NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

I know what you’re waiting for, the dreaded “New Year, New Me” speech as I reel off all the fantastic  changes I’ll be making in light of the new year…not quite. 

However, I do see the appeal in setting goals when you’re given a brand new year to begin from. A set of 12 fresh new months lying ahead of you give you that sense of motivation and positivity to make them better than the last, and I strongly believe we should embrace this. Life is full of ups and downs regardless of how we try to shape things; ultimately some things are just out of our control but it doesn’t mean we should knock the idea of trying to better ourselves. As a mental note for myself (or future blackmail) and to share with you, here are a few of my new years resolutions…

  1. Travel more: be it a 10 hour flight to explore a Caribbean island or a 40 minute drive to discover the hidden gems of England, travelling more is at the top of my list. Unfortunately I don’t have a never ending fund of money for these things but my aim is definitely to get out a bit more and see the world. 
  2. Use my phone less: The amount of times I find myself scrolling through social media sites is incredibly depressing yet there’s something quite addictive about it. It’s not at all productive and sometimes leaves me in a bit of a rubbish mood as I swipe through the seemingly incredible lives of others. This is something I will definitely be ditching. 
  3. Keep gymming: this year I joined the gym (applause please) in an attempt to get fit and healthy but also as a mood booster. I’ve really loved seeing the benefits of going regularly and this is something I definitely want to keep up in the new year. 
  4. Look after myself better: sometimes I’m a bit rubbish at recognising when I need a lie in or a chill day or some good wholesome food. I always feel the need to push myself and seize the day despite it not always being what’s best for me, so recognising what I need sometimes is a small but important resolution of mine. 
  5. Save money: Ed and I will be moving into our new flat early next year so this is kind of a necessary one. Being savvy with money so we can still enjoy going out and socialising is a must. 
  6. Stop putting things off: I do this, a lot. I’m not as bad as I used to be but it’s certainly something I still want to improve on. Let’s just say I filled out the forms to register at the doctors 6 months ago and I still haven’t got round to dropping them in…you see my problem?
  7. Meditation and mindfulness: this is something I got into this year but kind of lost touch with. I found it really beneficial and incredibly interesting to read and practice different techniques on the path to mindfulness and contentment, so this is something I really want to focus on.

And there we go, those are my general aims for the year in an attempt to make it rich with success, health and happiness. What are your new years resolutions? As always, let me know in the comments below x

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MONEY MONEY MONEY

With the joys of Christmas slowly coming to an end, it’s time to face the reality of a dwindling bank balance and the extra long stretch til pay day. With a new year on the horizon, I make it my top priority to get organised and get in control of my money (for however long it may last). Here are some ways I like to stay on top of my finances without that FOMO feeling…

Set a budget: Honestly, I feel boring and clichè writing it but it really is the very best place to start. Work out your actual income and outgoings every month and then you can see what you’ve got to play with. Once you know what you have left over, calculate how much realistically you can put into savings (it’s always good to have a backup) balanced with how much you will be spending on actually enjoying life (v important)

Shop around: I’ve never been all that good at shopping around for a bargain…when I see it, I want it and if it’s right there, the effort of searching stores and the internet for a cheaper price is all too much. This, however was in my teenage years when the money was coming in and I didn’t really have any financial commitments. Now I’m a little older, the familiar saying “saving the pennies so the pounds will save themselves”  is one I often find echoing in the depths of my mind as I dive into the shops. The prices of products vary massively between stores, so it’s always worth doing a quick check online as you never know when a fab deal will suddenly appear. (Plus you get that smug feeling of saving £3 which never gets old).

Banks: They’re pretty useful. Whichever bank you’re with, they’re likely to have a few benefits you can make use of which will help you save those all important pennies. I’m a little late to the game, I’m sure, but I recently discovered the joys of cash back with my bank. They have 30 participating stores and restaurants to choose from which you load to your card. Participating companies change regularly and offer from around 3% to 15% cash back for simply using your card to pay. This is in no way a massive money maker, but seeing a few extra £££s entering your account every month (for spending money as you would normally) is always welcomed. 

Food glorious food: Saving money is important but so is food. Need I say anymore? A great way of spending time with friends and family or rekindling the spark with a loved one is going out to eat, (and even better), it doesn’t need to be expensive. Always check out what deals restaurants have before you decide on where to go as you may be surprised. The best thing is, it doesn’t even mean compromising on going to a different restaurant over your fav; visiting on a weekday evening instead of a weekend can save you a whole heap of money. Oh, and don’t forget those good old lunch menu deals!

What are your top tips for saving that all important moolah? Get in touch in the comments below x
 

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CHRISTMAS IN LONDON

With the stress of work and life in general, it’s always good to get away for a couple of days. Being the lovely girlfriend I am, I booked tickets for a midnight showing of Rogue One and a hotel in London as a birthday treat for Ed (which was a great excuse to soak in a gorgeously Christmassy London).

I always love being in the city at this time of year. The cold nights, bright lights, Christmas music and smells of street food always manage to put a smile on my face.

As always, I love a good photo so check out some snaps of our mini getaway below…

I’d love to hear from you! Where’s your favourite place to go at Christmas? X

 

 

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– A LITTLE SLICE OF POSITIVITY

Here in little old England, it’s that beautiful time of year where the clocks have gone forward and we’ve gained an hour in bed (hoorah!) However we are now left to deal with the cold dark nights that come with it. Winter appears to have landed on our doorsteps and like every year, I struggle not to fall into my very own hibernation. With dark mornings, shorter days and sitting in an office all day, wilfully watching out the window as the sun appears and disappears, it’s hard to stick to goals and stay motivated. Have no fear, though, Soph is here with a few tips to get you by:

1. Seize the day! Incredibly cliche (I know) but it definitely helps, trust me! We’ve all had those days or months of waking up at 12 and before you know it, it’s 4pm and pitch black. It feels as if the whole day has disappeared and you haven’t achieved anything (which is always a hideous feeling). So despite risking sounding like your mother, get up at a sensible time with goals for the day in mind, open those curtains, have a mighty stretch and feed your body. A good start to the day is vital to productivity.

2. EXERCISE! Believe me when I say I rarely feel like exercising when in need of a little positivity. In fact it’s the last thing on my list, lost waaaay under eating my feelings and binge watching a Netflix series. But believe me also when I say it helps. so. much! There’s a whole bunch of science and endorphins behind it which I won’t attempt to explain but you will feel the difference yourself. What’s also great is it doesn’t have to be an entire gym workout or marathon run; even taking 20 minutes out of your day to go for a walk or jump on a bicycle will get you breathing in some much needed fresh air.

3. Tidy Space, Tidy Mind. Sometimes life can throw a whole bunch of rubbish at us and it all gets a bit much. At times like these (if you’re anything like me) you’ll find it a whole lot harder to stay motivated and get stuff done and a whole bunch easier to mope around and wallow in your own misery…and sometimes that’s okay. These are my favourite times to put the effort into pampering myself: run a bath, get some fresh sheets on your bed, gather up a load of laundry, get into some fresh pjs and put some time into something you really enjoy doing. This is a great way of achieving stuff and being productive whilst also looking after yourself (the last bit is V important)

What are your tips for staying positive? Let me know in the comments!

Sophie x

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– LIFE IS GETTING A WHOLE LOT MORE ADULTY

Never ever ever did I imagine that at the age of twenty one I’d be in the process of buying my first home with my boyfriend. As first time buyers we have very little knowledge of houses, mortgages and the tonnes of stuff that comes with it and I’m sure we’re not the only ones! If you’re in a similar position and clueless as we are, you will hopefully find some of the following tips and advice helpful…

#1 Choose your conveyancer carefully. Often the estate agent you’re buying through will recommend a team they’re partnered with, but don’t feel pressured into using them. A conveyancer is responsible for sorting out all the legal bits involved in the purchase of your new home and will cost you something like £500. They’re a big part of the process so having someone who will update you often and answer any questions you have is definitely important.

#2 I for one can’t wait to move into our newhome so I can really start to make it ours. Simple tip, but start off with the basics like sofas and kitchen equipment before bulk buying the entire range of Yankee candles (potentially guilty).

#3 Read your documents! This seems like a really obvious one but don’t trust everything you sign to be correct and accurate. Mistakes can be made no matter how experienced and knowledgeable the author is. Read through all the paper work you receive (however boring it may be, and it is) and make sure to bring up any queries with your conveyancer.

#4 Keep organised. By the end of the process you’ll have paper work coming out your ears so it’s important for your sanity (at least it has been for mine) to keep everything filed. Depending on the company, a lot of it may be scanned and kept online so it can easily be accessed if and when needed. It is, however, always useful for the inevitable insurance policy documents and copies of this, that, and the other to be filed neatly away to be produced in a time of need.

#5 When checkingaffordability, always over estimate. If you can afford to move out when you’re allowing £500 a month on food for two of you when in reality it may only be £250, you won’t suddenly find yourself scraping by.

In the same position? Or a house buying pro? Let me know your tips!

Sophie x

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