Tuesday 9 March 2021

 [This is a collaborative post but all words and opinions are my own]

The day has finally come where I'm talking about buying a houses and mortgages on my blog - how time flies! It's crazy to me that we never got taught anything at school about 'real life' situations about how mortgages work, stamp duty and all that other adulting stuff. Luckily, both my mum and step-dad work in a bank so they have constantly been giving me the 411, and how important it is to start saving as soon as you can. Whether you're single or have a partner to purchase a house with, the important thing is to assess your own situation and what is financially going to work for you in the long-run. I am currently in the process of *hopefully* purchasing a house, and these are some of my tips:

tea with gi house buying

1. Open a separate savings account. 

I now have two: one for travelling and fun stuff, and the other for all things house related. You'll need to consider that apart from paying a deposit, you'll also have to pay a lawyer for the conveyancing, stamp duty, and of course to furnish it! I have mine on Natwest, and they offer me 1.5% interest as long as my balance at the end of the month is £50 higher than it was the previous month. 

2. Find out how much you need for your deposit and what you can borrow. 

In most cases, the money you will have to put into buying a house is at least 10% of the full price of the house. So if you want to buy a house that's £200,000, you'll need to save at least £20,000. Most banks will offer you 4X your salary, and will look at your current spending habits before agreeing if they're going to lend you the money. 

3. Find the right estate agent. 

Buying a house can be stressful, so sometimes it's easier to let someone else do all the hard work for you. GrowProperty help you understand what you can afford, and will be with you for every step of the process. They can advise on how to negotiate and making the best offer, arranging all the legal work, and help with all the paperwork. 

4. Be realistic. 

If I could, I'd love to buy a 4 bedroom house with a pool and a garden. The fact that I'd be having to do that on 1 salary means that is highly unlikely unless I won the lottery this year. Being a first-time home buyer means that the house you purchase won't necessarily be the house you live in all your life. It is however a good way to get on the 'property ladder' and have a place that is yours. In time your situation may change and you may need to upgrade or down-size, which you can do when the time and need arises. 

5. Make an expenses plan. 

I love spreadsheets, and I make one every year showing what my 'fixed' spendings are each month and what I'm putting aside for adult things/travelling. It's a good way to visually see what you're left with at the end of the month, and what you can actually afford to save every month. I've also been using Revolut 'Vaults' a lot to have separate savings for individual trips, luxuries and birthday/Christmas presents! 

6. Choose what's right for you. 

Not everyone is going to have the same 'goals' or things to tick off in life. A lot of people are fine with renting, or don't want to have roots in just one city. The same way as others may prefer to have a smaller apartment but have more money to spend on experiences, and others have always envisioned owning their dream home by 30. It's always useful to hear advice and tips from other people who have done it, but in the end the decision is yours! 

I hope this post has been useful, and whatever stage you're at it's important to not stress or compare. We're all on individual journeys! 



Thursday 4 March 2021

 [This is a collaborative post but all words are my own.]

You're probably thinking, Giana why are you writing a wedding themed blog post when you're very much single? Even though that's the case, one of my best friends is getting married soon! So we've been busy talking everything wedding related (and the hen night of course). Having a degree in events management also means that I've always enjoyed thinking about 'out of the box' themes and creative ideas for celebrations. If you or somebody you know are tying the knot soon, here are some ideas to consider for the special day. 

1. Make your own wedding invitations.

If you want to make your invites feel a lot more personal, then why not try making DIY wedding invitations? This way you can bring them to life however you want, and if you're not exactly fond of your own handwriting, invite your bridesmaids over and have everyone do their part for creating the perfect invites! 

2. Invent some signature cocktails.

I'm sure by the end of the night, most guests will be ordering beers, G&Ts or vodka redbulls. To keep things interesting at the beginning of the reception, have some unique cocktails to choose from. You could have fun with this and have some 'inside joke' cocktail names. 

3. Put disposable cameras on each table. 

Even though most individuals will take loads of photos to remember the day on their phones, having pictures on disposable cameras means you'll have something to take away from the night, and you can add them to a wedding photo album the old fashioned way!

4. Hangover relief kits for the adults. 

Even though your grandmother might only have two glasses of champagne, I think most people would appreciate a bag of snacks and goodies at the end of the night! I'd include a little bottle of mouthwash, an eye mask, some electrolytes and a bag of crisps. 

5. Have a guest icebreaker question or 'dare'. 

Under each guests' place card, write a dare or question they must ask someone at the wedding during the reception. The great thing about this is that you'll be able to personalise each one to the person, which makes it a great way to try set up your single friends or at least get conversations flowing! 

6. Send a collaborative playlist for the guests. 

Want to make sure nobody complains about the music on the night? Set up a collaborative playlist on Spotify and share it with your guests to add songs. Before the wedding you can choose to make this private again and edit the playlist as you please, as WAP might not go down very well at 9pm with your family around!

7. Set up a karaoke area.

There's always going to be guests who will say they 'don't dance', so how about they sing instead? You can hire a karaoke machine and keep everyone pleased. I can already imagine everyone hogging the microphone to sing High School Musical. 

8. Have a sweet cart for the kids (and peckish adults). 

A fun idea would be to have a pick and mix cart for guests either in a corner or going around the tables during the reception. If you'd rather have a gin cart, I'm sure that would also go down a treat! 

9. Create a # for social media for the wedding. 

Since you'll be too busy having fun on your big day to see all the photos you've been tagged in on Instagram, the best way to have all the photos from your wedding in one place is to create an official hashtag! You can have signs around the reception reminding guests what it is, or making it something simple like #AandBsWedding

10. Theme your centrepieces. 

I always said I wanted to have Disney movie themed centrepieces, but now that I'm a bit older and my interest have slightly changed. I would love to theme each table on a different city me and my 'future partner' have been to or places of importance. It's your day, so have fun with it!

With a lot of weddings being postponed due to the global pandemic, it is exciting that things are slowly getting back to normal and we can start looking forward to things. I hope you find any of these ideas interesting and consider them on your wedding day!



Monday 1 March 2021

[This is a guest post, all content published on Tea With Gi is kept relevant to my audience and style.]

The great thing about being a teacher is that you can do it anywhere in the world. With so many organisations and British international schools across the globe looking to hire, it shouldn’t be too
difficult to find a teaching job overseas. While challenging, teaching abroad can be extremely
rewarding and enlightening. Read on for some of the benefits of teaching abroad.

Gain Professional Experience and Enrich Your CV

Teaching in a foreign country is a completely unique experience that will give you the chance to
work with different kinds of school communities who have their own approach to education. You
will need to adapt, which will make you a more flexible and accommodating person. You will build
relationships with new teaching staff and students, which will not only help you become a better
teacher yourself but will also allow you to grow as a person.

The experience will be a challenge like no other you will have to be committed, but this will be great
for our personal development. All of these skills and qualities will give your CV a well-deserved boost
that will help you progress in your career.

Learn About Other Cultures

Although you might miss your homeland from time to time, being immersed in a new culture is the best way to learn about it. Every day you will have exciting opportunities to try something new, whether it be tasting a new food, learning a new language, or celebrating a different tradition.

Meeting people with different cultural backgrounds will allow you to see the world from a new perspective and you will be able to share your knowledge with your friends and family from back

Learning about a new culture may even help you appreciate your own that much more. You will be
able to teach your students about some of your own cultural traditions and how they differ and they
will be able to share their own thoughts and ideas.
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