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New Money

Morning Peeps!

Just when everything is ticking along nicely, you get a financial change and have to readjust. We have those days too, so here’s how we deal with them…

If a bill goes up (as 3 of ours have since June) then sit down and discuss it:

  • Do we need this service? Is it essential/can we afford it?
  • Is there a better deal on the market? If so can we switch without penalty (or at least with a penalty smaller than the increase)?
  • Where is the extra coming from? If we stay with this provider, is there somewhere the money can come from, to pay the difference, without affecting essentials?
  • Is it long term (like water rates increases) or just a one-off (e.g. a high phone bill) ? You may be able to go without a clothes budget or something for a one-off but that wouldn’t work long term.

For example, our phone and broadband went up around £3 per month, but we’re happy with the service so we took that out of our social budget, permanently. Which brings me to the next point…

Adjust your budget sheet accordingly:

  • You have to update your budget sheet to show the bill increase and where it’s come from (so my phone and social amounts need updating). If you are in a debt repayment agreement, the company may need to be told if it affects your essentials or your debt repayment amount.

 

Good News! Extra income! 

It works the same for money coming in: If you make money from a hobby, get a bonus or a tax rebate, the same rules apply:

  • Discuss where you’ll spend or save it and how much? Will it go to pay off debts or into savings or replacing something that needs replacing?
  • Does it affect monthly budget? (If you pay off a bill or debt…or you invest in a more efficient piece of equipment…it will impact your monthly outgoings)
  • Who needs to know? If you are claiming benefits or on a debt repayment program, they need to be told about significant changes (obviously we’re not talking the aforementioned £3) E.g. In the UK current legislation requires you to inform Local Authority if you claim benefits and your savings go over £6000.

If there is a big change, don’t be scared to ask for (free) advice from a professional.

If your budget is in order, good or bad financial news shouldn’t make that much difference…. and if you haven’t got a written budget then starting one when these changes arise would be beneficial.

I hope you have an awesome day and that your news will be good!

God Bless,

Anna x

You Are What You Eat!

Howdy Peeps!

So, the Mango Chicken (see Desperate to Try This Recipe) was a success and so were the other recipes we’ve tried so far.  The book You Are What You Eat gives a meal plan and recipes and suggests what should be in your pantry (but not fresh stuff, you have to figure that out from recipes.

It certainly seems to be working as I’ve lost the few pounds I put on in Tenerife already and we’re certainly not hungry! The meals are balanced and filling and healthy (quite a lot are lower GI too). For the week ahead I’ve bought mostly the same but changed a couple of sauces and such either for cost or taste-preference reasons, but generally happy with it.

Last night we had the easiest (and probably my favourite) meal) so far:       Chicken Stir-fry

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1 Chicken Breast, cut in to fine strips
  • 2 cups of stir-fry Veg (I bought a bag, but the book suggests red pepper, Broccoli and spring onions)
  • 2 cups (cooked weight) of Brown Rice or Noodles to go with it
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 clove of Garlic, crushed
  • Light Olive Oil for cooking

 

Instructions:

  • Cook Rice or Noodles as per instructions on packet
  • Pan fry or oven cook the chicken in a little Olive Oil (They say pan fry for 3-4 mins but I keep the meat separate and add it at the end for my carnivores)
  •  Add the veg, garlic and a little oil (if there’s some in pan from chicken, just remove chicken and use that, no need to add more) to pan and stir fry for about 5 mins until softened slightly but still having some crunch.
  • Add the Soy Sauce, Honey and Water to the pan (and chicken if you want to mix it back in) Cook for another 1-2 mins stirring continuously.
  • Serve on the Rice or noodles: Easy.

 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use Sesame oil for a smoky takeaway-type taste or add sesame seeds when serving for the same taste and a bit of crunch.
  • I like that it’s flexible: You can use already cooked chicken or replace it with beef or pork too.
  • Try different Veg, I need beansprouts in my stir-fry but it wasn’t in the recipe so I bought a bag that had all the veggies in the book suggests and the desired beansprouts and some carrot.

Quick, Cheap, Easy and Flexible, who wouldn’t love it?!

Have a good day peeps x

PS The prayers yesterday are working, said relative doing well, thanks x

Prayer

Morning my lovely Peeps!

A couple of things came up yesterday about prayer and relationships with God so I thought I’d share…

Firstly, I’m praying today for a family member having medical treatment. I always pray for things like this to go well and work effectively, but especially so when I can do nothing else to help achieve the desired outcome: God is not a last resort, He is first, but when you can’t do anything else for someone, you can still pray for them.

Secondly, I was talking to someone recently who said it was a huge revelation to them that prayer wasn’t the sitting or kneeling with eyes closed and arms folded, they said they were so freed by the idea they could pray and walk or just do a quick one-liner to ask for help or thank Him for something as part of their day. I was taught to talk to God like He’s a family member (because He is! Your Heavenly Father) as the scripture says, we can come boldly to the throne….we can have an audience with the King because of this relationship. If you’ve never prayed that way just try it; Thank Him for a few things (as you see them) while walking or driving or hoovering….God loves your full attention and quiet time together, but He hears always so talk to Him always.

Thirdly, Following on from above, the sermon we heard yesterday was about getting close to God and spending time with Him, resting in Him….you can’t feel comfortable doing that if you don’t talk to Him regularly. Like any other relationship, it takes time and effort, but whether it’s a one-liner or a couple of hours, He wants to hear you and help you.

 

Where are you inspired to pray?

Have a great day,

Anna x

Kids and Spending

Morning Peeps!

Just a quick post to re-share my thoughts on allowance and trusting kids with financial decisions.

I have had several conversations or incidences come up recently about how to handle this stuff…I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I will share what we do when asked, so in case you missed them, here are my posts on kids and Finance:

Kids and Allowance

Trust and Reward

10 Cheap or Free Ways to Entertain the Kiddos!

You may also like to visit (or re-visit):

University/College Finance

Why buying used isn’t gross

Baby Budget

A Reminder for Parents

Keeping it Simple

 

Just thought I’d share my thoughts for those who haven’t read/heard them… I hope they help you to grow financially savvy kiddos #proudmama

Have a great day

TTYL

Anna x

Holiday Snaps…As Promised

Afternoon Peeps!

Special edition post before the holiday novelty wears off….

Las Caletillas was beautiful, but most of the pics are of Loro Parque (Voted best zoo in Europe and second best in the world!) Teenager wanted to go as they have the world’s largest penguinarium…they weren’t kidding! Aside from penguins you’ll see cats big and small (strays being well looked after by hotel staff and guests).

I’m always wary of zoos and displays, but the animals genuinely seemed happy and healthy. Dorsal fins erect, no mange or skinniness and lots of space/enrichment activities. The place is close to carbon-neutral with solar power and recycling bins everywhere and an awesome breeding/conservation programme.

Enjoy! x

IMG_20170802_074911

My new fave pic of teenager….IMG_20170802_082053

IMG_20170803_093451IMG_20170803_093513

‘Stray’ babies in hotelIMG_20170803_171653

Lots of penguins, took like 10-15 mins to go around (voice-over thingy said low lighting as it would be winter where they’re from and they try to recreate natural lighting!)IMG_20170804_105158IMG_20170804_105340

New fave family pic ❤ IMG_20170804_120544IMG_20170804_123430IMG_20170804_123511IMG_20170804_123546IMG_20170804_130503IMG_20170804_131055IMG_20170804_142953

Large cat being cat-like (i.e. asleep)IMG_20170804_151922IMG_20170804_152504IMG_20170804_152701IMG_20170804_152946IMG_20170804_160314IMG_20170804_143104IMG_20170805_083245IMG_20170805_083252

Hope you enjoyed this flit into my happy memories, thanks for stopping by x

Be Excited

Hi-de-hi peeps!

Firstly, I am excited because I get to try the recipe tonight that I wrote about last week (Desperate to Try This Recipe) Yay!

But now to the main point….

You know I said yesterday I’d been reading Anne of Green Gables? (If not, you can read my Reviews post here if you want to catch up) Well I read more this morning and have decided why I love it: It’s the eternal hope and optimism.

The child-like heroine is as much a dreamer and optimist as a married woman as she was at 11; that’s something to aim for! I hate negativity, but am guilty of it myself far too often, so cannot criticize. I think the way in which Anne sees beauty in the world is how God intended us to see it. There is beauty in everything, even the sadder things in life.

The books continuously give little flashes of inspiration and poetic descriptions of nature that would make even the most exhausted heart leap with joy. There is something so peaceful in the described nature and something more in Anne’s view of life that makes it so appealing.

I want to live like that! I am purposely trying to find joy in everything and things to be thankful for, there are plenty: Food, Warmth, Shelter, Sunsets and Salvation to name but a few.

So today I will try to live and work positively. Will you join me?

What makes you happy and thankful?

Have a lovely day!

God bless,

Anna x

Reviews

Morning Peeps!

We’ve lots of things changing here at the moment, so I wanted to stop and review a few things with you before my brain completely gives in to the chaos!

Firstly, our holiday: We are long-standing Thomson/TUI customers so we booked through them and were as happy with them (as always) particularly the quality of the flight experience. We booked a package at the Catalonia Punta Del Rey (click on the name and it will show you)

It was spotlessly clean; the staff were lovely; the entertainment was awesome; the food offered loads of variety and it really was all inclusive (we’ve had some holidays where they’ve said like one ice cream a day at 3pm, but here there was a freezer and you could help yourself to a pot any time)… Really impressed. It is in a quieter area of Tenerife, but there are some shops and cafes along the promenade so we were fine (also had a different market stall in reception every day!)

The only thing I found hard (Spanish law so not the hotel’s fault) is that people can and will smoke anywhere…when we’ve had nearly 10 years in UK of public areas being smoke-free it’s a bit of a shock (there are lots of spaces to move around and food hall was smoke-free though, so don’t worry.) Overall though, it was fab and I recommend it!

Secondly, while on said holiday. I was reading Anne of Green Gables on my kindle (for the zillionth time) and can’t recommend it enough. Set in Victorian Canada, Girls of 8-11ish onward will appreciate the first 2 books about Anne aged 11-16 looking at education and dating and mischief. Those are the only books I had as a child and I’m glad: Now, reading through the full collection as a mother, I remember the first feelings, but the later books talk of college and marriage and her children. I’m sure a teenager could understand all the books, but it seems so much more relatable as an adult (having been through all of that). If you have girls or ever were one, please go and read it immediately!

My third and final review, is Amazon’s Echo dot. I talked the other day about technology (and maybe not in the most positive terms) as part of my post “I Object!”

Well Mr.B used his birthday money to get the Echo Dot and I have to say I’m impressed. This little Bluetooth-speaker-sized thing is cute, it’s crystal clear and actually useful. They can do anything from playing games to telling the time, but here’s a few things we’ve used it for so far:

  • Playing the radio…we’re in a bit of a signal slump here and we can play 2 stations we love but can’t get on our actual radio.
  • Setting reminders and timers (which is what hubby bought it for)
  • Finding recipes (which it saves to your Alexa App on phone/tablet so you don’t have to write it down as she says it)
  • Linked it to numerous accounts for Amazon, Spotify, Gmail and more.

I am genuinely impressed at how much you can use them for (including math games and Word for today!) so I take back what I said, it’s useful and cute! 🙂

 

I’ve taken enough of your time, but really wanted to share…so if  you’ve read this much, give yourself a pat on the back!

Have a good day y’all!

Anna x