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Showing posts from June, 2014

Ways to save money when moving house

Moving house is expensive.  I should know, we have moved cross country twice!  So how can you save money when moving and selling your home? Before you even look at putting your home on the market it pays to get a friend to take a look at your house and help you make sure you are presenting it as best as you can.  If you do not feel you can ask a friend then often taking photographs of each rooms allows you to see the flaws and improvements that you can make. Choosing the right Estate Agent One of the main ways you can save money when selling your house is to ensure that you have the right estate agent for your needs.  You can choose  to sell your home yourself, use a traditional estate agent, or  online estate agents .   Once you have made your choice then make sure you negotiate your fee and your tie in length of time.  Be clear on your requirements and what your expectations of an agent are. Solicitor or Conveyancer? You can stay traditional and choose a local solici

Free Kid's workshops with Apple over the summer

Do you have tech savvy kids and live near an Apple store? Then why not book them in to an Apple Summer camp for a three day workshop where kids ages 8 to 12 can learn to make movies or create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects.  Each workshop ends with the Apple Summer Camp Showcase so kids can share their finished projects. If only we lived anywhere near a store.  My boys would love this.

World Cup Craft and Activity Round Up, plus a fab competition

Are your family enjoying the world cup as much as mine are?  The minimads are football obsessed at the best of time and next week we will be celebrating Mini's 8th Birthday with a World Cup Party on the night that England play with a brill party pack thanks to BeanBagBazaar (although I might hide that airhorn). Would you like to win your own  World Cup limited edition  St George’s Flag Bazaar Bag and England themed party pack ? Well there is still time enter BeanBagBazaar's  competition  where one person will win a giant St George’s Flag Bazaar Bag and England themed party pack (I know my boys would love that bean bag - it is great as you can use it indoor and outdoor too as it is 100% waterproof). I have already started our world cup soccer ball pinata .  I just have to find little football chocolates. We will be making this fab flag bunting from Art Bar, to put up round the dining table. I am also planning to make these England straw flags

Free bike workshops this Summer

Over the summer Halfords are hosting free bike workshops to show 7 to 11 year olds the basics of things to check on their bike. Skills that kids will learn include how to  fix a puncture, how to put a chain back on, how to adjust a saddle and basic bike safety. Spaces are limited so get booking now. Thanks to latest free stuff for the heads up

Free LEGO Building Sessions

Every month Lego stores worldwide host  free build sessions  for children aged between 6 and 14.  The sessions are free to attend, you don't book in advance (although each store only gets a certain amount) and best of all, the kids get to take their free Lego creations home with them. The free build sessions usually take place after school on the first Thursday of every month, between 4pm and 6pm.  At every session, the children are given a new model to build. This month was a  hovercraft; last month it was a helicopter. You can see all the previous mini models on their Mini Builds page along with instructions to build your own if you do not live near a LEGO store.  In the UK, Lego has stores at  Bluewater, Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London Stratford, London Westfield, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Sheffield  and  Watford .  Click here  to see the store details.  Thanks to

Pre loved clothes - a great money saver

I am a huge fan of pre loved or second hand clothes for children and babies.  I have passed on all of the boys clothes to family and friends and wish that we had friends with older and bigger children so I could have hand me downs!  I was recently introduced to Baby Bonbon , who are trying to make a business of selling pre loved  lightly worn baby clothes and accessories.  This is what they say about themselves:  "Our vision is to help parents be able to afford the quality label clothes you simply can't resist at a fraction of the cost using the concept of pre-loving. All our items are second hand - we only sell items that we feel are in good condition - and will bring you all the joy of an unbearably cute designer outfit at a remarkably affordable price" They are also going to be running events down South too.

Five Hidden Expenses that Come with Raising a Family

Learning that a new member of the family is on the way is always a happy occasion for parents. Typically, the conversation is centered on what name to choose, what color to paint the nursery and immediate needs, such as cribs, car seats, and high chairs. However, the best way to consider all of the financial costs for soon-to-be parents is to be aware of the hidden costs for a new baby instead of just the immediate financial outlays. Once the hidden costs are addressed, parents can begin to get a clearer picture of the needed family budgeting. Medical Bills and the Family Budget Most couples think that having health insurance covers basics like delivery and vaccines. Unfortunately, there are some policies that don't cover everything. Sometimes, only partial coverage is provided for epidurals and emergency room visits. Surveys have indicated that 39 percent of couples pay more than £600 for medical bills related to childbirth. Although co-pays are usually reasonable for doct

Why insurance is important for families

Ok, so I know that insurance is not a scintillating topic, but it is important and hey this is a financial blog, so there!  Yes it seems like it is something you payout and never get back on,  but I for one know just how essential it is to be appropriately insured. Since becoming a mum, we have had to claim twice on two different insurance policies, once four years ago when during a rather severe winter snowfall our conservatory roof collapsed and once when our washing machine just kept filling up with water when we were out and we returned to a kitchen flooded with water! Drewberry Insurance know that protecting our family is important and it is hard to find enough hours in the day to research all the options available, work out what types of cover are worthwhile and get those plans set-up, so they have developed their new family insurance tool to help out. It aims to help you understand the financial risk you face and help by providing you with suggestions for policies to h

Managing your money efficiently

Believe it or not I am married to an accountant, so money management has been drummed into me since we got married nearly 20 years ago. Since becoming a mum and living off less money, management of what we have has become so much more important.  Having a clear view of what we have and what we don't have has been key.  In the past I have used a spreadsheet, which is clumsy and also relies on both of us updating the information. For the last month or so I have been using  Money Dashboard  to get a true view of our financial accounts from one "money dashboard". In very basic terms this gives you somewhere to consolidate all your financial information and get a clear, up to date view at any one time. Even better you can do it on the move with the  Money Dashboard App for IOS  or for  Android . Is it Safe? At first supplying all my financial information to Money Dashboard worried me, but they assured me that my money is safe as it is a read-on

Keeping your Information Safe on Line

How do we know that our sensitive information is safe online?  The truth is we don't.  We rely on companies to tell us when we need to change a password, to admit to a security leak. What with the recent Heartbleed bug and then the issues with Ebay, I can tell you that I no longer have much faith in companies to protect my sensitive data any longer. So for the last week I have been trialing the  People's ID Bot . The People's ID Bot searches the internet for your sensitive information and let's you know if and when it finds it. You enter your details in to it and it scans the internet looking for it and will email you if it finds any. It is a really simple concept, but really effective. It is really simple to use and it has already found something that I would rather not be  available  to the public. Find out more on The Peoples  Identity   Project  Facebook page . The bot is free for the first 30 days  and  then is £3.99 a month and I have 10 free annua