Surviving Miscarriage | Next Steps


It's nearly a week since I miscarried our baby - yes I know technically baby bean wasn't a ''baby'' but its how I will refer to him/her because to me, s/he was our baby. Nothing changes how a mother feels when they connect with their pregnancy and, our pregnancy was very much planned for and wanted so the loss of baby bean is tough, I know its going to be tough for a long time and for the past week, I've gone over everything that could have caused it, everything that could have played a part and everything I should have done differently. 

I suppose that's normal for grief. 

I am however blessed to have amazing sons who really do help the healing process - they're aware of the miscarriage and totally understand the pain. I know they are also gutted too and have asked if we will still try. My youngest said ''I know its sad mummy, we didn't get to know the baby so it will hurt you and Chris way more - I hope the baby will be ok mummy, think positively'' he's eight years old and is absolutely the voice of reason. 

My sons have also made me feel positive - they give me hope that it's not the end of our dream to add to our family. That if they can be positive and excited about the future, then why can't I be? I really am blessed to have these three little dudes, they're a real wonder and rarity. 

Over the past week, we've had time in the house building Lego, we've played computer games and we've talked and laughed. It was snowing yesterday so we had a snow day (in my header) and they laughed so hard, they threw snowballs equally as hard and when Chris fell in the snow, most kids would kill themselves laughing, not my sons, their first response was to ask if he was OK and to put themselves in his shoes. They've matured so much and are so caring. 

When my sons have been at their dad's we've researched the hell out of miscarriage causes. We went to the doctors and have a referral to the hospital for further tests coming up, there is a twelve-week wait which is fine as long as it leads us towards some help and answers. 

Some of the things we've changed are: 

 Referral - We've been referred to the hospital to discuss further testing with specialists. 
 Talk -  I've had support and so has Chris, and we've talked and cried and had so much support that we hope to go forward while staying strong together. 
 Healing my body - I've been drinking red raspberry leaf tea to help my uterus contract and to help tone my uterus so that everything is expelled and healed. I've been eating plenty of salads, proteins and good foods and drinking a lot of water. I even went as far as to try kombucha to help heal as its fermented and apparently quite good, tastes like vinegar but I'm willing to try most things at present. 
 Healing our minds - We've talked away a lot of our concerns, and grievances. We've spent time together and got rid of so much stuff that it was causing us stress, or upset. 
 Lifestyle - We've started to look at our diet and make changes. We've looked at a lot of the things we've used and considered how we can make them more holisitic and therefore body friendly. We've planned on having regular date nights and making time for each other. 

I'm sure there's probably something we're missing but we've both talked and feel better-making changes to our diet and lifestyle rather than relying on pills and medications to solve problems. We'll give it a try and see how it goes but we'll keep you posted as always. 

Have you tried anything new after a miscarriage? Was it a success? 



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Smart Saving Solutions For A Financially Fulfilled Future



Have you ever been through a phase of pinching your pennies or rifling through your wallet, wondering where all your money has gone to? If this ever happens to you then you are not alone. We all go through difficult periods of being strapped for cash and it is becoming more and more expensive to live in the modern world. Even if you are 20 or 30 year’s old you need to start thinking about saving money; you are never too young to build up some backup.

Whether you're looking to save for a house or hoping to start a family now is the time to prepare for your future.

The Perfect Pension

Starting up a pension has never been more important. Many of us associate pensions with the elderly but it is an essential saving method that we cannot continue to ignore. Take a look online at blooom 401k review; here you will find expert advice about starting up a retirement account. Even if you are not earning a lot of money yet you need to put a small sum of money into an account every month in order to build up a healthy retirement fund. One day you will not be able to work so it is vital that you have the cash to turn to when that day arrives.

Climbing The Career Ladder

We all want to thrive in our chosen career path but success doesn't occur overnight; we simply have to work for it. Do you have a solid idea in your head about where you want to be in 10 years time? If you're not sure where your work life is heading, it might be useful to create a career plan now. Think about your current job and if you're happy to stay where you are. Statistically, most people are unhappy with their current working situation. If you fall into this category it is time to make a change. Chase a career which is truly going to benefit you mentally and financially. Don't get stuck in a rut of heading to the same office every day, but make sure you don't quit a job without lining up a new one first. Find a balance between your happiness and your work life and you will soon be able to save money whilst pursuing a career you enjoy.

Savvy Socialising

Be sensible when it comes to shelling out large sums of money on expensive dinners, holidays and lavish outings. Obviously, you still need to see your friends and enjoy socialising but opt for low budget experiences whenever you can. When you are trying to save money it is important not to cave into peer pressure, even though it is difficult. Organise gatherings at your house instead of going out; inviting people over will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Don't leave it too late; you will regret not setting money aside for you and your family's future. A few sensible social decisions, a solid plan for your career and a retirement account will give you financial freedom for the years to come.

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Wellbeing || Narciso Rodriguez L'Absolu For Her


It's nearing the end of 2017 and I realise I've not blogged much over 2017 about specific products or added many reviews. So, to kick off the start of me returning to my older bloggy ways I wanted to show you my favourite perfume. 

I'Absolu For Her by Narciso Rodriguez isn't a new perfume by any means, it actually launched in 2015 after the success of its predecessor Narciso Rodriguez For Her which launched in 2003. Unlike the original I'Absolu was marketed as being more sophisticated, feminine and graceful - that alone was a head turner for me as many perfumes are aimed quite young, there doesn't seem to be any middle ground in my opinion. 

Looking more into this scent I was absolutely over the moon to find it was blended with some of my ultimate and favourite notes - amber, patchouli and musk. 

While it was made with these notes that didn't guarantee that it would fulfil its sophisticated promise. Many female scents with these notes are not full bodied enough for the wearer to really smell them until the dry down and even then they are packed with white florals so the dry down results in a long-lasting talc scent. While I ''like'' those scents, they're not my favourite and have led me on a long road to finding the perfect scent. 


When I wear a perfume, I definitely see it as an extension of my own wardrobe and personality. When I feel girlie and feminine I'll wear a perfume that is equally the same in an olfactory sense. When I want to feel strong I'll wear more of a unisex scent with resins and wooded notes and when I want to feel like a girl boss, I opt for scents such as I'Absolu. 

These notes make me feel sophisticated, strong, womanly and confident. That's important for me as typically I don't feel like that, I can regress quite easily and internalise things and scent for me helps to stop that. It reminds me ''hell you got this'' 

Notes include: Top: Tuberose, jasmine - Middle: Musk - Bottom: Amber, patchouli, sandalwood

Unlike the other scents that are sandwiched between white florals, this isn't one of them. You initially get hit with the strong musk and patchouli, the dry down comes with the tuberose and jasmine although they're built up with the amber which gives this a powerful and sexy dry down that is super long lasting (a little goes a really long way) and far-reaching sillage. 

Not only does it smell great, but it looks great too. I am proud to have this out on my beauty shelves, it's made from a solid deep purple glass with a cubic shape. Nothing overly glitzy, fancy or crazy but it is solid, its beautiful in colour and very sophisticated. Much like the scent it houses. 

So if you're looking for something a bit more unisex, sexier, and long lasting then I fully recommend L'Absolu. You can currently pick this up from Feel Unique, Superdrug and Fragrance Direct. This wasn't a PR Sample or a collaboration, this was genuinely a product I purchased and wanted to show you. I plan to show you more of my faves (and hates) from non-pr products guys so if you want me to cover a specific type of product just let me know. 


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Pregnancy Update | 5 Weeks 5 Days


I write this on Christmas Eve. I am currently 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant and I feel great. Over the last few days, my symptoms have remained pretty much the same as before, tired, hungry, still not liking anything overly sweet.

I still have the niggles from the round ligament stretching, my boobs are still achy and all is well.

Two days ago we went to the early pregnancy clinic with a small pain on my left side which subsided but I figured we'd get it checked, it was possibly a cyst or something but after the usual checks - urine, palpating the stomach, internal checks and cervical checks, temperature, blood pressure and blood tests (HCG) we had the all clear.

On Saturday (yesterday) the hospital called to say our HCG level was 712, although this was low in my opinion it was perfectly fine for the 5-week pregnancy mark. I had to go back today to get my second HCG test done as they expect the HCG levels to double every 48 hours so we expected our result to be 1424 today or more...

Waiting 48 hours from our first test was hard, with my sons around I had to hide our anxiety and the worry that the test would not be where we wanted. But all-in-all there was no reason why it shouldn't. I had no more pain, I felt fine. I had the all clear on Friday and I was positive.

We couldn't wait to get the all clear, to grow and develop and see this baby being born in August 2018.

I had the call today with my results...

My HCG had dropped!!! It's dropped from 712 to 192. That's an incredibly large drop and the doctor said:

''Your levels have dropped from 712 on Friday to 192 today. This tells us you will miscarry - you need to come back in three weeks to do another test''

That's it. No care or consideration - I sat there trying to keep my shit together as we'd just been told this pregnancy was not viable. I am truly heartbroken. Truly. This is not how Christmas should be, we should be getting amazing news that our pregnancy is developing and we were eventually going to be parents together.

We miscarried in September and October We were only around 16DPO at that point but never this far. I know to others it's nothing - that we are early, that it isn't a baby yet. But those words mean nothing to me.

When you have 17 positives!!! (yes really), when you feel your body change and adapt, when you physically know the baby is in your stomach growing only to be told it won't grow anymore you can't help but grieve. But to truly feel the loss of your child regardless of how far into the pregnancy you are.

Christmas will never be the same for me. I will celebrate it with my sons and I will truly be happy to see their little faces glow with happiness while opening their gifts but, I will never forget this baby. I will never forget the call from the doctor or the not knowing when our baby will leave this world.

I can't help but want to hibernate and wake up again when the pain has gone away. I'm not ready for it, I'm not ready for the physical pain on this baby leaving or the emotional pain from baby bean leaving.

I'm not ready to see the looks on the faces of those who we told - my mother in law, father in law and sister in law. More so, I'm not ready to see the look on Chris's face, knowing he won't hold this baby in his arms and knowing that my body couldn't do what it should have.

I know they say '' it's not your fault, that its nature taking over'' but the truth is I know it's my lack of progesterone that's done it. And, I can't help but feel angry about it. Three miscarriages in less than six months really kills me.

We will heal but I can't imagine when that will happen. Part of me is hoping the doctor gave us the wrong results or that things will improve but the rational part of me knows that's just the denial.

To anyone else going through this, losing a baby at Christmas or going through crap right now - I'm sending my love and hugs to you. I'm here for you!!!


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Update | BFP



4 weeks - 5 weeks 3 days

I woke up today thinking that it was going to be day one of five of Clomid. Something told me to wait, to check that there wasn't anything in there that could be jeopardised by the Clomid. So I peed on a stick and voila - those two pink lines. Bursting into tears and calling Connor, I was an emotional wreck. Having gone from thinking we'd miscarried possibly a mere two days prior to now having that positive pregnancy test. It was happiness, worry, anxiety and excitement all in one.

I went to work an emotional mess. Still not knowing if it was real, fearing that every twinge was going to be AF showing her ugly head and proving that the little test was wrong. when I got back home, I quickly went back upstairs to check the test and that there were two lines still there. 

Symptoms were minimal but progression as were the test lines. All is good... 

Symptoms

Evenly achy and sensitive boobs. Not as sore as when AF is going to arrive.
 Tiredness, like I've never slept for a year. I would sleep for 10 plus hours sometimes and it not make a difference.
 Needing to wee - a lot, especially during the night or early morning.
 Starting to go off foods I once loved - vanilla cream biscuits, Salt & Vinegar Pringles (I'm disgusted with Pringles)
 Dull achy and crampy along the outer parts of my lower stomach, back and top of my legs and thighs. This has been worrying me although I know its totally normal.
 Sneezing! Crazy sneezing every day. I don't have a cold though.
 Dry tickly throat especially at night which keeps me up.
 Hungrier or at least in the sense I wake up gutting, or it wakes me up at night. Whereas it never would normally.
♥ Going off certain foods - chocolate, sweet things mainly. 
 Craving burgers. 

What I did

* started taking liquid vitamins. They smell disgusting but, don't taste as bad as they smell.
* Stopped taking Tramadol which I use for my fibromyalgia.
* Stopped drinking coffee and other herbal drinks.

We are over the moon, so far we've done 17 tests to see line progression and we're hoping for the best for August 2018. 


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Winter Wanderlusting | End of Year Travel Wish List


There is no more ‘Winter is Coming’ it’s finally hit and it’s here for a long while yet. I don’t know about you but I’m someone who can’t handle the cold, and I can’t handle the heat. Somewhere intermediate is my ideal and living in Scotland pretty much fits my ideal. Connor, on the other hand, adores the Winter snow, although he will complain about it being cold.

Needless to say, we both have plenty of countries and areas that we want to visit in our future together. When the icy coldness hits (like today for example) I can’t stop myself from dreaming about travelling. To get out of the icy coldness and mundane routine and head towards somewhere new and exciting. Somewhere that you can fully devour and enjoy. We both absolutely love heritage sites, medieval villages and quaint little towns, regardless of what country they’re located in. We both travel for food and drink – for the scenery and architecture and I suppose, if I had to go somewhere icy cold to enjoy that – I would.

Our current wish list consists of:

⭕️  Rothenberg, Germany | This reminds us of a larger York and we both adore York! There’s also the food, the architecture (believe it or not) and the wall, just to walk along the wall and see the sights is enough for us.

⭕️  Giglio Islands, Tyrrhenian Sea | Tasting authentic Panficato is a must – you can only get it on this island and its said to be a medieval based sweet treat. Because this is a medieval island, I think this would be a walking holiday, simply taking in the sights, the architecture, the old town and eating great food while taking in everything around us.

⭕️  Osaka, Japan | The food, the night markets and the beautiful (and super clean looking) streets. We both love the idea of the little hideaway food places which are located just off the main streets.

⭕️  Ponza, Pontine Islands, Archipelago | Not only does Ponza look breathtakingly beautiful but we love the idea of taking boat trips around the older parts of the island.

⭕️  Budapest, Hungary |I am ¼ Magyar. My grandad was from Budapest so its only natural that this place holds dear to my heart. Not only does it boast great scenery but the food is to die for. If you dislike paprika, it may not be the place for you.

⭕️  Pantelleria, Sicily | Again this will be ideal for us due to the location, the gorgeous scenery and the food tours. The food looks so fresh and inviting and I’ve never craved a tomato and cheese salad as much as I do when looking at the foods from Pantelleria.

⭕️  Reykjavik, Iceland | The city of Iceland although cold, is one place we both want to go to as its suppose to be breath-taking and the people are supposed to be some of the nicest in the world. The Blue Lagoon would definitely be on the cards and we’d love to go during the Viking Festival or Winter Lights festival – those would be really memorable I think.

⭕️  Prague, Czech Republic | Don’t judge us but we really want to do the whole tourist thing, so visiting the old landmarks, especially the astronomical clock, we also want to spend a bit of time in the Old Square taking in the culture.

⭕️  Split, Croatia | Day trips are a must, visiting the old Roman ruins in Solin, taking a course to cook like a Dalmatian – I especially want to book Brujet which is a spicy fish stew, and again there’s the option of Old Town.

⭕️  Normandy & Dunkirk, South of France | Breton cooking, Joan of Arc and wonderful views and historical scenery. Dunkirk is a biggie for Connor who adores everything relating to the war although we do think it would be a great place to visit but it will be really emotional.

So after New Year has been and gone, I think we’re going to have to look into booking somewhere and getting started on our ever-growing wanderlust list. For the Mediterranean locations, we will probably go via https://www.ok-ferry.com/ as they specialise in Mediterranean ferry crossings.

For the others, I think there are so many bargains to be had we’d probably just go via Quidco and use one of the Europe based flight and hotel booking websites – I think that’s the best way of tackling this ever-growing wander-list.  

What places do you have on your dream travel list? Do you also dream of places further afield when the weather or season turns? Let us know in the comments below.

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Home | The Improvements To Make


Many people save for years before they can buy their first home. The sense of achievement is something that will always stay with you. After all, a house will be one of the most expensive purchases you make in your lifetime. However, we also want to make sure that we take care of this investment and so what we can to ensure that we get the most out of our home. At some point, you may even want to sell it and move on to a new chapter.

But how do you make more of your home, are there any ways that you can make improvements that will help to increase the value or help with the initial investment that you made? There are things that you can do, and we thought that as spring has finally sprung, now would be the ideal time to make those changes. I hope it gives you some inspiration to make some changes and improvements to your home.

Look at the big ticket rooms and invest in them

You need to think about some of the big ticket rooms in your home, the ones that will add the most value and these tend to be the kitchen and the bathroom. Making changes to these such as replacing them entirely or making simple changes can make a huge difference to your home. The bathroom is one of the most well-used rooms in your home, and this means that making it modern, clean and functional will entice potential home buyers.

A quick look online at websites like Drench.co.uk could give you all the inspiration you need. You might also be able to change the layout of the bathroom and make better use of the space. Kitchens are also quite expensive to change entirely, but it gives you the opportunity to redesign the layout. You can then add great storage options, integrate appliances and make more of the space you have. However, if you find that you don’t have the budget to change them completely then you could consider making some DIY changes.

Things like; painting the walls and cupboard doors, changing the flooring or the light fixtures and even changing small elements like colour schemes could make the biggest difference to your home.

Change the interior decoration to something more neutral

Everyone has the prerogative to decorate their home exactly how they want to. If you want your favourite bright colour all over the walls then so be it. But if you are serious about adding value to your home then you may want to consider a more neutral tone. This is so that the decoration can appeal to the masses as neutral colours will tend to work with any type of furniture or theme potential home buyers may have themselves. If you choose to, you can add splashes of colour in the way you accessorize your home and the soft furnishings or furniture that you have.

Minimise the clutter once and for all

In this day and age, we all have far more stuff than we really need, and this is when many homes can appear to be cluttered. If your home looks to “full” of stuff then you could be giving the wrong impression to your potential home buyers as your home will appear small. Take the time to declutter your home fully. A more minimalist approach can help your home to appear large with adaptable space. It could also be a good thing for your mindset and how you feel in your home.

If you can, sell the unwanted items on platforms like eBay.co.uk to raise some much-needed funds for your home or your next house move. It could be something you try and do in one go, or you could try and commit to five minutes each day where you go around your home and get rid of the clutter. This can also be strangely satisfying as you begin to see the difference it could make.

Give your home the ultimate spring clean and tackle the big jobs

Spring has sprung and so comes out the list of jobs that you try and only do at least once a year, but doing them could make the biggest difference to your home. First of all, consider giving your home a deep and thorough clean. Mop floors, clean windows on the inside and the outside, and clear out the gutters. You could also use this opportunity to clear out cupboards and give them a good clean. Then tackle spaces like your garden and give that a tidy up and also take some time to reorganise other areas in your home like sheds and garages.

Even the loft or attic space could probably do with some reorganisation. A quick look online will highlight some of the best lists or actions you can take to give your home the biggest spruce up, from cleaning schedules to reminders it could be the ideal way to improve your home.

Could you add to your home in any way?

Finally, could there be other ways that you could improve your home? Perhaps looking at ways of adding more usable spaces or value. If you have a garage, could this be used better than just a dumping ground for things you no longer want or need? You could consider a garage conversion which could create another living space or a utility space off your kitchen. Do you have space on the side or rear of your property where an extension could be possible? While it may be quite an expensive thing to do adding square footage to your home is always going to give you the biggest returns on your investment.

The extensions could be to create larger kitchens, or an open plan kitchen and living environment maybe. You could also extend into the garage where you can give yourself an extra bedroom.

I hope that this has given you some inspiration on how you can make the most of your home.

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TTC Journey | Loss & Heartache


I was married and had children when I was twenty, twenty-one and twenty-four. Conceiving my little dudes was not easy as I was met with issues surrounding prolactin, ovulation and generally getting pregnant. Many tests later and many years after trying to get pregnant I conceived my sons and after having my third son, I went through sterilisation.

Fast forward to 2017 where I underwent sterilisation reversal in the hope to conceive with my fiancĂ©. While things changed in terms of our home life, nothing changed when it came to the trying to conceive journey. Now in my thirties, I also have PCOS, although I do think it was undiagnosed in my earlier years which is why I had problems. I do have my age going against me now compared to before and then there’s the sterilisation surgery and the subsequent surgery to put me back together again.

While we have more going against us, I remain hopeful that we will see that BFP and not one that results in miscarriage as unfortunately, we have had two miscarriages up until this point. Seeing that BFP and getting excited, the anticipation of what comes next in our journey only to see it fade. The physical pain you feel as everything comes away is only a teeny tiny portion of the actual pain felt during a miscarriage. After our first, we fell pregnant quickly – the following month to be exact but, on that occasion, the positive results on Clearblue and First Response weren’t met with excitement and anticipation, they were met with sadness and worry. And, those emotions were quite rightly placed as one to two weeks later we were losing what would have been another baby.

Seeing Chris’s face when he saw the positive pregnancy tests only hurt more because I couldn’t bear to see his face when I told him that it hadn’t stuck. See most people only consider the female’s feelings when they miscarry because well, they’re the ones carrying but, it affects men just as much. They also have the excitement, the anticipation, the big rush of love that comes from knowing they will become a daddy (for the first time or subsequent times) and when that goes away, it’s hard for anyone to get rid of those feelings and emotions. After all, they also lose apart of themselves, quite literally just in the same way that mums do.

So, we’re at a point now in our journey where the doctors are listening to us a bit more, we have progesterone blood tests coming up for day 28 to check why our levels drop at that point in the pregnancy. We’re hoping it resolves itself or, we get the help and support that we need it to carry a baby until its safe to do so without any help.

While we’ve gone through a lot physically and a lot of heartaches, we both remain positive. We love each other, this has been upsetting but we continue to adore each other and believe that our love for each other will bring us together as a family at some point soon or in the near future.

For any mums or dads out there who are going through a loss, we send our love your way. For those who are trying to get pregnant, trying to keep their little beans safe and secure in their womb or are ready to give birth – we send our love to you too.

More updates to follow here’s hoping it’s good updates.


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Cheese Posties | #21 Smokehouse


There are so many companies these days jumping on the subscription box and post box products and while some are absolutely awesome, some fall flat.

See it takes more than just shoving products inside a letterbox friendly box and hoping for the best. The best subscriptions come from brands who are creative, think out of the box and offer us, the consumer, something different. See I don't know about you but I tend to throw my money at things I could never think of or buy or do myself.

Well, Cheese Posties is one of those things.


Inside each box you get bread (obviously), and the ingredients needed to re-create the recipe on the card. I love how they've styled the recipe cards like Top Trumps cards. The recipe I received was the Smokehouse recipe which suits me just fine because I LOVE barbeque.


Inside the box was Kerrygold butter (real butter), barbeque sauce, smoked cheese, white bread and bacon bits. And not just fake bacon bits - I mean these were genuine bacon bits, I take my bacon very seriously, can you tell?

Cooking up the recipe was a doddle, you simply butter the bread (as normal) and place each item on the bread. When you're arranged all of the goodies onto the bread you pop the whole thing into the toaster bag that comes provided. Stick it into the toaster and wait...

Now, I like my toast well done - as you can see from the image, but you can choose to have your toast lighter. Or, you can grill it, toastie machine it or fry it. You can really choose your own cooking method.

I took one half up to Connor who normally isn't a toast fan or a barbeque fan and he loved it! (see I secretly know him better than he knows himself). The savoury cheese with the salty bacon coupled with the oozing barbeque sauce was absolutely perfect and, left me craving way more Cheese Posties.

Having a look on their website they have lots of recipes but the following ones are what tickle-my-fancy:

* The Canadian | Cheddar, bacon bits and maple syrup.  
* Apple Pie | Red Leicester, apple sauce and cinnamon.
* Blueberry Smoothie | Cream cheese, blueberry jam and mint.
* S'Mores | Mascarpone, chocolate and marshmallows.
* The Number 25 | Monterey Jack, teriyaki sauce and wasabi.

Do any of them stand out to you? I bet your mouth is watering or, you maybe on the other side of the fence feeling utterly horrified at the sweet and cheesy options but I'll just say two things - chocolate croissants and cheesecake.

You can check out the company and what they offer on the Cheese Posties website.

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Resolutions | Stop Wasting Money and Get Smart


You’d be surprised how much money we waste every year. Research shows that, on average, people squander nearly £3000 on non-essential items that do nothing but burn holes in our bank accounts.

What must happen is that we start getting smart about where our money is going. Every generation has wasted money in the past; it is just a natural thing that comes with the slightest hint of financial independence. Not focusing on where the money is going and using poor budgeting skills has the potential to leave you in the lurch, should something unexpected occur.

So what are the areas where you can start thinking a little harder about saving money? You might be surprised that it is pretty much everything. While there’s no need to go all-in on frugality, being more sensible with your spending can open up opportunities for you to do and buy whatever you want.

If you love gaming, a little bit saved here and there will help you buy a new console; if you love to travel, then putting the pennies aside each week will allow you to save up for your dream globetrotting odyssey.

FOOD

Food, glorious food. We spend a lot of money on food that will inevitably go to waste. There are many reasons for this, such as poor preparation, forgetting about it, or merely laziness; it’s always much easier to order in (or eat out) than it is to prepare some culinary masterpiece, especially when you are just not feeling it.

But we waste so much food every year. In the UK, this is estimated at £13 billion altogether. This applies to households but also supermarkets, which elect to throw out expired or close-to-expired produce. Countries such as France have recently passed a law to ban supermarkets throwing food that is still viable and instead encourage them to donate the food to the homeless.

But it’s not just household waste, spending money on takeaways or eating out also burns holes in the wallet. And, as much as these places claim to provide healthy options, the healthiest option - for both body and bank account - is to eat in, despite how tiresome it can sometimes be.

DEBT AND INTEREST

Sometimes, you don’t have the money in your bank account to buy something that you either desperately want or legitimately need, like a new appliance following a breakdown, or a purchase that arises just before payday. In times like these, people often choose to put these items on their credit card, with the intention of paying it off once they get their bill.

But this can frequently snowball, and you become so reliant on your credit card that it becomes a bit of a commerce spree. However, being frivolous with these payments and not staying on top of them leads to interest rates, where you are spending even more even though you are not buying anything. Furthermore, failing to pay off credit card debt promptly causes problems for your credit score, which can interfere with any substantial purchases - like a car or home - in the future.

CLOTHES

Everyone loves the feeling of buying new clothes. People enjoy going out, trying new things, reinventing their wardrobe but despite the plethora of options hung inside the wardrobe how often do people look and think ‘I have nothing to wear!’

Obsessing over the latest trends, following designer labels religiously, or merely buying a new outfit that you will wear once or twice and then forget about, is doing your bank account no favours.

Furthermore, on the other end of the scale, people worry about spending too much and end up buying things such as the same shoes three times a year because they are poor quality. There is an old saying that the rich are rich because they spend less money. It seems obvious, but these rich people will spend lots of money on their clothes, but these clothes will last a lifetime, instead of updating them every six months due to wear and tear.

Also, doing high-street shopping, where prices are inflated due to demand, causes similar problems for your bank account. Opting to explore second-hand and vintage shops will allow you to find bargains and most of the time, they will be unique to you.

GADGETS AND ELECTRONICS

A lot of us always want to get the newest gadgets and electronics. A new phone, a new TV, a new games console, and more are all places where we throw money away because of this desperate need to have the latest tech on the market.

Typically, this occurs when a new model or version is released, but that can often be just out of beta and so is still riddled with bugs. Often, consumers are unhappy with the product and wish they hadn’t bothered.

Furthermore, if you work in an office or do a lot of printing, then ink cartridges, a product that is said to be more expensive than gold, is costing you or your business a fortune. Instead, consider researching cheap printer cartridges as opposed to buying directly from the manufacturer, and save your money on this bizarre luxury item.

DRINK

Raise your hand if you nip into Starbucks or Costa every morning before work for your coffee. Yeah, thought so. These little treats you give yourself are expensive though. While it may not seem like much at the time, it soon adds up.

Instead of visiting these coffee shops, consider investing in a thermos and a coffee machine which allows you to make similar-standard coffee for a fraction of the price. Additionally, bottled water, a beer or two after work, and fizzy drinks are all areas where people spend too much. Consider carrying your own water bottle around with you to fill up at work, and cutting out drinks that contain too much sugar. Soon, you won’t even be thinking about them, as long as you have your water.

IMPULSE

Impulse buys are the type of purchases you do when not expecting to buy anything, but are so enamoured by the product (or the marketing), that you feel you must have this thing now! We are all guilty of impulse buys at some point in our lives, and often the reality of taking it home and out the box sometimes leaves us with a sense of buyers’ remorse.

Curbing these impulses will save you a whole load of money in the long run. Typically, these buys are on the higher end of the expensive scale. They are purchases that we think ‘Well, I’ve got the money for it, so why not?’ And so you grab it, take it to the counter and then perhaps a week later or so, you look at your bank account and wonder where all the money went. You may have even forgotten you bought anything in the first place.

BAD HABITS

Whether it be smoking or drinking or anything else that could be considered a bad habit (and, really, indulging in anything to the point of excess could be considered bad), you are doing nothing more than wasting money. The idea of addiction runs parallel with a sense of security. You may not consider yourself to have an addiction, like smoking two packs a day, but the positive feelings associated with things like smoking in times of stress can lead towards a slippery slope.

Furthermore, these bad habits will not only negatively affect your bank account but your health, also. Therefore, it is essential that cutting down - if not entirely quitting - these habits will benefit you in more than one way in the future.

BILLS

Bills are the bane of our lives, but still a necessary evil. We want all the hot water and heat and electricity we can, but that sort of luxury costs money, and so if we want to maintain our comfortable lifestyle, then we are going to have to pay bills. But there are still places in which we can save money on our heating and water bills, even if it means a slight discomfort for an hour or two.

Electing to take cold showers saves money on hot water, wrapping up warm, instead of whacking the heating on, will save money on energy bills. Furthermore, phone bills that provide you with everything for some extortionate price aren’t always necessary. If you can figure out exactly how much data or call-time you need and find a suitable plan that will provide you with this, then you will save a lot of money in the long run.

GET SMART

If you are used to a particular type of frivolous lifestyle, then it can be a difficult transition at first to change your spending habits. This sort of thing is all about discipline, and so as long as you focus on your spending goals, and avoid any temptation to splurge your savings on something you may later regret, then you will soon be reaping the rewards.

Smart spending is essential if you want to feel even more secure in your finances. Once you have got this under control, then you will have developed a nice little buffer of cash, allowing you to spend money on what you really want to do.
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