Monday, 27 March 2017

Washing Machine Broken? Don’t Panic!

Life can be stressful enough without having to worry about a broken washing machine. You want to be able to come home, throw your laundry in the machine and know that you will have clean clothes tomorrow and the next day and so son. Sadly, washing machines are one of the most common appliances to breakdown, and when they do, it can cause problems for the whole family. But, a broken down washing machine doesn’t have to be the ned of the world, and you don’t have to panic.

Instead of getting all worked up about your washing machine, keep calm and check out these useful tips:

Go Online

If you come home to find that your washing machine is no longer working, the first thing you should do is log on to your computer or smartphone and search for the make and model of your washing machine plus ‘repairs.’ A lot of the time, your machine will only be suffering from a minor issue, and there are many people online who have experienced the same problem, offering solutions. If you can find the right solution, you can make the repair quickly yourself at little or no cost to you.

Call the Manufacturer

If your machine is under warranty, or even if it’s not, the best thing to do is call the manufacturer and ask their advice. If the problem isn’t easily solvable, they will arrange for an engineer to visit your home and make a repair. If you haven’t got insurance or a warranty, many companies will fix your machine as an act of goodwill, so it’s always worth a try getting in touch with them.

Call a Repairman

If you have no joy fixing it yourself and the company doesn’t offer a free repair, it is usually cheaper to hire a local repair man than it is to hire an engineer direct from the company or to buy a new one. If money’s tight, you might consider poor credit personal loans, which will help you get your machine going again quickly. Just make sure you will be able to afford the repayments before you go down that route.

What to Do in the Meantime?

If you’re unable to get your washing machine up and running quickly, you will need to find alternative solutions for a few days, at least for your work clothes and the kids’ school uniforms. Ideally, asking a friend or family member to allow you to borrow their machine is the easiest, most cost-effective solution. Just make sure you take your own powder and offer them a little something for the cost of running the machine.

If that’s a no go, you could always take your family’s clothes to the launderette, but that could get quickly expensive. It’s probably a better idea to wash your clothes by hand. Sure, it’s more work than a machine, but it’s a lot cheaper, and you won’t have to bother anyone else. Just ensure that you know how to wash clothes properly by hand before you get started and enlist the help of hubby or the kids to get the washing done quicker.

Where to Spend and Where to Save in the Home

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home and you’re looking to put your own unique stamp on the place, or you simply want to redecorate your place this spring, you will probably find that there are so many home decorating options that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It is likely that you will also find it hard which items to buy for your renovations because there are so many different price points that it’s tough to know what to do with the best.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of the things it is worth paying more for and which items you can afford to spend less on.


The sofa is a difficult item to determine a spending budget for. On the one hand, you are going to be spending a lot of time relaxing on it, so you want it to be comfortable, but on the other hand, many sofas are more expensive than they really need to be because of the choice of fabric that is used.

What this means for you is that you should spend a decent sum (say £1000 minimum) on your sofa, but you can make savings by choosing a less expensive fabric like a linen blend, instead of expensive leather. Just remember to buy a sofa that is filled with a denser foam, feathers, and springs, because it will be more comfortable and keep its shape longer than a cheap sofa filled with a less dense foam.


If your spring spruce up is going to consist of nothing more than adding a few seasonal accessories, you will be glad to know that this is one area where you should aim to save. Cheaper candles, photo frames, and plants can look just as good as the more expensive versions, with the added bonus that you won’t have to feel bad if you decide to switch them up every time the trends change.


Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial in everything from looking good in the morning to being able to concentrate on your job and can even help you to lose, weight, so it’s safe to say that it’s worth paying more for a mattress from a high-end retailer like John Ryan by Design, which has been well made, than it is to buy a cheap bed. That being said, what words for one person can cause a world of pain for another, so it is never a bad idea to visit your local mattress store to check out whether sprung or memory foam mattresses work best for you. You can the right mattress for you online for less.


If you’re planning on sprucing up your home with a new coat of paint in a different colour, I would highly-recommend that you leave the bargain basement cans alone and at least plump for a mid-range product. You see, very cheap paint tends to be bulked out with a range of chemicals, which are not only potentially bad for you but which make the paint thinner and this means that you will need to apply more coats of cheap paint than the more expensive stuff. Cheap paint is false economy, and it will take up more of your time when decorating.

Throwing a new rug down in your bedroom, living room or kitchen is a quick way to add a touch of colour and give the room a new look, but do you need to buy an expensive one? It depends. If you are putting the rug in a low traffic area, where it won’t see much wear or tear, it’s fine to buy a low-cost synthetic one. However, if it’s going to be in a high traffic area, choosing a rug made from natural fibres, which has been expertly hand-knotted will be the best use of your money. These more expensive rugs might cost many times more than a cheap one, but they will last many times longer, and they’ll still feel softer long after than synthetic rug has lost its appeal.


If your old desk is falling apart, don’t worry because a home desk is one of the things that you can buy cheap. A cheap flat-pack from Ikea will do just fine, providing you splurge a little on the accompanying chair if you’re going to spend a lot of time at the desk because it’s the comfort and support your chair offers that will keep you from getting a bad back, not the desk.

What are the home essentials that you always spend more on? Which ones do you buy cheaply?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Struggling with School Costs? Try This...

Going back to school after any holiday during the year can mean buying new school supplies. While you might replenish everything in September, you often need to buy things throughout the year. Uniform wears out, and stationery breaks or gets lost. And then there are school lunches. These expenses can be hard to handle, especially if you can only buy uniform from one retailer. If you're struggling with the cost of school supplies, there are things you can do.

Help from the School

Many schools are also struggling with a tight budget, but you can still approach them about how they might be able to help. One thing you might be eligible for is free school meals, which you can access if you receive one of a number of benefits. Look on the government website to see if you're eligible.

Find Ways to Save

If you're struggling to come up with the cash when you need it, improving your saving habits can help you be prepared. This might require a rethink of your budget so you can put away more each month. There are many ways to cut costs, from saving on food to reducing your energy bills.

Look for Long-term Solutions

Patching up money problems temporarily isn't going to solve anything for good. Looking for long-term solutions like getting a better job or managing your debts can help you to create a better financial future. You need to take a look at your income and your money management habits to make permanent changes, not just temporary savings.

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