Get Control of Your Finances: How I Budget

2nd November 2014

I’ve always been careful with money but since I set myself up as a full time freelancer I’ve had to become even more careful. While I love freelancing, there is always a sense of job insecurity, so it’s imperative, for me, that I keep a close eye on my finances and know exactly what’s going on in my bank accounts.

Throughout my years of learning to manage my money properly I’ve accrued quite a few tips that I want to share with you today, in case you’re looking to get more control over your money and learn a bit more about budgeting.

My budget takes the form of the following simple steps:

Budget

budget part 2

And it’s that simple!

I take my total income for the month and remove the cost of my fixed outgoings for the month (rent, phone bill, Netflix, Bertie’s pet insurance, food, petrol etc – things I know I have to pay every month). Next I remove whatever amount I’m putting into savings that month and transfer it to my savings account there and then so I’m not tempted to spend it.

What you’re left with after removing savings and outgoings is your disposable income for the month and, for me, this is money I can spend on whatever I want. Whether it’s make up, nights out, clothes or books – that’s my guilt free money to enjoy without any worries.

You might be happy to leave your budget here but I like to undertake one final step, where I divide my monthly disposable income by four, which leaves me with a weekly budget.

For me, having a weekly budget is so useful, as it means I don’t spend all my money in the first couple of weeks and spend the last half of the month scrimping around with nothing in my bank account. Knowing my weekly budget also helps me gauge the value of certain purchases and cuts down on impulse buys. Say I’m eyeing up a £100 pair of shoes and my weekly disposable income is £50, I might balk at the idea of spending an entire fortnightly budget on one thing.

Also, I do a bit of monthly forecasting and see if I have any big events coming up during the month that are going to cost a fair bit of money – if I know I have a big shopping trip planned in week three of the month, I’ll save something from weeks one and two, so I already have the money put away and don’t have to worry about overspending.

I know some people find the subject of personal finance a little dry but I love not having to stress about money and not having to worry about overdrafts and loans. Everyone’s financial situation is different and I’m lucky that I don’t currently have to think about dependents or mortgages, but I’ve found a great system to work with what I’ve got and enjoy living within my means.

I hope you found something in this post useful and I’ll be posting again soon about my top ten tips for sticking to your budget.

Blogging Every Day in November

1st November 2014

November always seems to be a month of getting things done. Whether it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), everyone seems to kick their productivity up a notch and I’m following suit. I’ve just finished my novel so I won’t be taking part in NaNo this year, but I’m going to try to write a blog post every day, to help get myself up to date after taking a couple of weeks off.

I’ve got plenty of new posts planned and I’m looking forward to getting more organised with blogging – I’m treating November as a sort of month long Bloggiesta!

Lush Halloween/Christmas Haul and Reviews!

27th October 2014

Lush Title

Hello everybody! I’m back after taking a little blog break. I decided to take a couple of weeks off of blogging so I could knuckle down and finish writing my novel, which I managed to do last Thursday. Hooray! Typing ‘THE END’ is such an exhilarating feeling and I’m so proud of myself for finally finishing it.

Anyway, I’m back and today I’m sharing a few snaps of some goodies I recently picked up from the Lush Halloween and Christmas ranges.

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Beat the Boredom with Board Games: Bananagrams and Accentuate!

17th October 2014

 

TitleI’ve always been a bit of a board game fan – from Mouse Trap when I was a kid, to a traditional family game of Monopoly every Christmas. When I was offered the chance to try out a couple of games to review I jumped at the chance and knuckled down to try my hand at Accentuate and Ban anagrams.

Accentuate Collage

Accentuate is such a fun party game – especially if a bit of booze is involved! The white cards have accents written on them (ranging from Jamaican to Scouse, with everything you can imagine in between) and the black cards have a quotation. The premise is simple – pull a white card, pull a black card and say the phrase in the accent before the time runs out. Hilarity ensues – as you can imagine. I discovered I cannot do a Mexican accent to save my life…

Bananagrams CollageOne for my wordy friends out there! Bananagrams is perfect for writers, readers and word-fans alike. You make crossword grids out of the letter tiles and compete against the other players to use up all the letters first. You can play this on your own or with up to seven other people and having played it both in a group and solo I can confirm it’s a great way to while away a bit of time and stretch your brain at the same time.

So, what do you think about board games? Are they a hobby of yours or are they something you crack out once a year at Christmas? I asked this question on Twitter while I was preparing to write this post and I couldn’t believe the amount of responses I got – I had almost fifty of you sending me your favourite games, recommendations for games I should try, stories about you and your families inevitably falling out over Monopoly. It was great! I think it’s clear to see that board games are alive and well, and they’re a great way to get some laughs into the cold, dark autumnal evenings we have around the corner.

 

Autumn/Winter Lipstick Picks (Part Two)

15th October 2014

Group 2 So here is part two of my autumn/winter lipstick picks series! Like last time, I’m sharing some perfect colours for the cooler months, ranging from deep pinks to burgundy berry tones. I’ve kept the rest of my make up super neutral so you can see how the colours work on their own. Hope you enjoy!

Too Faced Collage

First up is the Too Faced La Creme Lip Cream in Bumbleberry (£18 from Debenhams/Boots etc). I’ve mentioned this one a few times in the past and it’s still one of my favourites of all time. It’s such a gorgeous garnet colour that’s absolutely perfect for light skin tones. Sometimes shades that are too deep don’t work on me so this is a great way for me to wear an autumnal colour that works with pale skin.

These lip creams are my favourite formula and if you haven’t tried them I really, really recommend that you do. They’re hugely hydrating, stay in place for hours and give a lovely satin smooth finish. Continue reading