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Bazaar shopping
Woolies was once the go-to place for cheap children’s toys and clothing on the UK high street, but its demise in 2008 paved the way for another type of bargain basement shops: the pound shop.Since the late noughties Poundland, Poundworld and the 99p stores, have infiltrated the high streets of the UK, and there are now hundreds of these shops around the country.

Even the more affluent Brits have turned to the pound shops in the hope of bagging a bargain.

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Mother's Day sky

On Mother’s Day in the UK, we send a whopping 30 million cards and we spend an average of £27.37 on presents, according to Media Reach. It seems that 46% of us use Facebook to message our mothers on Mother’s Day.

Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day celebrates motherhood and the maternal bond, which can be extended to stepmothers, grandmothers, godmothers plus other predominant motherly figures in your life.

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People cycling

Since October 2012, over 100,000 more people are riding their bike at least once a week, according to a Sport England survey.

This huge boost in popularity is with thanks, at least in part, to the success of Team GB the London 2012 Olympics and the two British winners of the Tour de France. The next big thing in the sport are the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which will be held in London from 2nd to 6th March 2016.

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Man reading to a boy

Children from schools all around the UK and Ireland will come together on Thursday 3 March 2016, to mark World Book Day.

Now in its 19th year, World Book Day has been designated by UNESCO as a global celebration of books and reading. It is recognised in more than 100 countries around the world, with the main aim in the UK is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of reading.

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Cardiff skyline

It may be almost 900 years since Dewi Sant (St. David) was pronounced a saint, but the people of Wales still celebrate his miracles, which according to legend, included the ability to cause the ground to rise beneath him.

St. David’s Day is celebrated in Wales on 1 March, the day he died in 589AD. Not much is known about the patron saint, but we do know that he went on pilgrimages, including one to Jerusalem, where he was made an archbishop.

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Tower block flats

More than half of all new buy-to-let mortgage applicants are unaware of the changes to mortgage tax relief due to be introduced in April 2017, according to new research from Direct Line for Business.

Accidental landlords, defined as those who didn’t intentionally set out to let property, are least likely to be aware of the new legislation. The survey found that seven out of 10 (71%) accidental landlords didn’t know about the EU’s Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD).

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Parked Mini

New build UK properties that have an accompanying parking space cost 5% more on average than those without, according to new research by SELECT Premier Insurance.

However, one property in Lambeth in London, with a purchase price of £500,000 is selling the accompanying parking bay for £65,000 – the equivalent of 13% of the property price. Properties in Leeds, Manchester, Brighton, and Nottingham were also in the top five most expensive parking bays.

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UK office

As the January deadline passes for the self-assessment tax returns, UK taxpayers will waste £4.6 billion, equivalent to £159 per person, in unnecessary tax payments this year, according to new research by legal and financial advisers, unbiased.co.uk and Prudential.

The TaxAction 2016 research found that while Brits have saved an extra £1 billion in pension tax relief by joining workplace schemes, more than half (57%) have done nothing to reduce tax waste, meaning that a collective £4.6 billion is set to be wasted in 2016.

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Chinese restaurant

Unlike our New Year, which occurs on 1st January every year, the date of Chinese New Year changes around the lunisolar Chinese calendar. This Chinese New Year – the Year of the Monkey – starts on 8th February 2016 and lasts until 27th January 2017.

If you were born in the Year of the Monkey – 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 – you might be mischievous and quick-tempered but also clever, curious, and intelligent.

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Valentine couple

Whether you are in the throes of passion, jaded or a hopeless but penniless romantic, Valentine’s Day is a booming business and love can bloom without a hefty price tag.

As the flood of red hits the shops and sends a strong message to nudge your conscience, may be these 5 creative ideas could help you to express your sentiments without sending your bank balance spiralling into the red.

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Holiday Brits swim

Brits intend to treat themselves to luxuries in the year ahead. Brits are facing an ongoing battle between saving and spending, according to new research by Asda Money.

It found that although Brits do save considerable amounts of money to spend on luxury ‘feel-good’ items, it’s blown rather quickly.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, holidays eat their way through the majority of the budget. On average Brits save £1,228 over a period of eight months to pay for their annual getaway, but the typical spend on a holiday came in at £1,355 – exceeding the budget by £127.

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UK car parked in street

Post New Year, research by the world’s leading ridesharing service BlaBlaCar, has found that there is staggering amount of loose change rattling around in the cars of British motorists.

The survey of 1,000 people found that on average people leave £2.60 in their cars, and men have around a fifth (17%) have more loose change in their vehicle than women.

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Interior designed house

Bold patterns and warm colours are set to be the two biggest interior design trends in the UK for 2016, according to new research by Direct Line Home Insurance. Small changes can update property without overspending.

Researchers questioned interior designers to get an understanding of what will create a fashionable British home this year. It found that almost a quarter of designers (23%) thought coppers, golds, and burnt orange will be popular this year, and a further 23% reported bright and bold patterns and the IKat style as a top theme for 2016.

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Scammed mobile user

The FFA UK warns that hundreds of people have reported bogus texts over recent weeks, with fraudsters appearing to target those with large sums of money, including home buyers and pensioners.

The fraudsters use specialist software to alter the sender’s ID, which means that the texts may look as though they are sent from their bank or a government department, and may even appear within an existing conversation or thread on the victim’s phone.

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Snowboarding man

British holidaymakers are set to be ‘quids in’ this winter as prices continue to slide and are now down at three-quarters of 27 ski resorts, according the Post Office Travel Money’s ninth annual Ski Resort Report.

The analysis found that Bansko and Kranjska Gora offer best value for money. However, Italy is the cheapest of the ‘big four’ ski countries, and Sestriere the lowest priced of the top 10 ski resorts.

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Thief

As 2016 begins and homes are packed with high-value items following Christmas, homes are at increased risk of burglary and experts are calling for UK homeowners to take more action to prevent thefts.

A lack of basic home security is the blame for the high number of burglaries in the UK last year, according to national security company CCTV.co.uk, whose recent survey found bicycles and gardening equipment were the most commonly stolen items in burglaries in 2015.

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Sydney Opera House

Are you ready to banish those January blues and join the Aussies in celebrating their National Day next week?

Australia Day, the official National Day down under, is observed on 26th January each year. This day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of British Ships and the raising of the Union Jack at Port Jackson in New South Wales, in 1788. However, it only became a public holiday for all states and territories in 1994.

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Train line

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions revolve around money; such as saving more, spending less, and cutting back on debt.

However, for the one in 10 Brits who travel by train to the office each morning, that’s easier said than done, as some people are spending up to a quarter of their wages just getting to and from work.

With that in mind, Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards researched the cost of the UK’s most popular routes for commuters, and found that people could save up to £1,700 a year.

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