How To Save Money When Running a House

Running a house isn’t cheap and especially in the colder months, the costs seem to rocket. We might be finally reaching better weather and brighter evenings, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look how to save some money. After all, winter will be back around (I know!!) and if you look into savings now, you could very well save yourself a decent amount next winter.

Utilities

One of the best ways to save money is to make sure that you’re paying the best possible price for the utilities in your home. This can be as easy as calling your existing provider and making sure that you’re paying a good tariff, or so what customer loyalty schemes they have. There are also a number of gas, electric and broadband provider so shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best deal is well worth doing, after all, who wants to spend more than they need to on bills?


Think Lighting

I bet if you count up the number of light bulbs you have in your house you have more than you think. I have just had a quick glance around and in the living room/dining room I am sat in there are 7 light bulbs alone; 2 more in the hallway and we’re up to nearly 10 and I’ve only been in two rooms in the house. Making sure that you have lighting options that are cost-effective is definitely one way to save money. Lots of people assume that LED lighting is for offices and bigger buildings but that is not the case at all. With LED panels and a range of LED bulbs available, they’re a cheaper option to traditional light bulbs. They use much less energy to run them & they’re better for the environment, so it’s a win-win situation really!

Make Your Home Energy Efficient

As well as using LED lighting, you should take some steps to make sure that your home is as energy-efficient as possible. Things you can do immediately, especially during the cold weather is to get into the habit of closing doors behind you; which really helps keep the heat in! In the winter, we call it getting snug for the evening – where we close all the doors, close the living room curtains and put on the TV. It feels all nice & warm and will help save money. Draught excluders & decent curtains can also help to keep the heating it. You can go the extra mile with plugs on timers & making sure that devices are turned off and not left on standby when you’re not using them.

Litho LED suppliers and INUI have teamed up to offer some cost-effective LED lighting options for homes of all sizes. By swapping to their bulbs & taking some steps to save yourself money on bills, you could find yourself saving a sizable amount over the year, so they’re well worth considering.

If you have any money-saving tips for the home, I’d love to hear them!

Debz x

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4 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

Having a stable 9 to 5 job is great, but a reliable passive income stream is better. Imagine having more money, more freedom, and more flexibility without showing up to a workplace. Now picture yourself trotting the globe or driving your dream car. That's the prize you get for solving the passive income puzzle.

Generally speaking, most people misunderstand passive income. It is not something you build overnight or a magical online tool that will rake in money while you sleep. It often requires hard work upfront before the business can finally run on its own. Having said that, there are tools you can use (see the Motley Fool review at Joywallet for an example), but it isn’t as easy as setting up and go. You still have to put in some effort.

Stay with me as I walk you through the best passive income ideas you can start today.

Become an Information Vendor

Creating an informational product is one of the best ways to make passive income. Think courses, e-books, and even a YouTube channel. I have seen people sell classes on topics like "How to Build and Rank an Affiliate Website" on Udemy, and the same courses are still making sales several years later. The idea is to keep adding info over time and creating a community to collect valuable feedback on your offering. That might not be passive enough to some people, but it is one of the most laid back ways to rake in big money.

In short, none of these methods are easy to start. Take an e-book, for example. There's a lot of research, writing, and editing needed before launching the product. That means you'll need to hire a good writer to make the draft, a decent editor to straighten the piece, and a graphic designer to create a cover.

Become a Landlord

Ahh, landlords. They are a perfect example of people living off passive income. However, getting to the point of collecting rent is not exactly a walk in the park. You have to buy the section, get plans approved, and deal with the construction part of it. And, none of these things go as planned. Approvals take longer than expected, and the final budget often exceeds the initial plan by a considerable margin. That makes the entire process very stressful.

Still, house sharing solutions like Airbnb have made it possible to rent out tiny houses in the middle of nowhere. That means you can get cheap land in a scenic part of the world and build a tiny house village for people to visit. This strategy has worked for people before, and you can do it too.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is where I started my passive income journey three years ago. I bought a domain name for my niche, built a stunning website, and populated it with SEO-optimized content. Everything didn't go as planned, as my traffic levels were so low that no advertiser wanted to take chances with my site.

One hundred thousand words later, the website started gaining traction, and I got my first affiliate links online. That's how I started waking up to money in the bank. I've also built other websites after this, with most of them concentrating on selling leads to business.

Become a Lender

With so many peer-to-peer lending apps out there, you can join one as an investor and start making passive income. These apps handle everything for you, including background checks and collections. Examples of such apps include Prosper, Lending Club, and Funding Circle.

People have tried this method with mixed results - some many good money and others losing. That means this is a high risk – high reward business that is not entirely passive. You have to vet every customer to make sure they are legit and able to pay.

Whether you decide to become a landlord, an affiliate marketer or something else, there is some money to be made out there so good luck!

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Rixo - When Inclusivity Becomes Invisible

 The brides in this tweet are undoubtedly beautiful, and the dresses are stunning. I am sure the range has a number of pieces that mean there is something for everyone, after all, Rixo has designed their collection "with all shapes and sizes in mind".



My social media feeds have been bustling with people talking to Rixo, offering to educate them on their poor choice of wording & even poorer attempt at an inclusive collection, but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. I wanted to show Rixo the absolute range of beauty they're missing out on, by assuming that all body shapes and sizes stop at a size 16. 

First up we have Charlie, Mandy and Denise, aren't they beautiful?


The stunning Rebecca from Sullen Hearts got married AND renewed her vows, Rixo, are you paying attention?


Then we have the gorgeous Clare and her Valentines Day wedding and Emma, from PlusSizeMum33



Lolly Likes looking stunning as ever, and Janet & Daisy showing that brides over a size 16 aren't a new phenomenon!


How lovely do Charlotte, Claire Dewis and Emma look? Absolutely lovely!



Another stunner that got married and renewed her vows - Alanna


Full length dresses from Michelle, Lily and Lisa all looking beautiful!



Beautiful Bloggers Just Average Jen and Sophie Rymer looking beyond lovely on their wedding days


Look at the lovely Hollie, Kathryn & Sarah


Look how lovely Joanne looks in both of her vow renewals, Rixon how could you be happy to miss out on such an opportunity?


Louise, Lisa and Dana, all three are shining examples of looking GREAT on your wedding day!


Gemma, Sarah and Tracey - all looking knockout on their big day!


Charlotte, Sarah & Jen - absolute stunners!


Char, Heather & Katy, looking nothing less than perfect


Look at Stacey Sally and Sharon all looking radiant!


So there you have it Rixo, brides over a size 16 are nothing new. You're missing out on the honour of clothing so many, many beautiful women just by making an inclusive range that excludes so many people. You can make the clothing you choose to make, but when you make a statement as bold as being inclusive for all shapes & sizes, it may be wise to have something to back this up.

These are the photos I have been sent, I realise that brides come in a much more diverse range than those pictured. If you'd like to be featured, just reach out and I would be delighted to add you!

If you'd like to share your photos of you as a bride on social media, please tag me @Debzlouiseblog and use the #NotInclusiveRixo and I'll share as many of them as I can. Make sure you check out the hashtag to see some beautiful brides.

Have a lovely Sunday evening and stay safe 

Debz xx

Things To Consider When Working For Yourself

Some of you will know, I started my own business a year ago. I'm pleased to say that Get Virtual Assistance is doing okay & it's something I have been able to continue with throughout lockdown; I know that makes me very lucky!

I've worked for myself before so I was sort of used to what it entailed, but during a time when I've not been able to leave the house much (same as all of us) this year has been different. Not all bad, but definitely all different. 

Have a Nice Work Space

Once I knew I would be working from home for the foreseeable I set about making my workspace at home nice. I have loads of photos up on the wall to the right of me, a comfortable chair, a decent desk and I even invested in an extra monitor so I can work over two screens. Since then I have added some canvas prints to the wall to make it even nicer. I figured that if I was going to be spending time at home working from the desk then I should make it as nice to work from as possible. 

Make Sure You're Protected

One thing I haven't always been the best at but that should always be considered is protecting yourself. There are different insurances you can get these days that are tailored towards different jobs and industries so being protected is easier than ever.


I also recently learned about income protection - an insurance scheme you can pay into that then pays out a percentage of your salary if you're ever signed off work due to illness or injury. I know as someone who is self-employed that sick days are something that you're really reluctant to take because of the loss of pay; but this means you don't have that worry - and when you are working for yourself, the less you have to worry about the better.

Have a Back-Up Plan

I started Get Virtual Assistance and then the world went into lockdown a few weeks later, so I have to admit I did panic. I kept an eye on Indeed and other job websites to see what employment opportunities were out there. I also updated my CV so that I could apply for a job at any given time.

Forget All The Rules

It is all well and good people like me writing a set of rules, but when you're working for yourself, especially with times as they are now you must do what works best for you. for example, I talked about a nice working area & making it pretty. A couple of weeks ago, I got lonely working upstairs so my laptop is now in the living room, on our dining room table and I work within the hustle and bustle of family life. It probably won't always be like that, but that is what I felt would work for me at the time so that is what I did

If you have any tips for people working for themselves/working from home feel free to share them below!

Debz

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Have You Tried CBD? Here’s What It Can Do for You

 CBD products have gained plenty of attention in recent years, and for a good reason. This natural hemp extract can provide a variety of benefits for both your health and your beauty, making it useful in a variety of applications. If you haven’t tried it yet, let’s take a look into what CBD can do for you.

1 - Calm you down

The stereotype of the chilled-out stoner is actually a bit misleading. It makes it seem like all types of marijuana calms people down. But in reality, THC — the active agent responsible for weed’s intoxicating properties — is a stimulant. In high doses, it induces alertness, euphoria, and even paranoia.

It’s CBD that has the calming properties in plants of the marijuana family. The substance lowers your blood pressure and reduces the levels of stress hormones in your bloodstream. It all amounts to you feeling calmer and more relaxed throughout the day. And it can also help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.

2 - Rejuvenate your skin

All CBD is not created equal. CBD stands for “Cannabidiol”, and you can get it in two forms. CBD isolate is the substance in its pure form, and Full-Spectrum CBD — which is the type provided by Cibdol — is a mix of CBD with other healthy hemp byproducts. And both types of CBD can provide benefits for your skin.

CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, which makes CBD isolates useful in the treatment of a variety of skin conditions. Including acne, eczema, dermatitis, and more.

Full-spectrum CBD also provides those anti-inflammatory benefits, but it can also do more. Since this type of CBD also includes other hemp by-products, it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, making it a complete skin-care product that is only made better when mixed with other active agents.

3 - Relieve different pains

If you are trying to stay away from opioids, CBD is a good natural alternative. The substance is known to relieve a variety of types of pain, helping people deal with everything from sports injuries to arthritis. Research even shows that CBD can be useful to deal with menstrual cramps, which is one of the reasons why actress Whoopi Goldberg started selling CBD through her medical marijuana company before it was shut down.

You can get pain relief by sending CBD into your system via gummies, capsules, vaping, or by placing CBD oil under your tongue. Applying CBD products to your skin in the form of oils or creams will also provide localized pain relief.

4 - Help you sleep better

It’s important to note that while CBD is safe, it does offer potential side effects. Among them are appetite changes, diarrhoea, and drowsiness. The latter is only common when you use very high doses of CBD, and it is only really a side effect when you want to stay awake. With that in mind, several manufacturers started selling potent CBD products to be used as sleep aids, and many users swear that CBD is the only thing that ever worked on their insomnia.

Studies on the actual effectiveness of CBD as a sleep aid are still ongoing. But if you would like to sleep more without relying on a narcotic, CBD is worth a try

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