Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts

important discoveries


It's no great secret that the cost of living in the UK is constantly on the rise, and news reports suggest they are indeed getting increasingly worse.   

So far this week I have discovered that not only food prices have increased, and are still on the rise depending of course where you shop, but also the government has introduced the health and social care tax, which you now must pay on top of your National Insurance costs.   For the most part I do agree with this tax because it will go towards helping fund the NHS, which we of course must continue to support in any way we can.   On the other hand, I wonder how this will affect me financially, and what impact it will it have long term, especially considering my partner and I are trying to save so we can afford a place to rent.   


They say the increase is going to be 1.25% extra on top of what everyone is already paying to the NI.  That's if you are earning below £50k a year, which I am (and probably always will).  On first calculations I think for me that may be an extra £6...roughly, that I will have to pay towards my National Insurance.   So it will be interesting to see how that will affect my pay going forward.  It doesn't sound a lot.   Perhaps I won't notice the difference.   Wishful thinking I know.   That was certainly interesting to find that out this evening on one of my favorite websites  I use this website a lot for many things, money news of course, business news, rates, product news too.   I find it very useful indeed. 

One cost I have noticed a huge difference in,  and to no one's surprise, is fuel prices.   The cost of a full tank of petrol for me has gone up from an average of £30, to about £38.   That's £38 I pay out every two weeks or so. And that's only because I have a small car.  I can't imagine how much more it is for someone who has a large car.  The car I share with my partner is a new silver 2019 Peugeot, which is very economic thankfully.   These days you need an economic veheicle, especially if, like us you are planning to keep on a petrol car and not swapping immediately onto an electric car.   I do believe electric cars are the way forward.  Since everyone's been saying oil's been running out literally for years, going electric definitely makes sense to me.

In the meantime, is there anything you can do about it.   Well there is the obvious solution, which is to cut back on something else to free up some spare cash.  If that's not easily possible, which for most of us it definitely isn't,  I find that if you drive in a slightly higher gear than you normally do,  it could save you a little extra petrol that will make your car run for a little longer.   Try it, it works for me. 

Prices will of course keep rising.  A good idea is at the start of every month or whenever your wage go in, is to set a monthly budget.   Decide what you need to buy that month, or bills you have to pay out for,  including petrol,  food and treats.   It allows you to maintain a healthy bank balance,  without going into your overdraft or using your credit cards.  In effect you could end up saving more money than you first imagined, and that is such a good feeling.  

Just a little tip I would like to share with everyone.   If you are currently counting your pennies and  concerned about food prices at all this week, the cheapest supermarket at the moment is Lidl.   And it is beating it's rivals Aldi by 74p which you might not think makes much of a difference but pennies do add up after all.  So maybe save a bit and shop at Lidl for a couple of weeks instead.   Also baring that in mind, if you do shop at Waitrose, you will be expected to pay an extra £9.14 roughly, on top of petrol costs to get there...unless you live across the road from them of course.

Thanks for reading


revisiting my dreamcashe blog


Blogging has not exactly been on the top of my priority list as you can tell, seeing as it has been nearly two years since I have even explored the idea of doing anything at all with my money blog.   I can be an over-thinker, and I have realized that this indeed does greatly hinder my ability to create opportunities for myself to find a better career, make a little more money....hopefully, and allow myself to better myself should I be unlucky enough to lose my job at House Of Fraser...where I am still working, thankfully.

Going Back To Basics

So I have decided, in all my great wisdom, to set myself a personal challenge of reigniting Dreamcashe, as I have paid, and still own the copyright to it.   And I do intend on keeping said copyright as you never know I may choose to turn it into more of a business venture in the very near future, and not just a money blog.   And there are so many things I want to now explore.   Things such as digital marketing, social media, affiliate links, eBay, YouTube even.  I do have a bit more experience with selling on eBay since I originally started this blog so that is a very interesting thing that I can certainly build on. In the meantime I have decided to take it slow, post when I want to, share what I feel would be beneficial... to myself and others, and most importantly...have fun.

Up to now I have started writing my first post I have done in two years, checked out my settings on blogger to see if anything has changed, and I have somehow managed to successfully connect - or reconnect should I say, Google Analytics and Google Adsense with no issues what so ever, which I am greatly thankful for.   I have even begun looking at keywords again so my posts can be found a little more easily as my journey continues.

Two of the most important lessons I have learnt about blogging over my 13 years or so of doing it, is to remember to blog for yourself first before anyone else, and secondly it is best not to overthink your posts too much because sometimes it can cause you to create something that means a whole lot of nothing, and that is not that great.   It does not give me a good feeling.   So I aim to be positive with my new blogging venture and just see where it takes me.

Thank you for reading.


great ways to earn extra cash

 Great ways to earn extra cash

 This Post Contains Affiliate Links

I always like to find new ways to earn a little extra cash using the internet or mobile phone apps.   It's always a good idea to keep on top of new apps, or new and trending ways to make money through the internet or through your social media channels.   There are so many different ways to earn extra money and not all of them have been discovered yet.  

Here I have chosen to share a few of my favorite ways I enjoy making some money from.  Although the payouts may vary between each site, all of them are definitely worth checking out.

Watching Videos... And More

One of my favorite sites for earning a little extra cash is by simply watching videos via Swagbucks.  Swagbucks is a free site you can join, where you can earn tokens to use towards free gift vouchers, competition entries and even cash to spend online on whatever you like.   Although Swagbucks are well known for being able to watch videos and earn SB (actual Swag Bucks) you can also earn by writing content for the site on various subjects, doing surveys, completing various offers they have, and also simply playing games or searching the web.   The reason why I really love this site is because you can do so much on it and you will be amazed as to how easy it is build your points up and get some amazing rewards.   Above all it's really fun to use.

Slice The Pie

This website is quite possibly one of the easiest sites I have ever navigated.  When you sign up, for free of course, you have four options to choose from: Audio Branding, Music, Mobile or a Lucky Dip.  Here you can basically listen to music, voice-overs or mobile accessories and submit reviews on them, and all for a little cash that can be paid directly into your Paypal account, which is my favorite method of payment as that can then be transferred straight into your bank account.  It does sound fairly easy however, in opinion it would be a really good thing if you don't rush through it and try to provide honest and open reviews on what you hear, particularly as some of the artists may be fairly new to the industry.  I have found that I am enjoying it so far as I do like to listen to music in my spare time anyway.  The Audio Branding section I'm finding is quite fascinating so Slice The Pie is definitely worth a look.


Qmee is quite possibly one of the easiest free apps you can get to earn a little extra cash.   Qmee only pay into Paypal (which is even better) and as long as you have a balance in your account you can withdraw it at any time and there is no fee to withdraw either.  The amount you get from the surveys you do can vary, on average they can be anything from 5p up to £1.50 which I think is so good for a survey site.   There is one little snag, as there is always one, and that is you have to be accepted for the survey by answering around three or four initial questions that are usually geographical.  Apart from that it is a really cool app and it is one that so far I have managed to make the most money from, a total of around £70 extra this year.  You might not think that sounds a lot, but to me it is.  Doing Qmee has certainly made a huge difference to my earnings this year.   Most importantly I really enjoy doing it.

Whether you prefer to save your pennies that you earn from these sites in your Paypal account, or use the points to get gift vouchers to spend on Amazon it's nice to know that whatever you decide you need (or want) to buy with your points, you know you will always get a really great saving from these free sites.   Here below are just a few things I have put my vouchers and my cash towards on


This Aveeno Hand Cream is one of the best hand creams for dry, sore and cracked hands I have ever tried.  This cream is light-weight, super-absorbent, and perfect for sensitive skin which is great for winter time.  After trying several different types of hand creams, I have found this is by far the best to soothe my dry hands.  This cream costs around the £5 mark, but it is well worth it's price.

This is the Pentagram necklace I bought for my friend for a Christmas present.   The Pentacle is a symbol of good luck, but most importantly it also aids in warding off bad spirits.   This particular necklace was £29.00

So recently myself and my partner bought a new TV and Now TV box for my room.   We were quite impressed that the TV came with a built in DVD player, which we actually had not realized straight away as it was on the side of the monitor but of course it was an added bonus all the same.   The Now TV box however did not come with the correct connections so I had to do a bit of research to find out exactly what it was we needed.   Turns out it was these HDMI extension cables, which for the price of £5.99 for two from Amazon, I thought was a really great price.    And it is always good to have a spare.

Thanks for reading

money and business news I have found interesting today


It is around about this time of year I start thinking about what I am going to buy people for Christmas.  Most people I know start buying their Christmas presents even earlier than this, but I prefer to leave it till about now, the September/October time of year as they seem to be the two months of the year when I seem to have a little bit more money, than any other time.  So it's a good time to start writing down a few ideas for what to buy people.  And I do love a good list. 

This year has been a very hard year for retail businesses because of Coronavirus.   I know most cities and towns in the UK are starting to try really hard to get customers back into high street shops to protect the future of the 'physical stores', as opposed to shopping online.    These are a few things I have found out that really interested me...

Consumer Spending Increased By 0.2%  

It doesn't sound a lot I know, but it's much better than a minus.   They do say it is mostly made up by the amount people are spending in supermarkets, but it is still a good thing.   I think even the smallest of increases is a great achievement.

Clothing Spending Rose By 0.3%

Again, doesn't sound a great deal, but it is still a plus.   I have noticed myself when I have a walk around my city of Lincoln, that certain shops are getting busier than others.  Primark is a good first example, which figures because they are the cheapest on the high street still.   New Look in my opinion seemed to be doing ok when I nipped in early last week, and House Of Fraser seemed to be picking up with customers also.    So things do certainly seem to be looking up and moving in the right direction.


I have also read in the news that Britain has also signed a new trade deal with Japan.   That's quite interesting considering the dreaded Brexit is still looming.   Not that I am complaining.    When we first started Brexit I remember that House Of Fraser where I work was owned by the Chinese, and as soon as they heard we were pulling out of the EU they put us up for sale which at the time was a massive blow, and it nearly saw me out of a job.   I will admit I don't know as much about Japan as I do about China, but I am still very intrigued as to what effects this will have on our economy too.

Stock Market

Although I don't do it very often, I occasionally have a little look at the stock markets.   I just go on Yahoo Finance for this because Yahoo is my home page and it is the quickest way to get to them. I thought I would just take a little look purely for my own interest, and I have found out that one of my favourite all time brands, Ted Baker (TED.L) is on +0.74%   It might not sound a lot, and looking at the rest of the retailers in the market list Ted Baker definitely don't turn over as much money as some companies, but it's still a plus.   I am quite happy about that.

There is some slightly negative news however, and that is according to This Is Money, on their news page there is a little article on there stating that retail landlords can soon start to call in all the unpaid rent they are owed from lockdown.  It says the Trade Body UK Hospitality has asked the government to 'extend the rent relief until the end of March 2021.   That is certainly going to be a big blow for businesses if they can't get an extension.


John Lewis Are Not Paying Out Staff Bonuses

Oh dear.   John Lewis and Partners have been one of the best leading retail companies for staff incentives over the years, and in fact they have been paying out their bonuses over 50 years, since 1953.  Sadly not for much longer though.   There won't be many incentives to start a career in retail at all soon if the country's not careful.

Let's face it we all prefer like the good news really, and it is always much nicer to end on a more positive note.   Here are a few positive piece of news I have so far discovered today:

- One in five Brits launched their own Business during lockdown

I didn't think that was such a bad idea myself.   Not that I've started my own business.   I did start this blog though, so that is something I guess.   It gave me something to focus on anyway.   I do think having your own business might be the way forward pretty soon.  That's just my opinion.

- Insurance Claims to be paid out

This article is very interesting despite being a little short.   The bottom line is basically the FCA took eight insurers to court after they refused to pay out insurance claims to small businesses following the devastating effects of Covid 19 on the economy.   It says the lawsuit was equally divided between the claimants and the insurers, but in the end swayed in favour of the claiming small businesses, which I am really pleased about.   I am definitely all for supporting small, and particularly local businesses right now.   So this is really good news.   It will also hopefully help with the unpaid rent situation too.

And finally -

-Next seals deal to save Victoria's Secret from closure.

Like a lot of businesses, Victoria's Secret went into administration following Covid-19.   Now it seems that Next have stepped in and taken them over saving hundreds of jobs in the process.   Really happy about that.  Did not particularly want to see another High Street store closing so this is very good.  Next is one of my favourite places to shop recently anyway, they do have some lovely stuff, and I did get some vouchers for my Birthday to spend there recently too.  I bought a jacket and top.   In store and not online, of course.   Next always have some amazing things in their stores, and not just the clothes, because yes, their clothes are really great quality, but I also really love their Homewares department especially for gifts.   They always have lovely things.   Now they are potentially going to have some nice lingerie in their stores too.   I reckon that will be quite good for them as Next haven't really done all that much in the way of lingerie before.   Add on sales are always good for any business.

It always really nice to end on some positive news, and I think it's so important to keep the High Street alive and kicking wherever and whenever we can.   It is also always good to be kept in the loop on how the High Street and the Economy are faring in these times.   We must continue to Save The High Street!

Thanks for reading.



great ways to earn a little extra money on the side


One of my favorite past times is exploring the internet looking for more ways on how to make extra cash when I need it.    This is a task I set myself every day, even if it is only for five minutes.  Sometimes that's all it takes, and you can be amazed with what you can find.    

Some of these ways of making money I have already tried, and a fair few of which I still continue to do today.   That doesn't mean to say the ones I don't continue to do aren't any good, and it doesn't always mean the ones I do do are ALWAYS very good either.   All of these apps and sites are 'quite' good in terms of what you can earn, however, the downside usually is 'how long it takes' for the money to come through.   Each one has a different waiting time.   So far I have only found that there has only been one of these apps that pay out instantly, and that is Qmee.   The other good thing about Qmee is that you can withdraw any amount at any time with it.   Usually I wait till I have a £1, but sometimes I have withdrawn earlier, and the money goes straight into your Paypal account.   This is why Qmee is so popular.   I have already written a little about Qmee in my post if you want to check it out.  All of these apps are free.


Qmee is my first of great ways to earn a little extra cash.   Be sure to give it a little time and attention when doing the surveys, but it can be fun and you can earn a few extra pounds here and there.  I know that that might not sound much to most, but you will be amazed at how quickly it builds up.   In my opinion it is also one of the most consistent apps that I am using so far.


Okay this is an interesting one, but it does work.   I have been using this app for about a month now and so far I have won (because you win, you don't earn) about a fiver.   I am hoping I would earn a bit more if I used the app a little more often, so that is a theory that I am intending to test out fairly soon.   The way this App lets itself down is the in fact the Sweepstakes, which is the type of App that it is.   The way I have won however is on the free little mini games that pop up every now and then whilst you are playing the slots, which is where I have earned a few quid every so often.   That is paid into Paypal so it is well worth it if you do win.   As I am currently testing out several different apps at the moment I haven't spent as much time on it as I could do, but that can change.


This is another survey app which I am impressed to say always has surveys on it every time I look.  Whether I get accepted for those surveys can be another matter, which is why Qmee is still my number one survey app and not this one.   A lot of the time you don't get accepted, and even though you can build up points to get Paypal cash the same as Qmee, in my opinion it can take just a little while longer.  Always worth a little go every now and then, but not the most fun apps I have used.


Mistplay is one app that is fun to play on, as this is a Gaming app.   So you download games through Mistplay and you gain points to put towards gift vouchers or pre-paid cards, but not Paypal.    This is not one of those ones you get free Paypal money unfortunately which initially did put me off.   However I have given it a go and I can be happy to announce that I did get enough points for a Starbucks gift card so I was happy knowing that it does indeed work.


This is a really good site if you enjoy writing reviews as this pays out for reviews you do on new music that you have listened to.   So far I have done two reviews and have been paid exactly 88p.   I know that doesn't seem a lot but as this is only the first day I have been on this site, I think it's not too bad as a beginner.  I guess like a lot of thing you have to give it time and give it a little bit of commitment.  But if you like listening music, surely it can be a bit of fun to write about it, and get paid for it too.


Strangely I have been looking for something like this for a while.   FOAP is an app where you can upload any photos you have taken to the app and then people can rate them.  To make money from the app you can do four things:

1) Join a FOAP Mission.  It means you have to post photos on specific things and you get entered into a prize draw to win between $100 and $500.   Also people can randomly purchase your image for around $10 on it's own if it's something they are looking for.   Any earnings you get at any time are split 50/50 with FOAP that is the only downside, especially if you only make $10.  But it is still a nice little earner.

2) You can join a Premium FOAP Mission too.   Again similar approach, they generally have to be something specific that FOAP as requested, and the winnings are still split 50/50 but the difference is the prize money is bigger, up to $500.  That's much better I think.

3) Pretty basic one this is, just upload a few photos and see if someone spots them and buys them on the FOAP marketplace.   Again any money made is split 50/50 but you could still turn it into a nice little earner.  For example a photo you have uploaded is bought for $20 means you get $10.  I think it sounds pretty fair.

4) You can actually create your own albums and add photos from other users to them.  If any of these photos are purchased by another user you get $0.25.  A great idea is to follow a few other users on the site also.   It means getting your work spotted sooner.

I really love the concept of FOAP, and this evening I have spent a bit of time exploring it in more detail, checking out other people's work, their profiles and photo portfolios.   I am finding it a really interesting app, and as I personally do enjoy looking at different types of photography anyway, I feel this app is right up my street.  I even have the opportunity to earn a little cash from it too, who knows.   It's just really nice to try out something a little different that could potentially make a few pennies for me.   how cool is that?!

Like I said, finding new ways of earning money by searching the web or trying out new Apps seems to be a new favorite past-time of mine.   I do enjoy it, and it's really lovely to eventually find a new way of earning a bit extra cash, particularly if that new way turns out to be something fun and becomes something you really start to enjoy doing.

Thanks for reading.

Sarah x

best ideas to budget your money during your birthday month


I always tend to find the month of August a really long one.   August, and January being the second longest month in the year.  I feel like this has been a really good thing for me to explore this avenue, as I have this month not long celebrated my 37th Birthday.    Not quite sure if everyone feels the same way about this, but does anyone else find that your spending increases quite a bit during your Birthday month?  

Why is that?

Here's what I think.   Most people for their Birthday's nowadays generally seem to get money, or more accurately, gift vouchers.   Buying a gift for someone, particularly if they are no longer a child, is getting increasingly difficult.    I mean, that Butterfly Face Painting Kit I got when I was ten was great...but now..not so much.   I am finding I have to really think about what I am going to get people, specifically my two best friends who just happen to share my Birthday month with me.   To be truthful, I was lucky this year because I found a couple of really nice gifts for my two best friends, I bought them the same things, from Amazon (see link below) and I spent round about £25 on the gifts for the two of them, which I didn't think was too bad.  But everyone knows how easy it can be to keep spending, even if you don't mean to.  That is why it is such a good idea to set yourself a separate budget for your weekly/monthly spending money, so basically the money you have left over after you have paid for all your bills, and paid out for all your food and petrol.  

The True Friend Tatty Teddy mug is so cute, I just love anything in the Tatty Teddy range, they always do lovely gifts.   I am the type of person who would use the box as well, for storing jewellery or something. They cost £8.00.   The elephant candles as well are so unbelievably cute and actually quite detailed, and smelled really lovely.   For £4.88 I thought they were an absolute bargain.  I was well chuffed with both of these.

So anyhoo, here are a few ideas to keep track of your pennies during your Birthday month.

Have a rough idea in your head of what your budget could be.   So for example, you don't want to spend say more that £100.    Always a good thing to have the round ball park figure in your head as a starting point.

Compile a list of things that you know you need to buy, want to buy, or do, and do them in that order, so you know what your spending goals are.  A good thing would be to carry it round with you for the month when you are out and about then you can refer to it whenever you want.   Just remember to do the 'need to buy' part of the list first.   You don't want to run out of money buying the things you want then leave nothing to be able to spend on your best friend for their Birthday.

Keep a note of what you spend each day for the entire month.   Use a notebook to write down what you have bought, what you have spent, and what you have left.   Remember to keep it separate from your usual banking book if you already do that too.   You can always add it in later or at the end of the month.

Download yourself a spending app on your phone, if you haven't done already.  I have the Money Manager Expense & Budget app on my smartphone and I am finding it's working pretty well for me so far.

Turn to Pinterest for inspiration.  Pinterest is so huge at the moment, you will probably be having ideas coming out of your ears after looking on there for an hour.

Don't defer from your list.   I know that can be easily said than done, but you could at least try.

What is also a really good idea is to have your bank send you an alert when you start to get close to overdraft.   I know you might think, oh I'll never that happen, but you will be surprised at how easily it can be done if you do happen to lose track of your spending.  I know because I have done it myself on more than one occasion in the past.

Another thing that is such a good idea to consider, is using places like Boots, or Accessorize or even Tescos and there is actually quite a few others out there too.  Because you get points when you shop there and if do think ahead, you could save some of your money off vouchers you get to knock a few pounds off your bill.   You can get some really nice gift ideas in these places for people and if you have saved up enough points, you can save a bit of money on them too.   I do have to also mention one of my personal favourite shops at the moment which is The Range.   I absolutely love The Range and they have some amazing, really tasteful gifts in there all the time, and they are not too badly priced either.  I love looking round The Range.  I don't really need an excuse to shop there really!

If in doubt, I have found that you cannot go too wrong with finding a few bargains on Amazon.  Always check the Daily Deals section first because you might just find exactly what you are looking for there.  And just a final little tip, use your 'Sort By Price' feature on there too.  Even if you don't manage to find what you want, you can just use it to at least give you a few ideas ;)

Thank you for reading x

Sarah x

learning on how to expand my Pinterest reach

Hi Everyone

I have always gone through phases with Pinterest UK over the last four years or so.  I have been trying really hard to work out exactly how long I have had a Pinterest account and it's funny because I don't think it's as long as I think it is.  One of the first things I noticed about Pinterest is once you start pinning you can lose all track of time.  You think you have been on the site for an hour, when in actual fact you have been on it for three!   Does anybody else find this?   To be truthful that is actually one of the main reasons why I love it so much.

When I decided to take up blogging again after two years of being 'on a break' (I know it's a long time to be on a break) I found my way back into the blogging world...and just recently I might add, and I had no idea how massive Pinterest has become for every blogger out there right now.  No idea!  As it turns out, Pinterest isn't just an app you use to show off ALL the things you love for fun.  It is now also a 'tool' you can use to help promote yourself, your blog and your 'brand'.  Of course this also means you can support others who have similar ideas, and follow their boards on Pinterest as well as regularly reading their blogs.   Another important element I learnt about Pinterest recently, is providing a little written reference in the description box, to why you have chosen that Pin.   I have never done that either.  Until now that is.  And I really do love that idea.

Courtesy Of Pinterest.  An example of one of my favourite pins.  ric.  
One of the reasons why I love it so much is because it is very atmospheric.

Pinterest has become a very crucial tool for blogging, more so than I even imagined.   There is so much inspiration you can gain from it for practically any subject you are blogging about, sometimes it can be a bit hard to know where to start.   The easiest solution I came up with...and this is particularly if you are just starting out on using Pinterest, whether that be to promote your blog or not, is to start out building boards on the things that you love, and the things you are passionate about.   One of the things I am now passionate about is finding different ways of making and saving money, and I do believe that in time, Pinterest will start to help me find these ideas. 

Another aspect to be consider, is developing your own personal brand.   Your brand is something unique and special to you.  It's the knowledge you acquire in the particular subjects or fields that you choose to pursue.   It's your dreams, your goals - short and long term, personal and professional.  Your brand is who you are....and who you aspire to be.  What matters most is how you present yourself to others, and how will YOU set yourself apart from everyone else?   This is something I personally would like to focus on also.

One of the important things for any blogger is to be seen.   You want people to read your blog posts, and follow your Pinterest boards, and your Instagram and Facebook accounts.  I want people to read my blog because I want them to hear what I have to say.   Pinterest is fast becoming a really great tool to help promote your blog.  I have already been reading up how other bloggers are able to use Pinterest to help promote their blog post or website.  There just seems to be so much potential with it, it's incredible.

So what else can you use Pinterest for? I am aware that many people use Pinterest for Business to a degree, and there is obviously a Business section within it, although I am just interested in how else I can use Pinterest personally rather than professionally at the moment.   Although I am sure if the time comes I could probably find the business process for using Pinterest quite rewarding.  

Another reason I use Pinterest quite frequently, is finding inspiration for my drawing.  I haven't been drawing all that long and I will admit I can be very indecisive sometimes about what I want to draw.   Pinterest is perfect for finding inspiration on what to draw because there are no limitations with it.   I really love it for that.   I then re-pin my drawings to Pinterest, and share them on Instagram as well.      If anyone fancies checking them out they are under My Art. 

I really love the fact I can share my artwork on Pinterest it's brilliant.   It's only just recently that I have discovered how popular Pinterest now is for sharing your blog post on also.   And, do you know I love to find and read other people's blogs on Pinterest.  In the past I have normally just used Twitter as my main funnel for finding other blogs, but just recently I have started to think that Pinterest is slowly becoming the go to place to find other blogs, and that is purposely because of the overall visual aspect attached to it.  

So what do I really want to gain from Pinterest?  If you ask yourself the same question try not to over think it.  Truth be told I still over-think a lot of things.  But sometimes it's best just to trust your gut and  run with it.  I want to basically bottle my brand, and then slowly but surely, extend my brand reach. That is the plan anyway.  I want to be inspired, and I want others to be inspired by me.   That is why I am trying to up my Pinterest game, and I know the more I share, the more likely I am to succeed in expanding my Pinterest reach.

Thank you for reading.

Take care everyone x

Sarah x

best tips for managing your money on a short break

It has been a long time since I have been on a short break in the UK.   The last proper holiday abroad I had was last year when I went to Florida, and I am so glad I did because with Covid 19 casting a dark cloud, we wouldn't have been able to have gone this year.   Obviously it is a lot different, and a lot cheaper to  have a little break away in the UK.  Going on a short break in the UK is always a nice idea if you just want a break away from the norm for a few days, see somewhere different and forget about work for a bit.   That is what holidays are all about.   

On Monday I am travelling to Herne Bay in Kent with my boyfriend, to stay at his family's Bed and Breakfast for a few days (just a little note, we are going to be the only ones in there) as I am off on holiday from work next week, and I couldn't be more excited.   

Picture Source: Pinterest

It is always very exciting to visit a place you have never been to before, particularly if like me, you know one or two people who have been there fairly frequently over the years.   Interestingly both people said that I will really love it and I'll want to go again as soon as I get back so it must be really nice there.

I have come up with a simple little list (keeping it simple is always the best way) in order to make sure I don't go spending above my means whilst I am enjoying my little getaway.   Just a few things I wanted to consider and keep an eye on whilst I am away.   

1)  Check your bank balance before you go

2)  Clarify exactly what date your next paycheck goes in  

3) Think of a daily monetary allowance and stick to it

4) Spend your money in cash

5) Pause and think before you buy something.   

This last tip on the list is one I will be trying really hard to concentrate most on out of everything on this list.   I have already mentioned this on my previous post.   Impulse buying is such a bad habit, and it can be particularly perilous when you haven't been to a certain place before.   This is where number 5 on my list comes from because you do have to stop and think about what you are buying.   Another important thing to consider, is the fact that out of your 'daily' monetary allowance, you must leave enough for food and possibly parking, even if you are not the one driving.   I will hold my hands up here and state that a lot of the time in the past I have not added these costs on when I certainly should have done.   Lately I have been finding that the growing cost of petrol is usually the biggest expense when going on a short break.   Obviously there are ways to combat that because you can just take a train, but you know, if you take your own car at least you can come and go as you please, so I guess it's down to you what form of transport you prefer.   

A few other things I have come up with that I think would be useful to help me save a few pennies whilst I'm away is making my own sandwiches for lunch.   Saves buying too much food whilst I am out and about.   Also take my own flask of coffee or tea when I go too.   I thought that was a pretty good idea too, particularly as I do like to have my coffee.  I love coffee, but it is fast becoming one of my biggest expenditures regardless of whether I'm on holiday or not.    I should drink more instant really.  That's certainly a lot cheaper.   Another good idea would be to take a bottle of water out with you initially.   That I find is quite a useful tip too.   In this hot weather (well I am hoping it will be hot!) you do tend to drink a lot more, and I know you can get cold drinks from anywhere and yes you will more than likely need to buy more cold drinks whilst you are out and about too.   Having that first bottle of water to start you off with I feel personally makes a difference to me.   That tip I will have to say is down to my own experience.   It's just nice to know you have some water to start you off with, and also if you are lucky you may even find places where you can fill that bottle up too.  Bonus.   I have also been thinking about snacks and I need to make sure I am not spending loads on snacks.   That can also be very easily done.   Also, if you like bananas that's a good shout for snack that will fill you up and keep you going.  

What I am mostly looking forward to is a little break away from the norm, with my boyfriend, in a place I have never been to before.  I can't wait.  It's about savouring the moments, and taking snapshots of all the best bits.   I think it will be a lot of fun, and hopefully very relaxing for us both, not just me.

Anyhoo, until next time, thanks for reading.   Take care all x


5 money saving goals you should implement this year

When I look back over the years, there have only been a handful of times I have truly managed to save a substantial amount of money.   In fact it was only four times, I have managed to save a decent amount of money, because for each of those time I was on my way to Florida for a holiday.   I don't know about anyone else, but saving for a holiday always seems a lot easier to do than 'most' other things.   I think a few people out there would agree with me on that one.    But what if you want to save for something bigger than that?  Like an expensive camera? Or a new car? Or a house of your own?   At this point, I will now admit to everyone that I do have a car, which I purchased about four years ago.   How did I afford that do you ask, well it's that wonderful little piece of plastic called a credit card.   I know we would all like to believe that we are one day going to pick that winning lottery ticket, but realistically the chances of that ever happening are next to none.   On a more positive outlook following on from this, as of last year I now no longer have a credit card.   

Saving money in the last ten years have really not been easy for me, and I am sure there are countless others out there that will agree that it is so hard to save, particularly as the majority of wages out there are still very low, prices are going up all the time on everything, and on top of all that, savings accounts are soon going to become extinct if that interest rate gets any bloody lower.   I have found that the only decent savings accounts out there now are the ones that have a 'risk' attached to them, and personally I don't do risks.   Right now if I want to save some money for anything, I put maybe a tenner (or more depending on what I am saving for) a week in a tin for about a month.   Ok so it doesn't make any money, but it doesn't decrease in value either.  Plus, the only person who knows about it and where it is is you, and Mr. Taxman can't get his hands on it.  

The money saving goals I have set for myself are pretty basic, but there is nothing wrong with that.  Basic is good....complicated is bad.  Keeping it simple in my mind is a great way forward. The key ingredient to making great goals is to make them achievable.   Most importantly this also means that your goals are realistic and are going to make a difference to you.

Goal 1

Always Eat Before You Go Shopping

I can't decide if this is an obvious goal or not.   For a start, the majority of takeaway food is bad for you anyway, unless you buy your lunch from Boots where I feel their meals are a bit healthier, though I have just read that even they have gone up to £3.99 or something, depending on what you have.  I'm sure I didn't pay that the last time I got one.  The meal I also really like is the Tescos meal deal, which luckily is still £3 because I've just checked.  But even so, £3 is still a fair bit.  Particularly as you could make your own at home for probably less than £1. The other thing about buying food from Tescos or Boots when you're out shopping is you then have to find somewhere to sit and eat it.  That in itself can be really annoying, which is probably why I have sometimes found it easier to dip into McDonalds or a coffee shop instead.  A really good tip is to eat a bowl of porridge before you go shopping.  Porridge is good because it is slow release energy.  You can have it with fruit or honey or jam, or my personal favourite, Nutella.  I feel must eat more of that.   Keeps you going for so much longer and you may not need to pay out for a meal whilst you are out shopping at all.

Goal 2

Utilize The Pound Shop

There is a lot that can be said for the Pound Shop.   Not only does it have really great snacks, healthy or otherwise, but it also sells stationary, and gifts, DVDs, gardening stuff, crockery and utensils for the home....all sorts of things.   At this point I will just mention obviously that the shop itself has started to bring in several 'special purchases' every now and again that are more than a pound, but they generally are things that you will pay more for if you get it from say Tescos instead.   For example, the Pound Shop has a 1 Metre USB cable for a pound obviously.  You can get the same thing in Tescos for £6.  Where do you think I'm going to buy my next USB cable when I need one?  The bottom line is you can't really go wrong with the Pound Shop if you are after every day snacks, cheap stationary for your work place, or an odd little gift you can buy for someone just like the little 'Car Bin' I bought my dad for Father's Day this year.  You should check your nearest £1 shop out, you will be amazed at what you can find in there.

Goal 3

Stop Impulse Buying

I should re-write this heading, it should read 'Stop Going Into Primark'.   To be truthful I have gotten a lot better at not buying loads of stuff from Primark lately, and I think it's because after I have been paid, which is on the 30th of every month or there about, I have started to write out a little list of things I NEED to buy for the new month first, such as food, toiletries, any medication and vitamins etc all the important things, most of which I can't actually get in Primark anyway.   Primark is a good example of how easy it is to spend more money than you mean to when you go in there.  Especially if you have just gone in for a browse on your lunch break.   You go in for a browse and before you know it you have come out with £30 quid's worth of stuff.   Another shop I was quite bad for spending a bit of money in was Accessorize.   Sadly that's not on my High Street in Lincoln anymore.  Not entirely sure if we will get it back on our High Street so I will be keeping a check on that, but I know I can buy online of course which is better than nothing.  But like I have said previously I do prefer to buy in a physical store now if I can.   Personally the one thing I have come to recognize is that impulse buying is what  really starts to put a dent in my bank balance.  So that is why it is on my list of goals.

Goal 4

Selling Things On eBay For Profit

eBay is a wonderful thing.   Sometimes I wish I had started selling things on eBay a lot sooner than I have, like when I was in my twenties instead of in my thirties.   In my experience eBay has become so much easier to sell your unwanted items on than it was ten years ago.   I reckon it's just the way eBay has adapted it's website over the years.  There are two main areas that I focus on when I sell on eBay.   1) Always provide a quality description of the item you are selling  2) Always leave constructive feedback, and that is to be done regardless of whether someone has purchased from you or you have purchased something from them.   The thing is, if you take the time to write a little bit of feedback from that one person who bought the little black dress you bought from Dorothy Perkins in 2012 for example, that person might come back to your eBay and buy the black boots you wore with it, which you have only worn twice and have also been in your wardrobe gathering dust.   It really is that simple to sell on eBay and it may just put a few extra pounds in your pocket.  A little bit of quality feedback does genuinely go a long way.

Goal 5

Set Up An Emergency Fund

Everybody should do this.   Seriously.   And before we go any further, I would like to point out that NO your overdraft should not solely be your emergency fund.   Been there, done that and it didn't end well.  Thankfully I don't have an overdraft anymore.    Again, there are a few ways I use to combat this.  These are 1) I check my bank weekly to ensure I am aware of how much I have left till the end of the month.  2) I take £50 cash out at the start of the week and see if I can make it last me for 7 days, which it usually does I am proud to say.   3) I make sure all my direct debits etc are paid for at the start of every month.   4) And like I said previously in this post, I make sure anything I need to buy for the month I put some money aside for it, so that comes out of the £50 I take out every week.   I have two ways I use to manage my emergency fund.   1) I keep £10 from that £50 I have already taken out aside, and only use that tenner at the end of the week if I absolutely have to.   If I don't use it, it goes in a box and rolls onto the next week where I repeat the process.  Ok so it doesn't always work every single week, but it has worked that's the main thing  2)  The second thing I do is very basic really but I think everyone should really think about doing it and that is I have an alert on my bank account that sends me a message on my mobile if I start getting too close to my monetary limit, which I have personally set up myself, and when my account reaches £100 it gives me a little buzz to say you are not allowed to spend any more money.   If you haven't done it already, I would seriously consider doing that.  Most banks I know of have that feature, which is free so you may as well use it and then you know where you stand.

I hope you find these tips can helpful to you too.   As I have mentioned in my previous posts on this blog, I am always on the look out for more money saving and money making tips.   If you have any thoughts or comments to share with me on this post please feel free to post a comment.   

And as always, thank you for reading x

Take care

Sarah x

the beginning of the dreamcashe blog


Counting Pennies and Nickels.

There are so many people out there who start a second blog.  I know one or two bloggers out there who actually have more than two blogs. So why have I decided now to start doing another blog? Well, I have just come up with an idea for the title.  That is it.  Just the title.  I then searched the name 'dreamcashe' in the general Google search, and thought, that does sound really cool, I know I shall create myself another little writing project.  Considering I can be quite indecisive about such things, this was a pretty quick decision for me and I am so pleased.

If this blog does work the way I would like it to and I decide to delve deeper into my explorations, then this blog will be my seventh blog in ten years.   Seven blogs does sound like a lot I know.  I am not entirely sure what the average amount of blogs any one person creates over their lifetime.  I bet it is a fair few.   That is probably because people like to test different ideas for blogs before they find the one they really want to settle with.   Or maybe it's just me?

Something else I have decided not to do this time round, is spend hours of my time putting in 'blog designs' in every search engine on the internet.   You can't deny we've all done it, well most of us have, and it takes up an awful lot of time, time that could have been better spent writing your content instead of worrying about what it looks like.  From my own personal experience, readers don't just automatically come to view your blog just because you have your name up in lights.  I tried it (on numerous occasions) and it didn't work.   So...

I have decided to make a little list of things I would like to achieve with my new blog dreamcashe. I know this is not going to be the entire list because I am hoping to discover more challenges for myself along the way.   For now this is my first list:

1. Explore more (Ideas/Topics/Blogs)

2. Experiment more (With ideas, lengths of posts etc)

3. Improve my writing skills (With Grammarly and maybe a few other sites along the way)

As you can see it is only small.  This is because at this early stage of this blog's development I don't want to put too much pressure on myself by putting too much on my plate to do so early.  I doubt that would end very well.  I do prefer little and often as a rule.  But there is nothing wrong with a little gentle exploration to begin with.

Ever since I was nine years old I have always wanted to be a writer.  This contributed to my decision to become a blogger.   What some people don't realize is how easy it is to become a blogger.  The best thing to do if you want to become a blogger, and that goes for all fields, topics to talk about, theories to discuss, whatever, is to simply just start.   An do you know what one of the most important things about writing a blog (and writing in general) don't let anyone tell you, you CANT do it.  Because you can do it.   You just need to put in a little time, a little effort, and a little imagination.   It's amazing what you can come up with if you really think about it.

One of the key things I have already started to do is to read more blogs.   I can hear you thinking, don't you do that anyway, read loads of other blogs on different topics and products etc, being a blogger yourself and all.... for ten years, as I previously mentioned.   Actually no I haven't.   Not in the past.  This is the first time, in the year 2020, that I can honestly say that I have started to properly expand my blog reading and my blogging connections.   Most of those blogs I find through Twitter, but I do find through Google, which I also do from time to time.

I have always shared my blog on Twitter.   It is my first social network port of call for promoting any posts I have written, and it is where I can easily find other blogs to read and share.  I do read blogs about different topics, mostly Lifestyle in general, but I do enjoy reading blogs about Movies, Books, Art, Photography, and Mental Health.   As well as Twitter I also share my blog to Pinterest, Medium, Digg, and Mix, which is a new one I have found recently.  I also enjoy reading blogs on Bloglovin' which is a really great website to find blogs in all different topics and you can easily connect with other people and keep track of the things they love to write about, as well as sharing your own blog to Bloglovin'.   It doesn't matter where you share your blog as long as you do share it.  Because if you don't, who is going to know about it?

One of the things I mentioned earlier in this post was that I wanted to improve my writing skills.  Okay it was number 3 on the list, however I thought before I publish this post I want to check it for word length.  No I have not done that before either, there is a first for everything as they say.  Whilst I was also finding that out, I also found a link to I thought that might be an idea to check that out whilst I was doing a word count.  Let me tell you Grammarly is one of the best free tool out there for bloggers and writers.   If you have never used it before I highly recommend it.

I am really excited about this blog.   I think it will allow me to learn so much about myself, and my writing, and of course my blogging which I am always wanting to improve.   It is going to be a new little adventure for me.

Thank you for reading.