Designer Dupes: Handbags

Saving money while trying to follow the latest fashion trends can be hard. If you’re unsure about splashing out on a new designer bag, you might want to try a cheaper version to see if it’s worth the investment. Designer dupes are also great for hyper trendy styles that might be popular now but will probably be completely out of fashion next season. If you cannot afford a designer bag, designer dupes also get you the same look and style for a fraction of the price. Keep reading to check out a few designer dupes for your favourite designer handbag.

  • Gucci Marmont Quilted Designs

This bag has been copied across almost every high street retailer. You can find dupes for this bag at H&M, Accessorize and Topshop.

  • Gucci Dionysus Style

Like the Gucci Marmont, the Dionysus bag has been duped by many high-street brands. You can find many options for this beautiful bag, some including very unique and eye-catching styles. Below is a version of the bag made by Topshop.

  • JW Anderson Pierce Bag

This gorgeous and practical bag retails at £1095. This is quite pricy for average people, but again, Topshop rescues us and has offered a cheaper alternative. The Topshop ring bag is only a small fraction of the price of the original but gives the same structured vibes as the JW Anderson bag.

  • Chanel Boy Bag

Chanel has made many classic designs that are coveted by so many of us. The Boy bag was a reinvention of the original Chanel classic flag bag by the late Karl Lagerfeld. During his time at Chanel, he made great designs that are still adored by many. The Chanel Boy bag comes in varies different styles, materials and sizes and they differ from season to season.


Save Money on Your Beauty Routine with Organic Coconut Oil

Organic Coconut Oil

You’ll be surprised, but organic coconut oil has all sorts of uses as part of a natural, wholesome and organic beauty routine. As a natural make-up remover, organic coconut oil can cut through the toughest and most resistant waterproof mascara. Applied directly to the skin, or with a cotton pad, watch your make-up melt away with this natural make-up remover. Also, while removing make-up gently and naturally, coconut oil contains moisturising benefits for your skin. This brings us conveniently to its second use as part of your beauty routine. Naturally fragrant and rich in fatty acids, coconut oil is the perfect all-body skin moisturiser. Quick to absorb and extremely nutrient rich, organic coconut oil returns a radiant glow to skin.

The same goes for your lips. For dry and chapped lips, organic coconut oil can act as the perfect lip balm. Pack a small amount into a little jar and carry it conveniently, in its solid state at room temperature, for a convenient and nutrient-dense effective lip balm. To extract even more benefits from the goodness provided by organic coconut oil, mix up a generous amount with some coarse salt for a deeply satisfying body scrub. As the salt granules melt away during skin exfoliation, the coconut oil will penetrate and absorb into the superficial dermis. Long after being washed away, the nutritious compounds of the oil will reinvigorate your skin with radiance and an age-defying glow. Furthermore, with its antifungal and antibacterial properties, coconut oil acts as a natural breath and mouth freshener. A spoonful of oil, gargled for around twenty minutes, will cut through the germs and bacteria in the hardest to reach recesses of your mouth. With a natural taste, free from harsh chemical and alcohol-free, enjoy a comfortable yet effective mouth freshener.

More Ways to Save Money on Your Beauty Routine

Skin Hydration: Water!

Whether it’s the latest dermal filler promising a unique hyaluronic acid formulation, or an expensive moisturising cream comprising stem cells, the key to beauty is hydration! Your skin needs it, your body needs it and yet it is practically free! Make the most of this vital beauty resource and make sure you drink plenty of water. Stay well hydrated, improve your digestion and your body’s nutrient uptake and look your best by drinking plenty of water. Experts state that drinking eight glasses a day could help to improve your skin.

Homemade Eye Mask: used green tea bags

We’re all well aware of the benefits of green tea. Proven to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, green tea is a staple for any natural beauty enthusiast. Its polyphenolic compound EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is said to fight acne, melanoma, oily skin and combat the signs of aging. However, you can get more bang from your buck, when it comes to green tea. Leave used green tea bags to soak and chill and you have yourself the perfect eye mask treatment. Tannins in the green tea help to treat puffiness and dark circles by reducing swelling and tightening the skin. Caffeine also helps, as it has the effect of shrinking blood vessels.

Homemade moisturiser: natural yoghurt

Natural yoghurt is great for gut health. Its probiotic cultures help strengthen the digestive tract, ensuring gut health and better absorption of nutrients. However, the benefits of this natural gem don’t end there. Alongside these probiotic cultures, natural yoghurt also contains protein, calcium and vitamin D. Furthermore, it contains the alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, which naturally dissolves dead skin cells. The gentle exfoliation provided by this natural product returns a radiant glow to your skin, while also preventing breakouts and stopping superficial lines and wrinkles in their tracks.

Top 4 Tips to Save Money on Your Beauty Routine!

Beauty routines can be long-winded and time-consuming – if this is how you feel, keep reading for some tips on how to save precious money and time on your beauty routine.

  • Multi-use Products

Multi-use products are a great, easy way of cutting down on your beauty routine. These products can be used on your cheeks as a cream blush, or on your eyes and lips as a subtle tint of colour. This is so a simple way of achieving a soft glam look that blends all the colours on your face seamlessly.

  • Try before you buy!

Sample-sized products are a great way of figuring out whether you want to invest in a product or not. Instead of wasting money of a full-size product that you might not like, get a sample! Department stores often hand out samples for free, or you can ask someone at the counter for a sample of whichever product you want. This will definitely help cut down on spending on unnecessary products.

  • Recycle your packaging for a free gift

Saving money on your beauty routine can also involve more sustainable choices. Sustainability should be a goal for everyone’s beauty routine as our cosmetic products are often the ones that create the most plastic waste. Brands such as Lush and Mac both offer a free gift in exchange for recycled products. This way you can be kind to the environment and to your wallet!

  • Beauty Loyalty Cards

If you are an avid beauty shopper you might already own one of these beauty loyalty cards, but if you do not, then you should! Loyalty cards allow you to earn points every time you buy something, which add up to store credit. Also, sometimes special offers are extended to those who own these cards.

Be Careful with Your Taxes: Tax avoidance and Tax Evasion and the Wrath of HMRC

Tax avoidance is the usage of a country’s tax regime to reduce the amount of tax owed to the government, or the government agency responsible for taxes, such as HM Revenue and Customs. It involves bending the rules of the tax system, in order to gain a personal advantage, never intended by the law. While efforts are made to maintain the letter of the law, the spirit of the law is not upheld and thus is a highly questionable approach. HM Revenue and Customs insist that most tax avoidance schemes simply do not work and warn that using them may cost you more than the tax initially owed, including penalties. To stamp out tax avoidance and tax evasion, HMRC invests considerable sums pursuing tax fraudsters. However, it also takes steps to prevent abuse of the tax system and offers guidance on how to stay safe from tax avoidance or evasion schemes.

Is it too good to be true?

Usually, if anything sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is the definitely the case with tax avoidance schemes marketed as tax efficiency schemes.

Are you being paid in the form of loans?

Designed for contractors, some tax avoidance schemes promise payment through loans that are not intended to be paid back. Funnelled through a chain of companies, trusts and partnerships, this form of tax avoidance seeks to assure you that will not be required to fulfil your tax obligations.

Are the benefits way more than your investment?

If the benefits of an investment scheme seem to be disproportionately larger than your investment, or the cost of your involvement in the scheme, then this too is an alarm bell. Scheme promoters may claim that there’s very little risk to your investment. However, HMRC will be watching and waiting to claw back any amount of tax owed.

Saving Money on Your Tax Bill: A Word of Advice from One Formula LLP

One Formula LLP are a company that combine the skills of a financial advisor, city trader, insurance advisor, ex-Wales international rugby player and a former police officer. With a proven track record and boasting super-rich footballers from Manchester City and Manchester United among their clients, the Manchester-based financial firm are here to offer you guidance on how to save money on tax. In the previous post, the tax efficiency experts looked at some of the easiest ways to reduce your tax bill. In this post, they’ll be offering some less obvious but potentially equally rewarding options for you to pursue.

Self-assessment? Don’t Miss the Deadline

Annually, around twelve million people are required to submit a self-assessment tax return. If you’re one of those, be sure not to miss the deadline. You will incur an automatic fine of £100 if you do, regardless of whether or not you owe any tax.

Reclaim Taxes

If your income drops unexpectedly during the tax year or you are not a taxpayer, you may be eligible for overpaid taxes. Fill out an R40 form from HMRC or contact them directly.

Tax-Free Childcare

Under the tax-free childcare scheme you can claim back a quarter of your childcare costs up to a value of £500 for every three month period. Eligibility criteria for the scheme include having a child under the age of eleven and earning less than £100,000.

Low Emission Car

With legislation prohibiting diesel and petrol vehicles set to be in place within a matter of years, why not make the switch early and save on vehicle tax at the same time? Low-emissions vehicle are taxed at a lower percentage of their list price than cars with a high carbon dioxide rating.

ISA Allowance

For the 2019-2020, the ISA allowance permits you to deposit up to £20,000 into an ISA account. Make the most of this allowance to enjoy tax free savings and/or tax free investments.

Money Saving DIY Tips

The average UK households spends over £2,000 a year on DIY and much more on more substantial home improvements. In today’s instalment of the Money Saving Advice Guide, we will offer you tips on how to save money on your DIY and home improvement projects!

Free Online DIY guides – There’s a multitude of how-to DIY guides all over the internet, including detailed descriptions, images, tutorials and videos. Thoroughly research your project online, pace yourself and refer to a variety of instructional sources. You will be sure to find them in abundance!

Local Builders Merchants – Local builders merchants stock most DIY essentials, though they may not be as brightly coloured as the big-brand DIY centres. Plan your project, compile a list of the materials you need and head to your local builder’s merchant. You will find most, if not all, the raw materials you will need for any household project at a much-reduced price!

Stock Up During the Off Season – We all wait for bank holidays to give our home improvements and DIY projects the time they need. Plan your home improvement and DIY projects around the times for sales and discounts. For example, you could pick up lawn furniture much cheaper towards the end of summer. Or, you could stock up on essential appliances and electronics during Black Friday sales. Planning really is the key.

Phone a Friend – In any DIY or home improvement project, two pairs of hands are better than one! Enlist some help, save yourself some time and possibly even benefit from some sort of expertise!

Sell Your Old Stuff – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as the old saying goes. When clearing out your old stuff for an improvement or renovation, why not consider selling it online? There are a variety of apps, websites and Facebook groups dedicated to this purpose. Earn money from your stuff, rather than just throwing it away!


The Government’s Official Guidance on How to Save Your Money from Tax Fraudsters Posing as HMRC Officials

Following the upsurge in fraudsters posing as HMRC officials by way of e-mail, text message and even Facebook message, the government has published official guidance on how to identify and avoid the scammers.

Official government websites, separately designated for internet scams and phishing, clearly state that the HMRC will not contact individuals by way of phone call, text message or email to discuss tax rebates and penalties or ask for personal payment details. In light of this, further governmental guidance instructs the public not to visit any websites, open any email attachments or disclose any personal payment information in response to emails purporting to be from the HMRC. Text messages purporting to be from the HMRC often contain harmful links, design to dupe people into handing over personal details to scammers. The HMRC’s official website reassures the public that it will never make contact by text message to discuss or tax rebates, refunds or penalties, nor will it ever request personal information by way of text message. Another common method of harvesting personal details is the inclusion of a PDF attachment in an email, which contains a link to a website asking for an online form to be completed. Again, this too is bogus and with it the tax scammers seek to gather personal payment details.

Alongside phone calls, text messages and emails, tax scammers posing as the HMRC have also resorted to using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and popular communication applications such as WhatsApp.

For official confirmation of any correspondence from HMRC, the government service offers an email address where enquires can be sent:

How to Save Money on Food

With a little planning, food can go a long way. While eating cheaper and saving money, you need not sacrifice your health as many of the options we will outline in this instalment of the Money Saving Advice Guide will actually contribute to an improved diet and healthier eating. First thing’s first, always cook for yourself! The biggest expenditure when it comes to money spent on food is on takeaways and eating out. Not only can you cook perfectly to your tastes, and you will most likely be using ingredients at a cost far-reduced from what even the most simplest restaurant might charge you for its equivalent, you can limit portion sizes to your appetite and avoid throwing away that expensive surplus leftover from a bloatedness-inducing takeaway! Another great tip is to reduce portion sizes. Reducing portion sizes will help your wallet and your waistline too, bumping up the former and reducing the latter.

If you do have any home-cooked food leftover, then it can always be placed into the freezer and kept for another day. Soon enough, you will be stocking a freezer full of your home-cooked favourites, eliminating the need to pop into the nearest takeaway on your way back from work and helping yourself to an all-too-convenient greasy kebab! When it comes to meat and chicken, you can save plenty of money. Cheaper cuts of meat offer the name nutrition as the more expensive cuts. As long as you amend your cooking practices, you can get the same enjoyment from them too. Chicken is most cost effective when bought whole, make a point of using all parts of a whole-bought chicken. Again, freezing is a great option which allows meat to be stored and saved for another day.

How to save money on your wedding!

When it comes to your big day, with all eyes on you and your beloved, saving money will probably be the last thing on your mind. However, as figures from last year show, weddings come in at an average total cost of £32,273, which represents a small fortune! In this instalment of the Money Saving Advice Guide, we offer you ways in which you can save money on that special day of your life that will probably be the most expensive too!

The most important factor when planning your wedding is the dates! Whether you have an open budget, or a limited budget, dates and availability are the biggest sticking point when it comes to wedding planning. The peak season coincides with weather fluctuation. Of course, a summer wedding will cost more. But, choose your dates wisely and plan for just before the season enters full swing and enjoy the fine weather on your special day without the added cost. When choosing a venue, there are a few money saving tips that we can offer that also apply to other aspects of your big day. Firstly, it’s advisable to negotiate venue booking without mentioning that you plan to hold a wedding.

This goes for the DJ and other similar costs. Secondly, while not necessarily a British thing, it is worth your while to haggle politely. When venues and wedding services don’t think they are your first option, they’re more likely to negotiate on price. On the day, with the booze flowing and your guests enjoying the festivities, it might be worth your while to offer beer and wine instead of the more expensive spirits and liquors. This could save you plenty of pounds at the bar. A vegetarian menu may also be a way to save money, while taking care of your guests’ health too!