Getting Back On Track With Your Finances

My Thoughts On Starting To Save Again

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For me, looking after my money has become increasingly important over the last few years. As I reach middle age I want to be less reliant on my full time job and stable enough to go on more holidays. My dream is to work part time and have side hustles and investments to see me through.

Lots of people have been struggling with their finances since Covid, especially as the cost of living crisis has gripped the UK and the rest of the world. So financial planning has become more of a necessity than a choice:

This blog post explores some of the considerations to make when trying to get your money in order. I am in no way an expert on this but have learned the hard way about the importance of getting my money organised.

How To Get Your Money Consolidated

I suppose one of the biggest things I have learned in the last ten years is the importance of shopping around for finance and utilities. Sometimes consolidating debts with an all encompassing loan, for example, is a sensible way of getting your debts together and moving forward positively.

When I had several credit cards, my solution ended up being getting a loan which paid them off. Just paying interest on one loan which was spread affordably over six years made more sense than three cards all with variable interest rates and purchase fees.

One thing that can help you to get an idea of what sort of loan is practical for you is using a loan calculator. Utilising this to work out how to spread payments with the least amount of interest can be beneficial.

You have to do it on your terms.

Any loan is a serious obligation but if used carefully might be a long term solution to a current quagmire of financial burdens.

From the website

Saving For The Future

Now as well as pinching those interest charges by consolidating, it is always a good idea to find ways to save money. I have mentioned some strategies for this before in my post – Saving Money In 2023. It is something I am passionate about as it promotes independence and takes away reliance on income sources.

If you save well, then money no longer needs to be hand to mouth.

You can work out how effective small savings can be by using this Savings calculator. People often dismiss putting away a little bit of cash each week but it can be a powerful way of saving for the future.

I have taken to saving money every time I shop, using the suggestions on my banking app. If I spend £3.89 on my card, the app will suggest that I round up to the next pound and give the difference to my savings. This is a brilliant way of gathering savings, bit by bit.

In A Nutshell

Money is something that has given me a lot of stress in the past. In fact, during my twenties I was awful at managing my finances and I didn’t generate any savings. These days I am more careful with every penny and use money calculators to help me work out the best way to save and consolidate. Looking after your finances is important as it leads to stability and reduces anxiety about how the next bill will get covered.

Have you ever thought about putting your debts all into one pot?

Are you saving on a daily basis?

Thank you for taking the time to consider my money saving suggestions. Drop me a comment with your thoughts on this subject. Please also consider following my little blog for similar future content.

Considerations When House Buying After Covid

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One of the topics that my friends and I discuss the most right now is buying a dream home. As many of you know, I am currently making changes to my own house so that it is a more attractive place to sell in future, or even rent out. At the same time, two of my close friends are looking for first time buys in my home county of Cambridgeshire. When we are together it is all we talk about.

My friend Sally (let’s call her that for the sake of this post) was already on the hunt for a home just before the pandemic struck and had to put things on hold. Now she is back to checking out houses online and arranging visits. I am really interested in the process as I want to buy a new place when I have finished upgrading my kitchen and living room so we have been punching in some figures together and really getting to grips with it all.

Is House Buying Stagnant or Buoyant?

Sally was asking me to get involved and do a bit of basic research so I decided to begin by checking out useful articles online. The BBC Housing Market Page was really interesting as a starting point. One article pointed to a 12 percent rise in house prices (great for any sellers like me). It also talked about specific issues around the country but I had to look to other financial resources to find out more about buying as a first timer.

I think it is fair to say that the housing market is looking lively again in 2022. When Sally put in an offer on a three bed house a month ago, she was outbid a few days later. There seem to be a lot of people who have decided that now is the time to try and make that leap onto the housing ladder and yes, it is getting very competitive.

Both of my friends wanted to explore ‘help to buy’ opportunities so we started to check out the Guardian website where we laughed at the fact that the average first time buyer is in their thirties now (just like my two first time buying mates). Interestingly, I found out that the equity loan on a ‘help to buy’ scheme came with zero interest for the initial five years. Also there is an option to clear your equity loan after a few years if you choose to do so. That’s pretty cool if you can afford it and stops the loan value increasing as the property goes up in value.

How Can We Find Out What We Can Afford?

A really useful site for making projections was the Mortgage Calculator which I messed around with to try and work out how my money might work for me. The calculator was really easy to use and let me choose the term of the mortgage alongside the price of house I was thinking of.

A calculation I did for myself, based on my needs.

There was also a helpful affordability page which gave an indication of what we could buy based on our current salaries. Things have changed since when I bought my very first house in 2003 because back then mortgages were commonly without deposits but these days you have to factor that in as well. Sally is lucky enough to have moved back from Dubai five years ago and built up a healthy deposit while staying with her mum. My other friend, Eloise, has also managed to accrue a reasonable deposit to place down on a house, when she feels ready to do so.

What Is The Best Way Forward?

Eloise is still at the ‘doing the sums’ part of investigating home buying. She has literally just started her hunt after renting a two bedroom village home for over ten years. Recently she has been trying to work out exactly how much a single salary can get her, given that she wants a place with a garden and extra room in case she wants company or a lodger.

Doing the working out online, Eloise was stunned to find out just how similar her payments for a mortgage would be compared to her rental costs. There wasn’t much difference at all. The sad reality is she could have been building up equity and working her way up the property ladder instead of feeding someone else’s pockets for the last few years. She would definitely advise people in their twenties to get on that ladder as soon as possible as she feels like she has missed out.

For all three of us, the prospect of buying a new house is definitely on the agenda. I was literally finalising my kitchen installation this morning and am weighing up selling or renting out my starter home in the near future while the other two get to grips with making offers and squeezing the most value out of their house buying experience.


What I am suggesting is that the housing market seems to have become busy and exciting again as the pandemic has retreated from the news and restrictions have ended in the UK. My friends and I are excited to find out more about which houses are for sale and to look into what we can afford given our current incomes and needs.

If you are looking to buy for the first time then there are plenty of online resources that will help you along the way. Start plugging in those calculations, checking online estate agent sites and doing some good research into house prices in your area. Make sure you enjoy the house hunting process and get the most out of it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article about house buying. If you have any thoughts on this or want to share your own experiences, please drop a comment below and maybe consider following my blog for future similar content.

How To Boost Your Income – 5 More Ideas

Finances are at the top of most people’s agendas at the moment as energy prices rise and a war in Eastern Europe makes some products less available. It feels like we should be celebrating as Covid takes a back seat for a while, but suddenly our pockets are being emptied faster than we can fill them.

After my recent post about Side Hustle Suggestions, I was interested to read more about this subject and can see that so many people are in the same boat as me, trying to make ends meet. A lot of my friends ask me how to keep astride of finances and my simple answer always has to be ‘work harder and save like mad’. Passive incomes are great but they take time to build up. In the short term, the only real fix is to take on extra work.

So let me share with you five more possible ways to make a little extra income to help pay those horrible bills. I have tried to suggest work which anyone can access. Let me know what you think of my suggestions in the comments below.

5 More Side Hustles

1) Flexible deliveries

It is a fairly obvious fact that most people rely on deliveries these days. From all kinds of household products to fast food, we are becoming more used to using delivery firms to meet our daily needs. Many of these companies pay a fair wage to deliver at anti-social times, such as in the evening.

Some companies are keen to promote flexible working and will pay a little extra for delivery drivers who work at night. For example, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo will enable you to earn a bit extra when you feel you have the time and energy. Some firms allow their customers to give tips too, which is a brilliant bonus.

2) Offer a room on Air BNB

Make a room available for short stay tenants. Having a room available for a guest can be a nice little revenue generator. You can choose when is a good time to make the room available and there are always people looking for somewhere to affordably stay. Every guest will provide a boost and you can withdraw your offer at any time or for an extended period.

3) Do paid surveys

Some people make a good income from completing paid surveys. You just need to look around online for websites that provide surveys that you can be compensated for.

I often use ‘’ which has loads of opportunities but it can take a while to build up enough funds to withdraw. If you have half an hour spare each day, you can soon become efficient at it and build up your trust rating, so as to earn more per survey.

I enjoy the bonus surveys that they offer and often make 20 cents for a quick music survey. This usually entails listening to one minute of a track and rating it, as well as writing a paragraph about it. It probably takes me three minutes max.

4) Sell products online

There are so many apps available which enable you to trade in old ‘stuff’ lying around your house. I use eBay to get rid of things I no longer want and always find it easy to use, with postage prices added to each item so you never lose out when going through the selling process.

You can take this one step further by making craft items which can then be sold either on eBay or directly through your own website or on Facebook marketplace. I do find that eBay has a quick turnover though, so you must make sure you get products posted out quickly, or customers complain and ask for part refunds.

5) Make an audio recording

I recently discovered the Amazon ACX service where you can sell your vocals to writers and publishers looking for people to read their audiobooks aloud. All you need to do is leave samples of your voice work and apply to be the reader for any books that take your fancy.

There are two ways to make money from this. Either you request a flat fee for the audio or wait for a share of the commission. I believe you can also ask for a smaller upfront payment and a share of commission as well.


I hope that you found some of my suggestions useful. Not everybody has time to go out and deliver goods but there should be an idea for everyone amongst my five fresh side hustle ideas. You can find even more useful ideas in this article about Making money while you sleep.

Personally, I have done so many different jobs over the years and have learned that you just have to do whatever is needed to keep the money flowing. Right now I am building up my blog, selling items on eBay and doing surveys.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article about boosting your income by taking on extra work. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog for future similar content.