Having just moved into my flat I realised exactly how few possessions I actually had. Despite the fact that I was able to pack out a double bedroom with all of my belongings, after sifting through them all to see what would still be useful in my own place I had very little left. Therefore at some point over the coming months I am going to have to kit out an entire 2 bedroom flat which isn’t going to be easy or cheap even if I do decide to just go with Ikea flat-pack furniture
So I decided to prioritise the rooms, and then prioritise which furniture I needed in each room so at least that way I had a plan to stick to and the end result will be a fully furnished flat. I considered the most important room to be the bedroom, as I will have to return to my new flat each and every night in order to sleep. The bedroom will also be where I get ready for work each and every morning, so it’s an important part of the flat for me.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take my old bed with me as my mum wanted to keep it because it matches all of the other furniture in my old room. Plus it was very heavy and all of the joints had been glued so it couldn’t be taken apart very easily. So she now has a fully kitted-out spare room ready for guests (or children returning to the nest), and I’ve got £200 burning a hole in my pocket that I unfortunately have to spend on a bed.
Until I started looking I wasn’t aware how much beds actually cost. I thought that for £200 I could get a solid oak bed and still enough change for a night out (or if my mum asks, some essential household purchases). However beds are a lot more expensive than I first thought. I did manage to find this bed that I liked:
It’s not real leather because real leather beds are VERY expensive. However it looks like real leather and even feels a bit like it. It’s a divan bed as well, which means that I can store bed linen and other items underneath the bed tidily and therefore save space throughout the rest of the flat. I didn’t even blow my £200 budget because it was half price in a sale, so instead of £399 it was £199. I knew that I could buy it cheaper online than in the shops so before I bought it from Bensons for Beds I found a discount code for Bensons for Beds which saved me 5%.
So when the bed comes next week at least I won’t have to be sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I bought a cheapy clothes rail thing from Argos as a temporary solution for my clothes for the time being. When I’ve saved up a bit more money then I will get a nice wardrobe but until then I will have to make do with my bedroom looking like the fitting room in Primark.
One of the advantages of having a handy dad is that he tends to know quite a lot about cars, including how to fix them as well as how to service them. It’s nice to know that whatever breaks on my car I can always rely on my dad as he will most likely know how to fix it, which saves a lot of money in the long run because car garages charge upwards of £90 per hour in labour costs.
What’s even nicer to know is that my dad has taught me a thing or two in the past about cars and so I am one of the few girls of my age (that I know of ) who is able to perform a minor yearly service on my car, which saves me at least £100 every single time that I do it (which is once or twice a year usually).
So the first thing I did was look for a discount code for Euro Car Parts. I love Euro Car Parts because they literally sell every single part that you can imagine for your car. My dad and I have been using them for years and I can only highly recommend them. When you order online things are delivered quickly, or if you’re in a real hurry then you can go and pick your things up from their shop. Fortunately I have one about 5 miles away which is really handy on a Saturday when you need to get your car back on the road for work on Monday.
I found a 30% off discount code, so decided that it was well worth buying the service parts online and waiting for them to arrive. I ordered 5 litres of Comma oil (the best kind according to my dad), a new oil filter, air filter and spark plugs as well as some brand new wiper blades and some screen wash. All in it came to £40 delivered, which is less than a garage would charge for inferior parts.
By servicing the car myself I can now say with confidence that the work has been carried out properly, with no shortcuts being taken, and that only high-quality car parts have been used in the process. How do I know that? Because I did it all myself.
All in all it took me about 3 hours on Saturday morning to service my car, which is probably the amount of time that I would have had to go without my car if I had dropped it in at a local garage anyway. Before I started I made sure that I had all of the parts that I needed, as well as all of the tools that I needed – which of course I borrowed from my dad. There’s nothing worse than dropping the oil out of the old banger only to realise you’ve forgotten something because your car cannot be used until you’ve put more oil in!
Anyway in car parts alone I reckon I saved £20, and then there’s the £90 labour that I have managed to save myself assuming a competent mechanic can service my car in an hour. So I’m £110 for 3 hours work. £36 per hour is not to be sniffed at – even by the Queen of Average!
When I was younger I seem to recall bonfire night being a really big occasion. I remember looking forward to it for about a week beforehand and then when the 5th of November finally came we would all trot off to the nearest rugby club or big open space, pay £1 each and watch the spectacular display while we hoped for the best that the massive out-of-control bonfire didn’t spread much closer to the stash of fireworks that had not yet been set up. If my dad wasn’t in the mood then we would just go for a drive that evening and watch a variety of different and sporadic fireworks explode across the sky in various different locations, usually until me and my brother got bored and then we went home again.
It was never perfect, but it was always eventful. Nowadays there doesn’t seem to really be much of a hype for bonfire night. Are people too tired from their over-the-top celebrations from Halloween or something?
Apart from the massive displays that you get in the key locations around London, all bonfire night seems to be nowadays is a few people along my road having a go at their own displays (and usually failing miserably), a half-decent display the Saturday night prior to bonfire night, and then whatever fireworks that dickhead on the street buys cheap after bonfire night and decides to set off between now and New Year’s Eve at random times throughout the day and night. Then when New Year’s Eve does come around, there are more fireworks than on bonfire night! The first time I remember seeing fireworks on New Year’s Eve was at the turn of the Millennium and it just seemed to catch on from there.
So it looks like I will be off here tomorrow night to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night on the correct night, however judging by the reviews it doesn’t look too promising! Even the promotional picture seems a bit of a half-arsed attempt. Anyway rant over, thanks for listening.
I’ve never been one to do things by half. I have been toying with the idea of creating a blog for quite a while now (on and off about 5 years), and in all of this time I’ve always had a few spare hours a week that I could have used to blog about the various things that I love, like or hate. Instead I chose to spend that time horizontally on my mum’s sofa watching whatever rubbish Sky had decided to churn out for that day (namely Jeremy Kyle, Bargain hunt and Storage Hunters).
Now that I have recently got my own place and started a new job I will hardly have time to put my feet up, let alone update a blog regularly. But guess what? I got one anyway. And here it is – welcome.
For those who already know me you’re going to have a pretty accurate idea of what to expect from this little blog, as it’s mainly going to be a place to dump ideas as well as tell the world what I love and hate about the world that I live in. For those who don’t know me then you’re probably only going to be offended.
Either way if you return to my blog then expect to see posts about what I have learned and managed to teach myself after finally growing up and taking the steps of getting a full time job, somewhere of my own to live and even a little dog called Daisy.
Oh and for those who are wondering, why Queen of Average? Visit my About page and you’ll see why.