Getting The Best Deals For My Family

Getting The Best Deals For My Family

I’m always looking for good deals when it comes to my family. I take advantage of apps for services I use that offer me good deals, I look out for good deals in the supermarket and I look on websites to find some good family deals.

With half term coming up, I’m trying to collate a list of things to do that won’t cost the earth. How am I doing this and keeping things affordable? By looking for decent deals, of course! Whether it is for a day out, a short break away or a meal with the family, I know that if I look hard enough I will find a deal for something we are interested in.

Just by a little bit of searching in the past five minutes, I have found a great half price family ticket deal for an adventure park that Jack is interested in and also some massive savings on one of those big supersized paddling pools – perfect for this heatwave that we apparently should be expecting!

Jonathan Brinkhorst

Olivia has recently developed an obsession with Peppa Pig too so I have been looking for some items with Peppa on without having to fork out a lot for it all. As they say if you look after the pennies, the pounds look after themselves and I am keen to keep on saving money where I can. Brands and companies make things so expensive when you have kids, unnecessarily expensive in some cases so why shouldn’t I take advantage of a good deal if I see one?

Being a parent is expensive enough as it is. I don’t want my kids to miss out but I equally don’t want to spoil them by spending lots of money on them when I don’t need to. Does it matter if I got that item a little bit cheaper? Not to anyone else but me – it has saved me those extra pennies that I can put towards something else or perhaps even in the kids moneyboxes.

So this is what I will be doing in the lead up to half term – looking for some fun almost free things to do with the kids! What have you got planned?


How You Could Save Money By Remortgaging

How You Could Save Money By Remortgaging

Collaborative Post

As someone who is yet to own a house, you would think that I probably didn’t know much about mortgages or any of the terms around it but in fact you would be wrong. In the past few years, multiple family members and friends have bought or sold properties, some even remortgaged. We have even applied for a mortgage in the past – let down by Steve’s credit rating and now will be applying again in the not too distant future hopefully – fingers crossed!

I wanted to talk about how you can save yourself some money by remortgaging. Now remortgaging isn’t for everyone, let me say that first off. Remortgaging can come under two umbrellas – it is essentially taking out a new mortgage on a property you already own but it is either a) to replace your existing mortgage or b) to borrow money against your property. Now quite clearly b wouldn’t be saving you money in the long run as you’ll still be paying it as you’ve borrowed against it so I wanted to talk about why you would want to remortgage and replace your existing mortgage.

Did you know that around a third of all home loans made in the UK are actually remortgages? I bet you would never have considered that so many of them would be! So why should you consider it and how can you save money by remortgaging? I’ve been looking at an online mortgage adviser, Habito, to see how remortgaging could work for some people.

Annie Spratt

Most people find that their mortgage is their biggest financial commitment/monthly bill. If you could make that debt smaller, you’d take that chance, right? So why should you consider potentially remortgaging?

Has your home increased in value?

If your home has increased in value exponentially, then remortgaging maybe something you want to consider. You may find that you aren’t but you may also find you’re in a lower loan-to-value band and therefore could be paying much lower rates.

Is your current deal about to end?

Some mortgages that seem great are only short term deals and you’ll find that once that deal ends, you will be paying a lot staying in that same mortgage. Many of the best ones only last from two to five years and you don’t want to be put onto the variable rate. It is bound to be higher than your previous rate and much less affordable than a remortgage to a cheaper rate.

You want to pay off your mortgage as soon as you can

Why would I suggest remortgaging if you want to pay it off quicker? Simply put, some mortgage providers won’t allow overpayments and if getting that mortgage out of the way is important to you, it may be worth remortgaging to a different one. You should be able to reduce the loan size this way and get a cheaper rate too – it is important to keep an eye out for early repayment charges though and factor these into your sums before making the leap. Also think about potential exit fees – this is something you also need to account for.

You want to change the type

Many people start on an interest only and want to switch to a repayment mortgage. Most lenders will be happy to move you across but if not, then remortgaging may be an option for you. Interest only mortgages work out much more expensive in the long run so why wouldn’t you want to make the switch?

Here are just a few ways you can save money by remortgaging – but remember, it is entirely up to you. It isn’t for everyone and I wouldn’t suggest doing it unless you feel absolutely sure it will work for you and your family. Is this something you have ever considered?

4 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Expenses

With the cost of day to day living ever increasing, it can be hard to finance every little thing. With that in mind, here are some simple tips and tricks for you to cut back on your monthly expenses and potentially saving yourself a fortune, keeping your money where you want it (the back pocket!)

The Phone Bill

Whilst we see our mobile phones as a necessity, the monthly bill can decrease dramatically, depending on what model of phone you have and the network provider you’re with. Although it may seem tempting to purchase the latest smartphone, there is a vast range of products available that have everything you need (unlimited data, unlimited calls, etc.) at a much lower cost. However, if you must get the latest phone, make sure to shop around before you purchase, as providers can offer various deals, which could help you out in the long run.

Gas & Electricity

You can cut down on your energy bills significantly by just having a look online to see whether you have the best deal. Simply changing providers can give you a little more cash each month. However, if you have the best deal and still want to lower your outgoings, turning down your thermostat could cut your heating bills by up to 10%. If you don’t already have one, installing a thermostat could save you up to $70 a year. If you are still struggling with the cheapest bill you can find, perhaps look at using a budget calculator to calculate what you may be spending unnecessary money on.

Supermarket Saving

Depending on where you do your grocery shop, the cost can vary significantly. Many believe that if a product costs more, the quality must be better, however, this is not the case. Supermarkets use phrases and language to hypnotize and entice shoppers into buying their products. Food is typically categorized into premium (words like ‘extra special’), branded (products such as Kellogg’s, Reese’s), own brand (the supermarkets’ own version) and value (with names like ‘basic’, indicating it is a low-cost item). The next time you visit a supermarket, try switching to some branded products for a cheaper alternative. You may not even notice much of a difference, but you’ll definitely notice the difference in cost. There are many other tips to help you spend less when food shopping.

The Work Commute

Lastly, if you have access to public transport, you could end up saving quite a lot of money as opposed to using your car. For example, if you were to factor in the cost of petrol, parking, and general maintenance, it may just be easier to take the bus or train to work. Also, if you live within a reasonable distance, you could save money by doing the commute on foot. That way, not only are you spending no money at all but you’re also getting a little bit of exercise.

Many little changes can make a big difference to your monthly budget, try a few next month and see how the cents add up in no time.


I’m Always Looking For A Good Bargain

I’m Always Looking For A Good Bargain

If there is anything you should know about me it is that I love a good bargain. Whether that be by taking advantage of deals online or visiting charity shops and picking up as new pieces for pence, I can always be found looking for some sort of good deal.

As it comes up to Christmas, I am looking for bargains even more. We have just had Jack’s birthday, we’ve got Christmas in just over two weeks and then Olivia’s birthday is in early January. It can get very expensive so anything that helps keep the costs down is fine by me.

But there’s also another side to this – there is always some fantastic sales in the last few months of the year and the early months of the next – Black Friday sales, Boxing Day sales, January sales. In these, there is always such a wide variety of items that can be bought for a much lower price than normal.

Jonathan Brinkhorst

I’ve been utilising the LatestDeals website recently to help me to find bargains most suited to my needs. I’ve mentioned that we have been looking at new houses recently and are planning on moving. We’ve also got a number of appliances that could do with a refresh – we’ve had our washing machine, fridge and microwave for donkeys years now so to find some cheap microwaves would be very handy. Mine has started making a weird sound when microwaving stuff so I don’t think it is too long before it gives up the ghost. I’ve found a few models that I’m considering but ultimately it all depends on what property we end up moving to and kitchen space – after all, microwaves aren’t one size fits all!

I’ve also managed to pick some great deals on toys for Jack’s birthday and Christmas presents – he is very much into certain things at the moment like Paw Patrol, Scooby Doo and Ghostbusters but those toys and other paraphernalia don’t come cheap. However I have managed to get some fantastic deals on some of the items which has freed up my budget a little to buy some more stuff for stocking fillers.

I’ve also picked up some items for Olivia – although she is obviously not getting too much for Christmas or her birthday as she is only tiny and it is not like she will remember it! She has a walker, some books and some extra little bits but nothing too big.

Have you found any decent bargains recently? Did you pick up anything from the Black Friday sales and will you be logging on this Boxing Day to grab some good bargains?




Saving For A Deposit | How Are We Doing?

Saving For A Deposit | How Are We Doing?

This is a sponsored post

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!

I’ve been trying out this handy My First Home Calculator tool from MyVoucherCodes (why not give it a try yourself below?).



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.