Win £20 To Spend At Amazon

Welcome, welcome, welcome to day 8 of mine and Life in a Break Down run of Christmas advent giveaways!

How is your December going, are you surviving the snow?! Or perhaps you got lucky and didn’t have any.

Today we are offering you the chance to win yourself £20 to spend at Amazon on whatever you wish! You could treat yourself or use it towards some last minute Christmas shopping, we don’t mind the choice is yours!

So how could you be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize? Well, all you need to do is let us know:
What are your plans for this Christmas?

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Win a Pair of Wraps Headphones

Hello and welcome to day 7 of mine and Life in a Break Down advent giveaway! Today we have something totally unique and hopefully useful for you in the form of Wraps Headphones. Wraps are a new take on headphones that allows you to wear them as a fashion accessory as well as use them to listen to your favourite tunes.

Wrapping securely around your wrist these headphones are perfect for people, like me, who love to listen to music on the go but are always forgetting to add headphones to their bag. What’s more, as they have been carefully wrapped around your wrist, it means they aren’t going to be found in a tangled mess, wherever you last dropped them.

Now you might be thinking but surely something like this will cost a fortune?! But oh no, you would be wrong as they start at just £14.99 and go up to £49.99 depending on the collection you fall in love with.

The lovely people at My Wrap have offered us a pair from either their classic, talk or limited collection, allowing the winner to pick the pair that is perfect for them.

So what do you need to do to be in with a chance of winning? Well just head on over to the My Wrap website and let us know:
Which is your favourite pair of headphones they have on offer?

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My 2018 Travel Bucket List

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I haven’t got to travel much this past year what with Olivia being so small but I am determined to change that next year. I’ve been to Rome, Paris and all across the UK in recent years but want to spread my wings a little bit in 2018, whether that is with my family, just Steve or with friends.

I have many friends who are regularly jetting off somewhere for a couple of days – travel is what they choose to spend their ‘fun’ money on and I’d much rather visit new places than have that takeaway every week or buy that magazine each week for a year when that could get me a cheap ticket somewhere. has been a great resource for giving me some ideas for my bucket list. I’ve still obviously got the few places I’ve always wanted to visit and they will remain on my bucket list for 2018 in the hope I finally manage them but I’ve also got a few more places I’d love to visit if I had the chance.


I would love to go back to Rome – we went as a family when Jack was tiny and he doesn’t really remember much of it. We managed to get quite a lot done in four days but I still feel as though there is so much more to see.


Steve and I have been saying we want to go here for years. One of my friends recently visited and I was so jealous.


Steve’s grandfather was Canadian and he has friends out there plus his cousin is moving there for two years next year so we’d love to go visit the country of his ancestors and also pop in to see family and friends too.


I’d love to take the family to Paris. I went with a blogger friend back in 2015 and totally didn’t get to do everything we wanted in the time we were there – and of course, Disneyland Paris is there so I’d love to take the kids!


This is one of the places we would love to visit for a top of the range beach holiday – it is simply beautiful.


I really want to explore Europe more and Spain has always fascinated me. We have Spanish friends and would love to visit where they came from.


My aunt lived in Greece in her twenties and always talks about Greece wistfully. Steve and I would love to visit and see what my aunt is raving about.


My great grandfather was from Australia and my Mum and I have always said that we were going to visit one day. It would cost a lot but this can always be a 2018 dream, right?

These are just a few places I would love to visit in 2018 – although I don’t think funds would allow for all of them, haha! What places are on your 2017 bucket list?


Making the Most of Unexpected Windfalls

We’ve been saving for our first home’s deposit for a while now, and whether we use the personal loan we secured while we wait for my savings to pick up, or for the inheritance to come in, or by the time we are able to get a suitable property we can cover it on our own again, we’re finally ready to make the deposit and realise our dream.

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, but it’s so worth it to build our family home together and create something really solid for the children. While we’ve put away a little from each pay packet and I’ve added varying amounts to the pot depending on what my month was like, Steve’s inheritance is also a major help, and we’ll use it to fund the deposit if my savings haven’t picked up.

If you get a windfall like this, I encourage you to also put it towards something worthwhile. You might not be looking to buy a home, but there are always good investments to be made when a large chunk of money that you weren’t expecting fortuitously lands in your lap. It could even be winning the lottery, and after you’ve dealt with the logistics of that actually happening, you’ll need to make decisions about what to do with your windfall.

Settle Your Debts and Decide Your Priorities First

Of course, the first thing to do is pay off any debts that you have. After that, there are some good tax planning decisions and investment options that can help you make the most of your money. The biggest things to look at when you’re deciding what to do is how long you have to leave your money untouched, and how much you’re investing in the first place. I’ve given you some ideas here, but anything higher (lucky you!) and you should consider consulting a professional financial advisor.

Christine Roy

Investing Windfalls

With smaller, but still sizable, sums of money the best thing to do is take medium-risks over a period of at least 10 years. In my research, the best experts I found suggested a portfolio with 40% in UK stocks and 20% and 15% in US and Europe stocks respectively. For emerging markets like Asia and Japan, invest 5% in stocks but before you do this, make sure you’ve put 10% of your windfall into absolute return funds. These are funds run by experts, who use different strategies to ensure profitable returns.

In terms of tax planning, if you can afford to leave your money alone until you’re at least 55 you should think about putting it into a pension fund that you get a 20% basic taxpayer relief and 40% higher tax payer relief, and are now allowed to spend on anything you’d like. You can also make use of your and your partner’s $15,240 ISA allowance. A low-cost FTSE Tracking Account is a good idea for £5,000, since they can average 5% growth per year after inflation.

I am excited to be prepared and know what I would do with a sudden financial blessing. What would you do?

In Collaboration

Four fail-safe festive colour schemes to stick to this Christmas

Can you believe Christmas has come around again? It’s already time to dig out the box of decorations, start the Olympic sport of speed shopping and wrapping presents, all while simultaneously peeling vegetables and writing Christmas cards to the in-laws. However hectic this time of year may be, it’s still a wonderful time of year to be at home with friends and loved ones. To help with the decorating decisions this year, here are four fail-safe Christmas colour schemes to help you deck the halls in time for the festive season.

Neutral & Metallic

Thanks to inspiration from sites like Pinterest, the neutral and off that festive glow. These silver tea light holders are the ideal interior accessory for your fireplace this Christmas. They look glamorous and will undoubtedly help to create a  metallic trend is having a moment this Christmas. Mixing neutrals with gold and silver metallics is a grown-up, sophisticated trend which works in almost any living room. The combination of greys, silvers, golds and natural colours looks elegant and smart, and the shimmering surfaces are perfect for reflecting candlelight around the room, givingwarm, relaxed ambience, along with faux fur throws, like this one from Marks & Spencer, plus chunky knitted grey blankets and plenty of natural wood.

Teal Blue

Teal is a fabulous colour for your living room. It’s chic, stylish and on-trend, making it perfect for the whole year round. Why not invest in some beautiful teal furniture, which can then be the basis from which to decorate your living room this Christmas. This teal Hartfield snuggler by Arlo & Jacob is the perfect loveseat to snuggle up in with a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine and do your present wrapping, while checking your lists twice.

Classic Red

The traditional Christmas is back with a bang this year. Plaid, tartan, red, green and gold are adorning many baubles and decorations in shop windows and homes across the country. Reviving old traditions and tales, these cute Nutcracker ornaments from are the perfect ornaments for your tree, along with this fine figurine from Matalan, which would look lovely standing to attention on your mantelpiece.

Colourful Christmas

Finally, but by no means least, this year the colourful, bold and oh so bright theme is bang on trend. Think neon pinks and bright lime greens, paired with feathers, sparkles and novelty ornaments. It’s definitely not for the colour-shy amongst us! These jazzy robot ornaments from Paperchase embrace the bright and slightly bonkers Christmas trend. If you completely fall in love with the trend and fancy embracing it all year round, then this pom-pom rug by HAY is fun and completely over the top, but we totally love it!

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