AD| Affiliate Links

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

5 fun facts about money I never knew

When I was a kid I used to have loads of those 'FunFax's which were fun facts on little cards you could collect.   It was like your own personal Encyclopedia.   You would buy them in WHSmiths, or Woolworths (now there's a name from the past) in little packets and then you could file them away in this little A5 folder to keep.  I used to love doing that. I reckon if they were still around today I would probably still collect them.

I still very much enjoy reading up about different facts, mostly ones connected to History, so I decided to have a little search on the internet and of course, found a list of facts about Money, that I would like to share with you.

The First Coins Were Created By The Massachusetts Bay Colony

This original colony of people (before they were split into 13 different colonies some time later)  was an English settlement that began in 1628.   In 1630 they had migrated to New England, America where their governance consisted of leaders influenced by Puritan teachings (English protestants who were unhappy with the Roman Catholic practices in the Church of England, apparently). Soon after the Pequot war of 1638, the colony began to engage in trade with England and the West Indies, and due to the lack of hard currency at that time, they went on to develop the first coins of monetary value in 1652.   That is is interesting as I do know the Romans had already developed coins centuries before this, but these were the first coins to have a significant value in terms of currency.   

Queen Elizabeth II Holds The Record For Appearing On Currency Than Any Other Person

That I can believe, but it was something I didn't know.   Our Queen is very popular, long may she still reign, but for some reason I thought it could have been maybe Queen Victoria, but I am glad it is our Queen Elizabeth instead.  There are five images on coins of her that I know of.   Obviously the earlier coins are no longer in circulation, but they would be very good collectors pieces if you could get hold of them.  I bet they are worth a fortune now.   Interestingly as well, the runner up is in fact Abraham Lincoln.   I have seen a fair few pictures of coins with him on them too, so I think that makes sense too.

The Medieval Credit Card Actually Existed

As a stick.   I think this is by far my favourite fact I have found about money.   When I first read this I genuinely thought it was a joke, but it's all true.   In Medieval Europe they used to use a stick when someone wanted to 'borrow' money off of someone else.  It says they would split a stick in half, one for the borrower and one for the creditor.  After a payment had been made they would put the sticks together side by side and make a mark to say they had paid and how many payments they had left to make.   Simple really.   I wish it were still that simple now.   Fascinating fact though I think.

There Are Secret Designs On The $1 Bill

Now this is really cool.  I have a few one dollar bills floating about somewhere as I have visited America myself, most recently last year when I went to Florida.   Save me rummaging around looking for one, I have found a picture that depicts all the information.  I think it's truly fascinating what all those little images mean.

You should do a search to see what else there is connected to the one dollar bill.  Genuinely makes me wonder why the number 13 is considered 'unlucky' because in my opinion according to this fact, the number 13 seems to be one of the luckiest numbers ever.   I love this fact.  This is by far my favourite that I have found so far.

More Monopoly Money Is Printed Every Year Than Real Money

Well this is just bizarre! Never mind interesting, this is just weird.  I know that in the game of Monopoly there is a fair amount of paper notes involved in the game, but seriously how can you compare Monopoly money to our own?  Is the game really that popular?   It seems as though it is.   I don't mind a game of Monopoly myself, but I never imagined that Monopoly money was printed more than our own.   They must sell an awful lot of Monopoly sets then.   I bet it's simply because it's a good way of learning how to manage your money, when all you would have to pay out is the money for the game itself.  I do know you can get extra money too, because I guess after a while it can easily get torn or lost.   I definitely found that very interesting I must say.

Like I said, I do enjoy reading up about facts in general, they don't have to be about money.   Although I do see them personally as historic, I do also consider these to be fun facts, and I find them so intriguing.  I just thought I would share them with everyone as well.   

Out of all of them, the secret designs on the dollar bills is most definitely my favourite.  That is simply because, yes they are 'secret' and also because of their intricate detailed design.   I think that is really something I would like to explore a bit more of.  

I always wonder if they do one of those Fun Fax files for adults.  They do still exist because I have checked.   I know you might be thinking, why would you need one, we have the internet now....Well as the name suggests, just for fun!

Thank you for reading!

Take care 

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