My next challenge

Following on from my failed attempt at earning £5,000 in 4 months, I’ve decided to set myself a less number oriented money making challenge! Whilst I’m not going to set a target figure, basically I have just purchased my first home (WOOOOOOOO) with my partner so we are saving up all we can for that, plus we have a trip to New York coming up in November so we desperately need to save as much as we can for spends!

I’m going to employ the same tactics I did for the previous money making challenge, however I’m going to try and invest some of what I make initially into more money earning ways. Again I’ll be posting monthly updates so you can see if I’m smashing it or well and truly failing! And hey who knows, maybe it will give you some inspiration into earning extra cash as well!

If you are in a similar situation to myself and are a bit cash strapped yourself, one of the easiest methods which I have used to make a bit of extra money is by doing surveys. Surveys don’t pay huge amounts, but doing them a couple of times a week you can easily make around £20ish a month – not loads, but every penny counts!

The survey site I use is QMEE. QMEE is actually a fantastic survey site, it allows you to withdraw any amount of cash you earn via Paypal or via a gift card and is generally really user friendly. The amount you can earn from each survey varies, but QMEE brilliantly tells you how long each survey will roughly take, so you can weigh up whether or not the survey is worth your time.

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I generally do the surveys whilst I have breakfast, on my lunch or whilst watching TV and if you do it consistently, you can actually earn some pretty decent extra cash. Check out the table which shows how much I have earned over the last couple of months.

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I would definitely recommend using QMEE and as an added bonus, sign up using this link which will give you 50p following on from your first Paypal withdrawal!

Check back soon for my first update on my money saving challenge!

World Cup 2018 Predictions – Semi Finals & The Final

We’re onto the BIG games now! As mentioned in the previous post, these predictions are based on who I believe will make it out of the group stage and in what order and then who faces who in the knockouts, but as a general feeling as to who I think is gonna have a good tournament, this is it!
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The first of the two semi finals pits France up against Brazil. Whilst I think Brazil are a definite force to be reckoned with and can understand why they are in fact favourites to win the competition, I think they will be up against it against a well rounded France team. Brazil undeniably have one of the best attacks at the World Cup but I think France can near enough match them man for man and that should see the French through to the final.

The second semi final is a repeat of the 2014 final and this should be a tasty encounter as Argentina attempt to seek revenge! For me however, Germany just seem to have that togetherness as a group whereas Argentina are somewhat reliant on the little magician Messi. Again, this will be a close encounter but I think Argentina will just fall short, setting up for a France vs Germany final.

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The moment you’ve all been waiting for… my predicted winner of the 2018 World Cup final! Sadly I do think it will be back to back final heartbreak for France following on from that dramatic defeat to Portugal at Euro 2016. I’ve said it numerous times, but Germany just have that cohesion which really does count at major tournaments, coupled with their previous tournament experiences, I think it will be back to back World Cups for a very impressive Germany team.

Agree with my predictions? Or think I’m completely wrong and Japan are going to all way and prove everyone wrong? Let me know!

World Cup 2018 Predictions – Round of 16 & Quarter Finals

So you’ve seen my Group stage predictions, now its time for the first of the knockout rounds! Bare in mind that these predictions are based on who I believe will make it out of the group stage!

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I think Uruguay vs Portugal will be the tie of the round and will be an extremely tight encounter and I could see Uruguay just winning it, possibly going to penalties. I think France vs Iceland and Brazil vs Sweden will be formality wins for the former and I do fancy England to beat Colombia!

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I think hosts Russia’s run will come to an end at the hands of 2010 winners Spain. Again, formality wins for Argentina and Germany in their games and in the close encounter between Poland and Belgium, I think it will be Englands group stage opponents who will come out on top!

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Now onto the Quarter Finals and this is where it gets interesting! I think Uruguay’s run will come to an end at the hands of a very strong France team. Unfortunately, I feel the Quarter Finals may be the end of the road for Englands 2018 World Cup run as I feel Brazil will just have that little bit more to get past them. I think we might see some Messi magic as well as Spain vs Argentina looks like a mammoth Quarter Final tie and can see Argentina progressing. In the final Quarter Final game I think again it will be another close game but Germany should have the tournament experience to see them through.

World Cup 2018 Predictions – Group Stage

So the 2018 World Cup is just around the corner and I am more excited than ever! In classic pre-tournament excitement style I’ve made my predictions on who I think is going to go all the way! Take a look and let me know what you think!

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Group A looks like it’s Uruguays to lose. They should have more than enough to win the group and I fancy hosts Russia to do enough to make it through to the next round!

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Group B looks like a difficult group for both Iran and Morocco, however I don’t think they should be underestimated as they have both done well in qualifying so wouldn’t be surprised to see a shock in this group. I do think though that Spain and Portugal SHOULD have enough quality to progress.

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France and Denmark are favourites amongst many to make it out of Group C but I’m going to take a gamble and predict that Australia will make it out as runners up to France. They take take an experienced manager in Bert van Marwijk with them and I think should have enough to make it out.

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Whilst it’s anyones guess who will finish runners up to Argentina in Group D, I really fancy Iceland to repeat their Euro 2016 heroics again at the World Cup. They just seem to have the unity and spirit which really counts on the international stage, as we have seen with Germany countless times in the past.

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Brazil should win Group E with no problems whatsoever and having watched them preparing they do look a force to be reckoned with. I think it will be tight between Switzerland and Serbia for second place, with Switzerland just edging it.

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I can see Germany having no troubles with Group F and similarly to Group E I think it will be close for second place, but my money is on Sweden to make it to the knockouts behind Germany.

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In full on patriotism, I’m backing England to finish as Group G winners. I think it will be extremely close, possibly even going down to goal difference for first place against Belgium. Surely we will have a decent World Cup for once?!

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Group H is the trickiest to predict, it really is wide open. I wouldn’t be surprised if the final standings are the complete opposite to what I’ve predicted but I think Poland and Colombia both have enough to get through.

Peter Rabbit Movie: Review

Peter Rabbit is a 2018 3D live-action/computer-animated comedy film based on the stories of Peter Rabbit created by Beatrix Potter. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne and Sam Neill, with the voices of James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki.

James Corden seems to be the celebrity equivalent of Marmite – you either love him or you hate him. Personally I think he’s great and I love some of his previous works; Gavin and Stacey is still one of my favourite shows of all time! For me James Corden is absolutely fantastic as Peter Rabbit in his latest offering, and considering he just plays the voice of Peter Rabbit, he steals the show!

Overall the story is very simple, it follows the ongoing feud of Peter and his friends breaking into Mr McGregor’s garden whilst he tries to deter them. I was a little disappointed with this as I thought the story would follow more of an adventure, this does mean however it is easy for younger viewers to follow the story due to the lack of complication. There’s plenty of slapstick comedy as well which younger viewers always love and there are a few humorous moments for the adults as well. One of my favourites was when the fox, Mr Tod, did the ‘walk of shame’ the morning after a party in which his chest hair had been shaved off!

The animation is great for the most part, there are a few dodgy moments, in particular a fight scene between Thomas McGregor and Peter Rabbit, however for the majority, the animation and aesthetics of the characters is pretty flawless. Some of Peter’s friends look fantastic, in particular Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle who must be the most impressive animated hedgehogs I’ve ever seen – in fairness I think this is the only animated hedgehog I’ve ever seen! I would liked to have seen a lot more of the woodland critters in the film, but sadly there are only a couple of scenes which they are present which was disappointing as they feature so prominently in the Beatrix Potter books.

A lot of reviews have criticized the film, I have seen a number of comments saying that the film is an insult to Beatrix Potter, one in particular said the following “Listen carefully, and you can just about hear the sound of Beatrix Potter, turning furiously in her grave.” I think this is extremely harsh and unjust, Peter Rabbit has such a huge fanbase it was only a matter of time before he entered the world of film. In my opinion Sony do a grand job of appealing to a new generation of Peter Rabbit fans.

Go and watch, wait for the DVD or avoid altogether? – This is definitely a film which will appeal to the younger viewers, and with Easter coming up this could be the perfect film to take them to the cinema to watch!

Rating: 6.7/10

2018

How in God’s name are we in March already! It’s been around 4 months since my last blog post and that’s due to the craziest of months I have had!

Over the past 4 months I have been busy with the following:

• Celebrated my 21st Birthday

• Visited Dublin

• Started a new job

• Moved out of my house

• Visited Disneyland Paris

• Moved back into my house

• Christmas and New Year festivities

• Celebrated my friends 21st birthday

• Visited Thailand

• Celebrated my girlfriends 21st birthday

As you can see the past couple of months have been hectic to say the least so blogging sadly went down the priority list, never the less I’m back now and eager to report on my trips!

Also, the challenge of £5,000 in 4 months didn’t go quite to plan, however it was definitely a good starting point in helping me save more money. I will probably be doing a similar (more realistic) challenge in the coming months so keep posted!

£5,000 in 4 months: November Update

I’m going to jump into it and just say it, £5,000 in 4 months is not going to happen, especially after this month’s performance. I’m almost embarrassed to say how much I’ve saved but here goes… since the beginning of October I have managed to save a grand total of £38.26.

Here’s the breakdown:

£10 loose change I found in my room

£12.51 from completing surveys

£12.83 from selling an old Xbox game

£2.92 savings left over from October’s salary

Yep not exactly the £1,250 which was need this month to reach that goal of £5,000, however October was a fairly productive month by all accounts.

I have a brand new job which I started today which is on a slightly higher salary than my old job which means hopefully I will be able to save more than £2.92 from my salary.

I’ve created a neat looking spreadsheet so I can document all my earnings and spending’s and keep on top of what is actually going out – an attempt to limit impulse purchases!

I have started collecting any further loose change in a money box which I am going to open come February (and I know there is roughly around £20 in there currently so hopefully this figure will increase)!

I also have a few good leads on a possible part time role doing some hours over the Christmas period!

So overall, not a great month in terms of savings however there have been some great revelations which will hopefully see a lot more being saved in the coming months!

21

So it’s finally here, the grand old age of 21. I have had a wonderful day and been spoilt beyond my wildest imagination, maybe growing old isn’t so bad after all!

After a fun day yesterday of Halloween games and films, it was an early start today as my excitement took over like the big kid I am! I have been well and truly spoiled my amazing family and girlfriend – I have a trip around Europe next year to look forward to and enough cash to own a Ferrari (at least for an hour or two!). 


In traditional Charlie Brown style I spent the day playing Laser Quest before having all you can eat pizza for lunch – big kid indeed!

I’m off to Dublin tomorrow for 2 nights and the celebrations don’t stop there as I’m having a family/friends party on Saturday night – yep I’m really milking this!

So I guess being 21 isn’t so bad after all!

Jack Whitehall Travels with My Father: Review

Jack Whitehall Travels with My Father is a travel documentary/road trip comedy television series exclusive to Netflix and follows comedian Jack Whitehall and his father Michael Whitehall on a ‘gap year’ around South East Asia.

It’s been ages since I’ve sat down and actually watched a brand new TV series, usually I spend so long deciding exactly what it is that I want to watch that I usually just end up watching old episodes of Friends and How I Met Your Mother! But with a trip to Thailand finally booked for this coming February, I thought I’d watch the hilarious ‘Jack Whitehall Travels with my Father’ to get a taster of what Thailand is going to be like.

There have been numerous celebrity and parent adventure shows however Jack Whitehalls’ Travels with my Father comes into its own bracket. It feels more like an actual journey together, like Jack says a ‘gap year’. It was nice to see how there was a good mix of culture and partying involved as this matched what Jack and Michael wanted to do whilst they were travelling. This also felt like the trips and experiences were done for themselves and not just our benefit.

There is a huge age gap between Jack and his father and that what makes the duo so dynamic, as they have such differing personalities. Obviously Jack is flamboyant and quite dramatic, whereas Michael is a bit grumpier and not that into the travelling life so to speak. There are a number of hilarious moments where Jack intentionally attempts to embarrass Michael, much to his annoyance.

What makes the show so great is how British it is. Michael is a true and proper British gentleman and for the majority of the trip he wears a full suit! There is a lot of British humour as well, one of the funniest moments is when Jack is teaching a group of monks an array of different cockney rhyming slang!

Watching it got us even more excited for Thailand and the show will definitely get you in the mood for travelling. We are actually staying in the hotel which they stayed at in Bangkok (also where some scenes of the Hangover 2 were shot), so it was great to see it in all its glory with stunning panoramic aerial shots.

To watch or not to watch? – Overall Jack Whitehall Travels with My Father is a very enjoyable easy watch and a definite breath of fresh air for shows on Netflix.

Rating: 7.7/10

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The LEGO Ninjago Movie: Review

The Lego Ninjago Movie a 2017 3D computer-animated action comedy martial arts film produced by Warner Brothers based on the Lego Ninjago toy line. The film stars the voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux and Jackie Chan.

It feels like forever since I have done a movie review – even longer since I’ve done a new release! With a trip to Legoland Windsor this coming Saturday, I thought why not get in the mood and go and watch the latest instalment from the Lego franchise!

I loved the Lego Movie when it came out way back in 2014 and I dissapointingly didn’t get round to seeing Lego Batman so I had to make sure I watched Ninjago in good time. Prior to watching the film, I wasn’t too clued up on Ninjago however the premise was fairly straightforward – heroes, the ninjas, fighting against the villains.

What was so great about the Lego Movie was the witty humour and the vast number gags, not only for children but adults too. Lego Ninjago incorporates all of this to the very highest order and I’d go as far to say that the humour is better than that of the Lego Movie. Whether you are 6 years old or 60 years old, Lego Ninjago will definitely make you laugh.

Visually, the Lego Ninjago movie looks great! Obviously creating a Lego world and capturing the movements of Lego vehicles and figures etc is always going to be a different task to that of your standard animated film and in all honesty I thought the original Lego Movie was a bit clunky in its animation. However in the Lego Ninjago Movie, the animation is a lot more free flowing and visually does look great – I think this would be a great film to watch in 3D if you got the chance!

One part of the animation that did annoy however was the cat, Meowthra – a monster which wreaks havoc across the city of Ninjago. What annoyed me was how beautiful everything else looked and how the cat looked as if it had just been green-screened in! Whilst the gag was indeed funny, I think a little more time / money could have been invested to perfect this.

The plot starts off great and I really enjoyed the opening 30 minutes or so as the characters were introduced and the scene was set. However from here on out, I felt as if the plot became weak and the ending was very anti climatic. There had been a huge build up throughout the film to its ending and I was disappointed with its final sequences.

Go and watch, wait for the DVD or avoid altogether? – Overall, the Lego Ninjago movie is a very enjoyable and watchable film and despite the weak plot, the plethora of jokes more than make up for this.

Rating: 7.0/10