Seven Handy Tips for Budgeting Your Finances

Ask any of my friends, and they’ll tell you that I’m a typical Yorkshireman. I hate spending money. This means that over the years, I’ve become an expert in saving, identifying ways to claw back every penny I can. I wanted to share some of my hard-learned wisdom with all of you, so get your pen and paper out and start taking notes, as I reveal seven handy ways to budget your finances.

#1 Use a spreadsheet

It’s a good idea to have a written record of your budget, which you can refer back to and adapt as needed. I use an excel spreadsheet, as it’s versatile enough to allow me to change my spending plans when necessary. On this, I record the nature of the cost (e.g. rent), the amount, frequency of the payment and whether it’s money going in or coming out, so I have a clear overall picture of my finances. Continue reading “Seven Handy Tips for Budgeting Your Finances”

DIVE NQ: The Perfect Place To Start A Night Out In Manchester

Famous for its live music acts, bustling gay quarter and upscale cocktail bars, Manchester offers you the chance to enjoy the night of a lifetime. Want to start the night off right? Head to Dive NQ first, where you can drink, dance and be merry, putting you in the mood to trip the light fantastic.

Location, location, location

Based on Tib Street, Dive NQ is ideally located for a Manchester bar crawl. A few minutes away you’ll discover popular Northern Quarter drinking holes such as Tusk, Bar 21 and Cain & Grain, while you’re also just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Gardens. It only takes a quarter of an hour to reach the rainbow-festooned bars of Canal Street, with the neon light-strewn dance floors, from here too. Continue reading “DIVE NQ: The Perfect Place To Start A Night Out In Manchester”

Embracing Fitness: The Mental Side Of Getting Fit

If you’re like me, and you’re not a natural gym bunny, then getting fit is a trial to be endured. Not only do you have to push your body day-in and day-out, but you need the mental fortitude to see your fitness regime through. As someone who took a long time to find the right fitness programme, today I thought I’d talk about how in order to do so, I had to develop the right mindset.

Two year journey

A while back, I regaled you with the incredible tale of my two journey to becoming a fitter me. It took a lot of hard graft, determination and above all, resilience. I’d spent years trying fad diets and crazy exercise regimes and none of them worked. Oh they were effective at first, but it never lasted. I’d always lose motivation eventually, regain the weight and start the whole cycle all over again. Continue reading “Embracing Fitness: The Mental Side Of Getting Fit”

Seven Classic Mood Lifting Songs For Any Music Connoisseurs Playlist

Music has this unique ability to inspire and empower us, so here’s a little suggestion – next time you’re feeling down, try these seven classic mood lifting songs that are ideal for any music connoisseurs playlist…

We all need a little pick-me-up from time to time. Whenever I’m feeling down, I pop in some earphones, turn the volume up and hit the play button. Music has this unique ability to inspire and empower us, so here’s a little suggestion – next time you’re feeling down, try these seven classic mood lifting songs that are ideal for any music connoisseurs playlist… Continue reading “Seven Classic Mood Lifting Songs For Any Music Connoisseurs Playlist”

Beginning Of The End For Erdoğan? Why Turkey’s Local Elections Matter

The strong-man’s grip on power seems to be breaking at last. Turkey recently held local elections, and the party of its dictator-like leader was ousted from power in key areas, suggesting that said party’s hold over the country might finally be beginning to wane. This has global ramifications, so today I thought I’d look at this recent development and explain why Turkey’s local elections matter.

Turkey, a history

Turkey has been inhabited for thousands of years. The Anatolian plateau has hosted everyone from the Hittites and Assyrians, to the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Byzantines. It’s historic capital (variously called Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul), is a particularly valued prize as it sits at the crossing between Europe and Asia, making it a key spot for trade throughout the centuries. Continue reading “Beginning Of The End For Erdoğan? Why Turkey’s Local Elections Matter”

Murder, Mystery And My Family: The Personal Journey

Today marks both the culmination of a journey that my family has been on for a century, and the beginning of a new one. This is the day that the BBC aired series 2, episode 7 of its Murder, Mystery and My Family programme, which charted a great-granddaughter’s quest for the truth. This woman was my mother, and her great-grandmother was Emily Swann, who was hanged for murder in 1903.

Sins of the Family

This journey began years back, when my mum started researching our family history. What she found was a tale of strength, courage and redemption against incredible odds. She went on to write a book which tells the story of five strong women in my family, from my great-great-grandmother to mum herself, exploring how my family came to terms with and dealt with the sins of our past. Continue reading “Murder, Mystery And My Family: The Personal Journey”

Seven Of My Favourite Figures In Literature… And Why I Love Them

Literary characters have the ability to draw us into these worlds and take us on these journeys – that’s something that I think deserves to be shouted about and celebrated. Here are seven of my favourite figures in literature and why I love them…

I have always been a passionate lover of literature. Books are so magical; they take us away from the real world, and carry us on a journey of discovery and adventure, making you a different person when you finish turn over that last page. It’s the characters that have the ability to draw us into these worlds and take us on these journeys – that’s something that I think deserves to be shouted about and celebrated. Here are seven of my favourite figures in literature and why I love them… Continue reading “Seven Of My Favourite Figures In Literature… And Why I Love Them”