Make Ebay Pay

Following on from last weeks Spring clean your finances, I thought it would be useful to write about how you can make money from your actual spring clean. These days you can sell most things on Ebay. The trick is to get organised.

Inventory – Make a list of all the things you want to sell ensuring they are clean, presentable and in a saleable condition.

Pricing – Do your research by finding out what similar items are selling for. This will help you decide if you want to put it up for auction or use the buy it now option.

Photographs – Make sure you use a good selection of photographs to sell your item. You need to have good lighting, show different angles and focus on any flaws.

Description –  This is equally as important as the photographs. The more detail you add, the more informed the buyer is and therefore more inclined to make a bid. Include things such as the make/model, colour, style and also any specific measurements.

Postage – Make sure you are not selling yourself short by adding low postage costs. You can check the cost of postage here. Take the cost of the packaging and transporting it to the post office into consideration.

Hints and Tips

  • Some Ebay buyers will check your feedback rating prior to making a commitment. You can build up a good rating by purchasing items before you decide to sell.
  • Make sure your listing ends at a good time. According to Ebay stats, the busiest time for buyers is on a sunday afternoon.
  • You can list the first 20 items you want to sell each month for free. After this you will have to pay. If you have lots of items to sell,  look out for special weekends where no fees are charged.
  • Sell things that are in season. You will limit the saleability if you try to sell a swimsuit in the middle of winter.
  • Make sure you ask for proof of postage which is completely free. If a buyer claims they have not received their item you can use this in your dispute
  • Add as much info as you can in the title as this is what the search function uses
  • Check your emails – Buyers may ask questions about your item and you need to respond quickly to ensure they stay interested
  • If you are selling lots of items make sure you refer to it in your ad. Something as simple as ‘Check out my other items for sale’ will do the trick

Ebay doesn’t have to be your only option for selling your items. If you prefer something more simple where you can advertise your items locally for a fixed price try websites such as Gumtree, Preloved and the Loot.

If you have low-cost items of clothing/shoes that are in good condition but won’t make that much money, you can take them to a clothes bank. This one offers you 50p per Kg but there are many more options to choose from.

Do you have any designer shoes, clothes or handbags? Why not consider a dress agency? They usually display your items in store and take commission from the selling price. This agency has stores throughout the North West.

I hope you manage to make some extra cash by selling some of your unwanted items. Let me know how you get on.

Happy Selling!

Love Nic x

Spring clean your finances

The daffodils are out and spring is finally upon us. Traditionally this is the time of year we have a ‘spring clean’. A time to clean the house from top to bottom and get rid of all that junk that has built up over the last year. This year as well as donning the marigolds, I want you to have a think about having a good old sort out of your finances. This can be a tiresome never mind boring task but you could really reap the benefits.

Current Account

Are you happy with your bank account? Is your loyalty offering you any rewards? If not have you thought about switching?

Lots of bank accounts are now offering financial incentives to switch to them. This couldn’t be easier taking approx. 7 days and they now take on the responsibility of changing over all your direct debits. There are some great offers around at the moment so if you want to switch now is the perfect time

Clydesdale Bank – £150

Yorkshire bank – £150

Halifax – £125

First Direct – £100

Marks & Spencer’s – £125 M&S Gift card

*Make sure you check out the terms and conditions before you make any commitments

Premium Accounts

You all know the ones I am referring to. The one’s where you pay £10, £15 or even £20 a month for your account which in return usually offers you rewards such as travel insurance, mobile Phone Insurance, breakdown cover etc

Now I’m not saying that these accounts are bad as they can be very beneficial IF YOU USE THEM. If you are paying for one of these accounts, find out what rewards they are offering and check you are not doubling up else ware. The amount of people I have spoken to that have bought separate travel insurance or breakdown cover as they forgot it was included is baffling.

If you are not taking advantage of the rewards either start doing so or cancel it asap. If you are paying £15 a month that could be a saving of £180!

Credit cards

I truly believe that if you are paying interest on your CC in this day and age you need to a good shaking (and that’s being kind) 😉 There are 3 types of 0% cards you can apply for:-

0% on purchases – This is the best option for you if you have something expensive you need to purchase but don’t have the money up front. A perfect example of this is car insurance. Companies often charge you extra for paying monthly which is usually the best option for most. If you pay upfront using a 0% credit card, you cut out that extra cost and can arrange your own monthly payments. In the past I have saved up to £200 by using this method.

0% on Balance transfers – If you already have a CC or store card and are currently paying interest or your interest free period is coming to an end, it’s time to transfer. There is usually a small fee for transferring but this is a one off payment and can be as little as 1% if you shop around. This card is usually good for people who no longer wish to spend and want to start hacking away at some of their debt.  Some cards are offering 0% for up to 36 months which is fantastic!

0% on both Balance Transfers and purchases – If you want to transfer your balance but would still like to spend on your card, this is the perfect option for you. However the time periods for interest free can often differ for each option. For example they may offer 6 month on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases. Working out the different interest rates on these cards can be quiet confusing so I would tend to stick for one that offers the same qualifying period for each option.

Bad Credit – Having bad credit doesn’t necessarily mean that you are ‘bad’ with money. Sometimes it might be because you have no credit history. You can check out your credit history at http://www.experian.co.uk/. You can often get a free trial but make sure you cancel it after 30 days. If you have bad credit history then you may not be able to apply for some of the great credit card deals that are currently available but I guess we all have to start somewhere. Money super market provides a great (free) service where you can find out which are the best credit cards to apply for based on your circumstances. https://www.moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/search/?goal=CC_CREDITBUILDER

Searching for the best credit card to suit you couldn’t be easier with most price comparison sites offering this service completely free of charge. If you’re really savvy about saving money choose a card that offers rewards from priority tickets to money off vouchers.

*REMEMBER APPLYING FOR SEVERAL CREDIT CARDS CAN HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUR CREDIT RATING SO THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU APPLY*

Household bills

Gas & Electric – If you haven’t switched in the last 2 years it’s very likely that you are paying over the odds. It’s fairly easy to do but you will have to dig out some information before you make a start. You will need details of your supplier, which tariff you are on and how much energy you are using. You will need to check that you are not on a fixed term contract as you may have to pay a fee to leave this early. Once you have all this information just go to http://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/ and see how much you can save!

TV & Broadband – If, like me, you can’t live without new episodes of The Walking Dead and have subscriptions to companies such as Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk etc. then you could be settling for prices that are over the odds. If you call these companies and ask for a discount there answer is likely to be no. However if you can no longer afford the subscription and decide to ‘cancel’ things are often very different. Most companies have customer service agents specifically in the cancelling department that are there to change your mind. They do this by offering you a much better deal. If you call to ‘cancel’ your account today, I guarantee you will come off the phone with a much cheaper monthly subscription!

Council Tax – Do you pay your council Tax over 10 months? It’s great at this time of year when you feel like you’ve got 2 months free but what about the rest of the year? Did you know you can now split your payments equally over 12 months? Although you won’t be saving any money, it might make your monthly outgoings a little more manageable as you could have an extra £20 or even more in your pocket each month. You will need to contact your local council for more information.

I hope you have found my tips useful and would love to know if any of you have saved any money by using these methods?

Don’t delay, start saving today!

Love Nic x

Let’s make Mother’s Day

Is Mother’s Day just another money making scam? In my opinion it certainly doesn’t have to be. Over the years I’ve bought my mum jewellery, perfumes etc but it’s the home made gifts I created as a child that have been proudly displayed in the cabinet for the last 20 years that my mum loves the most (much to my disapproval).
Surely that shows us that sentiment means more than flashy gifts?
 
So if you don’t have a lot of money but still want to give a gift that says I care, say it with cupcakes!
 
You can buy all the ingredients you need from Asda, including a cute presentation box for just over £5. And the best thing is, you don’t even have to be good a baking.
 
Vanilla cup cake mix £1.00
100 Cupcake cases £0.58
cases
Chocolate frosting £1.48
2 x cupcake presentation boxes – £1.50
Top with some rainbow or heart sprinkles for £0.77
In true Blue Peter style, here’s some I made earlier
Why not give it a go and let me know how you get on. I would love to see your pictures.
Happy Mother’s Day
Love Nic x

Offer of the day

I had to share today’s great purchase with you all

2 dresses which are perfect for spring for just £9 (belt not included) 

Get yourself down to Tesco for some great F&F bargains



Happy shopping!

Love Nic x

Marvelous Miniatures

My holiday is over and I am finally back to some sense of normality now my house no longer looks like the local laundrette.

 

Whilst unpacking, I caught my husband doing a slight eye roll when I pulled out the mini shower gel and body lotion I had taken from our hotel. This was followed by a question that got me thinking. “Are you ever going to use those?”

 

This prompted me to do a bit of a stock check and I was surprised to find the amount of ‘mini’ toiletries I had collected. These were part of gift sets which I had received for Christmas/birthdays and from the odd hotel stay. I have over 50 items which I have been saving for a ‘special occasion’. As I have yet to use these products I am started to wonder what I consider a ‘special occasion’? Am I saving my Jean Paul Gaultier shower gel and body lotion for when the Queen comes over?


I then realised that my husband was right! I hate it when that happens, so it’s time to prove him wrong  😉 I WILL use them!!

I’ve realised that this is also a great way to save money as I anticipate that I won’t have to buy any shower gel for at least a month, let alone body lotions and exfoliators. I am even getting the hubby involved and encouraging him to use his up too.






 

I encourage you all to have a root around your bathroom cupboards and  bedside cabinets and see what you can save on your toiletries by using up all your marvellous miniatures.

 

Once you have used up all your ‘minis’ try considering some cheaper places to buy your toiletries and beauty products in the future

I don’t know about you but I can often spend a pretty penny on basic toiletries and trying to look my best. Luxury shower gels, exfoliators and face creams are big business and rather than leaving the local store feeling blooming marvellous I often leave feeling sour faced at the price. 

 

Here are some recommendations of low cost beauty products that I am a big fan of which are sure to put a smile on your face.

 

 

Now this stuff is amazing and always in my handbag when I have a fringe cut in. As a sufferer of greasy hair, by the end of the day it can often look flat and lifeless. If you are going out and haven’t got enough time for a shower then a quick blast of this will make you feel refreshed and ready to go. Even better you can pick it up in stores such as Home Bargains for as little at £1.49

http://www.batistehair.co.uk/

 

Wilkinsons (Yes Wilkinsons) has some great beauty products starting from just £0.98. Personally I think the eye make-up remover is great for everyday use, but can be a bit tricky to shift thick black eyeliner which I am partial to wearing on a night out.

http://www.wilko.com/health+beauty/skin-therapy/icat/skin-therapy  

 

I have been using  Aldi lacura night cream for some time after it was discovered to be one of the best/ cheapest beauty products on the market. The mirror beauty awards have just made it the winner for 2015 and I totally agree. The great thing is it costs £3.99.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/style/shopping/anti-ageing-beauty-products-awards-budget-5031285

Have you got lots of mini toiletries that you could use to save money or do you have any great beauty bargains that you could recommend?


Love Nic x