Dear small ones,

I am probably not your best ambassador for money.  Truth is, I am outstanding at spending it and am still trying to figure out how to save it.

However, I want you to grow up with a good idea of how pounds and pence work, so when life throws a curveball you don’t have to lose sleep worrying about money.

Your Grandad taught me…

“If you have a problem money can solve, you don’t have a problem.”

He is right, but having some money tucked away somewhere safe can ease your mind.  For example, when you all developed your different health conditions I knew my place was at home, not with my legs under a desk in the office.

We made life changes, which included selling up and moving home.  We were not prepared to be a single income family, we were not ready for the catalyst of change that epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and Type 1 Diabetes would mean to our financial life.

Learn from us, don’t be like us.

It was worth pinching the pennies, changing our lives, to spend more time watching you grow, playing and helping you stay in great health.

But for you,

For you, I have this advice.

Use your money wisely.  Put some away, speak to people who know, set up an account with someone like thinkmoney, pay your bills and for the love of God don’t get into debt. Have money for a rainy day.

Spend on doing what you love, buy books, see the world, make every penny count.  Use your money to experience new cultures and have adventures, just make sure you have some waiting in the bank at home.

And maybes,

Just maybes,

You could put a little aside for your mum and dads retirement?




* This is an entry to a competition being hosted by thinkmoney



Bodmin Jail, set in the middle of Cornwall, is a terrifying, yet gripping, family attraction which documents life in an eighteenth century jail.
It was featured on Most Haunted in 2005, and after spending a couple of hours exploring the six levels of spooky jail space, it is easy to see why Yvette Fielding declared it one of Britain scariest places to spend the night.

What is there?

The exhibition is set in three acres of the original jail which was built for King George III in 1779.  It details how the jail was built, how its purpose has changed over centuries and shares the history of some of its notorious inmates.

You can see an execution pit, stand in a cell (if you dare), and put your other half in the stocks.

Is it any good?

It is slightly terrifying.  The lower levels of the prison are dimly lit and creepy wax models of murderers and thieves stare at you from their cells.  As soon as you enter the cold overwhelms you and the hairs on the back of your neck begin to tremble.

It is devastatingly saddening when you read about women hanged for drowning their illegitimate babies.  You cannot help but feel a heart tug when you read stories of children imprisoned and flogged for stealing bread.  Then you taste disgust at cold hearted murderers who beat their wives with irons and tossed them in the fire to burn.

I thought the children would be scared and worried we had brought them to something inappropriate for their age.  However, they loved the exhibits, belly laughed at their father in the stalls and saw the exhibits as fantasy, unreal relics from a history that will never impinge on their present.

The only person really scared was me.  I stayed away from dark corners, shrank back from the statues, and although I found it utterly fascinating I was very happy to feel the sun on my face when we reached the exit.

Value for money

The tour cost £25 for my family of five and we spent 2.5 hours wandering around the dark cells and learning more about the 18th century British correction system.  It felt a fair price to pay and the whole family enjoyed the experience.
(Now I just hope those wax works don’t make it into my dreams!)

Have you met these delightful aliens?

They are part of the Wotwot family, and are normally a little smaller than the one Libby-Sue is embracing.

In this post you get a chance to win your very own SpottyWot and DottyWot (just leave a comment to enter via the rafflecopter.)

The Wotwots are a New Zealand pre school series that delight the younger viewer with the adventures of two siblings from Outer Space.

The endearing friendship between the two is cute and captivating.  This is proven by the way my three year old stands in front of the TV dancing everytime the show begins.

The second series is just starting on Channel 5’s Milkshake and is narrated by Nicholas Parsons OBE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
  To get your mitts on your very own Wotwot please enter via the rafflecopter telling me where the Wotwots come from. You must leave a comment to enter and there are additional ways to get bonus entries.

Please read the terms and conditions before entering

  • The promoter of this competition is DDA Blueprint PR, Registered office 192-198 Vauxhall Bridge Road London SW1V 1DX
  • By entering this competion you accept the following terms and conditions.
  • The competition is open to United Kingdom residents aged 18 and over only, excluding employees of the Promoter or anyone else connected to the competition and/or their immediate family.
  • Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received before the closing date.
  • The competition starts on September 2nd 2013 closes on the 16th of September 2013 at 11.59pm GMT.  Entries after this time will be discounted.
  • Entry is deemed as a blog comment using the rafflecopter – bonus entries are allowed.
  • Prize winners take full responsibility for any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action they may hereafter have for injuries or damages arising in connection with any prize and the use thereof and agree not to sue or make claim against the Promoter for damages or other losses sustained from using any prize.
  • The prize is one set of Wotwot plush.
  • The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered
  • The winner will be announced on this website within 14 days of the competition ending.  The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within 3 days another winner may be chosen.
  • Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • The Promoter’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants.
  • No Correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entries that do not comply in full with these terms and conditions will be disqualified.
  • Prize winners take full responsibility for any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action they may hereafter have for injuries or damages arising in connection with any prize and the use thereof and agree not to sue or make claim against the Promoter for damages or other losses sustained from using any prize.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party will have no responsibility for the acts or defaults of any other persons.
  • All personal information about prize winners collected for the purpose of this competition may be shared with other Promoter entities and/or agents so that prizes can be delivered. Entrants accept that if they win a prize, the Promoter will have the right, without additional payment or permission, to use their name, age, town of residence and likeness for the purposes of announcing the winner of this competition and for related promotional purposes.
  • By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and by the decisions of the Promoter which are final in all matters relating to the competition.
  • The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and/or winner in its absolute discretion for any reason and without notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  • This promotion is governed by the laws of England.


Featured Post

My quest to be thrifty seems to be continuously thwarted by my non thrifty dreams.

Plus my eternal love of holidays.

But I do try to be thrifty on holiday, does that count?

We have just finished a very sensible, thrift led week in Cornwall, where dinner was eaten by sundown fresh from the BBQ and days out included many soggy sandwiches on the beach.

But I have just booked an extravagant stay!  My daughters have both been through the mill this year.  My eldest was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Halloween 2013, and my youngest is currently undergoing tests and MRI’s to ascertain the reason why she suffers from hypoglycemia.

As a family we need a break from the white walls of hospital and EuroDisney seems to be an ideal destination.

Ok – it is not thrifty – but I think the girls (plus my son) deserve a massive treat.

But I am going to do my best to visit France without spending a fortune.

We are not staying on Disney and have saved a fortune by booking a hotel close by that doesn’t have Mickey Mouse in residence.  For travel, I have secured a car, cheap car hire in France is nice and easy to arrange. It means we can get off the plane and drive straight to the hotel without any fuss.  As we are staying for five days we plan to spend 2-3 in Disney.  Then we plan on hopping in the car and spending some time sight-seeing around France.

Picnics are the plan for food in the day, plus a good breakfast to set us up for the day.  Tea will be planned and budgeted – if I give up wine we could save serious funds on the evening meal bill.

Lets not try to run before we can walk!

We will spend the anniversary of my daughters diagnosis in the Magic Kingdom.

I can’t think of a better place to be!