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    Is It Time To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is? The Tips To Help You Financially

    January seems to be the time where we all put our lives in review. We look at our health and fitness levels, perhaps make resolutions to improve them in some way. We consider our life choices and maybe make big decisions to quit those habits or do something different. We look at our lives and hope that making goals will enable us to feel better and improve in some way. One of the biggest things people look at is their finances. You may be surprised to know that we have more control over our financial life than we thought as there are plenty of ways we can improve them, be that small or big changes. So I thought I would share with you some tips that will help you do that.

    Reduce that food shopping bill for good

    After a mortgage or rent payment, your food shopping bill can be your biggest expense. You may do that major weekly shop but does that stop you going into store and restocking during the week because you forgot or ran out of something? The likely answer is no. Food shopping can be reduced and offer you huge savings by just changing the way you do things. Meal planning and writing a list is one way, as well as changing where you shop and using coupons or vouchers. You may be surprised by how much you save, and how little you waste during the week.

    It’s not just food shopping that you should be looking to make savings on. Whenever you come to make a purchase, try looking at dealsplanet first to see what offers, codes and discounts are available.

    Get a plan in place for those debts

    Paying off debts like credit cards can also take up a huge chunk of our income, so it’s important to try and take hold of that side of things a little more and put a plan in place to get them paid off for good. There are a few different ways you can get out of debt and one of which is simply consolidating all the balances into one loan. Offering you one payment, one interest change, and a schedule to pay off for good. Other things would be transferring balances to zero interest accounts where what you pay will actually pay off debt instead of going towards an interest charge.

    Utilise your spare time

    Many of us have hobbies or skills that we could be monetising in some way. Even if it is simply decluttering your home and selling unwanted items online. There are a vast amount of ways you can improve your finances simply by putting your spare time to good use. Perhaps you could try trading stocks and shares, and with a bit of extra research, you could become good at it. Platforms like CMC markets can help you get started. You could also consider filling in online surveys can pay you small amounts for your time, starting a blog could provide you with a steady advertising income and even selling things you make or offering your services if you have a talent. Simple yet effective ways to boost your financial life.

    Give your bank balance the health check it needs

    When was the last time you analyzed your spending habits? Probably not for a while as many of us don’t like to be faced with the truth. Things like lunch out each week, takeout coffee and even gym membership can all add up. But if there are cheaper alternatives or even options of cancelling those payments they could all help towards boosting your income.

    Save little and often

    Finally, saving little and often will really build up a nice pot for you in time. A small change will mount up in twelve months, especially if you don’t miss the amount and be motivated by watching your bank balance rise.

    I hope these tips help you improve your financial life.


    Photo Credit: Kat Yukawa

    Ideas on how to decorate a small room

    Decorating a small room may be considered as if is a bit hectic since the probability of items overcrowding is high. With good ideas on how to decorate a small room, you can turn it into a boot room and you will love maintaining it.

    How to make your small home looks stylish

    When trying to think how you will decorate that small room you have your options may be limited but there are plenty of ways to make your tinny apartment feel perfectly put together.

    Take advantage of the wall

    One of the ways is utilising and taking advantage of the largest open space you have and that is the four walls that are surrounding your room. Fill those empty walls with the addition of good styles that will customize it leaving you with space to put the things you admire having them in your room. This will make your small apartment looks cosy and stylish.

    Hang mirrors

    Try to make your small room looks lively by hanging mirrors that will reflect the light from the outside making your small space looks bigger and brighter. You can place a mirror that is oversize or put the small mirrors you have in a salon style for they will reflect more making the room livelier.

    Install shelves

    When you notice that your floor is running out of space try to install shelves for bookshelves and put your collection on those shelves and make sure you display hardcovers or small sculptures in them.

    Paint your room

    Paint your room with a neutral colour that will have a tone of attention for this will add personality to your small room. You can also create a gallery wall and display some collections of photographs and other wall hangings.

    Buy light furniture

    Make sure your furniture’s are light but are bright so as to avoid constricting the space of your small room. Also as you select to avoid the ones that are boxy rather choose those that have legs to avoid any obstruct and those are glass coffee so as to see through them.

    Also, make sure your living room have small-scale furniture that does not dominate the small space you have. Make sure your sofa has thin arms and it is tightly upholstered back. You can also opt to position your chair around your coffee table because they will take up less space.

    Always make sure you consider a bigger picture and be open to new ways that will solve your small room space Be organized so that you can be able to make a diagram of every small room you have to use it as a storage space for every item you have.


    Photo Credit: avery klein James Lindsay

    Preparing your garden for autumn

    No matter the current condition or size of your garden, or whether or not you’re a keen gardener, the change in season will soon be here along with all of its leaves. There are endless opportunities to clean, refresh, protect and prepare your garden for autumn, which is of particular importance this year after the unusually hot summer weather the UK has experienced recently.

    With an emphasis on effortless gardening and making lighter work of home and gardening tasks, Bosch Home and Garden has put together some top preparation tips for your garden:

    The big tidy

    After a summer of growth, extensive tidying is usually required for beds and borders, however, if the wilder look is desired, then consider some light pruning to get rid of any wayward branches. Don’t forget to weed your garden and spread the well-rotted compost from your compost bin over the fresh soil. If the compost isn’t ready, use this time to turn your compost to help with its decomposition.

    Tackle the leaves

    Although people quite like to see some autumnal hues covering the ground for a little while, most of us prefer a neat and tidy garden, not to mention a leaf-free outdoor space to avoid dangerous slippery paths. Ahead of and during the autumn season, ensure the carpet of leaves is removed from your lawn to allow sunlight through to the grass and encourage healthy growth.

    Lawn maintenance

    Autumn can be the ideal time to help bring your lawn back to life after the warm summer months. In preparation, improve the drainage and aeration of the lawn and don’t forget that autumn is a great time to lay new turf as well.

    Cleaning paving and flagstones

    It’s worth thoroughly cleaning your paving, ensuring the summer dust and dirt is removed. Cleaning this area of your garden also makes sure it becomes less slippery during the damp months.

    Garden equipment upkeep

    You may not need your garden equipment as often in the autumn as in spring and summer, but before you pack your tools away, make sure you spend some time cleaning and washing them, drying them thoroughly and sharpening any blades. Find time to turn your attention to your greenhouse, fencing and any other garden structures to make sure they are in good condition as well.

    Find out more about Bosch Home and Garden’s products at www.bosch-garden.com/gb/en/garden-tools/homepage/index.jsp

    Featured Article

    Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design The Easy Way

    The mood these days is very much being attuned to nature, and never is that more pertinent than when you’re using the bounty of mother nature to cook up a storm in the kitchen. And there is so much you can do when it comes to this room to reduce your impact on the environment, from switching up the cleaning products you use to reducing plastic and being conscious of energy use. If you’re planning a kitchen redesign, you have a great opportunity to build in eco-friendly design measures from the ground up to create a space that’s kind to the planet and also kind to your wallet while having the design wow factor.

    Choosing Conscious Design

    Beautiful natural materials are not only great to look at, but they’re also hardwearing and a worthwhile long-term investment for your forever home. Flooring or worktops in natural stone are yours to love for a lifetime with the correct aftercare. There are other options to access the best materials – you could source pre-loved pieces such as a solid wood dresser or dining table. If you already have beautiful worktops in your kitchen, they don’t have to be scrapped- instead, you could choose just to replace the cupboard doors with a more modern design and update hardware such as taps and kitchen sinks, sourcing new ones online through a site such as tapwarehouse.com. Add a few new light fittings and some great accessories, and you have a revamped look for less that is also kinder to the environment.

    Either way, choosing to invest in quality materials is the planet-friendly choice, rather going for cheap, bad quality flat packs that break and wear out easily and need replacing far more frequently than alternatives made from natural materials. In turn, reusing or replacing less often lowers the demand on the planet in terms of manufacturing and transport.

    Get The Green-Fingered Look

    Nothing sets solid wood and natural stone off like an abundance of beautiful greenery via some stunning foliage, and keeping houseplants is also great for the environment as they purify and filter the air. Hardy perennials like spider plants, or succulents like cacti are ideal – or you could for edible plants to provide greenery and an extra-special touch to your cooking – try chilli plants or tomatoes or herbs like basil, coriander and mint. Having a herb garden on your windowsill is so useful.

    The big trend over the past few years has been to blur the boundaries between inside and out – either by installing bifold doors that lead out into the garden, providing tantalising views of the green space beyond and allowing the back of the house to open right up. Another idea with serious impact is to create a living wall. These are large panels made up of moss and other plants that live on the wall vertically. With all this verdant green, add to the scheme using a colour scheme drawn from nature and add accessories and furniture made from responsibly sourced materials, like bamboo wood.

    Cut Your Power Consumption

    Going for the green look is one thing, but if you’re serious about going greener, you will also need to look at reducing your energy consumption as well. When it comes to replacing white goods, there are now so many refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers which are specifically designed to cut energy use. If you haven’t replaced these appliances for some time, going for newer, eco-friendly options could also save you money on your energy bills. There are washing machines with low water usage and power-saving freezers that use less energy each day and save you time on frequent defrosting.

    Lighting is also an important consideration..swapping to energy saving LED spotlights gives a sleek look but also saves energy while increasing illumination. Hook up your house to a smart meter, and you can then monitor energy usage in real time. This gives you more opportunities to reduce and save, helping the planet and your wallet in one move.

    Using Eco-Friendly Materials

    Another opportunity which comes with a kitchen redesign is the chance to use raw materials which are kind to the planet. FSC certified timber is a mark to help buyers identify wood products that come from managed forests with replanting schemes. This promise of sustainability can be found in products from flooring to furniture. Recycled glass is also a great pick for splashbacks, or look for reclaimed tiles for something original, unique and kind to the planet as well.

    Brightening Up Your Autumn Wardrobe

    After a lovely long summer, the weather is turning. Often at this time of year, we feel a little sad that summer is over because it’s never really felt as though it’s got going. But, this year, it feels great. Summer was fantastic, and most of us are ready for cooler weather. We’re looking forward to Halloween and Christmas planning. We’re excited about eating comforting casseroles and stews and treating ourselves to a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. We’re eager to snuggle up on the sofa after work in our pyjamas with a hot chocolate and a fluffy blanket. Many of us are also looking forward to boots, chunky jumpers and scarves.

    But, autumn fashion isn’t for everyone. Some people love it. They look fantastic in chunky knits, skinny jeans and biker boots. They can pull off a bobble hat, and autumn colours really suit their skin tone. Other people, struggle. They feel like they are spending the whole season in the same dark jumpers and jeans. Here are some great ways to brighten up your autumn wardrobe this year.

    Accessories

    If you love jumpers and jeans, stick to them. They are after all comfortable and warm, which should be your priority. But, add some cool accessories for colour and style. Simple ear studs can add a little sparkle when you’ve got a hat and scarf on. When it comes to the hat and scarf themselves, give yourself options. Buy different colours and styles so that you don’t feel like you are wearing the same every day. Changing your accessories is an easy and cheap way to change an outfit completely.

    Wear Lighter Colours

    Most of us stick to dark colours during the colder months for safety and warmth. But, adding some brighter colours to your wardrobe can help to improve your mood and make you feel better, even when it’s dark and grey outside. Bright coats are often popular, but jumpers, jeggings and boots are also great places to add some colour.

    Go Bright on the Lips

    Your makeup is another excellent way to change your look, without touching your key wardrobe. Add a splash of colour with a brighter lipstick. This can be eye-catching while making you feel confident and sexy. Just make sure you look after your lips with added balm and the occasional sugar scrub.

    Floral Prints

    Floral prints tend to be very fashionable is spring and summer. Delicate and soft floral prints on a lighter fabric can be an excellent way to add some boho chic to your summer wardrobe. But, they can work well for the rest of the year too. In autumn, look for reds, oranges and browns, taking your inspiration from autumn trees and foliage. Team these with a velvet base, for added depth and texture. Velvet floral dresses with thick tights and boots can be both warming and fun.

    Change Your Tights Up

    If you prefer dresses to jeans in the autumn and winter, you might team them with thick black tights. Why not try and mix things up with dark dresses and bright thick tights? These are on show all of the time and make up a large part of your outfit. So, they are a perfect way to add some colour.


    Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle Corinne Kutz

    How To Create The Sleep Haven Of Your Dreams

    Waking up after an awful nights sleep is far from fun. You feel cranky, emotional, stressed, and, of course, exhausted, and all you want to do is crawl back under your bed covers and stay there all day. Sleep is vital for good physical and mental health, but, unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can keep you from getting enough shut-eye, with your bedroom being the main culprit. If you’re struggling to get to sleep each night, here are six things you need to do.

    Keep The Light Out

    Our bodies are programmed to sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light, which means that sleep pollution can cause some major issues, keeping you from drifting off and waking you up again when you eventually do. To avoid this, you should do what you can to eliminate light from your room. Invest in blackout blinds, put technology away, and wear an eye mask if needed.

    Clear Away Any Clutter

    When you take a look at bedroom design inspirations, you’ll notice that almost all of the ones you find will be relatively bare and clutter free. Of course, this is to show off the furniture in the room, but it’s also because cluttered bedrooms make unhealthy sleeping environments. Clutter causes stress, and stress disrupts sleep, so make sure you keep your bedroom clean and tidy.

    Tailor To Your Tastes

    Comfort is absolutely vital in the bedroom, which is why you need to make sure that your bed is tailored to your needs and tastes. Make sure that you have a supportive and good quality mattress and buy sheets and covers that you actually want to lie down on. You should also make sure that your room is kept cool, but that you have blankets close by for when you feel chilly.

    Avoid Any Bold Colours

    You might not realize it, but your body reacts differently to different colours. For example, when you see red, your body associates the colour with danger and gets defensive. On the other hand, when you see blue, your body relaxes, as this is a colour associated with nature. For this reason, you should opt for cool colours in your bedroom, and avoid any bold tones, like red or purple.

    Put Your Technology Away

    Having your phone or tablet glued to your hand is never ideal, but, when you’re trying to relax and fall asleep, it’s the very last thing you need. Technology can cause a huge amount of stress and also emits light that confuses your body and keeps you awake. Because of this, you should avoid technology before going to bed and keep it out of your bedroom completely.

    Steer Clear Of Pets

    Owning a pet is associated with a number of health benefits, but it can also keep you from getting a good night’s rest. If your pets sleep in the same bed as you, the fur on your sheets can aggravate your throat and lungs, leading to coughs and sneezes that jolt you awake. To prevent this, you should keep your furry friends out of your bedroom or get them a bed for the floor.

    Lack of sleep can cause a lot of problems, but, with the tips above, you should be able to create a sleep haven that dream are made of.

    Making your patio furniture last

    It does not matter whether you have recently purchased your patio furniture or it has been around for a year or so. You want your furniture to look great for a long time. It is necessary to regularly clean your patio furniture to extend its life.

    Hardwood Patio Furniture Protection

    If your patio has that tropical hardwood type furniture you need to do the following. Firstly regularly apply furniture oil with a soft cloth. This will help your furniture to keep its original look. To clean this type of furniture you can use an appropriate wood cleaner or a little warm water with soap. Scrub with a brush in the direction of the wood’s grain. At the end of this, you should allow the wood to dry before you apply any oils. After applying the oils wipe off the excess. Always make sure the furniture is completely dry before using it.

    Wicker Patio Furniture Protection

    Your patio furniture may be made from wicker and you have never been quite sure how to clean or maintain it. Try the following suggestion. If your furniture has that light buildup of food particles and spilt drink you can simply wash it down with a gentle spray of water. However, if there is a presence of those more difficult stains you may need some soap, water and a brush. Mix the water and the soap. Use your brush to apply the solution and scrub your furniture. Make sure you remove the soapy solution properly by rinsing with water.

    Metal Patio Protection

    Most metal furniture is extremely strong. They appear to be practically indestructible. But hey are usually the easiest to clean. When your metal patio furniture needs cleaning you can use your garden hose to gently wash it off. You can then let it sun dry or wipe it with a cloth. You should always look out for any signs of rust. You can use some sandpaper to rub them down before they get any worse. If you have had your furniture for a long period. You may need to clean then give a touch-up paint job. This is sure to make it look like new.

    Cleaning and maintaining your patio furniture is a key part of its protection. Also depending on the type of furniture, you have you may need to store them according to the season.

    Making your patio furniture last


    Photo Credit: Tanny Do Georgia de Lotz