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Rome: Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps

So yesterday, Sam and I flew home from Rome which was his 29th Birthday present from me, which was back in June. We spent Monday - Friday t...

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New Home

Friday, 6 December 2019

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One week ago, Sam and I moved into our first home. He actually told me off last night because I said ‘new home’ and not ‘first’ but it feels like a new home because we’ve already lived together for one year.

It’s been a really strange week. Last Friday, we moved in and I was sooooo exhausted. I was also performing in a show all week so I literally did not stop and by Sunday, I was done. But, I can honestly say I really do love our house. I can’t believe it’s ours and we are going to live there for a long time. It’s so surreal but at the same time, I’m proud of how much we have achieved.

It doesn’t feel like our home yet and I think it will take a while before it feels homely. We have had two issues so far; one is that the insulation on the top floor is faulty so that is being fixed soon and second is that we ordered a bed which has been delivered faulty TWICE. We don’t really have many furnishings so everything is very basic but we will get there. We have ordered a new sofa and furniture for the living room which is exciting, I just can’t wait for it to arrive. The house doesn’t flow at the moment which is annoying me because things are all over the place and given that it’s a three story house, I’m finding myself going up and down sets of stairs constantly, just to find a hair brush.

We do have so much to do but I’m excited to make the place our own. It’s a massive learning curve and it does feel like we are haemorrhaging money but I’m sure it will slow down eventually. It’s probably not helped that we have moved in a few weeks before Christmas, but at the same time, it’s nice to be in the home for Christmas!

We are also lucky to have really nice neighbours too which I’m pleased about. Both sides have been really helpful with everything, especially because we are the last couple to move onto the street. I’ve also met a lovely neighbour named Gemma who lives on the estate who has become a friend already.

So here’s to the next chapter in our first purchased home.

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Money Saving Tips

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

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Yesterday, we had the most sickening moment where we had to transfer our deposit to the solicitors.  I didn’t believe people when they say it feels horrible but IT FEELS HORRIBLE. However, on the plus side, that means we can’t be too far away from moving into our first home now which is really exciting.

It got me thinking about money and how difficult it can be to save these days, especially if you have moved out of your parent’s home already and are paying rent (like we are/were).
But, it is possible. I do write this though, knowing that my boyfriend and I have reasonably good jobs, which does make things a lot easier. I know people in my position with children who are not able to save as much due to the cost of childcare.

I do have a few helpful hints though which I thought might be useful sharing.

1. Open a help to buy ISA. This was the first thing both my boyfriend and I did when we decided to start saving. You can open this with your bank and it allows you to save up to £200 per month and just before you are exchanging contracts, you solicitor will tell you to close the account. When this happens, the government will then give you (your solicitor) 25% on top of whatever you have saved. So, it’s free money essentially and worth getting even if you can’t save £200 per month. I do think that you have to be first time buyer to do this and it is not just one of you who can open an account if you’re buying with someone. You both can!

2. Budget realistically. My boyfriend is training to be an accountant so we live in spreadsheet heaven (or hell, depending on how you look at it haha). So we budget for literally everything.. holidays, savings, spending money, bills, petrol, rent, Christmas and birthday presents, health/insurances. Basically ANYTHING. I also have my social work registration and a few other things to account for but it’s really helped with knowing how much money I can spend on whatever I want (clothes and peanut butter).

3. Social life. Whilst I do not think you should stop living when you decide to save for a house, I do think that if you spend too much money on shopping or going out drinking, it might be worth having a look at where your money is going and seeing if this is a good financial choice. For me, I could shop online all day every day. I allocate a certain amount of money each month and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

4. Monzo. Monzo is an online bank (more of an app) which my boyfriend and I have both set up an account with. I used this bank for disposable money (online shopping) but there is a cool method on there that rounds up any spends and puts the rest of the money in a penny pot. For example, I spent £2.02 in Holland and Barratt yesterday so 98p went into my penny pot.  You can get the money out of the penny pot or you can leave it to mount up. And it actually does mount up really quickly!

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