Whatever happened to the good old days? 

When you used to be able to buy a whole outfit (and I mean a WHOLE outfit) and you would still have change for £50? 

Whatever happened to those 10p salty treats Space Raiders? I'll tell you what, they aren't 10p anymore, that's for sure. 

These are things you start to notice when you get older... And no I'm not some old woman reflecting on her youth (i'm only 24). The thing is, the other day when I went shopping in a major womans fashion retailer and the bill came to in excess of £75 for a pair of jeans and a SALE dress I start to ask myself- 'When did all this happen?!' When did the time come where id be struggling to buy an outfit and have change for £100? 

The thing is for one reason or another clothes have got more expensive and don't be fooled because its not all to do with the fact that youve grown in the last 10 years because even childrens clothes have shot up in price! Don't get me wrong, things have got a lot better than they have been, with the likes of budget retailers popping up, especially for men i might add, with high street fashion growing in popularity but even these prices are slowly creeping up. This is where you'd probably say thank heaven for Primark. Ha! You'd be naive to think prices aren't on the up here aswell. Don't think we havent noticed that additional couple of quid on the price of that dress that would've been cheaper 6 months earlier. 

So when i asked "Whatever happened to the good ol days when you could buy a whole outfit for £50 and still have plenty of change?" I wasn't really expecting an answer becuse the truth is i know. My conclusion is enjoy these days while they last. When you can buy an outfit for £100 and have change, because in 10 years time it wouldn't suprise me if you didn't get change from £200. So in the meantime what i'm saying is thank heaven for small mercies and when you can just go to Primark. Bloody inflation.

Lee and I were FTB's, completed the purchase of our house in September. They say buying a home or moving home is one of the most stressful things in life and from our experience, it was true! The average home purchase can take 4-6 weeks, ours took 5 months.

Here are some tips I would like to share with you to avoid some common mistakes:

1) Look at ONLY what you can afford. Do a budget planner and see what your monthly expenditures are. The last thing you want is to lose your home due to non mortgage payments.

2) Choose a local solicitor who quotes fees between £600-£1000 (not including stamp duty, local search fees etc) The less money you pay, the more likely you are going to run into trouble... Also check some reviews on them before you make a decision and don't trust the ones you see on their own website! Choosing a good solicitor is the difference between moving within any deadlines set our losing your chose property all together (See the Wolstenholmes Solicitors LLP issue)

3) Use a no fee mortgage advisor. They can do a lot of the research for you and approach the mortgage lenders who are more likely to accept your application

4) If you chose to look for a mortgage yourself, make sure you go into a bank and don't do an application over the phone. I recommend Halifax, they were BRILLIANT for us, Abbey wasted 5 weeks of my life after approving a mortgage and then retracting it without telling me! Also, with Halifax, they paid for half of our council tax for the year!

5) Make sure you have a deposit. There is no point in looking into a home if you dont have the money!

6) Dont rush into buying a home. They always say don't buy the first one you look at and its true. We looked at a few new build homes and almost bought the first one we saw. It turned out these particular homes had a HUGE number of defects.

7) You will be hounded relentlesly to buy Home Insurance! I have Home Insurance myself and it includes Life Insurance plan, i.e if one of us were to die, our mortgage would be paid off. In my research I found that £10 was the average quote I recieved for my partner and I. Also maybe unemployment cover if you feel like it would apply to you.

Good luck! 

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