Hacks to Stay Warm and Save Money on Energy this Winter

Wow, is it cold or what!? I’m not sure if you are aware, but my boyfriend and I are currently residing in an old, Victorian building that has been converted into flats. It’s freezing, but we’re trying to keep things as cheap as possible. Not to mention, we want to keep our carbon footprint to an absolute minimum where we can. This is why we manage to keep our heating on for no longer than an hour a day. How? We have our very own list of hacks to stay warm and save money on energy.

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Alternative Exercise: 14-Day Hoop Challenge with Phoenix Fitness

14-Day Hoop Challenge with Phoenix Fitness

Home workouts can be a complete and utter pain. One reason why many choose to pay for a gym membership is that they aren’t motivated enough to get exercise when they’re in the house. But what if there was something you could do that is fun and would want to do as often as you can? I have teamed up with Phoenix Fitness to show you that there is! I have given myself a simple 14-day hula hoop challenge to get myself moving without having to leave the house. What’s more, you can do it too!

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Alternative Exercise: VR Gaming with VR-Here Liverpool

I’m up for anything that isn’t your typical style of physical activity. I don’t have a gym membership, but I certainly get more than my 10,000 steps in by doing other activities that you wouldn’t normally consider. So, when Bryan from VR-Here in Liverpool invited me and my Larry to check out their complete VR gaming arcade, I simply couldn’t say no!

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The Lifestyle Planner: Free Download!

lifestyle planner

Have you ever put yourself on a mission to get your life together? If so, you will know that it’s not an easy task. From the day I left home, I was adamant to live my life to the fullest. However, it was a tough learning curve. Saving money was never my strong point, nor was living a healthy life. I’m now on my way thanks to the lifestyle planner.

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Quick and Easy Chickpea Burgers

Quick and Easy Chickpea Burgers

It was not my intention to be writing this quick and easy chickpea burgers recipe. Had I not been in a panic this weekend with the realisation that I was off to a barbeque on Saturday and had forgotten I needed a vegan option, this recipe would not exist.

How I Created my Quick and Easy Chickpea Burgers

It was my friends birthday and we were throwing her a surprise barbeque. It had been planned for weeks, but as I had only figured out my budget for the month a day prior, I was unable to buy anything. However, my lack of time to prepare and funds to shop seemed to have paid off.

I grabbed anything I could from my cupboards that could be made into a suitable barbeque meal and there it was. Quick and Easy Chickpea Burgers. I honestly had no idea how these were going to taste. I made the foolish mistake of blending a portion, which essentially just made falafel. However, I amended it with the rest of the batch and created some squishy patties that when grilled or fried (I wasn’t on cook duty) wowed other guests.

So, without further ado, here is my recipe for quick and easy chickpea burgers.

Quick and Easy Chickpea Burgers (Makes 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained – deshelling is optional)
  • 1 can of butter beans (drained)
  • 1 cup of sweetcorn
  • 1 tbsp cajun spice
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 squirt BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup of any flour

Method

This is really simple… Are you ready?

Throw everything into a bowl and mash together. Shape into patties. Grill or Fry on a medium heat until golden brown on the outside. Serve on a bun or with a salad. Now, tuck in!

Quick and Easy Chickpea Burgers

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Healthy Finance: 5 Ways to become Financially Stable

If this last year has taught me anything, it’s that although money shouldn’t matter, it does. I used to struggle with money a lot, and although I am over most obstacles that I have had to face and am now financially stable, there will always be something that will turn up unexpectedly.

The last two years have been a rollercoaster for my career and my ability to stay financially stable, but last year I hit a low. Unemployment hit me hard and I had to stretch out every penny I could to get by. Though I am much better for it now, there is so much about money that I have taken on board so that if anything knocks me sideways again, I will be ready to deal with it and I will remain financially stable.

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Is it too late to become financially stable?

At 24, I already feel keeping myself financially stable is something I should have prepared for years ago. I wish so much that I had been educated about money in high school. Though as a teenager I would have probably been uninterested, I would have left feeling with more knowledge on how to get by.

This is all I knew: In order to live, you need to get a job and earn money. There may have been a few small things surrounding this, that was the gist of it. I also thought that going to university was my best choice for getting a good career. I now know better, but this lack of information has led me down an emotional road that I wish I didn’t have to go through. Regardless, I don’t believe it is too late. I just think I have a bit of catching up to do.

The struggle isn’t the problem. I believe we need to struggle somewhat to fully appreciate the things we have in life. Pain makes you stronger, but there is a difference between working hard and surviving just fine and swimming against a tide. This week I want to talk about ways to keep yourself financially stable now as well as what you can be doing to be prepared for the future.

How can I become Financially Stable?

I can’t fix your problems, I’m not a qualified expert, but I can tell you the things I have done in the last year that have helped me get my life back on track and give myself a healthier mindset on staying financially stable in the future.

1. Divide your finances

I have recently come to learn that being with one bank hasn’t always been my best choice in life. Though I have two accounts under the same bank, it’s too easy for me to transfer my savings back into my graduate account and spend it. I needed to split my money in order to stay financially stable.

I now have four bank accounts for different purposes. I am still with my current bank, but I have also joined Monzo and Starling. My current bank is where my paycheck goes in and my bills go out and my eSavings account has a small amount deposited into it every month for a rainy day.

I plan to transfer a budgeted amount from my graduate to my Monzo account each month to be used for shopping, dining out, and other activities. This means I’m still enjoying life, but I’m not allowed to go overboard. Once that money is gone, that’s it.

Starling is a special account. I have always wanted to travel, but saving for it has always been a struggle. With a Starling debit card, you can spend abroad for free, and the app allows you to create “goals” for your money to be stored until you reach the desired amount. I’m almost halfway through my Italy goal, where Larry and I will be heading later this year.

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2. Have minimal money months to stay financially stable

If you haven’t read my articles around Money Free MarchMoney Free March, I suggest you do if you want to give it a go. Though I have a set spending budget each month, that number will change depending on what I can afford. To make it easier, I’m continuing to have months that are quite similar Money Free March.

3. Learn to say no

Something I have carried with me since Money Free March is the importance of saying no. There are some things in life that are not as important as it is to remain financially stable. I used to have this naive approach to money. I would think to myself “Oh, well I have been paid this much money this month, therefore I deserve to buy this handbag”.

This really isn’t the case. Though it’s not wrong for you to treat yourself once in a while, it is also very easy for this “treat” to become a bad habit. If you want to stay financially stable, you need to keep asking yourself if you really need whatever it is that you are tempted to buy.

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4. Start Investing to be financially stable in the future

“Wait a minute Lacey, aren’t we supposed to be saving money here?”

Keeping yourself financially stable is about saving where you can, yes, but a saving and making an investment are not exactly two worlds apart. I want to go into further detail about this at some point, but I think it is extremely important to get thinking about your pension.

If you are earning above £5,876 a year, you will be part of auto-enrolment. If you aren’t already aware, this is essentially a minimum contribution to be paid into your pension by you and your employer every month, but it’s a good idea to be saving on top of this as well. There are some options available for you to remain financially stable during retirement, and I believe that it is never too soon to take this into consideration.

5. Think about other investments

At some point in your life, you will probably want to buy a house. In order to get that house, you will need a deposit. You may not be in the position to be saving a lot at the minute, but a little can go a long way. It’s a good idea to ask around for the best saving options available.

The way I see it is this: If you can afford a Netflix subscription, you can afford to pay £5 a month for a help to buy ISA. This goes back to thinking about what you can do without. If you want to be as prepared as possible, and with interest rates currently being a big concern for investors, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your current investments if you want to be financially stable in the future.

Have your say

Do you have any advice for staying financially stable? Whether we like it or not, money matters, and being in a bad financial situation can be terrible for your mental and physical health. I really hope some of you found this useful. As mentioned, I’m no expert, but these are based on my own learning curves and choices that I have made over the years that have had an impact on how I handle my finances.

LaceyFitspo xx

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