27 July 2021

Future Proofing Your Family's Finances


So you’re an “evolved man” now.  You don’t “mansplain” and you certainly don’t sit with your legs apart on the Tube or the bus, no matter how much your biology says otherwise.


But despite all this evolution, that same biology just won’t let you give up on one thing: Taking care of your family and at no time in history has this been more important than right now.  If it’s one thing we have all had to learn of late, it’s how to be a better guardian of our families' financial security.  This may be the last bastion of positive masculinity we have left, so blokes - we must get it right.  We’ve previously looked at the many Dads Duties that we regularly undertake, so today - we’re taking it to the bank.



Image by August de Richelieu


TOP FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVICE FOR DADS, FROM DADS


The first and possibly most important bit of advice that anyone can give you is this:  it is never too early to start your financial planning journey and it doesn’t matter if you have £ 100 a month save or £ 1000 a month, the key to creating a legacy as well as a financial safety net which could ultimately lead to some wealth creation, is not how much you earn, but how much you save.  


If like many British dads you’re in the recovery process Post-Covid and money may be too tight to mention, you could seek to start creating new sources of income.  Dad’s everywhere are looking to online trading, selling goods on platforms like Facebook’s “marketplace”, trying their hand at the CFD game, (that’s foreign exchange trading to you and me) and while some of these options may take some upskilling, they can be a lucrative way out of a current financial bind.


This tip is an “add-on” to the first but it’s well worth it.  Pay yourself first.  Yes, you have to keep track of bills and mounting interest charges, etc. but you have to set aside some money for yourself too - this can be added to a savings regime or savings account and if it’s not spent by the end of the month, roll it over to the next and keep adding to it.  You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up and before you know it, you’ll be ready too…


Set Up an emergency fund.  Don’t fall into the new age trap of thinking that “planning for an emergency causes the emergency”.  Why not ask any of your friends if they feel that way after this year.  A solid amount of readily available (but not too readily mind you) cash can mean the difference between a few more mortgage payments...or the alternative.  Don’t get caught with your pants down again.


It might seem redundant “after the fact”, but there is no time like the present to start planning your financial future - with the long-term in mind.  Wealth creation doesn’t happen overnight and if you’re not the kind of guy that’s naturally gifted with this sort of skill, then get online and find a financial planner/broker who can guide you through it.  


Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet and who knows what’s happening around the corner, but in a world gone mad, the buck stops with Dad.


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11 March 2021

How To Ship Your Motorcycle Across the Country

How To Ship Your Motorcycle Across the Country

In the UK, motorcycle trips amount to 4,800 miles annually. Riding your motorcycle across long distances can be a thrilling experience, but there are a few things you need to consider, such as fuel costs and unfamiliar terrains. Fortunately, there’s a better option you’ll find more convenient; this takes the hassle of moving your bike from you. Do you own a motorcycle? Here are a few useful tips on moving your bike across the country. 


  1. Rely on the best transport company





Image Credit


Some companies over the years have been able to carve a niche for themselves in this regard. Indeed, motorcycle transportation is the easiest and most reliable way to move your motorbike across the country. The company you opt for will determine how cheap or expensive it’ll be to convey your bike. For better comparison, however, you’ll find it useful to learn about the rates to ship a motorcycle. For example, while you may pay between £200 and £500 with one company, another may charge more, depending on the following factors:


  • Distance

  • Delivery location

  • Mode of transport (open or enclosed trailer)


Additionally, in your search for a reliable transport company, read more on customer reviews on their social media pages or via paid online search results. Moreover, it’ll be easier to contact former customers who utilised these services directly. Most importantly, check their claim records for detailed information on their credibility and business ethics.


  1. Maintain a record of the bike's condition

Taking records of your motorcycle’s condition before moving it across the country is a necessary thing to do. First of all, it becomes first-hand evidence should anything happen during the moving process. Even with the most trusted motorcycle handlers, the worst could happen, and you need that record to be safe and handy. Record taking should include the following:

  • Ample pictures of the motorcycle from all angles

  • Detection and recording of pre-existing dents and scratches

  • Unique markings on your machine's engine or other critical parts to foil attempts to replace them on your blindside.


With this documented information on your two-wheeled automobile, you’d have safeguarded your property. More so, in the unlikely event of being scammed, these details will come handy in case of a refund brought on by damages.


  1. Use a tow trailer





Image Credit


Trailers are the most common way of transporting most types of automobiles. They can be open or enclosed; the choice really depends on you and how you wish to transport it. However, most transport companies recommend going in for the enclosed types as those ensure privacy and enhanced security. This is especially ideal if the motorcycle being moved is a pricey model or a limited edition. An enclosed option protects your machine from the elements.

 

Lastly, don’t forget to empty your motorcycle's trunk (that's if the model is designed with one) before transportation. Again, any other part that can be unscrewed and kept away from the entire haulage should be detached to enhance security and safety from damage.




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The Dangers Surrounding Motorbike Ownership And How To Protect Yourself


Many people who are road enthusiasts will embrace the freedom that riding a bike can give you. This isn’t a bicycle, this is the motorbike. The chance to really feel the freedom of the road. The air in your hair, the adrenalin rush as you take that bend on a country road. But while it can be a great experience, there are also some dangers involved with being on the road with a motorcycle. With that in mind, here are some of these dangers so that you can be more aware of them when out on the open road. 




Image source - pixabay - cco license


The speed on the road 

   

Speed is one thing that you just can’t really control when you are on a bike. Sure you have your speedometer and you should be keeping an eye on your speed, but in terms of feeling sometimes it can be difficult to realise when you are over the speed limit or perhaps you might be riding the motorbike a little too fast. It is so important to be aware of your speed on a motorbike. You can end up causing real concern if you lose control of the vehicle, or speed causes you to be less alert of potential dangers ahead. 


Being involved in an accident 


Being involved in an accident is never nice. It can be a real case of the wrong place at the wrong time or it may even be caused by yourself. This is why it is so important to prepare yourself as much as possible. This might be with the helmet you have through to the jacket and boots you wear. There are some options on websites like https://bmw.europe-moto.com/gb/21-boots-shoes-bmw-motorrad. You can find some options to consider. However, an accident occurs, being on a motorcycle makes you more susceptible to injury, even if you are wearing all of the safety gear. 


Not being seen by other motorists 


It is so important to be wary and on your guard at all times when out on the road on your motorcycle. What you can't do is predict other people’s driving behavior or their current concentration levels. This means things like not being seen in time by them can lead to accidents being caused. Being aware of yourself might mean that you can take action to avoid things like this. A common situation is when cars pull out of junctions and a motorcyclist, you seem to appear out of nowhere. 


The weather 


Finally, the weather can play a big role in terms of the safety of the road for any vehicle, especially a motorcycle. Wet weather can cause road surfaces to be more of a slip risk, while colder temperatures can cause wet road surfaces to ice over. These sorts of weather conditions can make riding a bike tricky, and it is best to avoid dangerous weather like this and being out on the road if possible.


Let’s hope that highlighting some of these risks and dangers will help you to be warier when out on the road on your motorbike. 


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15 January 2021

Preparing to Refit Your Office During Lockdown


2021 is already starting to present challenges for every business owner, limiting many to
working from home whilst others have to implement a lot of measures within their workplace
to make it safe.

Whilst some business owners are left with nothing but time on their hands until their
premises reopen in February or March, others are preparing to provide their business with a
new look. Among the chief areas are replacing older worn-out carpet laid floors with
something that is easier to maintain and gives a positive vibe throughout the office.
Wood Effect in the Office


Hardwood floors throughout the office is not a new thing, in fact, they have offered up a
calming sensibility for decades throughout an office.
However, they do tend to suffer over the years with every spilled drink or scratch from a chair
movement which is expensive to replace, which is why they tend to get left in that state for
long periods. With luxury wood effect vinyl flooring you have a perfectly replicated flooring
solution that has technologies at play to prevent scratches and stains, as well as moisture
resistant properties to protect the underfloor.
Stone Effect


Real stone in an office environment is a powerful look but it does fall to problems of chipping
and scratches over time.

This is an area that can be fully replicated with the lowest price Amtico flooring also, and
provides exactly the same qualities as the wood effect whilst providing a fully authentic look
where people would not know the difference. By installing tiles with the use of an adhesive
you will not fall victim to any loose fittings coming away and ruining the look of your floor,
common mistakes with stone flooring.

By choosing from multiple collections, you can even mix and match between stone, slate
and marble effect to create a sense of style unique to your business.
Quick Installation Before Reopening

Even the cheapest Amtico Spacia flooring in the UK does not require weeks to fit an office
space, nor does it require a professional.

If you feel the need you can have it installed by yourself if up to the task as each section can
be cut to a measured size. Depending on if you choose planks or tiles it is a relatively simple
exercise either way.

By dedicating a bit of time to making your office an easily maintained and stylish place to
return to, the best investment moving your company forward is in vinyl flooring.


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10 January 2021

AD A Well Earned His And Hers Treat With Boots


Well, what a year 2020 has been...
I can not believe it's 2021 already and we are still in a lockdown, it only seems two minutes ago that the first lockdown was declared and we were all hoping this would be done and gone and we would be seeing some sort of normality by now.
It seems though, that no one knows what's going on or what tier we are in, or what the rules are.
After the Christmas we have all just had to - not really getting to see people or share any special time with our loved ones, it's certainly hit a lot of people's mental hard - mine included.


Let's hope we can see some positive stuff in 2021 - well, after January's lockdown is over that is - and we can all begin to have an amazing year...fingers crossed...

Anyway, sorry for the doom and gloom start but I promise you that's it  - it will only be positive, happy talk from here!

So let's talk about Christmas, to be honest, it was actually the best Christmas we've ever had although it didn't really seem like Christmas at all.
It's normally the time of year when you spoil your loved ones rotten and your household gets filled up with those amazing goodies, toys, tech, skincare, sweets...

Over the last few years myself and my wife have kind of taken a step back from treating ourselves and we cut back on what we get others in our family too - money is kind of tight and we have two beautiful, amazing children who we want to spoil and treat, so the main chunk of our money goes on them - and you know what, good, because they deserve it. 

Myself and my wife always get a little bit of money to share from family plus the odd toiletry set, but seeing our children really happy and enjoying Christmas is what really makes our Christmas.

So with the money we normally get we do try to get a little for ourselves in the January sales - I mean why pay full price in December when a week later you can buy more because things are a lot cheaper. 

One of the main things we wanted to treat ourselves to was some sort of skincare products for us both - neither of us have really looked after our skin in the last year and we can really tell too - we are getting old!

You may have seen some of the past posts I have published around Christmas time featuring products I love on my Christmas Gift Guides.

We were very much in luck when Boots - our skin saviours - came to our rescue and asked if we wanted to review some products from their online store...perfect timing or what.

It was the perfect opportunity for us to treat ourselves to some amazing products - the selection on the Boots website is huge and we were spoilt for choice with the amazing brands and deals featured. 

If you have read my blog before, you will know that I am a bearded bloke and love nothing more than looking after my beard but over the last year it's had no pampering at all other than washing.
I used to treat it to oils, balms, conditioners - it had the works - so I wanted to add something like that back into my skincare routine.
And also my eye bags are getting so bad so a little something for them seemed to be a must.

Boots have such a great selection of products for everyone and I headed over to the men's gift set collections and two bundles really stood out to me for what I wanted to achieve. 



This bundle contained four amazing products that will definitely get used regularly and the name L'Oreal doesn't need any explaining really - it is a well-known, reliable brand, and is why I chose these products. 

In the set there is a 300ml bottle of stress resist relaxing shower gel which will definitely ease my body's tension after a hard day's graft at work.
It is suitable for both body and hair too - a must for a man with a beard - and it has a lovely, fruity fragrance that leaves you feeling refreshed after a shower.

Then there is the vita lift anti-ageing daily moisturiser, perfect for the fight against the five signs of ageing - all of which are finding me now I've hit that grand age of 38!
This product has been a godsend and 100% one of the key products in my skincare routine now.

One of the main things that made me want to start looking after my skin was how bad my eyes are beginning to look.
It was only when I was asked to take a photo of myself for a work ID badge that I noticed my eyes were really bad and I decided that I really needed to do something about them.
This was one of the main reasons why I chose this collection because it had eye cream that I really wanted to use.
I've only used it for just over a week now and I haven't noticed massive changes just yet but I'm hoping it will iron out my wrinkles and fine lines and just make my eyes look a lot lighter...and less old...

Last but not least is the stress resist 48hr roll-on deodorant - personally, I don't use roll-on's but my son happily took it off my hands and is really happy with the product and has even asked if I would buy him some more when this runs out - which is always a good sign. 

I was then lucky enough to be able to choose myself another gift set from Boots...


This is an amazing collection of the finest male grooming products I have seen in a long time, and it contains more than enough for any mans skincare routine - it also has a product I can use on my beard to keep it looking and feeling and looking super fresh.

I'm not going to go into the fine details about these products because this post would be far to long.

But, within the bundle, there is an energising face wash and facial scrub which when used together make a great combination to use after a day at work getting covered in all different sorts of muck and oils, all causing damage to my skin. 

Next up there is a 200ml energising face & body wash which has a really lightweight formula meaning you don't have to spend hours in the shower rinsing the lather off, making it perfect for a quick morning freshen up in the shower before work. 


Now that's the body washed, let's move on to the aftercare products.
First up the face, beard, and stubble moisturiser - like I said above I've really neglected my beard over the last year so this product has been a breath of fresh air for me and it's unbelievable the about of comments I've received about my beard since I started using it.
I've even been asked if I dye my beard because it looks a little darker now and much healthier - I've been throwing the product recommendation around loads!

I wouldn't say my skin is really dry but after using the face wash and scrub within this set it's feels nice to put a bit of moisture back into my face and neck area.
The gradual tan moisturiser is perfect too for this and because it has a slight tint to it it means I get a real healthier look to my skin.

And last but not least, a product which I should have been using daily for the last year and that is the No7 energising eye roll on. 

I first used an eye-roller on my wedding day over nine years ago because I was with my Mum and she told me to use hers so my eyes wouldn't look tired on my wedding photos, afterwards I said to myself I wanted to get one for myself.

I've actually used a few different ones in the past but for some reason, it's a product I always forget about and can go months, maybe years, without picking one up- crazy!

Well, my number one plan in 2021 is to try not to forget about it and try use or daily. 

The No7 eye-roller is just as good as the ones I've used before and you can definitely feel the three balls it has really massaging the skin under my eyes when using it, and fingers crossed this works in conjunction with the other skincare products and I will start seeing some fantastic results.

Well, that's me and my skin sorted with those Gifts For Him, now let's move onto someone who truly deserves treating, and that's my wife, Simone. 

I'm not going to go into details but after the year she has had having to hold things together at home with our kids through the pandemic, she 100% needs some lovely gifts so she can pamper herself. 

She had a look at the Gifts For Her section and initially picked a Clinique moisture surge set.

I remember way back when, she did use to use a few Clinique products, but, as with everything, she dropped down to a lot less expensive products  - I think she jumped at the chance of having a little luxury back in her skincare routine. 

She told me that her skin often feels really tight, so anything that gives it more moisture and a bit of a fresher look she is all over.
The overnight mask is fantastic and she told me it has really made a difference.
The under-eye cream and the face cream, she uses daily and is loving the moisturised, fresh feel of her skin because of them.




The second product was again, a product from her past - a rather pricey (I was a bit shocked actually!) Benefit Gimme Brow.


Simone doesn't leave the house without a bronzer and a brow and this product was the first she leaned towards when this opportunity came our way.

She told me it has always been a favourite of hers and it makes her brows look full and fantastic and it lasts all day too.

A real confidence booster!

So yes, as you can see, a few little treats really do go a long way in making people - especially people who don't usually get them - feel a little better and a little happier about themselves.

Thanks lots Boots for making 2021 a little more easier to take...



This post is in conjunction with Boots UK, but all thoughts are my own
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