New Term, New Start

Autumn is Coming

New Term New Start, September, Plans, Autumn,

New School Year:

As my youngest daughter returns to school for her last year and in three weeks my eldest daughter will be returning to university for the her last year. It is time to reflect and plan for the time of year that I love.

It seems like everyone can have a new start so my plans for the next few months until Christmas are:


Follow the No Spend Month Challenge arranged by Nicola of The Frugal Cottage Blog.


Commit to 2 hours per week to the Emma Drew Blog Course, which I am currently working my way through. I have already implemented some changes but have lots more to do to make this blog what I want it to be.


Look and write my Christmas List so I can plan spending. I have saved with Park for vouchers all year and I have amounts to spend on my Co-op card, Sainsbury and Iceland See more of why I like Loyalty Cards here.


Ebay as much as possible on my personal site I have some clothes, shoes and toys to list.


Prepare a budget for September to December and work my PEP (Personal Earning Plan) to make £20 per day.


October 2017 I will be starting to save again via Park for Christmas 2018.


Continue de-cluttering both to make space in the house and to raise extra funds by finding things to sell.


Continue to make a little bit each week with Matched Betting this is now going to be extra money to my £20 per day and will be used for small treats etc.


Still looking to decorate the Hallway, which seems to have been on our permanent to-do list. I have asthma and paint is one of my triggers so it is difficult trying to find a time for my Husband to decorate where I can be somewhere else.

If anyone has used the Crown Breatheasy paints I would love you to comment about them.


Still looking to maintain investing via the 10-step plan.


Net worth as at 01/09/2017 was £16273 looking to increase this and have a Net Worth at 01/01/2018 of £ 18000. Net worth report 01/09/2017


Try to build traffic on social media sites for business and blog.

Have you any plans for the last four months of the year?

Please Comment below.


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Net Worth: 1st September 2017

New Worth 1st September 2017

Newt Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Investing, Saving, Debt,

Our 3 Point Plan is to Pay, Save & Invest

So where are we 1st September 2017:

Our net worth monthly tracker sheet allows us to see on the 1st of each month how we are doing:

1st August 2017: Our Assets minus Liabilities were £15694

At the 1st September 2017: Our assets minus liabilities now stand at £16273

An increase this month of + £579

The increase is due to a combination of paying down, saving more and some small investments. Small but regular payments towards our debt and investing seems to be working. Now we just have to continue building our online/passive income to continue this path.

I am using my Personal Earning Plan to build income for further investments. I am starting to produce a small weekly income from the Click/Casual/Survey Sites. For the Months of September, October, November and December I have set a daily target of making £20 per day.

With talk of the mortgage rate increasing at some point during the year and even though we have built in a small cushion. I would like to increase our payments and reach a full 1% above our regular payments as soon as possible.

Why I monitor our Net Worth?

I monitor our net worth for two reasons:

1, to ensure the plan we are following of paying, saving and investing is working and

2, when out and about it stops me from making unnecessary purchases. When I pick something up in a store I am thinking of buying the voice in my head says this wont help towards your net worth often that thought is enough to stop me making the purchase.

We will continue to monitor our net worth throughout the year.

Your Net Worth:

Interested in your own net worth simply take a two sheets of paper:

On the first one write the value of everything you own e.g. house, car, investments, savings, pension value etc.

On the second sheet write down everything you owe so that could be your mortgage, loans, credit cards etc. Then deduct your liabilities (what you owe) from your assets (what you own) that figure is your net worth:

For example: Couple A have a house worth £250K, Pension of £50K, Car valued at £5K and savings of £10K giving them total assets of £315K

They owe Mortgage £200K, Car Loan £3K and have credit card debts of £12K giving them total liabilities of £215K

Assets – Liabilities £315K – £215K gives them a net worth of £100k



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Book Club: The 12 Week Year

The 12 Week Year

By Brian P Moran

Goals, 12 Week Year, Planning, Target Setting, Activity

Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do

In 12 Months

The 12 Week Year book is described as a how-to book for both individuals and companies that would like to accomplish more in the next 12 weeks than others will in the next 12 months.

It works by getting you to focus on the next twelve weeks targets and not the next year. If you focus on yearly targets without breaking them down into smaller targets like 12 weeks you will always think you have next month to catch up and next month and suddenly you are at the end of the year and not reached any target.

Think about when you are due to go on holiday from work how much do you accomplish in the week before if you were to harness that energy week in week out how quickly would you reach your goals.

Having tried the 12-week method I can say that it does help to keep focused and at the end of the 12 weeks you can have a week off and celebrate the small or big success you have had. It also gives you time to plan the next 12 weeks.

Using the Plan for the Home

I have used this method as a way of increasing activity in my online business but this method can also be used in the home or personal life. I am planning to sit and make a 12-week plan for my home one that sets out a plan for each room and what I would like to achieve before Christmas is upon us. Hopefully it will stop the big December 23rd Clean-up when guests are coming on the 24th.


Have you read this book?

What were your thoughts please leave comments below.


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Alternative Investment: Lego


lego, alternative investment, music magpie, zapper, buying, selling,

When you think of Lego do you think Child’s Toy or do your think Investment Opportunity?

Lego is popular with all ages from the very young to the old as a form of entertainment and there seems to be nothing that cannot be built out of Lego, but an investment opportunity, that I was not so sure about.

So where to begin;

Start with what I know which is Lego Friends (daughter had lots of these sets a few years ago)  I started by checking all the major toy sellers, particularly looking at offers and price reductions, I found a few sets were currently reduced so hopefully there would be a profit.

Then I found the website Brickpicker here is everything you need to know about investing in Lego. It is free to register and once registered you can find all the latest What it’s Worth prices. With Lego a lot of the increase in price is for New and Unopened sets that have been retired. Most of the sets of value are also sets made after the year 2000 as the quality was quite poor before this.

So having checked out the buying price, I looked at the price guide for its what it’s worth price and whilst there is a difference not enough at the moment to make a decent profit but if you decide to look at this investment opportunity then sometimes you are going to have to keep the Lego sets for a number of years until they are retired from the marketplace.

Having looked at the range of Lego it is difficult to know where to get started. Popular with investors is Lego attached to movies like Star Wars these are often sold for a few years and then retired.

Lego Sets: 

I still need more information and the creators of Brickpicker have produced a book:

The Ultimate Guide to Collectable Lego(R): The Best Sets to Buy and Sell

LEGO, Alternative Investment, Bricks,


I have found this book to be a valuable source of information in what I should be looking for investing in Lego. Well laid our and covers most of the top themes includinh City, Friends and Harry Potter.


You may have some minifigures sat in the cupboards, what are they worth? Available to pre-order this book has a publication release date of November 2016

The Collectable Lego Minifigure: the Ultimate Guide to Collectable Minifigures

Lego minifigures

If you are interested in buying Lego as an investment check the cheapest price available for the set you are interested join Brickpicker and check our their Price Guide first.

You also need to consider where and how you store these items according to Brickpicker the sets should be stored vertical and not horizontal. They should be stored somewhere clean and dry to keep them pristine and therefore worth the top price.

Second Hand Sets

If you have any sets lurking in the cupboards there is also a market for selling second hand Lego pieces. Often people split these into bags sold by weight or 10 x yellow bricks etc

Zapper will buy Lego pieces by weight starting at 0.5kg

Music Magpie will buy a bag of Lego pieces again starting from 0.5kg

How much is sitting in your cupboards?

Update: August 2017

The first couple of sets I purchased I sold as I realised I did not have the space at the time  to store them properly. However, I am still interested in buying and selling Lego so this month I have looked again and found two sets I was interested in. Both sets are in the theme Lego City.

60148 ATV Race Team & 60150 Pizza Van

What really helped was I had entered a competition earlier in the year to win Lego and although I was not successful they did send me a £5 voucher off a £20 spend on Lego.

I also used Quidco to buy these products at Argos. Quidco were also running a Bank Holiday special where at certain retailers for spending £10 plus VAT you received a further £2.50 credit.

So my two sets costing £13.99 & £11.99 total £ 25.98 was reduced to £18.07 after all the discounts, current value on Brickpicker is £27.07.

I have the option of keeping them in which case I will monitor the value or resell them at some point.

Please leave any comments about your experience buying or selling Lego below.

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Cash Back Sites: Make Money While Shopping

Cash Back Sites

Quidco & Top Cash Back

cah back sites, Quidco, Top Cash Back, Saving Money, Zeek, BIngo, Property Moose,

I have used both Quidco & Topcashback while doing my normal online shopping and have received over £900+ in cash back. This has been from buying items from my normal shops: Boots, Debenhams, Marks & Spencers

Superdrug, W H Smiths as well as Bingo and Insurance sites.


Join here and when you shop you can earn money back.

Cash Back Fashion Examples (July 2017)

New Look up to 10%

Dorothy Perkins up to 5%

Boohoo up to 5%

Debenhams up to 4%

Jack Wills up to 7%

I have also earned money by signing up for Bingo Sites via Quidco, read about making money from Bingo here.

Current offers (July 2017) if you were to sign up for Gala Bingo through Quidco they have an offer of £35 cash back, if you are a new customer and deposit and play a minimum of £5.

Top Cash Back:

Use this link here to join.

Cash Back Fashion Examples (July 2017)

Superdry up to 8%

Gap up to 9%


First Choice up to 3.5%

Bingo & Betting

Ladbrokes Bingo £31.50 with a requirement that you wager £20

William Hill Sports Betting £5.25

Please read all the terms and conditions before using any of these offers on Quidco or Topcashback

One of my reasons for starting to make money online was due to illness and the financial chaos my husband and I were in after nearly three years of diagnosis and recovery. We are trying to build our passive income up so that in a few years our passive income will cover our bills.

One of those income streams is Property.

My husband, went through topcashback to sign up for Property Moose where he received cash back of £2.10 you can invest with Property Moose from just £10.


is another way to gain cash back: life, property, pet or car. You can even get paid for using a comparison website, topcashback are currently (July 2017) paying £2 for a van insurance quote.

I use Zeek

to purchase gift cards at discount prices. Buying from Zeek via Quidco I can also earn £1 cash back for each transaction, saving me even more money.

Like to join Zeek and receive £5 off your first order? go here then enter code 2L4GG1 when ordering.

Before buying anything online I always check if I can get cash back from either Quidco or Topcashback.

I also have my bankcard registered at Quidco as you can receive cash back for purchases in some shops. Currently Quidco is paying 2% for purchases in Debenhams, 5% Body Shop and 5% in The Works

So whether you shop online or in store you can still make money while shopping.

Starting September 2017

My Earn from Home Group will go live. In this group I will be sharing other ways to make, save and invest.

Sign up below for my newsletter giving further details of when the group opens and how to become a member.

I look forward to welcoming you to the group and helping you to achieve your dreams.

Subscribe to my Earn From Home mailing list

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Book Club: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind 

Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth

By T.Harv Eker

Book Club, Week 7 of 52, T.Harv.Eker, Millionaire,


Think Rich to Get Rich!

According to T.Harv Eker we all have a “money and success blueprint” and it is this blueprint that will determine our financial lives.

This book is in two parts:

Part One:

Explains how your money blueprint works. How childhood influences have helped to shape your financial destiny. It also shows you how to revise your blueprint to create success.

Part Two:

Here you are introduced to 17 wealth files, which describes how rich people think and act differently to the poor and middle class. Each of the 17 wealth files contains action steps you can take to improve this area of your financial life.

If you are not doing as well as you would like in your financial life then this is a great book to read and show you how to start changing your life.

This book is around 200 pages long. It is very easy to read and understand and will help the way that you think and act. Hopefully this will improve your financial life.

Enjoy it.

Any comments please leave below.

Next Book Club Post:

The 12 Week Year by Brian P.Moran








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Buying Shares

Buying Shares

shares, dividends, halifax, cheaper deals, fees, stocks,

Buying Shares:

I have a small amount of shares held using the Shareholding Service of the Halifax. I hold shares not just for their value to increase but I also look for shares that pay a good dividend.  I am not looking for short term gains I hold these as a medium to long term investment.

My Marks & Spencer shares have paid a good dividend over the last few years even thought he price of the shares have fallen from when I purchased them. However as I was never investing for the short term nor am I looking to sell I am hopeful that the changes that M&S have instigated will turn the companies fortunes around and the share price increase.

There are many companies where you can invest in stocks and shares. I have dealt with the Halifax personally and can also say that Hargreaves Lansdown and the Share Centre would be companies I would be looking at if starting to invest in Shares today.

Halifax Sharedealing:

My personal observations: Simple to use website, can set up regular investing which lowers the charges or they usually have a low rate charge offer of £3.95 once a month for two hours 12.15pm to 2.15pm, date varies, Otherwise the charge per transaction to buy or sell is £12.50.

As you may know I have been using my own Personal Earning Plan to make  money by way of different income streams including: selling  “stuff” on Ebay, Mercari, using Quidco and completing online surveys.

As i hold an account with the Halifax I have been looking around for another company where my husband could start to invest in shares to. The company I am looking at is:

The Share Centre:

No personal opinion on the service as we have not opened an account yet but the information I received is very simple and straightforward and the website looks the same.

You can also register with them and open a practice account where you can buy and sell with no losses to you personally.

Charges vary again due to the amount of transactions and value you expect to make but they do have an online calculator where you can put in number of transactions and value expected and they will tell you the cheapest option.

Dealing occasionally: monthly admin fee of £1.70 plus dealing cost of 1% minimum £7.50, regular investing 0.5% minimum £1

So the plan:

is to invest regularly to keep charges down and invest for dividends rather than just an increase on shares, as it is these dividends that will increase our monthly income when we retire.

Any ideas, which shares to invest in, would be most welcome.

September 2016 Update:

We invested  into Pets at Home Shares which are currently trading at around the price we bought them for.

I have finished reading The Naked Trader by Robbie Burns which I have found very helpful and informative and would recommend if you are interested in buying and selling.

I made lots of notes as I read and will be putting some of his ideas into practice.

August 2017 Update:

Share prices are fluctuating at the moment due to the talk around Brexit etc but as stated earlier I don’t invest for the short term but rather the long term increases. Meanwhile I am quite happy to receive dividends for each company I have invested in every six months

Have you taken the plunge and invested in shares?

Which sahre dealing company have you opened an account with and why?

Which shares have you invested in and why?

Answer any or all of these questions in the comments box below.

If you are struggling to find money to invest, take a look at my Personal Earning Plan to see if you can use any of the income streams to make additional money.

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De-Cluttering, Minimalism & Mental Health

De-Cluttering, Minimalism & Mental Health

de-cluttering, minimalism, mental health,


Yes, they are connected

I started to read about de-cluttering & minimalism whilst coming to terms with being diagnosed with a rare disease. After nearly two years of being told it was my age, a woman thing, you are depressed (I wasn’t) finally I received a diagnosis, adrenal insufficiency, although frightening and scary as it’s potentially life-threatening, I at least knew what I was dealing with. It has changed the way I live my life completely and the way that I think.

One of the areas I am concerned with is keeping on top of the house and clutter. During those two years of diagnosis and eighteen months recovery period the house and finances were left to drift. My husband did as much as he could but with two teenage children and me to care for his time was spoken for.

De-Cluttering & Minimalism

As I recovered to a point where I could take some part in life I started to read about Minimalism and came across a blog called after reading his story I went onto read his book called:

The More of less: Finding the Life You Want under Everything you Own by Joshua Becker

I realised that in order for me to grieve for the life I had and to move forward this was the path to take. It also means that should my situation get worse and we need to leave our home there won’t be the clutter and “stuff” to move.

Other books I went onto read that may also interest you:

The Joy of less by Francine Jay &

See my Book Club Review of The Joy of Less here.

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.

Now it is just a matter of putting it into practice which as I do not have a lot of energy it will be little and often.

I have recently started Project 333, which has made me start to tidy my wardrobe and drawers, which I am doing very slowly; I managed to gather four bags of clothes for charity. I still have my shoes to sort through and decide on my maybe pile, but at least I have made a start.

As I was emptying drawers and sorting, it was hard to let go of some clothes as it made me think of the life I had, not the one I have to live now, which is so different. But I feel that removing these items from my home will allow me to move forward.

There is something motivating once you see space appear that means you want to continue, hopefully will finish my clothes and bedroom in August and then move onto Daughters room in September.

After that I will look to work through each room in the house eliminating the clutter.

The garage:

I will leave to my husband as over the last few years it’s become a dumping ground, he may need a few trips to the tip.

Once the clutter has been removed it should help me to relax as everything should have it’s own place. It also means that if I am unable to do a lot physically my husband should be able to find what he need.

Some of the benefits of minimalism Joshua Becker states in his book are that you spend less, have less stress, it’s easier to clean and you can be more productive.

One other important area that I need to sort is our paperwork which has piled up, again getting everything in order, should I be out of action, will make it easier for my husband to keep on top of our finances.

Do you feel more relaxed when your house is tidy?

What are your de-cluttering plans?


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Book Club: Rich Habits

Rich Habits

By Thomas C Corley

The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals

Book Club, Week 4, Tom C Corley, Rich Habits

This is a very short book just 85 pages long but with a very powerful message.

It introduces us to four people all who are not where they want to be and whose lives have hit rock bottom. Just as they think they cannot carry on someone comes into their lives and introduces them to the 10 Rich Habits. As they each start to use the 10 Rich Habits their lives turn around. They all in turn then go to help someone else.

Each of the 10 Habits are looked at in detail:

Habit Number 2 is:

I wills set goals for each day, for each month, for each year and for the long-term. I will focus on my goals each and every day.

Thomas C Corley goes onto explain how to set goals in each of these areas. Successful people set goals and create a plan to reach these goals.

If you have any comments on this book please post below.

Next Book Club Post:

Secrets of the millionaire Mind By T.Harv Eker








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Free Tea & Coffee Anyone?

Free Tea & Coffee Anyone?

Free Tea or Coffee, Costa, Ikea, The Range, Notcutts, Dobbies, McDonalds,


Best Places to get Freebies:

MacDonalds: Buy six hot drinks, save the stickers on a card and get your seventh drink free.

The Range: Again buy six hot drinks and receive your seventh one free.

Debenhams: Buy seven hot drinks and your eighth is free

Costa Coffee: Points for spending, 5 points for every £1 spent, points are worth 1p each. So if you spend £10 then you will receive 50 points worth 50p. If you register your card online then you get 100 points added to your card.

IKEA: Family card holders can have a free tea or coffee, anytime Monday to Friday. Usually we have to travel to Leeds for IKea and to make use of the freebie. However, with the Sheffield store opening September 2017 and only 10 minutes from us this card may get a bit more use.

Garden Centres:

not strictly free but if you live nearby or visit regularly then these offers will be cheaper.

Dobbies: Join for £10 per year and as well as special offers and money off you can get two free teas or coffees in the restaurant every month.

Notcutts: Priveilege Club costs £10 per year for this you will receive 10% off prices in store. Two free teas and coffees per month as well as three times a year two meals for the price of one.

Both of these can be joined online.

If anyone knows any other offers, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

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