I received compensation from C Space to thank me for my post.
Ever wished you could share an idea directly with a brand to help create positive change? C Space specialises in bringing the customer and the brand closer together through their online research opportunities. How great is that?
To make sure all consumers were heard, C Space created an app called Hatch by C Space where consumers can participate in influencing change with multiple brands that are important to them, like Twitter, Unilever, Colgate, or Godiva, among others. In the app you can interact with others like you, engage in activities, surveys and discussions that interest you. What’s even better – for each research activity you participate in, you earn an Amazon gift code! Handy in the run up to Christmas, right?
Hatch by C Space was only available to US and Mexico before but it is now live in the UK too – why not download today to start earning rewards and influencing big brands. Below are links to download on iTunes and Google Play. Please use referral code UKLaunch1 when signing up – this is my referral link and I would be ever so grateful!
You can find the iTunes Hatch here and the Google Play Hatch here. Don’t forget to use referral code: UKLaunch1. You know how much I love a good survey – so I will be airing my thoughts on the app! Why don’t you join me?
We’ve been saving for a home deposit for quite some time now. Unfortunately this is taking us a bit longer than it would probably take others as we live in a very expensive area – so if we want to get a mortgage, we need to save an extremely substantial deposit. This does also mean that we have been looking further afield to see if we can find properties elsewhere that suit our needs and don’t require such a large budget!
The tool talks about your outgoings and where you can actually save money on them. I gave the tool a try and found out that if I cut back a little on my non essential outgoings, I could have an extra £2000+ per year to put towards my deposit. When you put it like that, it seems crazy not to cut back, doesn’t it?
But how exactly am I saving money for our deposit? Steve is putting a little money aside from his pay packet each month but that isn’t as easy for me as I’m self employed. I never quite know how much money I will make but I try to put a percentage away for tax purposes, some kept in my account for bills and then move amounts over to my savings as and when. I also have a bank account which has a ‘Save The Change’ feature which enables me to save money to my savings account without even thinking about it.
Another thing I do is I always check for voucher codes and My Voucher Codes really is a great resource for this. They feature so many different brands! I always check the site before purchasing online as I am bound to save some pennies by finding a voucher code – and then I can move the amount I’ve saved straight into the deposit fund. Have you been checking out the site for voucher codes? If not, why not? You are bound to find the brand you are looking for on there!
Lastly I am still doing my online surveys and market research chats – these may not be consistent but the odd £10 payment for cashing out on a survey site still boosts the deposit fund a little and the £50 cheque I get from one of the survey sites every couple of months is a substantial boost. I also am decluttering as I go and selling anything that we no longer need – I am being brutal. It goes, it sells and the money gets added to the house account.
Steve and I have been together eight years now and living together for seven yet we are still going to be first time buyers. It is important for us to save a decent deposit to get us our perfect house for us to raise our family. I can’t wait to finally get there.
There is so much pressure on us nowadays to pay out for big events and special occasions. I must admit that we don’t participate in all the events in a year as it would just be too much but we do celebrate a few and have our own special ways of saving for them.
Swift Money are currently in the process of creating an infographic talking about how we spend money on these occasions and how much pressure is on us to buy at these times. Let’s take a look at the facts and figures around gift purchasing and how we finance these gifts. People may even consider taking on loans such as these https://swiftmoney.com/payday-loans-for-bad-credit.php – is this something you have ever considered?
52% of women ‘always’ or ‘occasionally’ save money for gifts, whereas 63% of men will ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ save. I would definitely agree with this – I am much more likely to save for Jack and Olivia’s birthday and Christmas presents whereas Steve just uses that month’s paycheck if there is anything left. 68% of people said there are societal pressures to buy for more calendar events than they would like to – this is very true also but in our situation, we have decided that we will only buy for the most important people on the most important occasions otherwise we end up spending out far too much and leaving ourselves short in other areas.
When it comes to Christmas gift giving, food and drink is the most popular gift given (38%) with wearables such as clothes, jewellery and perfume following close behind with 28% and gadgets also at the same percentage. I generally buy food and drink items, wearables or gadgets so this figure definitely seems correct to me. So when it comes to Christmas, what do we do?
I have now got to the point where I start saving money from around halfway through the year – I save a little bit into my savings account from each invoice that comes in, I save my rewards on all my supermarket loyalty cards so I can spend them during the festive season and I also try to save all Amazon gift codes so I can have a big splurge on presents at the end of November for Jack’s birthday and the kids Christmas presents. I also enter competitions to try and win the things that the kids and Steve want but I may not necessarily afford. Yes, I may not always win but I always end up with a nice bounty of prizes to give to the children, Steve and our parents alongside the things I have bought.
Aside from a few chocolate eggs for the kids at Easter, the only other events we spend out on except for birthdays is Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. It is said that 40% of people buy flowers for Father’s/Mother’s Day and whilst we definitely buy our mums flowers for Mother’s Day, I cannot say we have ever bought flowers for our dads – opting more for sports stuff, clothes or the odd bottle of whisky. Whilst we save for the kids birthdays and Christmas presents, we generally tend to pay out for other presents such as Easter eggs and Father’s and Mother’s Day presents out of our paychecks.
How do you save for special occasions? Do you have a particular routine each year to save up for the big events?
Since my last update, I haven’t got much further but I thought I’d update on you how I have been doing since the update.
Save The Change is working well for me – I’m managing to save quite a bit simply by having this set up. I am also saving 25% of any income into my bank account for tax – I’m being extra cautious and making sure I have more than enough money to pay any tax that’s due.
I am still partial to the coffee shop but the takeaways are pretty much non existent since we properly got back on Slimming World. However, buying more ingredients to cook from scratch has proved to be a little bit expensive but hey, at least we are being healthy!
I am working even more. I seem to be picking up clients left, right and centre and I am loving it. Whether it is blog work, freelance writing, proofreading or virtual assistant services, I am constantly busy and I love ot/
I’m still completing online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live, New Vista Live, Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov – I’ve had two cheques from Populus already this year! Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know! I’ve managed to cash out over £150 this year so far – all going towards debt.
Swagbucks has taken over my life again – you can sign up here – I’ve made almost £100 since getting back into it. I’ve also been selling our unwanted items. I’ve been selling tons on Shpock and Facebook groups too – determined to declutter my house whilst earning some cash at the same time!
If you are in a similar position, how are you doing?
I’ve made no secret before of how I love a game of bingo. Whether it is bingo in a bingo hall, cash bingo on holiday in the 18+ bar on site or playing online, I love a good game and seeing if I can increase my money. I come from a gambling family – we love a good old flutter – but because of this, I have always known my limits. I know exactly how much I have to spend and I never exceed this. It can be tempting for some people to keep putting money in but if I deposit a certain amount, I will only use that certain amount and no more.
Over the years I have played on a number of different sites. I’ve seen so many different sites come and go over the years and have recently been checking out seasonal online bingo reviews. I love a good gimmick and the Christmas theme of Season Bingo is so much fun! Who doesn’t love a bit of festive fun?
When it comes to bingo sites, I look for a few different things. A good selection of games, decent bonuses and the ability to play on both desktop and mobile if I so wish. I want to know that I am getting the most for my money and I don’t have to always stick to the same games all of the time. To have an enjoyable time, I need to know that I am getting a good deal and that I will be able to have fun when I play.
Obviously right now I don’t have much of a budget for playing as I am trying to save as much money as possible but I am always happy to spend the odd amount here and there to take advantage of a decent promotion and get a good payback. Just before Olivia was born, I realised I still had some bonus money to play on a site and won over £100 within just a few minutes.
As long as you know your limits, online bingo can be a lot of fun. Do you ever play it?