Archive for 'Blog'

I’ve brought a brand new set of wheels

After being frugal for many years, I’ve decided that I don’t treat myself enough, so I went out and brought me a brand new BMW 4 series. I had my eye on this motor for several months and my wife’s car finance was up for renewal. So we both agreed we would trade her older car in for my new beemer. So I’ve traded in a Nissan Qashqai family car for a 2 door coupe! mid life crisis or what!

Being a Frugal Dad has helped me to manage my money and allow me the luxury to buy a new car. Also having several websites which bring in additional income every month also helps. In fact the upgrade from the Qashqai to the BMW hasn’t cost much more on our monthly payments. I could have some savings to buy the car but decided with interest rates being so low I would use the car finance so that we have savings for a rainy day.

I’m now on the hunt for some upgrades for my car. I want to make my car look unique so that it’s not entirely the same as every other car on the road. Some people will think I’m crazy to spend so much money on a car, but this is one of my passions. So I plan to get a new rear bumper, called a diffuser, some black kidney grills and a 2nd set of bmw alloy wheels from alloywheelfinder.com for the winter.

Here is a picture of my new car. Hope you like it!

my bmw 440

Save Money on a New set of Golf Clubs this summer

If you are like me, you tend to play golf when the weather is nice. I’m a seasonal Golfer and if I’m lucky I’ll play more than a few times a year. It is difficult with a young family trying to find the time since a day out at the Golf course is exactly that… a day out. It takes up so much time. Getting around 19 holes (18 on the golf course and the 19th in the clubhouse) can take a good 4-5 hours.

I recently was looking for a new set of clubs and as I don’t play that often I didn’t want to fork out loads on a brand new set. Golf sets can be very expensive, so I found this neat site which sells both new and used golf clubs for sale online at discount prices here. They have a huge selection and I must have spent a couple of hours browsing through every possible golf model available as their was just so much choice.

I’ve now put it on my birthday list and will see if I’m lucky enough to get them! I opted for a used set of Nike Clubs. I didn’t go with Ping since they are mostly custom fit to you, and a bit more expensive. I also liked Titleist but thought Nike suited me best because I am a bit of an amateur golfer!

If you are looking for a set of decent golf clubs, irons, drivers etc then I’d definitely recommend you check out http://golfclubsforsale.co.uk

Before now I’ve been using a 2nd hand set that I brought off my brother in law about 10 years ago. They’ve lasted me very well and before that I had my Dad’s old clubs. You can safely say I don’t mind having peoples left overs!

Sit Back ,Relax, & See the Returns

The Internet has revolutionised our lives. Using the world wide web you can book a holiday, buy shoes or even make a whole new virtual life, if you have a mind to. The Internet has also changed the way we can earn and is a gateway to a world of money making schemes. From being able to sell samsung galaxy s, to selling your talents or even flogging your old clothes, there are a variety of easy and quick ways to earn extra money.

Sell your stuff

It may not sound like a particularly inspiring way of making money, but clearing your house of clutter can actually help you to earn some quick money. In amongst all the broken toys and torn clothes, you might actually find a few things of value. Anything that you have that you think might be worth a bit you can list on online auction sites. It’s very simple to put your things up on sites like ebay and the cost is minimal.

Vintage clothing sells particularly well, as do old records. However, if you find any electronics that you want to sell, it’s a good idea to try specialist sites, where you’ll probably find a better deal. If you’re selling an old phone then the best place to try is on an online phone recycling scheme, which can pay out a fair amount depending on the age and condition of your model.

Sell your time

In general, filling out a questionnaire form is fairly dull and not something that you’d do by choice. However, the internet has turned even this prosaic pastime into a potential money maker. Paid questionnaire sites include ipsosinteractive.com, swagbucks.com and onepoll.com.

Once you register with one of these sites you’ll start to get questionnaires in your email inbox. Although the money isn’t great, if you spend a lot of your free time diligently filling in the questionnaires you get sent you could stand to earn several hundred pounds a year, either in money or in vouchers.

Sell your talents

The current economic climate is making it harder and harder for people to find work; this is especially true for those without experience, such as those fresh out of university. However, in some professions such as graphic design and copywriting, the internet has made it easy to forge a career path on your own. Sites like peopleperhour.com, gofreelance.com and guru.com are designed to make working for yourself easy.

After setting up an account with one of these sites, you’ll become part of an online database that allows you to advertise yourself to would-be employers. If you lack experience you can make yourself more attractive to potential employers by reducing the hourly rate that you would be willing to work for. Once you’ve found a bit of work, finding more becomes easy, so you can sit back, relax and wait for employers to find you.

Family holiday’s and how to ensure you and your family have a safe trip

Family holidays are supposed to be a time for relaxation and enjoyment as you experience new surroundings in the company of the people that you care about the most. However, a break with the family doesn’t always turn out the way that you imagine: busy schedules, the dangers of unfamiliar environments and unruly kids can cause your meticulously planned holiday to unravel.

To help ensure that your family holiday runs as smoothly and as safely as possible, try these useful hints and tips.

To cut the cost of your family holiday, booking the break as early as possible is a great idea. If you’re flying to your destination of choice, you can book as early as 9 months in advance, when the cheapest seats are still available. If you’re travelling by bus or train, you can save a lot by booking just a few months in advance.

As well as saving your bank account, booking early offers several other advantages. With you travel arrangements out of the way you can focus your energy on preparing for your break. The first place to start is with insurance, which is vital if you’re going away with children. Kids can be particularly vulnerable to things like food poisoning, so make sure you’ve got adequate cover in the case that you have to make holiday illness claims.

Of course, prevention is better than the cure, and you can reduce the risk of having to make a claim for holiday accident compensation by doing a bit of research on the area that you’re going to.

If you intend to eat out when you’re away, try to learn about a few well recommended restaurants. You should also learn about the things you can do there and, just as importantly, the things that are prohibited, as well as any immediate dangers.

You should also check up on the weather conditions of the area and any necessary equipment that you’ll need when you’re away. For instance, you might need armbands if you’re taking your kids to an area by the sea or if you’re hotel has a pool. If the weather is particularly warm, then make sure you stock up on sun cream. It’s a good idea to buy these things off season, when the prices will be considerably lower than during the holiday period.

It’s a good idea to check up on local customs and tourist attractions. However, while it’s important to keep children occupied, don’t overload the schedule. It could become difficult to stick to which can be disappointing. Moreover, some of the most enjoyable times you can have are those that are unplanned, so leave plenty of free time for you and your children to go and explore the local area.

When you arrive in your holiday destination, it can be a little disorientating, however, it’s vital not to forget the basics: keep your children supervised at all times and remember to keep yourself and the kids hydrated, especially in an area with a warm climate.

Taking your kids on holiday can be a bit stressful, but you shouldn’t let that put you off from taking a break with them, after all, there’s nothing more enjoyable than keeping your little ones safe.

Mother’s Day – Have you left it too late?

First of all Mother’s Day seems to have come around very quick this year. It seems early, and in fact it’s only a week earlier than last year here in the UK.

Here is a useful table of the mothers day dates to help you remember for years to come. Actually its to help me 🙂

Year Mothering Sunday (brits) Mothers Day (yanks)
2011 April 3 May 8
2012 March 18 May 13
2013 March 10 May 12
2014 March 30 May 11
2015 March 15 May 10
2016 March 6 May 8

Last year I remember seeing lots of tweets around May time for Mothers Day. I had to question myself. Basically my wife almost celebrated 2 mothers day. She will tell you my short term memory is pretty rubbish!

if you are looking for last minute mother’s day gifts then your best bet is to get a bunch of flowers. I know it may seem a bit boring to get the same type of gift, but you can’t go wrong. As a man, my wife has mentioned in the past ‘I’m not really that fussed’ about flowers, only to find out a few years later that I was wrong. I was being tested and she now tells me she does like flowers.

I ordered some flowers for my Mum the other night from marksandspencer.com. They have a really nice range. The only glitch I had which made me panic for a moment was the flowers I wanted couldn’t be delivered in time for that special day this coming Sunday. Luckily enough for me I was able to choose another nice bunch which did allow delivery for the Sunday. A bit odd but hey ho!

If you can’t afford to buy anything then the best gift to any mum will be to make sure they just don’t have to lift a finger and can enjoy a relaxing day while you take care of the kids, tidying up, cooking and any other chores. Just give them a big cuddle, breakfast in bed and they will be happy.

Some Random Mother’s Day facts for you, courtesy of James Murray from Hitwise

Mothers day stats

New Year and time for a new web project

As you may have noticed I don’t tend to blog that often on here. Mostly when I want to promote a new website, but when I do I hope to provide something useful to help people save money generally. However this time, my new web project isn’t about saving money, its about helping people learning something new, putting a smile on peoples faces. I have decided to setup a website about Random Facts and post daily with interesting, weird, fun, cool and mostly random facts and hopefully stuff that you will not have seen before.

toprandomfacts.comThere is way too much negative stuff these days, with the economy, people out of work, sad news and bad press that I want to liven up the online atmosphere and provide something that will make people happy and laugh. After all don’t they say laughter is the best medicine and all that!!

So head over to my new website here: http://www.toprandomfacts.com

Follow on twitter for the latest updates here: https://twitter.com/TopRandomFacts Or like our page to get updates via facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/TopRandomFacts

We’ll also be pinning on Pinterest here too soon: https://pinterest.com/toprandomfacts/

If you have seen a fact and would like to share it and join the social community then please get in touch. We will be promoting this heavily over the next few months so watch this space.

Are you looking at the long term when buying your garden furniture.

Spring is just a couple months hence, and the promise of nice weather might have you turning your attention to your garden area. If you plan to host family and friends for outdoor events this spring and summer, consider investing in new garden furniture that will withstand the test of time. Here’s what you need to know about thinking long-term when buying new furniture for your garden seating area:

Which Type of Wood is Best?

While many types of materials are used to make garden furniture—including plastic, resin, iron, and aluminum—wood is one of the most attractive choices not only in terms of quality, but also aesthetics, as it seamlessly blends into the natural surroundings. Pine is one of the least costly options, but it may not be your best bet in the long run, as it is more susceptible to decay and damage than some of your other options. If you do opt for pine, make sure it’s pressure treated, a process that helps to safeguard the wood from rot and decay for up to 30 years.

A better option for garden furniture is red cedar, a wood which is notorious for repelling pesky insects due to its scent. This rich reddish wood contains naturally-occurring oils that help protect against insects and decay as well. It’s a good middle-of-the-road option if you don’t want to spend a fortune but want a high quality, durable wood. Cypress is also a good mid-budget option that, like red cedar, is highly resistant to rot and decay.

Even better than red cedar is grade A teak, a tropical wood that is primarily native to Indonesia. What makes grade A teak so desirable is that it is incredibly strong and durable. Teak also contains natural oils that make it repel water and moisture, which proves to be a huge advantage in the wettest spring and summertime months. Of the options, you’ll find that teak is the most expensive, but the amount of usage you would get from teak garden furniture over its projected 50-year lifespan would make the investment well worth it.

Don’t forget to check out some garden lighting it will enhance your new furniture.

Maintenance Tips

Increase the lifespan of your garden furniture by following some simple care and maintenance tips. First of all, make sure to cover your furniture with waterproof covers when it is not in use, and store in a cool, dry place during the bleakest winter months to protect it from decay. If your garden furniture does become wet, make sure to move it from the grass to the patio and pat it down with a cloth to help it dry more quickly. Scrub down your furniture every few months with a stiff brush and warm water to eradicate dirt, which can deteriorate your furniture, and scrape off any sap you find with a small knife. Apply a water or oil-based sealer to pine, a water-based stain to cedar, or specialty teak oil to grade A teak every six to twelve months to help prevent colour loss as well as damage and decay. The silvering of wood furniture is ultimately unavoidable, but you can slow down the process with proper maintenance and care.

Unusual Christmas Gift Ideas 2012

If you are like me, you leave Christmas shopping right until the last minute. Planning ahead helps when you decide you want to buy all your presents on Xmas eve. Below are some Christmas Ideas which might help you plan and where best to buy these gifts.

It doesn’t matter who you are buying for, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with fresh unique ideas. Below are a few ideas to help you out:

Slipper Socks
hello kitty moccasin slipper socksSocks are one of those gifts that most people expect to get at Christmas, so why not break that habit and get that person some slipper socks instead. They are suitable for both Men and Women and even children too. They won’t break the bank and are a nice cosy gift, like pyjamas which you may look forward to wearing while watching those Christmas movies. Need an extra idea to fill your children’s stocking then we found these hello kitty slipper socks online.

Where to get them – goto slippersocks.org.uk

Monopoly Millionaire
monopoly millionaireA classic game with a twist. Monopoly has become a household name as so many people own the original board game. This game has a unique selling point and we think it will be a hit this Xmas. Basically the first to win a million wins.

Where to buy – we found amazon had the best price listed here at £13.99

Afternoon Tea for Two
Enjoy a bit of luxury once in a while. Need a break from the kids in the new year. How about Afternoon Tea at Harrods. Something a little different and a nice surprise for your partner. It’s always a nice treat to go up to London. Look out for deals as there are often so good offers available.

Where to buy – buyagift.co.uk are offering Afternoon Tea for 2 at Harrods for only £58 with a best price guarantee

Novelty Sports Golf Balls
novelty golf ballsMost Dads love golf and golf gifts, so why buy them something different when its what they’ll like. How about getting some of these bright novelty golf balls. Perfect for those sports fans.

Where to buy – GettingPersonal.co.uk price £9.99 only

Personalised Teddy Bear
personalised teddyNo matter how old you are sometimes you will never grow to old for teddies. Not me, but I know someone very close who still likes to snuggle with some teddies. Our daughter loves them and now has a huge collection, so large we are going to have to move out of our double room and share her single bedroom so she can have it!!

GettingPersonal.co.uk have some lovely teddies that can be personalised here. Price is £22.99 but what a perfect gift.

Holidays without flying!

As a dad with children myself I appreciate how hard it can sometimes be taking little ones on a plane. Luckily my own children are great on planes however I have heard some horror stories!

A great solution to flying can be getting a ferry and then the transport is not a necessity but a feature of the holiday that kids will love.

A lot of people think ferries are an old method of transport and no longer used, the truth could not be further. The ferry industry is bustling, with many routes to choose from.

One such route is England to Amsterdam; you can see a list of the England to Amsterdam ferry routes here.

The ferry does take slightly longer than a flight but as I mentioned does have the great advantage that the children will remember it as part of the fun, not just part of the journey!

So next time you’re planning your family holiday, don’t overlook the ferry option.

Airport Parking for Brummies

Do you know of anyone who lives in the Midlands, near Birmingham, then please recommend to them Airport Parking Birmingham for the best prices on Airport Parking at Birmingham Airport. The website offers Brummies or those flying from Birmingham Airport the cheapest parking options available by booking online. It compares all the parking options from the leading parking providers in the UK to give both details of each car park and the prices available for the time of booking.

My tip is to book online and in advance. If you leave it until the last minute or pay when you get to the airport, then you will pay about 50-60% over the price you’d pay by booking online. So please recommend this to your friends who may need to use this airport on a regular basis.

They can also book Birmingham Airport Hotels through the site. Staying overnight is a hassle free way of traveling and means you can skip the traffic and start your holiday in style