At times kids can say the funniest things, and at other times they can increase my stress level to the point that I think my hair may fall out!

Luckily, and mainly so I don’t have to to check out hair transplant costs, one seems to balance out the other and my sanity remains.

Just…..

This week has been special, work has been at an all time high.  My clients are all amazing, but they have all wanted extra this week and the stress has been intense.

Not helped by the fact that my youngest threw up in the school loo on Wednesday, left it as proof, and earned herself two days off school sick.

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She has binge watched Netflix  – every day.

This week, my son lost his phone three times, his packed lunch twice, one school shoe, two tops and my patience many times over….

But luckily my daughter made me howl with the following comment.

To set the scene…

We were driving past the local football stadium, when my eldest child said with a tone of surprise.

I’ve just realised, most football clubs have names that reference the town in which they are based…..

My son, looked at her, with an expression that said  – you did not just say that….

But that was not the only gem to fall from her lips at that time.

She instantly followed up with…

Except Arsenal and Chelsea…..strange how they are different.

She has options in two years…. Lets hope she leaves geography alone

 

Gotta love kids!

 

 

 

 

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If you are like most people, you probably find that your transport or getting around costs you a lot more in general than you would want it to. There can be so many ways in which your car can ruin you financially, and often it’s not until it’s too late that you begin to notice just how it has done so. However, with more of an awareness of what is going on here, as well as the ability to make some real choice for change, we can hope to make it so that our cars do not bankrupt us any longer. This means we can then start to live in a more profitable and ennobled way, and stop throwing money away. Let’s’ take a look at how we can make it so that our cars do not rui us financially.

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Drive Efficiently

If you have never learned how to drive efficiently, this is something you might want to look into. The truth is that you can drive so that you are using a little fuel as possible, and it is pretty easy to do once you know what you are doing. The most important thing is to make sure that you keep acceleration to a minimum. This might sound obvious, but it means both slowing down the rate of acceleration and doing it less often. Do both of these for better results. However, you also need to limit braking, as this too costs money in the long run. You should also make sure that you’re changing gear at the right time, around two and a half thousand revs usually, and that you take the shortest route everywhere. All of this will add up to make a considerable difference to how much your fuel is costing you.

Shop Around For Insurance

There is no need to spend more than necessary on insurance, and yet so many people get caught up in poor policies which trap them in for a long time paying far too much and receiving far too little for it. The only thing to really do her is to make sure that you are shopping around as best as possible. The more you shop around, the better off you will be financially in the long run. If you take a look at sites like cheapautoinsurance.co.uk you will see how you can hosp to find some cheap car insurance without too much hassle – and this alone will vastly improve the amount of money you are having to part with to drive your car. Shop around and find yourself the best deal possible – there is no reason not to.

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Only Drive When Necessary

Finally, make sure  that you are only driving when it is really necessary. This way, you will expect to save on fuel, but you will also be able to make it less likely and less common that you need to go to the mechanic or have any work done. A long as you only drive when you need to, you will make a huge difference.

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One of the biggest expenses in your daily life tends to be getting from one place to another. Of course, using your own two feet is the cheapest and most environmentally-friendly way of doing this. But for the times when you need to get somewhere a little bit quicker, you may need to use another means of transportation. Here, we will be discussing how you can make getting from A to B that little bit more affordable for yourself.

Give Your Car a Little TLC

First of all, check your trunk for any unnecessary objects which you have been lugging around from place to place. The greater the excess weight you are lugging around, the less fuel efficient your vehicle will be. Next, complete a couple of basic maintenance tasks like checking the tyre pressure and fluid levels. It is all these little things which can add up in the long-run. Also, check your manufacturer’s handbook to ensure that you are using the grade of motor oil that they suggest.

Calm Down Your Driving Habits

Not only is aggressive driving more dangerous, it also guzzles more gas. So, slow down, limit your acceleration and reduce the number of sharp stops that you make where possible. You can also save money simply by driving a few miles per hour slower. A perhaps more unexpected way that you can save some money is by rolling down your windows instead of using air conditioning as this can cause your car to consume more petrol than necessary.

Take Advantage of Car Insurance Discounts

There are so many car insurance companies out there that it doesn’t necessarily pay off to stick with the same company. In fact, they may increase your premiums for no reason at all. There are various factors which can reduce your insurance costs including whether or not you have short commutes, you are a retiree or you have your own garage. The internet is a brilliant tool to use that helps you compare the cheapest car insurance deals. Make sure that you check again from year to year to get the best deal.

Look Out for Transportation Incentives


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It is worth checking out whether your local government or employer offers you any tax or monetary incentives to carpool, take public transportation or purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle. Alternatively, you may want to look into getting a bike. Not only are incentives always being offered, there are also bike lanes springing up all over the place to make cyclists’ lives easier.

Use Public Transportation Cards

Many towns and cities offer public transportation cards that give you a discount if you buy a card in advance and top it up as you go along. Not only is this the cheaper way of travelling, it also means that you don’t have to go through the hassle of buying a separate ticket every single time you want to take a bus or hop on the metro.

Compare Your Flight Costs


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When you are going to be travelling longer distances, make sure that you always give yourself the chance of getting the best deal. Use a flight comparison service as these let you check out multiple airlines at once before settling on the one that suits you best. Sometimes, an indirect flight with a long stop-over is going to be your best way of saving yourself some cash, so if you have the time to spare, it may be worth taking this approach. As well as this, you could look to fly to a major hub city as they are likely to have more flight options at affordable rates.

Carpool or Plan Your Parking

Set up a carpooling system with your coworkers as this is going to be a great way for you all to save some money. For longer journeys, take a look at carpooling websites such as BlaBlaCar which pair people together who want to make similar journeys. If you are planning to head out somewhere and you need to park your car, check out your options beforehand so that you can get the cheapest price available. Places like city centres and airports can be particularly expensive unless you plan your journey in advance.

Hopefully, after reading through this article, you have come away with a few tips that you can use in your daily life to make moving around that little bit more affordable.

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OK, the title may be a bit incorrect: you shouldn’t forget the pennies altogether. Those small savings you can make from switching to cheaper brands and so on can add up to real savings if they’re spread over a long enough period. But if you want to save some serious cash, and quickly, then it’s high time you look at the big expenses – the ones that really eat into your annual budget. If you can slash the cost of these expenses, or think about them differently, then you’ll see that savings account moving in the right direction.

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Your Monthly Food Bill

UK households have always had to spend a large part of their salary on one of the basic requirements of living – eating food. And last year saw an additional percentage rise, as supermarkets ditched their promotions and a strong euro raised the cost of imports. If you’re still just wandering into the supermarket and picking up whatever you want off the shelf, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Planning your meals and making a shopping list can dramatically cut the cost of your food bill – sometimes by as much as a third. Calculate how much you’re currently spending each month, and you’ll see that it’s not an insignificant amount of money!

The Essentials

Along with food, the other two big areas where Britons are spending their money is their housing and transportation. When it comes to your vehicle, you can usually get a much better deal by leasing your car from a company like Intelligent Car Leasing than by buying it outright; you’ll still have a car in your life, but it’ll cost you much less per month. If petrol is your issue, then step out of the driver’s seat from time to time. Public transport in the UK is very good and means you won’t be burning money (petrol) or having to pay for parking.

Avoidable Extras

It’s nice to have a few luxuries in our lives, but the reality is that things like a weekly trip to the pub and the like can cost our wallets dearly. Take a look at how much you’re spending on things like restaurants and alcohol, and you might just discover that you could have much more money in your bank account if you reduced these costs. Try and find other ways to entertain yourself at the weekend; hosting a dinner party or curling up on the couch are no poor alternatives to heading out – and you’ll be thankful for your decision when it comes to checking how much money you have left at the end of the month.

Matched Saving

No-one’s going to stop buying things like televisions, smartphones, and other modern tech. But if you do, consider putting the equivalent of however much you spend into a savings account. It might just make you think twice about parting with the cash, but if you do go ahead and buy, then at least you’ll also be making a wise financial decision at the same time.

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I have always enjoyed a flutter, and am a firm believer, that like most things, if done in moderation gambling can be a lot of run.

When I was much younger (much, much, younger) I lived in New Jersey, and on occasion on a weekend, we would jump in a car, hit the interstate and end up in Atlantic City for a night of laughs, poker chips and 21.

As I have matured in age, my gambling habits have altered.  It has been an eternity since I visited a casino, but I can’t think of a more fun day than hitting the horse track, or on occasion, going to watch greyhounds run merrily after a rabbit. If I can’t get to the track, but I have a decent tip, I can always see all the latest horse racing results here.   I am hoping that when the children grow up, and nights out become more extravagant, a trip to Vegas will eventually be on the cards.

A bit of history….

Gambling has been prevalent in the UK for an eternity, it is certainly not a new thing.  Although what many people don’t know is that from 1853 to 1960, there was a prohibition on off course horse betting*.

This ensured that off course horse betting became bigger business than ever and by 1939, along with the pools and greyhound racing, it was one of the most popular forms of gambling.  The working class ignored the law, perceiving it as an inconvenience rather than an enforceable legal term, and gambling continuing to be a unifying activity against the lower classes.

Betting shops are firmly encased in our nation’s history, the streets are littered with them.  The store front shops plus online sites contribute over £30bn to the UK economy.  It is serious business.  Betting shops were first legalised in 1961, and within six months of the law being passed, over 10,000 had opened.  Interestingly, William Hill, an iconic name in UK gambling history, was reluctant to join the betting shop brigade, and waited five years before opening their first shop in 1966.

My own experience

I am a thrill seeker, I like adrenalin, and I like to walk a bit on the wild side (with a safety net).  Going to the races is an enjoyment from start to finish.  The planning, the outfit, the reading of the score card, the checking the odds, and trying to guess winners.  It all never fails to ignite exciting anxiety in me, and god help the crowds when I chose a winner.

At Ascot, a few moons ago, I was on a losing trail.  Despite working out form, and spending forever reading up on jockey and pony, I was losing my £2 each way bets and becoming frustrated.  So I changed tack, and chose on name.  Not my usual style and odds of 26:1.

The race began, I leaned with reluctant fear over the barrier and began to cheer on my rider, believing him to not have a hope in hell.  Then my jaw started to drop as he galloped on from last in the pack, to the middle, then was nose to nose with the leading racehorse.  I cheered with the enthusiasm of a mad man, cried out until my throat hurt, I motivated that horse with everything I had.

And it only went and won!

It wasn’t about the money, it was the feeling, the emotion, the excitement of claiming my prize.

And then spending it on Champagne afterwards…..

My love of the race didn’t lead to addiction.  I won a bit more, lost a bit less, drank bubbles and smiled all day.

As I said, all things in moderation can lead to a ridiculous amount of fun.

 

Sources

http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/2825/

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/racing/our-national-love-affair-a-history-of-the-betting-shop-804966.html

 

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