1. This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or  associated with Facebook. By participating, you hereby release and hold harmless Facebook from any all liability associated with this promotion.
  2. To enter this competition, you must be a UK resident and 13 years old or over (at the time of entry).
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  4. To enter, entrants must locate the competition post on Slummy Single Mummy’s timeline and follow the instructions detailed in the copy.
  5. This competition will run from 11th December 2018 until 11.59pm on 14th December. Entries made after this time will not be valid.
  6. The prize consists of family Day Tickets (2 adults and 2 children) to be used during the 2018 Longleat Festival of Light period. For more information about this event, please visit: www.longleat.co.uk/festival-of-light
  7. The winner must agree a visit date with Longleat directly before redeeming the prize.
  8. The prize can be used on any day that is not sold out.
  9. The prize does not include the Longleat Santa Train.
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  14. Longleat and Slummy Single Mummy accept no responsibility for incomplete, incorrectly submitted or otherwise failed entries.
  15. Longleat and Slummy Single Mummy reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.

money and happiness

Primarily, you want to keep your credit score high so that lenders can offer low rates when you get a loan from them.

Nevertheless, what makes a good credit score? Well, lenders usually rank your score from 350 to 800. Just know that your score ranges from within those two numbers. However, most lenders will only qualify you for a loan if you have a 700 point score, or higher.

With that score, you are sure that you will receive lower interest rates since they will see you as less of a risk.

If you have been looking for ways to better your credit score, what are some of the things that you can to improve the score significantly? Here are some practical ways to do that, exactly.

  1. Do not be late in paying your bills

The best way to make institutions trust you is to start paying your bills on time. Stay true to your loan, and next time you want another one, the lenders will not hesitate.

Set a reminder on the due date, which should be monthly of course. You can also ask your lender to send you an automatic email the day before the payment date. Most of the online banks will not hesitate to do that; remember that they need the money.

You may require the reminders especially if you have a tight schedule.

  1. Ask for help from a credit repairer

Note that the credit repair companies work. Those that have bad credit, and are finding it difficult to repair the score all by themselves, then settle for these companies.

As much as they work, you have to be careful to avoid falling into the hands of a scammer. Many people, especially the desperate ones, fall into the hands of these companies; hence, they lose much of their money, which is something they could avoid at the first place.

If you are looking for the best firm to go to, here is a list of Best Credit Repair Companies of 2018 – Credit Repair Reviews.

  1. Trash credit cards that you no longer need

Once you acquire a credit card, it is often possible to misuse it in purchasing unnecessary things. However, a credit card should provide convenience when you need to buy something quick.

If you have too many credit cards it means that you are just adding up loan balances for yourself. Close any card that you do not need, and stick to the old ones. Use your credit report to fix problems with them, and you are sure that your scores will rise.

Note that you have to keep the older ones. That is because you will require your credit history when calculating the score.

  1. Fix credit card spending habits

Note that we are not telling you to stop using your card, no. You have to continue using your credit card for improving your credit utilization ratio.

If you are always an impulse buyer, then avoid buying those unnecessary items with your credit card. Use it to run usual errands since your credit card gives you the freedom to use money, which you have to keep at bay; otherwise, your loans will pile up, and it will be difficult to pay them.

Conclusion

If you are in a situation that will force you to skip your monthly payments, be sure to alert the bank. Let them know of that issue, or that you lost your job; therefore, they should wait upon you to look for other alternatives. Trust me; they will do precisely that.

Get a credit report and note where the bank notes that you made late payments. Some can be mistakes by the bank, which is something that you can negotiate with them.

A guest post from my 23 year old daughter Bee

I’m terrible with my finances. I usually try not to think about them in the long run if I can help it and usually live day by day when it comes to financial planning. I don’t have a lot of money coming in, so I’ve never felt like there was much point in learning what financial lingo means or what I should be doing to think about my long term options.

Money making ideas

I took the ‘how well do you know your finances?’ quiz on the Sunny website and was surprised to get 4 out of 7 right! I thought I would know absolutely nothing, but I did learn a few things too. Maths has never been my strong point so those were the questions I failed on, mainly because I didn’t really try. But I was really surprised to find that with loans that mean you are able to pay back whenever you want, it doesn’t have to get unmanageable or expensive.

Whenever I’ve seen loans advertised before that say 1000% interest or something similar, I’ve always thought you’d be paying back thousands of pounds and it just wasn’t worth it, but actually as long as you pay it back promptly, a £500 loan could end up costing you as little as £700, which is really manageable if you’re just between jobs and waiting for the next pay day or need to make an emergency payment for car repair or something like that.

Another thing that I didn’t realise was all the things that can impact your credit score. I knew that things like being on the electoral register and having debt could affect it, but I didn’t realise that in most circumstances even when you just apply for credit it can affect your score if you get turned down, which means every time I’ve chanced my arm at extending my overdraft to afford an extra clothes shop or grocery trip could mean that my score has got worse because of it.

Having learnt lots of new information, it’s inspired me to become even wiser on the subject and start to think about my financial future whether I have any money at the moment or not. It’s always good to have a plan. According to the quiz, 39% of the UK working population have less than £500 in savings. Honestly I thought it would be a higher figure because I don’t know anyone my age who has savings, but I guess it shows that if you just put a bit aside each month, £500 can soon add up giving you a nice little safety net should you need to make any rainy day payments or you fall behind on bills. Once I’ve paid off my overdraft I’m definitely going to start putting a percentage of whatever pay check I have into my online savings account, even if I’m not saving for anything in particular. Always having to deal day by day with money issues it would give me such peace of mind to know I had even a few hundred pounds put back.

What are your top tips for saving money? What’s the best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?

In association with Wayfair

What does Christmas day look like in your house?

Ours has always started with Christmas stockings. Bee and Belle will both come into my bed, (via FaceTime last year when Bee was in England and we were in Ireland), and they will take turns to open a present. Stockings are a mixture of fun things and useful stuff – always socks, often something with a flamingo theme for Bee, just to annoy her.

This year I dared to suggest that as Bee was 23 now, perhaps she didn’t need a stocking any more?

‘I’m just going to pretend you didn’t say that,’ she said. And that was the end of that.

After stockings, we go downstairs for the obligatory festive Bucks Fizz, and to loll about for a while on the sofa while people take turns to shower and get dressed and smaller members of the family organise presents from the tree into piles. ‘You’re sitting there Gran, next to your pile.’

As a family we give a lot of presents, but this year seems to be a bit different. My sister and her family have moved this year into a much smaller house, so they don’t physically have the space for anymore STUFF and that seems to have rubbed off onto the rest of us. There are so many THINGS already in the world, do we really all need a dozen more each?

No, of course not.

The secret really is quality rather than quantity – taking the time to choose one or two things that you know someone will love, rather than just panic buying a load of tat. It’s easier said than done sometimes though, hard to know what people will actually LIKE.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, Wayfair has put together some Christmas gift lists, aimed at very specific groups of people. Looking for a gift for a pet lover? There’s a list for that. Want to splash out on something luxurious for someone special? There’s a list for that. Need to shop for a fussy millennial? Try the millennials gift list.

Wayfair asked me to have a look at the millennial gift list in particular to pick out a few of my favourite things. I’m not technically a millennial myself, but Bee comes in at one end of the generation and my sister at the other, so it’s always handy to have some inspiration. They may be known as the snowflake generation, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to buy Christmas gifts for.

OBVIOUSLY the first thing I was drawn to was this Cat Whisperer print from Gemma Correll:

gemma correll print View Post

Image: Pexels

Since the kids came into your life, you probably have less time for yourself. I’m guessing that’s pasta sauce making a huge stain on your shirt right now. But it’s nothing compared to the joy you feel, you say. It can be fun and fulfilling to raise a family. No one’s arguing with you on that one.

But let’s be honest here for a moment, you need to make room for some me time. You don’t want to turn into momzilla because of all the pent-up stress eating away at you. Giving yourself the space to grow is important. This reinvigorates your spirit and gusto for life. All that great energy will flow from you to your family. Trust me.

Bring out that personality and let it shine. Here are things that will inspire you to never stop discovering yourself and your thirst for adventure!

Learn something new

Find a new hobby or maybe pick up the one you never got around to finishing. Learning new things will develop skills you never thought you had or could do.

Travel solo

It’s not just a fad. Travelling alone can test you and allow you to get to know yourself again. Create memories. It doesn’t have to be overseas. A road trip is a great solo trip idea.

Watch movies solo

Grab your purse, drive down to the nearest movie theater and enjoy a good film — Mom only. It may feel weird at first not having the kids around but you’ll realize it’s a nice low-key activity to do on your own once in a while. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the movie age restrictions. Wink wink.

Visit museums

Walking around a room full of history can be life-changing. And museums offer that. Knowing and remembering the past makes you appreciate your life and others even more. It’s a humbling and amazing experience. Look up free museums in your area. You could even bring the kids next time if you like the experience.

Treat yourself to a fancy dinner

Have you been eyeing that one restaurant where you read online that they serve the best steak? And a rich red wine to wash it down with? Well, book that dinner now and enjoy the whole experience. It feels good to be fancy sometimes.

Have your fortune told

Aren’t we all curious about what’s ahead of us? The uncertain can cause us anxiety. We every so often want to know what we cannot see so we can better prepare for it or have some peace of mind. A seasoned fortune teller can provide advice and structured reading on what the future holds. It can be exciting to have a glimpse. Here’s a guide to finding a fortune teller.

Immerse in nature

Take a hike. Climb a mountain. Enjoy the sound of the river. There’s something about nature that clears the mind and brings focus.

Create art

Bake. Paint. Crochet. Heck, write a song! Anything that you lovingly create will produce a sense of pride and satisfaction.

Do random act of kindness

Help out a stranger. Lend a hand. Volunteer. Sharing your blessings with those in need without asking for anything in return will create a ripple effect. Amelia Earhart said that a single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. 

So take the time. Make time. Your family deserves a happy and fulfilled mom to look up to.

One of the main goals in life for most people is to own a home. For those who do however, it remains to be a place to come to after work to eat and rest, before then leaving for another day of work or travel. This realisation can create an anticlimactic feeling for someone who has worked so hard to own their own space. A good way to defeat this feeling would be by turning your home into a money-making machine. Some people have achieved this by establishing a work-from-home routine, which research has proven is likely to make a person more productive. There are numerous other ways to make money from your home. Here are a few of them.

make money from home

Turn it into a factory

This works best for people who have technical talents or skills and training. If you already own a home, the chances are that you already have one of the most critical things required in manufacturing – space. This of course does not mean that you should go gung-ho and attempt to start producing iPhones. It could be a bakery or even some very simple DIY life hack resources that you sell online. In other words, figure out a product that people need that you can easily make and get to work.

Rent out space and resources

A lot of your assets that carry the potential to make money are more likely than not just lying idle in your home. Once again, one of the most important resources you have is the space. Someone somewhere is likely to be interested in paying money – even temporarily – for your basement, your garage, your loft or your even your garden shed. Vehicles, musical instruments and farm equipment are some of the resources that could earn you money by renting them out.

You can also find ways to leverage the value of your home in order to earn more money. A good example of this could be taking up an equity release option. This is a situation where an elderly person can obtain either a lump sum amount or consistent payouts on their property, which is then due after they die or the property is sold.

Sell stuff you already own

Perhaps the most obvious way to make money out of your home is to sell it, or at least some of the things that are in it. You could start by carrying out a thorough cleaning out your house. In the process, you are likely to find items of value that you no longer need yourself. You can either dispose of these online or through a yard sale. You could also put antiques that you own up for sale.

A home is the most sacred space for individual, and even more so for a family. It does, however, carry the promise of so much more. Creative ideas and some initiative can easily transform it into a serious source of extra income.