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Baby Shopping Online – Save Money Everytime

It sounds too good to be true and many people are suspicious at first but earning cashback on your internet shopping is safe, simple and just plain sensible.

The UK’s No 1 Free Cashback Website, Topcashback.co.uk is featuring a couple expecting twins this August to demonstrate just how much can be saved by using the site.

Ann and Steve Croft from Reading entered the competition to be featured claiming they were avid fans of the site and couldn’t believe why anyone wouldn’t want to use it. Top Cashback has almost a million members, it costs nothing to join, there are no fees and no catches. Joining takes about a minute – enter an email address and a password – then click through to the website of any one of about 3,000 retailers, and shop as normal.

You can buy just about anything you can think of from major High Street names and smaller niche suppliers and the back office technology tracks your purchase, calculates the commission and allocates it to your account in the form of cashback. You can check your Top Cashback account anytime and request the funds be paid direct to your bank account, your PayPal account or receive them as Amazon vouchers. There’s no minimum amount and no deductions.

Over the next five months, we’re going to highlight some of the baby purchases that Ann and Steve have made through Top Cashback just to illustrate how much can be saved


Stay TUNED in to babybudgeting to see how they do!

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This is a post from CCCS. They offer a really valuable free service.

After the excitement of expecting a new member of the family settles, the reality of how much this little bundle is going to cost sets in.

As you may well know, the average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 equates to around £800 a month. As NS&I have reported that we are only setting aside £82.92 every month, we would have to save for a very long time to be able to support the upbringing of a child!

At the same time prices are increasing and many of us are relying on credit to fund priority expenditure including spending money on the kids. And with unemployment on the rise it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain credit repayments. It doesn’t help that (according to Shelter) two million of us have used credit to pay for housing costs.

cccsWith all this is mind, it is no wonder that demand for debt advice is on the increase.

To introduce ourselves, we’re CCCS – the UK’s leading debt advice charity. We provide free, confidential and impartial debt advice to anyone experiencing financial difficulties.

We answered around 300,000 calls last year and also provided online counselling to over 60,000 clients through our online debt counselling service. Around half of our clients have a family, and given the usual domestic worries, you don’t want additional financial stress hanging over you as well!

Unlike the fee-charging debt management companies you may have heard about we explore all of the options available and we don’t charge a penny no matter what solution we recommend. We also have specialist support services such as welfare benefits, counselling for the self employed, mortgage arrears support and bankruptcy support.

Finally, as well as providing debt counselling, we also help people to avoid unmanageable debt in the first place. Our MoneyAware blog is packed full of the latest money-saving tips, debt and credit advice and discussions on how to keep yourself free from debt worries. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook.

So if you’ve got a debt problem, or if you know someone that does, get in touch. We can help.

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Valentines on a budget

We would all love to make a grand gesture on Valentine’s day and show our partners how much we love them. These days we often need to keep things simple and on budget whereas before we may have splurged. But, as always, there are ways and means.

Here are my top 5 valentine treats that just cost effort and creativity:

1. Gift your partner a treat day off – give them a little voucher entitling them to the following: A day to lie in and have breakfast in bed, no child care responsibilities, all the meals cooked and all the chores done and complete freedom to do as they please. I received this once and it was HEAVENLY.

2. Create a home spa for your other half. Run them a big scented hot bubbly bath and light around it with candles. Put their most favourite music on and make them a lovely snack tray. Heat the towels on the radio and lat out clean Pj’s for them. You could even offer to wash their hair for them. After help them moisturise, perhaps a little massage…

3. Time to walk together – ask a friend to trade you a baby sit so you and your partner can go for a walk hand in hand on Valentines day. Go somewhere lovely, feed the ducks, fly a kite or just be together and talk. 1-2 hrs will be plenty of time to reconnect and get your cheeks all pink. (You could always finish off with a little hot choc somewhere cosy.)

4. Organise a lovely romantic meal (at home). Make their most favourite meal and ban them from the kitchen so they have no idea. Wait till the children are in bed and set the table as if the Queen was coming! Best of everything, candles, music and chairs close together. You are aiming for seductive culinary delights!

5. Special cuddles for Valentines make everyone happy and don’t cost a thing. Look and smell your most ravishing and INSIST on an early night (together).

Happy Valentines Day everyone…. you don’t need money to make it magical (but DO get/make a card) or you may well be in BIG trouble x

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Parks are a budgeting mums no. 1 summer budgeting activity option.

 Local parks can be absolute lifeline for all parents for the following 2 reasons: they are free and open all year round …hurray. Usually empty of big kids on a weekday, they are usually well maintained by the council, safe, and they help your little one expend loads and loads of energy and they usually have a bench for you to rest your weary feet. They are also lots of fun.

park

 Don’t ever let the weather put you off, get wellies and an all in one rain thingy (for baby not for you, you would look really stupid no matter how practical!) and brave it anyway. Children are so much better behaved when they have run off their excess energy and got some fresh air and it will perk you up too if you are having a down day.

puddles

Parks also a good place for them and you to make new friends, pick leaves for pictures, jump in puddles, have races, practice on bikes etc. Magical. Even if your baby isn’t yet walking a little swing and a play in the sandpit as well as seeing other children play is great stimulation.

sandpit

 As they get bigger a flask and a book (for you of course!) aren’t a bad idea!

If your park isn’t the business get campaigning to your local newspaper/MP or anyone who will listen. If you want to comment on your local park go check out www.greenstat.org.uk/   GreenSTAT is a system that gives people the opportunity to comment on the quality of their open spaces and how well they feel they are being managed and maintained . Writing and complaining to a local paper can often help too.

 Do take action your local park is going to be a vital part of your life for the next few years!

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Our guest post today is from Brenda at the green familia and here she shares some fab tips on energy efficiency.  Thank you Brenda!

Energy efficiency at it’s purest!

One of the easiest ways of saving money and being kind to the environment is to be energy efficient.  Here are some tips on how to achieve this.

  •  Turn off all electrical appliances at the wall when not in use.  Even leaving them on standby is still using up electricity which you are paying for!
  • Keep your fridge and freezers dust free at the back.  Once a month get into the habit of giving them a dust down, this helps them be more energy efficient.
  • When replacing your washing machines, dishwashers etc, go for one that has a high energy efficient rating. Which? Is a good resource for finding out the best ones.
  •  Turning your heating down by just one degree, can also help you lower your energy bills.
  •  Ensure your house is fully insulated from the loft to your doors and windows!
  •  Switch to low energy light bulbs.
  • When cooking, make larger portions and freeze the left overs for another day. 

 


  •  Use lined curtains on windows that are slightly draughty to prevent too much heat loss.
  •  Invest or make your own door draught excluders, again to prevent heat loss.

These are only just a few tips, but if you can implement a few of these into your daily lives, you will find that eventually your energy bills will be less and you will have a more energy efficient house which will help in your strive to be greener.

Brenda writes over at www.thegreenfamilia.co.uk, which is a light green natural living shopping blog.

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