Lucy

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Living in a big UK city? Here’s How You Can Save Money

Living in a big UK city? Here’s How You Can Save Money

Living in any city is expensive enough, but if you live in a big UK city, you will agree that living expenses can be overwhelming. It is no surprise that residents of big UK cities are always on the lookout for the best ways to reduce expenses and save money.
While there are some things that cannot be avoided, such as rent, food and clothes, there are a few ways you can save a few pennies if you live in a big UK city.

Reduce your household expenses

Living in a big UK city, you will find that you spend a whole lot of money on household expenses, but if you can cut these costs a little, you will be making tremendous savings.

Energy is the highest consumer of funds in the house, and the cost can get really high, especially in the winter when you have to turn up the heating, but changing your energy supplier can help you save a lot on energy expenses. Because of the huge competition in the energy industry, you will be able to save as much as £350 in a year, when you change supplier. And if you feel guilty about moving away, know that being loyal is not always profitable.

Keep track of your expenditure

If you live in a big city like London, you will agree that sometimes it can be hard to know where all the money is going to. After splitting your paycheck, you realize that it is not enough to go round and you are left with bills unpaid. A smart solution is to try keeping a record of all you spend money on. The old fashioned style of pen on paper can work, but there are bank apps that can automate this for you.

When you have a list of what you spend money on, you can identify those items that won’t be too difficult to cut back on.

Eat in as often as you can

When you live in a big UK city, you can be tempted to try out as many local restaurants and eating places as possible. Unfortunately, this will only incur you more expenses. What you may not know is that the amount of money you will likely spend in a restaurant for a day’s meal is more than enough to last you for a week if you cook and eat in. But apart from saving money, studies have shown that cooking and eating your own meals is great for the health.

Keep an eye out for deals and discounts

When you are living in a big city, one of the best ways to save money is to be on the lookout for deals and discounts. Fortunately, there are lots of these, from discounts on cabs and trains to meals, movies and groceries. And with the internet, it has become very easy to source for deals and coupons that will help you cut down on your spending.

When you pair the deals you find with rewards like loyalty cards, you will find that you are spending less than you used to.

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Four bedroom interior design ‘facelifts’ that will breathe new life into your room

Four bedroom interior design ‘facelifts’ that will breathe new life into your room

We’ve all been there, faced with the same décor that’s been staring at you for the last few years, overwhelmed by clutter and wondering whether or not that trusty chest of drawers or wardrobe is going to be able to take another year of rough-and-tumble.

A bedroom is supposed to be a sanctuary for sleep, a place to switch off and drift away at the end of the day. With this in mind, it is important to keep your ‘sleeping zone’ tranquil, calm and easy on the eye. This means letting plenty of light into your room, clearing away those old clothes and making it a haven for catching quality z’s.

Here are our four bedroom ‘facelifts’ to help keep your bedroom fresh and airy, clean and clutter-free.

Have a clear out and say goodbye to hoarding

One of the age-old, tried and tested methods of creating space is the simple clear-out. The rules are even simpler. In fact, there’s only one rule: if you haven’t used it in the last 12 months, throw it out.

From tatty t-shirts to old books and broken tech, neither of those things need to exist in a home. Long beyond their sell-by date, it’s simply a hoarder-mentality and attachment to sentimentality that keeps us hanging onto those cherished items. Banish them for good and enjoy the extra space you’ll gain!

Invest in a fitted wardrobe

A quick tip to save space whilst giving your bedroom a makeover, is to invest in a fitted sliding door wardrobe. Why? By utilising sliding wardrobes’ horizontal opening system, you’ll notice that you’re immediately taking up less space than you would if you had a swinging door system.

Better yet, the aesthetic aspect of a set of sliding wardrobe doors adds a modern touch to the look and feel of your bedroom, doing away with that tired, old wardrobe you’ve been meaning to throw away for the last few years.

Better yet, try out a mirrored sliding wardrobe. Mirrored sliding wardrobe doors reflect the light in your bedroom, creating a sense of extra space and openness, which will put your mind at ease and wash away any previous claustrophobic feelings that clutter ultimately brings with it.

Redecorate for a cheaper way change your décor

If purchasing new bedroom furniture seems a little extravagant, then there are ways to create a sense of revitalisation in your room that require a significantly reduced upfront investment.

One such way is by taking the path of a simple redecoration. Sometimes it isn’t the clutter in your bedroom that can so easily bring you down, it could be the fact that you’ve been staring at the same colour palette for too long now, and just fancy a change.
Inject new life into your bedroom with a few new cushions, some modern blinds or a new lick of paint on your walls to match the current season’s trends – you never know, it could be just what you needed to refresh your décor.

Banish technology for a refreshing, clutter-free room

Now I know what you might be thinking, doesn’t this fall into the same category as clearing out your clutter? While yes it does sit similarly to the point made earlier, it also has a number of health benefits.

As you may be aware, thanks to the recent research covered in wellbeing publications over the past few years, having technology switched on and in the bedroom late at night can keep you awake and interrupt your sleep patterns. So whether it’s your phone, your handheld games console or your smartwatch, keeping them out of the bedroom at night will give your mind a ‘facelift’, which in turn will help you to feel better about your bedroom.

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My Home Colours – And What They Mean to Me

My Home Colours – And What They Mean to Me

The colours that I have used in houses during my time of home ownership have really changed. Partly due to the influences of people that I have lived with, budgets and ease of decorating. When I lived with my parents they regularly changed the colours in their home keeping up with trends and their taste. When they moved in the 1970’s colours meant that every room had brightly patterned wallpaper in colours such as orange and purple. My parents slowly decorated each room, firstly replacing the paper with woodchip paper and painting the room’s different colours. I remember my bedroom being yellow and blue at one time and the sitting room being green and pink. There was a lot of green as that is my dad’s favourite colour. When I bought my first home I was living with my sister and we decided together on colours for our downstairs rooms. We painted the sitting room in various colours with a wall of purple, one of orange and one of yellow, with a gold fireplace and purple carpets and orange sofas. I thought it looked cool at the time as I did the blue kitchen with white cabinets and silver ceiling.

Conservative Tastes

However, once I moved in with my husband he had rather more conservative taste and the house was very dark we needed pale colours. We started off repainting the orange office a calming green. Then the stairs from yellow and brown to cream but I did brighten up the kitchen by painting the walls Mediterranean sky blue which contrasted with the white cabinets. We then left decorating for a long time until we had children and they ripped the painted lining paper off the sitting room wasll so we changed the terracotta sitting room to cream. We had major work done on the house and repainted the whole thing, but for ease and good light painted the whole house the same colour with cream walls and white ceilings and woodwork. We liked the warm cream colour due to the fact that everything seemed brighter and it looked clean and uncluttered. Therefore we kept the house this colour. We even had the same carpet throughout as it was on special offer which is a beige colour as that seems to match everything and does not show up the dirt too much. It was also a bright change from the dirty grey one that we had before.

Bright Furnishings

In order to add colour to the rooms we picked some bright furnishings. In the sitting room this was in the form of terracotta and gold curtains, which blended in the yellow sofa which we have had a long time. In the kitchen the black worktops contract with the wood cupboards and blue tablecloth. In the bedrooms the children have brightly coloured bedding and pictures to brighten up their rooms. We have purple Julian Charles pillows and bedding and curtains which really brighten up the room. I may find that I want to add some more colour, but at the moment like the simple walls as we seem to have so much clutter in each room that it provides a calming and clean backdrop.

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Understanding Why a Reverse Mortgage May be Right for You

Understanding Why a Reverse Mortgage May be Right for You

You may have heard of a reverse mortgage, but you may be unsure what it is or how it can be useful to you. If you are of retirement age, one may help you get more money to make up for a loss of working income. However, you may still have concerns about taking on additional debt. The key thing to understand is that the debt from a reverse mortgage is not the same as the debt from a regular home loan. Below is more information about how this special type of home equity mortgage conversion mortgage (HECM) works.

How a Reverse Mortgage is Defined

A reverse mortgage is defined as a retiree home loan. It is only available to you if you are at the age of retirement. It is further defined as a home loan that pays you. That means you can set up a payment system with your reverse mortgage lender by which the lender will pay you monthly. That is unlike a standard mortgage, which would require you to make monthly payments back to a lender. Therefore, you will not be acquiring another monthly bill when you sign up for a reverse loan. Instead, you can pay it back on a more long-term basis.

Figuring Out the Reverse Mortgage Value

The amount you can borrow using a reverse loan is determined by many different factors. That’s why reverse mortgage calculators are necessary. The tools are used by lenders to figure out the current worth of your home. They take into account such things as current government caps on percentages of home equity that can be borrowed. When using a reverse-loan calculator app, your lender will also consider the current status of your home. Its age and condition will be assessed, along with any outstanding mortgages that exist for the property.

How a Reverse Mortgage Can Make Your Retirement Easier

There are many ways in which a reverse mortgage can help you when you retire. For example, in addition to not adding a monthly bill to your financial burdens, a reverse loan can help you get rid of one. You cannot have an existing standard mortgage and a reverse loan at the same time unless you agree to pay off the first mortgage immediately with reverse loan funds. By doing so, you will rid yourself of your ongoing standard mortgage bill.

A reverse mortgage can also help you by giving you an additional reliable income to make up somewhat for the drop in income you may experience when you retire. By supplementing your income, it can lift a variety of your budget concerns. For example, the funds you will get can help you pay monthly bills. They can also be used to fund one-time expenses like vacations or medical bills. You will have the freedom to choose how you spend the money.

What to Know About Reverse Mortgage Payment Periods

When applying for a reverse mortgage you must understand traditional rules about payment periods do not apply. You do not have to pay the lender back at set intervals. Also, the total loan balance will not be due by an exact date. Instead, the rule designating the length of a reverse loan is one of residency. That means you have to live in your home and use it as your main residence for as long as you want to have the loan actively. If you stop living in the home, the balance will be owed soon after that point. However, temporary absences like vacations or hospital stays do not count.

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Holiday Trends for 2019

Holiday Trends for 2019

Three exciting alternatives to your typical resort holiday

Backpacking Sabbatical

What’s furthest away from your typical resort holiday? How about trekking across multiple countries with nothing but a backpack to immerse yourself in new cultures and live like the locals?

More and more, travellers are forgoing the usual summer holiday in favour of year-long (or longer) sabbaticals to explore the world. If this doesn’t immediately light a fire of wanderlust in your belly, consider this: a year-long trip gives you the chance to fully experience other cultures and take in the world at your own pace. Imagine letting go of your everyday stresses and responsibilities, taking time out from the rat race to discover more about yourself and the world around you. Almost any backpacker’s blog will tell you that it’s the best thing they ever did and, in many cases, they found a way to make their time off help (not hinder) their career progress.

So where should you go? The options are endless; ever-popular destinations include Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, where there are plenty of communities virtually untouched by the Western world. Some decide to take on the whole of Europe, learning to cook in France, running with bulls in Spain or exploring Amsterdam’s rich history.

Mini City Breaks

City breaks continue to be a trending travel option over all-inclusive resorts for a number of reasons. There’s certainly something to be said for spending a week (or even just a long weekend) in a bustling new city, taking in the sights. Yes, it may be a little more hectic than a seaside resort, but for avid historians, art buffs and foodies, a city break often holds more excitement.

Europe is a popular choice for city breaks in 2019, with plenty of exciting cities to choose from. Let your curiosity lead you to Athens, where the ruins of Acropolis tell tales of Ancient Greece. Stroll through the streets of Copenhagen for Michelin star dining, quirky cafes and world-class shopping experiences along Strøget. Or take a trip down to Madrid, where the days are as vibrant as the nights, bursting with art, music, food and shopping that’s full of Spanish spirit.

Luxury Expedition Cruises

If you still long for the luxury of all-inclusive, but you’re bored of the resort scene, why not set off on one of Scenic Eclipse’s expedition ocean cruises? Anything but ordinary, Scenic Eclipse takes you to places the ordinary traveller can only dream of. On board the ‘World’s First Discovery Yachts’, you’ll have all-inclusive access to exclusive excursions on-shore, as well as on board the ships’ helicopters and 6-seater submarines.

You can choose from the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, including the lesser explored polar regions in the White Sea, to the Fjords of Norway, the Svalbard archipelago and the mythical Northwest Passage. Plus, for their 2019/2020 season, explore charming coastal cities across the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North America and South America.

If the destinations alone aren’t enough to thrill you, Scenic Eclipse’s expedition cruises boast world-class dining experiences from 10 on-board restaurants. Their 6-star luxury Verandah Suites are complete with elegant interiors, a personal butler service, king-size beds, a secluded private verandah and a separate lounge area to relax in; offering you absolute luxury and adventure in one unique package.

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