How to save energy and money this winter

Many of us are continuing to work from home in these early days of 2021, and with January traditionally being a month when every penny is pinched, it makes sense to look for savings wherever we can.

Big Energy Saving Winter are encouraging all of us to ‘Check. Switch. Save.’ Saving energy is kind to your wallet and ultimately can be good for the planet, so here are some top tips on how you can save some precious extra cash while working from home.

If you were commuting to work before the move to working from home, you may be saving money by not having to travel into the office every day. But you don’t want all of those savings to be eaten away by increased energy bills, so it’s definitely worth checking if you’re getting the best deal on your household bills.

Thankfully, it’s really quick and easy to check. We’re big fans of Martin Lewis and his Money Saving Expert website. On the site you can compare the best deals, and there’s also their Cheap Energy Club which gives you the option to “automatically compare and switch” tariffs based on what you’re looking for. Citizen’s Advice also have a similar comparison tool which you can use here.

As well as comparing the best deals around, it’s also worth checking whether you’re entitled to any support, grants or discounts. Every little bit of help can go a long way, so take a look here to see whether you’re eligible.

If you’ve found a better deal than the one you’re currently on, great! Switching supplier is really simple and you can usually do it all online. I switched energy supplier just before Christmas and have promised myself I’ll put the money I’m saving into a separate bank account to put towards something nice when restrictions are eased, because I think we need a treat at the end of all this, right?

As well as saving your hard-earned cash, saving energy is also good for the planet. Using less energy in your home can reduce your carbon footprint as well as reducing bills, so everyone wins! Speaking of winning, here are some quick wins to help you bring down the cost of your energy bills:

  • Keep cool – dropping your thermostat down by one degree could save you £60 a year!
  • Draught-proofing your windows and doors can save £25.
  • Switch on to energy-efficient LED bulbs and you could save about £40 a year.

Check out the Big Energy Saving website for more tips on how to save. There are also Government schemes, like the Green Homes Grant, to help you with the cost of making your home more energy efficient. Check out the Government website for details of what’s available where you are and let the saving start!

Surviving Black Friday

It’s been a challenging year, and many mental health experts recommend trying to get our little fixes of happiness wherever we can. But is Black Friday shopping a good way to do this? We look at some of the pros and cons in our survival guide below.

Black Friday was originally an American post-Thanksgiving sales event, but has recently become more globally recognised thanks in no small part to extensive marketing by companies like Amazon and other US retailers. Maybe, like me though, you’re thinking 2020 is a chance to take a step back and reset our thinking about the frantic annual battle for a bargain.

Small businesses in a big pond
This year, with so many small businesses feeling the squeeze because of the impact of COVID-19, now more than ever they could do with our support. The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has encouraged us to consider shopping with small businesses whenever we can.

In an article by the Guardian, Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s Chief Executive, added, “Despite the lure of the internet, nothing can beat the positive experience of buying from a local independent retailer knowing that money spent in a local shop will in turn be spent in the local economy. Independent retailers are part of the community and need the support of shoppers now more than ever.”

And just because some retailers are a little smaller, doesn’t mean they won’t have their own offers and incentives running on Black Friday, so check them out before you hand over your hard-earned cash to the retail giants.

Is it really a bargain?
£400 off. Half price. Was £600, now only £200. Retailers advertise price cuts like these on Black Friday, but are they really the bargains they make them out to be? There have been numerous news stories over the last few years about shoppers getting a bit of a shock when they’ve price-checked those big purchases only to find out the savings weren’t quite what they were expecting.

It pays to shop around and compare prices across a good range of different websites or shops. Consumer advice website Which? recommends taking this a step further and using apps like Pricerunner and PriceSpy to check the previous price and the real savings you’re making. Which? tracked the prices of a number of products in the lead up to Black Friday in 2018 and found that deals and savings offered were actually available for the same price or even cheaper in the six months after the sales!

Sleep on it
You often get a little burst of serotonin as you buy something. This coupled with fear of missing out can lead us to make impulse buys we don’t need, particularly on Black Friday. In fact, some retailers count on it!

To avoid ending up with a bag full of guilty purchases, you could put things in your online shopping basket and then come back to them later. Leaving items in there for a day or two will give you time to reflect on whether you really need that £200 drone or another pair of earrings…

Black Friday can be a great opportunity to bag yourself a bargain and make some great savings, especially on big ticket items. But make sure you know what you’re buying and whether it really is a bargain. Share your tips with us so we can all aim not to be left with buyer’s regret come December.

The unsustainable world of fast fashion

There’s something rather wonderful about a little shopping spree and a funky new wardrobe, especially as the seasons change and new outfits beckon! We can get our hands on the latest trends at a fraction of the catwalk price… but is this really a good thing? Well, it might be great for the fashion-conscious among us and the retailers who profit from it, but the massive rise of ‘fast fashion’ in recent years has come at a very high price for the environment.

The truth behind the clothes
As the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee 2019 points out, “The way we make, use and throw away our clothes is unsustainable. Textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined, consumes lake-sized volumes of fresh water and creates chemical and plastic pollution.”

Once you realise how these clothes end up on the shelves, the processes and the impact on the environment, it’s pretty clear there needs to be a change from the current fast fashion trend to a more sustainable way of buying our clothes. We’re at the heart of the problem in the UK, where it’s estimated every person buys 26.7kg of clothing a year – higher than any other European country. That’s a shocking statistic! I know I’ve certainly been guilty over the years of going on a good shopping spree with no idea of the wider impact – but not anymore!

So what can we do?
Well it’s clearly a huge issue and we could all start by doing our bit to spread the word! Talk about it with your friends and family and take a few simple steps to make an impact:

Buy less
Do you really need to buy that new winter coat, or can you dig out last year’s coat from your wardrobe? Think twice before buying anything new.

Buy second-hand
There are so many options, with loads of online marketplaces to choose from and charity shops on every high street which are wonderful for grabbing yourself a bargain!

Buy better quality
It should last longer and means you shouldn’t have to buy new things quite so often – better for the environment and your wallet.

Buy from sustainable brands
Support brands that take into account their environmental and social impact where possible, it really does make a difference.

Don’t throw your clothes away
If a zip’s broken or a hem’s come down try and repair it yourself, or if it’s beyond your sewing skills support a local tailoring business – it’ll be as good as new! I did this recently with a favourite jacket and loved that I could still use it. Donate what you don’t want or need anymore to a charity shop, or arrange a clothes swap with friends.

I’ve already started on my slow fashion journey and haven’t bought any new clothes for myself in months. I’m determined to keep this in the back of my mind for any future purchases and look to buy second hand more where I can (and fix where possible, too!) – do you think you can make a change to how you shop for clothes?

Welcome to 4me World…

We’re delighted to introduce our new name: 4me World

Although we’ve evolved our brand, our values remain the same. We’ll continue to focus on your wellbeing and what matters to you.

Recently, on our social media channels, we asked you what mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and financial wellbeing mean to you. What helps your wellbeing in each of those areas, and if you had any hints or tips you could share.

We loved reading your replies and have featured a selection of them below:

Mental wellbeing

Nature can have a really positive effect on my mental health and hillwalking is amazing for my mental wellbeing.


My mental wellbeing is helped by finishing work on time and going for a run in the park, and being able to hug my wife and ask about her day.


The simple things are the best – fresh air, family and friends!


The power of crafting keeps me mentally well. Whether it’s stitching or knitting I’ve found creating helps me to unwind.


Physical wellbeing

Exercise helps bring routine to my day. #PEwithJoe and virtual evening classes at my local gym have really helped my physical wellbeing. And I’ve also rediscovered my passion for horse riding again!


I’ve recently taken up golf – the perfect socially distanced sport! It gets me out the house, gives me much needed exercise and it’s helping me gain confidence about being around other people during these uncertain times.


Financial wellbeing

I got in to debt buying non-essentials, so I’m now trying to use any spare cash for good. Financial wellbeing to me is keeping a handle on my spending and not buying any new clothes in 2020! I’m donating what I save in money and clothes I don’t wear to charity.


Financial wellbeing means doing what’s best for my family, they’re my no.1 priority.


If there are any wellbeing topics you’d like to see us cover on the website, or if there’s something you’d like to write about, then get in touch with us here.

How long can you keep £10 in your wallet?

In what was a rare moment during lockdown, I reached for my wallet and the orange tint of a £10 note caught my eye. It’d been sitting there, silently hidden since 20 March and we’re now in July!

It got me thinking, when normality resumes (I live in hope…), could I keep up this habit of spending less? And if I did, what could I do with the savings?

For lots of us our spending habits have changed during lockdown, as we’ve reprioritised what we spend our money on. Lockdown might even have helped highlight what’s important to you and what you’re willing to part with your hard-earned cash for.

We all know we should review our finances regularly, but how many of us really do? I found once you’ve done it for the first time and you see the potential savings you can make it really spurs you on to check your outgoings regularly and try to keep up your good habits.

So what can you do to take up the challenge?

Review your direct debits
Are they all necessary? Are you paying for subscriptions or memberships that you no longer need? I’ve replaced a gym membership with online classes which has saved me a tidy sum each month. Reviewing your TV package and looking at your mortgage rate can add up to hundreds of pounds of savings across the year. But please make sure you know exactly what you’re cancelling before you do – you don’t want to find out too late that you’ve cancelled insurance that you really need!

You are what you eat
Lockdown has forced lots of us to do more cooking and even inspired me to try recreating my favourite takeaways. Before lockdown, I’d often spend £10 a day on food and coffee, but home-cooked lunches, even if they’re just leftovers from last night’s dinner, have helped me save a packet so far. And they taste great too! I mean, who doesn’t love second day lasagne, right?

Making and taking your own coffee can also save you loads. My sister was splurging her way through a student loan but couldn’t understand why. Turns out the innocuous coffees she was buying after each class added up to over £200 a month!

Would like to meet
Lockdown has highlighted how we socialise and what’s important. It’s made me realise I don’t need to spend a fortune in a bar or restaurant to enjoy a really good time with friends or family. Spending quality time and not money is something I’ll definitely look to continue once restrictions are lifted!

And this has been true for the time we’ve spent together as a family too. I used to feel I had to plan elaborate daytrips for my children, which inevitably ended in exiting through every parent’s nightmare – the shop! But I’ve realised that given the choice, my children prefer being at home and creating their own adventures.

APPreciate your money
With everything that’s happening just now it can be easy to lose sight of where you’re spending your money. I’ve found paying with cards rather than cash really helps me keep track of my spending. And budgeting apps like Yolt, Money Dashboard, and Loot can help you manage where your money’s going and highlight where you can make savings.

Make it work for you
Lots of employers have workplace discount schemes, but few of us actually use them regularly. An employee survey we ran recently for a company, found that only 5% of their employees regularly used their company discount scheme and 50% had never used it at all! Check if your employer has one and save it in your favourites on your computer or just put a post-it note on your screen to remind you to use it until you get into the habit.

It’s also worth checking if your company has a cashplan, or dental care plan you can take advantage of. The savings from these can really add up!

Let us know if you’re going to take up the challenge and share your saving tips!

Tis the season to be sustainable

Christmas is a time for giving, but it shouldn’t cost the earth. So here are our top five tips on having a sustainable Christmas and saving the planet while you spread some Christmas cheer.

The gifts
Lists aren’t just for Santa. Choose who you’re buying gifts for and make a list (and check it twice). That way you’ll know exactly what you need to buy and it should also help you avoid last minute panic buying, which can lead to unused and wasted presents.

Gifts don’t have to be bought, and they don’t even need to be material things! Pledges for your time or an activity are a thoughtful alternative and handmade gifts such as food, arts or crafts show a really personal touch. Did someone say “let’s bake gingerbread men…?”

If you do buy a gift, choose to buy local from sustainable companies to reduce the environmental impact of your shopping. It can help support your local community too, as the cash spent and taxes paid stay in your local economy. It’s also more sustainable to stick to one big gift rather than giving lots of little ones – it can reduce waste and as an added bonus you’ll only need to come up with one thoughtful gift idea.

If you’re feeling really charitable (and you think the gift receiver would like it) you could even make a donation to charity on the person’s behalf.

Wrapping paper
And what to wrap your lovely thoughtful gifts in? Eco-friendly wrapping paper of course! Recyclable wrapping paper is better for the environment than many normal rolls, as a lot of them contain non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter or plastic. Equally, brown paper packages tied-up with string can make a beautiful present. Finish off with twigs of eucalyptus tucked under the string and your sustainable pressie is complete!

Pro tip: want to know if your wrapping paper can be recycled or not? Use the scrunch test. Scrunch up the paper in your hand then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up it can be recycled. But if it unfolds on its own, then it probably contains non-recyclable elements. Boo!

The tree
Up to 8 million Christmas trees are bought every year in this country alone. That’s a lot of trees. Although plastic tress are a good alternative and should last for years, they take a lot of energy to produce and will have to be disposed of in the future.

A sustainable alternative is to rent a tree. Yeah, that’s right – rent your Christmas tree! Loads of garden centres offer a tree-hire service for the festive period and they’ll even pick it up and drop it off to save you the hassle.

Of course, if you want to go one step further, you could use or grow your own. A tree with roots will grow outside and you can use it again next year, reducing the environmental impact and costing you less. Holly, apple, pear, and Japanese maple trees are all good options, although they do take a bit more looking after.

If you do go for a real tree though, just make sure it’s sustainably grown – trees should have either the FSC or Soil Association logo on them. And remember to recycle it when you’re finished. Most local councils have set up recycling points specifically for Christmas trees, or alternatively you can take yours to your nearest recycling centre.

The food
Oh the food! We all love a bit of Christmas dinner. Whether it’s the mouth-watering main or those sumptuous sides, we just can’t get enough. If you’re going down the traditional turkey or meaty route – try to buy organic and free-range, and support your local small-scale farms if possible too.

The Soil Association tell us, “food is the single most important, everyday way for people to reduce their environmental impact.” So we can really make a difference by making sustainable choices, even down to the packaging of the foods we buy. Opt for loose items or those that have little or no plastic packaging to help save the planet.

Plumping for a full-on veggie Christmas dinner is even better for the environment. Vegan nut roasts and brandy butter are delish, and definitely won’t leave you feeling like you’ve missed out.

…and the drink!
Like the food, go organic and locally-sourced with your drinks if you can. Haven’t tried organic wine yet? Well Christmas is as good an excuse as any to give it a go. There are loads of UK vineyards producing tasty tipples, just look out for their organic credentials on the label. Or if you prefer something a little stronger, the UK’s first organic distillery in south-west Wales, Dà Mhìle, has a selection of organic whiskey, brandy and gin. Just remember to enjoy responsibly!

Last but not least
Always find yourself searching the cupboards for enough matching glasses when you’re entertaining at Christmas? Fear not – you can rent some for free from Waitrose! What a time to be alive!

Surviving on a shoestring budget

It seems a long time ago since your student loan dropped into your new student bank account, and the cupboards were heaving with pasta and baked beans donated by well-meaning family.

But what happens when the food donations have run out and you’re deep into the first term?

Follow our handy tips to make sure your budgeting game is on point and avoid that awkward bail-out call home to your parents.

    1. Take the free stuff! It’s not just during Freshers fairs that you’ll be bombarded by people trying to off-load free pizza, USBs, mugs, choc and food vouchers, so take what you can! And did you know that when you reach 19 you may also be able to get free prescriptions, dental care and sight tests by applying to the NHS Low Income Scheme?
    2. Save on your shopping. For longer term savings from a broad range of retailers such as ASOS, Co-op and Pizza Express, get yourself an NUS card. It will cost you £12 for the year, but you’ll benefit from cool discounts and plenty of useful offers.
    3. Keep fit and save on travel costs. It might seem simple but walking or cycling to and from uni will save you heaps of money on expensive bus or train fares, although it will mean you have to get out of bed a bit earlier. If you can’t avoid spending on the trains, then make sure you pick up a student railcard to save a third (during off-peak times).
    4. Three cheers for charity shopping! If you have some time to browse the racks in your local charity shops (and let’s face it, you will definitely have some spare time between lectures), go and grab yourself some bargains. Congratulate yourself on rescuing your unique new wardrobe from the jaws of the local landfill too!
    5. Look after the pennies. Think about saving for something you really want – festival or gig tickets, nights out or trips back home to see your friends. Fill a jar with your spare coins and watch those savings grow into something fabulous!

Ten ways to save money on your food shopping

If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll always be thinking about your next meal; I’m talking about thinking about what you’re having for dinner whilst eating your meal deal at your desk over lunchtime.

The frustrating thing is how expensive food shopping seems to have become. This got me thinking about how we can save money on the food we love and how not to waste it:

    1. Write a shopping list and stick to it. If you have a list, you’re less likely to stray away to buy those unnecessary sweets and treats that you don’t really need, which brings me onto my next point;
    2. Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. If you’re hungry while walking up and down the aisles and something tasty catches you’re eye that you don’t need, then you’re more likely to buy it.
    3. Avoid ‘snack pack’ sizes. They work out more expensive and you actually get less. You’re just paying for the additional packaging.
    4. Buy in bulk the items you use most. Just make sure you get dry items with the longer shelf life.
    5. Cooked a little bit too much? Save the rest for lunch the next day in a plastic container or freeze it to save it for later.
    6. Buy fresh fruit and veg that isn’t pre-packaged. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you’ll be saving money too as it’s cheaper to buy loose items instead. Buy frozen veg as it will last longer and it is as good as the fresh stuff for overall nutritional value!
    7. Check the reduced aisle. The food in that section with the coloured sticker hasn’t gone off – the supermarkets just want to sell it before it does. If you know you won’t eat it straight away, freeze it for a later date!
    8. Buy supermarket own value brands. A lot of the time you’re paying for the fancy packaging but the actual content is the same. Why not try switching and see if there’s a difference in taste?
    9. Plan your meals. If you plan your meals in advance, you will only need to buy what you need rather than deciding on the day and spending more than you should.
    10. Use loyalty points. If the supermarket of your choice has a point’s scheme, don’t forget to swipe your card each time and you can watch the points grow and convert to vouchers you can use for a nice treat.

Switch onto saving

You might think this is a repeat of all of the information out there already, but understanding the importance of saving is something to learn sooner, rather than later.

The difference between starting paying in from age 25 or waiting until you are 35 could have a notable impact on your pension savings.

Yes, there are always going to be things you’d prefer to spend your money on, but starting as early as you can and staying in your workplace pension should have a significant impact on the type of retirement you’ll be able to enjoy in the future.

Bottom line, the longer you wait to contribute to your retirement savings, the more expensive it’ll be to catch up. The difference between starting paying in from age 25 or waiting until you’re 35 could have a notable impact on your pension savings.

Here are some things you could miss out on if you delay in saving:

  • Tax relief – you’ll miss out on tax relief on your pension contributions, which basically equates to ‘free money’ from the Government (depending on what your tax rate is).
  • A helping hand from your employer – however much you pay in from your own pocket, your employer will make monthly payments into your pension savings too.
  • Seeing your money grow (or not!) – your overall contribution is invested in a fund with a provider or investment company and it is designed to work for you, so it can make its own money. Remember that with any investments, your money could go down as well as up and is not always guaranteed, so take this into consideration.

You should also think about . . .

  • The money might run out sooner than you predicted (but not if you buy a guaranteed income for life!) – if you retire with a small pension pot and expect to live on a high income, or you live to a ripe old age, your money might not last.
  • The State Pension might not be enough to rely on – you will only get this if you have made the qualifying amount of National Insurance contributions. Even so, by the time you retire, it might not be enough to live on alone, so you’ll need your own pension savings to help bridge the gap.
  • You may have to retire earlier than planned – hopefully this won’t happen, but you may fall ill, or have to leave your job to care for a loved one. So it’s really important that you have enough money to survive on if this happens.

It’s a tough message to take in, but saving a little bit each month counts. Good luck!

The do’s to beat the January blues

The excesses of the festive season may have taken their toll, and you might be feeling the need to implement a whole host of austerity measures to see you through to payday, but January doesn’t have to be gloomy!

Try our top tips to avoid the annual blues and ease your way comfortably into the New Year.

    • Don’t deny yourself a small treat. With money so tight in January, your regular trip to the local barista might seem like a luxury too far, but cutting it out altogether is likely to make you more miserable. Try exercising a little bit of self-discipline and indulging in that fave treat just once a week – maybe on a Friday so it feels like you’re another week closer to that first payday of 2019!
    • Plan ahead. Making plans for the rest of the year is one of the most effective ways to pull you through the seemingly dismal days of January. If you’ve got the budget, book a day trip out or a weekend away, or if you can’t commit to splash out right now, then book some time off work anyway. It will make you feel better knowing you have some dates in the diary – even if you change them later on!
    • Try some free fun. When money (and maybe your waistband) is too tight to mention why not venture outside and kill two birds with one stone? Parkrun organise free, 5km runs every week which are open to absolutely everyone and take place in your local community – you just need to register online first.
    • Look after yourself. It might sound simple, but being kind to yourself will lift your mood and make those dark winter nights fly by. Indulge in a home movie night rather than the cinema, or tuck up with a good read and a hot choc for a dose of immersive wellbeing.
    • Learn something new. The brand new year can provide just the right amount of encouragement to make you branch out and add some skills to your repertoire. If you’ve always fancied learning to play the ukulele, knit, bake or paint, now’s the time! You could even use the impetus to add a new level of expertise to your professional skillset. Head over to YouTube for every possible tutorial on everything – ever!

‘Twas the night before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and a time to reflect

On a year of big spending, but savings neglect.
The stockings were stuffed with all kinds of treats
From trinkets and baubles to delectable sweets.
The fam would be happy for Christmas Day present
But what of the future, and what of retirement?

With so much expense in everyday living
It’s tough to make plans for my future wellbeing –
With bills and my kids and a new loft extension
There isn’t much left to save more in my pension.
But just one percent could make some difference
And ease my reliance on State Pension assistance.

This year my bonus dissolved in a flash
On a weekend away and a cartload of trash.
Maybe next year I should stash it away
Into a pension for my future ‘one day’.
My Company pays in and so can I
Government tax relief will also apply.

It’s never too late to invest in yourself,
And start looking after your financial health.
Think not of the now and money misspent
Instead try to find that elusive percent.
You might suffer now a little resentment
But you’ll gift the ‘old you’ the best kind of present.

People like you: 18-29

Meet Laura, a 25 year old personal assistant working in Reading. She currently lives with her boyfriend in a rented flat on the outskirts of the city, but they are saving hard to buy their own place. We take a peek at what a day in her life is like as she manages her job, home-life and money, while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My alarm went off at 6am this morning, as I decided last night to get my week off to a good start and head to the gym before work. I do a weights workout and then walk the rest of the way to work (the gym is about a brisk ten minute walk from my office – a bit more exercise and I’ll save money on the bus fare too!).

I usually have breakfast at home but with my early morning workout I’ll need to eat afterwards. I pick up a banana (28p) and a big bag of oats (£1.10) to make a quick porridge to eat at my desk. I also buy some protein bars (£2.87 for a pack of four) as I know I’ll get hungry later. I leave the oats and the remainder of the protein bars at work to make myself a quick, cheap breakfast in case I decide to do another early morning gym session this week.

The sun is shining and although it’s cold, it looks like a lovely day outside! My office is in the city centre so I decide to pop out at lunchtime to stretch my legs and have a wander around the shops. My boyfriend and I are currently saving up to buy our own place so it’s just window shopping for me today!

I head back to work and eat my lunch which is homemade vegetable soup (£1.01 a serving) with a bread roll (11p a roll) today. My boyfriend’s mum bought me a bread maker for my birthday and I’m enjoying making my own bread – it’s pretty economical too. I also grab a coffee from the machine at work. It’s much cheaper than my shop-bought lunch last week which ended up costing me about £6 for soup and a roll (£3.45) and a cappuccino (£2.45).

Before I know it, it’s time to head home. I usually alternate between taking the bus and walking home to save money, but I’m tired out from my gym session this morning so I decide to take the bus. My boyfriend is already home by the time I get in and we decide to cook together – it’s easy as I’ve already planned our meals for the week. Today it’s a comforting Spaghetti Bolognese, a classic from our student days. As usual, we make far too much so I put some in the freezer for another day.

After dinner we watch some TV on my parents streaming account (sharing this means we use it for free!). I plan our meals for next week at the same time and order our food shop online, which helps us to eat a variety of healthy, home cooked meals. My employer offers a discounts portal, so I use this to save money on the food shop every week. I also spot a code for free delivery so I make use of that!

I get my lunch ready for work the next day and head off to bed about 10:30.

*Prices accurate at the time of writing.