Category Archives: Money Matters

Bike rides, puzzles and board games – the 30 toys parents want kids to play with growing up

MICROSCOPES, modelling clay and magic kits were among the top toys adults believe children should experience while growing up, according to a study.

A poll of 2,000 parents also found many yearn for their kids to ditch their high-tech gadgets and try traditional toys such as chemistry sets, yo-yos and skipping ropes.

Parents said they wanted kids to ditch gadgets for toys such as puzzles and board games

Cameras, science sets and telescopes also made the top 30 list – all toys which those who took part said had a positive effect on their own childhood.

Art sets and easels also featured, with one in four adults agreeing a child’s toy should encourage them to be in the hope it boosts their self-expression and confidence at an early age.

Andrew Roscoe, of Very, which carried out the study, said: “Toys are so important to a child’s development and education; they can lead children to new discoveries, helping unlock their potential and their budding passions by encouraging learning, compassion and creativity.

“This can help set them up for the future and even spark a lifelong interest that can develop into a career path or hobby.

TOP 30 CHILDREN’S TOYS:

1. Bike
2. Puzzles
3. Board game
4. Teddy bear
5. Balls
6. Wooden blocks
7. Art sets
8. Modelling clay
9. Toy animal
10. Skipping rope
11. Musical instruments
12. Dress up clothes
13. Toy cars and vehicles
14. Train set
15. Yo-yo
16. Shape sorters
17. Small figures
18. Play kitchen
19. Baby doll
20. Science kit
21. Doll’s house
22. Art easel
23. Telescope
24. Ride on car
25. Microscope
26. Chemistry set
27. Tool bench
28. Remote controlled car
29. Magic kit
30. Camera

“It’s important for children to play with all sort of toys – from toy cars and dolls to construction kits and telescopes.

”All of these can benefit them in a number of different ways, developing skills across many different platforms.

“Adults acknowledge the fact there were certain toys during childhood which had a really positive impact on their growth and development.

”This shows how toys can encourage inquisitiveness, physical exercise and creativity, as well as social skills development when playing with peers.”

Over two thirds of the parents polled said their children play with the same toys they did when they themselves were young, showing how timeless classics that help with a child’s development endure more than the tech-centric toys of today.

The study also revealed most adults believe young children should be exposed to shape sorters, dolls, teddy bears and ride-on cars, while those of a slightly older age benefit from bikes, train sets, telescopes, and chemistry sets.

One in 10 adults highlighted role-play as an important factor in play time, with dress up clothes and play houses featuring in the list of the top 30 toys children should own.

According to those polled, the perfect toy should be fun first and foremost (52 per cent), as well as entertaining (49 per cent).

Four in 10 adults felt it is important for toys to be educational, while 44 per cent love them to inspire creativity.

One in four adults believed a toy or game should be family friendly, and 40 per cent said it should aid growth and development according to the study by OnePoll.

Child development expert and spokeswoman for Very.co.uk, Anita Cleare, said: “Play is essential for children’s development – it’s how they build their brains, learn about the universe and develop creativity, problem solving and social skills.

“Some of the best toys are the ones that encourage children to play together or with their families, as this helps children’s social and emotional development and teaches them key skills like communication, co-operation and negotiation.

“For example, Lego encourages children to use their imagination, board games give them the opportunity to develop complex thinking skills like planning and prediction; and puzzles are great for practicing mental rotation.

“If you want your child to play with their toys for more than one day, be sure to buy ones which spark their imagination.

“Who knows, maybe that science kit or construction toy might be the start of a lifelong passion. ”


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https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7754131/bike-rides-puzzles-and-board-games-the-30-toys-parents-want-kids-to-play-with-growing-up/

Black Friday 2018 – what date does it begin in the UK and how can you get the best deals?

BLACK Friday, the annual global shopping bonanza, was born in the USA but is now very much a part of British life too.

This year’s annual sales extravaganza is coming soon and shoppers will be desperate to learn about the latest deals.

What is Black Friday?

On Black Friday, shop prices dip for 24 hours in an attempt to get people splashing the cash in the run-up to Christmas.

But many retailers now spread out their deals over two weeks, with some now gearing up for Cyber Monday.

The day earned its name as it’s often the day shops “move into the black” – meaning they have enough money to cover their costs.

And it works – as customers often queue for hours, even days, to get their hands on the best bargains.

Unfortunately, the shopping mania can sometimes descend into violence, as people argue over discounted gadgets and appliances.

Many shops release details of their sale items before the day, so there are plenty of ways to bag the best deals.

The trick is to be prepared and organised and to always know what you want before the sales start – to avoid unnecessary spending.

Black Friday falls on November 23 this year, the day after Thanksgiving
Reuters

When is Black Friday 2018?

Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving – an American holiday which falls on the fourth Thursday in November.

This year, the event falls on Friday, November 23.

To mark the festivities, retailers tend to have different discount days throughout the week.

Last year, Amazon – arguably the king of Black Friday sales – ran deals from November 17 to November 26.

In Britain, it’s considered to be one of the biggest internet shopping days of the year, as retailers pack their websites with oodles of offers.

Similar to last year Amazon is getting its sales season up and running early with things getting underway on November 16.

The Deals of the Day will also see sales items like kitchen gadgets, beauty and garden products, while the Lightning deals will see extra discounts, in limited supply and available for only six hours.

Which shops offered the best deals during last Black Friday?

HERE are just some of the retailers you should be sure to check.

Find even more on our Black Friday 2018 hub page.

How can you get the best Black Friday discounts?

Shop early in the day

Sadly, queuing up early in the day is the best way to get your pick of discounts.

Often, by the afternoon, the most exciting products have already flown off the shelves.

Don’t just focus on Friday

While many will look to Black Friday for all the best deals, this isn’t always the case.

Keep your eyes peeled all week (and on Cyber Monday) for bags more budget-friendly buys.

Do your research

Been waiting for the sales to purchase an expensive item?

Have a look around online to see the average price of the goods before you fork out for something on a whim.

Often, discounts won’t be as impressive as they first seem.

Watch out for doorbusters

The majority of stores will use doorbusters to get customers through their doors on shopping events.

These stand-out items will be drastically reduced in price, but they tend to be few and far between.

If you’re going to get your hands on one of these items, you may have to fight off some stiff competition.

When in store, try not to get suckered in by any other deals that aren’t actually saving you much money.

Find our 'Best Black Friday deals' pages

Looking to snap up a Black Friday bargain? Here's where you can find the best deals.

Prepare the night before

When placing online orders, heavily discounted items can sell-out in seconds.

To beat queues, it’s worth creating accounts on your favourite retailers’ websites in advance.

If you want to be extra speedy, try putting items that are set to be reduced in price in your basket before the sale period begins.

Then when you check-out, the items will be already reduced in your basket waiting for you.

Stack your vouchers

You may be stung with delivery fees when ordering a cheap item online.

Stacking vouchers, including free delivery or 10 per cent of sale items, can bring the cost of your shopping basket down further.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/6677002/black-friday-2018-deals-sales-start/

Nearly half of Brits are hiding a total of £96billion worth of debt from their family and friends

HOUSEHOLDS are sitting on a £96billion ­hidden debt mountain, a government-backed body has found.

Almost half (44 per cent) of people owe sums they have kept secret from their family, partner or pals, according to the Money Advice Service.

Getty – Contributor

Brits owe £96billion in hidden debts as their families are in the dark about it[/caption]

The average hidden debt is £4,164 per person.

The poll of 4,000 adults was to mark Talk Money Week, which aims to improve people’s money management skills and financial wellbeing.

Nearly a third (29 per cent) of people with debts who are in a relationship said their partner does not know about all the money they owe. And five per cent admit their partner is completely in the dark about their debts.

Women are more likely to talk to their friends about debts than men, the research suggests.

Credit cards were found to be the most likely source of hidden debt, with personal loans, overdrafts, informal loans from loved ones and store cards also common sources of hidden debt.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, head of debt advice for MAS, said: “Sharing a problem is the first step to solving it.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7716694/brits-hiding-debt-from-family/

Join Sun Savers to be in with the chance of winning a caravan worth over £14,000 — plus check out our money-saving holiday tips

YOU could enjoy holiday after holiday in style with our latest super Sun Savers competition.

We’ve teamed up with caravan experts Knaus to give one lucky reader a new, touring caravan worth more than £14,000.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to collect ten Sun Savers codes
Christian Haasz, werbeFOTO HAASZ GbR

You could get your hands on this fantastic Weinsberg CaraOne 390QD. It sleeps up to four people and includes a host of top-notch features.

To enter, collect TEN Sun Savers codes from the 18 printed daily in the paper between today and Tuesday, November 27. Then head to the Sun Savers app or website and enter your codes.

Once you have entered ten, go to the Win A Caravan page and click “Enter” before midnight on Monday, December 3.

AS well as bringing you this great competition, The Sun is the official partner for the 2019 Caravan & Motorhome Show and as Sun readers you can grab an exclusive ticket offer.

We’ve teamed up with caravan experts Knaus to give one lucky reader a new, touring caravan worth more than £14,000
Christian Haasz, werbeFOTO HAASZ GbR

Book tickets in advance, paying just £7.50, at caravanshows.com and quote SUN19 at the checkout. It is the largest caravan and motorhome show of its kind, with the BIGGEST choice of caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes anywhere in the North of England.

The Caravan & Motorhome Show, January, 17-20, 2019, is held at Manchester’s EventCity.

It is a value day out for the whole family with FREE parking, FREE entry for under-16s, FREE show guide and FREE entry to Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show running in the same venue.

  • Advance box office closes: 9pm on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
  • Standard advance price: £8.50; On-the-door ticket prices: £9.95.
  • Calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras. £1 transaction fee applies.

Meet the reader

ROSEMARY JANES is bursting with money-saving wisdom. The retired 61-year-old gets a boost by entering free competitions and even won a trip to sunny Jamaica.

Sun Saver Rosemary won a sunny trip to Jamaica
Getty – Contributor
Rosemary sells the things she doesn’t need on  Shpock, Gumtree and eBay rather than throw it out

Rosemary, who was a customer service adviser for a bank before retiring, says: “I’ve always worked with money in the jobs I’ve done, so I’ve seen how people get into trouble.”

As part of our Meet The Sun Savers series, Rosemary shares these thrifty tips.

  • Competitions. Since retiring, Rosemary has more time to enter free ­competitions online. She says: “I use Prize Finder and enter competitions in local newspapers. I’ve won a holiday to Jamaica, a mini cruise, hotel stays . . . the list goes on!”
  • Online shopping. Rosemary loves shopping online and has a handy tip to save you cash. “I use TopCashback,” she says. “I also look at VoucherCodes. Sometimes you can use both of them together but if you can’t, just work out which will give you the best offer.”
  • Green fingers. Some Waitrose stores give away their used coffee grounds. Rosemary knows how to make the most of it. “We take them to put round our roses and vegetables to make our own compost,” she says.
  • Do your research. If she wants a particular item, Rosemary finds the best deal on mysupermarket.co.uk. “The other day I wanted Cadbury’s drinking chocolate so I compared prices on MySupermarket. I also looked at what vouchers I had. This time I had £2 off a £10 Waitrose shop. I weigh up all the options and shop that way,” she says.
  • Kids’ clothing. Dressing kids isn’t cheap but Rosemary has a way around that. “My husband is from a large family of 14 nieces and nephews, so all the kids wore hand-me-downs. We saved lots of money,” she says.
  • Flog it. Rosemary says: “I sell stuff I don’t need on Shpock, Gumtree and eBay rather than throw it out. It’s surprising what people will buy. Somebody bought my toilet rolls!”
  • Dinner winners. The keen gardener says: “We grow runner beans, potatoes and tomatoes — and in winter, we freeze the excess. We cook from scratch and have a well-stocked chest freezer.”

Deal of the day

This subscription box would make a perfect present for a special man in your life

GET him a luxury grooming subscription box from mensgroomingguide.com. Your first box is just £17.49 with code THESUN. Worth £65.

SAVE: £47.51

Cheap treat

Everyone loves a bit of prosecco, especially when it’s on discount

HAVE a cheeky tipple with the Chambord limited-edition prosecco gift pack at Tesco. RRP £12, now £10.

SAVE: £2

Refer a friend

Referring a friend is super easy

YOU will probably want to tell your friends and family all about Sun Savers – and if you do, we will give you CASH as a bonus. Get £1 for each friend you refer to Sun Savers.

Plus, every friend you refer gets £1 too. Go to the Sun Savers app or website and click on the refer a friend page in “Offers” to see how.

Top swap

Why spend £2.50 on this jar…
…when you can grab this one for only £1.50

JAM fans can add a little sparkle to their toast this weekend thanks to Asda’s Strawberry & Champagne Conserve with edible glitter. It is made with the same Marc de Champagne as Marks & Spencer’s glitzy Sparkling Peach & Prosecco Conserve.

SAVE: £1

Reader’s saving tip

DIANE MORTON, from Maldon in Essex, says: “To help keep your floors clean during winter, cover muddy pram wheels with shower caps when you come inside.”

  • Send us your suggestions to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and get 28 codes, worth £5, if we print yours. Please include your name and town.

Shop & save

This would make a perfect perfume for someone special in your life

GET a bargain scent at The Perfume Shop. DKNY Be Delicious Shimmer & Shine. was £55, now just £24.99. Deal ends November 25.

SAVE: £30.01

Hot right now

HEAD to the “middle of Lidl” TODAY for bargain car accessories such as a car cover from £4.99.

6000 tickets on us to see Nativity Rocks!

SEE the festive feel-good film of the year early with Sun Savers and get into the Christmas spirit.

Your kids will have so much fun watching Nativity Rocks
Handout

We are giving 1,500 readers the chance to claim up to four cinema tickets to see a preview screening for the brand-new film Nativity Rocks!.

Back with the kids from St Bernadette’s Primary School in Coventry, this time the staff and students audition for a coveted place in a spectacular rock musical competition.

With the unique feel-good charm of the original film, Celia Imrie reprises her role as Headmistress Mrs Keen, starring alongside Meera Syal, Ruth Jones, Anna Chancellor, Hugh Dennis and Helen George.

The film also introduces Simon Lipkin as Jerry Poppy and Craig Revel Horwood as the ruthless show director Emmanuel Cavendish. Just remember . . . this Christmas, NATIVITY ROCKS!

You can see the film as early as November 18

You can choose from 20 preview screenings in towns and cities around the UK, including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and more. The screenings take place on Sunday morning, November 18.

To book your tickets all you need to do is head over to the Sun Savers app or sunsavers.co.uk and opt in to the “Nativity Rocks!” promotion that can be found in the “Offers” section.

Next, enter FIVE consecutive Sun Savers codes printed daily inside the paper from today until Wednesday, November 14. Lastly, head back to the “Nativity Rocks!” page in Sun Savers and click “Redeem” as soon as possible. You have until midnight on Wednesday, November 14.

Once you have clicked “Redeem”, you will receive an email with steps on how to claim your free tickets. But hurry, as tickets are first come, first served.

All you need to do is collect five Sun Savers codes

Don’t worry if you miss out on a preview screening ticket, you can still head to the cinema on Friday, November 23, to catch the release of Nativity Rocks!.

  • TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 18+ UK residents only (excludes Isle of Man and Channel Islands). Code collect 10/11/18 to 14/11/18. Tickets limited to 1,500 readers only. Subject to availability. T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs at sunsavers.co.uk.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Today’s code is on Page 20. Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7706221/win-caravan-worth-14000-sun-savers/

First-time buyer saved £27k deposit for three-bed house by cycling to work and ordering tap water at restaurants

SAVING to buy your first home is no mean feat – and Kimberley Burton would definitely agree.

But the first timer is not afraid of hard work, and took on two additional jobs on top of her day job so she could build a fund of £27,000.

xx
Paul Tonge – The Sun

Kimberley saved her deposit by being extremely disciplined[/caption]

Kimberley Burton, 28, works full-time as a dietitian at a hospital in Nottingham, but set up a a mobile beauty business in her spare time, training to specialise in eyebrows and eyelashes, working on evenings and weekends.

Like many first-time buyers Kimberley lived with her parents while saving to buy a home.

She paid just £80 a month towards living costs – but even so, she puts down saving up £27 to her top money saving skills, such as using Topcashback to shop earn cashback on everyday items.

She was also very strict with her spending, opting for tap water when she went ate out, and always opted for a two-for-one meal deal, and only got her hair cut once every two years.

It took Kimberley three years to save £27,000, maximising her Help To Buy ISA and cashing in on premium bond wins.

She used her £27,000 to put down a 15 per cent deposit on her first home in Sandiacre in Nottingham, which cost £171,000.

We caught up with Kimberley as part of the My First Home series to find out how she managed to take the first step onto the property ladder.

xx
Kimberley paid £171,000 for her three-bed mid-terraced house.
Paul Tonge – The Sun

xx
SWNS:South West News Service

To start with Kimberley is just focusing on buying the essentials[/caption]

What’s your house like and how much did you pay for it?

I paid £171,000 for a three-bed mid-terraced house. This was right at the top end of my budget.

The property is actually an “upside-down” house with the living room and kitchen at street level. You then go downstairs to the bedrooms and bathroom – and the back garden.

I bought the property on my own, but now live here with my boyfriend.

One of the spare bedrooms has a kitchenette attached to it which is a little bit random and looks dated so we probably won’t really use it but might come in handy one day. This room also has a little sink in it which is a nice touch as this will be the spare room for guests to sleep in.

xx
Paul Tonge – The Sun

One of the spare bedrooms has a kitchenette attached to it[/caption]

xx
Paul Tonge – The Sun

Kimberley  bought the £171,000 home with a 15% deposit – so paid £27,000[/caption]

Did you have any trouble getting it?

The property was priced at £170,000, but I ended up offering £1,000 over the asking price to get the owner to take it off the market.

When I started looking, I’d seen a couple of other places I’d liked, but there was fierce competition from other buyers for properties costing between £170,000 and £200,000, and places were selling really quickly.


Are you a first-time buyer who want to share tips on how you did it? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s first-time buyer Facebook group for the latest tips on buying your first home.


I was determined not to lose out to someone else, so decided to offer the extra £1,000 to secure it – though £1,000 was a lot of money to have to pay at a time when my finances were stretched to their limits.

xx
Kimberley cycled to work every day to save money
Paul Tonge – The Sun

How did you find it?

I spent a lot of time every day searching on Zoopla and Rightmove. I also signed up to the alerts from these sites which meant I got sent details of houses for sale within my budget.

My upper limit was £180,000 – though I knew I would only be able to afford a property at that price if I could negotiate the price down quite a bit.

How did you afford to buy a home?

I was able to save my deposit by being extremely disciplined and working three different jobs at the same time.

I also made big savings on rent by living at home with my parents until I was 28.

While I did contribute around £80 a month towards living costs, I saved around £600 a month by not having to pay rent. This made a big difference financially, but was a lot harder than having a place of my own.

I was also super-strict with my spending – rarely buying clothes, and only getting a haircut every two years. On the odd occasion when I went out for dinner, I always ordered tap water and took advantage of a deal, such as two-for-one on “Meerkat Meals” from Comparethemarket

I also cycled to work every day – come rain or shine – to save on the cost of bus fares and petrol. This probably saved me around £20 per week.

I got into saving mode and got very, very good at being frugal.

xx
Some things in the house, like the bright green bathroom, aren’t to Kimberley’s taste but she will live with it for now
Paul Tonge – The Sun
xx
Kimberley was super strict with her spending in order to save her deposit
Paul Tonge – The Sun

What size deposit did you pay and what mortgage did you get?

I bought my £171,000 home with a 15 per cent deposit – so paid £27,000. I then took out a mortgage for the remaining £144,000.

As this was very much at the top end of the amount I could borrow, based on my salary, I used a mortgage adviser to help me find a lender who would be willing to lend.

On the advice of the adviser, I applied to Halifax and got a two-year fixed-rate at a rate of 2.5 per cent over a term of 35 years. With this Halifax mortgage deal, I also got £1,000 cashback.

I now plan to overpay this mortgage each year to reduce the amount I owe more quickly.

Were there any issues?

One thing that really annoyed me was the fact my estate agent tried to tell me that I had to use the in-house firm of solicitors – and that there was no option for me to shop around.

But I knew from my own research that this wasn’t the case. So I did shop around, and got a slightly better deal from an independent solicitor.

How did you feel when you completed?

I felt a real mix of emotions. I was really excited, but also sad at the prospect of finally moving out of home after all that time – it was the end of an era.

At the same time, I was nervous at the thought of being committed to paying a mortgage for so many years, and anxious about having to cover all the bills.

xx
Kimberley would like to rent this house out in a few years
Paul Tonge – The Sun

How did you afford to furnish it?

I bought things such as the washing machine and vacuum cleaner from my savings, and also earnings I got from making purchases through Topcashback.

For example, I earned £45 cashback when I paid around £1,000 for electrical goods and white goods from Ao.com, and £300 cashback on a mattress which I bought from Dormeo.

I used these earnings to buy towels and bedding from Homesense. I was also fortunate to get a few bits and pieces from mum and dad, including pans, Tupperware and a Christmas tree.

Kimberley's tips for getting on the property ladder

Here Kimberley shares her top five tips for saving a deposit

  1. Be really strict about your budgeting.
  2. Get cashback wherever you can when making purchases through a site such as Topcashback.
  3. See if you can boost your earnings by taking on extra jobs.
  4. Look into moving back in with your parents to save on rent. My sister has now moved back in with my parents – along with her boyfriend and their baby – to start saving for a deposit.
  5. Be prepared to compromise on what you want in your first home.

I then bought the sofa – costing £1,700 – with 0 per cent finance (though I did manage to get 10 per cent off the price by haggling in-store).

But while I’ve managed to get quite a bit of the furniture I need, I still have some way to go.

My boyfriend and I are still sitting on the floor at mealtimes, as we don’t have a table – and we have to dry our clothes outside as we don’t have a tumble dryer.

We also need all sorts of little things, such as a cheese grater, baking trays, and pegs for the washing line.

At the same time, I keep seeing things I want to buy – like fruit bowls and sparkly decorations – but for now, I’ve got to focus on buying the essentials.

xx
Kimberley’s seen lots of things to buy but for now is sticking to the essentials
Paul Tonge – The Sun

Does the place need much work?

On the whole, the property is in pretty good nick. There are certain things that aren’t to my taste – such as the bright green bathroom – but I can live with that for now.

The wiring in the house is also a bit random – there are loads of switches on the wall for each appliance.

But re-wiring is a big job which would cost a lot of money, so for now, I’m going to find a way to make it work as it is.

What was the most difficult part about buying a house?

For me, the hardest part was having to compromise on what I wanted in my first home.

I’d always dreamed of being able to buy a three-bed detached property near some lovely schools.

But a property of that type and size would have been way beyond budget – and I wouldn’t have been able to build a big enough deposit, or take out a big enough mortgage.

As a result, I’ve had to settle for a mid-terrace property with an unusual “upside-down” layout.

xx
The house has an “up-side down” layout
Paul Tonge – The Sun

What’s the area like?

Initially, I wanted to find a property in Stapleford, but I couldn’t find a house within budget in that area.

The house I’ve bought is in the neighbouring town of Sandiacre – that’s another compromise I’ve had to make.

It’s not quite as close to the schools I like, but it’s still cycling distance from work which was important for me.

We also live about five minutes from a Lidl, and close to a couple of pubs, and the neighbourhood feels pretty welcoming.

When do you think you’ll move again?

I’d like to rent out this house in a few years and buy a property with my boyfriend. But we’re going to have to save hard again for another deposit – and for stamp duty, which is such a big expense.

Realistically, I don’t think I can look to move again for at least another three or four years.

What help is out there for first-time buyers?

GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.

Help to Buy Isa – It’s a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there’s a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move.

Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the home’s value – or 40 per cent in London – after you’ve put down a five per cent deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property.

Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25 per cent on top.

Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25 to 75 per cent of the property but you’re restricted to specific ones.

“First dibs” in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.

Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20 per cent discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7570748/first-time-buyer-saved-27k-deposit-for-three-bed-house-by-cycling-to-work-and-ordering-tap-water-at-restaurants/

Energy price cap to save 11 million households up to £120 each from January

A NEW energy cap will come into effect at the start of the new year, saving households up to £120 a year on gas and electricity bills.

Regulator Ofgem has set the final level of the cap at £1,137 per year for a typical dual fuel customer paying by direct debit.

Energy price cap
The new price cap will help households save money
Getty – Contributor

When the price cap comes into force at midnight on January 1, suppliers will have to cut the price of their default tariffs, including standard variable tariffs, to the level of or below the cap, forcing them to scrap extra charges.

The new cap will save the average household around £76, with a typical customer on the most expensive tariffs saving £120.

But the total savings for individual customers will depend on how much energy they use, the price of their current tariff, whether they have both gas and electricity and how they pay for their energy.

In total, the price cap will help around 11 million households in Britain to save around £1billion, according to Ofgem.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “The price cap will ensure that whether energy costs rise or fall suppliers are not feathering their nest and changes in energy prices will reflect the underlying costs to heat and light our homes.

“Consumers who want to cut their bills further should shop around for a better energy deal and while the cap is in place, we will continue our work to make this as easy as possible.”

By switching from a default tariff offered by the Big Six energy suppliers to the cheapest deal on the market, customers can save up to £285, according to government figures.

HOW TO FIND A CHEAPER ENERGY DEAL

FIRSTLY, you’ll need to have a recent bill to hand. This will have all the details you need, including the name of your tariff and your recent spending on gas

  • Use a comparison website: Customers can you use websites such as uSwitch.com or Energyhelpline.com to compare tariffs and find a cheaper deal. You could save up to £400 a year if you’ve never switched before.
  • There are other service you can turn to: MoneySavingExpert’s Cheap Enegy Club will let you set up an email reminder that alerts you when cheaper deals become available.
  • Things to do before you switch: Compare prices and before you switch check to see if you can get cachback from a website like Quidco or TopCashback

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “In the past few months loyal energy customers have continued to be hit by unjustified price rises on their already rip-off tariffs.

“This Government has delivered on time its promise to protect 11 million households from poor value deals this winter.

“Today’s final cap level brings greater fairness to energy prices and puts consumers at the heart of the energy market.”

Also commenting on the news of the price cap, Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This price cap will finally offer some much needed protection for loyal households on default tariffs, who have been exploited for too long.

“While the cap will mean that people pay a fairer price, it will not be the best deal on the market.

“By shopping around and changing tariff or supplier, people are likely to be able to make much greater savings on their energy bills.

“Households may also be able to reduce their bills and make long-term savings by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Simple steps, such as better insulation or heating controls, are a good place to start.”

The price cap is a cap per unit of gas and electricity, with standing charges taken into account.

In other words, it’s not a cap on customers’ energy bills, which will still rise or fall in line with their energy consumption.

Energy price cap
How much various customers will save per year thanks to the price cap, according to Ofgem

With the nights drawing in and the weather starting to get colder, here are 19 tips on how to cut your energy bills and how to make the most of your tariff.

Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways to cut the bills, and some customers can even get it done for free.

Meanwhile, many Britons wrongly believe light bulbs have little or no impact on their bills.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7668440/energy-price-cap-to-save-11-million-households-up-to-120-each-from-january/

Soup for cats can cost TEN times as much as human’s with 25 times more meat — and it tastes better

SOUPS for cats can cost ten times as much as versions for humans — but do taste better.

A Sun on Sunday test found one chicken and veg broth for moggies has up to 25 times more meat.

Pick of the bunch… 25 times more meat than human soup
No wonder cats can’t stop eating
Getty – Contributor

A quarter of Gourmet Crystal Chicken & Vegetable Soup for cats, by Nestle-owned Purina, is meat while soups for humans we tried contained between just one and 11 per cent chicken.

Food expert Martin Isark, founder of the Can I Eat It? app, carried out a taste test along with cats Molly and Milly.

The cat soup costs 90p for a 40g packet — or £22.50 a kilo.

Waitrose’s Chicken & Vegetable Broth, with six per cent chicken, is £2.50 for 600g, or £4.17 a kilo.

Do we get a poor deal compared to cats?
Getty – Contributor

A question of taste

THE Purina soup contains 25 per cent chicken, 4.6 per cent vegetables, fish and derivatives.
Human verdict: Great quality meat but the fish and chicken taste combo is odd, 7/10.

Cats’ verdict: Purrfect, 10/10.



https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7652916/soup-for-cats-price-hike-scandal/

Tesco recalls TWO vegetable dips over fears they could trigger allergic reactions

TESCO has urgently recalled two of its vegetable dips over fears they could trigger potentially fatal allergic reactions.

The supermarket’s £1.50 Pea and Spinach and Roasted Carrot and Chickpea dips contain milk which isn’t clear from the label.

Tesco has urgently recalled two vegetable dips
Tesco has urgently recalled two vegetable dips

The 182g dips pose a serious risk for anyone with a milk allergy or who is lactose-intolerant.

Shoppers are being asked to return packs with use by dates between November 1 and November 8 to their local Tesco for a full refund.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which issued the alert, said the wafers are a “possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents”.

Symptoms of a milk allergy include hives, vomiting, an upset stomach and even anaphylaxis – a rare and potentially life-threatening reaction which prevents breathing and sends the body into shock.

Meanwhile consuming milk when you are lactose-intolerant can cause nausea, diarrhoea, bloating, cramps and flatulence.

No other Tesco products are known to be affected.

The dips aren’t listed for sale online at the moment.

The FSA advises shoppers not to eat the dips if they have bought a pack.

Meanwhile chocolate cornflake bites sold at Iceland have been urgently recalled over fears they may contain salmonella.

And chocolate wafers sold at Morrisons have also been recalled because they could trigger potentially fatal allergic reactions as they contain milk that’s not on the label.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7641358/tesco-recalls-two-vegetable-dips-over-fears-they-could-trigger-allergic-reactions/

Follow our cash-saving tips to land some great bargains on winter clothing – plus win £15k in our raffle

FEELING the freeze? Then chill out with some great ways to keep toasty.

Temperatures have plummeted this week, so I’ve sought out some brr-illiant bargains to keep the cold at bay.

Getty – Contributor

Follow our cash-saving tips to land some great savings on winter clothing[/caption]

  • WRAP IT: If it’s time to think about a new winter coat, head to House of Fraser which has some serious deals. Super warm puffa jackets have been slashed from £175 to £70, and cosy coats with a faux fur hood are down from £54 to £27.
  • IN-VEST: Staying warm means thermals are a lot more chic these days. While John Lewis has a very warm pair for £18, my advice is to pay attention while doing your supermarket shop. Asda has almost identical base-layer leggings for just £5. They’re especially useful for the chilly school run or if you work ­outside — and they’re the cheapest I’ve found.
  • DONATE AND SAVE: Dig out some quality without the high price and find a treasure trove of steals inside charity shops. You can also now shop at Oxfam.org.uk and have home delivery. We spotted amazing high street bargains such as an Oasis parka-style coat for £29.99, as opposed to the similar style on the fashion chain’s website for £76, which is a saving of £46.01.
  • LAYER UP: Chic scarves and warm footwear can help give you a cosy boost. Primark’s chunky scarves are a bargain at £8, in varying colours and you can add a bobble hat for just £2. Tomorrow is the start of Aldi’s winter warmers Special Buys, which include gloves for £3.99 and thermal socks for £1.99.
  • SWAP SHOP: The beauty of good winter clothes is that they can last you more than just the one icy season. Rather than forking out on new winter warmers, host a cocktail party where you and your friends can swap items of clothing you no longer want. You could bag a cosy new look, without costing you a penny — and anything left over can be donated to charity.

Cheap treat

Save 75p on Wyke Farms Organic Mature, Extra Mature and Vintage Cheddar at Ocado

HAVE a cheesy snack with Wyke Farms Organic Mature, Extra Mature and Vintage Cheddar on offer at Ocado. Was £3, now £2.25 each. Offer ends November 27.

SAVE: 75p

Deal of the day

Grand Vin De Bordeaux French Lussac Saint-Émilio has been slashed by £2 at Lidl

GET the award-winning Grand Vin De Bordeaux French Lussac Saint-Émilion for £4.99, instead of £6.99 at Lidl.

SAVE: £2

Top swap

You could cut the price of your breakfast by swapping out Weetabix
Opt for Asda’s Wheat Bisks, £2.49, instead – they’re £1.71 cheaper than Weetabix

CUT the price of your brekkie by swapping 48 Weetabix, £4.20, for Asda’s Wheat Bisks, £2.49 for the same amount. We couldn’t tell them apart!

SAVE: £1.71

Shop & save

HAVE a close shave with the Gillette Fusion5 Proshield Razor on offer at Boots. Was £12, now £8. But be quick – offer ends at ­midnight.

SAVE: £4

My Sun Savers fiver

VIVIENNE PEART from Abingdon, Oxon, says: “I save up all my fivers and use them at Christmas to buy cards, postage stamps and wrapping paper.”

  • Send Savers fiver stories to ­sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if we print yours. Please include your name and town.

Reader’s saving tip

RACHEL WHEATSTONE from Pontypool, Torfaen, says: “I use fatfingers.com – it lists thousands of eBay items that have no bids because of typo errors.”

  • Send tips to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if we print yours.  And don’t forget to include your name and town.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Today’s code is on Page 16. Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7623815/sun-savers-bargains-winter-clothing/

These deals will stop your Halloween do from turning into a money fright-fest — plus win 2 FREE tickets to hang out with the Royals at Madame Tussauds

STILL planning the fun for your midweek frightfest?

One in six of us will spend up to £50 on Halloween with 78 per cent admitting it’s on chocs and sweets, a survey has revealed.

Top tips from a top vlogger to save on your mid-week scary shindig this Halloween
Getty – Contributor

Bargain hunter and vlogger Holly Smith (@holly-vlogs) has tracked down some sweet deals, perfect for parties and stashing away over the next few weeks. Feast your eyes on her top tips.

  1. For party activities: Head to store B&M for its Spooky mix sweet tub, just £1.99 for a large box of sweets. Plus Home Bargains is selling a Chupa Chups jelly creepy crawly pizza, for £2.49 — perfect for kids to decorate.
  2. For trick or treating: Be prepared for when that doorbell rings this week and buy sweets in bulk. You can get 22 mini-packs of Haribo Starmix from Sainsbury’s for £2 — down from £2.50 — or there’s a better deal at Iceland. The Haribo Super Party Bag has 70 mini-packs for just £5.
  3. For party bags: Poundland has a range of ­Casper The Friendly Ghost sweets such as 100 Casper sherbet straws for £1. Or if your kids love ­unicorns, try their ­unicorn popping candy packs where you get 20 for £1. That’s ­compared with Tesco’s ­Halloween Popping Candy at £2.50 for the same amount.
  4. For Halloween snacks: Get a FREE tub of Swizzles sweets worth £4 when you buy three packs of frozen party food from Iceland. Another idea is to buy Hartley’s lemon and lime jelly, 90p at Sainsbury’s. Just add in some Halloween sweets before it sets. Home Bargains also has some crazy jello bugs for £1. Head to facebook.com/thesunsavers to watch Holly’s video now.
  • ALL prices on are correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Top swap

This Pets At Home Halloween dog costume comes at a spooky £14
To turn your pooch into a pumpkin and save head to B&M for this £4.99 alternative
Tunc Sengun / HPC Images

DRESS up your pooch in this pumpkin outfit from B&M instead of this Pets At Home version.
SAVE: £9.01

Reader’s saving tip

DIANE EUBANK from LEEDS says: “As a laundry aid, add some cheap soda crystals to your washing and use a little less detergent. It really helps to remove grease and stains.”

  •  Send us your tips to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and home town.

Shop & save

Make sparkling savings with this Oral B 3D White Luxe 2 for £7 offer at Boots

GET your pearly whites sparkling with 2 for £7 on selected Oral B 3D White Luxe at Boots. Usually £5 each. While stocks last.
SAVE: £3

My Sun Savers fiver

CAROL CROSS from Staffordshire says: “My husband is doing Stoptober and my Sun Savers fivers have sponsored him. All proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support.”

  • Send us your Savers fiver stories to sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Include your name and home town.

Cheap treat

EACH pack of chocolate filled Pitch Bloc ‘o’ Choc brioche, comes with a bookmark. RRP £1.20, now £1
SAVE: 20p

Deal of the day

Save £45 on the Lookfantastic x Illamasqua Limited Edition Beauty Box now

TREAT yourself to the Lookfantastic x Illamasqua Limited Edition Beauty Box from lookfantastic.co.uk. RRP £80, now £35.
SAVE: £45

Hot right now

TREAT your bloke to the Baylis & Harding Men’s Ultimate Gift Set, which is now half-price at Boots, priced £12.50.

A right royal giveaway with Superdays with 2 FREE tickets

YOU can hobnob with the Royal Family by grabbing two FREE tickets to Madame Tussauds London, worth £70, with Sun Superdays.

Stand with Prince Charles, Camilla, the Queen, Prince Philip and Kate and Wills on the Royal Balcony and practise your wave.

Oliver Dixon – The Sun

Practise your wave on the Royal Balcony with 2 FREE tickets to Madame Tussauds worth £70[/caption]

Or you can relive the Royal Wedding with Meghan and Prince Harry in front of a 15-foot wide video wall that lets you choose a backdrop while you hang out with the newlyweds.

To get your tickets, go to “Offers’ in the Sun Savers app or sunsavers.co.uk and opt in to the Superdays promotion. Next, collect NINE of the 18 Sun Savers codes, printed daily until November 13. Today’s code is on page 16.

Enter your NINE codes on Sun Savers and click “Redeem”.

You will receive an email with a unique code and steps on booking your date and time. Not a Sun Savers member? See page 16. You can still collect ten of the 18 tokens and use the online booking form, but only Sun Savers get early booking. Token 3 is on the right.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Today’s code is on Page 16. Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7605413/halloween-2018-sun-savers-tips-deals/