A few years on

Three years ago I was employed, a full-time, yearly renewed contract but it was still ‘proper’ employment.

Things hadn’t really been going well, work was very stressful, I was being forced to teach something I felt unqualified to teach – I tried to explain I couldn’t teach it and was told I was being ‘inflexible’ and where I worked people who were inflexible did not get contract renewals. Marking was getting on top of me, I had over 100 students doing BTEC and some of them were not passing the unit I was struggling to teach. I was going to work at 7am and leaving at 9pm, my weekends consisted of grunting at my partner during meals and then getting back to marking or lesson planning or tracking.

I also had had time off to get married (that made me popular – not) then, three days before the Easter holidays I was at work at 7:30am and my mother called me sobbing – my grandfather died. I had to leave and go back to Yorkshire and care for my grandmother, help arrange the funeral, view the body, the body with half the face smashed from where he’d fallen. We’re a close-knit family and I’d told the place I worked I wouldn’t be back before the Easter holidays.

I was told not to worry about it. So I didn’t.

I should have.

When I returned I was told I should have returned the next day. I was told that I had let my students down. I was told that I had let the other staff down. When I’d explained to my students why I had been absent I was told how dare I make them feel bad for asking why their work hadn’t been marked? Slowly I began to realise I wasn’t welcome in my department anymore, several people began to blame me for things, the others began to close off from me. I’d suddenly become the department scapegoat. I had to reinterview for my job and I didn’t get it. Friday afternoon the week before final deadline my boss told me that she’d finally IV’d my Unit two marking and none of it was up to her standard. This was a shock to me as I’d marked it the same as the year before and when I asked why she hadn’t said anything in January (as that’s when it should have been IV’d) I was told she couldn’t find it then and all my students would have to re-do, resubmit and I would have to remark anything above a pass in one week.

That day as I drove home I stared at the trees along the route and found myself thinking “If I drove into one of those trees…I wouldn’t have to go to work on Monday” I was so desperate not to go back to that toxic environment that I was willing to seriously injure myself. I didn’t want to kill myself, I could never do that to my partner and family, but I wanted to hurt myself so badly.

The Saturday I treated myself to the local Pick your own and went to pick strawberries. A few hours in the fresh air would sort me out I thought. I don’t remember how it happened but there I was in the middle of a strawberry field, on my knees in the hay just sobbing my eyes out silently.  I don’t know how long I sat there, I an remember it so clearly, the bees, the smell of strawberries, the green of the plants and the bright blue sky but I do remember thinking ENOUGH.

I drove myself to the local walk in clinic and sat for an hour in the waiting room barely holding on.  I explained everything, the nurse was brilliant, she listened and I was a blubbering mess she prescribed me some Valium to get me through the weekend as I hadn’t been sleeping and sent me home with strict instructions not to go back to that place.

I called my two best friends as my partner was away. Please I need someone here with me I begged them and they came. They stayed the whole week with me, they fed me ice cream and didn’t complain when I ate the whole lot myself. They made sure I slept and took the medicine the Dr prescribed me. They drove me to that Dr on the Monday morning and she made sure I knew that I wasn’t in the wrong, she told me it was okay to feel how I did and she also said she’d wanted me to take a fit note when she’d seen me in March but I’d refused saying I’d tough it out.

I love my friends. Someone I don’t speak to anymore called my partner and explained everything to them, including how I was feeling and what had happened and how they could help me.

The medicine I was taking knocked me out, dead on 2pm every afternoon. I started in May 2014 and the whole of May, June, July….I would fall asleep at 2pm, that’s how exhausted and sleepless I’d been. I started therapy, I didn’t think it would help, I hated filling out the survey every week asking if I still wanted to hurt myself. Some weeks were better than others.

As I’m writing this I’m sat in a library at university. A library I probably wouldn’t have been sat in without the support and help of my friends, partner and therapist. I felt so low and useless I wouldn’t have even considered doing a Masters.

Yet here I am, two years in to a part-time masters, I’m sat in the library surrounded by the books and papers I’m reading for the literature review for my final project. The lowest grade I’ve gotten so far was 69%. I still have bad days, I’m currently crying as I write all this out – it’s like poking a wound that’s inside, it causes an ache in my chest even this many years on. My experience has damaged my love of teaching, it damaged my confidence and it’s damaged how I work with other people to a degree.  I couldn’t even drive past the building at first.

It took over a year of therapy, and it was only in September 2016 I took the last of my medication to the pharmacy for disposal. I’m better than I was, and one day I hope to be able to talk about it without being angry or crying.

One day.


A teacher who needs someone to talk to? Call the Education support network 24/7 08000 562 561

Their website: here

12/01/17

Time:06:51

Waiting for the call – aha! Beat my newsagents opening again! It may seem strange “if you know their opening times then you should just need to get up before then” Thing is they don’t really have a set opening time. I’ve lived here about 3-4 years and all I’ve managed to ever work out is that they’re open between 6:20 and 6:55am.

Tutoring is picking up, I have about 5 students now which is nearing my max number of 7. I could have more if I opened up my saturday but I am loath to do that for a couple of reasons. Mostly it’s because I do courses on some weekends and there’s nothing more annoying than having to skip sessions or try to rearrange them.. Speaking of which I have an amazing course to attend the end of Feb, very excited – it’s all about the weather and I’ll be travelling up to Scotland!

Just sent out an email to *all* my tutees about Feb half term and, because that course is the week after about rearranging sessions and any extra sessions they may want. It was harder than I thought although it was strange, in a nice way, to be emailing all these people who I tutor. Feels good to see my business growing and as it does I can relax a fraction about money. Getting the full load of tutees would be amazing, but the two slots I have left are both on a friday night so on one hand MONIES….on the other hand WHOOPWHOOPFRIDAYS. Swings and roundabouts eh?

I’m hoping to hear back from my accountant soon….something along the lines of ‘government owes you shed loads of money’ would be great right now. I think if I got a tax rebate I’d upgrade my computer. Don’t laugh but right now my home PC is on VISTA – yeah yeah, get the giggles out of your system. Thing is I like VISTA, I’m comfortable with it in a way I can’t seem to get with my Windows 10 Laptop. Perhaps it’s because I’ve used it for almost a decade and i just need to get used to a newer OS again. My home PC is called NAMMU and I do adore it and it’s dual screen setup. Then again (Mazu) my laptop is pretty awesome and good for taking to uni. I find though when I’m at home I prefer the PC.

07:30
Hmmm things I would buy with a tax rebate….say if it was about 400/500 pounds.
Sadly I’d probably be sensible and put it in my savings account for the car tax/insurance that will be coming up in oh three or four months..but if I DIDN’t have to do that…

1) Upgrade PC
2) Treat my partner
3) fix some minor things on my car
4) attend a convention
5) Pay for a years swimming membership so I could go when I wanted

Huh. I had to really think about that list to make it more than three things. I guess at the moment I’m feeling pretty fulfilled with life at the moment. Sure there are lots of silly things I could spend money on but seeing as it’s a bit of a squeeze at the moment that is not going to happen. Saying that I did buy a whole cake yesterday :-/ it was a SMALL cake. Barely the size of my head! I bought a whole cake but I’m pleased to say I didn’t eat the whole things – I just haven’t had cake in so long I was craving it.

Rumour is we’re going to have snow this weekend. That’ll be a laugh!
Until Monday!

09/01/17

Time: 06:36

Well good morning there!

It’s completely pitch black out of my window at this time on a morning , not surprising in the winter. However, if you look closely you can see the lights of my neighbours across the road, looks like I’m not the only one awake. I’ve beaten the newsagents up today though 😀

Leading on from my last post I decided I would try to do my coin jar challenge. It’s going to be difficult because I used to use my tutoring money to fill the jar and now I need to use that money to fill my car….and me….and my savings account to pay for car insurance etc.

This week has been interesting – the first time in a long time I’ve started taking bank payments for tutoring. Which has helped my poor bank balance look a bit healthier.

Interesting works, two new tutees starting this week. I was actually pleasantly surprised to receive a text from someone I tutored before. Sometimes no matter how hard me and the kid try they just don’t do well on the exams, this happened and they moved onto BTEC. I always feel bad but the family didn’t blame me which I appreciate because sometimes they do! Anyway, they’d like me to just give then a hand with their last few months of BTEC, I’ve said yes conditional on what units they needs help with! The other one is actually one who’s found me by themselves no parental involvement as of yet, although we’ll see – I don’t consider them as serious students until they’ve paid for my details on tutorhunt. I hasten to add I haven’t just been randomly picking students up, I use tutorhunt although there’s always my website as well.

If I do get two extra students that would ease things  a lot financially – it’d essentially double my weekly income from tutoring. We shall see! (P.S. I am also registered self-employed and pay my darned taxes because I’m law-abiding citizen)

07:32

I’ve always been a bg fan of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series (start with the first book here). Imagine my delight when I discovered there’s an entire fan club devoted to it 😀 The Royal Manticorian Navy (TRMN.org) for all those Honor Harrington fans out there. You progress by taking exams and getting promoted and so far I’ve been doing Xenobiology and hydroponics because I’m more interested in the Civilian life than the military side of things. Any who, nice bunch of people as well 🙂

I had a bit of luck recently, I won £100 as a gift voucher. I was delighted although I’m not sure I spent it in the way some would! I bought an Amazon echo dot, a pair of jeans (I had just worn through my last pair and was stressed out about having only work trousers to wear), a book on clouds, a storage system for some bits that have been loose and bugging me, another book about clouds and a book called ‘red rising‘.

Thanks to sharing my partner’s amazon prime account (you can share your prime account with members of the same household) most of my items came the next day 😀 I’m just waiting on the storage system now and I’ll have some nice neat organisation in my life (hahahaha)

07:52  I have lots of stuff I should be doing whilst waiting for ‘the call’ I should be working on a job application, I could be doing some craftwork or tidying. In about 10 mins I’ll wake my partner up and have some breakfast (crumpets are on the menu this morning yum) *puts head on desk* I’d LOVE to go back to bed, but I need to get out of the habit of doing that. Need to get used to early morningzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

04/01/17

Time: 07:02

Good morning everyone! It’s Thursday which means up and waiting for the call again. I’ve been up since about 6:30, checked my emails and also responded to some tutoring enquiries.

Meanwhile, I know some people find it annoying but I really see the Facebook ‘memories’ feature with a blend of facepalm and laughter. It’s quite funny seeing old pictures and posts but it can also be quite ‘arghIcan’tbelieveIwrotethat’ seriously, I must have gone through a facebook = twitter stage. Then again this may have been before twitter was a really big thing… or at least before I’d heard of tweeting other than in reference to the birds that lived outside my room at uni.

I have some decisions to make at the end of this week, as an added treat to myself I decided this week is a ‘relaxed’ week so I haven’t really done anything. it’s been quite surreal. I did my exams at uni before christmas so no revision for exam week next week, I haven’t officially got my thesis so no pressure there.

Also I didn’t renew my contract on my long-term supply job… Yes you heard me right. They really wanted me to stay. They offered me half days, they offered me less days and I was -so- tempted. Wonderful school, wonderful staff, mostly wonderful students but I swear to gods I couldn’t take another minute of the BTEC course.  Partially it’s my fault I didn’t spot the irritating flaws in the assignment brief before teaching it and I assumed too much about my students skill levels. I suspect if it hadn’t been for the BTEC I would have stayed. I still have to go back because, like the plonker I am, I forgot to return my library books AND my secret santa present! and I suppose I might as well return my parking pass and encrypted USB stick. I may keep my lanyard though in case I’m asked to do a days supply. I have quite the collection now!

I did indeed feel nervous about losing the regular income, however, I talked it over with my partner (after all it’s them who foots the bills so it would have been a bit unfair not to) and felt it was the best thing for me at the moment. Also, I have been able to take on some extra tutoring so I’m not exactly destitute.

So decisions:

1) Coin jar? Am I going to do my infamous coin jar? If I were I think I’d do it backwards…so technically already behind :-/
2) Am I going to carry on job hunting or just focus on what I have at the moment?
3) Am I ever going to finish my NHS job application? I really should as it was the whole point of the masters but I’m leaning towards PHD…. however partner has requested I get an actual job which I can hardly blame them for so I should at least finish it!
4) Am I going to go through my clothes and have a bit of a sort out? I currently take up one and a half wardrobes (out of 3 and a half) and four drawers so I really should and try to make some cash!

07:42 I think I’m going to go do some work elsewhere. Until Monday!

03/01/2047

Time: 6:56

Well here we are again

It’s always such a pleasure….

So new year! I’ve been a bit quiet since august, which is usual for me when I’ve got a long-term contract. A bit hard to write about the long wait for the early morning phone call when I’m already at work!

I hope all my readers had an excellent and safe new year and christmas?

Anyhow, this term I’m back on day-to-day. I turned down an extension on my term-long contract (I’m mad I know) but to be honest combined with the masters I was doing plus the private tutoring it was driving me around the twist. Strangely enough it wasn’t the students. the staff or the school but the marking! BTEC marking is enough to try anyone’s patience and to be quite frank I did my time and no more thank you!

I did spend a good portion of christmas thinking ‘oh gods why did I turn the hours down’ the wage to be frank would have been good. However, not working the three days a week will mean I can focus on the masters and means I’ve been able to take on extra tutees so swings and roundabouts.

07:02
*groans*
I wonder if I should bother getting dressed today. Well, by today I mean this morning of course I’m going to get dressed -today- *shifty eyes*

07:36

Meanwhile I’ve started some job applications and I can feel a headache coming along nicely. My kind wonderful partner got up with me and after I gave them porridge kindly made me a cup of tea. The porridge is irritating my stomach now though so I’m wondering if it was a fair trade :-/
No calls yet (obviously) and the chat on the supply teacher network is a bit quiet so I reckon a lot of people are calling it a day (if they got up at all) I think I’m going to climb back into bed and read before catching up on my z’s!

19/04/16 teaching and learning

My life is pretty busy as far as the average week goes. My week starts on a Tuesday, with classes at university, last semester they were on a Monday and Tuesday – I go part time, so half the amount of units in a year and theoretically half the amount of work.

It’s true, however, I do the course part time because 1) I couldn’t afford the fees for a full time year and 2) If I was at university full time I couldn’t afford to eat, or do anything, including traveling to uni.

After lectures on a Tuesday I travel through rush hour to tutor a highschooler science, the travel is a pain but I’ve had her almost a year now and I’m not giving up on her. I leave my house at typically 8:30am and get home around 8:30pm

Wednesday is hard, I do supply teaching and I have a long term contract with a school that on a good day is a 30 minute drive – assuming I set off at 6:40am. That’s the sweet spot traffic wise, for some reason if I leave at 6:45am it’s a 45 minute drive. i get to work at around 7:10 am and begin my work for the day. This consists of printing any resources for the day, making sure I book any practicals I need for the week after and doing my marking. I have a fairly light timetable, because they know I only get these two days to do work for them. However inevitably I’ll get cover, so slowly my ‘free’ periods get eroded, meaning I get behind on everything else. This is why I don’t check my emails until my printing is done for the morning. if I have no email by 8:30am I can cheer, I’m off the hook for the day. I’m attached to a year group to help with assembly, mainly little needed crowd control. Then I got back and mark until 4:15. After that I drive to another tutee and tutor her for A-level. I get home around 6:30-7pm, not quite 12 hours but close.

Thursday is similar setting of at 6:40am, I typically get home for 45 mins then head out at 6:30pm to help with my local sea cadet unit, I say help. I mean teach – that 45 mins I’m at home? It’s spent wrestling with my printer and sorting out what I’m actually going to go over with them. I’ll get home from there about 9:30.

Friday is the first (and every so often only) day of my weekend. it’s usually spent doing laundry or sorting out my paperwork. I also do some work online so I’ll spend time sorting out that.

Sometimes I’ll do a training course over the weekend but typically I’m so bushed I’ll sleep till I wake up Saturday and Sunday, if I haven’t already it will be a case of doing groceries and laundry and trying to clean just a little bit more of my house.

Monday, anything I didn’t do the other ‘free’ days. I also have a knitting club I run after 5, and sometimes a club I attend.

Heh. Pretty busy eh? I can imagine there are people out there who do many more things than me over a week, over a month day after day after day.  Hat’s off to you busy people. Hats off.

I think if I could start again I would delay my course for a year, at least then I’d be eligible for the masters loan coming in September. I’m not because even though I’ll have to pay my fees again I’m not a new student so get zilch. Also because in my undergrad I didn’t do so well I’m not eligible for a lot of the grants etc. There are some I can apply for, especially now I’m doing well on my course. I’ve found a couple, but they’re pretty niche! Definitely check out findamasters.

The balance is hard, I need to start using my Friday or Monday to do more work towards my exam otherwise I will never get this damn essay question down. It’s a seen exam, with one question, for three hours. Help. *cries*

Any questions? Post them below..

 

 

Penny a day/coin challenges

So, since January 1st I’ve been saving pennies in a jar. Yes, you read that correctly, Pennies. In. A. Jar. (Not to be confused with http://www.penniesinthejar.com/ which is an amazing blog and I thoroughly recommend it)

The idea is, that on January the first you put 1 penny (or whichever the smallest denomination of your country is), January second, you put in 2 pence. Eventually this builds up so you’re putting more and more in each day. I figured this would work out cheaper than the 52 weeks challenge, which is similar except week one you put in £1, week 2 £2 etc.

As some of you may have figured out by now, my main source of income is from teaching, more specifically supply teaching. Due to the shortage of teachers in England I’ve managed to find work, even though I needed two days a week which was initially quite difficult to find.  The main issue with supply teaching is, if you don’t put money aside during the plentiful periods, you have no source of income over the holidays because you don’t get paid. You’re a contractor, and unless you have a very, strangely, generous school that you work for you only get paid for what you work.

This means that whatever challenge I take, I’m going to find it difficult over the summer, 6 weeks definitely without pay, and probably a very slow September/October as schools tighten their finances.

Anyways, let’s see what I’ve got so far.

17april

I like excel spreadsheets, if you like you can download the dated and undated versions of this one. For those without this software I’ve included a PDF tick list (you might also be able to open it in open office as I use an older version of excel). This is the traditional penny a day challenge going from 1st January to 31st December, note it’s 266 days as it was a leap year this year. I tend to add and remove the date columns when I want and colour in dark grey when I’ve put the money in. Those looking carefully may note that I’ve made a start putting coins in for mid-July and I’ll try and do that from now on until July, August and September are complete. When done you would have £671.61, not bad going.

This is my coin jar

109b.jpg
You’ll need a big jar for this challenge, this is an olive jar from Lidl, the lids are a nightmare to get off initially but my partner appreciated the olives.

If you’re not sure you’ll have the cash in December you can always try doing the challenge backwards (dated, undated, use the same pdf as the normal challenge) or alternating the money you put in (dated, undated, pdf).

As I mentioned I did once initially start doing the £1 a week challenge (although the sheet was in dollars) I bottled out after 4 weeks, good job I’ve matured this year! If you managed to do challenge that you would have saved up £1,378 by the end of the year.  Here are some tracking sheets Normal (undated, pdf) backwards (undated, pdf) or alternating the money you put in (undated, pdf). I think if I had a steady job that I’d be tempted by this one.

The Skint dad blog has some other ideas for money saving challenges, his £12.50 a week one is quite good; that would get you about £650 by the year’s end. He also has lots of downloads if you don’t like mine.

As I was typing this I was thinking, hmmm, some of these aren’t really do-able for someone who doesn’t make very much income, say for example a child with pocket money who still wants to save. I also thought it might need to be simple.

I am not a parent; though I have nieces and nephews, according to my knowledge of them and research on the internet pocket money can be anything from £3 to £7. With this in mind I’ve put together a sheet that is a simple £1.50 a week (excel, PDF), £5 a month (excel, PDF) as well as a blank version of both (weekly, pdf, monthly, pdf) in case it’s a differing amount each week/month.

Oh my goodness, making all those spreadsheets and putting them into this post has killed my back! Twenty-seven files were harmed in the making of this post (the PDF’s have their excel equivalents)

There are loads of ways to store your coins as well, as I mentioned I have an old olive jar from Lidl. You may not also know, but I also collect money boxes, I’m not sure if that’s an odd hobby or not. I’ll make sure to do a post about them another time J

I think with challenges like this you get three types of people.
1) People who like to watch the coins grow, this might mean they use a see through jar like this Plastic Coca Cola Savings – Money Box / Bottle 60cm Fancy Money Box / Novelty Money Box  or, if you don’t like to count your own coins… Gift House Int Digital UK Coin Counting Money Jar

2) People who don’t want to be tempted. You might get these types of jar: Tin Money Box

3) Terra Mundi enthusiasts. Oh yeah, I hear you. I have a serious love of these coin jars; I have one that I put £2 coins in when I’m not using them for challenges. Alas I know the secret of getting coins out without smashing them (which is good because they’re beautiful) but also bad…as it means I can get the coins out! I would love to own one of the large disney versions
(like this one: Deluxe Large Terramundi Money Pot : Disney Fund written in Yellow and Whitebut at over £50 that’s unlikely to happen!

I hope you enjoyed this post, happy savings!

Swagbucks 28/03/16

swagbucks

 

Logo from the swagbucks facebook page. All rights belong to swagbucks.

 

So, I logged on this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see my swagbucks account had got 1,001 ‘swagbucks’(SB’s) the reason this makes me happy is because it’s 999 for a £5 PayPal voucher. Yay! £5 for nothing! There are lots of rewards to choose from.

Yeah…. Let’s not get too excited. Nothing isn’t quite the right word. Nothing –financially- to get the points. However, there are a lot of clicks in those thousand points.

So, firstly you sign up to swagbucks. On the first day I registered I earned 166 SB’s from all the signup rigmarole they get you to do. Five of those SB’s were from disqualification after I didn’t meet the criteria for some of the surveys I’d started. I also got another 500 for signing up after I’d been active a certain amount of time (about a week or so)

I didn’t really go into swagbucks with the intention of using it as a cash back site, I have other sites I use for things like that. However, saying that I DO use it when I order from just eat for takeaways. (I have so far got 269 points from those orders) which at 3SB per £1 tells me far too much about my eating habits!

So, free things you can do to earn swagbucks.

You can do the poll for 1SB every day. So that can get you a potential 365 points a year.
You can also do Daily offers (NOSO), that’s 2 SB a day. That’d give you 730 points a year.

So for two very easy clicky things that probably take less than 30 seconds you’d get 1,095 points a year which you could use to buy a £5 Amazon card. By my calculations (which could be wrong) I make that just over 3 hours for the whole year. I’ve definitely had worse returns for three hours clicking!

Other things you can do:

Surveys: I’ve earned about 476 points doing surveys. When they’re good they’re very good, I usually get about 80 SB per survey but some can give you up to 100. Also when they do that irritating thing of you completing part and then getting kicked out? At least you get 1 SB for your trouble!

Games: If you have spare time there are a couple of games you can play that earn you SB’s as well. I’ve only earned 14 SB from games which should tell you how tedious I find them. Although perhaps I just haven’t been giving them a chance! One is a card matcher and the other a game where you race a dinosaur over obstacles. I usually get about 2SB per game.

Swagsearch: This is probably my biggest earner, netting me 1,135 SB since I joined in November 2015.  I have the search function installed on my browser and use it as my go to internet search. It seems to use yahoo search and images which I’m not a big fan or, but if something is really not working I just switch over to Google.

Swagbutton and Swagcodes: I have the swag button installed on my browser as well and it lets me know when there are Swagcodes active. These are codes that you input to the Swagbutton (or on the site) and it gives you points. Usually you have to go to the website or facebook page to find the code but it’s not too technical, least SB I’ve ever gotten was 2; the most I’ve ever gotten was 6. Most of the codes are time sensitive though so don’t always rely on sites that list them!

Watching videos: You can watch videos on apps or on the website to earn SB’s. It’s tedious and sometimes dull and you have to watch something like 10 or 15 videos for 3sb (max). However, if you have the apps on your phone watch both on there and on your PC you can get through the videos whilst doing something else. I’ve earned about 230 SB from doing this. It’s especially good in the summer holidays when you’re at home with nothing else to do! Don’t do it if you haven’t got a wifi connection from your phone and watch your data allowance.

Downloading Apps: Downloading apps onto your phone and using them can net you mega SB’s. I don’t like to download things onto my phone unless I’m going to use them for a while but the lowest I’ve had was 25 SB’s the largest?  500 SB’s!
Daily goals: If you can meet the daily goals you get bonuses. Simple as that!

Slightly riskier are the swagstakes. These are basically like lotteries, you buy tickets with your SB’s and then they are drawn. Some of the prizes are very good but there are thousands of tickets, some are small. When I do partake I like to do the 100SB draw. There are 5 tickets, two tickets for 55 SB’s or 25 SB’s each, I like good odds so I buy 2 and 1, spending 80 SB’s with a chance of winning 20 (when I take away cost). I don’t always win, but it’s just a little bit of fun.

Ah! Last but not least, the birthday bonus! This year if I bought a giftcard (which I did) I got 55 SB back, because it’s the month of my birthday. Woot.

So, Swagbucks is easy to use and you can amass a decent amount of points. Since joining in November I’ve earned enough SB’s to buy 3 £5 PayPal giftcards amounting to £15. I think that’s not bag going seeing as I’ve not really being making an effort! You may think this isn’t a lot, but a fiver every now and then never hurt.

If you’d like to give it a go you can use my referral link here of throughout this post. Until next time!

25.03.16

Good Friday everybody!

I’m not a religious person, but I hope those who are have a lovely day, Myself? I’m going to enjoy the peace and quiet of no University and no School for the next two weeks.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to be busy! Oh no – the Easter holidays are usually a time for me to catch up with my family who live up the country. Alas, that isn’t going to be happening this year. Money is far too tight, I was sick last week which means no pay this week (I get paid weekly as most supply teachers do).

However, I do try and budget for the holidays (which I also don’t get paid for). So I’ve got a very slight amount of money to buy things…like food. Or discounted Easter eggs on Monday….NO bad.

Luckily tutoring helps me tide over on most weeks.

The new master’s loans the UK government are giving students had some more information given out on a leaflet at university last week. It may have been earlier but I got one last week -I was devastated. I’m not eligible. I was, let’s say more than a little upset last week, but now I’m a lot calmer about it. They had to draw the funding line somewhere (I am not eligible because I have already started my masters, even though I’m doing it part time, so won’t finish until next year). Now I have the huge £3k issue of where the heck am I going to find £3,000+. Again, once I’d stopped hyperventilating I really thought about it.

I’d already agreed to do exam marking for two exam boards, so that will net me about £1,800 (IF I manage to mark it all, 350 full papers and also 22,000 individual questions in three/four weeks. No pressure)

Anyway, thank you for reading my rambling.

Tomorrow I am on a vintage and retro hunt with my friend and their daughter it will be nice to chill out.

I also want to set up a tracker for my penny jar challenge (which I’ll tell you more about in a different post). How do I let people download files from wordpress? Or, is it just something you can’t do?

Have a lovely day if I don’t write to you again before!

20.03.2016

Well hello 2016!

Things got a little bit crazy the end of last year. I felt really down and sad and lonely. Then I got an ideal teaching contract (for me anyway) 2 days a week!

I love the school I’m at, and the students are lovely. It does feel a little isolating though, none of the other teachers seem to want to sit with me at staff briefings and because I don’t have my own classroom I tend to be sat in the staffroom (where I’ve snagged a desk).

Obviously because the other science teachers have classrooms they tend to stay in them rather then head to the staffroom. Plus being only part-time I miss the main science staff meetings. It’s also miles away from home, I’m exhausted before I even get there – I bet you that by the time I get used to the timings it will be summer and I’ll have finished!

Bah.

I’ve been thinking recently about writing about things I do outside of supply teaching to earn money. I don’t earn a lot (or why would I also be supply teaching? well aside for the love of it.) but every little helps right?