money saving


The Best Ways to Bag a Bargain Beauty Treatment

We all love a bit of pampering and a trip to the spa may sometimes be at the top of the list. However, in austere times, it may slip to the bottom of your to-do list. This doesn’t have to be the case though, as you can bag some great bargains on your beauty treatments. Here are a ways to help you accomplish this: Beauty schools There are numerous beauty schools in London and this gives you the opportunity to take advantage of their services and bag yourself a great bargain? This is because some offer discounted beauty treatments and may shave off close to 5% of the standard charges that more »


Creating a family budget

Keeping track of your finances when you are supporting a busy family can be tough, and it is easy to overspend or lose track of your money if you don’t have a system in place to stay on top of your income and outgoings. If you can develop a way to plan your spending and find efficiencies in how you use your money you’ll be able to save and stay on top of your finances much more easily. Audit yourself Before you create a budget you should go through your normal spending habits to get a good understanding of how you spend your money at the moment. This will help you more »


Saving time and money as well as helping a good cause 1

We’re all looking for easier ways to save these days. If you work from home like me, you’ll probably appreciate the time constraints when it comes to shopping, which is why online discount sites can be a bit of a god send. But when there’s so many offering so much, how do you know you’re getting the best deal out there? Type what you’re looking for into a search engine and thousands of results come up – I don’t know about you, but this sometimes gives me a bit of a headache. So where should you turn to when you’re looking for a decent voucher code for your weekly shopping, new clothes, or any last minute gift emergencies that crop up?

Well, I’ve recently found a site that might be able to help you out. My Favourite Voucher Codes is ever-so-slightly different from the rest of the voucher code sites out there. Yes, they give you access to all the best offers and promo codes from your favourite shops, but they also do a bit of good too – every month, they donate 20% of their net profits to a different charity. And you also get a say in which worthy cause benefits from the donation. Each month, they shortlist three charities and invite users to vote on the recipient. So in June, they’ve chosen three causes that are linked with helping the forces, veterans and their dependents – Help for Heroes, The British Red Cross and The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

And if you like to get your online shopping done quick sharpish, there’s also another way they can help. Say you’ve already started searching for your fashion/groceries/books/gifts and you don’t want the hassle of searching back for a discount. There is an easy way! You can download their money saving voucher code app if you have a Chrome or Firefox toolbar – then all you have to do is click on the My Favourite Voucher Codes icon and a list of current offers for that retailer will pop up. Anything that saves time is a bonus in my book.

So many of us do our grocery shopping online these days, but if you’re new to supermarket home delivery or you fancy trying out a different supplier, they’ve got voucher codes for all the big names that can save you quite a bit – for example, this Tesco voucher code saves you £12 when you spend £60 or more on your first online shop with them. And another one of my favourite things about this site – how easy it is to search through the sales for clothes. I found some excellent deals for shops like Dorothy Perkins, Marks and Spencer, New Look and Apricot amongst others.

So next time you want to save a bit of money online, think about using My Favourite Voucher Codes and you’ll be doing a bit of good with the money you do spend too!


10 ways to encourage children to save 11

I have recently blogged about 8 ways to encourage children to be frugal over at A Thrifty Mum, which has got me on the whole money management with children bandwagon. I find that using practical examples really helps the boys understand money and finances, but one of the things that I find really hard is how to encourage the boys to save for savings sake. After a chat on The Mad House facebook page I realised that I was possibly asking too much from them to save for savings sake. However, I did get some great ideas of ways to encourage your children to save rather than splurge.

Give children a goal to save towards, something that really sparks their interest and motivates them. Create a chart to help them tick off the pounds/pennies until they reach their target – Ramblings of a suburban mummy
Teach children the different denominations of money and what they add up to. This helps her understand what spending each coin means – Verily, Victoria Vocalises….
Work out how much they need to save each week to buy a special something before a certain date, and then they can see that they have some money left, but they also get buy their big item. It’s just small scale practice for when they’re adults wanting a car, house or holiday – The Brick Castle
Pay “interest” on what he’s saved that month. So if they save all month he can get something bigger – Snaffles Mummy
Make it visually – Using a glass jar or even a money box that counts the money (like Cass from the Frugal Family) makes saving money much more tangible for younger children. Or even have a savings chart with stars and stickers.
Set regular savings goals – Incentivise saving by offering added rewards at regular agree set points. This is why the Pigs from Natwest really worked back in the 80’s
Pay interest – pay your child monthly interest on savings they have. not only does this encourage them to keep it saved for longer, but it teaches them about money management
Set a goal – Are they saving for a specific item? if so make them a chart. Encourage them to find inventive ways to earn money to help them achieve their purchase faster
Insist that a percentage of their pocket money goes into a long term savings account.
Discuss the reasons that people save. By setting an example you are giving them the best lesson ever. My boys are both very maths oriented and we discussed how a Sippdeal SIPP pension works and why it is important to be able to look after yourself when you no longer have the ability to earn money.
We also set aside so much money each month for fun family activities, showing that you do not need immediate gratification and that by planning, saving and managing our money we can all have fun.
Open a bank account with them and actively use it. Make sure it is a book account, so they have to go in to a branch to pay in and take out their money. This way they have to plan spending within banks timescales and again learn that spending is not about instant gratification.
Save smaller denominations to demonstrate how every penny counts. The boys both have a large vodka bottle that they fill with pennies and once a year they exchange it for holiday spending money. It really adds up and Mini is always on the lookout for peoples dropped coins when we are out and about.
Teach your children that buying an experience (ie a trip to a theme park) brings much more happiness than a products (such as an ice cream). Saving for the experience may take longer or be harder, but it makes memories and makes the experiences so much better
Whilst chatting to people about saving and teaching children about money I came across some really great blog posts about it and they are too good not to share, Perle Noire wrote a super post on how she teaches her family about saving, Cat from Yellow days, uses money as a maths tool and makes learning really fun, Becky from Baby Budgeting and Family Budgeting is really worth following for her fab money saving tips too.


Enjoy a Warmer House and Save Pennies!

Enjoy a Warmer House and Save Pennies!
Winter is dragging on, as it always does, and spring still feels far, far away. Britain is gripped in the limbo that hangs between Christmas and pink blossoms, with the weather getting colder, snow falling erratically and skies looming grey overhead. It certainly highlights the stress of having a draughty, chilly home. Many struggle on with old, clapped out boilers and single glazing windows, knowing they simply cannot afford the upfront cost of having them replaced. Draught excluders look pretty, but they aren’t doing much to keep out that February chill and the kids are moaning that their onesies aren’t blocking out Jack Frost’s nip.
So, what on Earth is one to do?! All hail… The Green Deal, a government scheme aimed at making properties across the UK more energy efficient at no upfront cost to homeowners. The initiative was launched on Monday 28th January, much to the bemusement of many homeowners that haven’t even heard of it. However, not to worry, the government plans for this scheme to gradually develop over the coming months and years, shaping Britain into a greener place to live.
There are many measures that come under the Green Deal Scheme, which include things such as the installation of new boilers, insulation and double glazing. Any property that registers its interest in the scheme will undergo a Green Deal Assessment, in which an accredited advisor will survey the house and inform the owners of which measures could and should be taken to make it a more comfortable place to live.
This work will then be carried out by Green Deal Installers, and financed through a Green Deal loan. Heck, it’s green, green, green! The loan will be attached to the property, not the person, and will be paid back through the property owner’s energy savings. A charge for the work will be added on to energy bills, but will never be allowed to exceed the amount of money the owner is saving due to their home improvements.
It’s a win-win situation and has been designed to help the government reduce the country’s carbon footprint, whilst simultaneously tackling the problem of rising energy prices and fuel poverty. The perfect scheme for families who struggle on through British winters but can’t afford to renovate their homes, the Green Deal is also a great way to get on board with helping the environment.


Why and how to use a cost comparison site 3

One of the most effective ways to save money is to use an online cost comparison site such as Moneysupermarket.com These sites work by providing you with a list of quotes or prices based on the information you enter into them. They do not charge the user, but make their money from charging a commission on any products bought through them. They provide fast and current information in a timely manner, however, it can be daunting and also time consuming if you do not have all the information you need before you start.

So this week I want to talk about how to get the best out of a cost comparison site. You can find utilities deals, the best credit card deals, insurance quotes (home, car, travel, wedding, pet, life, dental and buildings and much more), find the best broadband deal, the best mobile phone deal for you and much much more.


A thrifty Mum 2

I wanted to introduce you to my new website A Thrifty Mum. Being thrifty and frugal has become a way of life for me since resigning from work when I was expecting Mini. There is only fifteen months between my boys and I wanted to be able to spend their early years with them at home.

In order to be able to put this plan in to action and afford to be at home with them we relocated from Berkshire to our Native North East of England and I became a thrifty mum.

So to share with you my hints tips and tricks not only to save money, but to also make money, I have set up A Thrifty Mum. I am not alone in living frugally, so have teamed up with some fellow thrifty mums to bring you:


Keeping your children warm, without turning up the heating 8

With the price of fuel going up and up and up, it is important to me that we make savings where we can and with this in mind I wrote a post at Ready fro Ten about helping to stem the cost of soaring fuel prices. The thing for me is I am happy to try and save money, but I would never put the boys at risk by being too cold, however, you can make changes which mean you can leave the heating off for a little longer.

Layer up
I am a big fan of lots of thin layers, which trap the warn air. We do this with thermal vests and long johns (bought from Aldi), then PJ’s and then dressing gowns. The boys were soft bedsocks to keep their feet warm when in bed.




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