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Hi all, Happy New Year to all and best wishes for 2017.  Thanks for being part of the journey so far.  This year I am going to Jazz th...

Thursday, 19 October 2017

100 euro project update and money management

This year I have been doing my best to educate myself on money and money management.
So to a quick recap, I decided to set up a share portfolio.

  • I opened my portfolio with Degiro. (ad). 
  • I decided to save parcels of 100 euros based on the 1000 dollar project by the youtuber Sugarmamma. 
  • I saved by bringing my lunch to work, coffee and any other way I could think. 
  • I researched stocks on Morningstar.com
  • I brought my stocks . 
  • You can ready my story here 
  • So far I have managed to build my portfolio of over 1000 euros. My target for this year was 1000 euros so I am delighted I managed to exceed this. I am going to continue my portfolio moving forward so the next target is 2000 euros.
  • Any dividends I earn from my stocks are being re-invested for now. 
My other finance find as been Dave Ramseys baby steps. 
  • Baby Step 1 – 1,000 euro to start an Emergency Fund.
  • Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball. This means basically looking at all of your debt and then starting with the smallest one, use all available cash to pay it off and then going to the next debt. 
  • Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings- top off your emergency fund. 
  • Baby Step 3a - (Rachel Cruze his daughter) say saving for a house should go here. 
  • Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into your pension in Ireland. 
  • Baby Step 5 – College funding for children
  • Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!

I really like how its set out and step 7 has the ethos of giving. The one criticism I have is it does not take into account saving for a house. I'm at the age and stage where this is on my mind but those of you in Ireland will also know the prices are rising rapidly. However, it is a good model to follow to make you financially stable.

You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
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Monday, 16 October 2017

Howth, Dublin, Ireland

Where: Howth, Dublin, Ireland

Why: When I lived in Dublin I often went to Howth as a kind of date day. I had not been in years and so as I was in Dublin for a few days I thought why not! 
What: Pretty seaside town with lovely walks in Dublin. 
Whats there: nice little shops, walks, sea views and you can go out to Irelands eye on occassion. 
How : I took the Dart which is the local train service in Dublin which runs all along the East coast of Dublin. You can also get the bus from the city centre. 
How much : I went to the local Insomnia Coffee place. For anyone outside Ireland its like a Starbucks and got some coffee and a sandwich for about 5 euros. The train ticket for the Dart I got a return ticket which was not more then 6 euros. Look at the link below for transport options. 

Experience: I really like Howth its really pretty seaside town. There  was some seals in the harbour which was amazing as well. I loved watching them they literally look for the fishermen to feed them! But its really nice to see them. It was a lovely day and so I did alot of walking around the area and I really enjoyed it. Its a really nice get away spot from the hustle and bustle of Dublin city centre. 
Pros: I love it here and I fully intend to go back again and again! I also think its lovely for a day date. 
Cons: None really, I would say it can be a bit crowded in summer, the DART and Dublin bus run less frequently on Sundays and so its worth checking out the timetables. 
History: Howth has a alot of items for those interested in history. Irelands Eye is a bird sanctuary and also has the ruins of the Martello tower and an 8th century church. Howth Castle and its grounds upon which you can find the Transport Museum. There is Howth Lighthouse and the Bailey Lighthouse on Howth Peninsula. St Marys Abbey which has its origins back to Viking times when Sitric, King of Dublin built a church on the site in 1042.

Local attractions: 
From local seafood restaurants and pubs to walks along Howth Head and trips to Irelands eye. There is alot to do in Howth. Its a great place for a Sunday trip a walk along the pier and Sunday dinner in a local restaurant or pub. Irelands Eye is a bird santuary as well. Howth Market is also located in the town where you can find local arts and crafts as well as cheese and olives. Its also a popular dating spot where people go for a walk on the pier and share a bag of chips from Besoffs! While I was there I even caught some seals trying to get some fish from the fishermen.If your into fishing I believe you can do sea angling but I have not been able to find a contact. 

More information 
Irish Rail ( ticket information) Note if visiting Ireland especially Dublin look into the Leap card as well. 
Howth Head Loop Map - you need a rainjacket, strong boots, phone and water for this one!
Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07

 Facebook: @catmc
 Twitter: @forrealllemail 
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com 
TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc 
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Dunmore East , Co Waterford

Where: Dunmore East Coast Waterford
Why: I had been before many moons ago with my parents but sadly it was a rainy day. Have heard some really good things and so set off on an adventure.
Pros: the beach is awesome so sandy. The tide was out when I visited. It's also a super cute little village. There are lots of walks as well that are lovely. I did a little bit of the coastal walk along the cliffs.
Cons: Nothing for me. The cliff walk could be dangerous in bad weather and is not a place to bring young children. Parking was a bit of an issue close to the beach.
Experience: I parked close to the beach and took a stroll onto the beach. The first thing that struck me was the beautiful view over Hook Head . I strolled along the beach and then took a walk over to the harbour. Finally I made my way back to the beach and went to The Strand Seafood Bar. I ordered the catch of the day and salad. Portion was huge and the food tasty. It was a scorching day during the Easter holidays and so the pub was busy. You can eat outside and its literally overlooking the strand itself so the perfect place to watch the sun go down, take in the view and just be happy!
How: I drove from Waterford to Dunmore East . You go past Ardkeen Hospital and it's about 20minutes outside the city.

History: Dunmore East is a fishing village just outside of Waterford city. It is still an active fishing village and has the second highest figure for landing fish in Ireland outside Killybegs.  Hence, the area is renowned for its seafood.  There are two principal hotels in Dunmore namely The Strand and The Haven The Strand Inn and The Haven which was once home to  The Malcolmson family of Portroe a noted wealthy family. More recently the area has hit the news as the BBC drama Redwater is set in and around the area. The area is also noted for its watersports. 

For more information: 
Lonely Planet: Dunmore East 
The Strand Inn - recommend for food or drink 
The Haven Hotel - have not stayed but good reviews online 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Finance Savvy : Investing -12 Things I have Learned.

So recently I started to get my finances in order. I did the grown up thing and started a pension . I also started a little investment portfolio. I have been massively inspired by Sugar Mamma and her 1000  dollar project. So I implemented my own version the 100 euro project. So far I have proudly managed to set aside 500 euros since the start of 2017. I have invested all of this and in the process of my investment journey I have learned the following things.
1) Research research research it pays to look into fees for stocks,bonds,mutual funds or EFTS. Watch the  percentage or you may well find your hard earned cash being gobbled up on fees.
2) How do you want to invest ? Stock broker or are you and online do it yourself trader. Both charge fees and therefore you need to decide what your comfortable with. I use Degiro. It charges very low fees and there are other online do it yourself trading options so do your homework.
3) What to invest in? Bonds are traditionally believed to be safer but not always. Shares and if so who is it the Apples or Microsoft's of this world. There are websites such as Justetf which will build a portfolio for you. I would recommend double checking and researching the stocks which these sites recommend for you to make sure you are comfortable with them.
4) Risk - this is such an important aspect. If you are the kind to lie wake at night worrying if you loose 100 euros then your cautious and there is no point investing in high risk shares. Shares and stocks are not a get rich scheme and you need to know what you are doing and unfortunately be prepared to loose money if you gamble. Sorry but it's true. I recommend Morningstar for research. I recommend you complete the Irish Life questionnaire to see what kind of investor you are.
5) Strategy -what kind of investor are you are you a day trader or a long term investor. Both are very different and require a different strategy.
6) Research again because the value of bonds and shares can go up and down in the matter of minutes. Before you buy decide how much you are prepared to buy for. If the stock is high maybe leave it until it falls to a price you are happy to pay etc.
7) Be prepared to make mistakes and learn - but do not gamble recklessly. I have saw stocks dipped and sold as I was afraid but I should have held on. I did not have a clear strategy when I started and so I chose some stocks that were not suitable for what I wanted out of my investments. It happens and its ok. Live and learn but don't invest lots until you are sure on a stock.
8)Tax man -you must pay stamp duty on shares when you buy them. Equally, you are taxed at 20-40% pending on your income bracket for any dividends you may earn and when you sell shares yes, the tax man needs to be paid again. This is in Ireland in other countries such as the UK, investing in ISA's I believe are charged lower tax. Look into your investing and in Ireland the most tax efficient way to invest is in a pension. 
9) Make sure you have built an emergency fund, paid off debt and do not put all your eggs into one basket with investing. Have a savings account and diversify your assets e.g. some in property, FTSE, S & P, manufacturing, technology. 
10) Most men have investments but not alot of women invest. Why is this? For me it took ages to get me head around it. I think consumerism is geared more towards women in terms of clothes, hair, make up etc. But it makes me worry about my fellow pink sistas because we should be owning our finances and looking after our future and being #girlboss.  
11) Its going to take time. Investing is like saving one step forward and 3 steps back so invest little and often. 
12) Do not keep up with the Jones in investing. Gold may be the hottest thing since sliced bread for John Jones next door but it might not suit your strategy. There is alot of different factor from age, investment profile, attitude to risk , disposable income, strategy etc. If someone gives you tips on investing and starts telling you Copper is the next sure thing listen but always, always do your homework. 

If in doubt seek the advise of a trusted financial adviser these are just some steps to get you started and some tips that I found. I am not a financial adviser and so these are based on my opinion and experience. 
Best of luck with it.

If you would like me to do an ABC of investing and explain some of the terms please let me know.

I would also love to hear others investing lessons and stories. Thanks :) 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Update 100 euro project

Hello all,

So my posts have been irregular as I am back in college part time and also working full time. So its a hard balancing act. I am going to post some of my videos online so link for one is here

So this post is on my 100 euro project. Progress has been as follows:

1) 40 euros from my change savings jar could not believe so much in it.
2) I have moved over money from from my account where I saved money by bringing in coffee or bringing my lunch to work.
3) High interest rate saver. I am using AIB Online Saver Account which earns 2%. Its not setting the world on fire but its a start. To compare other savings accounts for lump or regular savings I love Bonkers.ie and also found ConsumerHelp. ie. really useful.
4) I am a fan of Pigsback and also Living social, Groupon and if you keep an eye out there can be really good deals on days out, meals and even a night away. Then put what you would have paid into the savings account result.
5) Cashback Ireland something new I found basically if you buy something online with Livingsocial, Easons or other companies theres loads from Fields Jewellers to Hotels.com you can earn back a percentage of the cost. Whats not to love about more money in your pocket?
6) Being minimalist. I am in Dublin and my god those shops. I find it so hard in Dublin to keep money in my pocket and so I have come to the idea of buying only what I need. Right now its a few jumpers and leave the crazy sparkly things and handbags where they are even though it makes me sad sometimes! :)
7) Budget- oh my god its so boring but so necessary. I have found pinterest useful they have a pie chart where you should save x amount, live off y amount and then bills etc z amount.
8) Have a vision. This is important because you can feel like you are depriving yourself but if its for a car, holiday etc then think of that when it gets hard.
9) Look at those statements where is your money going and cancel anything you do not want to be paying for e.g gym if you don't go do not pay for it.
10) Bank charges I am with AIB and I recently was gobsmacked with how much I pay them. I found this really useful. 
11) Financial review you can do this with your bank or else with an independent financial adviser. Its up to you but its on my list of to do.
12) Check and see if you are entitled to any tax back on rent, bin charges, medical, tuition etc.

So my 100 euro project is now 140 euros and counting.
Would love to hear of anyone elses ideas as my target is to grow this little nest egg into 500 euros and onwards. I am saving for a house and so I know I am not alone in the savings struggle.

Have you any tips? Would love to hear them and put them in the comments.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Action for Happiness : Key Look for whats good

I believe our minds affect our bodies. Feeling good and being positive can impact us physically too. In order to find whats good I try to use the following habits daily.

  1. Visualisations - I really like to think about what I want to achieve whether its a relationship or something else I try to imagine it and flood by body with feelings of positivity. 
  2. I have just started using a new app called Moodspace. I use it to write down 3 good things daily. There is always something good even on a bad day. 
  3. I also really like positive psychology which I want to learn more about. I think it would be a good thing to learn more about for my own well being. 
  4. The Four Agreements- I came across this recently. I was dealing with someone and their actions upset me but once I looked at it from the four agreements side I just let it go. Sometimes we take on things because someone doesn't like us, wants an argument/drama etc. But if you can not take it personally it affects your moods in a more positive way. I have to remind myself and I'm sensitive but I found it really helps. 
  5. Someone told me out of everything bad comes something good. The best example I know is Oprah. She was going to be fired but the television company did not want to break her contract or get out of it. They moved her from being a news reporter to a talk show host. She said the minute she stepped into the role as a talk show host she knew she was home! 
  6. Mindfullness- the more mindful I am the more appreciative I am of my life, of the little things of nature, food and so much more. This in turn has impacted my happiness levels. 
  7. Challenges not every challenge in life is negative. We are all challenged and our strengths come from our struggles. You can learn so much even from suffering and very difficult things. 
  8. Do something you love. We all need something to look forward too and coming home from a bad day at work or even going through a stressful period its nice to have 1 hour even if its only a week to paint, run, walk, meet a friend, read. 
  9. Self care - the more I go through my journey in life the more I realise this lies at the root of everything. From what you eat and drink to how you dress and present yourself to the world. You have to look for whats good in yourself, believe you are enough and celebrate yourself. 
  10. Non Judgement - this is such a challenge and I struggle with it and the monkey mind. But not judging especially yourself can massively impact your thoughts. It gets rid of the conflict. 
  11.  Finally let it go. Do not hold onto the past and bad experiences. For example, just because your ex two timed you it doesn't mean you have to be afraid that the next person will do the same. Look for whats good with the next relationship and don't let yourself be defined by your own mistakes or the actions of others. 

For more information see
Look for Whats Good
Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hotel of the week: Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway

I'm a video watch me !

  Where: Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway
 Why: Its one of the five star hotels in Galway so I was a little curious about it.
 What : Golf course, there is also estate activities from falconry to yoga. There is also the Pullman Carriage which is converted into a restaurant and is famed from the film of Agatha Christies Murder on the Orient Express and has links with Sir Winston Churchill. The hotel also has another restuarant called the River Room and the Oak Cellar Bar which has a bar menu.
Whats there: Everything from suites to hotel rooms, golf and fine dining.
  How: I drove from Galway city along the N59 and the hotel is on the left as you are heading out of the city.
 How much: You can spend as much or as little as you want.  You can stop by for food in the Oak cellar or else stay for a few days.
 Experience: I love the grounds and found staff to be lovely, friendly and very helpful.
Pros: The grounds and the views over Lough Corrib are really beautiful even in winter. The actual building is lovely too. I love the little church I just think its so cute and inside its small but lovely so it would be nice for a civil ceremony. I also love the Pullman I think its such a cool idea and would love to go to dinner or afternoon there sometime. Its on my to do list.
 Cons: The only con is its a little on the pricey side. But its supposed to be a treat and so if you have an occasion or valentines then its someplace nice to go.
 History:  Glenlo Abbey was built by one of the tribe families of Galway called the FFrenches in 1740.The house was originally called Kentfield House. In 1846 the estate was put up for sale and was brought by the Blakes another prominent Galway family who were one of the tribes. In 1897, another family called the Palmers purchased the house. In the 1980's the Bourke family purchased the house and converted it into a hotel.
Local attractions: Galway City Photowalk
 More information 
Glenlo Abbey Hotel 

 Hope you enjoyed reading.
 You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu