2014 Christmas Comping Challenge: An Update

You may have noticed that there has been a lack of posts on Keene On Saving recently and here I finally am with a Christmas Comping Challenge update. Well, things have been a bit busy around here but I’m back with more ideas for content than ever so keep your eyes peeled!

So how am I doing? My Smurfs 2 DVD finally turned up and was going to be put in the Christmas presents pile but Jack found it – so that’s a no go! I recently won £20 Love2Shop vouchers; these will be going in the Christmas pile if my parents help to buy Jack’s new bed, otherwise we will be using them towards it.

I have £17.52 in Nectar points and we aren’t touching these until Christmas so will hopefully have a decent amount saved. We recently used our Clubcard vouchers (needs must) but we are slowly building them up again and have just over £3. Amazon vouchers add up to £19.50 so all in all, we currently have a decent amount ready for Christmas.

What is my plan of action for the next few months? I plan on adding any survey money to the Christmas fund (I am finally seeing a decent income from my freelance work so can now start to save this), entering competitions for presents and selling any unwanted junk round my house on various selling sites. I also have a piece of sports memorabilia that I need to get valued – a friend of Steve’s would like it but we don’t want to under or over charge him!

What actions do you plan to take?

4 Reasons Why You Should Teach Your Children To Save Money Early

The importance of saving money for the rainy day is often emphasised. However, the focus most times has been on adults. This is forgetting the importance of laying the foundation for savings when people are still young. Why? Here are some reasons you should teach your children to save early.

1. Not everything is a must-have

It is likely you have heard the saying: “Not everything you want is everything you really need.” One of the most important money lessons  is that there are choices to be made with your money; you either spend it or save it. Since availability of money is limited, saving is therefore a good way of making children know that it is not wise to buy just about anything that comes along. It is a way of setting aside funds for some more important items that could come up in the future.

2. Appreciating the value of money

Saving also represents a good way of making children learn the value of money. Some young people have no idea or do not care to know how hard it is for their parents to make money. And because of this, some kids are rather too extravagant when it comes to spending. However, if you can get your child to save part of the money needed for that Xbox 360 console he or she has always wanted, for example, the sacrifice involved may help to make them more prudent when spending.

3. Living a Debt-free adult life

The benefits of teaching your children how to save money early on go beyond when they are little. They extend into their later years as adults. It is remarkably common for people to be in debt these days. Most of these individuals are guilty of living beyond their means and failing to cultivate the habit of saving earlier in life. You can save your child, and your family, from the stress often associated with such debt issues.

4. Compound interest works wonders

The compound interest factor is another reason children should be taught to save early. The savings made now by your child can increase greatly with the aid of compounding, which involves payment of interest on both the saved amount and past interest payments. It is this power of compound interest that can turn a few thousand into tens of thousands after a decade or so. You can imagine how much savings made now, say, at a good interest rate of 2-3% per annum, would be worth in the next 15 or 20 years. The current low base rate isn’t going to last forever, so even though the best interest rates available now from the like of CB are in around the 1-2% region, this will go up as the base rate returns to more ‘normal’ levels.

There you have few reasons why you should consider getting your kid started on money management and saving early in life, and the above are just a few of them.

 

Best & Worst: Moneysaving & Money Making Books

This post was actually requested a couple of months back after I posted a picture on my Instagram of the books that currently reside on my desk. These books are here to inspire me and remind me to do certain things – and some of my readers were interested to see just how helpful I found them. I won’t lie – some are more helpful than others. However, I will go into each book, one by one – and give you some positives and negatives. Here I bring you the best and the worst of the moneysaving and money making books currently in my possession.

Best moneysaving and money making booksThe Family Manager Takes Charge (Kathy Peel) –  available here

This isn’t primarily a moneysaving book nor is it primarily a money making book. This book is designed to ‘get on the fast track to a happy, organised home’. What this book does have to offer however is everything you need to get on top of your finances and truly be as organised as you want to be. By being on top of your finances, you are bound to save money! I dip in and out of this when needing inspiration and this really does help. Some sections aren’t relevant to me but that is generally the way with most organisational books or blogs.

ProBlogger: Secrets For Blogging Your Way To a Six Figure Income (Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett) – available here

There are so many blogging books around yet this one hardly gets mentioned anymore, in favour of books such as Blog Inc. Whilst I never started blogging with the intention of earning an income from it, I am lucky enough to be able to do so and when searching for books on blogging, I came across this one. Darren Rowse is perhaps better known as the man who launched ProBlogger.net in 2004. He has a wealth of knowledge and whilst some of the information he shares may not be that easy to understand for brand new bloggers, other bloggers should be able to utilise his techniques to their advantage.

Get Rich Blogging (Zoe Griffin) – available here

I found out about this book via London Beauty Queen and was interested to see what fresh ideas Zoe had. Whilst the information she gives is sometimes more relevant to the UK audience than other books, most of the book tells us exactly what we already know. It’s worth a read but don’t expect to learn too much from it.

The Greatest Guide To Winning Competitions (Karen J Jones) & Winning Consumer Competitions (Kathy Kantypowicz)  – find a similar book by Karen J Jones here & a copy of Kantypowicz’s book here.

You may be wondering why I have included competition books. You may not know it but I love to enter competitions and these can often save you money – and even make you money at times. Where does the saving come in? When you win something you would have been buying anyway! Where does the making come in? When you win cash prizes! I recently read a fantastic post on Young Adult Money where David talks in more depth about making money through giveaways. Whilst both books are a little outdated now, the best one is surely the Winning Consumer Competitions book – it was the book that got me interested in comping when I was about 11!

The Money Diet – available here / Thrifty Ways For Modern Days available here / The Three Most Important Lessons You’ve Never Been Taught available here – all by Martin Lewis

I make no secret of the fact that I love Martin’s website moneysavingexpert.com and that I always try to catch his TV shows when they are on. The knowledge he has is astounding and this shows in his books. By far the best is The Money Diet, giving  you a number of ways to save up to £6000 a year! Thrifty Ways…is a handy little book of moneysaving tips from the community on the MSE forums and the book I like the least, The Three Most Important Lessons, is basically a rehash of everything Martin has said previously. I know that The Money Diet has helped me; I hope it can help you.

The Thrift Book (India Knight)  – available here

My least favourite book of them all. There are some handy moneysaving tips in here – however, India’s tone often comes across as patronising and the majority of the tips are rehashed from other books such as those by Martin Lewis.

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What books do you feel are the best and worst for moneysaving and money making? Do let me know in the comments below.