The interior décor of your home speaks volumes about you and your family. It is a great way to express your personality, and give your artistic flair a chance to shine through. That being the case, why do so many of us settle for magnolia-painted walls and anonymous soft furnishings?

 

 

Often, we delegate the task to others, simply calling in a team of interior decorators, either through lack of time, ideas or confidence in doing the job ourselves. Yet this is a shame, as there is nothing quite like the feeling of achievement in putting your own identity on your home.

It is also far more cost-effective to go the DIY route – so even if you think you are “not the DIY type,” here are some tips for adding that personal touch to your home décor.

 

Painting

Mention interior decorating, and the first image likely to spring to mind is that of being up a step ladder in overalls, a paint brush in one hand and paint all over your clothes, face, furniture, the dog and perhaps a little bit on the walls where it is supposed to be.

If you want to master interior decorating, you will have to get to grips with painting. It is the simplest thing that you can do to make the greatest impact at the lowest cost, and a fresh coat of paint is a great way to make rooms, furnishings and woodwork look like new.

If you are nervous that you will make a mess of it, don’t be – by following some step by step guidelines, anybody can learn to paint, and once you are confident with the brushes, there are all sorts of ways to get artistic and create a unique look. For example, how about using a can of sparkly spray paint to bring new life to an old rocking chair, or removing the knobs and handles from cabinets and painting them a different colour to the main body?

 

 

Windows and doors

While you have the paint brushes out, don’t forget the internal doors. Painting doors is something that tends to strike fear into the heart of the DIYer, and it is true that it is easy to get wrong. However, those who make a mess of the job invariably do so because they failed to prepare, and therefore prepared to fail – while Benjamin Franklin was not specifically talking about interior decorating at the time, his famous quote is nevertheless appropriate, because this job really is all in the preparation.

To properly paint a door, you need to take it down, lay it flat and remove handles and other accessories, before gently sanding it to provide a smooth key on which to paint. All of this might sound like hard work, but it is well worth it. Trying to paint round the handle of a door while it is still hanging is the sort of shortcut that results in a poor-quality job.

So much for doors, how about your windows? When you are revitalising these, pay attention to the dressings. Most of us have curtains that have sat there for years and bring little benefit aside from their basic functionality. If you are looking for a fresher, more contemporary look, some affordable shutters can make a great alternative to curtains. They are far easier to keep clean than curtains and also provide effective insulation from sounds and winter draughts.

 

Furniture and accessories

When it comes to filling your room with articles and accessories, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve for very little money by going down the DIY route. Old furniture can be purchased for next to nothing and given a new lease of life with your new-found painting skills and a little imagination.

How about going even more imaginative and making something from scratch using base materials such as wooden pallets? It might sound crazy, but as you can see from these ideas, pallets are extremely versatile, so creating your own wine rack or coffee table is something that anyone can try.

 

Unleash your creative side

None of us would want to describe our personality as “magnolia,” so get creative and have a go at your own interior decorating. Not only will it add that stamp of personality to your home, but it will also make it far more eye-catching for potential buyers if you should decide to sell in the future – and all at a price that is far cheaper than calling in the professionals!

 

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I do lots of thrifty crafting with my kids and I am so excited to share some of our best thrifty craft ideas with you  We love to get outside into the fresh air, get a bit mucky and create. We love to use natural and free materials and adore the idea of recycling rather than adding to landfill. L

et me show you 5 projects we have completed using just totally natural materials

A nature craft book mark

 

Gorgeous stick projects

Flower fairies

thrifty craft ideas

Making herb planter markers

We also adore making rainbow salads from the fresh lettuce we pick from our garden

Keeping kids busy and entertained really does not need to cost very much  at all and it is wonderful for them to have an unplugged childhood, use their imagination and get outside. long live thrifty creativity!

As always, we’d love you to join in with us by sharing what frugal and thrifty things you’ve been up to this week – whether it’s an Instagram picture (#5frugalthings), a blog post or even a video.  Just add your link to the linky at the bottom of this post.

You don’t have to share five things you’ve done, anything thrifty or frugal that you’ve been doing is perfect.

You’re more than welcome to copy and paste the badge above but it would be even better if you could let your readers know that you’re linking up with us by adding a little line to the bottom of your post like this one:

I’m linking up with this Cass Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

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Sun-cream? Check. Swimming costumes? Check. Ridiculously embarrassing floppy hat? Check. All the children accounted for and not pulling a Home Alone? Check.

Going on holiday can sometimes feel less like a relaxing, sun-drenched escape and more like a military exercise in budgeting, clothes inventory and crowd control.

There are so many costs to think about and plenty that you probably hadn’t even considered until your child grows out of their swimming costume during the holiday. Adding unexpected costs to the litany of meals out, activities, flights, hotels, new clothes and a growing expectation from your children that three ice creams a day is a perfectly reasonable number means that finances can become a bit frazzled, along with your nerves.

 

Roamer’s Remorse

The modern parenting tips and tricks involving Whatsapping various wandering teenagers to haul them back to baggage reclaim, ordering an Uber when the toddler gets through their sixth pair of clean shorts that day, and letting the baby have just five minutes watching Peppa Pig while you sun-cream their neck can all be rendered prohibitively expensive thanks to high roaming charges.

The jaw-dropping, stomach-swooping feeling of horror upon opening a shockingly high mobile phone bill when you’re back home can fade your holiday glow faster than a race for the last sun lounger. That feeling even has an official name: bill shock. Not exactly the best ending to a few weeks away.
A Light at the End of the Eurotunnel

This is why the news that roaming charges are set to be scrapped in EU countries from the 15th June 2017 is music to many a holiday-goer’s ears. Using your mobile to text, call and browse the internet will cost exactly the same in any country in the EU.

Want to send that smug beach selfie to everyone in your contacts? Go for it. Compulsive tweeter? Those 140 characters are all yours. Need to book a supermarket delivery for when you get home? Sure, bring yourself crashing back to reality at no extra cost.

 

Who Doesn’t Like Staying Connected?

It really is getting easier and less and less expensive to stay connected. The only problem might be if your phone decides to take a little dip in the hotel pool, just as you’d taken the only photograph of the holiday in which your children are swimming gracefully together and not attempting to drown each other over rights to an inflatable crocodile.

Phone comparison sites can help you find the best mobile phone deals on a new model that suits your needs, meaning another one of those unexpected holiday costs doesn’t have to hit you as hard.

Clearly things might get a bit trickier in the spring of 2019 when Britain is expected to bow out of the EU, but the UK government will be expected to step in and negotiate a new deal. Because you haven’t really lived until you’ve live-streamed yourself doing a cannonball into the Mediterranean.

 

 

 

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I was asked to have a go at a Money Saving Diary Challenge by Scottish Friendly

I, like you, am always looking to  find ways to cut costs and save money.

I have several savings goals and they need to get firmly underway. I know saving goals can be overwhelming, particularly when you have a family. Small changes can make a BIG difference though and the idea of the money saving challenge was to spot what small changes I could make.We have so many house repairs we need to save for and a big school trip my son wants to go on.

I kept a money saving diary over a one week period and this is what I noted:

 

Monday

Rejected a coffee at a cafe with a friend and invited her to have one at my house here instead. Saved about £4.50 (was my turn to buy) and I wasn’t tempted by the cakes! We did munch on some homemade cookies my  son had made though!

Tuesday

Delayed my weekly shop by a day and made a lasagne from unused veggies and banana muffins from old bananas. Savings around £6.

 

 

Wednesday

Meal planned before my weekly shop to avoid waste and shopped to a strict shopping list. Saved £20 at least!

 

Thursday

Had son’s jeans mended (free) by his Gran rather than replace them. Saving £20 and she did a great job on them!

 

Friday

My daughter made 2 birthday cards for her friends rather than me buying them. Savings of £3 and she really enjoyed herself.

 

Saturday

Homemade popcorn and a borrowed DVD saved us £30 on a cinema trip! Wow.

 

 

 

Sunday

Loft clearing revealed items to eBay totalling £120 worth! So cool – this pleased me immensely.

 

So my weekly savings made just by being thoughtful, mindful and a little bit proactive, came to the grand total of …are you ready for it……

£203.50

Oh my goodness.

Okay I am not going to find items to eBay every week but even just £100 saving a week would make an absolutely huge difference to us! The elusive home  repairs that always seem out of out budget would most definitely be doable with this level of savings.

I really recommend this money saving challenge. Jotting down each day what you have saved and how,  makes you mindful about making  savings and considered in your spending. Adding up the total at the end of the week is a real eye opener. I would highly recommend this challenge to kick-start a great saving plan.

Over at the Scottish Friendly blog you can find loads of ideas for savings challenges  and they are straightforward and inspired.

I do hope you have a go and manage to save all the money you need to achieve your goals

 

 

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The kids are still off here so I will keep this short and sweet

Hope you have had a great week too specially if it’s been half term with you

 

 

As always, we’d love you to join in with us by sharing what frugal and thrifty things you’ve been up to this week – whether it’s an Instagram picture (#5frugalthings), a blog post or even a video.  Just add your link to the linky at the bottom of this post.

You don’t have to share five things you’ve done, anything thrifty or frugal that you’ve been doing is perfect.

You’re more than welcome to copy and paste the badge above but it would be even better if you could let your readers know that you’re linking up with us by adding a little line to the bottom of your post like this one:

I’m linking up with this Cass Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

 

 

 

 

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