Better Education Options for Your Children

private school kingshottschoolIf you live frugal like we do here in our family you cannot start early enough with thinking about the best education options for your children.

And what can be more important when it comes to our children’s education then the choice of school?

If you are like most other people you may send your children to the closest public school in your area.

For most, private schools are not an option since they look at the costs for such a school first. But this is where people can be wrong. Let me explain.

It is a known fact that public schools can be lacking when it comes to goof education standards. Teachers there are often stressed and often less than motivated. They don’t have the time to focus on individual pupils who would otherwise require all their attention. This can be important if your children have difficulties learning. As a result their grades can suffer.

Employers today are also having a keen interest in what schools your children attended. Some go even so far as to make a hiring decision based on a school history alone. Public schools there are way down at the list which would give those children a severe disadvantage later on in life. Studies have indeed shown that those children who attended private and independent schools have on average the better and better paying jobs.

So what at first may seem like a unnecessary expense for your family may ultimately result in just the opposite: A better education and a well paying job in the future.

It is my opinion that our many great private and independent schools here in the United Kingdom should be high on your list of priorities when you’re looking for the best education for your children. Amongst the best private schools in Hertfordshire, the Kingshottschool is my recommended private school. This is the school my children currently go to and it was an excellent decision that I don’t regret after terrible experiences with two public schools here in Hertfordshire.

How To Increase Your Chances To Get Hired

This is a tip I got from my friend Michael who is a career counselor in Birmingham. This tip is interesting especially for all people who are just finished with school and are now trying to get in with a particular firm.

It can well happen that those firms who are interesting are not even hiring. But there is a trick how you may still get in, and this trick is to get into a company via an apprenticeship.


Getting Into A Firm With An Apprenticeship

The reason here is that a lot of companies are less hesitant to take on apprentices.

Even if they “normally” would  not be hiring they may still take you if you apply for an apprenticeship.

Now, you might say an apprenticeship is not what you want, you’d like a full-time position. But this is where it gets interesting.

By and large, most apprentices WILL ultimately get hired full-time. See it like that: Your company had a year time to see your performance and they will know you’re a great, invaluable member of their staff.

This is where they will likely hire you rather than risking to lose a valuable employee. In some fields, such as in IT, 94% of apprentices DO get hired!

But that’s not all there is to apprenticeships.

It is also a great opportunity if you need additional qualifications or training for a certain position. Most of the time you can get this training during your apprenticeship and your company will even pay you for this additional training. So even in such cases where the company won’t hire you at the end you will have experience and qualifications on your CV that will greatly increase your chances on the job market!

No matter how you look at it, apprenticeships are invaluable and you should definitely consider them! If you have troubles finding one, there are websites out there which make it easy to find apprenticeships anywhere in the United Kingdom. So no matter whether you look for apprenticeships in Nottingham or wherever else in the UK you should be able to find them without too many troubles.

Have You Ever Seen The Singing Waiters?

singing_waitersIf you had been in the UK recently, in particular in London, you may have already heard of the singing waiters.

The singing waiters are some of those entertainers who are getting booked for all sorts of events because of the increased interest in surprise music and surprise entertainment.

To me it looks almost as if anyone in London who wants to make an impression throwing a party or a wedding has no interest in “conventional” musical entertainment such as DJs or music bands any longer.

In other words, if you are someone in the UK or you think you are someone or you want to be someone you hire surprise entertainers if you want to impress your guests today, it’s as simple as that!

Now, since we established already that you really, really need to book surprise entertainers for your next party or whatever event, this will naturally open up the question where to find them and how you’ll know that the surprise entertainers you book are actually among the good ones.

Well, here is the deal:

If you look around in the usual places where those guys advertise today such as in Timeout magazine etc.,  it’s likely you’ll find a bunch of entertainers you can book but not many of those (if any) will have any background in what they do let alone a real qualification. To be honest, a good number of those guys should be getting paid to NOT sing, that’s how bad they are.

And this is why the singing waiters are so popular: If you get the singing waiters you know that those guys are professionally trained singers and dancers, most of them are coming from the most reputable music schools and theatres in London like the Guildhall School. This means you will know that your party or wedding reception will be a success and not an amateurish embarrassment! Find more about The Singing Waiters here!

Saving Money Grocery Shopping

If your budget is tight you can do several things that can help you saving money with your daily expenses such as grocery shopping.

* Take advantage of store coupons and printable coupons.

Most households waill on occasion get those coupon books in the mail. You can go through the book to find good deals on groceries. Those are the types of coupon sou would cut out and then bring to the store.

Printable coupons work similar except that you would look for them online. Many large brands have coupons that can be for anything from coffee to baby diapers. You would then print out those coupons at home at your computer and bring them to the store in the same way as you do with normal coupons.

* Special offers from your grocery store

Almost any grocery store has weekly special offers and deals. Most of the time they will have a paper in the store announcing what special deals they have in the next or next couple of weeks. If you get those papers all the time you will always know what’s on sale when you go shopping. This can greatly help you save some money. You can also check your favorite’s grocery store website for those offers. Most big store chains have the offers also on their website so you’ll always be up-to-date with their current deals and special offers.

Shipping Software For Cutting Your Business Costs

There are certain types of businesses that have especially high demands when it comes to management and organization. I know this since one of my best friends is in the international shipping business.

This type of business is so complicated since it involves several steps to be successful with it.

types of transport of transporting are loads.Let me just point out some of the steps: Ordering goods and merchandise, finding the most effective means of transport, management for critical paperwork for customs, knowing where demand is and so forth.

It gets even worse for those companies that deal with international shipping, import and export. Shipping goods from country A to B can be extremely challenging due to a lot of regulations and laws, especially when it comes to customs and the transport of goods.

Jeff, my friend got a consultation about how to improve things in his business and they advised him on shipping software. The advantage with this software for his business is that he can access all the information he needs to ship his goods wherever he needs to.

He also showed me how the shipping software shows him in real time about the best prices and recommended transport means. Before he had this shipping software he needed to employ two people only for this management task and even then it was often confusing and many mistakes were made. The problem is that in the transport business, such mistakes can be unforgiving!

It was just two years ago where one single piece of paper was missing for a shipment of machinery to China. What happened was that his shipment couldn’t go through customs and he lost several hundred thousands just because of a mistake with the paperwork.

With the shipping software and some good export management software, such things cannot happen since the software will immediately let him know when something is missing.

I mean I do not know too much about this particular business but I can see how this software can help to avoid such mistakes.

Good Website Maintenance and Its Impact on Running Costs for Businesses

Keeping running costs at their utmost minimum is one of the essential criteria that can decide whether a business or organisation will in-fact run profitable. This is a fundamental thing any business owner knows, whether they run a brick & mortar business or a company that’s web-based only.

Even a rather simple website can incur massive expenses over time when frequent outages or delays due to poor website maintenance will demand expensive servicing or ongoing fixes and tweaks, not to mention potentially lost clients due to technical issues that may occur on your website.

A typical example here would be how business owners develop a plan initially that may take into account the costs for establishing their presence of the web, including expenses such as for hosting, mandatory staff and so forth. At first glance, this calculation may just come out as financially viable profitable. Obviously, having a web site made and the required web hosting these days does not necessarily cost a fortune any more. Investment decisions may follow based on those initially calculated rather tolerable running costs.


Here is where an initially profitable seeming web business may quickly turn into a financial disaster: Because the business owner or entrepreneur failed to take eventualities along with costs resulting from them into account. Very often, the initial financial calculation is made based on a “in a perfect world” scenario that in the very real business world rarely ever persists, at least not over the long-term. In other words: Problems WILL at some point arise and it would be wise to be prepared for them.

Allow me to give an example, in particular when it comes to website maintenance and how it can save on your expenses. For virtually any web based business, and even more so for those sites with a high volume of traffic, every single minute of downtime will immediately translate into losses. For major corporates, 20 minutes downtime may well result into many millions lost. Obviously, this must be avoided when your commercial business depends on the reliable operation of your site.

I have come across several business owners, some of them in the real estate field and others who supply wordpress support for websites related to day trading who told me that they cut down on their running expenses by getting rid of their technical staff that previously performed regular checks and maintenance tasks for their web presences.  I didn’t like this idea at all.

Those owners seemed not to realize the significance of those maintenance tasks, I assume they thought that their websites will keep running flawlessly on their own. I tried to reason with them and actually let them know that I don’t consider this as being a good solution, not when a business relies on flawless operation 24/7 such as in those two cases.

Low and behold, two weeks after the one owner dropped their staff and maintenance, they entered into a new partnership that was formed for promoting a very popular software product via their blog. What the business owner did not expect was that the traffic due to the demand for this particular product literally brought down his website. During the promotion time, the website could not be reached and not one single sale was made.

Had he not tried to save on his website maintenance he could’ve easily avoided this and would in all likelihood have banked significantly. I talked this particular scenario over with his former technical staff and they confirmed to me that this could’ve easily prevented. They would have known about the traffic to come in advance and would’ve been able to prepare the site adequately.

While this may not be a typical scenario that someone may think of when it comes to standard website maintenance, it does nevertheless illustrate nicely what all it can entail. The layman, and this includes the business owner that is occupied with other aspects within his/her company may simply not be aware of this. Prevention of such things happening certainly belongs to proper website maintenance as do other, more straight-forward things that’ll help the flawless operation of a website under all circumstances.

Before you think about cutting your expenses you must always take eventualities into account otherwise you run the risk to save on the wrong end. The costs for having dedicated staff that can regularly maintain your website to ensure peak performance at all times might be paling when compared to the losses possible by disregarding this as not relevant. This is in particular true for anyone in the financial industry.

Gambling – Could It Be Frugal?

Horse RacingYou might be surprised to learn that my husband enjoys the occasional flutter on horse racing. You may think it’s a little at odds with my frugal lifestyle, and I couldn’t agree more. Sinking money into gambling seems to be one of the quickest ways to lose everything you own.

Eventually I had enough of all this money beyond our immediate control and spoke to my husband about it. Now, completely cutting out the gambling isn’t something he wants to do, so I suggested that we make the extra effort to get the best possible deal and do what we can to improve our chances of winning.

So, I started doing a lot of looking around online for tips and methods for betting on horses, and there is just too much information out there for an amateur to sit and make sense of. One thing that kept coming up was to follow a seasoned professional’s advice and stick with them, and to set a weekly or monthly budget. This made perfect sense to me so I turned my efforts to finding somewhere with a proven track record in horse racing, and which had consistent and helpful free advice on their website.

Finally, I came across a very clear and useful website for horse racing tips. They have daily advice on horses running that day, and the owner of the site is a professional gambler who has earned an impressive reputation (you can see the site I found here:

I showed the site to my husband, and he agreed that it was very reassuring to partner with someone who has been winning for years. We had a long think about setting a budget, and have both decided on a modest weekly budget.

So far my husband has been getting a great deal of pleasure out of his weekly flutter, and I’m kept happy because I know that he will keep to his frugal budget.

I hope you find the website as helpful as we have.

Ergonomic Chairs: The Frugal Way!

As many of you will know I spend a lot of time online. Blogging, reading blogs, tweeting, etc is what I like to do to wind down!

Ergonomic Chairs

My job as a librarian can sometimes be quite stressful and heavy going (contrary to popular belief!). One of the things that people don’t always realise is that there is a lot of physical activity involved in my job, namely lifting heavy boxes of books around, plus a lot of bending and stretching as I am putting books back on the shelves!

Over the years this has meant that my back is not quite as good as it once was!

As I am getting older I am having to take a lot more care of my back, and to be honest I wish that I would have done so more in the past!

One thing that I have really found the benefit of at work is having ergonomic chairs to use. The way that they support your back and rest of your body is far superior to any other kind of regular desk chair.

As I have been spending an increasing amount of time at my computer at home, I decided that it was time to invest in my own ergonomic chair. I realise that ergonomic chairs are more expensive than regular desk chairs, but you can’t put a price on your health!

What I did though, is make sure that I spent a lot of time searching around online to find the best deal. There are loads of companies selling ergonomic chairs online, including the site that I went with in the end

The lessons from today?

  • Look after your health – it’s worth more than money!
  • Make sure that you shop around online for the best deal – it’s the only way

Have anything to add? Let me know!

Frugal Fun for Everyone

It's not about the money!

It’s not about the money!

A lot of people spend their lives chasing money. They think that it will bring them happiness and great experiences.

However, oftentimes they realise that this is not actually the case.

I have been living a frugal life for the last few years. It’s not that, as a family, we were necessarily uncomfortable. We have good jobs, a lovely house in a great neighbourhood, and enough cash to take the family on a foreign holiday each year.

However, having spent some time reading, especially online blogs on frugality, I realised that if we were more careful with our money, actually we could upgrade our lives, have better experiences, and have more money left in the bank to save or invest for the future.

The past few years have been a blast, and I really want to share some thoughts here on this website on how people can really make their money go further, and have better experiences as a family at the same time.

I will be sharing some of our recent purchases, how we have been frugal about them, and give you tips and tricks on how you can do the same.

So, join us for the ride. It’s time to upgrade your life and get what you want and need from your hard earned cash!