What is a no spend week?

If you’re still feeling the pinch after enjoying the festive season, now is a perfect time to consider doing a no spend week. Not only will this help you save some money, but it’ll help you to spot any bad financial habits you’ve gotten into.

A no spend week is a week where you don’t spend money on anything, other than your weekly shop, transport costs and other essentials. Although this might sound like a challenge, the financial experts over at icount, the prepaid MastercardⓇ providers, have put together their top tips for making it through no spend week. Read on to find out more!

Top tips for making it through a no spend week

These simple tips and tricks will help you to breeze through a week without spending any money.

Clear out your cupboards

A no spend week is the perfect opportunity to clear out your cupboards and discover what treasures you’ve forgotten about. There are likely to be lots of tempting treats hidden at the back of kitchen cupboards, which will help you with your food prep during your no spend week. Who knows what you’ll uncover!

Ditch the coffee

If you’re guilty of grabbing a coffee on your commute to work – stop! Not only will this cost quickly add up over the year, but plastic cups are bad for the environment too. If you can’t go without a little caffeine boost in a morning, try taking your own coffee in a reusable flask to save some money during your no spend week.

Make your own entertainment

A week without movie downloads, trips to the cinema or nights out can be tough, but there are easy ways to have just as much fun whilst still saving money. Invite friends over for a potluck dinner party, where everyone brings their signature dish, or opt for a night in instead of your usual date night. Make sure to also look at what free events are available in your local area during your no spend week.

Try homemade alternatives

No matter what product you need, there’s probably a homemade version that can be made. From skincare products, to washing powder or dishwasher rinse aid, you can make your own versions for a fraction of the cost, with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards. Have a Google for recipes, or take to Pinterest for even more inspiration.

Make the most of freebies

There are plenty of freebies available to take advantage of if you know where to look. Scour local Facebook groups for free events or items, look on Gumtree for household items you may need, and make the most of competitions or giveaways from your favourite brands.


Making Money By Clearing Out Your Old Rubbish

January is one of those months where we have all the resolutions to do stuff and change up what we are doing. Some of us choose to get fit and lose weight, some choose to try a new hobby and some choose to declutter their houses ready for the year ahead.

But what do you do with your old rubbish when you no longer want it? Well, anything that can truly be deemed as rubbish can be put into your weekly or fortnightly waste collection, taken to the dump or recycled. But for those decent quality items that you simply no longer want? Why not make some money off of them? I am a big believer in selling the items you no longer want, as long as they are of decent quality. Why not make some money back after you forked out your hard earned cash for them originally?

There are plenty of places to sell your unwanted items to get some cash and assets nowadays but have you ever considered interactive online auctions? Not like your general auction websites, these auction companies manage the whole process from start to finish, often offering a few different processes for how to go about this. This means you can find the process that suits you the best.

These are great if you want to sell something but have no idea how to price it or know where to sell it. They know what sort of prices the items will go for and what type of people will buy them. They know exactly where to market the items and let people know what you have for sale. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this?

I have a couple of items I have been hanging onto as I just don’t know what to do with them. I know they are worth a fair amount so I don’t just want to let them go for a certain price and then find out I could have got more, much more. Perhaps an online auction is worth my while – at least I know that I will be given a fair deal and the people buying them actually want them.

I love selling my old stuff – both parties benefit well as one person gets cash and the other gets the item they want. But I don’t like the whole process of listing everything, taking pictures, researching prices and where to market the items. It is tempting sometimes to just take them to the charity shop – even if I could do with the money! This would certainly make the selling process more streamlined if I could rely on someone else to do it for me.

Have you ever sold your old stuff at an online auction? How did you find it and did you get what you wanted from it? Do you find the other avenues of selling your old stuff tedious and boring? Maybe these interactive auctions are worth a try. What do you say, why don’t we give them a try and see how we get on?


Why January is the Best Time to House Hunt

The boundless joy of the festive season is over and all that’s left is darkness and misery, right? Wrong! I’ve been doing a bit of research lately and have discovered an interesting fact about what many of us consider to be the dreariest month: January is a great time to go house hunting. In fact, January may just be the best time of year for this task. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons for that. Let’s explore them.

Unappreciated Properties

During the heady days of December, a time when most of us take a break from work, not many people actually go house hunting. This is because there are so many meals to be prepared, presents to be carefully chosen, cards to be written and family gatherings to attend.

What does this mean to house hunters? Well, if you look on a good property site like Andrews Online you might find some brilliant properties that haven’t been given the attention they deserve. These might be properties which were listed at the start of winter and are still available. They may have even been listen in autumn and been unlucky enough to miss the summer house hunting season. So, you could find yourself a beautiful home that at any other time would have been snapped up. The owners may even have reduced the asking price or be willing to accept a lower offer than they originally anticipated.

Less Competition

January is when we tuck ourselves into bed or curl up in front of the telly with a warm cup of cocoa. We might even spend our time upgrading our existing properties. It isn’t traditionally when people brave the bracing cold and view homes which are for sale. But if you’re prepared to get out there and do a bit of legwork you might discover that your competition is somewhat thinned, because most people tend to hunt for homes in the warmer seasons.

With fewer people viewing a property you could be given preferential treatment by agents and owners. In other words, your viewing of a property could be longer or you could be given a more complete tour. You could even spend so long with the owner or estate agent that you strike up a rapport. And a friendly relationship may work wonders when it comes to bargaining.

Beat the Blues

For many of us January is a time of giving up bad habits, and sometimes this can create tension. House hunting could be the perfect way to brighten your mood, because it will give you something positive to do. If you’re looking at property websites and going out to view homes for sale, you won’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. And while you’re out there you might just grab yourself a January bargain. So, it’s a win-win situation.

Do you have a particular season which you think is best for house hunting? Or do you have any general house hunting advice? Feel free to share your thoughts below.