I finally attended my first bloggers event in Manchester. Hoorah. It feels like quite a big milestone. I am familiar with the Leeds scene. I stay in good contact with a lot of the awesome girlies over there. But it was well overdue to introduce myself to some new faces. New faces in the city I now call home.
This opportunity came as I was invited to the GIFFGAFF Plan Smart event at The Principle in Manchester. The topic was immediately attractive to me. Money Saving.
Why? Because as you know, I like to travel. No scratch that. I love to travel. And of course spread my cultural wings across the UK too. I love trying new things and seeing new shows. But that costs money. Lots of money. So I’ll take every saving tip I can get.
Who are GIFFGAFF?
You have probably seen their adverts on TV. *Voiceover* This talent show, reality series and sitcom is sponsored by GIFFGAFF, the mobile phone network for you. Yeah, I thought that would prompt your memory. But they’ve seen a gap in the financial market. Millennial market to be specific.
So they’re launching their revolutionary, new Gameplan.
It’s an app based system where you can manage your money and ask for advice. They will supply free credit reports, smart switching comparisons, help you stick to a budget and reach your saving goals. It’s user friendly and all in one neat place.
Intrigued? You should be. If you’re saving for your first home, trip to Bali or front row seats to Wicked (which you should by the way because it’s a mind blowing Musical) then GIFFGAFF might be the best way to help you do it!
What happened at the event?
Around 30 bloggers were split into three workshops. Fellow bloggers Donna, Katie and Lisa, to name only a few, were so welcoming and friendly. I was super glad to have them in my group and can’t wait to meet them again. Blogger date anyone?
Firstly, we tried our hand at hand knitting.
I had a love affair with knitting a few years back. It lasted about 6 weeks and I made a 15cm rectangle. That was it. Hours worth of effort and very little reward. I’m also not known for my patience. So yeah, it’s not exactly a hobby of mine. But I was intrigued to make a necklace using my hands and not those pesky needles.
I can report back that it was 100 times easier. Figure of eight, pull the hook over and repeat. It took around 15 minutes to make a 15cm chunky necklace. The fabric was cut off from old t-shirts, so it’s a great way to recycle, or rather upcycle your clothes into accessories.
I did nearly break my fingers as I think I pulled too tight, but with practice I’m sure I’d get the hang of it. The bright, popping colours really appeal and I’ve already been wearing the necklace. I think I’ll get a lot of compliments at work tomorrow.
What I really like is that I made it. It’s unique. And it’s a way to transform my old t-shirts. Maybe my boyfriends too, but I better ask him first…
Next up we took part in a financial quiz.
GIFFGAFF tested our financial know-how with a quick quiz. Miss Competitive over here immediately sat up straight, ready to knock it out of the park. But they did not make it easy. I thought I was pretty savvy on savings and clued up credit scores but it looks like I’m not so educated.
I didn’t know just how many companies can investigate your history and how much they can see of your spending habits. The financial market can seem a scary world but the GIFFGAFF Gameplan is here to help change that.
I got 50% correct by the way, which wasn’t the worst, or the best result. The geek in me wanted to correlate the scores with our ages. I wander if the older you are, the more you know?
Finally, a cooking demonstration.
The dish prepared was a Tagine, which was packed full of vegetables and made to be fully vegan. They chopped, sauteed and steamed everything right in front of our eyes. It literally took 15 minutes. That’s it. I live a fast life, so that is exactly what I need.
I ate all of my portion within minutes. It was yummy! And cheap too. Vegetables cost nowhere near the same as meat. It is a reminder than fresh and flavoursome veggie dishes can be cheap, quick and tasty.
We even left with a goody bag full of, well, goodies. I loved the handy meal planning notebook, piggy bank and quite excitingly, kitchen herb garden. They were the perfect reinforcement of the day. Plan in advance, grow your own food and save your pennies.
The whole event was aimed at showing just how simple it can be to spend less and save more. The new GIFFGAFF Game Plan looks like a pretty handy way to track your patterns and stay on top of your dollar. It’s made for us. By us. And with us in mind.
What are you saving for? Have you any handy tips? Let me know below!