Quantcast
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog



Channel Description:

Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

older | 1 | .... | 1831 | 1832 | (Page 1833) | 1834 | 1835 | .... | 1849 | newer

    0 0

    Retirement home haunted house
    Retirement home prove they aren’t afraid of their own mortality with their house of horrors. (Picture: CBC)

    Mariah Carey might have just emerged from her Christmas storage box, signalling the beginning of the festive season, but let’s not forget there are coffins of people dying keep Halloween alive.

    A retirement home in Newfoundland, Canada just led a week-long haunted house to celebrate Halloween.

    While the thought of climbing in a coffin would sound as appealing to a nonagenarian as a mortgage would to a millennial, the Alderwood Estates residents had a wicked sense of humour about their Club Med turns to Club Dead event.

    Retirement home residents in a coffin for Halloween
    One of the undead who had to fight for their place to be in a
    coffin. (Picture: CBC)

    ‘I’m 91 but some days I feel like 90,’ resident, spookstress and absolute legend Teresa Lawrence told CBC.

    The opportunity to be dead for a week was so appealing that many residents volunteered to hop in the coffins. There ended up being more bodies than caskets, so a lottery had to be held.

    Other residents donned costumes like gory makeup and creepy clown kits.

    Their decision to run the epic house of horrors came after their smashing success last Halloween.

    In 2018, the seniors decided to give out sweets to trick-or-treaters, anticipating around 30-40 grandkids. Then 13 times that number showed up.

    So this year they decided to get the community in on it again. Even local business Dalton’s Caskets donated coffins to their haunted house.

    A nearby parlour, Ryan’s Funeral Home, also arranged for a legit hearse to be parked out the front of the home in order to up the spooks. We imagine a few oblivious residents’ relatives might have got a shock when visiting!

    The Club Med turns to Club Dead haunted house enjoyed a great turnout, with each participant basically delivering Oscar-worthy performances by staying in place till the end of the night.

    Apparently, some of the portrayals were a little too convincing. According to Teresa, cheeky kids attempted to see whether she had died or was in fact just asleep.

    ‘They’d pull my hair, pinch my face…shake my shoulders, and I had to still make like I was dead,’ Teresa told CTV.

    Hey, anything for the kids.

    MORE: Mum who drank 40 cups of tea per day gets buried in a Typhoo coffin

    MORE: The 10 best Wagatha Christie costumes of Halloween 2019

    MORE: Scary clowns, devils and the undead brave the cold for a spooky Halloween night out


    Retirement home run a spooky haunted houseRetirement home run a spooky haunted house

    0 0

    harrods new beauty hall in essex
    The only way is Essex (Picture: Harrods)

    Launching in Spring 2020, high-end Knightsbridge-based department store Harrods is expanding its luxe empire for the very first time since it opened in 1849.

    Two new stores are set to open, the first will open at intu Lakeside, Essex, closely followed by a tightly-lipped location in Milton Keynes.

    Dubbed H Beauty, the 23,000sq ft Essex outpost will stock the world’s leading beauty brands – from Chanel to Dior and Huda – and will offer bespoke beauty services, including blow drys (so Essex) and facials.

    Post credit card splurge and treatment, girls and boys can chill with a drink or two at the H beauty coffee-to-cocktail bar. Though there are no pictures of it just yet, but we’re promised it’s all very Insta-friendly. Think swish yellow-clad bar stools surrounded by sexy Art-Deco-style lamps.

    With the decline of the high street retailer firmly in the news, a recent study by NPD found that 80% of prestige beauty sales were in fact from British high street retailers. And your point? Beauty, especially skincare, is in many ways, saving a declining high street.

    Commenting on the expansion, Annalise Fard, Director of Beauty at Harrods said: ‘From the rise of K-Beauty and J-Beauty to personalisation, the ability to express our individuality through beauty today is extraordinary. We are entering an era of true self-expression, empowerment and celebration of identity.’

    With the opening of our new state-of-the-art beauty retail space in Knightsbridge in June 2019 and the 9,000sq ft skincare emporium in October 2019, we are on a mission to show the world the art of what is truly possible in the world of beauty today, Annalise continued’

    H beauty is an opportunity to bring our mission to more beauty lovers across the UK. This investment demonstrates our belief in the strength of our beauty authority and the opportunities within the beauty industry here in the UK, Ford added.

    This isn’t the only venture outside of London for the luxury department store. In addition to the new beauty destinations, Harrods has also unveiled a stand-alone cafe in Henley, Oxfordshire.

    Offering dine in and dine out options, H Café aims to bring a taste of Harrods’ food halls to consumers outside of London dishing out all sorts, including lush deli meats, all day menus and British classics such as the quintessential afternoon tea. All chopped, served and prepped by top notch Harrods chefs, of course.

    Advice: start saving.

    MORE: Harrods has just opened a massive new beauty emporium

    MORE: Selfridges opens a new sweets hall with the largest vegan counter in the UK


    Hbeauty - Store Rendering[2][1][1]-b62cHbeauty - Store Rendering[2][1][1]-b62c

    0 0

    The vibrating sloth pillow
    Introducing your new winter BFF… the vibrating sloth pillow. (Picture: Urban Outfitters)

    If you’re looking to remain indoors and morph into your most slovenly self this chilly season, look to none other than the sloth as your winter muse.

    Research has found that the humble yet beguiling three-toed sloth – not the Sid lookalikes, but the ones with the eyeliner – is able to shut down their metabolism when they get too cold.

    Which is why they’re iconic for moving ever so slowly. Extreme temperatures mean they expend less energy in order to improve their chances of surviving. It’s said to be unusual for mammals to do this without entering into full hibernation-mode, but they’re god damn doing it.

    So, sloth your life away this winter without hibernating and entirely disappearing from society entirely. Should you require help getting into character, look no further than this vibrating sloth pillow.

    Smoko’s ‘incredibly squishy’ pillow obviously looks like a sloth, but has the added functionality of vibration. Simply switch it on via a button on the arm. Bet you’re wishing your arm did that.

    It’s also two pounds of polyester and cotton and it comes with a carry handle and three AA batteries. All for $39 (£31).

    It’s probably not the first slothy piece of décor you’ve seen this year. The creative folks over at Etsy forecast that sloths would *thankfully* replace the unicorn in 2019 as the iconic new motif.

    LA-based Smoko also sells a sloth eye mask, microwavable heated pouch, and USB heated slippers.

    As for the pillow, you’ll get more than a winter’s use of it.

    Use it to prop your decrepit frame upright when you’re on another Netflix binge and you need to spoon in some food. Perhaps hold it close as you dream the night away, thanking your lucky stars that you’re surviving cuffing season unphased and uncoupled.

    And if you’re not much of a cuddler, just keep in mind that it’s a fantastic way to hide what is essentially a large vibrator in plain sight. You’re most welcome x

    MORE: Primark launches adorable Christmas jumpers featuring pugs, sloths and cats

    MORE: Couple transform their spare room into a rainforest for their pet sloth

    MORE: Here are some unbelievably cute sloths to soothe your Sunday


    Vibrating sloth pillowVibrating sloth pillow

    0 0

    A wallet open with cash and cards inside
    Want to save up more than £5,000 in a year? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Saving up a set amount of money in a set amount of time isn’t really that complicated.

    You just put away money every week or month, moving it straight over to your savings account the moment you get paid.

    Simple. Except it’s not, because some of us have no willpower and just *can’t* prioritise the future when we could buy something exciting right now.

    As with so many good habits, the trick is getting rid of all the thinking so you have no space to talk yourself out of doing it.

    Enter a savings plan you found on the internet. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it tells you exactly how much to save each week so you have no excuse not to – you can’t dither or tell yourself you’ll save more next week or that you only really need to put away £20, because it says what you need to do. You just do it and voila.

    This particular savings plan is adapted from an Australian plan by Tried and True Mom Jobs that’s been doing the rounds in a load of Facebook groups.

    52 week saviung plan to help you save more than £5,000 in 52 weeks
    If you start now you’ll have a massive stash in time for your Christmas shopping (Picture: Mylo/ metro.co.uk)

    It encourages you to save a set amount of money each week – sometimes as little as £65, sometimes as much as £170 – that will mean you have £5,260 stashed away by the end of the year.

    You could wait for the new year, sure, or you could get started now so you’ll have that lump sum with enough time to do your 2020 Christmas shopping.

    Print it off or save the image to your phone, then stick to the plan for the next year. We’d recommend setting an alarm on your phone for every Sunday to remind you it’s time to make the deposit so there’s no chance you’ll forget.

    Best of luck and do let us know how you get on.

    Do you have some savings wisdom you’d like to share? Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk

    MORE: How I Save: The 24-year-old blogger and consultant with £75,000 saved

    MORE: The damaging repackaging of debt, from challenger banks to buy-now-pay-later

    MORE: Debt Diaries: I lived in a van after getting into over £30k of debt


    A wallet open with cash and cards insideA wallet open with cash and cards inside

    0 0

    We’ve fallen in love with two rescue cats who travel Japan in their owner’s arms, bike basket and leads.

    Daisuke Nagasawa, 50, and his faithful furry pals Daikichi, 13 and Fuku-Chan, seven, have spent the last three years travelling Japan together.

    They’ve visited all 47 prefectures across Japan, including major landmarks such as Mount Fuji, the cherry blossom gardens of Kyoto and the ‘Floating’ Torri gate in Hiroshima.

    They started travelling together after the rescue cats became frustrated with Daisuke’s long absences during his business trips.

    After several complaints from cat sitters regarding their bad behavior Daisuke – who runs a tech company – devised the idea to take them along with him.

    Daisuke enjoyed travelling with his cats so much that he started the Instagram page @the.travelling.cats to share their journey across Japan with their followers.

    Daikichi and Fuku Chan in Hokkaido prefecture, Japan
    Daikichi and Fuku Chan love to travel around Japan in backpacks and bike baskets (Picture: @the.travelling.cats/SWNS.com)

    The cats are now social media superstars and they love sharing their adventures with their fans.

    Daisuke also shot a collection of videos between June and October this year.

    The footage includes visits to the ancient 500-year-old towers on Itsukushima Island, the floating shrine in Miyajima, Hiroshima as well as a wealth of scenic Japanese countryside

    Daisuke said: ‘2019 has been great for us. So excited to have two kinds of our travel photo books published. We appear on two TV programs and two radio programs so far, and we had never been expected such lucky things would happen before.

    Daikichi and Fuku-Chan in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. See SWNS copy SWBRjapan: Daisuke Nagasawa, 50 and his faithful furry pals Daikichi, 13 and Fuku-Chan, 7 have spent the last three years travelling the land of the rising sun together. The trio have visited all 47 prefectures across Japan including major landmarks like Mount Fuji, the cherry blossom gardens of Kyoto and the ???Floating??? Torri gate in Hiroshima.
    Daikichi and Fuku-Chan in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan (Picture: @the.travelling.cats/SWNS.com)
    Fuku-Chan and Daisuke Nagasawa in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. See SWNS copy SWBRjapan: Daisuke Nagasawa, 50 and his faithful furry pals Daikichi, 13 and Fuku-Chan, 7 have spent the last three years travelling the land of the rising sun together. The trio have visited all 47 prefectures across Japan including major landmarks like Mount Fuji, the cherry blossom gardens of Kyoto and the ???Floating??? Torri gate in Hiroshima.
    In Yamanashi Prefecture (Picture: @the.travelling.cats/SWNS.com)

    ‘Our favourite destination this year was the beach called Kinenhama in Tokunoshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture. It exactly looked like Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

    ‘The cats enjoy walking by themselves even without leashes, but normally we never allow them to do that for the security reasons.

    ‘We’ll start to travel up to the Southernmost islands in Okinawa Pref from the beginning of 2020. And in Summer the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo, so we’d like to report the best sightseeing sports for visitors in Tokyo area.’

    The footage also shows the reunion of tabby Daikichi and his rescuer Kaiko at Lake Akan in Hokkadio.

    Daikichi and Fuku-Chan in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. See SWNS copy SWBRjapan: Daisuke Nagasawa, 50 and his faithful furry pals Daikichi, 13 and Fuku-Chan, 7 have spent the last three years travelling the land of the rising sun together. The trio have visited all 47 prefectures across Japan including major landmarks like Mount Fuji, the cherry blossom gardens of Kyoto and the ???Floating??? Torri gate in Hiroshima.
    In Hyogo Prefecture (Picture: @the.travelling.cats/SWNS.com)

    Although seeing her for the first time in a decade Daikichi recognises Kaiko instantly and lies down next to her for head scratches and belly rubs.

    Regarding his kitty’s long over due reunion with his rescuer Daisuke said: ‘Daikichi was very happy to see Kaiko again as you see in the video. Cats never forget their benefactors.

    ‘She found Dakichi ten years ago and saved him from an extremely cold winter season in Hokkadio.’

    MORE: Groom surprises bride with their two-legged cat on their wedding day and her reaction is priceless

    MORE: Well-meaning couple thought they’d rescued friend’s missing cat – ended up accidentally ‘stealing’ someone else’s


    PRI_94251016PRI_94251016

    0 0

    Unhappy couple with selective hearing
    Ever feel like your partner doesn’t really hear you?(Picture: Getty)

    ‘I’m thinking we give up drinking this month. What do you think?’

    Silence.

    ‘Also, not sure if you remembered but it’s my mum’s birthday tomorrow. Will you make sure to phone her?’

    Silence.

    ‘I am legit having it off with your best friend. Tonight.’

    ‘Wait, what?!’

    If you’ve ever had to resort to shock tactics just to get your partner to listen up, you might not be the only one. According to a new poll, seven out of 10 Brits think their partner has ‘selective hearing’.

    The research, conducted by Scrivens Hearing Care via OnePoll, also found that men use selective hearing more than women.

    On average, men use selective hearing seven times a week and women do it six times. This might not seem like a huge difference, but over a year that adds up to many half-finished chats.

    While some of you might be utterly convinced that your lover is simply tuning you out, it might be worth considering if they have an undiagnosed hearing problem.

    More than half of respondents revealed they were worried their partner’s selective hearing was actually a result of hearing difficulties.

    The study, part of Hearing Awareness Month, is aimed at encouraging more people to have a hearing test.

    ‘Most of us will have experienced ‘selective hearing’ – either being the accused or the accuser,’ said Kirran Saimbi, senior hearing aid audiologist at Scrivens.

    ‘But joking aside, ‘selective hearing’ could be a sign of hearing loss.

    ‘Left ignored, hearing loss can lead to isolation, depression and there is evidence of a link with dementia.’

    Almost 40% of respondents admitted that they ‘know with certainty’ their partner struggles to hear.

    Kirran says that regular hearing checks are key.

    The study also found that a third of people weren’t aware that hearing tests and NHS hearing care services are available free of charge in many high street locations.

    In the meantime, you can head to Scrivens to take the online hearing check challenge.

    MORE: 90 year olds in retirement home run a haunted house for Halloween

    MORE: You’re gonna need this vibrating sloth pillow to survive the winter

    MORE: Harrods is opening a new beauty store in Essex


    I can't believe we're fighting about this again...I can't believe we're fighting about this again...

    0 0

    Things are getting hot at Fortnums at the Royal Exchange (Picture: Andrew Meredith)

    Christmas is coming, and let’s face it, it’s probably the worst time throughout the year to be single. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s wet, it’s damp – it’s just plain rancid.

    To warm it up and save yourself from spending the rest of your nights crying into your pillow here’s a few hot date night spots to impress the knockout who just slid into your DMs.

    Thank us later, or better yet, raise a glass to us at your wedding reception.

    Kerridge’s Bar and Grill at the Corinthia 

    Hollywood’s A-Listers often stay here, so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for your future hubby or wife to be. Draped in shades of sexy greens, walls stocked with abstract art and a bar with a serious plant problem, it’s a sophisticated and very British choice to peruse. The food is seriously good (go for the fish and chips), but the waiters even tastier.

    Kerridge’s Bar and Grill at the Corinthia is one of London’s best spots to peruse (Picture: Corinthia Hotels)

    Disrepute

    We’re not sure if its all the velvet and uber chic mirrors, but there’s something about Disrepute that just screams naughtiness. Plush, crushed soft-to-the-touch velvet furniture and hole in the wall booths are perfect for perusing, and the ridiculously strong cocktails are bound to get you and your plus one sloshed, and quickly. A great ice breaker if you ask us.

    Bar American at Brasserie Zedel

    France basically invented romance and wrote the book of love, so plonk your tushes here to ignite the most fierce night of romance the world has ever seen. The menu is cheap (should things go horribly wrong), the decor is moody and everything on offer is simple, yet sophisticated at heart. Don Draper would approve.

    Punch Room at the London EDITION

    Looking for a potion to make your next love go topsy turvy? Go here. The Punch Room at the London EDITION will do everything in their power to help you put a ring on it. Fashionable to a T, now is the time to grab a seat under the watchful stare of the glowing embers of the bar’s open fire and down a 57 Shades of Grey number (think vodka). The retro soul tracks are pretty bloody good too.

    A.O.K.

    Gorgeous AF: probably the best way to describe this little Dorset Street institution. Complete with blossom tree and fabulous tree-lined wallpaper, A.O.K. is the definition of an entire night spent chatting, drinking and good eats. A good date night then? Yes. Spoiler: the hot chocolate pudding is better than sex.

    A.O.K. Restaurant London has the sexiest puddings in town (Picture: AOK Restaurants London)

    The Connaught Bar

    It’s the world’s second best bar, so yes peeps, it’s going to wow whoever you take in there. Headed up by the cooler than cool Director of Mixology, Ago Perrone, the martini trolley is where it’s at. More perfect than 007’s ripped abs, these perfectly stirred bad boys will set all the hormones alight. Bonus is that it’s lodged inside a hotel, so you can continue the party upstairs.

    Doodle Bar

    There are two types of dater: the ones who like to flirt at a table and the ones who just like to plain show off. Doodle Bar is perfect for the latter. If you’re hiding some pretty top notch art skills, take your lover to be to this gaff in Bermondsey. Arm yourself with chalk and confess your love to them on the chalkboards. Result? You’ll either woo or seriously creep them out. Good luck either way.

    Clos Maggiore

    So romantic it’s literally been voted one of the most romantic restaurants in the world numerous times. Set under a faux woodland crowned by the magical glow of fairy lights, provencal-inspired cuisines and a pre-dinner theatre menu designed to impress the likes of Eros, will get all the juices flowing. Enjoy.

    One of the world’s most romantic restaurants, Clos Maggiore (Picture: Clos Maggiore)

    Fortnums at the Royal Exchange

    There’s live music and it’s one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London, so it’s bound to impress. The food is just as good as the interiors, too. Start with the oysters and lobster (FYI, it’s a natural aphrodisiac) and finish off with a flambe dessert for two. Can it get any more romantic than that? We don’t think so.

    Bloomsbury Club Bar

    Dreamy inside and out, the Bloomsbury Club and Bar has Edward Cullen-esque sexy vamp-style date written all over it. Clad with wood, fairy lights and vines, jazz beats play in the background as you get cosy with your next Mr or Mrs right. Lovely cocktails, too.

    Cora Pearl

    Your date will love you forever after you’ve put one of Cora’s chips in their mouths. Don’t take our word for it though. Food critic Giles Coren proclaimed: ‘these chips, my friend, are the dish of the year. Dish of the decade. Dish of the effing century.’ Named after a notorious English courtesan, it’s low-lit and atmospheric: just the place for a midweek date.

    MORE: How to deal with dating someone who works out more than you

    MORE: 8 things only London men know about dating


    DSC_1289Andrew Meredith-86d6DSC_1289Andrew Meredith-86d6

    0 0

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    Such a stunning couple (Picture: Ben Jamieson / SWNS)

    Craig Williams and Kirsty Ward had been saving up for two years for their luxury £10,000 ceremony, and were almost ready to welcome their 25 guests.

    It was set to take place in Cyprus on October 23, with tickets booked through tour operator Thomas Cook.

    The pair had met 15 years earlier when they were introduced through a mutual friend, and they went from strength from strength, even having three children together.

    Craig, a car valeter, popped the question in Whitby in May 2017 and they immediately set about planning their dream day in the sun.

    They picked out the King Evelthon Beach Hotel and Resort in Cyprus and had booked hair and makeup packages and a bouncy castle for the children to play on after the service.

    Kirsty, 41, said: ‘We wanted to get married abroad. As soon as I saw the King Evelthon hotel in the brochure I fell in love with it.

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    Kirsty and Craig have been together for 15 years (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘We did a full two years’ planning and had paid deposits to businesses for things like hair and make up. The package for the wedding was £5,500 but we paid at least £10,000 for everything.’

    When the couple, from Sheffield, saw the news that Thomas Cook had collapsed, they were just three weeks away from heading to Cypriot shores for the big day.

    Customer service adviser Kirsty, said: ‘I felt sick when I heard the news about Thomas Cook. It was such a sinking feeling. We were just gutted.’

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    Craig with the couple’s children – Ruby, Grace & Alexander (Picture: SWNS)

    The devastated pair looked to see how they could be refunded for the flights and hotel, but knew that they’d lost the money they’d spent on the rest of the wedding extras. It also transpired that it’d be a while before they got any sort of refund at all from Thomas Cook.

    The next day, they got an incredible offer that turned everything around.

    The White Hart Hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, offered them a free package worth over £3,000 including a three-course wedding breakfast and drinks, room hire, accommodation and a DJ.

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    Simon stepped in (Picture: Ben Jamieson / SWNS)

    Hotel owner Simon Cotton also rallied other firms around, and the couple were offered catering, hair and make-up, flowers and entertainment for their big day worth £7,000 – all free of charge.

    ‘Simon contacted us the next day and offered to put the wedding on for us and I was taken aback,’ said Kirsty.

    ‘It has been completely manic, it has all happened so fast.’

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    The day they’d waited for (Picture: Ben Jamieson / SWNS)

    They managed to get a date just a week after they’d originally planned, and tied the knot in the Grade II listed hotel.

    Craig and Kirsty were welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate, councillor Stuart Martin and his wife April, who presented the couple with a magnum of Champagne to help kick off their party in style.

    Bride Kirsty also had her hair and makeup done for free and arrived at the venue in a 1930’s style vintage Beauford Tourer.

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    A vintage car company donated the transport (Picture: Ben Jamieson / SWNS)

    Kirsty added: ‘One minute we’re counting the cost of losing our wedding day and the next thing, we’re in the middle of organising something bigger and better than it was originally going to be.

    ‘It’s just amazing and Craig and I can’t believe how lucky we are. We will be forever grateful to all the people who’ve been so thoughtful and kind-hearted.’

    Craig, 36, said: ‘I guess sometimes things happen for a reason, but we had no idea upon hearing the bad news that we’d end up a few weeks later with more than we had originally planned.’

    Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued as businesses step in
    Craig and the lads (Picture: Ben Jamieson / SWNS)

    The man with the plan, Simon Cotton, managing director for HRH Group, which owns the White Hart, said that the story tugged at his heartstrings and he had to step in.

    He said: ‘I’m also in the middle of planning my own wedding for next year and I really felt for this couple who’d spent all this time planning and saving up to then have it all taken away at the last minute and I couldn’t help but think we must try to do something.

    ‘What started as an offer to provide the wedding venue and wedding breakfast and drinks turned into a wedding far bigger and with so much more than the couple had originally planned or could afford.’

    What’s for you won’t go by you, and it’s clear this couple had a very special day due to these random acts of kindness.

    MORE: The hottest date night spots in London right now

    MORE: If you think your partner has selective hearing, you’re not alone


    0 0

    **ILLUSTRATION AMEND** It might be awkward, but it's vital for couples to discuss money (Abby)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If someone you love is struggling financially, your first instinct might be to offer them money.

    But getting yourself into debt isn’t going to help anyone.

    There are lots of things you can do to support someone who is debt without giving them any cash.

    As well as the issue of not putting yourself under financial pressure, sometimes helping them deal with the debt and change how they ended up there in the first place is much more beneficial.

    Jonny* is currently in the process of paying back a debt which was £20,000 at the highest.

    He explains that although accepting money would mean he could pay the debt off faster, the process is also about learning how to handle money better in the future.

    He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I feel like I’ve gotten myself into this and I want to get myself out of it. It is a problem I have caused.

    ‘If someone handed me the money, I would feel I hadn’t earned it and I’d be more likely to fall into it again.’

    How to spot if someone is in debt

    If your partner, family member or friend has been open about their debt, you can offer emotional support and ensure that you are sensitive about the issue.

    But if they aren’t talking about it but you’ve noticed something is wrong, you could be the first step in getting them to understand they need to get help.

    According to the government-backed Money Advice Service, there are some signs to watch out for if you are concerned someone is in debt:

    • They have been in debt in the past.
    • They have had a recent life event, such as an event that has resulted in a loss of income or higher spending, for example, having a baby, being made redundant, illness, divorce or a death in the family.
    • They are living beyond their means or overspending, for example, they always seem to have new clothes or gadgets or they buy drinks for everyone at the pub.
    • They seem anxious, withdrawn or depressed.
    • They may seem more secretive and avoid talking about finances.
    • They have changed their spending habits – either reducing spending (e.g. going on fewer holidays or eating out less) or overspending (spending without a plan for repayment, for example, putting luxury items on credit).
    • They seem tired or are having trouble sleeping.
    • Their weight has changed suddenly.

    How can you help someone who is in debt

    Illustration of woman and man sharing a cuppa and a hug
    Be supportive (Illustration: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Just listen to what they have to say

    There is a lot of shame around debt and having someone just to talk to can be a huge help. Talking about what has happened is the first step in tackling debt.

    Encourage them to talk to a professional

    Although they might start by opening up to you, debt can be complicated and difficult to deal with. It’s important to get them to understand that they need professional support.

    This could be from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Money Advice Service or a debt charity. Help them search online for what works for them, read through and discuss what is available. If they are going along to a meeting about their debt, ask if they want you to come with them for support.

    Help them write out a budget

    You can create a plan with them and help them stick to it. While nagging constantly might not be useful, gentle reminders of what they can and can’t afford can help to keep them on track.

    Jonny* adds that chatting about what he’s spending money on has helped him work through his debt.

    He said: ‘My girlfriend gently dissuading me from spending on things has helped. She’ll ask “do you really want this?” or “do you need this right now?”.

    ‘It’s made me realise that I have poor impulse control when it comes to spending and helped me keep that in check.’

    Think about their budget when you are making plans

    If you’ve written out a budget, with them and you know they only have £20 a week for socialising, it’s not a good idea to ask them to come with you to an expensive bar for cocktails.

    Look up things that you can do together for free or at a low cost. If you’re planning to go out for dinner, look for offers that mean they can enjoy themselves without ignoring their budget.

    Don’t leave them out of things just because you know they don’t have much money. It’s important they don’t feel isolated.

    Jennifer’s* boyfriend is currently paying off £15,000 of debt and although it can be difficult, she’s been able to help him throughout the process.

    ‘It can be upsetting because we can’t do things like go on holiday all the time but we have adapted,’ she says. ‘We do lots of nice nights in, instead of spending a little more on some nice food we can cook at home.

    ‘I also look for two for one dinner deals so I can pay and he gets it for free or we split the cost and it’s much cheaper. We do two-for-one days out with vouchers too or find free museums.

    ‘I know that if he cuts back now, he will pay off his debt in the next year or two and then we have the rest of our lives for fancy restaurants. I would rather that than have this hanging over us for longer.’

    Be sensitive

    If your loved one doesn’t want everyone to know about the debt, make sure you respect that. Try not to rub expensive new purchases in their face or make them feel like they have missed out on something they can’t afford.

    *Names have been changed.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     

    MORE: The damaging repackaging of debt, from challenger banks to buy-now-pay-later

    MORE: Debt Diaries: I lived in a van after getting into over £30k of debt


    **ILLUSTRATION AMEND** It might be awkward, but it's vital for couples to discuss money (Abby)**ILLUSTRATION AMEND** It might be awkward, but it's vital for couples to discuss money (Abby)

    0 0

    ‘I didn’t take out a loan for my masters because it’s haram so I planned to save up my salary to pay it off,’ explains Muslim writer Rabbil.

    ‘It didn’t go well because of rent and bills. I was just struggling already. My family had to step in which I was embarrassed by.’

    Like Rabbil, many Muslims hoping to get an education face a dilemma – to take out or not to take out a student loan.

    You might not be aware but for Muslims, interest is haram (forbidden). Any loans that require repayment with interest added on are not permissible.

    This is because in Islam money has no intrinsic value – it’s just a medium of exchange. That means Muslims have to work for money to attach its value.

    Simply lending and borrowing money doesn’t count as ‘work’. So taking out a loan and incurring interest on it is considered impermissible – because the bank (or person lending) hasn’t ‘worked’ to earn extra payment.

    The limitations put on borrowing can stop students from pursuing university altogether.

    Those who still choose to study via halal means, such as borrowing money from their loved ones, can end up in large amounts of debt.

    How do Islamic banks make money then if they don't charge interest?

    You might wonder how Islamic banks ever many profits. To ‘earn’ its profits, banks offer a service, providing accounts that offer profit/loss.

    The bank, in turn, purchases assets with your money, helping it to generate money (for mortgages, for example, the bank buys the property and then leases it back to you).

    The concept of halal banking is similar to ethical banking and runs on the grounds of equitable distribution and trading.

    For teacher Faisa, despite knowing the difficulties of self-funding her degree, going against Islamic principles was not an option.

    ‘I knew from early on that I didn’t want to take a loan,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘When the £9,000 fees were announced during my second year of the sixth form, I thought “That’s it. University isn’t for me”.

    ‘I believe that interest is haram and I wasn’t willing to listen to anything else. That didn’t go well with my parents who were adamant that I had the higher education they never had.’

    As a necessity, Faisa applied for a student loan to cover her first-year fees and also got a maintenance grant which did not need to be paid back.

    She didn’t apply for the maintenance loan, however, as it needs to be paid back with interest.

    ‘In second year, I basically saved every penny of the grant (plus I was entitled to a university grant too),’ she explains.

    ‘I worked as a private tutor, and luckily had some financial help from the Danish government (since I’m a citizen and they pay for you to go university).

    ‘I managed to make up almost all of the fees for second and third year this way but I’m still in debt.’

    Having to worry about paying these fees without relying on a loans company negatively affected her quality of life.

    ‘It was really difficult but I realise I’m in a lot less debt than many of my peers,’ Faisa tells us. ‘Also, I was constantly broke as a student and never, ever did anything remotely fun.

    ‘I was always felt too guilty if I spent any money on myself.’

    While she doesn’t have to pay back the Danish government, Faisa is still indebted to the Student Loans Company for her first year.

    How do Muslims manage to pay for university?

    With rising tuition fees, the options are limited for Muslims who don’t want to use the Student Loans Company.

    They may try to lower costs by applying for fee waivers, scholarships, hardship schemes, apprenticeships, bursaries, or zakat (charity funds).

    Many attempt to raise the money themselves whether by a part-time job or full-time employment with the hopes of raising enough to eventually do a degree.

    Others rely on family and loved ones to help pay their way.

    The UK government is working on offering a Sharia-compliant student loan where students pay charitable contributions as payment rather than interest on what they borrow.

    As such, there is no current system in place to stop Muslim students avoiding university because of religious reasons.

    At the moment, the UK government doesn’t offer a system where a halal student loan can be taken out.

    A halal student loan system could allow Muslim students to take out a loan but make charitable contributions rather than paying interest back.

    While that’s being discussed, some Muslims are missing out. Like Faisa, Masuda also had to weigh her options when it came to halal financing. She’d planned to raise the money needed to cover her tuition fees.

    ‘I tried but ultimately failed,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘I took a gap year [to raise money] but I got so comfortable in working I didn’t return.

    ‘However, I do have hopes and plans to go one day. I now work at a school and I do speech and language however to progress further I need that degree so the plan is to go back.’

    She’s not sure how she’s going to afford university when the time comes but doesn’t plan on taking out a non-Sharia-compliant loan. She’s hoping that some help will be available to her.

    Without Sharia-compliant loans, Muslim students often have to plan meticulously, stashing away their time and money for years to afford an education.

    Technological officer Imad tells us: ‘I did some calculations and modelled it on Excel. I researched and estimated what my income would be based on receiving a maintenance grant, a yearly grant from King’s College and working part-time. I also estimated my outgoings which were inevitably less due to the choice to live at home and stay in London to study.

    ‘Those were my initial calculations which allowed me to break even.

    ‘Beyond that point, I knew having a part-time job along and hopefully securing one or two internships would provide me with the extra income that I could use for my outgoings outside of the core fees.’

    He adds that it was stressful having to live scrupulously and scrape up enough to pay each installment in time.

    Despite the pressure, he is unmoving in his position on accepting loans.

    ‘My cultural upbringing along with religious teachings strongly recommended the avoidance of debt,’ says Imad.

    Illustration of three Muslim women
    Some Muslims end up taking out a loan as paying £27k upfront isn’t feasible (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    While some believe that student loans are impermissible, others say that ‘necessity legalises the prohibited’. In other words, it’s unlikely that a person will be able to afford extortionate tuition fees for an education that is required for many jobs.

    Others also argue that the student loan is unlike any other and doesn’t go against riba (or usury – lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest).

    The conditions of a student loan – that it’s written off after 30 years, cancelled in case of debt and disability and paid only after earning £21,000 a year – make it different to others, say some.

    All these things may indicate that such loans are not a standard loan, which is shunned by Islamic jurists and therefore may be allowed.

    While the conversation is happening, many Muslims will agree that a government-led system would make the decision a lot easier to make.

    Otherwise many bright followers of the Islamic faith will be prevented from accomplishing their educational goals.

    MORE: British Muslims launch first ever pride festival

    MORE: Muslims share their worst Muzmatch and Minder dating stories

    MORE: ‘Oppressed people understand oppressed people’: Muslim woman marries off queer couples


    DEBT MONTH: 'My halal student debt' (or the like)DEBT MONTH: 'My halal student debt' (or the like)

    0 0

    Welcome to You Don’t Look Sick, our weekly series about people living with invisible illnesses.

    Each week, we discuss what it’s like being diagnosed with a hidden condition and how people cope with the judgement that comes when people can’t see your disability.

    Fliss Mackay, 39, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, lives with chronic bowel problems, which has resulted in osteoporosis.

    She started experiencing severe constipation and pain at the age of 18 and after trips back and forth to her doctor, she was eventually diagnosed with a lazy bowel, meaning it digests food much more slowly.

    She had three surgeries and then a fourth one led doctors to discover that her bowel had collapsed.

    Throughout her twenties, the pain continued and as she struggled to eat anything, Fliss was very underweight.

    Her weight caused other problems including osteoporosis and her periods stopped around 12 years ago.

    Five years ago, her pain got worse and she went back to her doctor but was told it was just something she had to live with.

    In 2014, she suddenly collapsed in pain and was rushed to the hospital by a friend, where they carried out emergency surgery.

    Fliss’ bowel had twisted because of the scar tissue from previous surgeries, causing parts of her bowel to die.

    You Don't Look Sick - Fliss Mackay Picture: Charlie Hedley for Metro.co.uk
    Fliss has lived with complex bowel problems since she was a teenager (Picture: Charlie Hedley for Metro.co.uk)

    She had most of her small intestine, appendix and some of her large intestine removed.

    Her doctors told her that she was hours from death and she spent two weeks in the hospital recovering.

    The hairdresser says: ‘I got rushed to hospital. My bowel had basically burst inside me and part of it had died.

    ‘The surgeons said they had no idea how I was still alive because so much was just poisoned.

    ‘It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me but it’s brought me to where I am now.’’

    Since then, her bowel problems have got worse and she also lives with nerve pain in her legs, caused by the emergency.

    Felicity Mackay in hospital
    Fliss in hospital (Picture: Fliss Mackay)

    Now, after over 20 years of living with these issues, she has tried various things to try to manage the main and discomfort.

    For Fliss, one of the biggest things that has helped is changing her diet. After her time in hospital, she started following a plant-based diet and as she researched it further, she committed to a fully vegan diet.

    She took it further, following a raw diet for a few months and now follows a mainly whole food vegan diet, which means she only eats unrefined and unprocessed foods, focusing mainly on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

    ‘My diet has made a huge difference. I have always had a healthy diet and only ate chicken and fish before but even just cutting that out and following this diet has helped me be able to eat more.’

    Fliss in a bikini with a star on her stomach
    Fliss has had multiple operations on her bowel (Picture: Fliss Mackay)

    At the minute, Fliss’ bowel muscles are deteriorating and she could face getting an ileostomy bag in the future.

    She is currently trialling an irrigation system where she ashing her bowel out herself every morning.

    She says: ‘I have wanted a bag for quite a few years now but I am frightened about having more surgery.

    ‘The thought of going through recovery is really difficult for me.

    ‘I have been speaking to people on lots of support groups with an ileostomy bag and I am feeling better about it.

    Fliss using a tens machine
    Fliss uses a Tens machine to help with her pain (Picture: Fliss Mackay)

    ‘We need to wait three months to see if the irrigation system is something I can do long term. I hate doing it because it is disgusting and it hurts but I will do it if it means I don’t have to have more surgery.

    ‘Some days it makes a difference and other days it doesn’t.’

    Fliss has lived with her problems for many years and in that time, she has faced judgement for using disabled bathrooms when she urgently needs the bathroom.

    Felicity Mackay
    Fliss says a vegan diet has helped her condition (Picture: Fliss Mackay)

    She explains: ‘A few months after my surgery, I flew down to Bristol and when I was getting on the plane, I really urgently needed to go to the toilet.

    ‘I was rushing past someone and she said: “I don’t know why you are rushing – we are all going in the same direction.

    ‘I was embarrassed but I just kept going. When I came out she was waiting to go in.

    ‘I just turned and said: “I’m sorry I walked past you so fast but I had life-saving surgery and I really needed the toilet so sorry if that upset you.”

    ‘I could see she just shrivelled into a ball but I just washed my hands and left. I was so glad I tackled it like that.’

    Living with these problems has also impacted her mental health and Fliss has various things in place to help her cope when she is struggling.

    ‘I do yoga every morning,’ she explains. ‘Sometimes it doesn’t help much with the pain but it just makes me feel better when I am doing them. That really helps me mentally.

    Fliss doing yoga in her home
    Fliss says yoga helps her cope with her condition (Picture: Charlie Hedley for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘I am riddled with anxiety from the minute I wake up because I am worried about what is going on with my body.

    ‘Being in work and around my clients really helps. I do have my moments where I am really sick of it but you just have to get on with it as much as you can.

    ‘I have got used to managing. I do have support from family and friends. They have been amazing throughout but it is hard for them to understand this if they have not experienced something like it.

    ‘I have started going to pain management groups but one of the best things for me has been talking about my problems on social media.

    ‘I have a YouTube channel where I discuss my journey and that has been a massive comfort.

    ‘I just want to be more open about chronic illness and bowel problems. Many people need to be more aware of their choice of words and actions. People just don’t get how difficult it is living with something like this.’

    How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick

    You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.

    If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email youdontlooksick@metro.co.uk.

    You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘You might think I look better but I still feel horrible every day’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘Crohn’s is more than just lots of trips to the toilet’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I don’t have diabetes because of my diet. It’s an autoimmune disease’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My doctor told me to get over my chronic illness’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘Stop telling me yoga, turmeric or CBD oil are going to magically cure my chronic illness’


    You Don't Look Sick - Fliss MackayYou Don't Look Sick - Fliss Mackay

    0 0

    Green house
    Can’t miss this house (Picture: Nelson Alexander)

    Londoners know all too well the heartache of not having a garden in flats we pay astronomical amounts for.

    That means no barbecues, no quickie smoke, or even growing plant babies we love (and not having to squeeze them into a tiny balcony). But one house in Australia has found a quirky way to add some greenery.

    Dubbed the ‘grass house’ this Melbourne home has shrubs adorned all over its exterior.

    Owners can enjoy the wall garden that surrounds the facade of the house without having to lean out of their windows trying to water it.

    The nature-filled wall is attached to an automated system connected to water tanks.

    And the inside of the property is just as striking. The stunning two-bedroom house boasts plenty of natural light, geometrical walls, and a very modern bathroom.

    All that sunlight certainly makes growing indoor plants pretty easy too as the windows aren’t obscured despite the external greenery.

    Living room area with big windows
    The house boasts plenty of outdoor light (Picture: Nelson Alexander)
    Inside of green house
    No flat ceilings here (Picture: Nelson Alexander)

    The property in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy was formerly a garage before it was subdivided off.

    The owner then enlisted the help of architect David Luck who turned it into the green haven it is now.

    Estate agent James Pilliner said: ‘The owner wanted something contemporary and easy to live in. This was put forward and it came out really well.’

    The oversized bedrooms are on the bottom floor with an ensuite tiled bathroom that boasts a rainforest-style shower.

    If you head upstairs you’ll find an open-plan living room with vaulted ceilings next to the kitchen which has stainless steel benchtops.

    Despite the property being a tiny 46sqm block, the architect has fitted in a discreet laundry area and a private undercover terrace.

    Bedroom
    Green on the outside, green on the inside (Picture: Nelson Alexander)

    Australian folks looking for a green new home can get their hands on the stuff via an auction.

    The home, built five years ago, is expected to attract first-time buyers due to its eco properties.

    It is expected to fetch $800-850,000 (£423,410.53) at auction on 23 November.

    MORE: Three-bedroom house in Birmingham goes on sale at auction with a starting price of £1

    MORE: Boy’s pet pig Millhouse will be used to feed the poor after he auctioned it off for charity

    MORE: ‘House of horrors’ that went on the market for £1 sells for £180,000


    7632449 The hairiest home in Melbourne7632449 The hairiest home in Melbourne

    0 0

    Picture of suitcase in front of snowy mountain
    The future of travel is a 100% sustainable suitcase (Picture Credit: Phoenx)

    In case you haven’t noticed, sustainability is big right now. Why? Look around you. Forests are burning, ice caps are melting, bees are in decline and some world leaders (looking at you, Mr Trump) refuse to acknowledge that climate change is even a “thing”.

    As the world changes, the way we travel does too. More and more pressure is being put on the flying industry to change its ways.

    Whether it be designing new planes that use less fuel, charging for on-board meals, or simply just educating travellers to be more eco-savvy, environmental warnings are beginning to have an impact.

    With consumers becoming more eco-conscious, smaller businesses have tapped into the trend.

    One of them is Phoenx, a London start-up which has created a new suitcase that is 100% sustainable.

    The shell, which comes in a variety of colours, is made from 100% recycled plastic and the lining has been crafted out of recycled fishing lines, fabric scraps and old unloved carpets that were once destined for landfill.

    Suitcase made out of recycled material
    It looks trendy too (Picture Credit: Phoenx)

    In a nutshell, the stylish cases transform waste into an ethical and durable new form.

    ‘Phoenx is not just about the present but is made to accompany you in your future adventures,’ says Francesco Salom, Co-Founder & CEO.

    ‘When you feel it is time to renew it, you can send it back to us and choose between having it restyled by our creative design team.’

    ‘It’s a new level of commitment and a rethinking of the duty makers owe consumers,’ Salom continued .

    This renewal process is owning to the suitcase’s modular lego-like construction. Everything falls into place like a flat-pack from Ikea, which means the suitcase components can easily be removed, repaired or replaced with the use of a single tool. Goodbye warranty.

    Other nifty features to shout about include an easy to adjust divider – so nothing moves whilst you are up in the air – a vacuum-sealed laundry bag and an ultra-thin removable backpack.

    Though not currently available to buy, the company is generating buzz on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

    Cheers to sustainable carry on.

    MORE: 11 easy changes you can make to be a more sustainable human

    MORE: Eco-tourism: How to have a sustainable city break

    MORE: How to become a more sustainable parent


    phoenx-red-sand-snow-35f7phoenx-red-sand-snow-35f7

    0 0

    Retirement home residents asking for trick or treaters
    Someone’s got to eat all that candy (Picture: Facebook @heartisCL)

    How many sweets do you stock up on every Halloween? A couple of multi-pack goodies maybe? A few chocolate bars?

    Well, this retirement home sees your offerings and raises you a whole truckload of candy.

    For the first time, Heartis Senior Living in Texas opened its doors for trick or treaters on the spookiest day of the year.

    And they did it in sweet, sweet style.

    Folks at the retirement home asked the community to donate sweets and chocolates ahead of the big night.

    Not only that, they threw a pretty big bash on All Hallows Eve, offering a bouncy castle, hay ride, games, food and, of course, lots of candy.

    While most visitor days are pretty quiet, on this night, Heartis Senior Living saw 5,000 visitors.

    And everyone had a whale of a time (probably hyped on sugar).

    Old people's home asking for people to donate candy via signs
    And donate they did (Picture: Facebook @heartisCL)

    Residents in the town of Webster really came through for the senior residents who sent a call-out to the town.

    Holding up a sign to be posted on Facebook, they wrote: ‘We miss giving candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

    ‘Please help us reach our goal of collecting enough candy to invite the community to our home for a safe and fun place to trick-or-treat. Thank you.’

    Old man in front of lots of candy
    We suspect he’s been eating some of it (Picture: Facebook @heartisCL)

    Over the next few weeks, confectionary began to be delivered in their droves.

    The retirement home posted an update online saying: ‘Thank you to all of our neighbors for taking a moment to donate candy to our residents! Just look at all of the candy!

    ‘Our residents are excited and we can’t wait to host a community trick or treat event for our neighborhood kids!’

    When kids arrived in their creepiest and funniest costumes, the residents couldn’t get enough.

    They chatted, laughed and shared stories (and candy) with one another. The residents had such a ball, staff at Heartis want to make it an annual event.

    Even users on Facebook backed the idea, saying: ‘This is awesome for the residents. It’s sad how some come to stay and family never visit them.’

    Hopefully this becomes a tradition.

    MORE: 90 year olds in retirement home run a haunted house for Halloween

    MORE: Mum with months left to live marries partner in ‘dream’ Halloween wedding

    MORE: The 10 best Wagatha Christie costumes of Halloween 2019


    PRI_94557074PRI_94557074

    0 0

    Man next to pasta he made
    This man made a Twitter account dedicated to his match (Picture: Andrew Wang)

    What’s the sweetest thing an online dating match has done for you? Oh, he helped you with tech problems? He had pizza delivered to your house?

    But did he make a whole social media account dedicated to you though? No, that’s not creepy, it’s quite sweet… if you don’t think too much about it.

    One man just couldn’t send his Tinder match pictures of his pasta (not a euphemism) on the app so he resorted to making a whole Twitter for her.

    Andrew Wang wanted to impress his date Tilly and show off his culinary skills. So he created an account named Tortelinis for Tilly (alliteration, we stan).

    The titular Tilly was impressed and shared Andrew’s six-tweet pasta-centric profile.

    She wrote: ‘This sweet man ….. made a Twitter account to show me his pasta because you can’t send pictures on Tinder’.

    Her tweet went viral, racking up 400,000 likes. The Twitter admins were also impressed, saying: ‘Rooting for you and Pasta Man’.

    Of course, we had to catch up with Pasta Man, also known as Andrew, and why Tilly stood out for him.

    Man holding dough
    Step one: ‘Acquire the dough. Establish rapport with the dough’ (Picture: Andrew Wang)

    In a six-part thread, Andrew shared how to make tortellini – a ring-shaped pasta (sometimes called belly button because of their shape) usually stuffed with a mix of meat, cheese, egg, and nutmeg.

    The first step, Andrew explains, is to ‘acquire the dough’. From there, he says, you have to ‘establish a rapport with the dough,’ then ‘betray the dough, build a “tortellini army,”’ and then ‘enjoy the fruits of your labor.’

    Tortellini in the making
    ‘Betray the dough, build a tortellini army’ (Picture: Andrew Wang)

    The last, most important step, he adds, is ‘to win her heart’.

    Andrew explained to Metro.co.uk how the whole thing came to be: ‘I made this account because you can’t send photos on Tinder for obvious reasons, but I prefer solicited noodles to unsolicited nudes.’

    We asked Andrew what motivated him to make the account. He said: ‘She just seemed like she had a good sense of humor, and I wanted to make her smile.’

    Over on Tilly’s account, she asked people to follow her too as many in their droves rushed to follow Andrew.

    Tortellini in a dish
    ‘Enjoy the fruits of your labour’ (Picture: Andrew Wang)

    She wrote: ‘if ur gonna follow his account follow mine, damn, we a duo now’. So it’s safe to say they might be getting serious.

    We asked Andrew to update us on their relationship. But they’re keeping schtum for now.

    Probably busy eating tortellini.

    MORE: Tinder man asks cancer survivor with double mastectomy if she has ‘big t*ts’

    MORE: Woman spent £90 on 3-hour trip for Tinder date only to be called ‘fat’ and dumped at train station

    MORE: Woman rejected by Tinder date who ‘isn’t ready for charcuterie date’


    pastapasta

    0 0

    Julia with her bangs and red hair
    Julia spent hundreds to get her teeth sharpened like fangs (Picture: MDWfeatures / Julia Kumpulainen)

    A woman dedicated to transforming her look into a vampire has had permanent fangs fitted in and says she can smell blood from a distance.

    Mum Julia Kumpulainen, from Finland, became obsessed with the aesthetics of a vampire in 2012 and said she could relate to their traits.

    So the 24-year-old from Kotka found a cosmetic dentist who helped give her fangs, a procedure which set her back £430 (€500).

    Despite having jaw pain and struggling to eat with her sharpened teeth, Julia loves her look and enjoys drinking blood too.

    But she never cuts herself or others for the sake of drinking. Julia only sucks blood from any wounds that might appear.

    Julia, who is a mum to Elli, 4, says that her daughter loves her fangs and some people even mistake her for a real vampire and run away in fear.

    ‘I was always the weird kid, and when I first ever heard about vampires, I knew I wanted to be one, or at least look like one,’ said Julia.

    ‘I started developing vampiric habits as a teenager, following “how to seem like a vampire” articles religiously.’

    Julia pictured with her daughter showing her fangs. KOTKA, FINLAND: THIS WOMAN spent years researching how to become a REAL-LIFE VAMPIRE before finally getting PERMANENT FANGS FITTED and now says she can SMELL BLOOD from a distance and LOVES THE TASTE ? but don?t worry, SHE ?WON?T BITE?. In 2010, mum of one, Julia Kumpulainen (24) from Kotka, Finland, became fascinated with the vampire lifestyle as she felt she had mutual personality traits as movie vampires. She discovered a company that made temporary costume fangs which she would use daily for the next five years, despite having jaw pain and struggling to eat with them. However, in January 2019, she found a cosmetic dentist who made specialised fangs for her teeth that became a permanent feature which costed her over ?430 (?500). She has since received various reactions from strangers with some even asking her to bite them with her fangs. Despite the social perception of vampires, she wants to change the views that all vampires suck blood from people. She can detect the smell of blood and likes the taste, but would never cut herself to drink it, but if she has a blood-exposing would, she would drink it. Julia, who is a mum to Elli (4), says that her daughter loves her fangs and some people even mistake her for a real vampire and run away in fear. MDWfeatures / Julia Kumpulainen
    Julia says her four-year-old isn’t scared by it (Picture: MDWfeatures / Julia Kumpulainen)

    For years Julia wore fake Halloween fangs but they caused her pain. So she was delighted when she found a cosmetic dentist who could file her teeth.

    Julia hopes to make them sharper in future. While she loves them, strangers aren’t so keen. But some ask if she can bite them.

    She added: ‘If I’m at a bar, I get people asking if they could take pictures or if I could bite them. I won’t.

    ‘I’ve only had problems with talking to older people and sometimes that I get too deep in this whole vampire thing.’

    She draws similarities to movie vampires, saying: ‘I share a lot of characteristics with movie vampires really; I don’t like the sun as I get burnt easily. Just like a Twilight vampire, I’m so pale I could sparkle’.

    Of her ability to smell blood, she says: ‘I don’t know how or why, but I can smell blood/metal from a small distance which is a nuisance because yes, I think blood has a good flavour to it but no, I’m still not going all sanguine about it.

    ‘Most of the times I’ve smelled blood somewhere is that there has been a fight somewhere near and I find puddles of blood somewhere.

    ‘It’s a weird thing really; I get some sort of a rush when I taste or smell blood. If I get a paper wound or something, yes, I taste the blood, but I don’t cut myself to drink my own blood – it’s already in me so why bother?’

    Her vampire get-up has affected her dating life. Her current partner doesn’t let her bite him as often as he used to. Julia thinks he’s scared of getting bit too hard.

    She continued: ‘In a dreamworld being a vampire means never having to see the sun, living forever and enjoying your undead life to the fullest when it’s dark.

    ‘But because the world works how humans want it to, everything happens during the daytime. So, in other words, I’m a day-walker.

    ‘The main message I want to spread is to inspire others to be themselves. Just go and be you, whether it’s a vampire or a unicorn.’

    MORE: What are vampire facials and are they safe?

    MORE: Woman who identifies as cat says it’s brought her closer to boyfriend who’s 21 years older

    MORE: Woman plans wedding to her favourite chandelier, Lumiere


    Julia pictured with red hair and showing her fangs. KOTKA, FINLAND: THIS WOMAN spent years researching how to become a REAL-LIFE VAMPIRE before finally getting PERMANENT FANGS FITTED and now says she can SMELL BLOOD from a distance and LOVES THE TASTE ? but don?t worry, SHE ?WON?T BITE?. In 2010, mum of one, Julia Kumpulainen (24) from Kotka, Finland, became fascinated with the vampire lifestyle as she felt she had mutual personality traits as movie vampires. She discovered a company that made temporary costume fangs which she would use daily for the next five years, despite having jaw pain and struggling to eat with them. However, in January 2019, she found a cosmetic dentist who made specialised fangs for her teeth that became a permanent feature which costed her over ?430 (?500). She has since received various reactions from strangers with some even asking her to bite them with her fangs. Despite the social perception of vampires, she wants to change the views that all vampires suck blood from people. She can detect the smell of blood and likes the taste, but would never cut herself to drink it, but if she has a blood-exposing would, she would drink it. Julia, who is a mum to Elli (4), says that her daughter loves her fangs and some people even mistake her for a real vampire and run away in fear. MDWfeatures / Julia KumpulainenJulia pictured with red hair and showing her fangs. KOTKA, FINLAND: THIS WOMAN spent years researching how to become a REAL-LIFE VAMPIRE before finally getting PERMANENT FANGS FITTED and now says she can SMELL BLOOD from a distance and LOVES THE TASTE ? but don?t worry, SHE ?WON?T BITE?. In 2010, mum of one, Julia Kumpulainen (24) from Kotka, Finland, became fascinated with the vampire lifestyle as she felt she had mutual personality traits as movie vampires. She discovered a company that made temporary costume fangs which she would use daily for the next five years, despite having jaw pain and struggling to eat with them. However, in January 2019, she found a cosmetic dentist who made specialised fangs for her teeth that became a permanent feature which costed her over ?430 (?500). She has since received various reactions from strangers with some even asking her to bite them with her fangs. Despite the social perception of vampires, she wants to change the views that all vampires suck blood from people. She can detect the smell of blood and likes the taste, but would never cut herself to drink it, but if she has a blood-exposing would, she would drink it. Julia, who is a mum to Elli (4), says that her daughter loves her fangs and some people even mistake her for a real vampire and run away in fear. MDWfeatures / Julia Kumpulainen

    0 0

    Binoculars on green background
    The most expensive binoculars we’ve ever seen (Picture: Swarovski)

    We all love nature, especially when we see it up close, but would you pay £900 for a pair of binoculars inspired by the magic of our big blue planet?

    Chances are, no.

    Luxury bling retailer Swarovski are upping their Christmas game this year with a pair of optic binoculars that cost roughly three quarters of the average UK pay cheque (around £1,983 a month after tax, in case you’re wondering).

    Made for those who are always on the go, the compact glass eyes have been made so that the world’s globetrotters can spot everything from the stars to wildlife, jitter free.

    Taking inspiration from the Northern Lights, urban jungle and wild nature, the binoculars come in three designs along with a bespoke accessory package, kitted out with a field bag.

    Why are they so expensive, though? It’s all about the magnification. Available in either 8x or 10x magnification, you’re guaranteed to see for miles upon miles, coast to coast, island to island and so on.

    In addition to the binoculars, the Austrian company also has the Interior Spotting Scope on offer. Price? A bank-account-busting £3,800.

    The reason why it’s so eye wateringly expensive is because it’s the first telescope designed specifically for indoor use (yes, all those ones you saw in people’s rooms in the movies were all lying to you).

    Coated in a lovely shade of terra brown, the spenny equipment has a field view of 41-23 metres and 60x magnification – perfect for spying on your neighbours.

    Just in case you’re interested, they’ve also got another pair of binoculars that will set you back £2,580.

    Because who needs to eat or pay their bills?

    MORE: This new sustainable suitcase is made from 100% recycled plastic

    MORE: Harrods is opening a new beauty store in Essex


    PRI_94576738PRI_94576738

    0 0

    Picture of tropical island
    Bored of your life? Enter this competition. Now (Picture: Getty)

    Travellers, listen up. Deals and discount site Wowcher is offering one wannabe globetrotter the chance to jet across the globe with their best mates.

    Best part? It’s a paid gig, for which you’ll nab £25,000 to travel to 40 countries on a 12-month contract. Score.

    Where will you go? New York, Bali, Iceland, Vegas, Bali, Thailand, and Dubai are on the cards, along with the romantic canals of Venice and the massive childhood throwback that is Disneyland. Everywhere you would go on a gap year, basically.

    Mates can tag along, but be advised, you can only take one of your posse per plane ride so save the most awesome jaunts for your besties.

    To be in with a chance of winning you’ll have to be willing to vlog, possess top-notch camera skills and have experience managing social media accounts.

    If you think you’ve got what it takes, submit a 30-second video outlining why you feel you are the top boy or girl for the job by tagging @Wowcher and three friends, and hashtagging #WowcherDreamJob & #WowcherMysteryHoliday on either Instagram or Twitter.

    Oh, and you need to follow all of Wowcher’s social media accounts, too.

    If you fancy entering, the submissions for deadlines is 30 December, 2019.

    And if you win, please take us with you.

    You can enter Wowcher’s Travel Ambassador competition online.

    MORE: This coffee company will pay you £24,000 to quit your job and travel the world

    MORE: The Yacht Week is hiring two people to travel the world for the ‘best job ever’


    Aerial view of mountains and seaAerial view of mountains and sea

    0 0

    Illustration of woman with red hair, dressed in a light blue shirt and white trousers holding her hand over her face and looking as if she is thinking 'sigh'
    UK households now owe an average of £15,385 (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Depending on how you manage your finances and your general levels of anxiety – any amount of debt might feel like a crisis.

    But being in a ‘debt crisis’ is an official term, and not everyone who owes money is in crisis. It’s important to know where you fall on this scale in order to deal with the problem effectively and get out of debt.

    According to the TUC, Britain’s household debt has reached a new high. UK households now owe an average of £15,385 to credit card firms, banks and other lenders. Which sounds like a scarily high number.

    The Bank of England figures released in March found that unsecured personal debt is 6.5 per cent higher than it was a year ago. So if you’re in debt – you’re certainly not alone.

    But how many of these people are actually in a ‘debt crisis’?

    What counts as a ‘debt crisis’?

    The advice found on MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that how you respond to your debt should differ depending on whether you’re in a ‘crisis’ or if you just have worrying or large debts.

    They say that one way to know if your are in a debt crisis is if you answer yes to either of the following questions:

    1. ‘Are you struggling to pay all basic outgoings, eg, mortgage, rent, energy bills and credit card minimums?’
    2. ‘Are your debts (excluding your mortgage) bigger than a year’s after-tax income?’

    ‘Even if your debts are big, if you can service them, even at the minimum level, you’re not in debt crisis and a different solution applies,’ the experts add.

    This means that there is no fixed threshold to qualify as being in debt crisis – crisis looks different to everyone. But, if you’re earning £25,000 per year, and your debt is larger than what you take home after tax – that is likely a crisis.

    Or if you’re struggling with every single one of your outgoings, regardless of your salary, that could also be a crisis by this definition.

    ‘A debt crisis is essentially when an individual cannot meet repayments on their loans without it significantly impacting their standard of living,’ explains Jon Ostler, CEO of personal finance comparison site finder.com.

    ‘This debt may be in the form of mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, car loans and anything that you may have on finance; like furniture.

    ‘The most common reason for falling into a debt crisis is when there is a sudden drop off in income, meaning what was once manageable debt becomes unmanageable.’

    What should you do if you’re in debt crisis?

    If you recognise yourself in the above descriptions, the first thing to do is try not to panic.

    The second thing is to make a plan. It can be tempting to bury your head in the sand when facing overwhelming money troubles, but proactive acceptance is the best way to make a change.

    Jon has some really great, practical advice for people who find themselves in debt crisis:

    ‘To get out of debt, the first step you could look to take is setting a budget.

    ‘By doing this you will become aware of where you are spending and where you can make cuts.

    ‘Many people are not aware that they may be eligible for benefits that could really help improve their current financial situation, so it’s worth exploring this option.’

    Dealing with problem debts

    If you can’t cut the cost of the debts, or if after doing that you’re still struggling, it’s time to consider some more severe measures.

    Talk to your lender

    It’s very important to get on top of debts as soon as possible. Don’t default or miss payments. It’s always better to let your lender know if you’re going to be unable to pay.

    Can you get help from the Government?

    There are a few ways that could provide you with interest-free borrowing rather than getting any commercial debt.

    Local council support schemes: Since April 2013, each local authority has been responsible for providing help to residents struggling with an emergency. This could include you or your family’s health being at risk, not being able to afford to buy food, needing help to stay in your own home and coming out of care, hospital or prison.

    Budgeting loans and advances: This is a Government scheme providing interest free loans to those on certain income-based benefits. They can help you pay for essential items for your home or other things that you cannot pay for in a lump sum, such as clothes and furnishings.

    Carefully check secured loans

    Secured or ‘consolidation’ loans are something to beware of. We’ve campaigned against many elements of them, and they can be dangerous.

    They are, at best, loans of last resort and if you fail to repay them you can lose your home. Plus, unlike personal loans, the rate is variable, so it may sound cheap at the start, but soon they can push it up.

    Is an IVA or DRO right for you?

    An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is the promise of a scheme that can write off 75-90 per cent of your debt – but it is not to be taken lightly. An IVA is a serious financial arrangement and is only suitable for a small number of people.

    A debt relief order (DRO) is a new type of insolvency. It’s specifically aimed at those with debts of less than £20,000 who do not own a house (or have any other assets totalling over £1,000, such as savings).

    To get a DRO you need to go via an approved intermediary, such as StepChange Debt Charity or many Citizens Advice bureaux.

    MoneySavingExpert.com

    Jon says you should always pay off your highest-interest debt first.

    ‘If it’s an option, explore borrowing money from friends or family to pay off the highest interest debts. A zero per cent credit card can also be a good way if you are eligible. When used carefully, zero per cent credit cards can be a good way to borrow money, especially if you shift your debt to a balance transfer option.

    ‘If your debt is causing problems with repaying your mortgage then it is worth investigating government schemes out there offering loans that cover the interest.’

    How can you stay out of debt crisis?

    It can be hard to stay in the black once you’re out of the red, but making sure you have a financial safety net is the best way to start.

    ‘As rule, saving at least 5-10 per cent of your annual income is a great way to start,’ says Jon, ‘and sticking to a budget always helps.

    ‘On top of this, it is helpful to set up an emergency fund for when the unexpected happens and money is needed immediately. This typically represents three-six months of budgeted expenses, but it can take some time to build up.’

    Jon suggests that if you’re planning a big purchase like a car or furniture, it’s best to pay larger down payments if you can, because it can lower repayments and reduce your risk of not being able to make future payments.

    ‘Or, if you have just paid off a loan, think about diverting the amount you were paying to your savings account to boost your savings cushion,’ he adds.

    ‘Always making your payments on loans and not falling behind is very important as this will improve your credit score over time, which will allow you to access lower interest rate loans.’

    Jon warns that falling behind on payments will lower your credit score and will mean that you won’t be eligible for better rates.

    ‘So, it’s vital to act early if you think your repayments may become unmanageable.’

    People get into debt for all sorts of reasons; illness, bereavement, poor mental health, redundancy – to name just a few. But there are proactive ways to turn things around, even if you’re technically in a debt crisis.

    Knowing what’s actually going on with your debt is always the best place to start.

    MORE: How I Save: The 24-year-old in Birmingham earning £21,000 a year with £9,450 saved

    MORE: How I Save: The 28-year-old senior marketing executive in Manchester with £16,750 saved

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     


    Is toxic positivity ruining your mental health?Is toxic positivity ruining your mental health?

    0 0

    Woman sitting at internet banking
    (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Shutterstock)

    Paying off debt when you’re already struggling to get by can be overwhelming.

    There’s lots of advice out there and for debt month, we’re guiding you through it all.

    But some of the best advice comes from people who have already done it.

    From tips on how to cut spending to where they went for support, we asked some people who have paid off debt for their top tips about what worked for them.

    Rhiannon Llewellyn, 31, London

    In 2015, we were in about £30,000 of debt, although I never sat down and figured out exactly how much.

    Now, four years later, we have totally paid it off and have saved about £30,000 towards a house deposit. Throughout that time, our gross annual household income has varied between about £40k to £65k.

    Before we started paying off we didn’t think we had any debt at all. Our debts were about £24k on a car, £2k on a sofa and about £4K on credit cards and overdrafts but we saw it as just a car payment, a sofa on 0% interest free credit and a few overdraft hangovers from my student days.

    Rhiannon Llewellyn
    Rhiannon has paid off her family’s debt and saved another £30,000 for a deposit (Picture: Rhiannon Llewellyn/ @Thevicarsfrugalwife )

    We decided we needed to sort it because my husband was a chaplain in the army, but I knew he’d be leaving in a few years to be a regular Vicar and that his salary would be 50% of what it currently is.

    I am a freelance opera singer so my earnings are very variable.

    I was desperate to save for a house deposit, have some retirement savings, and be able to treat our son to things like ballet lessons, rugby camp, banjo lessons and a university degree.

    Now we’re debt free, we are working towards FIRE. Financial Independence, Retire Early. We both love our jobs and never want to retire, but we aim to be financially secure enough that we can take sabbaticals with our kids and travel the world (by rail!) and be able to give generously to good causes, friends and family. FIRE is the new dream.

    For other people I think the first step is to figure out how much debt you are actually in. Face up to those seemingly benign numbers and seemingly harmless interest free credit loans that are EATING your future wealth.

    Then you need to write a budget. Accept that you’ll get it wrong the first month that you might over spend and forget about some payments. It’s all part of the process. Don’t lose heart.

    If you’re in debt stop eating out, getting taxis, buying things, wasting food and going abroad on holiday. You can still have mega fun without doing any of these things.

    You’ll have to work hard. You will come to love the budget. We get ‘pocket money’ each month and can blow it on whatever we like, guilt free, because it’s in the budget.

    You need to live on way less than you earn.

    Remember when your neighbour has a shiny new Range Rover, extension and mulberry handbag, you’re not often looking at what they have, you’re looking at what they owe and the material possessions that are actually trapping them.

    You can follow Rhiannon at @Thevicarsfrugalwife on Instagram.

    Carly Thompsett, 30, Cardiff

    Carly Thompsett
    It took Carly 12 years to pay off her debt (Picture: Carly Thompsett)

    I was in about £10,000 worth of debt that I created from 18 years old. I got a few credit cards with £1,000 on, maxed them out, then the charges started, then phone contracts that I would end and get new phones because I wanted them and it grew from there.

    It’s taken me 12 years to finally be debt-free. I had tried sorting it once I turned 20 and wanted to live a normal life without debt, so I used a debt company who put all the debt together, I made monthly payments and they dealt with it.

    I cleared a lot this way but not all of it. When I moved to Cardiff in 2013; I needed internet and all the things for my new house but I couldn’t get anything because of the debt.
    I had car insurance from a company I had never heard of and had to pay through the roof, I couldn’t get a contract so had a pay as you go sim! It got so bad that it was sort it out or forever follow me.

    Used a debt company to help manage all payments worked for me. They take care of everything, you tell them how much is due on which companies and they handle it including speaking with the companies to make it easier for you.

    Once I finished with that, I took care of the little bits I had left and I explained to the companies – I am dealing with a few accounts and I am paying them one by one. Debt teams are usually quite helpful and are usually okay to wait a week/month then receive no payment or contact with you.

    Always keep in contact with the companies you owe money too. Nothing is worse then not updating them and sending debt collectors to your door or cutting off your internet etc – just talk to them and if you need to talk to someone for support, make sure you do. Sometimes talking to someone can help take the pressure off.

    I had to live on the bare minimum to pay as much as possible. I shopped in the discounted part of the shop, carried on my pay as you go phone in a £20 a month deal and I would sit in the library in the city centre to keep warm and use the internet. I used to hate it but I had to remind myself I was the one who did it.

    Grainne McNamee, 34, Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Grainne McNamee from Wannabedebtfree
    Grainne now blogs about how she paid off her debts (Picture: Grainne McNamee/@Wannabedebtfree)

    When I started tackling my finances, my husband and I had £16,000 in debt. We had a car finance deal after walking into a dealership one day and driving out with a brand new car without doing much research.

    We had borrowed money to finish off expensive renovation work in our first home after being unable to continue funding this through our monthly salaries. Looking back, we couldn’t afford our lifestyle but instead could just about afford the monthly repayment for it.

    We gave ourselves a goal of paying it all off in one year, while learning how to live better for less. I tracked all of my progress on Instagram, being completely open about our finances, which helped me to remain accountable throughout. We paid off the full £16,000 by July 2018.

    Our debt was stressing me out for a long time in the run up to deciding to pay it off, and it was affecting my mental health.

    At times, I struggled to sleep with the worry of repaying £410 per month on top of bills, and my daily overspending.

    A part of me knew we needed to change because we were living paycheck to paycheck, but I buried my head in the sand and continued spending to distract myself.

    Then one day, my husband’s job was put at risk of redundancy. At that point, I realised that, if either of us lost our jobs, it wouldn’t be long before we would be in serious financial trouble.

    With both of us working in good jobs for the past few years, we shouldn’t have been in that situation, and it was then that we started to change.

    Within a few weeks, we had put together a plan of action, and started tackling our debt.

    Our mindset shifted from feeling hopeless about our finances to feeling in control. For example, my husband focused less on his redundancy and more on finding another job, and was offered three new jobs in a matter of weeks.

    Once we decided to change how we perceived our situation, it improved immensely.

    Getting a budget is so important. Once you know where your money is going, it becomes a lot easier to pinpoint where you can make savings, need to cut back, and how much you can afford to save or overpay your debt.

    For us, when we started to tackle our debt, we realised that we overspent on groceries, takeaways and eating out. Two years later, we halved what we spend in this area, without sacrificing the quality of our diets, or our date nights.

    If you have something that you overspend on, tackle it by coming up with creative ways to bring down the costs.

    Another good idea is to unsubscribe to social media, mailing lists and junk mail that encourages you to spend.

    We are constantly surrounded with marketing and advertisements that persuade us to spend, so creating boundaries for how much you are exposed to these will really help to bring down your spending.

    You can follow Grainne at @Wannabedebtfree on Instagram or follow her blog.

    The Secret Debtor

    At the minute, I post about my debt anonymously on Instagram.

    I started with £13,200 credit card debt in April 2019. I am half way to it being cleared, my new balance is due to be updated on 4 Novemebr and I should be at £6,000.

    When I realised how much debt I was in and no way to justify it. I have a good job and I wanted to get onto the property ladder but I clearly needed to learn how to manage my finances.

    This debt-free journey has been more than just getting rid of my debt, it’s been about changing my money mindset. I’m pleased to say that today I am in such a better place with my money.

    For me, identifying why you are doing this is important. It gives you focus and keeps you going on your journey.

    I used to think a budget would limit my spending but I was so wrong. A budget allows you to plan where your money goes.

    It may take a few months to find your rhythm but once you have, you won’t regret it. I love sitting down to plan my monthly budget and review it weekly.

    I would also advise getting visual. Seeing your progress is a huge motivator. Print off a debt-free tracker, and colour it in as your debt decreases. There are a number of free ones online. I got mine from @thebudgetmom.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     


    flying cash-fa1cflying cash-fa1c

older | 1 | .... | 1831 | 1832 | (Page 1833) | 1834 | 1835 | .... | 1849 | newer