Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sort Out Those Niggles !

I don't know if you are the same as me but sometimes (ok actually a lot) something will be bugging me for ages and instead of doing something about it I will grumble, sigh and ignore it and get on with my day until the next time I notice it.

I think of these things as niggles, the intention to sort them out is always there at the back of my mind and nothing ever gets done about them, but just lately I've been forcing myself to get off my bum and act on them immediately instead of writing them off to the land of tomorrow (never comes).

                                                           Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here are a few examples

Problem:Jacob The Explorer

Jake like any one year old loves exploring, which means that every time the living room door gets left open he's off into the hall or the kitchen where his favourite things to do are to lick the wheels of the buggy, attempt to remove the bin bag from the bin while the lid is on and open the cupboard and munch on a raw potato, you might think closing the door behind me is the solution but no, Jake will pay you back by sitting right behind while you suck your gut in and try and squeeze through the gap in the door whilst trying not to squash his chunky little digits in the process.

The Solution

Daisy had a safety gate on her room but we also have one at both the top and the bottom of the stairs so it wasn't really necessary anymore, I could kick myself that I didn't think to bring it downstairs sooner.

Problem: Addicted To Wires

This one involves Jake again, I don't know how but his little baby brain has memorised every area in the house where a stray wire might be accessible, despite moving our bookcase as close as we can to the wall his little hands were still able to reach in the gap and access the holy grail of wires and plugs, of course we would move him away and tell him no which would be met with a look of absolute disdain and no sooner had we sat down again he was back at them.

The Solution

After the above situation had been going on for months I finally realised that if I turned the bookcase at an angle he would no longer be able to get to any of the wires or plugs, mum 1 baby nil !

Problem: Too Many Toys

I don't know about you but one thing I really struggle with is deciding how many toys are too many, Daisy and Jake are at the age where they get more fun from strewing the toys all over the floor than actually playing with one thing at a time, this is fine in their bedrooms but in the living room it's getting quite dangerous, we don't have a huge amount of space and navigating mega blocks, books and dolls is becoming a very frustrating challenge.

I'm an advocate of toy rotation and not over facing children with too many choices at once so I'm quite cross with myself that this problem has developed.

The Solution

This solution actually came from Daddy, he suggested that we take almost all the toys out of the living room and let the children choose a couple of things a day to play with, these will then be put away at the end of the day.

Why is it that we let things niggle us for ages?, why don't we just solve the problem straight away ? who knows ?

Do you find yourself doing this ? leave me a comment below I would love to hear from you.

Angela x

Monday, 25 May 2015

Money Monday - Spring Clean Your Finances

I don't know about you but I do enjoy a bit of Spring cleaning, there's nothing like dusting off the cobwebs and making everything clean and shiny in preparation for the bright Summer days ahead, this is no exception when it comes to finances too.

No matter how frugal and money saving you think you are you should always do a Spring clean on your finances, here are some of my tips for getting started.

Where's Your Money Going ?

The easiest way to actually see where your money is going each week or month is to go through your bank statements and highlight any spending that wasn't for essentials, can you spot a few fast food outlets on there or lots of little transactions at the local convenience stores ? add all the unnecessary amounts and you will probably be shocked at the total.

Also make sure you are not still paying monthly for things like subscriptions to a magazine you never get time to read or for the gym that you never visit.

Written Monthly Budget

Once you have figured out where your money is going  you need to sit down and write a budget, get all those figures down on paper in front of you.

Start with all your outgoings and be honest, if you have a haircut each month or need to buy a birthday gift then make sure you include it in that months budget.

Compare your monthly outgoings with your income to make sure you are not over budget, if you are then start looking at ways to shave some money off or decide if you need to make some extra money that month to cover the extra expenses.

                                                                    Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Compare, Compare & Compare Again !

Make a list of all your utility bills then use a comparison site to see if you could be paying less, if you could then seriously consider changing your supplier, you could always use a cashback site like TopCashBack or Quidco and earn a little extra money for your budget.

If you are stuck in a contract then make a note of end date and be sure to revisit a comparison site before you renew.

Organise Your Paperwork

Get yourself a ring binder and some clear A4 plastic wallets and organise your paperwork into groups for example, gas/electric, insurances, phone/broadband this way you will always be able to find what you are looking for quickly, you could also make a note of any renewal dates.

I hope some of these tips have helped you, let me know in the comments below how you Spring clean your finances I love to hear from you.

Angela x

Saturday, 23 May 2015

This Week At The Webster's - Money Making Missions, Tonsilitis, A Musical Baby and Boy Meets Cat

Last week I found a brilliant online money making website, I've dedicated lots of time this week to getting signed up with new better paying survey sites, money making apps and focus groups.

I'm on a mission to pay for the whole of Christmas using only prizes and vouchers from surveys and the like, you are probably thinking I'm crazy as it's only May but when you have six children between you and a grandchild you have to get organised !

On Wednesday morning Daisy didn't seem very well, she was running a temperature and just wasn't herself at all, I kept her home from school and by Thursday she was worse and complaining of a sore throat and ear, a quick trip to the doctors confirmed our suspicions of Tonsilitis, poor Daisy hasn't done a full term at school yet since starting, thankfully this time she hasn't been as bad with it and is on the mend.

Jake had fun playing with the guitar, I think he wants to be like Daddy when he grows up, I really hope he inherits Daddy's singing voice too.

Most of the week it's been raining here in the North West but today has been absolutely beautiful, hot and really summery, this afternoon we spent some time in the garden, Jake was very taken with our cat it's the first time he's been close as our cat won't come indoors anymore, he always comes back for his dinner though !

This week coming up is half term for Daisy and I'm looking forward to a more relaxed morning routine, I think trips to the park and the library are on the agenda so I will be back next week to tell you about that, what have you got planned ?

Angela x

Webster's Week In Wins 18th-23rd May 2015

This week I've been a little distracted from comping, I found a brilliant online money making website which you can read about here so I've been busy with lots of new survey sites.

I have had a few little prizes and freebies arrive, the books for Daisy that I mentioned winning last week came and Daisy loves them.

Technically not a freebie but an absolute bargain, I signed up to the new Zeek app where you can buy and sell unwanted gift cards and vouchers, I got £10 free for signing up and bought this H&M £15 gift card for £4 !

This book came from the Mumsnet book club, I just have to leave a short review on the forum when I have read it, been ages since I read a physical book so really looking forward to it.

I'm testing these new Microfibre clothes for Spontex as part of their 'Real Cleaners' campaign.

My Tesco Orchard vouchers finally arrived, the theme this time is Tesco favourites, after using the vouchers and my Clubcard points I paid in total only £1.46, the steak is for our wedding anniversary next week.

I also had this free sample of Emergen-C which also has a £1 coupon on the back.

I'm still hanging in there for that elusive big prize but all the small ones are keeping me more than happy.

Have you had anything nice in the post this week ? leave me a comment below, I love to hear from you.

Angela x

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Money Shed

I'm somewhat reluctant to write this post as part of me wants to hide this absolute gem of a website away and keep it all for myself but the owner Jon and his fantastic site The Money Shed  deserve to be shouted about.

If you are looking to work from home and make some extra money online then this is the site for you, you won't find any dodgy 'fill a million envelopes for a quid' type work, only real genuine earning opportunities, and like minded people sharing their experiences, advice and ideas about earning online.

I could absolutely kick myself for not finding this site sooner, I always thought I was pretty clued up on survey sites, I even managed to pay for most of last Christmas between surveys and competition wins but I could have paid for Christmas twice over and kept our car going if I had signed up for all the opportunities I've found in one week alone on The Money Shed !

The forum itself is a friendly place and not intimidating at all, I'm looking forward to getting more involved in the online earning community, the owner is really friendly too and the site is an absolute credit to him, he also blogs with some great advice at The Money Shed Blog 

I'm feeling very excited and motivated about online earning, now I just need to find the spare hours in the day to keep up !

Why not pop across to The Money Shed and have a look around, if you like what you see sign up and start your online earning journey.

                                                                     Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Angela x

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Dreaded Threenager !

I used to be one of those people who'd roll their eyes at the trendy 'in' words, this was no exception when I first heard someone use the word 'Threenager' I remember thinking how silly once you get past the terrible two's it's all plain sailing.

The sixteen year age gap between my youngest and oldest must have dulled my memory because I had totally forgotten about this stage, where your lovely sweet toddler becomes a demanding unreasonable diva in the blink of eye for the most bizarre of reasons.

                                     Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At breakfast time all hell could break loose because you only put 16 Cheerios in the bowl and they wanted 17 or you brought the wrong spoon, only the special one will do which you spend 10 minutes looking for only to realise you didn't do the washing up last night, or they want to wear a swimming costume and wellingtons to nursery even though it's December and the coldest day of the year so far !

You spend all afternoon arguing about the fact that your threenager needs to see the moon, all the assurances that they can see it once it's night time are just no use they NEED to see the moon now because someone at school saw the moon so they must do the same right this minute.

You try so hard to stifle your laughter, because no matter how demanding they are being some of their theories and demands are highly amusing and quite cleverly thought out.

They insist you must leave them alone to go to the toilet by themselves even though you must be accompanied to the bathroom at all times.

You get told at least five times a day that you are a 'naughty mummy' and the phrase 'I want' is replaced with 'I need'.

You will be amazed and horrified at the extent of their over active imagination, they will tell people that you left them in the road on the way home from school or that you left them at home alone (true story).

When you ask for a cuddle they will insist they are a big kid now and you can't have one, this of course does not apply if they require a cuddle.

I've found that the best way to navigate this stage of parenting is with good humour and infinite amounts of patience and of course to keep a record as proof for when they are grown up and have kids of their own.

Do you own a threenager ? what's the funniest thing they have ever done or said ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

Angela x

Don't Replace It Repair It !

Although I try to live a frugal life there are always areas that I don't quite get it right, I've been working on improving those areas.

I used to be the kind of person that if an appliance broke or wasn't working how I wanted it to I would replace it, usually using a credit card (slaps hand) but not anymore ! My new motto is repair, repair, repair and ONLY replace as a last resort.

I've had my Dyson vacuum cleaner for around four years and last year I noticed it wasn't picking up as well as it used to, on top of that the extendable cleaning hose got a tear in it which I patched up with masking tape, every time I got the hoover out I would grumble about how rubbish it was, it got to the point where I would dread hovering and I even started looking at buying a new one and trying to justify adding it to the already over-stretched credit card.

After months of griping about it I had a light bulb moment, instead of moaning I knew I should do something more pro-active and set about searching online for a solution, I feel like an absolute idiot for not doing this sooner. I found a tutorial on YouTube which explained that the first thing I should do with loss of suction was to check for blockages and remove the filters and clean them, I'm ashamed to admit this but I didn't even know my Dyson had filters !

                                       Image courtesy of Smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After doing what the tutorial suggested my vacuum is now back to picking up brilliantly and I've learnt a very valuable lesson about being more clued up about the items I own and how to maintain them.

The next part of my light bulb moment was finding out if the hose was replaceable as by this point it had that much masking tape on it was in danger of not fitting back onto the main body of the vacuum anymore, after a quick search and comparing the best price I found the right part and paid £16 which is far better than the hundreds I would have paid to replace the whole thing.

I feel very proud of myself for taking a step back, thinking logically instead of impulsively and being pro-active instead of reactive.

There are of course times when repairing isn't possible or the most cost effective thing to do, our oven recently broke and after doing some research we discovered that it would cost only £10 less to replace the part than to buy another oven, sometimes situations like this can't be avoided but you can give yourself peace of mind by exhausting every avenue first.

Have you been in this situation yourself ? How much have you saved by repairing ? leave me a comment below I would love to hear from you.

Angela x