Friday, 9 November 2018

A Mum's Guide To Guarding Against Unexpected Expense

Being a Mum has never been a cheap enterprise and it’s certainly never been easy. But in the hectic and increasingly costly 21st century, parents are under more financial pressure than ever before. Are you sitting down? Research carried out in 2016 by the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that the average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 in the UK is an eye-watering £231,843. Even for the most scrupulous of financial planners that’s a lot of expense even for households where both parents work. In the age of austerity it seems as though for many of us our wages are stagnating even as our living costs continue to climb beyond our grasp.

Image by PxHere

Resultantly, many families are left with no recourse but to borrow. But as the cost of living rises, meeting our commitments to our debts can become increasingly untenable and our credit ratings may suffer. This can make managing our carefully managed household finances tricky to manage at the best of times, but what happens when life throws us an unexpected curveball in the form of unexpected costs? When your car breaks down, your plumbing springs a leak or your roof tiles start to rain all over your drive the expense can throw your finances into disarray. But Mums are masters of triumphing over adversity! With a little bit of knowledge and foresight, even Mums with limited incomes and poor credit can insulate themselves against the ravages of unexpected expenses. Here’s how…

Don’t assume that bad credit means that you only have bad options

Shortly we’ll discuss the ways in which, even in these austerity ravaged times,
households can take control of their finances to create a cushion that acts as a buffer
able to do this and your credit score is less than stellar does not mean that you only
have options. For example, guarantor loans from a direct lender can spare you the
additional expense of brokers’ fees. Plus their loan calculator can help you to determine
exactly what your monthly repayments will be so that you can budget accordingly.
As long as you have a guarantor such as a parent, friend or relative who can vouch
for you, you need not leave yourself at the mercy of unscrupulous payday lenders.

Every household can (and should) save

Your family’s finances should be governed by a budget. Only when you budget
can you get a clear idea of what’s coming in and coming out of your bank account.
In fact, the very act of budgeting will help you to feel more in control of your finances
and better placed to stop up all the little leaks in your household finances. However,
one thing that your budget absolutely must account for is savings. You should have a
direct debit into your savings account every month to ensure that you always pay in.
You can absolutely reduce that amount as times are lean so long as you boost it back
up when times improve. A savings account is a great, risk free way to grow your money.
Here are some of this year’s best savings accounts.

Keeping your kids happy should not cost a fortune
We all know families who are perpetually skint, yet their children all have the latest
games consoles and their very own LED TVs to play them on. Or smartphones. Or iPads.
When did it become Holy writ that keeping your children happy had to be so expensive?
It’s virtually impossible to guard against unforeseen expenses if our scant disposable
income is dedicated to buying our kids ostentatious presents.

Instead, condition your kids to value experiences over things. Take them places,
show them sights or challenge them to express themselves creatively. They’ll be happier
adults for it!

Make your debt work for you!

How much of your household expense goes on repaying your debts? How many
different direct debits do you have coming out every month, each coming out at a
different time with a different interest rate? Left unchecked, these debts can devour
our finances and make saving impossible. Worse still, they can prevent us from getting
good credit when disaster strikes.

Consolidating your debts into a single monthly payment with just one rate of interest
is a great way to make it more manageable. It will even improve your credit score as
all of your existing debts will be repaid and replaced with a single new one.

When you’re well prepared, unexpected expense is just another challenge for a Mum
to stare down and overcome!

**This is a Collaborative Post**

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Living Arrows 45/53

Last week was our half term holiday so James spent the whole week at his grandparents house, mummy and Freddie took the bus up to join them on Tuesday morning and we had a love time together!

At the end of the summer holidays a new play park was opened in the country park near where my parents live, so on Thursday afternoon mummy, nana, James and Freddie jumped into nana's car and went to check it out!

The boys had an absolute ball running around and burning off some energy! The only downside mummy found was the toddler swings were rather high and it was quite hard to lift Freddie into them!!

On Saturday daddy and James went to get their hair cut while mummy and Freddie headed into town. Daddy and James came to meet us so we could go buy James his trousers for Beaver's. We also managed to get James to choose a birthday present for Freddie and we also got James his advent calander! Mummy and Nana had picked up a moo free advent calander in Aldi on Friday.

Living Arrows

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Palma Aquarium

On our recent holiday to Alcudia, Majorca, We decided to take the boys on a day out to Palma Aquarium.

When we saw our reps on the Tuesday morning we got the leaflet for the trips that were running and found out that the aquarium trips ran on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Since it was Tuesday we opted to book the trip for the following day the Wednesday!

We chose this day as back home, James was actually missing a school trip to Blue Reef Aquarium at Tynemouth as part of his school question "What Mysteries Does The Sea Hold?"

We set our alarms on our phones to get us up early and downstairs for the restaurant opening at 8am as our pick up for the trip was at 0845 from the main road next to the hotel.

Once the coach arrived and we were on it, we realised that Freddie needed a new pull up which mummy was able to quickly change before the coach hit the road. Once we arrived in Palma we got the stroller off the coach and loaded Freddie into it and put the changing bag onto it. We then got our tickets from the rep on the coach and made our way round to the main entrance. 

We did have the choice to split the day and go into Palma for the afternoon which I do kind of wish we had done, But James wasn't interested. All he wanted to do was spend time watching the Sharks!

We started off with Freddie in his stroller but he couldn't really see much, so since he already had his reins on from when we were waiting for the coach we let him out to walk. 

The whole day was fantastic and the kids had an absolutely ball! The shark tank was literally the best shark tank I have ever seen at eight meters deep and some of the sharks were the same size as me at 5" 2. There was even some fish bigger than Freddie! 

This is not even half the photos taken! There was over 150 taken on my phone and no idea how many are still on my camera to go through!!

Would we visit Palma Aquarium again? Yes we would but I do think six hours was maybe far to long to spend in there!

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Living Arrows 2018 44/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This week the boys started their half term holidays! It was a busy week leading up to them finishing school and playgroup for the holidays!

On Wednesday it was a busy day for mummy especially! It started at 0845 when we dropped James off at school then it was straight into the school office as it was the harvest assembly so mummy had to bribe Freddie to keep him quiet! It worked so well till the end of the assembly when James and his friends were leaving to go back to their classroom and he saw James and some of his friends and he started shouting hello to them!!

Once we were back home at twenty to ten it was chill out time before leaving for playgroup at 1130! Once mummy got in from dropping James off it was a quick lunch then back to school for half past one to build boats with James and his classmates for part of their project! 

After leaving the school just after half past two it was straight to playgroup to get Freddie, a quick walk home to drop off his bags and then back to school to get James at three fifteen! Then it was home a quick snack and change for James he was due back at school at four for the school Halloween party!

Lucky for mummy, daddy was going to pick James up from the party so I could concentrate on getting tea finished for mummy, daddy and Freddie!

Thursday it was a normal day of school and chill out for mummy and Freddie before picking up James, getting him fed and changed ready to leave for Beavers at twenty five to six!

Friday was the start of half term so we got up and walked across to Tesco to do some shopping before James went to Nana and Gaga's house in the afternoon!

Living Arrows

UK Swimwear review!

I used to love to going swimming when I was younger and would always wear a sporty swimsuit. But since having James and Freddie I have lost a bit of confidence in my body image. I tend to hide away under hoodies and jeans most of the time and very rarely dress up. But as we were going on our first family holiday I knew I would not be able to cover up in the heat of Majorca in jeans and hoodies all the time!

When UK Swimwear got in touch and offered to send me a couple of their items to review for our holiday I was thrilled. I was sent the Anita Rosa Faia Gypsy Island Cloe Swimsuit and Pia Rossini Julz Sequin Poncho.

UK Swimwear do Bikinis, Tankinis, Ladies Designer Swimsuits and Beach Coverups. All the items are fantastic quality and there were so many things I liked on their website!

The Pia Rossini Poncho was amazing for just throwing on for going down to the pool or going into the main hotel building from the pool. I was able to fold it up and put it into my bag when it was not in use. 

I chose to wear the Anita Rosa Swimsuit down to Alcudia Beach. As it had a very low back I knew it was idea for wearing to the beach so I wasn't left with odd tan marks like I would have been from my previous love of sporty swimsuits. This swimsuit is also available in larger than DD+ cup size which some women often complain about not being able to find. 

The suit was amazing! It was so comfortable and it was very easy to go to the loo when wearing it. I wore it again later in the week when we were around the hotel swimming pool.

These photos were taken by my husband on our hotel balcony before we headed off for the day. 

These items will definitely be packed next time we go on holiday which I hope will be very soon!

**I was sent these Items free of charge in exchange of this review, All words are my own and Photos are from my husband!**

Friday, 26 October 2018

3 Classic Gifts For Your Young Daughter

We all know that it can be hard to buy appropriate and enjoyable gifts for your children, and you might find yourself feeling more than a little anxious when it comes time for a birthday or Christmas or somesuch. However, sometimes the best way to approach this is to go back in time and look at some particularly traditional gifts which might prove to still be enjoyable or surprisingly in vogue; and there are many of these to choose from if you do want to go down that route. In this article, we will take a look at just three classic gifts which you might want to consider buying for your daughter in particular - all of which are bound to bring a little joy into her young life.

Image Credit
Dolls’ House

It’s one of those things that many of us associate with young girls in a quite traditional sense,
and it is still the case that a lot of young girls will enjoy having one. A dolls’ house can be
enjoyed for a long time without becoming bored of it, and it’s likely to be the kind of gift that is
really appreciated, even if your daughter has never expressed an interest in such things before.
Of course, the best dollhouses are made so that they are intricate and well-designed, in such a
manner as to keep the interest high for a long time - so be on the lookout for those in particular,
and make sure that you are also looking into finding some decent Dolls House Accessories to go
with it too. The more complete a gift it is, the better it is likely to be received.


A particular trend amongst gifts for young girls is that of the organizer, a little like a child’s
version of a filofax. These are surprisingly popular, and many girls really do enjoy having
them to use for their own purposes - along with something like a diary, if that comes included,
as it often does. If you take a look around, you can see that there are many examples of
these which are highly suitable for your daughter, and you might be surprised as to how
much she actually enjoys it. This is something that will both keep her happy, surprise her
as a present, and yet genuinely be quite useful as well, so it’s something of a triple threat
of a gift.

Image Credit

Musical Instrument

If you think you would like to promote a particular passion for music in your daughter, then buying her a musical instrument of some kind or another is definitely a good way to go. Of course, there are some instruments which are better to buy a young girl than others, and one of the most popular here has to be the ukulele. Getting even a toy ukulele could be a great way to open the up into the world of music and spark a passion, so it’s worth considering. If you like, you could instead go for a keyboard or piano, so that they get started with that instead.

**This is a collaborative post**

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Living Arrows 2018 43/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This week has been about getting back into routine and normal life after our wonderful family holiday! It really does not seem like only last week we got home!

This week James was invested into Beavers and he also gained his Global Issues and Creativity badges! He is absolutely loving Beavers and I am so glad I signed him up for it as it has done him the world of good to make new friends that do not go to his school! Last weekend we went shopping to get James a costume for the school halloween disco and also the halloween party at Beavers! James knew he wanted to be a Werewolf so lucky for us Tesco were selling a werewolf costume this year! He knew he had to try it on when we got home!!

Freddie has a great week! He loved being back at playgroup with all his little friends after our holiday! He was a bit sad when I dropped him off as he wanted to go get James as he was really missing him after him being by his side for the last ten days! Once James was home from school though, Freddie never left him alone and wanted to play with him constantly. On Sunday we went for a walk down to Aldi as a family and poor Freddie fell asleep in the pushchair. Once we got home we did have to eventually wake him up and this photo of him was after we woke him up and he just wanted to cuddle into mummy!

Living Arrows