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Different Saving Styles

Morning Peeps!

How Y’all doing?

I think by now, most people will have figured out that we need to save money for Budget Busters and Planning Ahead.

There are several ways to save and may different things to save for, so I thought I’d elaborate.

Mr.B likes to micro-manage so he has accounts and saving jars for literally every single goal; one for car maintenance, one for emergencies, one for treats, etc.

I have 2; one for short-term (emergencies or saving up for bills) and one for specific long-term plans.

Either is fine as long as we save. You can save change in a jar (Mr.B does that too) or use cash envelopes or ISAs and investments. The choice is yours and it may be that you have different types for different things (an account with interest for the long term, but a coin jar for birthday cards and gifts).

The amount you save and increments you save up in is also up to you (and your spouse, if you’re married). Depending on your income, you can save daily, weekly or monthly (ideas for savings plans can be found on my Pinterest Budgeting page).

After checking you can afford a set amount and doing that, there are different ways to increase it.

  • You can do it the Dave Ramsey way: $1000 emergency fund, then keep saving until you have 3-6 month’s worth of your income, then focus on long-term goals.
  • Increasing by a penny a day or by a percentage per month or year as you can afford it.
  • Find an extra source of income and throw all of that into saving.
  • You can split your savings equally between goals or on a pro rata basis (biggest goal gets most per month).
  • You can work on your finances (increase income/decrease debt and unnecessary expenses) until you have 20% available to save and save that 20% for everything. This is true to the Old Testament teaching and many Christians aim for this (Joseph tells Egypt to save 1/5 for the years of famine).

Basically, do what works for you and your family. Set goals and look at ways to increase savings in the future. Saving is good for you! 🙂

A word of caution though, don’t do what we did when we were first married and set too high a savings budget; if you put in more than you can afford, you’ll only end up taking it out again and feeling demoralised…don’t over-stretch yourself.

I hope that helps you to focus your savings efforts.

Have an awesome weekend.

Anna x



Top Tips for SATs Prep

Hellooooo Friday Peeps!

Just wanted to have a little chat about the upcoming SAT tests for year 6 pupils (and some year 5s if applicable).

I’ve seen a lot of stressed out and panicky kids this week as we’re getting seriously close to exam season. (If you have GCSE or A-Level offspring then please see my Education page.)

Little SAT-takers though are experiencing all this stress for the first time and are scared. So here are my top tips for helping them cope:

  1. Routine is king. Set times for eating and sleeping to make sure they’re at their best for coping. A set time for practice of no more than an hour at a time. Time for other things like homework and clubs is good but probably needs to be suspended for actual SATs week.
  2. Get free revision stuffClick here or here to find past SAT papers. If you want to mark them, they have answers too.
  3. Timing. The best thing to practice with your child is timing. You don’t need to do a whole exam paper either; just look at a question to see how many marks it is and give them that long in minutes to do it. So for a 10 mark question, they need 10 minutes for writing and probably 2 minutes for checking. Set a timer for 12 minutes and remind them when they have 2 minutes left (as they would in an exam hall). Children miss the most marks by not finishing or not checking for obvious errors (like a spelling mistake because they hurried).
  4. Time off. Even if they have loads of homework and revision to do, they need one day off at the weekend and one of the 2 weeks at Easter off; none of us would cope with a job without rest days and holiday, an 11-year-old certainly shouldn’t have to.
  5. Explain to them what is happening and why. SATs assess how well the primary school has done, not the individual. They will only use the SATs result to set your child in a group at secondary school in September and after that, it won’t matter ever again. It does not go on their permanent record, no-one asks for SATs when you get a job or go to university. If the Secondary school think the child should be in a different group than they are initially set in, then they will be moved around at least once within the first school-year (possibly even before Christmas). So, as with every challenge in life, we tell them to do their best and not to worry because this time next year it’ll all be forgotten. 🙂


I hope that helps the children (and parents) out there who are worried.

Good luck and God bless,

Anna x

Churches of Revelation

Morning Peeps!

Excuse my absence yesterday but it’s been manic here and Mr.B’s poorly, so it’s not quite been business as usual. However, I’m here now and have the time (and internet connection) to go into this topic with you.

People are often scared or confused by the book of Revelation in the Bible, but like Jesus’ parables, you have to learn to look for the lesson that is often contained in symbolism.

There are 7 churches mentioned in Revelation (chapters 2 & 3) that are in modern-day Asia (and Turkey for Ephesus). Where they are and who ran them at the time is interesting historically-speaking, but makes little difference to the lessons we can learn from them:

Firstly, they are referred to by place name, ‘the church at Ephesus’ for example, this signifies that there should be unity in the churches; it should be the church of Truro or Liverpool or Manchester, not denomination, community or status-determined.

Secondly, the writer says how each of the churches is doing and whether or not they’re going the way God intended.

In brief, the churches are:

  • Ephesus, doing lots of great works but have forgotten their first love (God).
  • Smyrna, you are suffering right now but their faithfulness assures they will not suffer forever, rather they will wear the victor’s crown.
  • Pergamum, they stand up for Jesus in a bad place but their teachings are not all from God (they’ve gone off-track with their doctrine).
  • Thyatira, doing amazingly in all areas except one; tolerating a false prophet who allows sexual immorality
  • Sardis, they have messed up and not finished their God-given jobs and are told to save what they can and repent before it’s too late.
  • Philidelphia, even though they don’t have much and don’t feel strong they have kept to God’s law and Jesus’ teachings and are given a promise.
  • Laodicea, they are luke-warm, half-hearted and too concerned with wealth.


Needless to say, this was the state of those churches generally and not necessarily every individual, but these things could be applied to individual people too.

So what can individual Christians learn from this?

  • Work together.
  • Don’t forget to love God first, with all your heart, soul and mind.
  • Works aren’t enough, they’re good to do but not the only thing that matters. (Not all of them were on the right track, even if they thought they were…in fact, only 1 of the 7 was completely right.)
  • Be careful who you listen to and make sure it’s in-line with God’s teachings.
  • Avoid false prophets and sexual immorality.
  • Find your God-given purpose and keep working at it.
  • You can always repent and turn back to God.
  • Don’t be half-hearted.
  • God gives you the strength you need.
  • The faithful will be rewarded.


Heavy stuff to fit into a daily blog post, I recommend you go and study it more in detail. But I think you’ll agree, Revelation is not as confusing or scary as people think it is; it is simply guidance on what to do…in fact, all of the Bible is there to teach us something.

Have a blessed Thursday Peeps!

Anna x


P.S. Picture is of the amphitheatre in Ephesus where Paul preached.

Instilling Confidence in Children

Morning Peeps!

I’m typing quickly to try and get this up before internet goes off again! Please feel free to carry on commenting and such but please don’t be offended if I don’t reply straight away. I’m waiting for an engineer to come and deal with the phone line, sorry for any disruption. 😦

I want to talk to you about all the horrible news stories that talk about teen depression and suicide rates and how to combat the growing problems. This may well take a few posts as it’s a big topic, so here we go with part one.

Children need the confidence to stand up for themselves and stand out in this world, they need to know their opinion matters and that other people’s opinion has a limited impact.

There are many ways to enhance this point of view without making them egotistic and it does not mean that a naturally introverted child has to shout from the rooftops, just have a quiet confidence in themselves.

So practically, what can we do to teach the kids in our lives?

  • Praise. Not in the false sing-song voice (especially for older kids because they’ll see right through it) but a genuine ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ and explain what you’re proud of/why that thing helped. Even 2 and 3-year-olds understand the concept of helping others and feel a sense of pride. You’re not wasting time explaining to them why it was good because it’s proven they understand twice as much as they can say.


  • Give them choices. Obviously, these may need guidance to start with; give a young child a whole wardrobe to choose from and they won’t necessarily pick the most appropriate outfit, but you can give them the choice out of 2 or 3 options. As they get older they can choose their style (within reason) and how to spend their money or even where to live (when they leave home or go to university). Choices now help them make wise decisions when they’re older.


  • Let them know their opinion matters. Start with the choices above, ask their opinions about news or a family situation, where to go on holiday or anything else you can think of. If there’s a big decision to make, like them going to a party alone or picking a college then discuss it calmly: You have a right to your opinion and they should respect that, but they are entitled to theirs too. It is them who have to live with it. Guide but don’t force.


  • Their uniqueness is to be valued. Perhaps the best lesson to teach them is also one of my favourite Bible verses: Do not conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2). Everyone is unique and everyone has a special set of skills or a job to do, no matter how old. Don’t show them how to keep up with the Jones’; money doesn’t matter, being silly in public is OK, show them the value of any role they can have, no matter how small. Teach them to go against the flow.


  • Rules: Fair rules set them up to make good choices in the future. If the rules are too strict they’ll rebel and do the opposite- just look at all the young Disney stars who were the perfect kids on-screen and then did playboy-type photos or took drugs as young adults…it’s just a more extreme version of pushing the boundaries like toddlers do. Fair rules also allow them to learn to make wise choices. When my daughter started secondary school we told her if she wasn’t going to be home by 4, she should call us. If she didn’t there would be consequences. Even though she’s older now and I don’t worry so much, she still rings. In fact one day last year she called at 4 on the dot to tell me she was running late; she was literally at the top of the road by the shop, if I stand on the front step I can see the shop! I was amused as it’s rare that I’m the least worried one but also proud that she remembered a rule we haven’t even mentioned for a year or two. It does stay with them.


  • Trust. With the above example, I know I can trust my daughter. If she broke that trust at any time there would be consequences but also an explanation. As with the praise point at the beginning, they need to know why. Explain to them what is wrong, the consequences and how you feel/how it impacts others…. shouting “don’t do that again” gives them no reasoning to learn and no incentive to do better. If they prove themselves trustworthy, then give them more choices and responsibility. Basically, they need enough freedom and responsibility to become a functioning adult.


So, that’s probably enough for now, I hope it helps us all to stop and think. How we talk to our children is how they will talk to others. If they learn no skills from us, they cannot be expected to be responsible adults. Let go a little more and give them the opportunity to live up to it.

Have a great day peeps!

Anna x

Happy Mother’s Day

Morning Peeps!

If you’re in the UK the Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re in the US then happy daylight savings day 😉

I love the fact that mother’s day exists (even if it’s not today where you are) because it gives time to appreciate the hard-working mums out there.

I love that several churches I know make things with the kids and give them to every female in the church, even those who don’t have children or whose children aren’t around…because the whole church is involved in raising a child, it’s a community.

I can’t stand this over-PC stuff of not doing mother’s and father’s days in some schools and at some clubs: we know not everyone has both but they will have some sort of role model of that gender, so it’s a good day to thank them.

So just thanks to all the female role-models out there, especially the ones who won’t get some time out today because they’re working hard.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Anna x

A Year In The Making…

Morning my Saturday Peeps! 🙂

I am very excited because I’m off out for a cooked breakfast with the lovely ladies from our church in a while! Then it’s Mother’s day tomorrow and there’s another thing that makes this weekend special:

A year ago I signed up with WordPress for blogging! A whole year…woah! That’s gone scarily fast! To be completely honest, it took me about 2 months to get it together enough to have something worth promoting…so I guess we get to celebrate again in May (anniversary of social media launch)…bonus! 😉

In that year I’ve (somehow) managed 327 posts, 176 followers (love you all, thanks) and over 5000 views!! As a side note, I don’t know who you are but someone in the States has obviously got my notifications on as the US is usually the first highlighted on my views map on WordPress…even when it’s ridiculously early in the morning….so thank you American supporter!

My year of blogging has taught me a lot; for a start, my computer can do a lot more than I knew it could and I can do more with it than I thought possible. I found Pinterest and Instagram for a start! 🙂

I’ve learned some discipline, being here (almost) every day makes me manage my time more efficiently and stops me doing the ‘I can’t be bothered’ thing in the mornings. I get on here and it sets me up for the day. 🙂

Most importantly, I’ve learned what lovely people there are in the world. I have lots of family and friends who read and comment on my posts as well as all of you out there who I’ve ‘met’ through blogging that are so sweet and friendly.

I just want to thank a few in particular, so if they have a blog please go and support them too:

Firstly, Crystal at Money Saving Mom was the person who convinced me I could blog! I discovered her site a few years ago when I was looking for a new way to deal with our finances, but little did I know then that I’d be blogging one day too! Honestly, if you’d said to me, or anyone who knew me as a kid, that I’d write this much voluntarily, we’d have laughed you out of the room! But Crystal says anyone can do it and I think she’s right.

Aside from my mum (thanks, mum), there are a few of you who are here literally all the time.

Cobs, from the Cobweborium Emporium is a star. Her Friday posts are highly entertaining and must take forever to research! Cobs often makes me giggle! 🙂 She’s been following me almost since the start and has actually out-commented and out-liked my mum! So thanks for being here my lovely.

Christy over at When Women Inspire is another one whose name often pops up in my notifications because she’s left me a lovely message… in fact all the messages I get are lovely, I’ve not been trolled or anything negative at all, so thanks, peeps. Anyway, back to Christy; her site is so powerful, so informative and fights for such good causes, definitely worth a look.

I wanted to blog about my faith because it’s part of every aspect of my life and I wanted to encourage people but didn’t know how to go about it. Following Jesus-Network has really helped and inspired me. They’re often over here too, so I doubly appreciate their support!

The same thing goes for Kristi Ann’s Haven. Kristi is often encouraging people to pray for disaster victims and such. We started following each other’s blogs and she will always support my faith posts as well as popping up on a lot of my other posts too. Thanks Kristi 🙂

I couldn’t possibly do a recipe post without the awesome ideas on What’s for Dinner Moms’ site. I still don’t know how she has so many recipe ideas…I may have to spend the next year trying the ones I like the look of! Thanks for the ideas and the continued support.

Last on my biggest supporters list, is my lovely Ellie at My Little World. That girl is such a sweetie and takes so much time to talk to people in depth. I tell you all now this girl is one to watch, she’s going places! Thanks for the support sweetie.

Also a shout-out to Jean for being my biggest Facebook supporter. Thanks, Jean. 🙂

There are many more of you that are here frequently, leaving me little rays of sunshine. Whether you’ve been here a year or a day I thank you for stopping by. 🙂 Please feel free to stick around for year 2!

Have a lovely day my friends,

Anna x

Keep Life Interesting

Moening Peeps!

I struggle with change when it happens (like someone cancelling plans with me or unexpected bills) largely because I like to plan waaaaayy in advance. But I also like change (when I’ve got used to the idea) because doing the same thing all the time can be kinda boring.

We try to stay positive when things change and we try to find fun new things to do. Checking out a new coffee shop, walking a different way to a usual destination, seeing a new film for the first time.

None of these things are Earth-shatteringly amazing and unusual, but it’s your attitude that makes them worthwhile: I want to spend time with my family and enjoy ourselves. There is always the risk that the film might be lousy or the new route might get you lost, but the point is that we tried.

We stepped out of our comfort zone to try something, we had time together and worse case scenario is that it doesn’t work out but that still gives us life experience, something to talk about and laugh at in the future.

So basically, we want to try new stuff and not worry; have fun without stressing and create some memories. (Even the ones that go wrong and can only be laughed at!)

What do you want to try? What films are you looking forward to? How do you cope when things don’t go to plan?

Stay positive and enjoy your Friday my lovely peeps!

Anna x