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Are You on Track for Retirement? Benchmarks You Should be Hitting Each Decade

March 16, 2021

Unlike tracking your daily steps, your calorie intake or your latest jogging route, there doesn’t appear to be an app for tracking your retirement savings. 

So, how much should you be putting away for your twilight years to live comfortably? 

Survey data published by Wonga recently revealed that out of nearly 8,000 respondents, most people aspire to retire between the ages of 50 and 70, but only 50% of people between 25 and 44 have actually started saving for their retirement. If this sounds familiar, you might want to catch up with your retirement saving goals and try to hit these benchmarks.

Retirement Savings in Your 20s

In your early 20s, it is unlikely that you have started putting away any money for your retirement. You are probably in education or have an entry-level position with a low income, just figuring out how to budget accurately. This is okay.

But once you start working with disposable income in your later 20s, it is time to start putting money away for retirement. Don’t create a goal at this stage, but do open a dedicated savings account you can add to whenever you have managed to save a little. Your 30-year-old self will thank you.

Retirement Savings in Your 30s and 40s

Your 30s and 40s are where you put in the hard yards towards your retirement saving goal. An effective – but not the only – way to make retirement saving targets is to base your targets off your annual income. Experts believe that you should save around 15% of your pay during your 30s, which should equate to x1.5 your annual income over the decade. 

In your 40s, you might want to ramp this up a little and save more, aiming for around x2 your annual income over the decade. This should provide you with a solid foundation as you enter your 50s.

Retirement Savings in Your 50s

In your 50s, when you are likely to have paid off your mortgage, there should be more room to save. Workers are typically more dedicated to contributing as retirement comes into view. Experts suggest that you aim to have x5 to x9 your annual income by the time you reach 60. 

Your Benchmarks Should Be Personalised

Although experts can make rough perditions on how much you should save or aim to save each decade, these rules are flexible. 

How much you need to save will depend on how much money you earn, if you are single or married – and if your partner works as well. And of course, they depend on what plans you have for your retirement. Some people make money last longer in retirement than others. 

Moreover, these benchmarks are not stipulated to make you feel bad for not hitting them. They should serve as motivation and help you inch your way closer to financial security in later life. 


Title: Creating the Perfect Home for You

March 8, 2021

Who hasn’t spent time thinking of the perfect home for themselves at some point in their lives? From its location to the number of rooms, size of the kitchen and outdoor space, so many elements make up the complete package. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to have an unlimited budget and choice of the world’s best properties to have the perfect home. No, you can easily start to create your dream setting from scratch in the home you currently occupy and without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways to get started with creating the perfect home for you.

It’s all about the details

Every house is a home they say, but until the finer details have been put in place and perfected, only then can you say it’s a perfect home. From small touches like door handles, light switches and pictures on the wall, there are many different things you can do to make your own really unique and personal. This can even extend to larger appliances and features that are throughout your home by upgrading them to fit your aesthetic. The humble radiator is an example of this, where you can elevate the heating in your home to match your décor. There are many great examples of quality radiators by Stelrad, from designer styles to colourful vertical radiators and column radiators. Sometimes overlooked when perfecting your home, radiators can help bring out even more of your character whilst ensuring your home is always at the perfect temperature.

Let there be light

It’s a fact that natural light will improve the mood of anyone, and your home deserves the same treatment. Having a home with plenty of windows and openings can ensure not only sufficient lighting, but also ensures fresh air is circulating at all times. Part of having the perfect home is feeling great living there, with wellness and wellbeing at the core of achieving this. As well as natural light, having other natural elements as part of your interior design is a great choice. Plants and flowers will bring the garden into the home, especially ideal if you don’t have any outdoor space to enjoy such as in an apartment. 

Comfort over style

It can be tempting to try and implement different interior design trends into one home, but it doesn’t always create the perfect environment. Rather than choosing options based on what is popular or trending online, or what is deemed to be stylish at this moment in time, it’s best to choose something that will last, and you won’t have to upgrade in a few years. Comfort is high on that list as above all you want to enjoy the space and not fill it with uncomfortable furniture just because it looks good. In the same way that the clothes you wear should promote comfort, your home should be the same. 

Remember, the perfect home is not the same for everyone and you’ll want to fill it with personality and items that are close to you. Pictures of family and friends help with this as well as creating room designs that are both practical and are full of your favourite things. That way, the perfect home can be achieved right where you are without too much effort or spend. 


Elements To Look Out For When Choosing The Right Care Home For Your Loved One

February 16, 2021

With so many different care homes out there on the market, all providing a different level of care, it can be a challenge to find the right one for your loved one. With some designed for those with deteriorating conditions and others designed for the basic level of care such as washing and getting dressed, you must be aware of these differences when it comes to finding the right one for your loved one. To help you out, we have listed some of the key elements that you need to consider below.

Begin By Considering The Cost Of Care 

Finding a care home service can be a challenge, especially when your loved one has a specific set of needs; however, it is not an impossible task. By setting a budget and finding several care homes that fit within that budget and also provide the care you require then this is the perfect starting point to make sure that it works. 

Consider The Level of Care That They Need 

With some elderly residents just requiring respite care and others requiring the care of a nurse at every point in the day, it is important to make sure you are aware of the care that the resident needs and find a carte home that can cater to this. Whether it is a care home in Colchester with 24/7 care or a smaller care home for a 1-year respite period until another home is found, having a plan based on not only the care they need now but the care that they could need in the future is crucial.

Understand The Different Types Of Care Homes 

Though the name care home is easy enough to understand, it is important to note that there are several care homes out there that provide differing levels of care for those that need it. To help you understand the different types of care home, we have put together a breakdown below according to the Age UK website: 

A Care Home – This care home provides the basic level of care such as washing and dressing as well as day trips and group activities.

Nursing homes- These homes are designed for those with more serious illnesses as those caring for the residents are trained, qualified nurses. 

Dual-Registered Care Homes- This is a care home for those that need both the basic care as well as nursing care regularly. This is designed for those that have conditions that are likely to worsen over the course of 5 years as they will have qualified nurses on-site to help with this and ensure that they have the care that they need. 

Dementia Care Homes- These are specially designed care homes for those that have dementia and are equipped with the safety measure and security to make them feel comfortable and safe as their condition worsens. 

Regardless of whether you are looking for your loved one to move into a care home in the near future or you are planning in advance, there are several elements that you need to consider to make sure you are making the right decision at every stage.  


How to enjoy the outside world while not being able to get outside

February 16, 2021

We all love to go exploring around the world, but those little things like time and money often get in the way. With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can explore the joys of the outside world while staying firmly indoors.

Watch sport for the scenery

Many people watch sport for the high adrenaline battles between the athletes who are pushing themselves to the very limits of what is humanly possible. Another great reason to watch sport is to get a glimpse of the beautiful surroundings they’re playing this sport in. Athletes are incredibly lucky as they are paid to travel to some of the most picturesque parts of the world to compete. A great example of this is the Tour De France. If you watch live cycling competitions, many of which you can now stream online on betting websites, you’ll be able to see stunning shots of them riding along some beautiful streets across this country. The wide helicopter shots of the pack going by shows you the stunning architecture and natural beauty of the country from an angle that very few people get to see. 

Explore on Google Maps

Many people simply use Google Maps to plan their journey once they leave the house. If you get lost or need to find your nearest store or restaurant when you’re in a new city, the mobile phone app is even a great way of helping you find your place in the city again. Even if you’re not planning on leaving the house, Google Maps and Google Earth are great ways to explore a city without having to step into it. Over the last few years, Google has spent a lot of time and money taking high-quality and highly detailed pictures of every part of every street in many countries around the world. That means you can virtually walk around some of the most sought-after travel destinations and be able to see everything you would while standing on the busy streets. You can even explore places like The Colosseum and The Palace of Versailles in a lot more detail than you would be in the flesh, as many destinations gave Google special access to places that are normally shut off to the public.  

Find a video online

Of course, it’s not just the sights that make us love the outdoors so much. It’s all of the senses working together. Nothing tops the smell of freshly cut grass or the salty sea for nature lovers. While you can’t replicate smells online, you can replicate a place’s sounds by finding a video of it on a website like YouTube. Many people have filmed long videos of just the people and the tourists of the city walking by during a normal day. While this might not be exciting, if you make yourself a coffee and imagine you’re in a street café in your favorite city, those familiar sounds will bring a smile to your face.


A Guide to Finding and Buying Your First Designer Bag

November 18, 2020

If you have been saving up to buy your first luxury handbag, the experience can be very intimidating. When you factor in all the high-end brands, fabrics, and styles, the number of options you have available can be both exciting and difficult. Most importantly, you will want to choose a designer bag that stands the test of time. So, here is a guide on how to find and buy your first designer bag.

Know Your Budget

Before you start the hunt for your dream designer bag, you must work out your budget first. With a plethora of options at your disposal, you need to be realistic with what you can and cannot afford. The last thing you should do is spend beyond your means, as while you may end up with the bag of your dreams, being saddled with debt is no fun. Creating a budget can help you track your income and outgoings, as well as help you manage your money better. 

Research Brands

Whether Chanel has caught your eye, or you’re more of a Louis Vuitton kind of girl, there are so many designer houses to pick from. If you’re struggling with where to begin, you should begin the process by picking designer brands that match your personality and style. For instance, if you are a classy and sophisticated woman, YSL may be perfect for you. Whereas Givenchy is more suited to edgy women. For the Gucci bag lovers, SSENSE have these Gucci bags that can elevate your look. The company is a Montreal-based fashion platform that sells products all over the world, including accessories, clothing, shoes, and Gucci bags that can be teamed together to create the ultimate look.

Choose the Right Size

When it comes to purchasing a designer bag, you should select one that can house all your essentials. Whether it’s your purse, makeup, phone, or money, you need to be practical with your purchase, otherwise, you will be stuck with a designer bag that isn’t functional. While bigger bags may cost more, they’re worth it if you’re the type of woman who likes to carry around anything and everything. 

Consider Versatility

Purchasing a designer bag that can be used for all kinds of occasions is important. If you’re off for a job interview, holding an important meeting, or attending a swanky dinner, having a designer bag that correlates well with all these events will help you get the most out of your purchase. The color of your designer bag is a key factor that you need to address. While your eyes may be drawn to bold and vibrant colors, opting for black, white, and beige will mean you can team your bag with all your outfits. 

Find the Best Place to Purchase

Before splurging on a designer bag, you need to find the right retailer who has what you want. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more fashionistas are shopping online for their designer bags. Make sure you shop on trusted and reliable websites, otherwise, you run the risk of being scammed.

A designer bag can be the perfect addition to complete your overall look. To make the decision process easier, make sure you take all the factors above into account. Once you’ve found your dream luxury bag, the item can be the perfect investment for both your purse and closet.


Creative Ways To Keep Festive This Season

June 25, 2020

Finding ways to get into the festive spirit with your family will need creativity to make to great. But with several traditions and events taking place throughout the month of December, it is possible to find ways to create traditions. Whether it is a letter from Santa for the kids or a PJ party with your significant other, we have several creative ways that you can keep festive leading up to Christmas. 

Sit And Watch Festive Films 

Festive films with the family are the perfect way to get everyone in the festive mood. Whether you opt for an old Christmas classic or an animation for the whole family, this is the perfect way to get everyone in the festive mood. Whether you put films in a hat and pick or you take it in turn to choose the films that you want to watch, this is a great way to get the family involved. 

Listen To Christmas Music 

With a number of your favourite artists making their own Christmas album, this is the great way to get in the festive spirit. Whether it is Kylie, Frank Sinatra or Michael Bublé, there is a Christmas soundtrack for everyone making it an amazing activity for so many. In addition to this, there are several albums that have come out on records, allowing you to listen to the classics with the rustic sound of record player without spending a small fortune. 

Have A Christmas Eve PJ Party 

A PJ party is an amazing way to bring the family together for some festive fun on Christmas eve. Whether it is a treasure hunt, watching films or making cookies in the kitchen with the family, relaxing in your PJs is an amazing way to relax. In addition to this, you can turn this into a tradition by purchasing your family a set of matching PJs. Whether you opt for PJs that are light and airy or you opt for onesies, this is a tradition that we are sure your family will love. 

Plan A Festive Photoshoot 

A festive photo shoot is an amazing tradition that you can do every year that will allow you to look back on the memories. This is an amazing way to make a personalised Christmas card or even make images for your home, allowing you to see your children growing up over the years. 

Enjoy The Perfect Hot Chocolate 

The final way that you can enjoy the festive season is the hot chocolate. With several festive recipes to make your hot chocolate the best that it can be it is easier than ever for you to feel festive. Whether you head to the closest Starbucks for your ultimate festive drink or you are looking to make your own at home, there are many ways that you can make hot chocolate and enjoy the festive season. 

With this in mind, there are several amazing ways that you can make the most out of the festive season without spending a small fortune on decorations and other elements. Which of these will you be trying? 


9 literary quotes to help inspire that Christmas feeling

November 28, 2019

Christmas is the time of year we love to eat and drink with our nearest and dearest, and put niggling worries aside. The festive period is geared towards social festivities and can be very busy, but there is an overwhelming temptation to shut out the world for a few hours, get cosied up by the fire, and delve into a classic book. Why not make time to do that? Writers have been captivated with the idea of Christmas over the centuries, and the festive season offers a glittering backdrop to many of our all-time favourite perfect bound books. Let’s take inspiration from some of our favourite literary characters and learn what Christmas means to them. 

  1. “I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  1. “One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone, and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

  1. “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together”

Leaving Home by Garrison Keillor

  1. “It struck him that how you spent Christmas was a message to the world about where you were in life”

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

  1. “Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow”

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

  1. “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

  1. “The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned, and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  1. “There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.”

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

  1. “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart”

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

After reading all of these classic quotes, hopefully it helped to put you in the Christmas spirit! Until the big day is upon us, get your self a warm cup of wine and bar of chocolate, and curl up with some of your favourite festive fiction.

Article brought to you by commercial print company and double sided roller banner specialist, Where The Trade Buys.



Entering the world of work: getting into the fashion industry

November 25, 2019

Finishing your studies in fashion can mean making some big decisions in terms of employment. There are a wide range of options available aside from the ones you may expect, such as designers and models. From a career in fashion-related finance, to discovering a role in communications, the opportunities are varied. Retailers of men’s shirts, CT Shirts, take a look at what’s out there, considering some careers you mightn’t have thought of: 

Garment technologist

Although this role is slightly unsuspecting, a garment technologist is an essential aspect of any major clothing retailer. This role is largely about quality control and investigative work with regards to the materials that are used to create fashion pieces.

Designing and developing new materials is a day-to-day activity in this role. Through testing new combinations of materials and fibres, people in this role look to find the best type of fabric for what’s to be made. These people work closely with designers, pattern graders and buying teams to find the right type of fabric for what’s to be made. Items such as men’s suits often require the attention of a garment technologist, in order to produce durable, high quality products. 

Enhancing efficiency and find new production line methods is also a part of the role as a garment technologist. This might be to do with price and would involve liaising with buyers and suppliers to negotiate a cost that’s within the budget of the project. Or, they might be looking to make the company more sustainable, and therefore the technologist would investigate the production of the fabrics. 

Key qualities of a potential candidate include an interest in the creative work that goes into clothing production and a strong awareness of textiles and materials. Employers may also expect you to have a degree or major in a related topic, such as garment technology and production, or you may complete a module around this as part of a wider subject. Or, look out for apprenticeship schemes and junior roles, where you can work your way up to this role.

Pattern graders 

Another important part of the fashion industry is pattern grading. They focus on producing scaled-up and scaled-down versions of design patterns, which enables the manufacturers to produce the same patterned piece of clothing in different sizes.

A pattern graders’ typical duties will include; quality checking to ensure that the final pattern is in-line with the original design, tracing the outline of a pattern with scanning equipment and creating sample garments from the pattern to send to prospective buyers. 

A keen interest in design and textiles is necessary, but as well as a flair for creativity, you will also need some mathematical skills. You must be able to take accurate measurements and make calculations in order to scale the patterns correctly. It’s also important that you enjoy being part of a team, so to cooperate with others in the design process, and be able to confidently use IT to work with a digitising table. 

Contrary to belief, a degree isn’t required to become a pattern grader. Instead, you could take the apprenticeship route through college by studying subjects such as fashion or textiles. Or, work your way up from an assistant or pattern cutter to become a grader in a fashion company. 

Fashion illustrators 

A fashion illustrator is responsible for creating fashion drawings and diagrams to depict garments to others. They work closely with designers to create conceptual sketches and illustrations of fashion products. In addition to this, they may produce advertising copy and images for promotional material for print and online coverage. To succeed in this role, you need to be able to use computer design, as well as drawing by hand and have an eye for fashion. 

To secure a role in this field, a degree or major in graphic design or a related subject is often sought after by employers. To get accepted onto a degree of this kind, you will need to have studied art in high school. Alternatively, you can build up a strong portfolio and gain experience in relevant positions to impress prospective employees. 

Fashion journalist

A fashion reporter writes about the latest in clothing, trends and accessories for a range of publications. Fashion journalism has become an increasingly popular way to share new trends and inspiration in recent years. 

Fashion journalists aren’t confined to securing a job for a print publication, despite popular belief — with a range of online magazines out there, there are more opportunities available. You could also go freelance, but work isn’t guaranteed here. As part of the job, you’ll likely be required to travel and meet new people to conduct interviews and get the latest on fashion stories. 

An eye for detail, fluent writing ability and a clear interest in fashion will put you in good stead to becoming a fashion journalist, but there are some educational choices that you can make to better your chances of getting a career in this field. Choosing subjects such as English Studies will further your creative writing skills, for example. There are specialty degrees out there too, such as the Fashion Communications course which will teach you more about the sector and increase your employability. 

Potential fashion journalists should consider compiling a writing portfolio to support any job applications. Start your own fashion blog to write about the latest news in the sector and approach editors for freelance opportunities. Networking is also a great way to get to know about future vacancies. Try to secure unpaid work in relevant positions to build your experience too.

Fashion accountant

Finance and fashion seem like an unsuspecting combination — but fashion accountancy is an emerging profession, allowing recruits to combine their passions.

A variety of roles are available for someone interested in fashion accountancy— from retail accountants to accountants in textiles who ensure that a budget is adhered to when buying materials. Roles like this allow you to be involved with designers and the garment-making process, whilst keeping finances under control. 

Entry requirements for these positions will include a background in mathematics. Start by taking Advanced Maths and progress to studying a financial role at college. This might be Economics, Accounting or another form of Financial Studies. As part of your degree, take up the opportunity to undergo a year in industry — this can give you an insight into the field that you’re going into and give you some invaluable experience to put on your resume.

There are certainly some hidden gems to uncover if you are looking for a role in the fashion industry. It’s all about being proactive and showing potential employers what you’re capable of. Good luck!