Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Snow day or not?

We haven’t had a school snow day for 4 years, this was the girls in the snow tonight after dropping off Mr K, its still coming down heavy now, but I’m not sure it will be enough for a snow day!!

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January 20, 2013 Posted by | Current Affairs | , | Leave a comment

Snow 14/365

Well we didn’t get what we were warned about, what about you?

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January 14, 2013 Posted by | Current Affairs | , | Leave a comment

How Much Money Is Lying Around The Average House?

Most people would be surprised by the amount of money that they can find around the average house. Looking behind sofas and in clothes can yield a significant amount of change, while decluttering and going through your home to find potentially valuable items and things that can be sold on in bulk can also result in a windfall. Alternatively, you can consider the benefits of short term cash loans and using pawnbrokers to build money off items that may have been gathering dust in attics and basements.

Finding Cash

The average house contains extensive places where you might find loose change and money. The first place to look should be down the sides of cushions on sofas and chairs in the living room. Move furniture to check underneath, and look inside the lining of items. You should also go through all closets and drawers for any change that might have fallen out of pockets. Old coats and jeans that haven’t been worn for a while may contain loose change, and even the odd note. Check inside the lining of coats if they’re particularly old.

Going through drawers and cupboards throughout the house can also be rewarding, either for finding loose change that can be added up, or for finding old wallets and purses. Particularly check any handbags that might have fallen behind the back of a cupboard. It’s worth going through the linings of washing machines and dryers if you don’t regularly, as they may contain loose change. If you have young children, then it’s also an idea to check under floorboards, under beds, and inside toys. Moreover, check the floor of your car, and your garage, attic, and basement for old boxes and clothes.

While doing so, you may find some valuable goods, as well as bulk items that can be sold on. Decluttering is always a good idea if you want to go through your stuff in the most efficient way possible, and you’d be surprised by the odd things that might have disappeared into a box during a move that may be of value. These things might include wearable clothes, old toys, and even high value items like gold jewellery that you no longer wear. Other items, such as old mobile phones, can be sent away for a cash payment, as can parts from PCs and old laptops. When selling, use car boot sales for bulk items, and take care to present anything that might be more valuable online, or through a specialist shop. This can be a good idea with old furniture and any pieces of art, as well as with clocks and jewellery.

Alternatively, you can take high value items to a pawnbrokers, where you can receive a short term cash advance against their value. At the end of a month, you can choose to buy back the item, or use it to pay off the loan. Cash Loans in Colchester and Braintree, and many other places, have been founded on this kind of approach. Remember, though, that going through a pawnbroker does carry the risk of losing an item, so think carefully before putting anything into a scheme. You can also sell items outright to secondhand shops, and to specialist online sellers.

Rob James is a father of four. He recommends CashInHandPawnBrokers for cash loans in Colchester and Braintree. Rob can be found blogging about the many different aspects of family life.

November 7, 2012 Posted by | Current Affairs | , | Leave a comment

Has Charity Lost it’s Meaning?

Ok I’m all for charity, I work for a charitable company, I took part in this years Race for Life and I regularly sponsor people for various events, I just feel like sometimes charity doesn’t feel like charity any more! What do I mean by that, I think I mean that due to the lack of money floating around our economy, charities have to fight to get what little Joe Average can afford to give away and as such, charities have almost become more sales driven.

Lets take the example of Race for Life. I took part, raised some money, bought promotional items and did what I thought was my bit for this year. I don’t have much spare cash and so this was my way of doing something for charity. About a month ago I got a phone call from a company thanking me for taking part, followed by a 5 minute load of waffle, obviously read from script, about how much MORE is needed in terms of money. Now I am in full support of Cancer Research and if an event is going on I will join in, but I was told that Cancer Research had PAID this telemarketing company to phone round those who took part in Race for Life to gain regular donations from them. I can’t remember the sum involved but it was a fair bit! Ok, ok, what’s my point, yes charities have to put themselves out there and ask and actually through this campaign they hoped to quadruple the initial outlay so fair enough, maybe you have to spend a little to raise a lot. No the bit that annoyed me was when I wouldn’t commit. I explained that as I like to support a variety of charities, I would not commit to one regular donation. She started at £5 a month, then £3 then £1 and then even asked me how much I could afford. I stood my ground and still said no, in fact I think I pointed out that had she listened to my reasons then she would no I wouldn’t commit to any monthly amount.

I know it wasn’t that poor girls fault, she is just doing a job, what I object to is being given the hard sell on giving to charity. Charity, as they say, should begin at home. I have 2 children to provide for and as a single mum things are tight, I can’t afford to give up money every month for charity and hate feeling guilty for it because of the ways charities operate.

It also annoys me when you walk round town and get stopped by the charity clipboard people, I hate that when you smile politely and say no thanks, a lot of the time there is a tone to their “Thanks” as you walk away. I just want to do my shopping in peace and not feel guilty about a rat in Botswana not having safe drinking water! Ok so I haven’t ever been stopped by anyone raising money for that particular issue, but there are some obscure ones out there! How much of my donation would go on admin costs and wages though, how much actually goes to the charity? For me, somewhere in the middle of all of this charity really has lost it’s meaning. When was the last time you gave £1 to a homeless person, or a cuppa from the local cafe if you don’t actually want to give them money. When was the last time you helped out as a volunteer in any capacity. When was the last time you put 50p in a box, not knowing what charity it was for but because you felt like you were doing some good?

So here’s your challenge, instead of putting your hand in your pocket and giving away money you may not have, see how many “charitable” acts you can do over the next week, helping out an elderly neighbour, giving your kids old clothes to a friend who may not be able to afford new clothes for their growing kids. Lets look after each other again!!

I completely understand the need for charities, and for those who can afford to give then fair do’s, my argument here is that there seems to be too much pressure on money to help out charities, rather than doing things within our own communities to make a difference!

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Current Affairs | | Leave a comment

How Rude

I’ve had a really rubbish day today but this morning I had to go to Tesco as I had nothing in for lunch or tea. I walked round Tesco in a daze, yet again the store had more managers about than customers and they kept getting in my way but despite all that I managed to remember everything.

When I had done I made my way to the checkouts. We have about 20 in our local store and only 3 were open so I joined the smallest queue. Obviously Tesco no longer honour the promise to open another till if there are 2 people in front of you, but I was in no rush other than wanting to get back to the security of my car.

Behind me an older chap joined the cue, who decided he would jab into my back with his hand while he rushed to load up the conveyor with his shopping. He hit me a couple of times and the fact was I couldn’t move forward because, well, we were in a queue!! So I just moved a little to get out of the way and then soon enough it was me being served.

For a change the checkout girl was very nice, she didn’t rush my shopping through and was quite happy for me to finish packing before demanding money. When I had finished she handed me my change and receipt. Before even saying thank you and goodbye, I felt a trolley push into my hip with enough force that I actually moved side ways! I let out a sigh, thanked the checkout girl and walked away.

If I was myself I would have asked this nice man if his mother had ever taught him manners, but I’m not myself at the moment and I actually felt so small that I wanted to cry.

So my moral to this story is 2 fold – 1. Being Polite costs nothing and 2. You might not know the person your actions effect, but that means you don’t know how your actions will effect them so don’t assume they won’t notice!

November 29, 2011 Posted by | Current Affairs | | 1 Comment

Shell have won me over!

Ok so, yes, this is a parenting blog, and yes I really am going to talk about petrol!!

You’ve probably all seen or heard something about the new Shell Fuelsave Unleaded and Diesel, but if you haven’t I hope this post will interest you. Shell claim that with their new fuels you can save up to 1 litre per tank based on a minimum tank of 50 litres. What on earth does that mean?

The fuels are designed to reduce energy loss in the engine caused by friction and the build up of energy deposits. The fuel ignites faster and burns more effectively, whilst also including detergents that keep engine parts clean. Now I don’t know about you but I was pretty sceptical about all this. Yeah sure maybe I will save that 1 litre per tank, but really, what difference will that make. So after using just 1 tank of this new Shell Fuelsave Petrol, I have decided to let you know the difference it has made to my car!

To give you an idea of my consumption, my tank takes approximately £50-£60 to fill from empty. I generally use a tank per week as I work in the community and drive around 350 – 400 miles per week. The majority of my driving is town driving and country roads, so not much cruising down duel carriageways and motorways involved. I’ve always thought my usage was good, considering I drive a 7 year old Scenic, and tend to get around 33 miles to the gallon on average.

I normally top up at Tesco, but the nearest filling station is a 30 minute round trip including the time it takes to fill up. My nearest Shell garage is literally round the corner and currently is selling their Fuelsave petrol 0.9 pence a litre cheaper than the Tesco I use, hence why last week that’s where I decided to go. The cashier gave me the leaflet about the new fuels and it was only from having a read of that I got interested. So what have I found out?

I still have a quarter of a tank left and my working week of driving is done. I have driven just under 300 miles on this tank, and my onboard computer says I have 140 miles left in the tank, driving how I have been since I filled up. The biggest difference though, is instead of getting 33 MPG, I’m getting 36 MPG!!! Over a tank that’s the difference of 30 miles. Ok it’s not masses, but that’s a big difference for me. I am impressed and converted. It’s no more expensive than their old fuel but so much better. Not only that, my car was struggling to start on damp mornings – I can sympathise! Since using the new Shell Fuel, it hasn’t struggled once and this morning it was very damp.

As to whether constant use will make a bigger difference, that remains to be seen, but I would recommend you give it a go, what have you got to loose??

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Current Affairs | | 2 Comments

World Cup Fever

Today is the start of the 2010 World Cup. I’ve got my England T-Shirt as has B, who has been frantically saving Match Attax cards for a while now. Tomorrow night is the first England game and it’s the 1st time B has ever said she wants to watch the football. But what is it about the Football World Cup that gets us all full of national pride?

 

The flags are out every where, on cars, on flag poles, on houses, in shops. You must be on the moon if you haven’t noticed it all. Yet I can’t say as I ever notice the same for other sports. Ok sometimes the rugby, but what about the cricket and the olympics? Nothing gets us proud about our nation quite like the football does. I can’t even say it’s because of the sport itself. I don’t follow football normally, I don’t understand anything about the game except the aim is to score more than the opposing team. Yet I too, am looking forward to watching the games and in my heart I want England to do the thing the nation dreams of, bring it home!!!

 

So come on boys, do us and the nation proud!!!!

June 11, 2010 Posted by | Current Affairs | | Leave a comment

Why get stressed out at things we can’t change?????

Time for me to have a moan, I haven’t had one for a while so I am feeling it is well over due so here we go…….

 

As a nation us Brits get too stressed out about things that we can’t change, why do we do this? Is it a deeper sign of something?

 

So what has sparked me to have this little rant? It’s the fact that so many people have been on the news over the last 36 hours moaning about the fact the flights in and out of the UK have been grounded due to the Icelandic Volcano eruption. It’s a natural disaster for crying out loud. No one can control it.

 

Believe me I understand people are upset, as I speak there are BritishVolcano Erupting by kahunapulej Troops who should have arrived back from 3 months in a war zone, sat waiting to get home to their loved ones. People are trying to get to weddings scheduled for tomorrow. Others are trying to make it home in time for back to school next week. We all have important things that happen in life and unfortunately sometimes things happen – but don’t blame the Air Traffic Control people who have made the decision that no flights can run at the moment!

 

If it was me (granted I do have a fear of flying so maybe that adds to it), but if I was waiting to fly somewhere, whether it be up to Scotland to visit friends, or over to Oz to visit other friends – I would rather not take the risk of Volcanic ash making the engines stall and possibly being in a crash! Ok I don’t know the odds, but if the authorities say it’s not worth the risk well that’s good enough for me! I actually heard one bloke on the news say it was “ridiculous, it’s like the leaves on the line excuse”!!!! And yep, that’s the man who you can thank for my rant!!!! I mean come on, you would be the 1st in line for compensation if something happened to the plane you were on!!

 

So many times the British public as a whole seem to have an issue with stress. Look at the bigger picture people! Yes we had a lot of snow this year, schools closed and people missed out from money for being off work, how many of those off school and work checked on an elderly neighbour? We all complain about the state of the nations economy and blame the government – who didn’t take advantage of cheap credit, even if it was under control? We are a rush rush stress stress society. When you go to eat out do you moan about the length of time it takes to get served your meal? Yet on the continent there is an understanding that proper fresh cooked food takes time.

 

I just think we should look at the bigger picture a little more, think about why a situation has arisen. Getting stressed will never change the situation so surely it is better to refocus that energy for the good. Believe me, I get stressed – not as much as I used to – I consciously try not to let things get to me so much. It’s not healthy, it’s not attractive and it’s not productive, so people of Great Britain……CHILLAX!!!!!!!!!

April 16, 2010 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , | 10 Comments

Going slightly Mad!

What am I going to do? It’s about 6 weeks until I have to make up my mind. That decision can only be made by me and so many people are trying to influence my decision. Trouble is I can’t weigh up the arguments to work out what to do because it’s all so confusing. Nothing is in plain English, and how do I know people are telling me the truth???

Yep I’m talking about the upcoming General Election. I really don’t know what to do. I have been eligible to vote for 13 years, in fact my 1st General Election vote was when Labour came to power. I had just completed my A Level in Economics, and I voted on the strength of what the main principles of each party are, rather than their policies. All I know is, I don’t trust Gordon Brown, I remember the struggles faced by many when Thatcher was in charge, and the Lib Dem’s probably won’t get in so are they a wasted vote? And what the hell is a hung parliament and what would it mean to me?

I’m sat watching the Chancellor’s debate at the moment and it’s not helping. They all have some good arguments and they have all said things I don’t agree with. It’s not making it any easier! The only thing I am sure of is that I will vote, because not to vote means I have no right to complain about anything in this country. Why can’t they make political debate fun? Why can’t they make it easy to understand? Help!!!!!!! Any advice on where to go to find some plain English answers as to what each party proposes is very welcome!!

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Current Affairs | 4 Comments