How much do we spend on our pets?

How much do we spend on our pets

Research results show that in Britain almost 90% of pet-owners spend up to £50 on extravagant gifts for their beloved little friends! Whether it is to shower your pet with affection, or to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, these animal-lovers are certainly splashing their cash more than ever before. If you haven’t already made an appointment at the pet spa then you had better get a move on, as 27% of people admit to having already treated their pets to an expensive specialist treatment.

In this infographic, Capital One has revealed some of the most elaborate gifts that have been purchased for pets in the UK. These findings show that some would generously spend up to £1,400 on a treadmill to ensure that their dog remains happy and healthy! Perhaps this isn’t for you, and you’d prefer to stick to a classic walk in the park. Don’t worry, there are many alternative routes you can go down to treat your pet. With pet fashion on the rise, people only want the best for their pooches. Some are even spending up to £600 on fur coats…for their furry pets!

Highlights:

  • 88% of people admit spending up to £50 on extravagant presents for their pets
  • Spending on pet presents has grown by £3 million in the last 2 years
  • 27% get their pet spa-style treatments
  • 25% of pet owners buy their pets birthday gifts

With more than 13,000 households in the UK now owning a pet it is more than likely that you or someone you know will be able to relate to those results.

So take a look!

Do you think pet pampering is going a step too far?

Is buying your dog a bone simply not enough anymore?

Capital One Infographic - How much do Brits spend on their pets

*This is a collaborative post. This infographic, was brought to you by Capital One Credit Card

Is Social Media Impacting the Way We Spend Money?

Is Social Media Impacting the Way We Spend MoneyIt is no surprise that social media has changed the way that we perceive the world, but has it changed the way we spend our cash? People have become extremely aware of their online presence and everyone wants to show off the best version of themselves online.

We are becoming more isolated and detached from reality due to our obsession with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media already impacts the way that we speak to each other and our levels of communication, but has it gone too far?

Do our social media sites cunningly draw our attention whilst taking money right out of our pockets? Let’s find out.

Fear of Missing Out
Social media can be an exciting platform to share things with friends and family and to see what everyone else has to say about various subject matters. We can quickly become attached to this notion that there is always something to see on our homepage; the red notification symbol keeps popping up which gives us even more reason to stay online.

There is a consistent fear of ‘missing out’ which derives from social media. It is as though we are spending above our means without giving it much thought in order to keep up with the trends. Many people turn to sites such as Car Cash Point in order to take out a quick loan on their car that will help them to finance purchases that social media convinced them that they needed.

Influence
We are influenced on a daily basis by the things that we see. Social media is no exception to the rule and without even realising it we are being constantly influenced by family, friends and the media. According to Social News Daily 25% of people trust endorsements from friends and family on social media sites, which can often lead to us buying things we don’t need because a friend has proclaimed its greatness via Facebook or Twitter.

Advertising
As you are probably already aware of, social media sites often use different forms of advertising. Our homepages are constantly updated with different adverts that are meant to appeal to our individual preferences. On the right hand side of your homepage, there is likely to be a few advertisements that often relate to something you searched for in the past or an advert for a website you once visited.

With this clever placement advertising, it is no surprise that we can easily fall into a sale or two. According to an infographic posted by Entrepreneur the three ways in which Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest increases sales is to provide additional information, alert viewers to sales and identify a place to buy the item/service. The research showed that 51% of females aged 18 to 34 and 56% of men were likely to make a ‘social purchase’ which emphasizes just how much social media can impact our spending habits.

Are you affected by these changes?

Have you ever made a “social purchase”?

8 things you didn’t know about online property searching

8 things you didn’t know about online property searchingThe new era of online property searching is still a growing market, one that confuses and bewilders many sellers who are unfamiliar with its attractions. Many traditionalists are unaware the market even exists, and certainly wouldn’t know about the plethora of options and streamlining services to find exactly the right home. Here are eight things you might not know about finding the perfect pad online:

  1. If you really, truly have no preconceptions about buying a new home other than a few necessary criteria, then Findahood is a great place to fulfil your needs. Rather than looking for the normal items such as number of rooms and type of home, the site allows you to set the importance of certain issues to you such as proximity of schools and local parks, and whether homes around you have similar occupations.
  2. Not everyone searches for a property to buy or sell. Curious (otherwise known as nosey) neighbours would love to know how much you paid for your home, or the value of homes on their own street. If the above applies to you, then the ‘current values’ tab at Zoopla might float your boat; simply type in your postcode and see an entire list of estimates for your area, along with sales history.
  3. Niche websites are certainly worth investigating if you’re after something a little different. Most bizarre and brilliant types of homes are available if one searches, from canal boats to castles, and from eco homes through companies such as GreenMoves, to static homes.
  4. Most online sites will not only post your property, but slice out many of the costs involved with the process. If you don’t wish, for example, to pay for professional property staging or floorplans when selling your home, then you don’t have to. The price structure is clearly laid out at sites such as HouseSimple, and there are no surprises.
  5. Ever been stuck in a situation where you need accommodation for a week or two? Rather than staying in a hotel, why not try Couchsurfing?
    There’s an estimated 400,000 members who log in every week to offer a bed or coffee to travellers trekking anywhere from Bournemouth to Bolivia, but it needn’t just be holidaymakers or trekkers.
  6. It’s a sad truth that for many people the local crime rate is one of the most important factors when relocating. Rather than Googling the area and trying to piece together a numerical idea, Police.uk will give a month-by-month, road-by-road breakdown of every incident in a given area. Well worth a look before tabling an offer.
  7. Anyone who has ever sold or purchased a home will know that high street estate agents ring at inopportune times, and can sometimes prove annoyingly pushy. The new technology of online estate agents gives the homeowner the control, giving the option of editing a listing at any time, up-to-the-minute information of a sale or letting, and online messaging for viewers and purchasers.
  8. You may have seen news of onthemarket.com, a website set up by a consortium of estate agents to challenge the big beasts of Rightmove and Zoopla. In classic military-style, the site aims to beat them by dividing and conquering – anyone listing their property at onthemarket.com can only list the home on one of the two other sites, and not both. It’s a new and bold strategy, and something to consider when looking at listing options.

* This is a collaborative post.

Buying your first home together – are you ready?

Buying your first home together – are you readyWhen you begin any relationship, the plan is always to stay together forever. Nobody ever questions the future when they are in love. After all, when you meet that special person and things are going well, it’s hard to imagine not experiencing poignant chapters such as moving in together, having your first child and even booking that first holiday.

They say that when you are in love, it’s sometimes difficult to think logically and practically, for example when it comes to deciding on the right time to buy your first home together. Caught up in the moment, we often let our heart rule our head and rush into life changing decisions blindly.

When you’re thinking about buying your first home with your partner, it’s easy to lose sight of important considerations such as, is the time right? Do you know each other well enough? Can you afford it? Are the circumstances right? Are you even both eligible to qualify for a mortgage?

Taking a money and relationship quiz can be a quick and fun way of seeing how compatible the pair of you are when it comes to finances and who knows, it might even give you a head start in identifying the areas that you might need to discuss with your partner further.

If you’ve reached the stage in your relationship when you’re starting to think about buying your first home together, it’s incredibly easy to be overcome by excitement about picking out an ideal location, choosing your home’s furnishings together and ticking off your wish list when it comes to finding a property that fulfils your expectations.

Of course, this is a really exciting time that you need to embrace but, what you don’t want to happen is, 6 months down the line, to be faced with the realisation that you just weren’t compatible as a couple after being turned down for a mortgage.

People often overlook the fact that financial compatibility can be an important part of a successful relationship as it is the number one thing that couples fight about, particularly when you introduce a mortgage into the equation.

Many couples find that seeking some independent advice can be beneficial when dealing with joint financial matters for the first time. The first step should be to get a credit report from Experian CreditExpert, which will enable you to compare your financial records together and decide how compatible you are financially.

Be realistic

We all want that dream house with beautiful landscaped gardens, room for a walk in wardrobe and even the convenience of a downstairs loo, but it’s often the case that we have to compromise on our list of requirements.

When buying your first home, it’s easy to lose sight of your budget when you’re looking at potential properties. We all tend to want what we can’t have.

Before committing to a mortgage it is important that you fully think through your plans and options, and research every eventuality.

Here are some questions that might be worth exploring before you take the plunge and buy your first home together.

Can you really live together?
It’s often the case that we do not encounter every side of someone until we have known them for well over a year – no matter how much you might think you know them.
Moving in with your partner is very different to seeing them a few times a week, or going on holiday with them.

If you’re moving in with someone, it’s vital that you are on the same page about how you foresee your future together, and this includes finances. You’ll not only be sharing the same space but you’ll both be responsible for bills, mortgage payments and the upkeep of the property.

You’ll need to consider whether or not you’re going to open a joint account to cover the household costs. If you do decide that this is the best way forward, it’s important to understand the impact of your day-to-day financial decisions as once you open the account, your credit reports will become linked as a result.

Are you sure you are ready to commit to a mortgage with this person?

How well do you really know your partner?
You might be happy in their company. You might have met their parents and think you know them inside out but in reality, when it comes down to the important aspects of their past, do you really know them?

Although talking about money and debt can be difficult for some couples, honesty is always the best policy and will help manage your partner’s hopes and aspirations. If one of you has a less than perfect history of managing their finances and repaying their debts, this could potentially affect both of your chances of obtaining credit.

So, are you ready?

*Guest post in collaboration with Experian CreditExpert

VoucherBin.co.uk: The Joys of Parenting and Money Saving

The Joys of Parenting and Money Saving with VoucherBin.coHaving a baby is, undoubtedly, the greatest joy of one’s life. But many mothers will agree that offering your baby the best care can more than often take you beyond your means. Baby care products are quite expensive, so are nappies, clothes and toys. But there’s hope! VoucherBin.co.uk lends a helping hand to parents with promo codes and vouchers, so that you can offer only the best to you baby and still save money.

Get through baby’s first year with VoucherBin
Ok. Don’t panic. You have a baby. Obviously, that means extra expenses. But are these the things you should really worry about? Shouldn’t you just enjoy your baby’s first year, and all the years to come, without worrying that baby products will take you to your last penny? VoucherBin will help you get through your baby’s first 12 months in a carefree manner and focus on what really matters.

Dealing with the essentials
Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean your baby has to be dressed in rags. You can have a well-dressed baby and money in your pocket. With the Poppy and Zach discount clothes you can save up to 50% on children’s clothing, hats, blankets and more, so there’s no need to worry. If their product range doesn’t meet your taste, you can check out the Adams discount code, bringing an up to 70% discount on baby clothing. But don’t take our word for it, check out for yourself and find all the great deals on VoucherBin.co.uk.

Babies will be babies
For a parent, the most important aspects of a baby’s life are those concerning its health and wellbeing. But let’s not forget that a child needs to have some fun too. Make your baby’s childhood a colourful one with toys for any occasion; get the VoucherBin discount coupons for Tractor Ted bath toys, Steiff teddy bears or for selected brands, such as Postman Pat, on Toys R Us. And it’s never too early to start stimulating your child’s creativity and imagination, so check out the CDs from Tumble Tots, up to £5 cheaper with the discount codes.

VoucherBin.co.uk - The Joys of Parenting and Money SavingBaby’s first birthday
Your baby’s first birthday is surely the most important out of all the ones to come. So it must be special, right? But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get it right, you can make it memorable with less money. Besides the balloons, the food and the cake, you should make your baby’s birthday party a treat for all the kinder-guests. If you have older children coming over, why not make it a themed party and give the kids, and the parents, something creative to do, which they can take home as a memory afterwards? The Arts & Crafts Sale, with the Baker Ross promo code brings free delivery and a discount up to 50% on art and crafts products. Choose a theme and start shopping! Your baby’s first birthday will surely be one to remember.

Having a baby might be difficult at times. But don’t let money problems ruin the joy of raising your child. Just shop smart and be happy!

Have you ever used VoucherBin.co.uk?

*Post brought to you by VoucherBin.co.uk.