Saturday, 4 July 2015

Difficult Financial Issues For Mums

Myself along with many other women can struggle with financial problems. Whether that be budgeting for a new handbag or trying to save up to pay for a new baby. This can become a problem when you are left in a money pickle.

I had financial problems when I went on maternity leave. In that time I had to budget for a household that was growing and purchase everything for a new baby with little to no savings. Luckily we had family and friends to give us a hand but if things had been different then we would have struggled even more than we did.

I later returned to work and was left in an even worse financial state when they refused to give me back my original job. They didn't want to be flexible on hours and left me in a store I had never worked in with staff that didn't treat me with respect as a young parent. I soon found myself unemployed, depressed and fretting about money more than ever.

Luckily another job came along (one that I am still in now and I love) but it left me completely terrified. If I was to have stayed unemployed them we wouldn't have been able to afford our rent, let alone food and warmth. It made me think about all the outcomes that could have happened.

We then found ourselves in another problem when we were at university. Due to our situation (studying with a toddler) there were lots of problems with student finance and childcare but eventually we got that sorted and now the biggest problem is repaying that horrendous student loan of ours.

One thing we realised once Max was born was that we needed to secure our future. Not only did we want to make sure that we had money in case of a rainy day, but we wanted to make sure that Max was safe if anything happened to us. That's why we took out life insurance. We wanted to know that there was a backup plan if anything were to go horrifically wrong. We sought advice from Legal and General as to what the best policy was for us and invested in our lives.

We now have insurance that will cover us in any eventuality. It gives me that peace of mind that if things were to go wrong then we would have a cushion behind us. It would help us pay for important things such as bills and childcare. Would help us get back on track in case of the worst.

Knowing we have a policy means we can now save for the better things. A new home, a holiday and of course a designer handbag!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday Reads: What I've Been Reading On Blloon

If you haven't read my review of Blloon yet then head over to my introduction post. For those that do know, Blloon is an amazing app that you can download on your phone or tablet and then access a wealth of books. You can subscribe and receive a certain amount of pages per month to then download your books with. Once downloaded they stay on your device!

I'm slightly obsessed with this app. There's so many books that I've not been sure of buying, but with the app it means I can try before I commit without breaking the bank. So here's what I've been reading on Blloon for the past couple of months.

 Apple Tree Yard - Louise Doughty. 

This tells the story of a woman who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time which results in her being on trial for murder. Flitting between past and present, you slowly build up a case yourself on what's actually happened to find her in that position.

Honestly this was a slow burner for me. I've read loads of crime/thrillers lately and I don't think that this one packed as much punch as some of the others. That's not to say it didn't keep me on the edge of my seat.
 The Perfectionists - Sara Shepard

Most of you know that I'm a Pretty Little Liars addict. I've read all the books and I devour the TV series as soon as it airs in the UK (not to mention obsessively checking for theories on who A is!). So when I saw that Sara Shepard had released a new series I knew it was going on my to read list immediately.

This tells the tale of seemingly perfect students in a seemingly perfect school. The ones that are going to ace exams and get into the best universities. There is of course Nolan, the guy who everyone loves to hate. So when a group of girls plan the perfect murder they are shocked to find someone has taken their idea.

A gripping novel and I honestly can't wait to carry on this series!
 We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

A group of cousins and their families all meet on the same private island each summer. Except one year Cadence suffers an accident and can't piece together what happened that summer. The story follows Cadence as she tries to piece together what happens.

It's one of those stories that you will finish and want to read all over again. I leant my copy to a friend so as soon as I got the app I re-downloaded it so I could read it all over again.

Whatever you think about the book, lie about the ending. No-one needs spoilers like that!
Say Her Name - James Dawson

I'm not normally one for horrors. Thrillers, crime, blood and gore I can deal with. But horrors normally leave me crying or screaming. This one however kept me hooked. I read it in a day and now I completely avoid looking into mirrors and saying Bloody Mary over again.

A classic horror tale with a twist, this story is one that is based around a boarding school, one that is haunted by a ghost that only emerges when you say her name. From that moment you need to watch your back.

Honestly I love reading using the Blloon app. It means that I'm not carrying around a boat load of books anymore and I can have a great selection at my fingertips for less than the cost of a coffee each month!

What have you been reading recently?

Monday, 29 June 2015

Why We Are Not Having Another Child.

We never expected to have Max when we did. I don't think anyone expected it. We were young, still in uni and had barely known each other a year. But we honestly wouldn't change it for the world.

That doesn't stop us getting the "when are you going to have another" from every Tom, Dick and Harry. We get told that we are young and there is plenty of time for another. But honestly, I know in my heart that I don't want to add another member to our party of three.

Max is nearly 5 now. He's going to go to school, we're going to have the chance to start our careers. Loads of our friends left uni and went into great paying jobs in the big city, internships around the world and we seem to be that step ahead of them career wise. I'm not saying that I resent Max for holding us back, in fact the contrary. Having Max has left us more determined, we aren't ones to fritter money away on silly things and not leaving jobs to fester. We know what we want and we know we need to work hard to get there.

He's one determined cookie. One that has known since he could speak he want's to be a rockstar. And let's be perfectly honest, teaching him all of that music, vocal and acting training isn't going to come cheap. I don't want to have loads of children and then have to hold them back because I can't afford to let them all thrive.

People keep telling us that Max is lonely on his own. I have to disagree, we have a great network of friends in the area. Family are all less than an hour away and his best friend of all is a 5 minute drive. Any time he does get on his own is time that he immerses himself in his favourite things; music, Lego, Scooby Doo and any other toys he might have. Making some amazing imaginary worlds.

I don't want another. I don't want to go through pregnancy, labour and the sleepless nights again. Not that my experience was a bad one, it's just one that I don't really want to repeat. Me and Scott agreed that if we were in a better financial position before Max started school then we would talk about it. But knowing we aren't any better off than we were a couple of years ago worries me that financially we wouldn't be able to cope either.

It might sound crazy but I love having just 1 child. We get to do loads of cool stuff together, I don't have to worry about keeping my eye on multiple small people and we feel like the strongest unit there is. That's not to say that people with big families are doing it wrong. Each family is different, the 2 kids and a dog scenario doesn't exist for everyone anymore. So that's why we are choosing to just have 1.