A few holiday Essentials

As we reach the end of February, our thoughts are finally turning to Summer days. Many of us have already booked our Summer holidays and are starting to list what we need. Holiday season is just around the corner, and with half term this week, people have already started jetting off to enjoy some much needed sunshine. But it is no secret that holidays, as well as being a time for fun, relaxation and excitement, are also a time that can prove to be very expensive. Travel money, holiday wardrobes, travel insurance, new luggage, all of these things can add up and make even the most budget of holidays rather more expensive than you may have budgeted for.

So this post is about planning ahead, not leaving all that shopping for holiday essentials until the last minute. A few bargain buys will update your holiday wardrobe without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to check out your local supermarket brands for bargains, Morrisons have an adult range as part of the Nutmeg range, whilst some branches of Poundland are stocking the budget brand Pep and Co in their stores. There are also a couple of ideas for must have items, investment pieces that you will be able to use year upon year.

Swimming Watches

If your holiday is one of water adventures, then it could be worth investing in a swimming watch. Swimming watches for women are stylish and durable, and are great if you want to indulge in scuba diving, swimming, water skiing, or any other kind of watery activity. These days a waterproof watch doesn’t have to be bulky or manly, it can actually have a sleek and stylish design.

A Maxi Dress

A maxi dress is perfect for evening drinks or daytime sightseeing. it can also double up as a pool coverup, or you could add a denim jacket and it will be great to travel home in. Choose a pretty pattern for extra style points.

Sandals

A cool pair of espadrilles will work for holidays and festivals alike. Add in a metallic touch, and you have a shoe that is stylish and versatile. Try to choose a pair that will work with most of your outfits so you can cut down on the packing.

Beach Cover Up

A beach cover up can look so much  chicer than a sarong, and this black dress has an interesting back detail. This means that it would also work for drinks after dark, just add a pair of statement earrings for an evening look.

A Hat

Protect your head with the coolest cover up around – it has to be a Fedora. You could travel in this to help it keep its shape, or pack your undies into it to avoid it being flattened in the suitcase.

 

A versatile Bag

Boho prints are another holiday fave. I love the pink accents in this tote bag, it looks like it has come straight from Talitha Getty’s 1960s Marrakesh wardrobe. This sort of bag would work for the beach, or for sightseeing.

Looking For A First Or New Home

I have to say that, at the moment, I am perfectly happy and content in my home. It is cosy and homely, in a nice area, and has the perfect school for Joe just on the doorstep. But in September next year, Joe will be at High School and the time maybe right for a move, and an upgrade.

Funding For A First Or New Home

When we bought our first home, in 2003, we were right in the middle of the housing boom, and you could still get 100% mortgage in the UK, which was handy if you had not been able to save for a deposit. Now it is getting harder to get onto the housing ladder, particularly if you are a first time buyer, even more difficult if you are a first time buyer with a low income. But if you live in the US, you may be able to get help through an affordable housing programme like the Chenoa Fund, which helps help credit worthy families to realise the dream of home ownership by providing hopeful home buyers with the financial tools to purchase a home. It takes away the problem of having to have a deposit ( a minimum down payment) which can often be a barrier, and is helping more and more families to get on the housing ladder. When combined with your first mortgage, qualified borrowers can receive a second mortgage or grant to purchase a home with little or no cash investment.

If you are able to obtain your funding for a mortgage, or through an affordable housing programme, the real fun starts as you are able to look at what you require in your new home. For me I would look for somewhere that would be both practical as a family home and yet large enough for family and friends to stay over, and there are certain features that would definitely make a home more attractive.

What to look for in a new home

1. A double garage

We have both a car and a van. One is currently parked at the back of the house, one on the road. A double garage would be both practical and a security measure too.

Double Garage from Warwick garages

Double Garage from Warwick garages

2. A dressing room.

I have a lot of clothes, more than a couple of wardrobes can handle. And despite the fact that I cull my clothing items regularly, a dressing room with some walk in wardrobes would be just lovely. I’d be happy to share it with the hubby too – he’s a bit of a clotheshorse too!

Love this!

Love this!

3. Period features.

I am not a fan of modern and new build houses, I currently love in a Victorian terrace that has lots of its original features, and would definitely be looking for something similar – a Victorian villa or a Georgian townhouse are two styles of house I truly love.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

4. An exposed staircase and entrance hall.

One of the things about living in a Victorian terrace is that you literally walk straight into my dining room once the front door is opened – there is no entrance hall. I would love a proper entrance hall with a beautiful winding staircase exposed. Our stairs are currently hidden behind the living room door – they are steep and literally just a staircase, with no hall space.

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5. A large garden with lots of grass.

We have this currently – almost 100ft of garden with a large grassy area . The garden would need to be big enough for two sets of goals – we play a lot of football in our current garden so this is probably the most important space in the whole house and garden.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

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What would you look for in your next home?

 

Maintaining A Fashionable Lifestyle With Alamo Associates

We live in an age when consumerism is perhaps at its peak. Financial facilities that are now available have led to a general belief that it is now easy to buy whatever we wish, and then pay for them later in manageable bits and pieces. This has resulted in buyers becoming more aggressive. Buy now and pay later is the culture that has taken over the world. As a result, people are being more and more driven towards debt.

Easy money fuels buying

It is so easy to get into debt. Suppose you have a reputation for being fashionable, and you take pride in buying new items frequently. It is quite natural that in order to stay fashionable, you indulge in spending more on branded clothes and accessories. You feel a tinge of excitement every time you see a “sale” sign hanging outside of a store. In order to stay tuned with the trends, you become unmindful of the spending since money is now easily available through various financing schemes and credit cards. You pamper yourself with shopping sprees that soon become your habit.

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The debt trap

The habit of uncontrolled buying can keep growing. This can lead to a dreaded financial rut as debts mount on credit cards. The temptation to borrow from multiple sources to keep pace with your buying habits is always a danger. Debt can also get worse due to just paying the minimum amount off every month against the debts, which is quite common with other financial needs, but the burden of debt gradually acquires menacing proportion. Along with other bills that need paying each month, managing debt can become a big problem. Missing out on payments can make things worse for you as debts keep piling and you can also end up with late and missing payment fees.

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Borrow from a single source Like Alamo Associates

So what options are available to help manage your debt and repayments?  You need to look for support from a company like Alamo Associates who prioritise what clients need by offering a single monthly payment with low interest rates.  The idea being that it is easier to deal with a single lender who offers finance at lower interest levels, enabling you to pay off the total sum of all other outstanding debts.

What Will Happen?

A company like Alamo Associates will first evaluate your needs and financial situation, before they offer you a new loan/payment scheme that should be manageable for you.  The new loan is obtained at lower interest rates so that you pay less every month and can hopefully lead to your debt being repaid in a way that still leaves you able to live day to day.

You have thus found out a way to get out of the vicious trap of debts that has now becomes easy to manage. You don’t need to give up your love for fashion to live a life free of debt. All you need to do is manage your finances better!