Budgeting your Finances as a Single Dad


Times are getting tough, mainly because prices are on the rise. This can be tough on parents and even tougher on single parents. Therefore, it is important that single parents know how to budget correctly. Life in the 2018 is more expensive than it was 15 years ago.

For instance, ask yourself: How much did a person spend taking his or her family to the cinema? Now try to remember the last time you went to the cinema” how much would that amount of money get you at the concierge desk? Bob Dylan was right when he sang, they are a’ changing.

Therefore, how can people cope with the rising cost of living? The answer to this question is so simple: people should learn how to budget your finances properly. This is true for anybody out there, especially single parents who do not have the luxury of two paychecks.

If you can relate to this, then here is how to budget your finances as a single dad

Work out your monthly expenditures

It is impossible to create a budget without understanding your financial situation. Therefore, it is good to take some time to find out how much you earn on a monthly basis and what you spend the money on.

You will come to find that finding out how much you earn is easy, but determine where your money goes may be a bit difficult. Tracking your spending over the course of each and every month will help you determine where your money is going.

Write down all your expenses including your pocket money, bills, and the cost of that new pair of shoes you bought for your child, lunch at work and so on. Doing this is very important for the next step of your budgeting plan.

Write out your monthly budget

After knowing how much you earn and how much you spend, you can work out the dynamics of your budget. Open a new sheet in Excel and work out the total amount of money you spend on your bills, food, your TV subscriptions and so on.

In case you want a basic template for how to set your budget out, there are many free resources on the internet. If you are spending more than what you earn, then it may be time to think of how to reduce your expenses. If your bills are running a little high, tell your children the importance of wearing slippers and a hoodie indoors.

Look for ways that can help you reduce spending in some areas too. For instance, if Sky is too expensive, consider switching to Netflix. Do you spend £50 a week on high street coffee? That all adds up very quickly, especially when you key it on the Excel spreadsheet before you.

Look for ways to cut the costs/ boost your income

You can further cut down on your cost of living by doing thorough research. Sites such as Groupon can help you get things such as cheap cinema tickets, cheaper days at the local zoo and so on.

Do you have any skills to sell? If the answer is a big yes, then it may be a good idea to look for places you can sell them online and boost your income. You can set yourself up as a freelancer during your evenings or design a web tutorial that teaches people how to play guitar. You will be surprised by what you can find if you look hard enough.

Save for birthdays little and often

Christmas and Birthdays are usually the biggest costs every year. Don’t wait until December to start thinking about Christmas. Also, don’t wait until the birthdays are near to start thinking about where you will get the money. Put away a little money each and every month to have a small fund to put towards the big dates such as birthdays and Christmas.

Just imagine this: Putting away £20 every month will net you £200 to spend on Christmas; £40  will net your £6600 that you can spend guilt-free. Putting away money will help you avoid falling back into the red this time of the year.

Penny Challenge

I first saw this on a site I have followed for years which is WOW FreeStuff, they offer freebies and also money saving ideas, and they have came up with a way to save 1p a day and then day 2, 2p and so on. Its a great way to save and you can read more about it by clicking here.


When everything else fails…

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Debt is a real part of life and if you are genuinely struggling under the weight of debt, there are some ways that can help you shift some of it. People who live in England can seek out IVA to help sort out their unsecured loans.

People living in Scotland, on the other hand, can seek out a Scottish Trust Deed to help them sort out their financial difficulties. If you are going to seek out financial help in this area, then look for a company that is FCA approved and regulated.

How To Stay Safe When Buying A Home Security System

Silver CCTV Camera on the white wall
Silver CCTV Camera on the white wall

I am a big fan of security, being a family man its the up most importance for me to keep them safe so I have came up with some tips on how to keep them safe from any harm.

The advancements of home automation and security have been incredible over the past several years, with systems that can be full operational just by the touch of a button. They are designed to make you feel in control and most importantly—feel safe.

Some of the great features that companies will offer you include but are not limited to:

  • Surveillance Cameras
  • Motion Sensors
  • Control Panel
  • Wireless Control
  • Smoke/Gas Detectors
  • Automatic Locks

They really are an great service to implement into your home, especially if you live in an area with a high crime rate. But you can’t just pick any old company to come and install your system for you. Not all the companies out there are as trusting as we would like to think, and some companies that may be the leading brand in the nation, might not be offered in your area.

No need to worry too much though, the FTC an Attorney General have issued the following precautions to take, before you hire a company to install your system.

Get References

Ask around to family and friends who may have a security system In their home, to see how they enjoy it or if they don’t. Ask questions concerning the company they have used like how much installation cost?

How long did installation take?

Was the equipment fully functional?

How pushy were they on adding more devices?

Have they ever had an alarm? How long did it take for them to be contacted by authorities or the company?

Research Companies

A simple search engine search with the company in question should bring you to some very valuable information that includes customer reviews, prices, membership length, and you can check and see what certifications they may have as most that have been accredited will display a badge on their site. If you can’t find one, dig a little deeper to find this out for sure.

Contact Your Local Police Station and Fire Department

When you choose your home security solution be sure to contact both your local police office, and your districts fire department. Ask them if you need to register with them, or if the company needs to do it. Also find out if there are fines or what the policies are on false alarms, and also be sure to ask how quickly they estimate they can be at your home in case an alarm is sounded.

Always make sure to read the fine print on any contract you ever sign. Look into the warranties these companies offer, and see how long of a contract they lock you into if you choose their service. You need to just be very aware of what you are doing when choosing one of these companies; we are talking about your homes security after all.

Following these tips and any other questions that pop into your head will ensure you that you will find the right company to give you the best service possible.

1 Chicken: 4 Meals

ROAST-CHICKENI like eating chicken. I can eat it 3 times a day 7 days a week. But I don’t because eating this much chicken is one-unhealthy and two-expensive. Even though I wouldn’t eat chicken for every meal, I certainly was looking for ways by which I can eat a hell of a lot more of chicken without getting the cost high (it’s the starting of the article and I have already used the word chicken 4 times…I love Chicken, LOL). As you all well know I am a huge fan of coupons, saving money sites, and chicken is so expensive now, spreading it across 4 meals is a great saving tips.

So as I said I was trying to find ways by which I can make the most of the chicken I buy and I was able to stretch it out to 4 meals. That is 4 meals per chicken.

First, when you buy a chicken buy it whole it is cheaper this way instead of when you buy just the breast fillets or legs or thighs. I buy from ABC chickens because in my experience their chickens taste better from others, they are relatively bigger in size and they are relatively cheaper also.

Now here is how I made a single chicken last for 4 days. Even though you might find many other recipes on the internet, I found these ones the tastiest.

Before starting on our journey to 4 meals from one chicken we need to prepare the chicken so that our next steps become much easier. Alright here we go; firstly, we need to keep our meat moist so it will be easier to strip off from the bones to do that cook your chicken in a large crock pot or in a slow cooker.

Once all the meat has been removed divide it into 4 piles in proportions needed for the recipes mentioned below. Store the remaining juices in the pan because you are going to need it in two of the recipes mentioned below. I am going to call it “Chicken Juice” in the rest of the article for easy reference.

Chicken Curry

On the first day I made Chicken Curry. It is a delicious dish that the whole family can enjoy. It is quick and easy to make.


  • Pataks korma paste
  • Coconut milk—– 1 Tin
  • Peppers———– 2
  • Peas—————- Just a handful
  • Carrots———– 2
  • Chicken———-1 portion
  • Dollop of Double Cream—-optional
  • Rice————Basmati
  • Breads———-Optional


  1. Firstly, Stir fry your peppers, peas and carrots until tender, then add in chicken and korma paste
  2. Secondly, add coconut milk and cream, then transfer to a casserole dish and cook in oven gas mark 5 for about 45 mins.
  3. Third, follow instructions when cooking basmati rice. When done serve with the curry. If you have bread or naans serve them also.

Chicken Risotto

On the second day, use the 2nd portion of the chicken to make risotto. It is also easy and delicious.

  • Onion 1
  • garlic cloves 2
  • Chicken 1 portion
  • Chopped Peppers 2
  • White wine (not essential)
  • chopped mushrooms 100g
  • Arborio rice 225g
  • frozen peas a handful
  • the chicken juice pint and a half
  • Parmesan Cheese a large handful


  1. Pour some olive oil and fry onion and garlic.
  2. Add the mushrooms and the peppers and fry for a few more minutes. Also add some white wine (optional).
  3. Add the rice and the stored chicken juice from the pan. Gradually keep adding all of the rice and chicken juice until you have use all of it.
  4. Add the handful of frozen peas and cheese and mix.
  5. Serve in a nice dish.

Note: if the final risotto is too hard just add some water and a veggie stock cube until it is in the needed texture.

Chicken Broth with fresh bread

On the third day you can make chicken broth served with some fresh bread. It is a mix between stew and soup. It is very delicious none the less.

  • Chicken juice 1 portion
  • chicken 1 portion (the smallest)
  • soup mix 1 packet
  • Carrots 2
  • Leek 1
  • Onion 1
  • Swede 1


  1. Leave your soup mix in Chicken juice overnight. Next morning put it on boil.
  2. add the chopped carrots, onion, leek and swede in the mix.
  3. let it cook for about 2-3 hours, add water if you like thinner soup. Also add seasoning.
  4. serve with fresh breads and butter.

Chicken Fritatta

On the final day, we will be making Chicken Fritatta. Just as the previous recipes this one is also easy to make and delicious to eat.


  • potatoes 2-4
  • eggs 4
  • milk 1 tablespoon
  • onion 1
  • garlic 2 cloves
  • cheese grated
  • chicken 1 portion
  • Assorted filling mushrooms, peas, tomatoes, broccoli or whatever you have


  1. slice the potatoes after boiling them..
  2. put the garlic and onion in a pan and fry them until they are soft.
  3. add the sliced potatoes and any other fillings you have to the pan and keep frying.
  4. beat the eggs and add them with milk. Add this mixture to the frying pan. Keep cooking until the sides are set but the middle is soft.
  5. Place under a grill and sprinkle some cheese on top. Cook until the top is brown in color.

Please let me know if you tried out this method, and how it worked for you?

Recipe Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/

How To Make Some Tasty Top Hats

tasty-top-hatsWhen one of your kid’s birthday is coming up, there is always a lot of hustle going around in the house, preparation, invitation, and decoration. All of these things, especially planning, usually start approximately one month before the day so you can make it as special as you can so they could cherish these memories for the rest of their lives. Besides getting a present, cooking and decoration at or at least one day before the date is not the only thing that makes these parties successful. There is always a lot more going on, even on a 1 year olds’ birthday party. I’m not saying that these activities are difficult or exhausting. They can be a lot of fun if you do them right.

Such events remind you of your own childhood’s wonderful and amazing memories. One thing that used to be a must-have for the birthday parties back in our days was Top Hats. Birthday parties were considered incomplete without them. Unfortunately, these days’ parents prefer buying them from a store unlike the old days when they used to be made at home with love. For my kids last birthday, I introduced him and his friends to this beautiful birthday treat. I thought, I should share my recipe with you guys so you can do the same on your kids’ birthdays.

Main Ingredients
– High-quality Milk Chocolate
– Marshmallows
– Smarties
– Jellytots
– Muffin cases

How to make them
First take a saucepan, add in some water and heat it. Afterwards, take a bowl, power in the milk chocolate and place the bowl in the saucepan with the water to gently heat and melt the chocolate. Take the muffin cases and pour a little amount of melted chocolate in them for about 5mm. After that, add one marshmallow in each one of the muffin cases with melted chocolate.

Now put a small button-like dabs of chocolate on the marshmallows in the muffin cases and put a smartie or Jellytot on it. You can use different colors of smarties and jellytots for different colored marshmallows. Afterwards, put all the muffin cases in the fridge and let the chocolate settle.

Serve them nice and cold right out of the fridge after peeling the muffin cases off and watch your kids worship them.

Easy To Make Flatbread

flatbread2Almost all the people that I know are great fans of Pita Bread and they use it for a lot of purposes from making a sandwich to just dipping it in hummus. You can cut them into long pieces and give them to your little kid to try and learn how to chew. Similar to the south Asian bread naan, it can also be a great carrier for different flavors. Flatbreads can also be kept frozen and toasted when convenient.

The best thing about the flatbreads is that their four ingredients are simple and easily available, and the process of making them is really easy. If you didn’t burn them, there is nothing else that can mess up there taste if you’re making them for the first time.

Main Ingredients
-Almost 350 grams self-raising flour
-A very little amount of sea salt
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-350 grams Glenisk Natural Yoghurt

How to make them
Taking a bowl and add the flour, baking powder, sea salt and Glenisk natural yogurt in it and mix them with a spoon. Make sure that all of these ingredients are finely mixed together. Afterwards, spray a little flour on the work surface and start rolling the dough. You are supposed to knead the dough afterwards for about one to two minutes approximately. Make sure that you don’t overdo it because it’s requires less kneading as compared to the traditional bread dough. After that put the dough in a bowl and make sure that you spray a little bit of flour in the bowl so the dough might not stick to it. Cover the bowl and leave it for approximately 30 minutes.

Taking a rolling pin and dust it with flour. Take the dough from the bowl and divide it into six equal-sized pieces. They would come out to be the size of a ping pong ball. Afterwards, flatten the dough on the work surface after dusting the work surface with flour. Use your hands to flatten it and then roll them into 12 cm round circles using the rolling pin. These dough circles should be approximately 2-3mm thick. Cut six straight lines meeting in the center of each dough.

Heat up the griddle pan and start cooking all round circles for 1 to 2 minutes for both sides. When the rounds start puffing up, it is the sign that your delicious flatbread is ready. You can always add different flavors according to your taste. Add in some butter and chocolate maybe and your taste buds will be delighted. You can add the flavor ingredients into the mix before rolling and cooking it. Try not to add more wet ingredients. If you have any flavors in mind or the ones you have tried, do share with us all.

How To Sterilize Feeding Equipment

AH93X4 Sterilizing Baby Bottles

A lot of people use dedicated sterilizing equipment that are product specific and work only for a specific brand. I’m not advocating that you should go against the instruction manual and manufacturer’s directions but there are times when you want to sterilize something else and the specified equipment is not compatible with the product you want to sterilize.

In such cases, a lot of people turn to the trusty old Milton. I don’t claim that there is anything wrong with using Milton but I think it can be helpful for you guys to know how sterilize a product of these options are not available or compatible.

In most cases, if you ever have to face such situation, it is very easy to sterilize something as long as you have a large enough container or pot to submerge it in.

  • You should always wash the product like you would normally do while washing the feeding or teething equipment using hot and soapy water. You should make sure that all of the soap and foam is removed from the item by rinsing it.
  • Take a large saucepan and put the clean item in it and put the saucepan on the stove.
  • Make sure there is enough water in the sauce pan which can cover the item and makes sure that no air bubbles will be produced.
  • Boil the water with item contained in it for almost 5 minutes.
  • Afterwards, turn the stove off and let the water cool down naturally.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean before you handle the item. Carefully wash them.
  • Take out the item from the saucepan and shake it to remove any water contents.
  • You should keep the item in a container inside the fridge if you are not looking forward to using it right away.
  • It is important that you boil the item again if you don’t use it within 24 hours.
  • Otherwise it can be used right away as it will be completely sterilized.

All of the microbes and bacteria are killed when you carefully wash and boil the item. This technique cannot be used for porous products. It will also be a stupid idea to use this technique for the items that are not meant to withstand boiling temperatures.

Say Goodbye To Your Convertible Car

01-jaguar-xkr-s-convertibleI’m not saying that it happens to all of the parents out there, but it does happen to many parents that they have to change their luxury car for a more family-friendly option. It can happen that you might be rolling around with your partner on a two seater before having kids or you had a car which didn’t support travel systems for kids like strollers. Same thing happened to me, I use to drive a very fast two seater convertible sports car before becoming a dad. The obvious reason for changing it was its non-kids-friendly features.

Once you become a parent, you start to see the world with a different perspective. I use t love my convertible but I was very comfortable while giving it up for a Beckett. I’m happy with the massive boot space it has to offer for the stroller and overall it’s a nice ride. I’m actually happy and satisfied with my decision. You have to act more mature once you become a parent.