Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Top Tips to Help Cut the Cost of Living

Unless you are a multimillionaire, the cost of living will always be expensive. After all, there are bills to pay, kids to look after, and money to save for the future. At the end of the month, the amount you have left for yourself can seem pitiful. And, that is a problem because it is vital to have a treat every now and again as it keeps spirits high. The trick is to cut the cost of living so that you have more left over in your pocket. But, how do you do it while maintaining your current lifestyle? Here are a few tips that will help.

Pick A Cheaper Place To Live

Have you moved into your house yet, or do you plan on moving? If you haven’t moved in or do want to move, it is always a good idea to think about the surrounding areas. Every town or city has places which demand a high wage to live there, and you want to avoid these areas. It isn’t like you are going to avoid them forever – more like for the short-term. For now, you need a place that suits your wage and your lifestyle. All you have to do is find a part of town which has lower house prices and a lower living cost and make a bid. The amount you save will be enough to improve your lifestyle in other ways.

Slash The Overheads

Owning a property means you have overheads, yet these overheads don’t have to be a problem. Sure, they are necessary, but they don’t have to be necessarily high because you can make them cheaper. For starters, get a smart thermostat for the house. A smart thermostat regulates the temperature so that you use a constant flow of energy and don’t go overboard. Then, think about how much electricity you use. Do you leave the lights on when you’re not in a room? If so, turn them off and the bill won’t be as high. Also, turn off the electronic which are on standby because they are guzzling energy too.

Check Potential Benefits

You might be eligible for benefits even if you don’t think are because the state offers them to everyone. Take child benefit as an example. Every parent gets a stipend from the government until the kids turn 18, at which point it stops. Up until they are 18, however, you can claim the money and use it to pay for their upbringing. The result is that you should use less of your wage on the kids, and you will have more in your pocket.

Get Contents Insurance

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Contents insurance is a great example because a home warranty plan will save you money should anything happen. And, although it never seems like it will, the worst things come out of nowhere and hit the hardest. If you don’t have the cover, you will have to pay to replace everything in the house which will cost a fortune. In fact, it will be way more expensive because furniture, electronics, etc. aren’t cheap.

It might sound cynical but you should always prepare for the worst.

Friday, 17 March 2017

From Household Beginner to a Domestic Goddess Winner

We’re not all born domestic goddesses, and most of us have to start right at the bottom and work our way up to this sought-after title. It can be especially difficult for those of us who have recently bought our first home or moved out of our parent’s, as all of the responsibility that comes with running a household is completely new to us. Need a hand working your way from household beginner to domestic goddess winner? Here are some useful pointers.

Experiment To Find What Works For You

We all have different ways of doing things, and all the domestic goddesses out there will have worked hard to find out exactly what works for them. For instance, you might find that you prefer certain cleaning products when you are tackling your bathroom. You could also find that you prefer cooking with one brand’s range of ingredients when you are making a feast in the kitchen for your family! Don’t feel bad if some of your experimenting goes wrong, though. It’s all part of working your way to domestic goddess status!

Use Helpful Resources

If you are ever stuck or end up needing advice, there are plenty of places you can turn. If your family pet hasn’t been itself lately, you could check pet blogs such as to see if there is any useful advice and information on common symptoms. Struggling to help your children with their daily homework? You will find plenty of free resources online that you can use to help strengthen your own knowledge and homework know-how.

Diversify Your Skillset

The chances are that you find one area of running a household pretty easy to handle. You might have no troubles whipping up healthy family meals or getting all of your housework done in one single day. But rather than just relying on your one awesome skill, why not start to focus on others that you don’t do so well to try and improve them? By diversifying your skill set, you will quickly find taking care of your family and home a lot easier to deal with. When it comes to learning new skills, think about things like techniques for repairing clothes and DIY.

Stick To A Timetable

No one likes spending their free time doing chores and household work, but it all has to be done, unfortunately! The easiest way to get through it all efficiently is to set up a timetable and allocate specific times for jobs. For example, allocate a certain day or afternoon to your laundry. By splitting up your time like this, you will be able to see exactly how much free time you have for fun things such as hobbies and spending time with the kids. You can use a simple wall planner to divide up your time, like the ones at Etsy:

Once you start following all of these great tips, you will find that you quickly go from household beginner to domestic goddess winner! You’ll even be able to rival Martha Stewart!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

In the Dog House

Getting any new pet is an exciting time, but a new puppy potentially has to be the most exciting of all. There is something about getting a new dog; you don’t fully know their personality until they are well settled into your routine [and not the other way round, but more on that later], and they are always such quirky little characters that it’d be hard not to love them.

There are some things that need ironing out before you make the huge commitment of bringing home a new member of your family.


Just like children need to learn the rules, there is a certain amount of dog obedience that your new puppy will need to learn in order to make life a lot better for the both of you. Simple commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘lie down’ can make the world of difference in social situations, and your puppy will need as much socialising as you can offer to him. Taking them to an obedience class can massively help their confidence with strangers and other dogs, and taking them for regular walks won’t only be beneficial to their health, but is also a great chance to socialise them with the world around them. It can be quite scary taking out an unpredictable little bundle on a lead, but they are probably more frightened than you; they will have been in the world weeks compared to your years. Think back to what you were doing when you were only a few weeks old - bet you weren’t walking and running about!


Again, just like children, the diet that you feed your puppy with will have a huge impact on their development for the rest of their life. Give them the best start and have a word with your vet as to what food they recommend. As tempting as it may seem, giving scraps and leftover food to your new puppy can be harmful to their health - especially if they are eating a human food that is actually poisonous to them, such as onions or grapes. Check over what you can give as a treat; carrots are a good option.


Register with a veterinary surgery as soon as you get your new puppy, and even if they have had all of their relevant inoculations, take them for a general checkover as a “getting to know you” meeting. If you introduce the vets as a nice place for them to go, you are solving half of the problems that many owners have with their own dogs regardless of age - their terror of visiting the surgery. This can make it increasingly difficult for the vet to perform their job correctly, and you may even find that they can become hostile and aggressive if they’re forced into a place that they don’t like; while this may be completely out of character, if you are pushing them into a place they don’t like they will revert back to the only instincts that they know how to use in that situation.

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