Tag Archives: mumsnet

Mums – don’t forget to prepare for retirement!

Mumsnet have challenged bloggers in partnership with Skipton Building Society to check out Skipton’s new website portal, retiresavvy, and explore what it’s got to offer.

I’ve worked for the same company since I was 21, so all my pension savings are in the one pot, compared to my other half who has several pension savings plans. I’ve really no idea which is better. Also I’ve taken a year off each time my boys were born, plus 6 months carer’s leave when son1 was diagnosed with leukaemia, all of which will have reduced my pension contributions. Yes we have some savings too, but we would hope that the boys go to university and we would want to continue to financially support them then.

Here’s what the team at Skipton say, “We believe retirement is one of the biggest social issues of today – in terms of improving people’s awareness of retirement planning and also helping them to ensure they’ve got sufficient savings to enjoy their retirements. Increasing life expectancy means retirement is no longer a relatively brief period – for many people retirement can last as long as their working lives and many are choosing to do it differently, with set retirement dates becoming less and less common. Mums are among the hardest hit groups, as we know they often need to contend with all of the above and to also make room for career breaks or reduced hours to make time to be mums. Retirement’s no longer a subject for ‘oldies’, it’s something everyone should be considering, and the earlier the better.

So I’ve registered on retiresavvy and had a browse around. I recommend you all do the same. It’s never too early to plan for retirement!

Here are of the key points I’ve taken on board, which I will be looking at along with my other half.

Pencil in a rough date for when you want to retire.
Take your head out of the sand, and have a look at your private pension arrangements.
Consider paying more into your private pension (or setting up an additional pension).
Find out if you are going to receive the full basic State pension
Review your savings and investments.

The portal is well structured in my opinion for both those approaching retirement and those already retired.

Disclosure. I was asked to review retiresavvy.skipton.co.uk by Skipton and the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. All views are my own. I was entered into a prize draw to win vouchers as a token of thanks for blogging. View other blogs on this topic here: http://www.mumsnet.com/bloggers/retiresavvy-portal-what-our-bloggers-thought-

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Tyres and tyre safety

Mumsnet have challenged bloggers in partnership with Michelin to promote the importance of having the right tyres on your car.

This becomes even more important at this time of year as the roads start to get icy. I’m very good about checking the level and strength of fluid in the windscreen reservoir. And ensuring that I have a blanket, wellies, high-vis vests and snacks in the car. I even add a spade to the boot once it starts snowing. But hand in the air, I could do much better when it comes to tyre safety.

Back in October, over 1,000 Mumsnetters completed a survey for Michelin on tyres and tyre safety. The infographic below summarises the key findings.

Michelin infographic

I have to say that over the last few years, we have on several occasions discussed purchasing winter tyres in our household, but still haven’t actually done so. But we did take a step in the right direction by purchasing a gauge and inflator last year which you just plug into the cigarette lighter. I was very pleased to say goodbye to my old manual gauge which I was always reluctant to use as I was convinced that by the time I got it onto the tyre properly, that I had lost some psi. So yes I am checking the tyre pressure more frequently than I used to.

But even so I do admit that I leave most tyre safety to my partner. I’ve never changed a tyre without help. I knew that there was a penalty for having bald tyres but not that it is a minimum 3 points per tyre, plus a fine here in the UK. And I’ve now learnt you can use a 20p coin to check that your tyres have more than the legal tread depth.

We’ve never even considered buying tyres online, always popping along to the local KwikFit garage. And I was totally unaware of tyre labelling.

Michelin winter driving myth

Disclosure. This post is an entry for the Mumsnet Michelin Total Performance Challenge.

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My Dream Bathroom

This is the third time in only a few weeks that I have been challenged to take the Great British Home Quiz. Previously by Britmums and Tots100. Now by Mumsnet who this time also want me to blog about my dream bathroom.

So action, camera, Take 3 on the quiz. Same questions. And lo and behold, I’m again Mrs Glamorous, which I still find funny, as it is so far from the real me. But I do like the photo of the bathroom that the quiz has selected for me.

Bathroom selected for me in the quiz

Bathroom selected for me in the quiz

Now onto my dream bathroom. I already have a really good-sized bathroom with a large shower. But I do have a few little complaints. Sink plugs where the lifting mechanism doesn’t work, so the choice is either break a nail trying to prise it out manually or just wash under a running tap, wasting water into the bargain. Also I think we may need a few washers replacing, as we have some dripping taps. And worst bugbear of all – having to call out a plumber because of a blocked loo. In my dream bathroom, there would never ever be any blockages.

My bathroom

My current bathroom

And why can’t bathrooms come with all the matching accessories included. I spent ages trying to find the right soap dish. I wanted a rectangular or oval white free-standing ceramic draining soap dish, as too often I found another family member had left the soap in a dish half full of water, so the bar of soap went all soft and soggy. In the end, not being able to find exactly what I wanted, I settled for what I thought was second best. A white circular stainless steel dish that I found on Amazon for about £11. But it turned out to be rubbish. Within a few months, the white paint was flaking off and sticking to the soap. So I’m still searching for that elusive soap dish for my bathroom. Do let me know, if you’ve seen it for sale somewhere.

Don't buy this style of soap dish

Don’t buy this style of soap dish

Even though I have a big bathroom, I still dream of it being bigger, as I would love to have a large circular jacuzzi. Jets of water massaging away the aches and pains. It would be bliss, just soaking all my cares and troubles away.

Great British Home Quiz


And you can see my previous #GreatBritishHome Challenge blog posts here and here. Both with a different slant.

So why don’t you take the Great British Home Quiz and see what it says about your Celebrity home style? You also have a chance to win £250.