Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Money, money, money..isn't funny when you have none!!

I’m trying to win an iPad 2 in the iSave, iWrite, iPad competition from!

Another infrequent post. Honestly how do some people manage to make the time to post every day!!

I am constantly trying to find ways in my life to save money without compromising our lifestyle. Extremely difficult with a teenage daughter you might imagine. The thought of the university years looming up strikes fear in my heart.. but I have strategies which seem to work somehow. We'll never be well off but we're doing everything that we want to, bar owning a huge house and expensive car, but somehow i think that isn't a big importance in our life, as long as we can afford holidays, summer festivals and amazing life affirming experiences, have time to spend with family and friends then surely nothing else matters ( as well as not starving of course).

My main advice is shop secondhand and vintage. Amazingly random and amazingly individual outfits occur when you do this. This is probably my most proud acheivement to say my lovely daughter and her friends love nothing more than hitting the local independent charity shop after school and spending an hour trying on random outfits till they find that perfect dress or 80's jacket to wear out to that weekends party. A sideline to this adventure is being able to pass on any clothes you spot that wouldn't in any way ever fit you but you can't leave in the shop or carboot sale and sell it to someone else that will love it as much as you do, making a little profit ( sometimes a bit more that a little!!) along the way.

Another way I moneysave is I always recycle packaging and style magazines to post the lovely clothing I sell. I like to make buying an item from me as personal an experience as possible and so I sew beautiful photoshoots onto the pre-used padded envelopes making individual packages to send my items out in ( Some pics in a previous blog post here).

Another small hobby of mine is entering competitions. If I need something I try my hardest to win it. At the moment I am still praying to the comping gods that I may be lucky enough to win some festival tickets...are you listening?? Download, Rockness, Sonisphere..I'm really not fussed but there are plenty of opportunities out there.

It worked with holidays. I was lucky enough to win our holiday this year to Aruba with Magic FM and have also just found out I have won a huge amount of Nectar points in a competition with Real Radio Scotland so will be able to buy flights and accommodation for my long girlie weekend away i had planned with my daughter to celebrate her finishing her exams as well as replacing the microwave & oven that kindly blew up on the same day the other week.

Now I am on a mission to win clothing and fashion vouchers to top up my holiday wardrobe with things to complement my vintage finds. It has started well with a £100 John Lewis voucher in a Telegraph competition to design a Look Book which actually arrived to day. I was one of five winners and it is sometimes a good idea to look out for and enter comps that require a little effort and that you have a genuine interest in.

For example I need a new sewing machine to transform some of my vintage fabrics ( which i've picked up for pennies at Carboot sales) into skirts and dresses or maybe some home furnishings that seem to cost an absolute fortune in the shops and are so trendy atm. So I am currently working on a Book bag ( all handsewn!!) to enter into a comp to win a sewing machine and a cute Cath Kidston Sewing Box at The Little Brown Book Group blog.

Even if i don't win I will have a lovely individual new bag to show off that cost pennies and that gave me some pleasure to create.

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