Financial challenges for a New Year

Christmas is over and the New Year is almost upon us. I am hoping that 2019 will be our year. Although 2018 wasn’t a bad year our December hasn’t been the best, my Hubby’s Gran Mother passed away on Christmas Day. I just knew she would become our Christmas Day Angel, so with young children it was an upsetting day for us, we didn’t tell the children until boxing day. As we didn’t want to upset the children on Christmas day.

financial-challenges

I was also involved in a car accident two days before Christmas on my way home from visiting Gran. Which, as you can imagine has caused a few issues, my car isn’t drive-able, luckily I have good insurance and the accident wasn’t my fault so it will all be sorted out. However there is still the possibility that my car could be written off, due to my car being hit directly on the wheel, which will add financial strain to the beginning of the year.

Facing financial challenges for the New Year

After Christmas, when you have spent up buying fabulous gifts for people and all I want is nice short month. However January always seems to be the longest month and we are willing for Payday to arrive. Plus every January something happens that means we are short on money. I’m not sure why, but it’s the boiler, the children both need school shoes, the dogs need to go to the vets or like us at the moment it’s the car.

The month of the year when you could just do will very little extra out goings to bump up the saving you have dipped into over Christmas and in the sales, something just about always happens that you are not expecting.

I am worried about my car, we have only had it a year so if it is written off then I’m pretty sure the insurance company would give me the amount of money that it would cost to replace it like for it. Which would then mean I need to look at other ways to top up the money we need to replace it. So just to pre-empt that we will need to find some extra cash fast I have been looking at the CashLady, so if we need it we can easily apply and have some extra cash fast.

When we head into 2019 we want to do it in a good healthy way, we have big plans for 2019 and I hope that they all happen. It could be our best year yet. I hope 2019 is a great year for everyone!

 

*This is a collaborative post.*

5 Great Reasons Why Overseas Weddings Are Better

If organising a wedding is on the cards for you then potential venues and locations might seem practically endless. But why stick with just the UK?

Whether your reasons are romance, a holiday for the whole family or just picture-perfect wedding photos, the overseas wedding is certainly gaining in popularity. So why are overseas weddings the best? I asked destinations wedding expert Michelle Jacobs from Elegante by Michelle J, who has been helping brides organise weddings in the UK and Italy for over 20 years. She explains exactly why Italy will always be her favourite overseas wedding destination.

5 Great Reasons Why Overseas Weddings Are Better

So much to offer

From the ceremony itself to the food and entertainment, when it comes to planning a wedding the last thing you want is to feel limited. For Michelle, she finds Italian weddings are often so popular because there are more opportunities to get exactly what you want. She says: “Italy has so much to offer – from spectacular scenery and the opportunity for an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception to fantastic food. Brides tell me they want their guests to leave saying it was not just the best wedding ever – but the food was brilliant. Far too often poor food is a complaint of the traditional English wedding. And of course, Italy is the most romantic country in the world so why not cement your love there.

Bringing guests together

With destination weddings come overnight stays and even excursions, Michelle believes this can lead to a bond that your guests will never forget. She says: “A destination wedding brings your guests together over the course of 2 or 3 days, rather than just for the wedding day itself; guests connect in a way that they would not generally do at a local wedding, and it really does show in the atmosphere on the wedding day itself.  The vibe is palpable, guests have formed bonds and friendships simply by being present at this special occasion and this leads to a wonderful and momentous celebration. By being together over more than one day it gives the bride and groom the opportunity to spend quality time with all of their guests, rather than just the couple of minutes per person that they would get if they were getting married at home.”

Local wedding traditions

There’s a reason why destination weddings in Italy in particular are increasing. Michelle thinks homegrown customs create a magical experience that will be unique to the couple. She says: “The opportunity to incorporate local wedding traditions (such as the spectacular Italian MilleFoglie wedding cake) as well as your own traditions is often something my brides tell me is important. But equally you can get away with leaving out those traditions which are not important to you, so the choice really is yours.”

Stunning photos and great venues

In the UK, couples often think that they are stuck between a church or a civil ceremony, but there are plenty of other destinations to declare your love for each other. Michelle knows a few! She says, “From desolate beaches to Shakespearian balconies, there are lots of opportunities available as wedding rules vary from country to country. In Italy, with its ornate town halls and gorgeous churches your photographer will really be spoiled for great shots. Plus, with a wedding overseas you’ve got more chance of predicting the weather than in the rainy/cloudy/drizzly UK!”

Control

With a UK wedding it becomes very easy for additional voices to make themselves heard. But with an overseas wedding there’s no pressure to invite Aunt Val’s cousin once removed, it’s the people that matter to you most who can join you. Michelle says, “Lots of people think that an overseas wedding is running away, but it’s actually you taking back control. People will soon respect your wishes when they know that there is a lot of planning that goes in to the big day, but when you’re local it gets all too easy to take on everyone’s opinion, which can be incredibly overwhelming for any bride.”

There you have it, an expert’s views, just 5 of the reasons why an overseas wedding, and Italy in particular, is best.

Saving Money the Christmas

that I have now got everything finished and wrapped up. I have excelled myself this year, as last year it was a made panic to get everything finished and wrapped in time for the big event. So this year I made sure I had it completed early.

Saving-money-this-christmas

I shop for Christmas all year round, I love to find a bargain, online or in the shops. But over the last couple of years I have spent more time looking online for those bargains. It could be a fabulous cashback offer, a brilliant sale that I just caught at the end with an extra discount or it could be a deals online site. When my children were much longer I did almost all of their Christmas shopping in the sales, often hitting it big with the January sales. Now however it is more difficult as they are asking for gifts and not quite so happy to have anything, they both make lists nearer Christmas, plus at the age of 5 the latest doll isn’t out until later in the year. Heaven forbid she didn’t get the last baby doll she wants haha.

Making a list, checking it twice!

Each year I write a list of everyone who I have to buy gifts for, both birthdays and Christmas. I then add ideas to the list with a question mark next to it, sometimes I come up with a great idea for someone on the list and then I forget what it is. So I have to write my ideas down. Then as I buy a gift for each person I then write it down with the price and tick it off. All of this is on my phone, so I always have it with me.

saving-money-this-christmas

A few years ago when my closest friend had her 3 child, we decided that we would no longer buy Christmas gifts for each other and the children, but spend a bit more on their birthdays. The first couple of years it seemed odd to me not buying the boys gifts but now we are both pleased we don’t have that extra expense over Christmas. I now have this rule with a couple of other friends, I just have one other that I need to arrange this with, but it will wait until next year. I find that I spend £10-£15 on each for her children and she does the same for me. This year I have struggled to come up with gifts for mine, as they haven’t really asked for too much. So I find myself coming up with a gift for the sake of it.

I also cook a large Christmas dinner and I try to make my own christmas cake, but I have found that it’s cheaper to by a fruit cake and decorate it myself. It’s just another one of my money saving tips for this Christmas.

The other way I like to save money for Christmas is to put a little bit aside each month, so I know when it comes to ticking all of the items off the list I know I have money there to do it.

How do you save money for Christmas? I would love to hear your top tips.