It’s no secret that I sometimes struggle
with money – with only working part time at the moment, in the past I’ve had to
miss out on things I’ve really wanted to do simply because of lack of funds.
Unfortunately the country isn’t in the best state at the moment ; it’s
almost impossible to find a job these days and even when you have necessary
experience, jobs are still few and far between. Luckily, since I first began
university, I tried to find some other easier ways to up my funds a bit to help
tide me by. Although none of my methods were necessarily as good as working full
time, having some extra cash thanks to these small steps actually benefited me
a lot and to this day I still use a lot of them. I’m looking for a full time
job based more around my degree in the long run, but thanks to some of these
ideas I’ve found ways to help tide me by during those times when I don’t get as
many hours at work or actually really need the type of money I’d earn if I did
have a full time job.
 Survey websites 
Survey websites are a great way to get some
extra money if you’re willing to put the time and effort in. Putting a couple
of hours aside each day to answer a few surveys will benefit you in the long
run, but it’s definitely a method that requires a lot of effort if you want to
start earning a lot of money. Most surveys offer between 50p – £2.00 for a
10-30 minute survey which means some bad points include the surveys can be
quite boring and long winded, especially when you don’t see results right away.
However, sometimes putting one day aside a week (or a couple of hours per
evening) helps spread things out a bit and within a month you could earn quite
a lot of money just for offering your opinion. There are tons of websites
about, some offering cash paid direct into your paypal and others offering
vouchers for websites such as Amazon and others. That’s just the basics –
there’s a lot more to be said about the ways in which you can commit yourself
more to this method – but I’ll be having a friend do a guest post on this soon!
 Ebay  
Ebay is an absolute godsend if you have the
time and patience. I bet you’d find tons of clothes lying around your room that
you don’t wear anymore – why leave them in your wardrobe collecting dust when
you can sell them and make someone else happy? I put loads of clothes on EBay
last month and earned about £200 and this was literally stuff I’d never even
worn. Clothes with tags still on go for so much more and it’s always an idea to
look into selling things on EBay as a kind of on the side business. You can buy
lots of cheap clothes from boot sales and charity shops and sell them for much
more than what you paid on EBay and a lot of people who don’t have the time to
do it all actually pay other people to list stuff for them. You could also do
this if you don’t have time yourself.
 Cash for Gold 
If you have any gold lying around, it will
be worth a lot more using cash for gold websites as opposed to EBay or anything
else. Jewelry from over the years just gets piled up and you’ll probably find
you don’t actually want old rings/necklaces etc from old boyfriends that you
forgot they gave you. Sell it on and earn some money out of it at least and if
your ex was a bad boyfriend then it’ll feel even better selling it 😉
 Cash back websites 
I’ve already blogged about cash back
websites before, but generally cash back websites are really beneficial if you
do a lot of online shopping. It takes no extra effort on your part – simply set
your home screen to the website of your choice and next time you want to buy
something online, click onto the website via the cash back site and earn a percentage
of what you pay back. Different websites offer different deals and some even
offer freebies where you can earn a little bit of money each day just by
clicking through to certain sponsors. Bigger buys = bigger earnings obviously,
and things like phone contracts, car insurance etc can give you payouts of up
to £100 or more.
 Competition entering 
Not all competitions offer cash, but some
do and those that don’t offer great prizes. This is pretty straightforward too
– you’ll find a variety of different websites dedicated to avid compers who
post full lists of competitions to enter daily. Generally the smaller the competitions
the more chance you have of winning – but don’t let that defer you. Some competitions
offer top prizes of things like holidays, thousands of pounds and more – and
after all, someone has got to win right?!
 Mystery shopping 
Mystery shopping isn’t as popular in the
UK, but it DOES exist. I’ve yet to find a website that offers glamorous assignments
like staying over night in 5* hotels and such, but I’ve recently gotten into
mystery shopping myself lately and have to admit, it’s helped boost my income a
bit! The best part is that it’s actually fun – you’ll find assignments for pubs
and supermarkets and really all you have to do is visit a place and pay
attention. Some tasks ask you to purchase items or food, which are reimbursed,
and you also get paid for actually doing the assignment.
These are just a few tips that can help you
boost your income just that little bit more. Although I wouldn’t say you could
earn enough money to give up work completely, these are definitely ideal for
students or people working part time like myself. A lot of them do depend on
how much effort you’re willing to put in yourself but at the end of the day a
lot of them are really quite easy in regards to how much you can earn! I hope
this post helps!

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Back in September I finally got to read Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I’d heard rave reviews about it, a lot of people had been discussing it and talking about the issues raised within the books pages. Not long after reading it, I discovered it was being made into a film – which is out at the cinema now. So if you haven’t heard of the book the chances are you’ve probably heard about or watched the film! The film is actually a rom-com, whereas the book is a lot more darker and thought provoking, and I hope to see and review the film too. I’m interested to see how it compares to the book, although I would have loved to see the film being made within that darker genre as I feel being a rom-com it may not do the book as much justice.
The blurb reads –
‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a burst of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.

This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…

It took me a good few weeks to read this book which is actually kind of odd for me as normally I’ll read a book within days or a week. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it – I actually really enjoyed this book – but it was more the fact that it was so deep and dark that it was something I found I had to take a break from every so often. I found it was the type of book that needed your full attention – I couldn’t read it whilst on the bus on the way to work for example or whilst half watching TV. It was very heavy if that makes sense.
I generally thought the idea behind the storyline was fantastic. I’ve not really seen a book (or many other things for that matter) covering the idea/issues both after a zombie apocaylpse or by focusing on the zombie. This book focuses on R who is a zombie and is written from his point of view which is so interesting simply because it’s so different. I imagine the author would have struggled with this quite a bit, but honestly massive props to him for not only attempting it but managing to do it very well!

Despite the fact that R is a zombie, it’s very easy to sympathize with him and feel sorry for him. I doubt many people have actually imagined what it must be like to be a zombie from a more neutral point of view – the fact that zombies need to eat human flesh to survive and that it’s not really their choice to become monsters. None the less, a lot of the issues raised in this book are thought provoking.

I thought it was oddly romantic too, in a very weird sense. The blurb reads that Julie is a ‘burst of colour in a dreary grey landscape’ – and at the end of the day, isn’t that love exactly? When the world is okay, not amazing but not horrible either, but when you meet someone special it just becomes that little bit better and brighter?

I found some parts of this book actually quite depressing, especially when it forced me to think about the lifestyle and purpose of a zombie and things from their point of view. When I stopped to think about the fact that these zombies were once actual people and now didn’t even live properly – both in the sense that they didn’t ‘live’ their live and in the sense that they’re technically ‘undead’ – well it was quite sad. The idea that they had no purpose whatsoever and just…wandered absolutely terrified me to no end. No memories. No names. No persona. They just…are.

There isn’t much I can say about this book without ruining the plot line apart from the fact I’d definitely suggest reading it. It’s not for everyone, but it is very different, and the type of story I could re-read a few times over even though I know how it ends. I’m very intrigued to see how the film compares to it and I have a lot of respect for the book, simply for how tough it must have been to write and just how interesting it is to see Isaac Marion push the boundaries and write about this type of subject.

P.S Check out the Book Reviews tag for more book reviews! Also, please do visit Hanging On Every Word – another blog I’m part of. It’s a collaborative book review blog between myself and some other bloggers and there are some great reviews on there! Please do check it out!
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On Saturday me and my parents went to the zoo! They had some clubcard vouchers to spend so they picked me up from work and we headed straight on over to Whipsnade Zoo. I hadn’t been in years so I was definitely excited – it’s a massive zoo situated right at the top of the downs (which is basically just a bunch of huge hills overlooking all of the city) so the zoo also has lots of nice views.
It was chilly but it was a nice day spent with my parents and seeing all the different animals. My favourites were the penguins and flamingos – just because flamingos are so random and pink! Anyway, there’s not really much to say about a zoo, you all know what’s there so I’ll just leave you with some photos I took!
Ewww


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I’m really loving the total corny/dodgy/hilarious poorly-done-in-paint Valentines Day craze that seems to be everywhere right now…
Yes, it’s that time of the year again I’m afraid. You’re probably as sick as me of seeing repetitive gift/outfit/single ladies night out ideas posts all over your blogger dashboard, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I hope you’re all having a lovely day whatever you’re doing – single or not! And if you are single, remember the right person is on their way.

As a fleeting idea (and the fact that I have the best music taste ever) I decided to put together a little Valentine’s Day playlist for you all. The idea is corny but the music is anything but – I’ve mixed it up a bit with a few classics, a couple of romantic songs and just awesome feel good artists. Whatever you’re doing today, make it better by listening to some music.

Hope you all enjoy it and let me know what you think. Also, do let me know if you’d like to see this playlist malarky become a regular thing, I do enjoy putting together awesome songs by awesome bands to make beyond awesome playlists. Also, it’s doing my bit for the music industry/my favourite bands by introducing you all to great music and making you all fans 😉

Anyway, for some reason, I cannot find a full version of Think I’ll Go Inside by Joshua Radin on Grooveshark so it cuts out at the end 🙁 But you can listen to the playlist via Spotify, and it has the full version on there! Just click here for the playlist. Although, on Spotify, The Maine’s ‘Thinking Of You’ has a voicemail message at the end of the song which is supposed to be an introduction to their next song on their album Pioneer & The Good Love. *Sigh* you can never win, whether you listen to it via Spotify or Grooveshark! Never mind. And if you’re wondering what the voicemail is about, it’s the voicemail of the lead singer’s mother because the next song on the album was written about/for her (too sweet!)

And yes, I know one band *cough* The Maine *cough* feature four times but yeah their songs are great and varied and I’m not just saying that because I’m biased.

Enjoy!

P.S If you’re a single pringle this Valentines and you’re finding it hard, just remember, it’s always better to be single than to settle with/for someone who doesn’t make you happy! Never, ever settle. ‘Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life, & love should not be one of them’ – Dream for an Insomniac.

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