I’m not good at creating. I’m not a creator. I’m not a visionary. I can’t make something out of nothing. I never could. I’m not a very creative person. But what I can do is remake. Remodel. Shuffle around a bit. Read More »
For a brief period of 2016, I had a part-time job at my local Primark. Yes, Primark. The holy grail store that is internationally known for being so bloody cheap and oh my God. That one.Read More »
Hi! I’m back! And better than ever (ish). And better yet, I’m back with a post that might be able to help some of you lot with your resolutions (if you’re still steadfastly running towards them at full speed, of course).
If one of your New Year goals/resolutions was to save money (which is one of mine, and I struggle daily not to spend my money on ridiculous crap like More Blankets and my 47th Pair of Pyjamas or something), then I’m here to help!
1. Create a Savings Account/Method
Simple, but effective. If you’re one of those people that tells yourself “I can keep it in my current account, I promise I wont touch it”, you are wrong, and that is a lie. You will touch that money you were supposed to save, and regret it.
My solution is to, simply, create a savings account. It’s not difficult, and if you connect it up to your current account then transfers can be made easily and quickly with no fuss.
Alternatively, if you’re younger and don’t have a bank account, or access to a savings account, my advice would be to create a place to put your savings that you can’t touch except for emergencies. This reduces the risk of ‘dipping into’ your savings for things that you “need” like more lipstick and another packet of Mini Eggs (of which I am guilty).
Something like a lockable money-box (and giving someone else a key) or even giving your money that you want to save to a parent or guardian to save for you could be foolproof.
2. Save STRAIGHT AWAY
This is something I’ve recently learnt to do, and it is to save your money as soon as you get it. If you get paid at the end of the month, don’t wait until the end of the next month to transfer it over to your savings. I’ve witnessed so many people get to the end of the month, and panic, because they literally have like 12p in the bank, and no way out.
When you get money, put it safely away as soon as you get it. That way, if you run out of money, you can dip into your savings if needed, but then you don’t feel invincible with all this money, that ideally you haven’t got. Then, linking back to the first point, if you put your savings in a secure place that takes time and effort to get into, then you’ll think twice about touching your savings when you really shouldn’t be. (Also, seeing that number in the savings account get high is a REALLY good feeling).
3. Have a Copper Can
This is one of my favourite tips of all time, ever. In 2010, my Dad bought me a money-box. It was really cute and helpful for 12 year old me to put my coins in, but there was a catch: it didn’t open. The only way in, was through the money-in gap, or to smash it open. So I saved. And saved and saved. The only things that went into it were coppers (1 and 2ps) and 5ps.
A few weeks ago, with the money-box full to bursting, I smashed it open with a hammer, and took the proceeds to one of those ‘count-my’change machine. I’d managed to save up around a tenner. Might not seem like much, especially as it was over about 7 years, but to have this little amount constantly growing on my windowsill could be the difference between eating for two weeks for some people. So, before you chuck away that penny, think twice, and put it in a jar.
4. Make a Monthly Budget
Might be obvious, but I never did this. If you know how much you ought to be earning a month on average (e.g. without overtime or extra money coming in), write it down. Then write down your necessary outgoings (so for me, it’s things like car insurance, petrol, my phone contract, etc). This could also include things like your regular outgoings, like gym memberships, or subscription box subscriptions.
This will allow you to see what you need to spend on, what you don’t need to spend on, and then might also help you keep track of your spending.
5. Pack Your Lunch and Drinks
Carry water with you at all times. Put a bottle in your car, and one in your bag (and gym bag!) and keep them full. This will stop you having to buy drinks and bottles when you’re out and about.
If you regularly buy lunch from school, college, or work (or near work), then pack your lunches the night before (you could even get them ready a few days before), to stop you nipping to the shop for biscuits (guilty), or to Subway for lunch.
It might not be great for your ‘healthy eating’ resolution, but even keeping a chocolate bar, packet of crisps or cereal bar in your bag (or car) could be make the difference of spending £1 on something from the shop every day (and think: that could save £365 over the year!)
6. Take Part in Savings Challenges
Little things that you could take part in, along with friends and family who also want to save money this year (or you could even join money-saving and budgeting groups on Facebook and pages on Pinterest for inspiration. These methods are ready-made and fool-proof to helping you save – maybe more – than you could have hoped!
7. Keep Your Receipts
As fiddly and annoying as this one is (annoying especially when your mum constantly tells you to), keep your receipts. Not only will this help remind you of the stupid shit you bought (did you really need that NERF gun?), but it will also help you keep track of where your money is going, and where you may need to excercise more control.
If at the end of the month, you’re sifting through one million and one Starbucks receipts, or ten million receipts with the word ‘CARRIER BAG – O.5p’ on them, then its time to reevaluate your life choices a bit.
Have a special box, tin or drawer, just to keep your receipts in, and go through it every so often (especially if you use cash on the regular! Online bank statements make looking at your expenses easier these days).
And there we go. My top tips for saving money in 2017. I hope they were (somewhat) helpful and that you (maybe) learnt some new tips that you didn’t before. Here’s to saving money in 2017, to make 2018 and the years after even better!
Let me know what your saving goals and resolutions are for this year, and how you’re planning on staying on track. Also let me know if you’d like to see any other money-saving tips and tricks in the comments! Til next time,
I’ve been feeling really… nostalgic lately.Read More »
Honestly, I don’t know where to start with this. I’ve always just told myself that I’m awful at reviews, and to leave them far far away, for other people to write, and honestly I’m a little scared to attempt this. But you know what? 2017 is the year of facing fears, I think (maybe) and I’d like to start writing reviews. So here goes (cue superior-sounding and intimidating review-er voice)…
If I Was Your Girl – Meredith Russo
If I Was Your Girl tells the, frankly overdone, story of a young girl who has to start a new school, and her struggles through making new friends, first loves and parent troubles. It’s one of those basic story premises that’s been done and done a thousand times over, the world over. I’m sure that no matter the culture, religion, race, every teenage girl has once wanted to read about the life of another teenage girl.
But with this, there’s something different.
And it’s not something that you have to wait until the last page for, either (which is something I personally don’t have the patience for). From the get-go (even the blurb, actually), we – the audience – are aware that Amanda, our beautiful, smart, nerdy and mysterious protagonist, used to be known as Andrew.
Meredith Russo’s debut novel details the post-transition Amanda’s life as she tries to make it safely from high school to the World Beyond – something of which I’m sure we can all relate to. But Meredith’s life as a trans woman has enabled her to transform a somewhat over-done story into one that I think – honestly – everyone should read. Or at least read about. The simple fact of the matter is: there aren’t enough stories about trans people.
Now, as much as I could, I’m not going to make this post about trans issues. It is not my place, nor my right to address issues faced by those in the trans community.I have never faced gender identity issues, and I can’t imagine ever doing so, and that is where I will leave my knowledge on the subject. However, if a trans person, or someone struggling with gender identity issues is reading this: I support you, you are brave and amazing and you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, I am here.
Now that that is out of the way, I’m going to continue by saying that this review is not going to address the serious matters of gender identity, transgenderism and social inequalities, as I simply haven’t got the words – or the authority – to do so. I will, however, review this book as a book.
If I Was Your Girl, while hugely important and eye-opening for someone who is cis-gendered and uneducated, could have been better, book-wise.
The subject matter, while fascinating and wonderful in its modest glory (Amanda’s brief descriptions of the transition process I felt were a nice way to satisfy reader’s curiosities, while remaining steadfast in her secretive nature, and were well played-down by the author), could have been paced much better.
My biggest problem with IIWYG was simply the pacing. I felt this book could have been light-years longer. It felt rushed, and because of this, characters and their actions often felt unrealistic, and it could sometimes feel as though Meredith – the author – knew things that the audience didn’t, but forgot, and described scenes and emotions as thus.
While I can see the advantages of trying to write a book – particularly a YA book, as this is intended – that is long enough to be a story, while being short enough to keep young reader’s attentions, I felt this was just not long enough. There simply wasn’t enough space to put all the emotions of someone who has been through so much, on paper in just under 300 pages. I often felt as though, if I were in Amanda’s situation, I’d need a hell of a lot more time to digest some information and make some decisions, than she did. But that’s just me.
Some may complain that IIWYG was too shallow. That it only tread the very shortest of depths that LGBTQIA+ fiction could do, but I think that’s enough. For now, at least. The general public may still be wary of literature that dives too deep into the minds and bodies of those who aren’t “normal” (and I use that term sarcastically, if you didn’t guess), and, while some of us may be ready to dive deep, the world might not be yet. Baby steps.
But, If I Was Your Girl did exactly as it was supposed to, and for that I commend it. It made me laugh. It made me sad and angry. It made me love Amanda and Virginia and Layla and Grant. It made me hate others. It made me feel that first-love, first-kiss, first-everything feeling that we all crave sometimes. And it made me more aware.
And for a mainstream, published, printed and talked about book (If I Was Your Girl has actually been featured in Zoella’s book club with W H Smith for this year, which is incredible and huge for the author, to have someone as influential as Zoe recommending this story to her millions of avid fans…) to hold such power and knowledge. The power to turn attention towards this issue that the world faces (by issue I mean transphobia and homophobia, etc), is fantastic.
I urge you all to pick up this book (or download it.. whatever you fancy), and just try it. Your age, your gender, your sexuality, your reading preferences do not matter. You should read this, for your own education.
Thanks guys, let me know if I did OK for my first book review (that’s been published on this site). Also let me know what’s on your reading lists for 2017, I need recommendations!
- Went to London on Valentines Day
- Went to the Natural History Museum for the first time
- Went to Prague
- Turned 18
- Went clubbing
- Got a tattoo
- Was a Sandwich Artist
- Read.. a lot
- Blogged a lot
- Went to Athens
- Bought a car
- Learnt to drive
- Passed my driving test!
- Stayed home alone for a week
- Went to Thorpe Park
- Went to FriendsFest
- Got better at makeup
- Visited my Nan and Auntie’s graves
- Passed my A Levels
- Worked in Primark
- Started a savings account
- Started an apprenticeship
- Went to a big client meeting
- Went on a night out with work people
- Went to an industry party
- Met new friends
- Attempted blogmas
- Got rid of the crap in my room
- Had our 5th anniversary
- Bought alcohol
- Took care of the cat on my own
- Went to an engagement party
- Saw The Maine live again
- Saw All Time Low live again
- Saw Twenty One Pilots live
- Cut ties once and for all
- Was the bigger person
- Read all of Harry Potter… twice
- Stopped smoking
- Saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Saw Doctor Strange
- Saw Batman Vs Superman
- Saw Suicide Squad
- Saw Captain America: Civil War
- Celebrated New Years Eve in bed, watching How I Met Your Mother
- Watched Friends all the way through about 4 times
- Drove to see my grandparents after not visiting for about 3 years
- Went Christmas shopping with Connor
- Read comic books for the first time
- Tried Quorn mince… and liked it