items.

Look Out for Sales

Aside from buying in bulk, you should also watch out for sales. Grocery stores and malls often have deals, and it’s an excellent opportunity for you to get what you need for your family.

Other than watching out for sales announcements, you can also download grocery shopping apps like Weekly Ads & Sales or Grocery IQ. These apps will let you know of any current coupons.

Packed Lunch

Nothing beats a home-cooked meal. Make it a point to prepare yourself, and everyone else lunches to bring to work or school.

That way, you won’t get sucked into buying a cheeseburger for lunch, and you will always know what your kids will be eating when not at home. You can also go the extra mile and invest in a travel mug so you can prepare coffee at home and take it with you to work.

Coffee and lunch brought from home will not only help keep some of your money in your wallet, but it will also be useful for your health overall.

Saving money is possible. All it takes is discipline and your determination to make your finances better for your family.

Keep these tips in mind and start saving money on your expenses today.

5 Ways to Save Money Ahead of Summer

save moneyI don’t know about you, but for us, this always seems to be an expensive time of year. Between birthdays, holidays, needing to spruce up the garden and all the other expenses that pop up, I seem to be spending money hand over fist at the moment. Because of this, I’ve been thinking about ways to save, so that we’re not skint by the time summer is over, and these are some of the things I came up with:

Shop Around

Recently, we needed to buy a new tumble drier, because our ancient one wasn’t really up to the job anymore, and because it was a big purchase we decided to shop around to make sure we got the best price. There are sites to look up the cheapest prices in the UK for just about everything you want to buy, and we scoured these before making our purchase.

Check Your Tarrifs

This is a great time of year to make sure you’re not paying over the odds for all of your bills, including gas, electricity, mobile bills, internet and TV. Providing you’re not at the beginning of a new contract, there is often room to negotiate with your service providers and could find yourself saving a significant amount each month (I recently did this with our BT will and am saving almost £40 per month on that one bill!

Scrimp on Fuel

Do you take the car on unnecessary short journeys where it would actually be possible to walk instead? I know SO many people who drive when they could walk and they’d save loads across the course of the month if they left the car at home. There are also websites and apps which tell you which petrol stations nearby are the cheapest, allowing you to get the best value there, too.

Use What’s in the House

We’re naughty when it comes to food and tend to buy our meals on a day-to-day basis, but recently I decided that we were going to actually use up what was in the house. It meant a few days of slightly odd meals that you probably wouldn’t eat ordinarily, but it saved us from buying new stuff and helped make space in the cupboard and freezer for new shopping.

Check Your Subscriptions

I know so many people who subscribe to the full TV package and never watch the channels, or have services like Netflix, Disney Life or Amazon TV and rarely use them. Do a stock-take of all of your subscriptions, including newspapers and magazines, and ditch any that you barely use.

How do you save money?