My Follow Friday - Lulu Blog

Lulu is an online printing/publishing company that publishes novels, calendars, cook-books, picture albums and a number of other print paraphernalia. If you wanted one copy of a personal calendar professionally printed as a gift for someone else, or you required 200 copies of your carefully edited novel, Lulu will print and supply these for you. The print on demand service means that anything from hard copy novels to picture books can be printed at a relatively affordable price.



Even though Lulu is not a personal blog it’s a fantastic resource for writers and publishers. It concentrates on authors’ advancement. Obviously the more a writer/publisher sells, the better it is for Lulu’s status and financial prosperity.


If you’re a writer interested in writing contests, how to market your work, self-publishing advice, or author tips and tricks, log into this blog and have a look at the tags on the front page. There are literally hundreds of advice pages for writers.


Get stuck in!


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How to Save on Family Entertainment

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One of the areas in which we’ve had to cut down our spending has been entertainment for the family. The current economic situation has signalled a shift in the amount we previously spent on our social lives. Many people are currently looking to find more traditional ways of spending time with their spouses and kids. The value of the ‘quality time’ (as opposed to the hefty cost of the treat) can now be stressed. Below are some helpful ways of cutting the entertainment costs within the family. My book ‘How to Spend Less’ addresses these points in more detail.
1. Do some research to find enjoyable games that you can personally set up and play at your kids’ parties instead of hiring a DJ/face painter/juggler. This is terribly easy to do even if you’ve never done it before. Design and print your own invitations. Play your own music. Assign tasks to various family members, and get all the work done for free.


2. Get together with your kids’ friends’ parents and plan a car share system for travelling to clubs, school, swimming, trips and other activities. One parent picks up, the other drops off. Save time, energy, costs and carbon emissions.


3. Book your foreign holidays in University cities. Universities rent out students’ accommodation during school breaks. These go for half the price of hotel rooms. Check before you go, as based on the size of the individual rooms, this plan may not be suitable for families with more than one child.


4. Plan an affordable and green wedding to control your spending. Find the entire article at Beyond Jane. It’s called, ‘How to Have a Green, Affordable Wedding; The Definitive Guide.’


5. There is no need to stop going out for a meal with your partner entirely. If you eat out, check newspapers for two-for-one deals particularly during the winter when custom is slow. Do lunch instead of dinner. It’s a lot cheaper, especially if you order the set menu and the house wine, and pass on the coffee at the end.


6. Remember that if you wish to go to a bowling complex or activities’ centre, you can get significant discounts if you’re part of a group. Getting together a few of your kids’ friends and their families for these outings is an idea to consider.


7. A perfect day out camping in the back garden and surviving on just what you packed in your overnight bag is a great experience to have with your kids. All of this comes for free and the only thing spent would be time and effort.


8. If you would like to take your child to visit interesting venues but can’t afford it, offer yourself as a volunteer on a few of his/her school trips. They’re all free for parent volunteers and give you an opportunity to get to know your child’s friends and teachers.

My book, 'How to Sp£nd L€$$' is now available in hard copy on Lulu.


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Whinging Wednesday - Reality TV: And The Winner Is...


I’m not a fan of reality TV, but I do watch the X-Factor and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. For my American friends, American Idol is the American version of the X-Factor. I’m a Celebrity... sees forgotten (in most cases) celebrities who’re staging a come-back of sorts, dumped into the Australian jungle. They’re required to complete stomach churning tasks like chewing on kangaroo testicles to ‘win’ food for the group. They get whittled down one by one until the last man/woman left standing is crowned king or queen of the jungle.

My whinge today is about the hosts of these programmes. Have you noticed (though I can’t imagine you haven’t) the length of time it takes them to say who’s going home on a particular night?

'And the person going home tonight is...' and you waste valuable seconds and minutes of your life waiting for them to say the name. Just say the name already! You scream at the TV and hide your face behind your hands while they stand there, panning from face to face, squeezing the last bit of patience out of the poor, panic-stricken people on stage.

...And you're still waiting for a name.

Why does this have to be done in this way? Do the producers of these shows think that we, the viewers get our kicks from seeing the competitors (celebrity or not) cringe to the point of breathlessness? What is the perceived advantage of this tactic and how does it help the show?

I have to admit it does nothing but annoy me, making me less likely to watch more episodes of the show.

...Still waiting.

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How To Create A Name For Your Blog

Lesson 1: How to Create A Great Name For Your Blog

Naming your blog
When it comes to naming your blog, you may think this is a pretty easy and personal task. You’ve obviously had names that mean something special to you, swishing around in your head for a long time.


Wait. Actually, this is one of the hardest things when it comes to starting a blog. If you don’t mind your blog being another one of the millions of personal online journals no one else is interested in, it would be fine to give it an individually creative name.

However, I suspect you’re hoping to manage a blog that will be publicly read, will be listed by search engines, and that people will search for when browsing the Internet. In that case you’ll have to think carefully about what name you wish to use. To find your blog name you must first consider of the following points. 
Recommended reading: How Do I Blog page for more blogging tutorials.  

My Follow Friday - How Publishing Really Works

I Follow 'How Publishing Really Works' because of the wealth of writing tips and publishing advice the blog stockpiles. Not only are there definitive articles like ‘How to find a good literary agent’ or ‘How to test a copy editor.’ There are also vital grammar lessons for those in the writing world and beyond.

This site may not be a very ‘personal’ blog or what is construed as a ‘friendly space,’ but it’s the result of a lot of hard work by talented and professional people (there are posts by a few guest writers as well).

I often dip into ‘How Publishing Really Works’ for links to writers’ resources or just to see what’s going on in the publishing world because I respect the recommendations and opinions of the people involved.

Bookmark this site if you’re a writer, or have published an eBooks on the Internet.



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My New Hand-Book

I’ve been very busy lately, so I’m sorry if I’ve neglected your blog. I’ve been quite taken up with editing (again) and publishing a new hand-book called, 'A Model's Guide To Losing Weight Without Dieting.' Here's what the cover looks like. What do you think?





At the moment it’s only available as an e-book here, but I’ll be publishing a hard copy by the end of the year just like I did with, 'How To Spend Less.'

Here is a short synopsis:

‘A Model’s Guide to Losing Weight’ is a workable solution to banish nagging weight issues and keep them gone for good.

It’s a powerful, new-age guide. It hands over responsibility to the readers by inspiring them to attempt the lifestyle changes even before they’re introduced, and gives them the option to move at their own pace.

This innovative weight loss programme teaches way of life, not a diet. It coaches readers on issues of portion control, a new system of mind-training, and sustainable physical activities, with no strenuous exercises.

This is a clear, easy-to-follow, step-by-step plan with solid psychological reinforcements. It offers the readers the option to personalise the steps for individual tastes.

If you would like a copy, let me know and I'll generate a money-off coupon for you.

Thanks for your support. Anne


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Saving Money On Buying Christmas Presents

As far as possible, buy Christmas presents from shops that give reward cards, loyalty discount vouchers, and two-for-one offers etc. You will get a lot more for your money because this is the only time of year you’ll have the need to buy several presents all at once.



I try to figure out ways to shop wiser every Christmas. For the last four years I’ve been buying presents mainly from my supermarket, mail-order catalogues, and a UK chemist/gift shop called Boots. Here’s why.


To each their own list

First I allocate how much I’m going to spend on each person. I start shopping at the end of October and decide what proportion of presents I’ll buy from the various outlets I’ve mentioned above. I give my kids a free catalogue I pick up every year from a national toy shop, and ask them to make a list of 10 items each – based on the hundreds of toys in the catalogue – of things they would like for Christmas. I take this list to my supermarket (during my weekly grocery shopping) and purchase the items there, where they cost much less than they do at the toy shops. The kids understand that while they won’t get everything on the list, its existence ensures that they will get two things they really want. Thus, the element of surprise is still preserved. This of course is separate from the stockings full of random, surprise goodies Santa leaves under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve night.


Make sure you keep all receipts and a tight check on what you’re spending.


Supermarket bargains

Supermarkets are the perfect outlets from which to buy presents for your kids and younger members of your family. They stock similar (if not exactly the same) items as popular gift shops, but sell them for half the price. If you don’t want your recipients to know where the gift has come from, purchase items whose shop labels you can easily remove; use the plain variety of stylish wrapping paper; and spend extra time wrapping your presents with generous wrapping ribbons and bows. These you can purchase at half price after Christmas to use for the following year’s festivities. Fine wrapping paper will give any present a lift.



Mail-order catalogue shopping

 
Mail-order catalogue companies try to attract new customers at the start of the autumn every year, by offering a free gift (usually with free delivery) with every order from new customers. Take advantage of this. Make an order, get your free stuff which is essentially a two-for-one deal, pay off your balance, and forget about them. If you ignore their subsequent catalogues for the rest of the year, they will stop sending them soon enough. If they don’t get the drift, cancel your account with them and move onto another company next Christmas. You’re doing nothing wrong. You’re taking advantage of a bargain and paying for your purchases like every good citizen should. This year I got a fabulous (expensive) coat for free with a single purchase from a mail-order catalogue. There’s another Christmas present I didn’t have to pay for!


Two-for-one deals and loyalty card offers

I saved £62.00 last week end when I made my final Christmas presents purchases. These were made at the chemist/gift shop where they sell three items for the price of two. I’ve done the bulk of my serious Christmas shopping here every year, ever since I discovered their magnificent offers.

Customers get the cheapest item free, for every three items you buy. However, to make this work in your favour, you have to make sure you’re buying three items as three separate purchases, and not twelve all in one go. Separating the purchases means that you get more expensive things for free, as opposed to all the cheap, leftovers at the end. I bought my mother-in-law two items for £15.00 each and got a free gift for my sister worth £13.00. After I paid for these, I put them aside on the counter and presented my second basket. This purchase included two items for my father-in-law, one worth £22 and another £20. I got a third item worth £20.00 for my husband for free.


As I was parked right outside, I put these in the car and went back yet another time. My sister’s, daughter’s and father-in-law’s birthdays are a few days either side of Christmas so I find it convenient to shop for these at the same time. After buying two gifts worth £23.00, and £22.00 each, I was able to secure another lovely free gift worth £18.00. As if this wasn’t enough. The points on my loyalty card rocketed because 500 free points were on offer if you spent more than £30.00 in one transaction. Added all in, I had a total of £11.00 to spend on anything I wanted in the store. I got a present for my husband and another for my daughter’s birthday gift.


Together, buying presents from catalogues that give you free gifts for shopping, shopping at the supermarket where items are cheap, and buying from shops that offer you savings on what you spend save you a whole lot of money on your Christmas shopping. Think of all the food you could get with the cash you saved!

If you wanted to save even more, why don’t you buy next year’s Christmas presents this year in the New Year’s Day sale? I didn’t have a chance to do that last year because of illness, but this is a perfect way to get expensive presents for less than half their asking price. As long as you stay away from fashion and music, (and not use your credit card) you’ll be singing your way to the bank next Christmas. But this is another article….

For UK readers: a major wine company has just gone into administration. This is the perfect time to shop for a case of wine (half price) then distribute individual bottles as Christmas presents.


For those sending packages and cards to the UK; we’ve had a lengthy postal strike and the undelivered mail is piled up way high. It’s time to send yours now if you want them delivered for Christmas.

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Save Money At The Supermarket

Today’s money-saving tips are just a few tricks to keep firmly in mind when you go shopping at the supermarket. Of course there are so many other areas in our lives where we can claw back on the amount we’re spending, but we’ll discuss these in due course.



1.Instead of buying several different cleaners for multiple tasks, add soda crystals to washing powder to do a multitude of cleaning around the house. It’s cheaper, safer, better for the environment, and gets the job done.


2.Before you think you’ve got a deal it’s wise to check the price per smallest unit (100ml or 100g for example). This information will be on the price tag on the shelf below the item, in almost-invisible writing which you have to bend over to read. Generally, larger items are cheaper per unit, especially with things like cereals, washing powder, toilet roll etc.


3.Frozen spinach, carrots, beans, peas, okras, roasted (frozen) aubergines, etc taste exactly the same as their fresh counterparts and sell for almost half the price. You save in two ways: (a) The amount you pay for the product. (b) There is no wastage. Fresh items are sold by weight but you can’t use end bits and stems. There’s also no ‘going bad’ in the fridge so you never have to throw it out.


4.Not having a list is a very expensive way to shop. If you don’t know what you need, you’re likely to grab everything you think you want. Make sure your supermarket visits are accompanied by a list.


5.Always look at the bottom shelf or the one above eye-level for the true price the item is worth. Supermarkets put their most expensive items on the eye-level shelves. The chopped tomatoes you pull off the shelf on your way to the freezer section could very well be selling for 20% less on the shelf right under your nose – literally.


6.Visit ‘discount’ or ‘cash and carry’ outlets for items like paper towels, shampoo, toothpaste etc. You may find that they stock end-of-line products and sell them cheaper than your supermarket. While you’re there, buy long-life items like rice, pasta, oil, toilet roll etc, in bulk. You’ll get them for as much as half the price.


I hope these tips have been helpful to you. I’ll be discussing others as we progress. Thanks for your time and please feel free to add your own. If you’d like to read more, you can find my book at Lulu.


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Money Saving Tips

I run a weekly column dedicated to saving money, on Year Zero Writers' blog. I wanted to save all the material on 'A Blogger's Books' as well, so I'll be copying them over here once they've been read and archived. This won't interfere with my usual posts here, It will just satisfy my need for 'nesting' by having my work displayed on this page. The post immediately below is the first of my contributions on that site. The links below it are the subsequent posts. Click on any one of the headings to read the full articles individually.


All the tips included here are from my book, 'How To Spend Less' now available to buy when you click on the link 'available books' at the top of this blog page.

SAVE MONEY BY SHARING A PET

My topic this week concerns pets. They can get very expensive to maintain, can’t they, especially in this current financial climate. My idea for cutting down on pet-related costs is to share a pet with your siblings/friends and their families.

How will this work?
If you’re now thinking of having a pet, you could start off by choosing one with another member of your extended family or good friend. Pet insurance, vet bills, food, toys, care etc will all be shared equally by both parties. The pet will have two homes and twice as much love. You could alternate visits weekly, and when you go away on holiday you’ll save yourself a bundle on pet care/sitters because the other family who owns the pet will have it at their place for free. Of course you’ll still have to buy food, litter etc, but whatever you purchase will last twice as long, thus be half as expensive.

If your kids have always wanted a dog (for example) and you have no objection other than you could not afford it, you could make plans to half adopt your friend/sibling’s dog (with their agreement of course). If you’re thinking that the animal may be stressed, I don’t think you have to worry about this at all. My friend’s cat lives with her and her neighbour equally. It gets fed, petted, loved and needed at both places. It thrives on its regal lifestyle. My dog, China did exactly the same thing with myself and my friend. She was equally happy at both homes. I didn’t have any kids at the time, but my friend did. China got her exercise running around with my friend’s kids. When she was tired, she came home to me and played lazy, got her back rubbed, and a nice bowlful of food to eat.

A burden shared is a burden halved. A pet shared is twice as much fun and the financial responsibilities halved.

And the subseqent posts: Click on the headings to read the entire article.

A Hole In Your Sock

Last night my daughter told me she had a hole in one of her socks.


‘Put it in the bin.’ I told her, ‘but keep the good one.’

She screwed up her face, puzzled that I would want to keep one odd sock. You see, I’ve always bought socks in large packs. A pack of ten identical socks generally gives you twenty socks. When number twenty has been worn down and thrown out, you’re left with nine pairs and an odd one out.

Why The Credit Crunch Is Not All Bad

Say what we want about the credit crunch, it’s been good for us and the way our spending was reeling past the red zone of the crazy meter. I know this sounds bizarre. How can tightening our belts and having to spend less be good for us? How can cutting back on luxury items or entertaining our kids be good for the way they live, and in their best interests? Having to reduce the amount of energy we use in order to cut our bills and spending, surely is a burden and not a blessing.



Spending Less On Home Improvements
 
In the current economic crises, it’s obviously wise to keep spending to a minimum; especially when it relates to arbitrary outgoings like home improvement. However, we shouldn’t have to give up on this altogether, because there are several simple ways of doing it well, yet cheaply.
 
1. Need a new kitchen? Reuse your old cupboards, but change the doors and door handles. It’s wasteful throwing out good cupboards. Keep your sink. Replace the taps.
 
How To Save At The Supermarket
 
Today’s money-saving tips are just a few tricks to keep firmly in mind when you go shopping at the supermarket. Of course there are so many other areas in our lives where we can claw back on the amount we’re spending, but we’ll discuss these in due course.
 
1.Instead of buying several different cleaners for multiple tasks, add soda crystals to washing powder to do a multitude of cleaning around the house. It’s cheaper, safer, better for the environment, and gets the job done.
 
Saving Money On Buying Christmas Presents
 
As far as possible, buy Christmas presents from shops that give reward cards, loyalty discount vouchers, and two-for-one offers etc. You will get a lot more for your money because this is the only time of year you’ll have the need to buy several presents all at once.

10 Crazy, Lazy Ways To Make Extra Cash

I wrote an article some time ago about lazy ways to make money. I’ve been re-reading it recently and found that the advice was, and still is astoundingly helpful. I’d forgotten some of the things I researched, but re-reading it today gave me a spring in my step after taking note that more than 4,000 people read it within a short period of time.

Now that we’re in the tight embrace of the credit crunch, I want to bring this article back to life. The points I gave all involved very little ‘work’ and some decent, legal tricks and tips to get that extra cash into your very own hands.

How To Save On Family Entertainment

One of the areas in which we’ve had to cut down our spending has been entertainment for the family. The current economic situation has signalled a shift in the amount we previously spent on our social lives. Many people are currently looking to find more traditional ways of spending time with their spouses and kids. The value of the ‘quality time’ (as opposed to the hefty cost of the treat) can now be stressed. This article outlines some helpful ways of cutting the entertainment costs within the family. My book ‘How to Spend Less’ addresses these points in more detail.

Winter Living Savings

At this time of year we tend to go wild with spending. I think this is because it can sometimes seem useless trying to save money on one hand, while splashing out on goodies for the family and more Christmas decorations for the tree, on the other. However, there are still some tiny ways in which we can try to minimise the outgoings in other areas of our lives. Our wallets will thank us for it in January during the wringing-of-hands season when the first bank statement of 2010 arrives in the post.


Quick Money Saving Hints and Tips



Today’s money-saving tips are just a few tricks to keep firmly in mind when you go shopping at the supermarket. Of course there are so many other areas in our lives where we can claw back on the amount we’re spending, but we’ll discuss these in due course.
1. Instead of buying several different cleaners for multiple tasks, add soda crystals to washing powder to do a multitude of cleaning around the house. It’s cheaper, safer, better for the environment, and gets the job done.
2. Before you think you’ve got a deal it’s wise to check the price per smallest unit (100ml or 100g for example). This information will be on the price tag on the shelf below the item, in almost-invisible writing which you have to bend over to read. Generally, larger items are cheaper per unit, especially with things like cereals, washing powder, toilet roll etc. 


You can purchase my book below for extreme tips on how to save money.







Whinging Wednesday - Swearing On The Internet




I’ve been thinking about this for a while because I know this particular whinge will upset some people. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t share my strong feelings on my own blog, where else can I do so?


We have all seen junk left abandoned on the side of our roads. Some people obviously think it’s fine to publicly display their trash. But that leaves us who get rid of our old sofas and fridges responsibly, putting up with other people’s rubbish in our collective public faces.

Many people smoke in their own homes. They enjoy smoking as a hobby, and this is okay with the rest of us. Not all of us smoke, however. Some folks feel strongly against the habit, and hate to inhale a lungful of second hand cigarette smoke when someone in a public place has walked by, exhaling a mouthful of the stuff.

We all know people who smoke dope. We know they do it in the confines of their own space. Yet, and rightfully so, we don’t expect them to subject our children to puffs of second-hand marijuana smoke, nor would we condone them lighting up when they come over for a visit.

Not everyone believes that smacking children as a form of discipline is right. Not everyone believes that it’s wrong. Nevertheless, we won’t excuse a parent for resorting to this type of discipline in a public forum. We would be appalled that someone would even attempt to do this in any other place than inside their own home. Some less-than-men hit their wives/girlfriends in private, fully aware that this trashy behaviour is not tolerated by the majority of us.

The bottom line is, if you indulge in behaviour considered to be anti-social you should be careful not to stand in front of a fan when you’re out and about. Many people would be revolted by the actions of the above perpetrators, yet they themselves are happy to generously share their swear words with the rest of us.

Not everyone swears, and like cigarette smoke, it’s something you should puff at people who enjoy doing it as much as you do. How is it not okay for Mr X to dump his old coffee table on the side of your road, but it’s fine for you to let loose swear words in the street in the presence of my young children?

You can agree it’s vile for parents to smack their kids in public as a form of discipline. But it’s dandy for you to type several swear words in a public forum on the Internet and leave them there for me to read.

You despise the guy in the other car who’s picking his nose and flicking the boogers out of his side window, but you’re happy to leave dirty words, smeared from your finger tips, all over the web.

I’m done.

You’re a writer? Then write some real words to express yourself. Go get rid of your trash responsibly.

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I Came Top In A Google Search

I’ve had a wonderful surprise today.


Every morning I check the traffic on my blogs. I pay keen attention to the new visits so that I could check out what they are and the connection they have (or have made) with my blog. As you know, one can't afford to miss such opportunities.
This morning, on Sunday's Child Lives At Annie's House, I noticed that I had a couple of views from Mediacom. This is a search engine powered by no other than the golden giant, Google.

When I clicked on the link I realised that someone searching for literary agents and distance had been offered my blog first. Yes, my blog came up top in a Google search!.

I know this is just small pennies, as this resulted in just two visits. Nevertheless, it’s excited me enough to write about it, especially since two notable Literary agents' sites came below my link.

This has made my day. Today I get 2 views, but who knows how many zeros could be added to that in the weeks ahead.

Here’s the link.

image source for above picture
 
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My Follow Friday - James Moran (The Pen Is Mightier...)


I follow The Pen Is Mightier Than The Spork mainly for personal reasons. As some of my readers know, I work in TV and have done quite a lot of work on Dr Who and Torchwood. This blog’s owner, James Moran, has written some of the very work I’ve done. Isn’t that amazing? Well, now you know why I have to follow this blog.

There hasn’t been many current posts, (I’m sure he’s busy writing scripts for his new film) but this cannot, in any way, mitigate the helpfulness of the older ones on the blog. If you want to write for TV or film, this is the blog for you. There’s a world of advice on how to go about doing just that. Go to the ‘frequently asked questions’ just right of the home page and get a bulk of useful advice on scriptwriting, acquiring an agent, how to break into the business, where to submit, and much more.

This is a blog with a difference because you get your fill of Torchwood and Dr Who blogging/writing information while filling up on what you need as a script writer. I recommend this blog without reservation.


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Whinging Wednesday (Joining Blogs to Leave Comments)


More and more I’m encountering blogs that ask you to join or sign in before you’re allowed to make a comment on their post. Now, I’m not the most learned blogger out there, but surely this does more harm than good.


Why do I have to be an exclusive ‘member’ of any blog? I follow quite a few, and make an effort to support them by way of commenting on their pages. I don’t understand the idea of insisting that your readers join up before being able to contribute. I see my reader’s comments as an honour to me, not the other way around.


Whenever I remember, I determine whether or not ‘joining’ is required before I try to leave a comment. Nevertheless, I do forget in the heat of the moment and feel like kicking myself for wasting my own time when I get to the ‘submit your comment’ panel, only to be confronted by a message that asks me to sign in or join up.


Yesterday, I had to make a comment I thought was very important. When I got to the end of the comment panel and realised the site was ‘one of those’ I decided that I would after all join up, just so I could leave my comment. I started to fill out the dreaded form. Name, address, email address, country, postcode, annual earnings, Hold on! They want to know my annual earnings!


No way.


I left the site. That was the last time they’ll see me. I’ll take my comments elsewhere, thank you.


And what bizarre question has someone asked you lately?


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10 Crazy, Lazy Ways to Make Extra Cash


I wrote an article some time ago about lazy ways to make money. I’ve been re-reading it recently and found that the advice was, and still is astoundingly helpful. I’d forgotten some of the things I researched, but re-reading it today gave me a spring in my step after taking note that more than 4,000 people read it within a short period of time.

Now that we’re in the tight embrace of the credit crunch, I want to bring this article back to life. The points I gave all involved very little ‘work’ and some decent, legal tricks and tips to get that extra cash into your very own hands.


If making money is what you’re after and you don’t particularly want to do any extra work, why not skip over to this article and have a feast day.


For my American readers, when I say ‘drive’ in the article, I mean ‘driveway.’ Initially I had some readers asking me if I meant ‘car.’ Sorry for the mix-up but I also had to cater for other English speaking people accessing the piece.


Go on and get some dough.


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My Follow Friday - Write and Earn A Living



I follow Write and Earn A Living because I know that the blogger gives workable advice that she has already tested and proved. This writer earns money from publishing material on several online sites, and has done so for years. She shares the information she’s learned the hard way, by creating tutorials specifically aimed at people seeking to make money writing online.



Not only has she published literally hundreds of well-written, well-researched articles, she’s now releasing a series of Bedbug books for children. Her dedication to writing and teaching is astounding.


If making money writing online, whilst honing your craft is your goal, ‘Write and Earn a Living’ will teach you to do exactly that.


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How To Spend Less - Home Improvements

In the current economic crises, it’s obviously wise to keep spending to a minimum; especially when it relates to arbitrary outgoings like home improvement. However, we shouldn’t have to give up on this altogether, because there are several simple ways of doing it well, yet cheaply.

1. Need a new kitchen? Reuse your old cupboards, but change the doors and door handles. It’s wasteful throwing out good cupboards. Keep your sink. Replace the taps.

2. For home improvements, hire a semi or retired builder. He may work slower, but he’ll do a more careful job for a fraction of the cost. Wait until you can combine jobs and you won’t have to pay separate costs for separate jobs.

3. Wooden/laminate floors are easier to keep clean and cheaper than having carpets. Consider this when you’re choosing your new floor covering.

4. If you can make payments by instalments for material bought, without paying interest, grab this with both hands. You hang on to your money longer, thus earn a higher interest from your bank. Pay at the last possible moment (without costing yourself late fees), so your money stays longer in your account where it belongs.


5. You would be surprised at the amount of tools available for rent at your local tool shop. If you don’t have a visible one in your area ask your hardware or DIY shop, and they should point you in the right direction. If you’re capable of doing the work yourself it’s obviously cheaper than calling in the professionals. However, if you didn’t have to buy (thus maintain) large and medium tools needed to do the job, it would be cheaper still.


6. Source building material yourself so you get the discount for bulk buying and not your builders. Remember that even if they get half-price discounts on materials, the price they’re charging you will remain the same.


7. Buy white paint (cheaper than colour) and mix the colour you want yourself. DIY shops stock vials of paint colour with very detailed descriptions of how much you need for each shade of the colour you desire. All you need is a strong hand to mix it in.


8. Still on paint, matt colours may be cheaper, but they wear fast especially if you have kids or pets. Buy paint you can easily wipe down and clean with little effort. These last for years, thus save you time, energy and money over the years.

My book, 'How to Spend Less' is now out. Details on how to buy it can be found on this page.

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What Would You Give Up

It’s a bit late, but my eleven year old has just heard of the credit crunch. I don’t think she clearly understands what it means but she knows enough to realise that consumers have to give up things we would’ve otherwise had.


She came into the kitchen while I was cooking and asked me a simple question. ‘What would you give up?’ I have to admit I was stumped. Not only did I not have an answer, the question had not even occurred to me before she asked it.


What would I give up.

I thought about my shopping and realised that I haven’t been putting anything in my shopping trolley that I could actually leave out. I considered the clothes I’d gotten for the kids and there was nothing I would return to the rack, was I given the choice.

I already save on electricity and gas. Entertaining the kids is always done sensibly. In my mind I wildly tried to find something I could easily do without. I don’t like wear make-up unless it’s put on me for work, my hair is a wash-and-go mode that needs no styling, and our social circles are made up of people who specialise in ‘everyone-bring-a-pot’ parties.

I still can’t answer the question, but it made me realise one thing. Living well and comfortably takes a lot less than most people think. We have a good life. Like most people we have a mortgage and bills, and live within our means. Our lives, comfortable though it is, hasn’t come from buying more than we need. Comfort for us has been getting exactly what we need and just the right amount of what we want.

Overspending has been a curse for so long, that it took this current economic downturn to make us realise that a good living can be had for much less than we previously thought. It’s widely believed that we’re on our way out of the recession, but if it were to get worse and you had to tighten your belt further to keep spending at a minimum, what would you give up?

Read more in my book, ‘How to Spend Less.’ Details on this page.


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Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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