Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Gifts

My husband was remarking to me last night about how shocked he was the first Christmas he spent with me as to how many gifts we had piled around on Christmas morning. He was brought up in a religious household that thought that going to church was more important than gifts and not many were bought. In my household spoiling children with lots of gifts was the norm. We now have a compromise where we tend to give the children a nice pile of gifts but do not buy much for each other, if anything at all. There might be a P.R.S. that we are after that we save for Christmas but normally we buy what we need through the year and so do not need things at Christmas. We still all get very exciting, have a fantastic meal and enjoy visiting our family but do not overspend.

Home Made Decorations

Although I have a lot of decorations that I use for Christmas year after year, I decided to make some as well this year. My son made an impressive snowflake in school and so I decided to have a go and have made several for the house as well as some paper chains. I think it is great fun to make decorations and really gets you into the Christmas spirit.There are lots of websites and blogs with instructions on how to make things like this and it can be a great way to decorate your home frugally but have a lot of fun doing it. I was even tempted to make some paper chains from newspaper but need all the paper I have for lighting my log burning stove as we do not buy them very often!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Comment on Earnings

My earnings were low last month. My main customer dropped some work which made a big difference but I was also not feeling too well and so decided to take it easy for a while! I am not going to worry too much about earnings now until after Christmas as I still need to take things easy and I will be busy with organising other things! I am getting on top of my shopping though, making sure that I use cash back sites and take advantage of bargains but not buying things I do not need. It can be tempted to keep spending but I am to try to keep it down a bit although I see things like best drum heads and feel that there is someone I know who may like them and wonder if I should get it or not. Must stay focussed though!

November Earnings

Writing - £36.47

Article Writing - £30.33

blog posts - £6.14

Book Sales - £11.11

Amazon - £11.11

Other - £82.82

Waterproof Memo Board Sales - £66.60

Quidco - £7.23

Clixsense - £8.99

Making a Grand Total of £130.40

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas Cashback

It is so worth seeing whether you can get any cash back or money off vouchers, especially if you are shopping online. I have done a lot of my shopping online and have found lots of opportunities to save money and you can too. For example, say you decide to shop at : elf on the shelf - christmasplace.com. You should firstly see on the website whether they have any deals such as free postage or money off offers. Then search online to see whether you can find any discount codes and look at cash back sites. It is unlikely that you will be able to use all of these at once, but work out which will give you the best deal and take advantage of it. You may only save a little bit per shop but it all adds up and could mean that you save enough money to pay for a present or even to treat yourself to something!

Monday, November 03, 2014

October Earnings

Writing - £65.15

Article Writing - £62.15

blog posts - £3.00

Book Sales - £223.05

Amazon - £152.65

Smashwords - £70.40

Other - £67.97

Link sales - £20.00

Waterproof Memo Board Sales - £22.98

Quidco - £16.73

Clixsense - £8.26

Making a Grand Total of £356.16

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Christmas arghhhhh!

I was having a look in the shops the other day and started to notice the growing amount of Christmas themed items in there. I started to wonder how I might afford Christmas this year with my earnings down and a few high expenses last month. However, I received a FIT cheque for the solar panels for over £600 which was very welcome and will help me. Now I can start thinking sensibly about nice gifts that I would like to buy people. I like to shop local if I can, but for specialist gifts such as music ones for some members of my family I try websites such as www.musiciansfriend.com. I find buying online so good as it saves a lot of wandering round and looking and it is much easier to find the specific items that you are looking for. I might start making a list soon and thinking about who I need to buy for and what sorts of things I want to buy for them. I will also have to get lists of suggestions to family members of what the children want, which could be interesting too. They seem to be getting much harder to buy for as they are getting older!

Earnings This Month

I have actually found myself to be really busy lately, so much so that I have not had time to think about what I might do to earn money.! I have had work in form a selection of different customers asking me to write things and so I have been doing that. I have also been approached by an old customer about doing some writing work for his website as well. I have been answering online surveys to bring in extra money which has proved fruitful as well. I have also signed up to a selection of free courses, some on edX and others on FutureLearn, which I hope to not only expand my general knowledge in some cases but also to give me useful information for my writing work. I am also selling a few things on eBay and have found the the water proof memo board sales are picking up, hopefully because of Christmas coming which is a great bonus. I am still hoping to find something new to do, that will really inspire me and help me to generate a better income but as of yet have not found anything.

Value for Money in Music?

There have been many studies done in the past and theories about how learning to play a musical instrument can help learning in children. I am not sure how I stand on this issue really as I feel that I have not looked at the evidence in enough detail to be able to draw my own conclusions. However, it does make me think about whether learning to play string instruments or any other type for that matter, could mean that children get better value out of their education. At the end of the day, education is about getting those all important results so that they can get a good job. If their learning can be enhanced, perhaps by learning music, then maybe it is a really positive things for them to do. It could mean that grades go up and that they get a better job. If you are paying for education, this could be an even more important factor. I assume that people pay for education because they expect that the children will get a better result out of it at the end and therefore supplementing it with things that could be even more worthwhile could be a good thing to do.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Looking for Inspiration!

I have just gone back to look at some old doubling websites, which is where this one came form originally. Unfortunately no one is posting any more or doing the doubling challenge which was not very inspiring.

I am doing okay, although I am not actually doubling any more. I have found online work writing, now that buying and selling books sadly makes no money any more. I would like to do something different though, as although I have just received a cheque from Amazon for book sales, I am not really that happy with what I am doing. Some writing is okay, but competition is fierce and it is very hard to get new customers at the priced that I would like to charge. If I lower my prices much more I will be working for very low rates. At the moment I am already working for about £6 an hour which is below the UK minimum wage of £6.50 for someone of my age, although interesting to note that if I was under 19 and an apprentice I would only be entitled to a minimum wage of £2.73 per hour! Of course I have a huge advantage in not having to pay anything in child care and not even having to leave the home to work, which is really good. I have been thinking about getting a job outside of the home but I want to be here in holidays and before and after school which means I am looking at part-time and term time only work. This limits me to working in a school and I do not feel that I am that good with children and so that rules out teaching assistant, lunch lady or teacher and so I am left with secretary of which there are no local vacancies.

Therefore it is back to looking for online opportunities. I am finding that surveys seem to be the best at the moment but do not pay very much. I will keep looking though.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

September Earnings

Writing - £133.98

Article Writing - £130.98

blog posts - £3.00

Book Sales - £114.11

Amazon - £114.11

Other - £10.59

Quidco - £4.33

Clixsense - £6.26

Making a Grand Total of £258.68