Category Archives: Personal Finance

Don’t Let your Finances Suffer this Christmas

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It’s nearly Christmas! Everyone’s getting ready to snuggle up around the fire, drink hot chocolate and watch Christmas classics on the telly! When all the festivities commence, the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about money. There are many ways you can save money this season, whilst keeping the Christmas spirit alive! Here are some easy tips to help you have a cost-effective Christmas.

Travel

Planning a holiday this Christmas? Perhaps a trip to see the grandparents, or trying to escape the weather by fleeing to the southern hemisphere? Buying train or plane tickets can get really expensive, especially at this time of year. So it’s a good idea to buy them as far in advance as possible, this can save you big time. The Trainline has a free Price Prediction tool, this can show you how much the ticket price is likely to rise, and by which date, helping you get the best deal. As for plane tickets, using comparison sites such as Kayak or Skyscanner will help you find the cheapest tickets, filtering through loads of airlines so you don’t have to! If you’re heading to a popular resort, booking a package holiday could be cheaper than booking everything separately.

Shopping

Shopping for many of us takes a huge chunk out of our budgets. However, there are some ways that you can cut the costs at the checkout. Making a list is very important when you go shopping, as this will help you to work out exactly what you need and how much it will cost. This will also stop you from impulse-buying, something many of us are guilty of, especially when Christmas shopping!

Money saving deals and vouchers can be helpful but be wary, as they are made to make us want to spend more money. Don’t buy three of something that you only need one of just because there’s a 3 for 2 deal! When buying gifts, another good idea is to shop around, compare the price of the item in different stores to try and get the best deal! If you’re not sure about something, check the reviews of the product before buying to make sure it’s worth it.

Second-Hand Marketplaces

Buying gifts for the whole family can get really expensive. So using second-hand sites such as eBay and Gumtree can help you find great items for an even better price! You can find unwanted Christmas trees, toys that are in great condition, or even gift sets and people’s unwanted gifts from last Christmas! This is a great way to find unique gifts without having to break the bank. Second-hand decorations are also a good idea, and even better, homemade! Get your kids crafting paper snowflakes and have your home feeling utterly festive in no time!

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Next year’s Christmas might seem a long time away, but preparing early can really help make the difference. Putting a bit of money aside each month specifically for next Christmas will help you build a nice sum to work with, and you’ll be thanking your past self! Set a goal amount of money that you would like to have for next year, and work out much you have to save per month to reach it. This will save you the last minute panic, and will make sure you and your family have a great Christmas every year!

Stay Fit This Winter

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Taking care of your body this winter is vital. With the cold weather comes flu season and you can
find your body lacking in important vitamins. Follow our tips below to make sure that your health
and fitness comes first this winter.

Join a gym
If your excuse for not running is that the weather is too cold, you need to sign yourself up to a gym!
You have pretend to be out in the summer heat on a bike or picture running down a sunny beach on
a treadmill. Avoid the nasty chills outside by spending a few hours a week sweating it out in a gym.
If you’re not feeling inspired by the gym equipment, join a few classes to see if you can find an
exercise plan that suits you. It could be a lively zumba session to cheer you up on grey days, or a
pilates and yoga class to keep your mind focused and free from outside stresses.


Plan your meals well
It can be tempting to spend your nights after work in cosy restaurants by roaring fires. But doing
this all the time can lead to your diet suffering. It’s unlikely that you will be choosing to eat a salad
and a water every time you go to a restaurant after work! To ensure that your body is getting all the
nutrients and vitamins it needs, you should spend most nights of the week eating at home. This is so
you can prepare your meals yourself so you know what is going into your food. Make sure you are
getting plenty of vegetables and indulge in some carbs to keep some insulation for when it gets icy
cold! You might not feel like eating it, but make sure fruit is still a staple of your diet and make the
most of warming winter stews and soups, filled with vegetables, lean meat and nutritional goodness.

Make simple switches
A good way to get healthier this winter is to make a few simple, everyday changes. When you’re at
work it can be tempting to snack on chocolate or crisps for energy. By switching this for a piece of
fruit, a pack of nuts or an oatmeal bar, you could feel fuller for longer. You can also start taking the
stairs instead of the lift at work or when you’re out and about. If you do this a few times every day,
you’ll start seeing a change in your fitness over time.

Get fit in the comfort of your own home
Going outside when it is grey, rainy, foggy and snowy sounds like something you’d want to avoid.
So if you don’t desperately have to leave your cosy home, you should lock that door, crank up the
heating and get as comfortable as possible! If you want to get fit you can do this at home easily.
There are plenty of great workout DVDs and Youtube or Instagram tutorials to get you moving in
your living room. Invest in a yoga mat, some weights and some comfortable workout clothes. You
won’t even have to leave your home to fit in some vital cardio!

Get a gym buddy
In winter we have little motivation to do much more than leave our beds to go to work. So at the
weekend or in the evening it can be tempting to hibernate. But if you have a friend or partner who
also wants to get fit, you can give each other motivation and inspiration to get moving. Plan specific
days to meet at the gym and book yourselves in fitness classes together. Share and swap health
eating ideas and don’t let each other slack off and skip the gym for bed!

Winter Is Close and Breakdown Cover Is Essential

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With winter just around the corner, you should start ensuring that your car is ready for it. The weather will get colder, the driving conditions become more dangerous and a breakdown could be more likely, or at least a lot more undesirable. If getting stuck in a snowstorm with a broken down car sounds like your idea of hell, you should make sure that you have the best breakdown cover so you can avoid being stuck out in the cold. Here are a few reasons why breakdown cover is essential in the colder months.

Any car can break down

You don’t need to be driving an car to fall victim to a breakdown. Even reliable new cars can have unexpected problems and faults. Even if your car has had a recent MOT and is seen as fit for the road, issues can still arise and having breakdown cover is the only real way to be prepared for them.

 

Don’t get stranded

If your car broke down in the middle of the city you could just take the bus or train home or call someone for a ride to your destination. But what happens if you break down in the middle of nowhere? You can call for a breakdown service, or find nearby petrol stations, hotels and taxi services. However getting breakdown cover always beats a rough night in a bad hotel or sleeping on the backseat of your car.

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Get the right cover for your needs

Getting the cheapest breakdown cover could end up costing you more, as certain vehicles or situations require specific policies. Four of the most common breakdown cover features are Roadside Recovery, Vehicle Recovery, Home Assistance/Start, Onward Travel and European Breakdown Cover. Roadside recovery helps you either get your car fixed on the spot it broke down, or assists you in getting it to a garage. Vehicle recovery not only does everything that does Roadside recovery does, but it also makes sure that you and your vehicle are transported back home or to your planned destination. Home assistance/start restarts your broken down vehicle within a quarter of a mile from your home. Onward travel insurance can provide you with a replacement car, other transportation and accommodation costs so you aren’t too inconvenienced by the breakdown. Finally, European breakdown cover can help you if your vehicle breaks down. It can assist you if you need help getting back to the UK, accommodation, removal and repairs of your car.

It can be affordable

If your car has broken down and you don’t have breakdown insurance, you will have to deal with the costs of the removals, repairs and getting yourself home or to your intended destination. This could end up costing you a lot of money and you can’t guarantee that it won’t happen more than once. Breakdown cover doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many affordable options available. By comparing policy quotes online you can find cover that fits within your budget and suits your needs and your vehicle.

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