Up Your Wealth Wednesday | Why I Won’t Get Rid Of Sky

Whenever people hear I am working to a budget, they automatically and constantly nit pick at the things I continue to pay for. Skincare that isn’t the cheapest brand – I will continue to buy this because I want to have good skin! Internet connection – I need this for my freelancework and my blog. Mobile phone – likewise, I can use this for on the go – plus calling and texting, anyone?

Then they come to the big one. Sky+. We probably could get a smaller package but I can guarantee it would be more expensive than what we are paying now. We have the middle grade package and are paying less per month with Sky than we were paying for the smallest package with Virgin. Yes, Sky have raised their rates slightly but we recently contacted them and got a fantastic deal for six months which we couldn’t refuse.

I digress. Some days I will watch a lot of television. Other days I won’t – it generally depends on whether Steve is working days, nights or if he is off. If he is off, it will generally be on all day as at least one of us will be watching something but if he isn’t, there are certain times when it goes off – like now. I am writing this whilst Steve is at work and Jack is at school – there is no need for it to be on.

However, I am not going to  get rid of it nor will I downsize to the smallest package. I don’t go out very often so when I am not out with Jack and Steve or working – the television will go on. I have no vices – I don’t smoke, I barely drink nowadays – I do have a slight addiction to chocolate but who doesn’t? So why is my choice of television package such a bone of contention with some people? I have seen plenty of people nit pick at others for keeping their Sky package when working to a budget. They may be tied into a deal (most people are!) or this may be their only vice – who am I to judge? People have every right to choose what fits into their budget and what doesn’t!

All three of us enjoy the movie channels. There are certain channels in our package that we couldn’t get if we downsized and certainly couldn’t get if we watched Freeview instead.

I am fed up of people judging other people’s supposed financial situation according to whether they have cable/satellite or not – you don’t know their situation in the slightest. As long as the bills are being paid on time, who cares? Someone may not be able to leave their house for whatever reason and satellite or cable may be the only thing that keeps them sane. Society is too full of judgemental people nowadays – perhaps people should take a step back and look at what they are doing wrong with their lives before using their skewed perception to criticise others.

Do you think I’m wrong for keeping Sky when sticking to a budget?

Up Your Wealth Wednesday |Best & Worst: Money Saving & Money Making Books

money saving

A little while back, I posted an Instagram photo of these books and people asked which ones were good and which weren’t. I have these books to inspire me and remind me to do certain things – and some people were interested to see just how helpful I found them. Some are more helpful than others but I will go into each book, one by one – and give you some positives and negatives. Here I bring you the best and the worst of the money saving and money making books currently in my possession.

money saving

The Family Manager Takes Charge (Kathy Peel)available here

This isn’t primarily a money saving book nor is it primarily a money making book. This book is actually designed to ‘get on the fast track to a happy, organised home’. What this book does have to offer however is everything you need to get on top of your finances and be as organised as you want to be. By making sure you are on top of your finances, you are bound to save money! I dip in and out of this when needing some inspiration and this really does help. Some sections aren’t relevant to me but that is generally the way with most organisational books or blogs.

ProBlogger: Secrets For Blogging Your Way To a Six Figure Income (Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett)available here

There are so many blogging books around yet this one hardly gets mentioned anymore, in favour of books such as Blog Inc. Whilst I never started blogging with the intention of earning an income from it, I am lucky enough to be able to do so and when searching for books on blogging, I came across this one. Darren Rowse is perhaps better known as the man who launched ProBlogger.net in 2004. He has a wealth of blogging knowledge and whilst some of the information he shares may not be that easy to understand for newer bloggers, other bloggers should be able to utilise his techniques to their own advantage.

money saving

Get Rich Blogging (Zoe Griffin)available here

I found out about this book a long time ago via London Beauty Queen and was interested to see what fresh ideas Zoe had. Whilst the information she gives is sometimes more relevant to the UK audience than other blogging books, most of the book tells us exactly what we already know, even when first starting out. It’s worth a read but please don’t expect to learn too much from it.

The Greatest Guide To Winning Competitions (Karen J Jones) & Winning Consumer Competitions (Kathy Kantypowicz) available here & Kathy’s is available here

You may be wondering why I have included competition books.  I love to enter competitions and these can often save you money – and even make you money at times. Where does the saving come in? When you win something you would have been buying anyway! Where does the making come in? When you win cash prizes! I recently read a fantastic post on Young Adult Money where David Carlson talks in more depth about making money through giveaways. Whilst both of my books are a little outdated now, the best one is surely the Winning Consumer Competitions book – I know Di also owns a copy– as it was the book that got me interested in comping when I was about 11!

The Money Dietavailable here / Thrifty Ways For Modern Daysavailable here / The Three Most Important Lessons You’ve Never Been Taughtavailable here – all by Martin Lewis

I make no secret of the fact that I use Martin’s website moneysavingexpert.com and that I always try to catch his TV shows when they are on. The knowledge he has is astounding and this shows in his books. By far the best is definitely The Money Diet, giving you a number of ways to save up to £6000 a year! Thrifty Ways…is a handy little book of money saving tips from the fantastic community on the MSE forums and the book I like the least, The Three Most Important Lessons, is basically a rehash of everything Martin has said previously so not as great as the other two. I know that The Money Diet has helped me; I hope it can help you.

The Thrift Book (India Knight)available here

My least favourite book of them all. There are some handy money saving tips in here – however, I find India’s tone often comes across as patronising and the majority of the tips are rehashed from other books such as those by Martin Lewis who I personally think is the better authority on the subject.

What books do you feel are the best and worst for money saving and money making? Do let me know in the comments below.

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Up Your Wealth Wednesday | Things I Am Reluctant To Spend Money On

Last week I wrote a post about things I don’t mind spending money on. There were a few things there that were joint things between me and Steve and like I promised last week, I am here with a post about the things I do mind spending money on.


  • Food & Drink – Obviously I need food and drink to survive. However, if there is a saving to be made then I will obviously try to make that saving. I am often found weighing up the pros and cons of an offer in the supermarket aisle.  Not all supermarket offers are worth it but if I don’t have to spend full price on something, I won’t – whether they are on promotion or I have a free coupon.
  • Beauty products – Unlike my skincare, I try not to spend too much money on makeup and body care. Skincare is my splurge of choice as I am looking after my skin for the future. Makeup is simply a quick fix. I will, of course, have the occasional splurge here and there but I am reluctant to spend out unless it is something I really, really want. I have only paid full price for a MAC lipstick once yet have quite a few in my collection – I have bought these others from blog sales or won them new in giveaways.
  • Clothes – A decent coat, a good pair of jeans, a decent pair of shoes and a bra are the exceptions to this rule. I don’t really see the point of paying out loads on a dress you will only wear once – even for my Sixth Form Leaver’s Ball I didn’t pay much! The most expensive dress in my wardrobe right now cost me £39 and I have got plenty of wear out of it in the short time I have had it. If you give me the choice of one designer t shirt or 5 high street t shirts for the same price, I will be scouring the rails at my local shopping mall. I do understand that you pay for quality but I’d rather be able to do what I want in my cheap shirts from the high street than constantly worry about ruining that £100 shirt with the slightest slip!
  • Travel Costs – Train and bus prices are so extortionate nowadays and I dread having to fork out for either if I need to go somewhere…I mean really dread it. I don’t drive so if Steve isn’t around, I have to use either of these to my destination. The amount of profit these companies must turn over is massive! Obviously I do spend out if I absolutely have to but if there is another way, I will use it.

There is one option that I don’t mind spending money on and hate spending money on in equal measure. That would be books. If I really enjoy an author I will support them in any way I can. This usually consists of me buying on Kindle and paperback. I’ve even gone so far as to buy one on Kindle then after speaking to the author, bought a signed copy too! However if I’m not as much of a fan or I am just starting out with the author, I will buy from the charity shop rather than new – I don’t want to part with ££ if I don’t enjoy it and at least charity get something out of it this way!

What do you hate spending money on?

Up Your Wealth Wednesday | Things I Don’t Mind Spending My Money On


What do you like to spend your money on? For this Up Your Wealth Wednesday post, I thought it would be a good post to talk about the things that me and Steve don’t mind spending our hard earned cash on. There will also be another post very soon discussing the things we do really mind forking out for.


  • A holiday every couple of years – Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean an all out extravagant holiday, just a few days away from home whether we are staying in the UK or going abroad, usually a UK break. Working from home means I often get cabin fever and sometimes just need a little break.
  • A car – Whilst it doesn’t have to be the newest car on the market (ours is a 2007 reg), Steve needs a car to get to work so this is a necessity. We need to spend that money on the car for him to earn money!
  • TV – I don’t go out, I rarely drink, I rarely even go shopping except for groceries. My only real expense is my TV package, internet connection and our phones. Most people downgrade to the smallest package possible when budgeting but we have always managed to negotiate amazing deals with our TV providers when we threaten to downgrade or leave. Being at home all the time with Jack and with a partner who works strange shifts means I often work at nights when Steve is doing night shifts and Jack is asleep. This can often mean that I may get bored throughout the day and thus TV is my time to chill out and relax.
  • House Maintenance Outsourcing – Whilst we do privately rent, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t costs involved with the upkeep of the house. With Steve working weird hours (and working almost constantly in the summer!) and my lack of gardening skills whatsoever, we don’t mind hiring our family friend to help us out every couple of months and keep us to the terms of our rental agreement. He keeps our garden looking ship-shape and we are happy. Other things that need doing we do ourselves or call in someone from the letting agents.
  • Wedding – This may be shocking but when it eventually happens I will keep costs as minimal as possible BUT I will be budgeting for those things we really want
    Finally and some may not agree but..
  • Skincare – I don’t fork out a lot on make up when there are some fantastic affordable brands out there, but I will splurge a little on good quality skincare if I need to. I do have a few budget skincare staples but my skin does tend to favour brands like Origins and if they are working, I’m not going to begrudge a few extra pounds here or there.

My list is probably a lot different to yours. What would be on yours – what don’t you mind spending money on?

Up Your Wealth Wednesday | Five Ways To Get Your Grocery Spends Down

If you are anything like me, you can probably be a nightmare when it comes to going grocery shopping – especially if you have a fiance who is just as bad plus a four year old in tow. I do try my hardest to keep to a budget when it comes to food shopping but we have all been there in that moment when you are reaching the final aisles in the supermarket, your child is getting irritable and you just want to treat yourself – fancy cheeses, bag upon bag of sweets, a cheap bottle of wine – things you don’t really need and it all adds up.

Whilst I do quite like shopping in the supermarket (for the first 10 minutes, anyway), I have found I stick to my budget much better if I do my shop online. The temptation to buy as much isn’t there and whilst you do see some fantastic deals online, it is easier to say no to those things that you don’t necessarily need to buy.


Never go food shopping when hungry. I broke my own rule a few Christmases ago – Steve had beenon nights and literally picked us up as soon as he got home at 7am, leaving no time for me to have breakfast after making sure Jack was fed and watered for the day. This definitely wreaked havoc when it came to picking up items for the trolley and I found myself with lots I didn’t need – and a tummy full of McDonalds from across the road too!

Check out the reduced aisle. This is a bone of contention with plenty of people – they think that because something is reduced, then the quality is diminished. This is not the case! Yes, most reduced items have same day dates on them or the next days date – but this doesn’t mean that they are rubbish! I love popping up to my local Co-Op where my Mum works and grabbing the reduced stuff – my freezer is always full of meat and other stuff which were going out of date but I simply stuck them in the freezer for when I needed them. Emma also does some fab reduced haul videos on her Youtube channel!

Stock up your store cupboard gradually. Bear with me here – all too often, you will find a recipe that you want to try out – only to find you don’t have this spice or that flour. This used to happen to us a lot. More and more frequently, recipe books mention these store cupboard essentials and you have none of them! We have finally got to a point where we have most of the things we need – but we still add a couple of things to every food shop – you will barely notice the difference and once your cupboard is full, no more going out and spending loads to make that one cake you have seen that you just need to try!

Shop on your own or do it online. This is a biggie for me as I hate food shopping with Jack in tow. All too often things find their way into the basket or trolley because a little someone has put them in there and then we have the inevitable tantrum when I say he can’t have it. It is so much easier to do it by myself or by clicking a few things on a computer.

Finally, cut out the non-essentials. The non-essentials are different for everyone – some would say tobacco, some would say wine, some would say the two packs of chocolate biscuits you may buy each week – but obviously everyone has their vice so no one person can be the judge of any others choice. However, whilst Steve still has his tobacco and I have my chocolate and he has our fizzy drinks (I’ve completely cut down), we have cut down on biscuits, sweets, ready meals and certain condiments as we really don’t need them! Living to a budget needn’t be hard so why make it hard for yourself!

Have you got any tips for keeping grocery spends down?