Clever Ideas To Help You Get Some Savings Behind You*

*This is a collaborative post*

Be honest, how are you really managing your money? Many of us will struggle to admit that we barely make it to payday, and usually end up saving very little each month. But without savings, you won’t be able to do big things like buying a house, travel, and so on. Being able to get into a good habit of saving can be tough, but it will benefit your future.

When money is tight, saving can feel impossible. But luckily for you, there are some simple ways that you can make it possible. Take a look at these clever ideas to help you get some savings behind you.

Put it away on payday

One good tip for helping you save more is to put it away on payday. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to touch it, and the money won’t be sat in your available funds. You could set up a direct debit to help you manage this - think of it as paying a bill and put it to the back of your mind.

Cut your bills

Could you save money on your monthly bills? A ‘money makeover’ could be just what you need! Start by doing comparisons to see if you could be paying less for things like your home insurance, TV and broadband and even your energy bills. Even saving a couple of £s here and there will make a big difference over the course of the year.

Switch to a different car

Switching to a different car is an easy way to free up money in your budget. A different car can provide you with excellent savings compared to your current car, and Looking 4 Car Finance could help you get a great deal. A lower monthly payment will ease your finances, allowing you to put the difference into your savings.

Use a smart money app

Want an easy way to save more money? Try a smart budgeting app to help you get there. These intelligent apps will analyse your spending and make it easier for you to save more every month. Many will round up your spare change too, helping you save money by the end of the month without you even noticing it has gone.

Try some ‘no spend days’

A ‘no spend’ day could be an easy way to grow your savings. Work out what you’d normally spend each day on things like coffees, snacks, travel and your lunch. By changing things up for a day and leaving your purse at home, you can put what you would have spent aside to put into your savings instead.

Save money when you shop

There’s always a deal to be found online, which makes it easier to save money wherever you shop. From using discount codes to delivery subscriptions, you could end up never paying full price again! It is possible to buy new things when your budget is tight, you just need to get clever with your spending.

Even if your finances feel messy now, making some simple changes will help you regain control and start saving. Write down some savings goals and motivate yourself to save more so that you can enjoy a brighter, more responsible future. 

*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Photo Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

How People Make It as Musicians*


There are some jobs that just seem to be out of this world good. If you play an instrument, then for you, that job will probably be ‘professional musician.’ Alas, most people don’t see this is a real option -- they think that some people are just destined to be musicians, and they’re not one of them. But this, of course, is not the case. Anyone can make it: there’s no-one guarding the access gate! In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few things that all musicians seem to have in common. Do the same, and you might just find that your dream comes true.

They Put In The Hours

You can’t just have a passing interest in becoming a musician: you have to be ‘all in.’ And that means spending hour after hour honing your craft. It’s easy to look at successful musicians and see the recognition and lifestyle, but that’s just the rewards for years of practice. So don’t think about reaching the top, not in the early days. Instead, just focus on becoming the best that you can be at your craft. Eventually, you might just work your way up to the top.

They’re Involved In The Scene

The internet has changed how people can make their name in music, but even the people who make their name online have been involved in the local arts scene in one way or another. No matter where you live, there will be other people close to you that have an interest in the type of music you like to make. Those local shows and connections can be an invaluable step on your road towards becoming a musician. You’ll get feedback, get over those early show nerves, and make some friends too.

They Step It Up 

At some point, musicians know that they have to push forward. Sometimes, these opportunities come to them (more on them below), at others, they have to make it happen. One such way to do it is to record your own music and share it with the world. You can release it online, and in the real world too. A company that specialises in cd duplication can help you to have a professional-looking promotional CD, which you can then share with important people in the business. As well as stepping forward professionally, it’s also recommended to progress creatively, too -- you’ll be a much more interesting musical outfit if you’ve found your style.

They Say Yes To Opportunities

There are a lot of opportunities for wannabe musicians out there; it’s just that not all musicians want to take them. Some people are just waiting for their big break! But this isn’t a smart move. You work up to a big break, it doesn’t come knocking on your door. In the early days, it’s much better to say yes to all the opportunities that are on offer. You’ll find that one thing leads to another and that you’re continually climbing the ladder towards where you want to be.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Photo source Pexels - CC0 Licence

Contacts Every Responsible Young Woman Should Have in Her Phone*

Sometimes adulting is no fun. That’s just the truth of it. You don’t want to have to focus on the mundane, sometimes stressful aspects of living on your own in the world, but you can’t ride on your parents’ coattails forever. Easing into all those adult responsibilities - bills, taxes, routine dental cleanings - can be a stressful and sometimes boring experience, but it’s necessary for all of us.

If you’re fresh out of college, or just moving into the first flat you’ve had alone, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the tasks that now fall squarely into your lap. You’ll get through it, though - we all learn how to muddle through, and you’ll be no exception. First things first: put these numbers into your phone. 

A PCP or Healthcare Provider
For a variety of reasons, young people aren’t seeing doctors as often. That’s not a good thing. Every person, young and old, should have a primary care provider or GP that they can call in case of sickness or injury, a point of contact or generalized doctor who you can call about, well, anything. If you’re lucky enough to have health insurance you may already have one of these. If not, best to look for a great doctor in your area to see for a wide variety of needs. Nobody wants to be caught out in times of healthcare crisis without a doctor to assist them. 

An Accountant
Yes, it’s true. Every working adult needs an accountant (or the ability to do your own taxes, but why on earth would you if you don’t have to? Pay a professional!). You don’t want to find yourself panicking at tax-time, wondering how on earth you’re going to sort out all the income paperwork. 

Whether you choose an accounting firm or large company like H&R Block or choose to hire a smaller person/team, having an accountant on your side to tackle those complicated tax forms is a must. You can read more to find out which accounting firm might be right for you. 

A Lawyer
This doesn’t mean you have to have a law firm on retainer (who can afford that?) but it’s always a good rule of thumb to know at least one lawyer who you could call in a time of crisis, whether you’ve been in a car accident, were injured at work, have a dispute with a landlord, or whatever crisis comes your way. 

A Stylist
Now, obviously having a hair stylist isn’t of the same importance as the aforementioned people, but it’s still a good rule of thumb to have one in your arsenal. Going to a different stylist every time isn't advisable. Rates change, they don’t know your style, and you might find yourself dissatisfied with the result. Having a stylist who knows you, knows your preferences and the look you prefer, whose rates are always the same, will help you save time and money. 

These are just four contacts that every responsible young person should have in their phone; available to reach out to on short notice. There’s no reason in this age of constant technology, with accessible numbers at our fingertips, to be caught out with no idea who to call in a time of need.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Header photo Photo Credit: Daniel Xavier

How To Adjust To Life With A Disability*

 Grayscale Photo of Wheelchair

The home is where the heart is, so it makes sense that you would want it to suit you and your needs. Whether you buy or rent your home, you need to think about making your home a safe and comfortable one to settle into. You make your house look exactly the way that you plan for it to look, and it stays that way most of the time. When life gets in the way, the beauty of the home changes and you need to make it adjust to you, rather than you adjust to it. A disability isn't the end of the world for most people. Often, it means that slight adjustments need to be made for the sake of comfort. For others, though, a disability requires almost a whole renovation of a property - which makes it much harder to adjust to.

You see your home in a whole new light when you have a disability. Your doorways are suddenly too narrow, the light switches and door handle too high. You’ve already looked into the Motability Scheme to change out your car to one that adapts to your needs, but now you have to do what you can for your house. You cannot control the changes that happen in life, but you can control the way that you respond to it. If you have landed with a disability, you need to consider how you can adapt your house to suit your needs. Whether it be due to an accident or a condition that develops later in life, you need to make sure that your quality of life isn’t affected. So, let’s take a look at how you can adjust to life with a disability in the home. There is a lot available out there, so you will be able to find somewhere to begin.

  • Make A List
You need a defined list of adaptations that you need for your house. If you need ramps added or stairs removed, you need to add this to the list. If you need to add a downstairs bathroom, you can add that to the list, too. It would help if you did what you can to make your home well-adjusted to your new needs. Never feel like you can’t ask for the adaptations that will make life easy. They are all going to improve your quality of life, and if you know exactly what you want, you can ensure that you have the best in your home. You use the best Motability cars, so you need to employ the same thinking to your house, too.

  • Use Technology
Most houses have to have adaptations with a disability, but have you considered the technology you will need for your home? You may need to install alarms and switches in case of a fall that alerts the emergency services. You could also install chair lifts and other assistive devices in the home and make life far easier for you all. Technology is helping the Motability cars out on the road, so there’s no reason that it cannot help your home, too.

  • Costs
Adaptations can take a lot of money. Luckily, there are often grants and funding in place to make those adaptations much easier. It would help if you considered that your household income is taken into account, and you can use the help of charities to ensure that you have everything that you require covered. When it comes to grants, you need to get the applications done quickly for a higher likelihood of things going well. The faster you get the grants sorted, the quicker you can ensure that your home is adapted well. You’ll need to give them the list of adaptations you need, along with the work that will need to be done and why. The written estimates that you get from different companies are going to go toward helping you to get your grants and payments you need.

  • Medical Advice
Ask your doctor to support your grant application with a letter to explain your changing needs. You deserve to live comfortably, and it involves having as many people fighting in your corner, as is possible. Don’t think about the fact that you will have to share personal details: it’s a necessity to get the grants for home adaptation.

Life with a disability takes some getting used to. However, you don't have to do it in silence! Get help from your friends and family to make sure that you are comfortable at all times. It would help if you were supported now more than ever.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Header image Image Source: Pexels

Buying New Things While Keeping Your Budget Tight*


 *This is a collaborative post*

Finding a way to buy new things when you’re trying to keep your budget tight can feel like an impossible task, but we’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be. Instead, there are certain things that you can do to make it easier to purchase the things that you want without having to overstep the boundaries that you have set yourself. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the ways that you can buy new things even when you’re on a tight budget, so if you want to know more, keep reading down below.

Charity Shops

The first thing that we are going to suggest is that you try looking in charity shops. Now, we know that there is a stigma surrounding these places because the stuff inside is second hand, but that doesn’t mean that it is no good. And as well as this, all of the money that you spend here goes to certain charities, meaning even if it isn’t a lot, every little adds up in the end. You will find a lot of stuff here that is actually very high quality, and you aren’t going to have to pay a hefty price tag to get it. You can find clothes, furniture, jewelry, things for your home and so on in one of these shops.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that purchasing something from a charity shop is a bad thing, it isn’t. It gets you the things that you need, without you having to spend your whole paycheck, and you help someone else in the process. It’s a pretty good deal.

Used Car

If you are in need of a new car, then looking into used cars should be your first thought. These cars have been previously owned, and for one reason or another, are looking to be sold on. Now, we recommend that if you are going to buy a used car, you look around a number of different places, and buy from a reputable company such as Hilton Car Supermarket rather than buying from an individual seller. The reason for this is that usually, this will mean that you have some kind of protection if there is something wrong with the car, and you won’t be out the money without any help.

Out With The Old

Finally, if you want to make a little extra cash to buy those things without having to spend any of the money in your budget, you can look into selling those items that you no longer use. We bet that you have an attic full, or a wardrobe full of things that you don’t use or wear anymore, just sitting there. If that’s the case, then you should find a way to sell these items, and then use this money to buy the things that you want or need. It’s a great way to free up space in your home and get yourself some extra cash.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know some of the ways that you can start buying new things while sticking to your tight budget.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. 

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