Category Archives: Budgeting

Losing Weight on a Budget in 2013

Because of economic hard times, more people than ever before are looking to get by with less money. Reducing costs on household bills and vehicle expenses are mainly at the forefront of people’s minds to save extra cash, but losing weight is also an important issue, as we all look to lead healthier lives.

If you want to lose weight on a budget in 2013, then you should consider the following points:

Eat at home

While eating out can be a nice treat maybe a few times a month, going out on too much of a regular basis can have a tremendous effect on your wallet. For this reason, it’s a good idea to eat at home more, so you can cook your meals from scratch and save hundreds of dollars a month.


In recent years, coupons have took off in a big way. There are now thousands of coupon sites where you can find great deals on food brands available at the supermarket, meaning you can significantly cut the costs of your shopping bill. Also, make sure you keep an eye on the Sunday newspapers, as there are usually some great coupon deals to be found for groceries.

Appetite suppressants

If you find yourself constantly spending money on junk food snacks to satisfy your hunger cravings, then you might want to consider an appetite suppressant supplement. For example, Garcinia Cambogia extract has been getting a lot of attention in the news and media recently, as it has helped millions of people lose weight and save money by reducing their urge to binge eat.

Canned food

Let’s face it, items such as fresh fruit and vegetables can be expensive, especially when you are buying out of season. For this reason, why not buy the canned version to save yourself some money? Not only is canned food cheaper, but in most instances it is just as nutritious as the fresh and frozen alternatives.


Why spend your hard earned money on an expensive gym membership, when you can get all of the exercise your body needs…for free. The summer is a great time to put your walking shoes on and get out in the fresh air to burn those calories.

Water filter

An important part of weight loss is drinking enough water every day so you stay well hydrated. Unfortunately, tap water is often full of chemicals, and bottled water is expensive. You can get round this by purchasing a water filter, so you can drink as much water as you want without affecting your health or breaking the bank.

Beauty on a Budget – 10 Gorgeous and Affordable Mascaras

I’m obsessed with mascara, even before I trained as a Makeup Artist I was always saving up my paper round money to buy the latest mascara. As you can imagine I’ve tried and tested every mascara on the market.

Which Mascara Is The Right One For You?

Mascara’s have a use by date of 6 months as you can get eye infections if you use one that is out of date. When you are deciding which one to buy I recommend that you check ophthalmologists test it, as if it is it will be suitable to be used on sensitive eyes. First think about what you want your eyelashes to look like.

For instance you might already have long lashes so prefer an original thick wand or if you have thick lashes and would rather give length to your lashes you would be better using a longer wand or if you simply want separation, a plastic wand will be perfect for you. As a Makeup Artist in Manchester I have mastered the technique of applying mascara by placing the wand at the root of the lash for the greatest volume at the root and wiggling the wand. Then for maximum length to the tip of the lash I use a zig zag motion.

budget mascaras

You don’t have to spend a fortune on mascara to achieve a great result

I go through a least one mascara a month, as I prefer to build up the lashes rather than using strip lashes on my clients. I think it looks more natural and most clients are surprised at how long there lashes look, therefore It’s important that I stick to a budget. Here’s a list of reasonably priced effective mascaras so you don’t have to break the bank.

The Top 10 Mascaras You Can Buy For Under £20!

1. L’Oreal Double Extension, it has a primer at one end, a great buy – £11.29
2. Maxfactor False Lash Effect – £7.99
3. No7 Exceptional Definition – £11
4. Maybelline Great Lash – £4.99
5. Stila Glamour Eyes – £15
6. Benefit BADgal lash – £17.50
7. Clinque Doubling – £16.50
8. Bare Minerals Flawless Definition -£16
9. Rimmel Volume Flash Max – £6.99
10. Smashbox Bionic – £17

From the list of mascara the one that I use the most is the L’oreal Double Extension. You can save more money if you collect Boots Advantage Points or shop at the airport duty free. I also like to buy the packs of Lancôme Hypnose Mascara for £29 when they are on sale, so I’m only spending an extra £7 for an extra mascara. There it is, the top 10 affordable mascara’s that give you beautiful lashes – on a budget!

Guest Author Bio: Emmalene Sophia is a Makeup artist based in Manchester, she performs bridal, occasional and TV make up as well as makeup lessons in Manchester and the surrounding area. She regularly blogs at as well as other websites.

Rising Inflation – Flat Wages

Its no surprise now that wages are in general terms flat, with very few among us seeing the small annual pay rise that was common pre-recession.  Even more sadly, apart from those with pay frozen, there are those with wage cuts and redundancies… let alone the queues at the job centre.  Add to the mix that inflation is increasing at an alarming rate (that 2pint milk now costs 50% more than it did 10 years ago), its evident that the gap between spending and income is widening.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, the Office For National Statistics (ONS) found that real income per head had fallen by £13 to £3,767. Meanwhile, expenditure per head has increased by £4. As a result, household saving had fallen as household must now spend more.

While demand hasn’t really increased and people have been careful with what they have recently, with incomes rising more slowly than inflation, its having a catalytic effect and many ordinary people are now being forced to borrow money in order to get by.  When in need of instant cash borrowing, payday loan providers are who many people are turning to, usually if they don’t have very good credit and can’t access loans in the form of bank loans or credit cards.

There are two effects of the increased borrowing and the widening gap between real income and rate of inflation. Firstly spending will be low, this will counteract all off the government’s attempts to increase spending as a means to stimulate economic growth.  As a result to the fall in spending, firms will see fewer profits, leading to more people becoming unemployed. Homelessness charity Shelter has stated that 8 million people are on the verge of losing their jobs. With no way of being able to save, this is a very worrying situation; being dubbed as ‘the British saving crisis’.

The government need to act and are likely to do so in another attempt to increase spending. Ironically, a likely policy to increase spending could be to encourage borrowing, further widening the gap between income and spending. More borrowing would mean more spending, as people have more access to money, however incomes will not be changing.

To increase economic growth, the most effective method would be to increase spending, but when we take into account that the bad financial standing Britain is as right now was caused by unsustainable borrowing, it wouldn’t make sense to encourage such a thing. In the short run, while borrowing might increase economic growth, in the long run it will come back and burden Britain once more.

A more concrete solution must be thought of as opposed to borrowing, inflation needs to be slowed down and real wages need to catch up fast.

Overview of George Osborne’s Budget 2013

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne recently released his 2013 budget which detailed his plan for the coming year 2013-14.  The new budget sees benefits for some groups and drawbacks for others – an overview is provided here:

For public sector workers, excluding the armed forces, once again pay scales will be restricted and pay rises will fall beneath inflation by 1%.  For many workers in the sector, this has been going on for 5 years.

Groups interested in climate change may be disheartened to hear of the new plans to harvest gas from new sources recently found. This is part of an initiative to help the public by obtaining more fuel and increasing energy investment.

There will also be some amendments to housing benefit, as the building of social houses will take longer, therefore no improvements have been made to waiting times. Although with right-to-buy schemes, the length of time required to have occupied the home before being able to purchase the property has been reduced to 3 years. This will hopefully help tenants who want to buy their home.

In a measure to establish more income from tax evaders, steps will be taken to deter businesses from purchasing companies at a loss to reduce tax. This has the potential to generate approximately £4.8 billion over the course of 5 years.

On another note the budget does have some positive aspects for drivers with the expected fuel duty rise cancelled. This is a welcome decision for many drivers who found the rising fuel costs to become a burden.

Those seeking to purchase a home will benefit from the help-to-buy scheme which will enable them to receive 20% of the value of their property as long as they have 5% that they can put down as a deposit first. Homeowners will also benefit as property prices are set to rise.

Beer duty has seen a reduction by 1p in an attempt to boost British pubs. In contrast to this wine, spirits and cider have all seen a rise in duty tax with wine now costing 10 pence more, spirits 38 pence more and cider 2 pence more.

Buying a Car on a Budget?

When thinking about purchasing a new car in today’s financial climate which is the best option for people on a budget?  Nowadays many people can opt for different ways to get a car: used, leasing or new car offers – but which is the best choice?

For people on a budget they have to buy within their means. The cheapest way to obtain a car is buying used/ pre-owned. A benefit with buying this is that most of the time a new car will decrease in value by 25%-40% – this is a significant loss accumulated over the first two years. So why not let someone else take the percentage decrease? Purchasing a slightly used car that is two years or older could prevent from this drastic depreciation occurring and provide you with a cheaper deal. Obviously the negative with a used car is the fact you can never be guaranteed the car is in working order, although most cars have long warranties that may still be in effect.

Leasing a car is an option that has appealed to many people. Leasing a car has advantages and disadvantages that many should consider. A large payment isn’t needed to be put down on the vehicle, it only tends to be the first months payment, taxes, registration and security deposit amongst a few others. When you have reached the end of the lease you don’t have to worry about selling it on. The negatives with leasing are no damage can occur to the car, the agreed mileage needs to be met otherwise servicing can be refused, no modifications can take place as you technically don’t own the car and you will need maximum insurance cover.

Dealerships at the moment are trying to retain customer loyalty; one way they are doing this is through offering cars on finance. With many new car offers available at the moment a deal can be easily found with little deposits needed and low monthly fees. Take for example with this Hyundai dealership, a new Hyundai i20 can be financed with a deposit of £159 and the same price per month. Offers like this are very appealing for people on a budget as the cost is spread out and a lot easier to handle. The customer will have the peace of mind that the car will be under warranty and perhaps less will go wrong with a new car than a used car might, tax will be low and less costs will be carried out on maintenance. There are disadvantages however with depreciation occurring within the first two years, and some offers do contain high interest rates so it is always worthwhile checking the interest rates with each offer.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of the different ways to acquire a car. Weigh up each decision and decide whether or not it will suit you and your finances available. Don’t jump in at the first offer available shop around and try to find the best deal out there for you.

How General Economy Affects Your Budgets

Budgets are often made based on economic factors that arise in different areas and times of every country or the world itself. Without a consideration for economy, budgets can instantly fail. Economy involves the supply and demand, the prices of products and services and the ability to predict the future prices of products and services, which would greatly be helpful in determining the next financial step in the future.

Economy deals with supply and demand. When a country’s industry sector is strong, there can be a surplus of items. Surplus, by definition, are excess items that would be sold at a lower price to be rid of, regardless of initial costs as it is doing well in exportation or local sales. Clearly, the lower price is because of the lacking demand for the items or services. The higher price of items can be due to the demand while having a lacking production of the products and services.

Knowing these basic principles, you can determine that the items you can purchase today and the services you enjoy today can rise or fall depending on the outlook of the product or service’s original country. In making your budget, take into consideration the economic outlook; if the prices will go up or go down, then decide purchasing items based on quality and quantity.

Quality and quantity are two different things. High-demand products that are deemed “needs” by the public are usually mass-produced and have lower quality. High quality items that are also needs are essential depending on their price and the future “demand” for them, especially if their manufacturers are limiting the supply in the near future.

General economy, even the oil industry, affects everything including your budget. Oil affects the prices of sending goods; when the oil prices are high, chances are the items you receive get higher prices as well.

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