Money

5 Tips to Save on Electric Bills This Summer

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

Leverage natural light

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

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

Switch to a better lighting system

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

It could be that you need to update your lighting system completely. If this is the case, once you have found the perfect lighting system for your needs, you will want to get in touch with a professional electrician in your area, who will be able to quickly and safely install your system into your home, which should hopefully save you money for years to come.

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

Use air conditioning mindfully.

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

Live more sustainably

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

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

Make the most out of your garden

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

Family · Weddings

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding in 2019

Traditionally speaking, there have always been ‘rules’ about what you can and can’t wear to a wedding. However, as things move on, people are becoming more and more relaxed about wedding guest attire and it sometimes feels as though the rules have changed completely. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at five rules which have changed over the years to help you plan your summer wedding outfit for 2019.

White is Okay…SOMETIMES!

In the last few years, I’ve noticed a massive change in attitude towards wedding guests wearing white. In the past, it would have been a MASSIVE no-no to turn up to a wedding dressed in white, but it’s becoming far more common. My one piece of advice if you’ve found a white dress you like is to run it past the bride first, to see if she minds and brace yourself for a no with a back-up plan outfit. Radley have handbags in a whole range of colours which would be an amazing accompaniment for any wedding outfit.

Men Don’t Always Need a Full Suit

If you’re going to only the evening portion of a summer wedding, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a shirt and trousers but no jacket, and many male summer wedding guests will even forego the tie, in favour of an open neck. If you’re unsure, check the dress code with the bride and groom.

Think About Your Feet

If you’re a guest for the whole day, you’re going to be spending a LOT of time on your feet, so thinking about your shoes is essential. If you’re the sort of person who can wear skyscraper heels all day long, you’re good to go, however if you’re not massively comfortable in heels, look at different options such as wedges or kitten heels. Even flats are pretty acceptable these days!

Black is Back

As with white being a bit of a no-no, black was also considered taboo to wear to weddings, perhaps because of the funereal connection. However, these days, people wear black to weddings quite often. It’s still best not to wear ONLY black, but breaking it up with coloured pattern makes it perfectly suitable.

Not Too Much Flesh

One rule which hasn’t changed too much is that wedding outfits should be a little bit demure. Dresses which are very low cut or very short will probably make you stand out like a sore thumb – think about showing either legs OR cleavage, but definitely not both!

Have you got any great tips for choosing a wedding outfit? Please leave me a comment below.

Adulting · 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. 

Adulting

5 Great Tips to Organise Your Kid’s Room

kid's roomThe summer vacation is great for your kids but not always so great for their rooms. Being stuck inside all day whining almost always ends in mess and clutter and dealing with this can be even worse when you see the state it’s in. So here are 5 great tips on how to organise your kid’s room without giving up on first sight:

  1. Sort, Store and Simplify

If your kid’s room is lacking in storage, buy some boxes or shelving. You could even ask them to go with you to choose something they like so they’ll be more inclined to help you (see point 4 and this article by Gtech on getting your kids involved with cleaning). Sort through all the mess and divide into subject piles (e.g. one pile for games, one for books, one for clothes, etc.) and then store accordingly.

  1. Make it easier to put away, harder to get out

Shelving is a great way to do this as your kids may not be able to reach the shelf so they won’t be able to take out everything at once. Also consider getting storage solutions that offer padlocks or child-lock technology. This will force your kids to ask you for which toys they want rather than cluttering up their whole room with unused toys and other mess.

  1. Label, label, label

When you’re sorting through the different piles, make sure you store things in boxes or draws that are clearly labelled. Having a colour coordinating system could also work for you (e.g. the red box is for books, the blue for games, the green for dolls and so on). Labelling will also make it much easier for you when it’s time to clear up the mess from around the house or your kid’s room. theartofcleanliness.com has a great post on a closet organiser system to make your kid’s closet much easier to keep tidy; you could label each section of the closet for even clearer organisation.

  1. Bring the child into the process

As I mentioned before, you could ask your child to come with you to choose some storage they like (e.g. boxes with their favourite characters on them) or make cleaning a game. However you decide to bring them into the process, it’s important to get them started in helping you. You could even offer a reward at the end if they’ve done a good job.

  1. Build a maintenance routine

This will help you stay on top of things without the mess getting too hard to control. Set out a weekly cleaning schedule and allocate a day to organising your kid’s room. This is a good habit to get into especially if your child is also getting involved. See this maintenance checklist by Lowe’s Canada for the monthly maintenance you shouldn’t be avoiding.

See more ways to keep your kids busy on mumstheword.me.

Fashion and Style

Updating Your Summer Wardrobe

summerNow that the hot weather is in full swing, it’s made me realise how very little I have in the way of summer clothes. Husband noticed that I had a zip-tie holding my favourite shirts up the other day, because the button had come off, and that’s a pretty fair description of most of my clothes, so it’s safe to say that I’m desperate for an update to my wardrobe to see me through the rest of the summer.

The first think I need is some summer dresses, like the dresses from esprit; they’re casual yet pretty and perfect for everything from a summer barbecue to doing the school run on a hot day. I love dresses that can be worn casually with flip flops every day, or dressed up with a pair of wedges and a statement necklace for slight more formal occasions.

Obviously, I also need to invest in some new shorts, because the ones being held together by a zip tie just won’t do. I do like to have my legs bare in the summer, because I tend to feel claustrophobic and overheated if I wear trousers, even ones made from light material, so shorts and skirts are the way forward.

I’ve also realised how few summer friendly tops I have. In the winter, I tend to layer up with a t-shirt or vest, followed by a jumper or hoodie and then my coat, but all of my vests are either too clingy for summer or just not really tops that you wear by themselves. I recently invested in a strapless bra, for the first time since I got married 12 years ago, so I’m thinking of looking at some of the funky off-the-shoulder tops that seem to be everywhere at the moment.

Finally, footwear. My lovely sister-in-law bought me a new pair of Havaianas for my birthday back in June and I have about 8 pairs of Birkenstocks, but I think I need to invest in something a bit for formal, like a nice cork wedge so that I’ve got all my bases covered. I’m not a big wearer of heels as I find them uncomfortable, but I could wear wedges all day every day and still feel happy in them!

What are your summer basics? Do you have a summer wardrobe that you bring out every year or do you wear things until they need to held together with zip ties, like me?! Do leave me a comment below!