Mis-sold Mortgages: Have You Been Affected?

I bought a flat back in 2005, during the height of the property boom in one of the most expensive cities in the UK. At the time I was a newly qualified teacher and was able to take advantage of a government scheme available that offered me an equity loan, which allowed me to purchase a higher value property than I would have been able to afford otherwise. This loan also meant I got 100% mortgage, so no deposit needed. It also meant an excellent mortgage deal!

Fast forward to 2009 and, now a parent, the property was no longer suited to our needs. But the market had gone bust, making it difficult to sell up and move. Worse still, I had quit my teaching job to stay home with my daughter full time, so was also now under pressure to repay the equity loan within the specified timeframe, because I had left the profession.

After a lengthy struggle (and a massive mess made by the solicitors, which technically left us homeless for a week while the purchase was completed on our new home… but that’s a whole other story!) the property was sold with practically no equity.

This meant the new mortgage was less favourable because of the small deposit. At the time, I considered it lucky that the broker found a mortgage, even though it meant paying higher interest rates and larger monthly payments than was perhaps wise. However, on reflection, this kind of thing is exactly why there are so many mis-sold mortgage claims

Mis-sold Mortgages: Have You Been Affected?

In my case, having looked at all the factors, I don’t think it was missold. But if you got a mortgage since November 2004 – and especially if it was through a broker – you could well have been missold your mortgage; in other words, you were given advice that wasn’t suitable, the risks were not clearly explained to you, or you were not given all of the information you needed. Basically, for one reason or another, if you ended up taking out a product that wasn’t right for you.

Affordability

One example is if you cannot afford your mortgage through no fault of your own. If you had substantial debt and/ or were advised to borrow large amounts of capital, it is possible that their repayment scheme was impossible to maintain in your current financial state.

Debt Consolidation

Another example is if you were told to consolidate your debt into the mortgage. Sometimes this advice is accurate and the best course of action. But if you were advised incorrectly, or not given all the relevant information to make an informed decision, this could mean you were mis-sold your mortgage.

Raising Capital or Extended Mortgage Terms

Other examples are if you took out a new mortgage in order to raise capital, or extended your mortgage terms, without being informed correctly of the risks and downsides of doing so. This includes if you added broker fees and mortgage fees to your payment terms too. Clients advised to increase their capital in this way may be entitled to compensation for the added interest liability paid.

Mortgage mis-sold. Keys and house keyring

If you think you may have a claim, contact an expert, such as the mis-sold mortgage experts for a consultation. You will pay a percentage of any entitlement back to the company, should the claim be successful, to cover the cost of their solicitors and so on. But if you were mis-sold your mortgage and are entitled to make a claim, doing so through a company makes the whole process easier than trying to claim independently.

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Choosing the Right Holiday for your Family

Picking the perfect holiday for your family should be an exciting activity but can quickly become a thankless task. You’ve got multiple people to please, all sorts of activities to organise and no real way of knowing whether everyone will love what you’ve chosen until you arrive. I know the stress of this all too well, so I’ve put together a handy list for you to use next time you need to choose the right holiday for your family. From camping to cruises, you’ll find something to suit everyone!

Choosing the right holiday for your family

Family cruises

Cruises are becoming more and more popular with families, and it’s easy to see why. You can stay on a ship that’s got everything from comfy rooms and luxury spas to huge waterslides and fun kids’ clubs – all while exploring different countries and cities. Many of the newer ships have great family-oriented facilities, as well as on-shore activities that appeal to children of all ages. And because the majority of the organising is done for you, you just need to pick your destinations and ship, and everything else is sorted by your cruise line.

If you’re after child-friendly cruises, be sure to pick a ship, cruise line and itinerary that meets your expectations and includes plenty of fun activities. One of the best things about cruises is the all-inclusive aspect: from evening entertainment to eating on-board, you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about budgets.

Cruise ship

Camping holidays

Camping holidays are great for families on a budget or for those wanting to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Nipping down to a caravan park or pitching a tent is quick and easy, making it perfect for short weekend breaks or half-term holidays. And because you can stay in the UK, you don’t need to worry about queues or delays at the airport! Most campsites and caravan parks come fitted out with fabulous facilities – think cinemas, spas and waterparks. Plus, it’s a great way to explore the British countryside and coastline, and get some much-needed fresh air. You can acquire huge tents for not much money now, so buying a tent is a good investment if you’re likely to camp a few times a year.

Camping
All-inclusive hotels

You might think that all-inclusive hotels are limited to couples and adults-only holidays, but there are plenty that cater for families, too. You can pick a destination and a resort then relax, knowing that everything you need has already been paid for. From food to activities, you don’t have to worry about hidden charges or budgeting for fun days out.

The majority of all-inclusive hotels have great facilities for children, including private beaches, water-sports lessons, swimming pools and kids’ clubs – meaning you’ve got time to escape to the spa or enjoy a swift cocktail! Before you book, watch out for any extras: sometimes you’ll need to pay surcharges for certain restaurants or equipment hire.

Watersports

Adventure escapes

If you’ve got older children, heading off on an adventure holiday is a great way to bring your family together. From hiking through the jungles of South America to horse-back safaris, you can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These holidays tend to be more expensive, but the memories you make are well worth it. There are even charity events you can sign up for: whether it’s raising money doing a long hike or helping to rebuild schools and homes in small villages.

Seaside getaways

Sometimes all you need for a great family holiday is to be by the sea with a bag of fish and chips, the smell of sea-salt in the air, and the waves sweeping across the sand. Spending time at the beach is a perfect way to enjoy some family time, without having to go abroad. For surfing and bodyboarding fun, the coasts of north Devon, Cornwall and south Wales are brilliant, while the southern edge of Devon provides picturesque coastal walks and gorgeous scenery. For a weekend getaway, there’s no better place to be.

Choosing the right holiday for your family is tough – there’s no point denying it! But put the right planning in and try something new, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Whether you take to the waters or hike around glorious terrain, you’ll create memories to treasure forever.

*This is a collaborative post

Helping Elderly Relatives Maintain Independence

As people grow older, they begin to worry about losing their independence. One example of this might be concerns over whether they will stay in their own home or where they will live instead, and what support they might require to live as independently as possible.

If you have an elderly relative, it can be challenging to meet their needs but still respect their wishes, and it can be a daunting level of responsibility to work out solutions with them, and on their behalf. So here is some useful advice on helping elderly relatives maintain their independence…

Helping Elderly Relatives Maintain Independence

Adaptions to Home

In order to help an elderly relative remain in their own home, it is essential to consider adaptions that can be made to ensure their safety and comfort while living independently. If mobility is an issue, as is so often the case, then various aids are available to make life easier, and offer peace of mind.

Unless the person lives in a bungalow, think about buying a stairlift to avoid any nasty accidents and to make both floors more accessible. Well placed handrails in key areas throughout the home are also beneficial. Also consider a walk-in shower if possible too. Lastly, if a person needs a frame or walking aid to move around more easily then make sure this is easily available as well.

And don’t forget the little things! Walk around doing your own safety risk assessment of the home, checking for any potential danger. For example, trip hazards such as loose rugs should be made safe. A panic button that links to someone who can attend the property quickly in case of an emergency is also extremely helpful to have.

Stairlift

Carers

If personal hygiene, preparing food to eat, getting in and out of bed, or other daily tasks becomes a struggle then a carer might be necessary. This could be a live-in carer if needs are quite frequent and intense, or someone who visits daily (or several times daily) as and when needed.

My Experience

My late grandad was adament he wanted to stay in his home during his later years. He was of sound mind, but found physical tasks difficult due to limited mobility. This was in part due to age, and largely due to a partial leg amputation following illness. He lived in a bungalow and used a frame to get around. He had carers visit several times daily, to help him wash and get to bed. His shopping was ordered online for him then delivered and he was able to prepare simple ready meals in the microwave himself. He also had a cleaner. With these simple adaptions he was able to remain in his own home, as he wished.

A photo of grandparents of Living Life Our Way

Alternative Solutions

However, it is not always practical, or even possible, for an elderly person to remain in their own home. It could be that their needs are too intense or complex. One possible solution is for them to live with younger relatives; perfect if you happen to have a granny annex or enough space in your home, for example. There are many benefits to this, and it can be a wonderful experience for all parties I am sure. However, there may also be many reasons why this is not a possibility; not all circumstances are the same.

The other obvious alternative is a care home. Whilst this may seem like a daunting prospect, it can be a very good thing. Staff on hand at all times, plus friendships and company; there is alot to be said for this idea!

My nan, pictured above, could not stay at home as she suffered from dementia and needed more care than could be provided there. She lived in a nursing home for many years before she passed away; it was absolutely the right choice for her and the best place for her to be.

Whatever choices are made, remember every situation is unique. All factors need to be weighed up to decide on the best set-up for each of the parties involved. It is not an easy decision, but hopefully this post will help you consider some of the factors needed to reach a conclusion.

*This is a collaborative post. 

Review: Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights

I try not to buy new clothes too often, and I don’t have a massive wardrobe. However, I was in genuine need of a new outfit or two to wear on various nights out. I wanted something comfortable, that looked stylish, but also versatile. Luckily, I was contacted by UK tights and spotted the perfect item on their website, Poseidone leggings by Trasparenze, which they kindly sent me to review.

Review: Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights

About

Trasparenze is an Italian company that specialises in hosiery in unique eye-catching designs. Poseidone leggings are soft and luxurious, with an opaque leg and pretty floral lace design. RRP £51.99. Purchase from UK tights here.

Review

The leggings arrived in an elegant cardboard box, which is well presented so would make a nice gift.

Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights in box

As they are an Italian brand, I was advised to ignore what size I would normally be and actually check the sizing guide. I did so and went for medium (I am normally a size 10 – 12) which fit perfectly.

Whilst these leggings aren’t organic, which is my preference wherever possible, they are exceptionally good quality so will hopefully last much longer than a cheaper brand. I try to adopt a slow fashion approach that is kinder to our planet than fast fashion, so I generally make a point of only buying clothes that I know I will wear often, and/ or at least around 30 times. (Yes, I know that is alot!)

Therefore, it seems more logical to me to invest in more expensive items that will last the distance. With all that in mind, I think that these leggings are wonderfully versatile and of sufficient quality to be worth the price tag.

Review: Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights

Summary

I love these leggings! They are expensive, but feel comfortable and look stylish. They are a unique elegant design that stands out and is different to usual, but can also be worn in a number of ways for different things. I would wear them on a proper night out with heels and a dressy top, or they can also be worn on a more casual night out – as pictured below – as well. I received quite a few compliments wearing them and was happy with my outfit choice!

Selfie of Living Life Our Way wearing leggings on a night out

 

* Disclosure: these leggings were sent to me for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

Young Minds: #HelloYellow and I Did It… (10k) My Way!

Last month, I wrote about doing a 10k ‘virtual’ race for the charity Young Minds. I thought I should write a quick update post (it’s a little late, but anyway) to say that I completed it!

10k Your Way Young Minds Virtual Race

I took it slow, due to my current fitness levels and a lack of sleep (thanks for that, Squiggle!) but I did walk/ run/ walk for the majority of it, so I did still put the effort in! I did most of it on my own, Squiggle having considered doing it too but decided it would be too much for her, but a friend came to join me for the last few km (partly for moral support, for her own exercise and also because I was out alone at night!) At this point I slowed right down to chat and time on the clock quickly added up. But I did it, and that is all that matters!

Selfie of Katie (Living Life Our Way) during the 10k

I would like to say a huge thanks to those who sponsored me, I appreciate it. At the moment, my fundraising page is still open, so it is not too late if you haven’t done so already! Alternatively you can donate direct to Young Minds at anytime.

#HelloYellow Campaign

Today is also Young Minds #HelloYellow campaign as part of World Mental Health Day. I started the day by making a donation to Young Minds for t-shirt sales, as promised. I am very grateful to those that bought them, thank you!

Screenshot of donation confirmation to Young Minds

You can donate securely online through their website at youngminds.org.uk/donate

Or donate via text by texting YMHY00 £5 to 70070

#HelloYellow hair tie looking up at yellow leaves

We went for a walk in nature and spotted lots of Autumn yellows. I don’t have anything yellow to wear (and try to avoid buying stuff I won’t wear often!) but I made sure I wore a yellow hair tie in support of Young Minds #HelloYellow campaign today!

#HelloYellow hair tie selfie in nature, autumn colours

Keep talking about mental health. Not just today, but everyday. Check on those around you. And remember to really listen too.

It’s ok not to be ok. You are not alone. xx

Zero Waste Eco-Friendly Postpartum and Menstruation Wear by Modibodi

It has been a decade since Squiggle came into this world. However, I remember the early days after birth very well; even in the hazy midst of that exhausted but elated sleep deprived state, it is not something to forget!

The practical new mum challenges that I wasn’t quite prepared for were things such as leaky boobs! (Which will happen regardless of whether you actually breastfeed or not by the way!) I went through a tonne of nursing pads. I was aware there were washable options, but I was somewhat less environmentally minded back then and it just felt like too much of a task. But faffing with breast pads and nursing tops also became an issue for me, and caused me quite alot of stress in our early breastfeeding days. That is why I think Modibodi nursing tops are brilliant!

Modibodi Nursing Top – RRP £45

Modibodi breastfeeding singlet is cleverly designed to look and fit like a regular breastfeeding bra, but replaces the need for nursing pads. It is beaitifully soft thanks to the bamboo outer layer, and uses patented technology to ensure maximum comfort, hygiene and effectiveness. The Breastfeeding Singlet is available in sizes 10-18 and cups A-G.

Maternity breastfeeding singlet

(Note: This is not me and I am not pregnant!)

5% of each sale donated to PANDAS throughout October

Modibodi have teamed up with PANDAS Foundation, a post-natal depression charity, to raise awareness and support their work. Throughout October, Modibodi will donate 5% of sales of the breastfeeding singlet to PANDAS. I was lucky enough not to suffer with post-natal depression myself, but I certainly do not underestimate the importance of such charities and the vital work that they do in supporting new mums!

Modibodi wants to highlight the realities of post pregnancy bodies. In a recent survey, undertaken by the brand, over half (53%) of the women surveyed revealed that they weren’t happy with their bodies and felt pressure to lose the baby weight quickly. 6 out of 10 mums surveyed also felt that there wasn’t enough comfortable and accessible nursing bra options, which is where Modibodi steps in, by providing a comfortable eco-friendly solution to breastfeeding mums.

Modibodi want women to embrace their post pregnancy body with #lovemybabybodi, and is encouraging women all over to the UK to upload a picture of their post baby body along with the hashtag, in order promote wellbeing and confidence for all mothers.

I have also teamed up with Modibodi for one lucky reader to win one of these handy zero waste breastfeeding tops! Read down to the end of this post for further details and to enter.

Underwear

Modibodi also have a collection of underpants that cover all absorbencies and come in a range of styles. These are useful for both postpartum and monthly menstruation. I have mentioned before that I use period pants for a zero waste, eco-friendly period (along with a mooncup sometimes) so I was very happy to try out a pair of their pretty sensual bikini pants with heavy overnight absorbency.

Modibodi period pants menstruation underwear postpartum underpants

Review: Sensual hi-waist bikini pants (heavy/ overnight absorbency) RRP £23.50

I love these! They are super soft and comfortable, thanks to the organic bamboo material. They fit very well and look (in my opinion anyway!) ok too. I felt confident and secure wearing them, with no concerns even on heavier days. (They hold 15-20ml, which is the equivalent of 2 tampons and 3 teaspoons!) They also wash well. Out of the several brands of menstruation pants that I use, these are probably my overall favourites in fact! Shop here.

Sensual high-waist heavy overnight absorbency pants

Teen Range

I would also like to give a mention to their teen range of underwear. As a parent to an autistic daughter nearing the age of puberty, the subject has come up fairly often with other SEND parents about managing self-care when it comes to starting periods. I personally feel that period pants offer a good solution to this.

Of course, they are beneficial to any teenager just starting their periods! For this reason, Modibodi have their own teen range. They even have a handy guide to download too!

Swimwear 

Last but not least, Modibodi also do swimwear! I haven’t tried it myself but I still wanted to include it in this post because this is another thing that has come up many times before. It is certainly not cheap but may well be worth the investment if you are a regular swimmer who would like that extra boost of confidence and peace of mind! See the swimwear section for more information.

Giveaway!

For your chance to win a breastfeeding singlet, enter via rafflecopter below. Competition ends 4th November 2018.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received items in exchange for review and giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Recycling: What Are The Issues?

Recycling is a vital part of protecting our environment. After refusing, reusing and reducing as much waste as we can, and passing on things we no longer need, fixing or repurposing stuff, everything else should be recycled as much as possible to prevent it ending up in landfill.

Recycling: What Are The Issues?

What can be recycled?

Plastic is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to recycling. Seareach carried out a poll recently of over 3,000 people aged over 18 asking them: “What frustrates you most about recycling?” The survey revealed that almost a quarter of people asked expressed confusion over what can and cannot be recycled. A whopping two thirds of the people surveyed suggested that consistent and easily understandable labelling is needed to combat this. A significant number of people (38%) also pointed out that technology could be put to good use, such as an app to scan barcodes for more recycling information.

Facilities

It also seems that recycling facilities vary across the country, so people in some areas find it more difficult to recycle items than others. Furthermore, there are concerns over whether local councils do actually recycle everything that goes in the recycling. The poll revealed that 65% felt councils need to be more transparent.

As quoted on Talking Retail, Stuart Jailer said: “A lot of people were concerned that even though we sort our packaging at home, once it gets to councils, we don’t know that it’s getting properly recycled. Instead, people worry that a lot of it is heading to landfills or being shipped abroad.”

Garbage. Overflowing bin. Pollution. Landfill

The study showed that a lot of people want to be able to recycle at their local supermarket, as well as having consistent and transparent recycling collections at home. Other ideas suggested included better options for residents of flats, whom often do not have sufficient recycling facilities in comparison to houses. Also, sheltered accommodation should have easily accessible recycling bins for the disabled and elderly. Deposit and refund schemes across the country would also be useful.

Manufacturers need to do more

The survey also showed that people feel there should be more onus on manufacturers, rather than just the consumer. 39% of respondents felt manufacturers use too much packaging. They also complained that many products still come in packaging that cannot be recycled. For example, manufacturers still use black plastic for food products which cannot be recycled despite complaints from consumers to stop. (British Plastics)

Change in materials

Consumers believe it is important that manufacturers stop using materials that cannot be easily recycled. Examples of this are foil/ plastic hybrids and plastic wrappers, as well as the black plastic mentioned above. It would also be beneficial if we improved recycling facilities so that more materials have a higher rate of recycling too.

Recycling symbol

Did you know? 

Here are some of my own recycling tips, that you might not already know:

• Silver foil can be scrunched up and put in recycling.

• Stretchy plastic, such as toilet roll wrappers, can be recycled in local supermarkets along with plastic bags.

• Multipack crisp packets (the outer foil/ plastic type packaging, not the individual bags) can be recycled at some supermarkets.

• Walkers have just announced a new partnership with TerraCycle UK to recycle all brands of crisp packets. You can send them direct to the company in an envelope or look out for recycling points coming soon.

What are your biggest issues with recycling? What are your top tips? Let me know in comments! 

*This is a collaborative post.

11 Essentials For A Natural First Aid Kit

When most people make the decision to live a healthier more natural life, they focus on their diets alone. However, if you truly want to live a more natural life you should include natural products for all your needs. In this article, we will take a look at a few simple things you need to build up a natural first aid kit. Consumer Advisors has more information related to all the natural health tips you need…

11 Essentials For A Natural First Aid Kit

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is effective for reducing inflammation while also cutting through any oil that is present on your skin. Although witch hazel is most commonly used to treat acne, it is also effective for disinfecting wounds. Additionally, applying witch hazel to your cuts and scrapes will help them heal faster.

Coconut Oil

Most people use coconut oil for cooking, but did you know that it is an excellent addition to your natural first aid kit. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties while also being antiviral and antifungal. You can use coconut oil to address nail fungus, or to help you fade your scars.

Coconut oil

Arnica

This oil has been used for its medicinal benefits from the medieval times. It is a natural anti-inflammatory. This means that it is effective for relieving the pain from sprains or muscle pain. Just remember that arnica oil is most effective when applied topically to the skin.

Aloe Vera

The gel from the insides of the spiky succulent known as aloe vera is nature’s most effective remedy for burns. It’s very easy to cut an aloe vera leaf, if you have some nearby, when you need it and use the gel to soothe painful cuts, burns, and scrapes. However, buying a bottle of aloe vera gel from your nearest pharmacy also works!

Aloe vera

Calendula Extract

This natural remedy is especially effective for helping your body regenerate damaged tissue. Not only does calendula extract help your body to heal itself but it will also help to soothe and relieve injured skin. Use calendula extract on cuts and scrapes, to relieve minor burns or rashes that have become inflamed.

Ice Packs and Hot Water Bottles

Keeping a few ice packs in your freezer is a brilliant idea. Ice packs and hot water bottles are great for relieving pain and inflammation. Additionally, they are reusable and will help to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

Honey

Everyone should include a bottle of raw honey in their natural first aid kit. Honey helps to improve digestion, relieves nausea and can soothe a sore throat. Additionally, honey is nature’s antibiotic so if you feel a cold coming on one of the best things you can do for your immune system is to drink a glass of lemon water with a spoon of raw honey.

Honey

Turmeric

The active ingredient in turmeric is called Curcumin. This is a wonderful chemical compound that soothes inflammation, heals wounds and helps you recover from coughs and colds. If you notice any cuts or scrapes on your skin you can apply a paste of honey and turmeric to boost your skin’s ability to heal it.

Marshmallow Root

This root has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Additionally, many modern supplements and medications contain marshmallow root as one of the active ingredients. There is good reason for this. Marshmallow root can be used to treat mouth ulcers, heartburn, coughs or indigestion.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is far more than just a tasty breakfast food. Oatmeal can provide you with significant relief for skin irritation. Additionally, oatmeal can provide you with relief from anxiety, stress and insomnia. Try adding a cup of oatmeal to your bath water at night for a relaxing restorative bath.

Ginger

Ginger is one of the most effective remedies for combating nausea. Nausea can be crippling and if you feel sick, you need a remedy that works quickly. Drinking a mug of hot water that has had ginger steeping in it will help you to get rid of your nausea quickly.

Peppermint

Mint is a great natural remedy that provides you with a variety of benefits. Drinking a glass of peppermint water will help to relieve nausea, indigestion, gas and constipation.

Peppermint leaves

*This is a collaborative post.

 3 Things That Look Good On Your CV

If you are looking to change or advance your career in the future, then the chances are that you have taken the time to examine your existing CV. When applying for job roles, your CV is the primary way of demonstrating your abilities and catching the eye of prospective employers – so it’s important that yours is as good as it can possibly be.

There are plenty of online guides that can help you write your CV already, so this post focuses on the elements of it; the actual facts that you can include about yourself, your experience, and your education. Here is a list of three things that are sure to stand you in good stead when it comes to applying for jobs in the future…

 3 Things That Look Good On Your CV

Unique Extra-Curricular Activities

Most people include a small, personal section on their CV that discusses their interests; while not essential, this can be an opportunity to show a depth of personality that is difficult to achieve elsewhere in the document.

However, it is best to include interests that are relatively unique. Recruiters see thousands of CVs with the interests detailed as reading books, watching movies, or spending time with friends – so be a little more original, opting for interests that are specific to you, and won’t be shared by every other applicant.

Further Education Courses

While it is always useful to have a strong academic background to include on your CV, this can be somewhat limiting, especially if you completed your education many years ago.

Recruiters like to see that an applicant has sought to continue learning, even when their formal education is complete. There are thousands of courses you can take that will look fantastic on your CV; from broad modern topics such as the Google online courses with Squared Online to more niche topics such as aromatherapy. Even if the course you choose isn’t particularly specific to your career, it will still boost your CV, as it serves to demonstrate a quality that all recruiters look for in applicants: a desire for self-improvement.

Clipart style CV picture

References

Over recent years, CV trends have led to more and more people stipulating that “references are available upon request”. While this is not outright damaging, it is rather restrictive, and requires extra work on behalf of the recruiter.

It is preferable to list two references on your CV at the time you submit it to a company. If you are not comfortable supplying full contact details, then just include an email address and make a note to say further details can be provided if required. Most recruiters will appreciate your transparency and the fact that you have sought to make their job easier by providing this information upfront, and they may look upon your application favourably as a result.

In conclusion

If you manage to include the above three things on your CV, then you hopefully have more chance of catching the eye of recruiters as you seek to change your career for the better. Good luck!

*This is a collaborative post.

Moving Away to University? Here’s What You Need to Know

Moving away from home to go to university is an exciting milestone. It’s the first time that you experience true independence; you’re in a new place, away from home and living the way you choose without rules or curfews. Despite being legally an adult when moving away to university, most people are actually far less prepared for the move than they think. To make life easier and to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible, here are a few things you can do in advance…

Moving Away to University? Here's What You Need to Know

Get your accommodation sorted early

If you’re moving to a new place and will be living away from home, it’s up to you to sort out your accommodation. Don’t leave this until the last minute as places can book up and you’ll end up in the worst student places in the city. Halls are a good option, especially in your first year, as it allows you to mix and mingle with lots of new people and get a traditional university experience. However if they’re not right for you, there are lots of companies and landlords offering student accommodation. Decide if you want to live alone, or share with others.

Save some money

For most people, moving away to university means budgeting for the first time. You’re responsible for paying for your accomodation, your bills, your food and leisure. It’s a well known fact that students are poor, but if you learn to budget properly, and have some money saved to fall back on, then you will certainly make things easier for yourself.

The year before you go to university you could start putting money away. In the summer after you’ve completed your school exams, you could work full time up until the autumn when you leave for university. This gives you a few months of full time wages to put away and have as a safety net.

Start packing and organising in plenty of time

Don’t wait until the night before you’re due to leave before you start throwing things into bags and cases. In the weeks leading up to moving away, have a list of everything you’re going to need and start purchasing and packing it. There are lots of lists of items you’ll need online, from study equipment to storage for your room to kitchen stuff, toiletries and much more. The last thing you want is to end up in a new place without the things you need, so be prepared.

Learn to cook

You might think you can get by when it comes to cooking, but do you still rely on your parents home cooked meals multiple times a week? Are you really able to feed yourself without any outside help? Beans on toast, sandwiches and ready meals will only get you so far.

As a student, it’s well worth teaching yourself a number of tasty, healthy and cheap meals before you go away to fall back on. A big bag of pasta or rice could be prepared lots of different ways. Don’t forget meals that include vegetables and healthy ingredients to give your body everything it needs. Get yourself a student cookbook, and practice some of the recipes in advance.

Do you have any tips to share for new university students? Tell me in comments!

*This is a collaborative post.