Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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The easy way to move house

Moving house is a rather exhausting activity. Not only can it take days (or even weeks or months!) to sort through your possessions and pack up your boxes, but even when that’s taken care of you still have to deal with not knowing exactly where the things you need are and it feels like you’re camping in your own home. Even “moving day” itself can be a source of stress, involving constant worrying about the safety of your possessions while they’re on the road.

moving-house-luggage-suitcase-home-2You have all your life packed away in those boxes so you’ll need to know that the moving company you’re using is trustworthy and will take care of your things. Moving long distances can be particularly worrying, because you may be separated from your belongings for more than just one day. Of course, it depends where you’re relocating to, but a big move like this always going to be a worrying time. If you’re hiring professionals there are a number of moving services they offer to help ease the stress of moving and below are just a few: cat-moving-house-boxWhat services do movers provide?

Apart from the obvious transportation on moving day, professional relocation services can boost the overall speed of preparation. The services that will save you time as well as offer you peace of mind are:

  • Packing and unpacking. These procedures are time-consuming as it requires handling every item in your house. Moreover, some fragile, breakable or bulky items demand special handling along with specific packing materials. If you buy packing materials such as boxes, bubble wrap and tissue paper yourself, the cost of moving can soon add up! Leave this task to the professionals and you will be sure your possessions will be intact upon delivery; they’ll pack your items carefully, every fragile piece will be wrapped and padded to avoid damaging during the moving and they’ll even unwrap it all at the other end.moving-house-luggage-suitcase-home-1

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How to make your home sell in a weekend

If you’re thinking about selling your home but are worried about being stuck on the market without any offers, there are many things you can do TODAY to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. With only a few hours work and a little bit of effort, you can create a house that will have buyers knocking on the door with offers coming at you left, right and centre. How? Read on to find out..!Furniture Makeover Project Rust-Oleum paint retro conservatory chair_-241. Get in touch with an estate agent. This should be your first step to putting your home on the market because (not only will they be the ones selling your home for you and will need to know a lot about you) they also know everything there is to know about what their buyers want. They can advise you on home layout, low-cost improvements, tidying up the garden and whether staging a bedroom as an office is a better idea than having a spare guest room. Listen to everything your estate agent tells you and be ready to make some changes. This will help your home get noticed by the right buyers and will be snapped up within days.thrifty low cost summer cleaning hacks kitchen bathroom diy cruelty free-62. Something you can do THIS weekend is clean your home. Clutter often puts off buyers because they just can’t see past all your possessions. You may live a perfectly tidy life, but to the viewers it might just look like a big mess. So why not start packing now? If you’re going to sell your home as quickly as you hope, you might as well start packing straight away and minimise the rush when your home gets offers within hours. Once you’ve packed up some boxes with non-essential items, you can start to give your home a thorough clean. Scrub the tub, dust all surfaces and make sure you look up to spot any cobwebs!DIY how to repair teak furniture with household ingredients-53. The deep clean might have revealed some niggling DIY jobs that need doing so get started on them straight away. Chipped skirting, floor tiles lifting or mouldy grout can all put off buyers. And if the buyers aren’t put off by the DIY tasks, they will certainly use them as a reason to knock down your asking price. Just a quick coat of paint on the woodwork can be all it takes to brighten up a tired room. But don’t be afraid to make a big change if it’s needed; a bright or dark colour on the walls might benefit from a neutral coast of paint to really brighten up the space. Ask your realtor and they will be able to advise you on the colours that sell well.diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-34. One final tip is to think about what makes a house into a home for you and try to replicate it. Rather than taking everything out of the home (which can make it rather clinical and unloved) keep some of your own belongings in the house to make it seem welcoming. Staging a cosy living room with classy coffee-table books, candles and flowers could be all it takes to make a buyer imagine themselves actually living in your property. Again, the most valuable advice on setting up a welcoming home will come from your estate agent so check in with them to see what improvements you can make. Simply draping a blanket you already have over the master bed will create that “hotel feeling” and a pot-plant in the kitchen might infuse the room with fresh scent.natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-5Best of luck with selling your home and I hope that these suggestions will help you get your house sold in super-fast time. Let me know if you have any other tips for neatening up your home by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @cassiefairy.

 


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How to spot a future-proof house

When searching for a property, it’s important to consider the future. I’ve learnt this after viewing countless properties and each of them being just not quite right for us. Sure, plenty of the houses we’ve seen have been fine, more than fine, and would work perfectly well for us right now. But I don’t want this to be a ‘for now’ move, I want to find a home that I can grow into and stay in one place for the first time in years. After moving a whopping 11 times during our 15 years together, my husband and I want to stay put for once! We’d quite like to find a house that will work great for us right now, and still be a good investment in future years. So here’s what we’re considering when viewing properties – hope it helps:blogger writer home office inspiration

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Work proof

You know where you’re working right now, but things can certainly change in the future. You may be offered a position abroad, and would want to rent out your home while you’re working away. So is it rentable? Could it be a holiday home for a period of time? And if your role changes, or you become self-employed, is there space for you to be able to have an office and work from home? We are certainly looking for a house with an office space for me!family room home house buying inspiration ideas

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Family proof

If you can manage to get a slightly larger house than strictly necessary at this stage, it means you won’t need to move again in a hurry if your family grows in the future. It could be that you’re planning to have children in many, many years time but just having that option to fit in a growing family means that you won’t need to give up the home you love just to fit in the little ones. We’re looking at it from the point of view of having nieces and nephews to stay in the future, and living nearby to our family so that we can help out as they grow up. All of these factors should be considered as it may influence the type of house you buy and the location you choose.house buying future proof house dining room downstairs bedroom

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Retirement proof

Okay, I’m talking many, many years into the future now, but we may still be living in the house we buy when we retire. If so, that probably means we’ve been happy living in our home for all these years and wouldn’t want to move in the future. So how upsetting would it be to have to move out when mobility becomes as issue later in life? Sure you can install stairlifts for the home so that it’s still possible to go upstairs, but having the option to use a downstairs room as a bedroom can eliminate the need to move house when you’re less mobile in the future. So we’re keeping an eye out for houses with dining rooms or office spaces that could be a bedroom and, rather unusually, we think that a downstairs bathroom is a bonus!

What do you think is an important thing to consider when you’re buying a first home? Should you try to get everything you need in one house or do you think that moving again in the future is inevitable? Let me know your thoughts and house-buying tips by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy.


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How to save: Taking control of family finances

As a thrifty gal who runs a blog on saving money in all walks of life, you can imagine how interested I am in financial affairs. Okay, perhaps not as interested as you might think but I DO still take an interest in my own money, my savings and the property I hope to investing in. After watching every penny and saving for years to scrape together a decent amount of savings, I’m very keen to learn more. While my 9am Monday morning financial accounting module in the first year of uni was a nightmare (ironically it was my best grade that year!), learning how to manage money and set up budgets in real life was almost fun. Even though at the time I couldn’t imagine why I’d ever need to know how to do a Balance Sheet, it turns out that I DID need that accounting module more than it needed me. I’ve done my own accounts and tax returns throughout all the years I’ve been self-employed and I’ve probably saved a lot of money in accountant’s fees by doing so! Spending Diary challenge for 2014-1While it might seem dull, it’s a great idea to at least look at your bank account every once in a while. Business guru Marie Forleo says that checking in on your accounts daily is a sure-fire way to keep on top of your finances and stop any issues before they turn into money problems. These days I can probably tell you about every single pound that enters and leaves my account. Geeky, right?! The fallout from the Brexit vote last week has already been intense, and looks set to continue for a very long time to come. Already we’ve seen the pound fall off a cliff (although, because I’m sometimes paid in dollars for my US writing, I am actually earning a little extra now – silver lining etc), the economy is in turmoil, and it’s left many of us concerned about where this leaves our families, and what the future holds for us. Everywhere you look there is talk about values of pensions being wiped out, and real people losing real money.Cassiefairy's spending diary 2014So how safe is our money?

The important thing to note is that for those of us with savings, nothing has changed. That’s because everyone in the UK is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which covers every individual for up to £75,000 per institution they have savings with. Banks and building societies have also been regulated far more tightly since the last recession, meaning they are obliged to keep higher levels of reserves to avoid crises like Northern Rock from 2007. The bottom line is that, if you have savings, you don’t really have much to worry about.

In fact, savings and current accounts may well become even more appealing in the months and years to come. It may sound paradoxical, given that the interest rates offered by banks have been utterly derisory for a number of years now, and probably won’t get any better in the near future. But certainly for those families with any extra savings to set aside, you’d imagine many will be giving something as volatile as the stock market a wide berth.budgeting money saving finance tips for university freshers students_-2

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Buying a house – what are the options?

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve been saving to buy a home of my own and now that I’m getting closer and closer to my goal I’ve started doing my research. In fact, I’ve spoken to countless friends who’ve already gone through the process so that I can get a better idea of what to expect. And I’ve been reading up about property buying online. Did you know that there are countless options when it comes to buying a house? There’s not only freehold, but leasehold properties, commonhold and shared ownership too. So what’s the difference? Today I’m sharing what I’ve learnt, so read on!dolls house buying homeFreehold properties

Okay, this is what I’d call the ‘standard’ way to buy a house. With a freehold property you’re buying the bricks-and-mortar, the ground the house sits on, rights of way and the garden up to the property boundaries. Most of the houses I the UK are owned on a freehold basis. You own it basically forever or until you sell it and there’s no further fees to pay after you’ve bought it. You have complete freedom to do whatever you wish to your house and the land (within planning laws of course!). dolls house buying guide

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