Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Fixing Your Financial Health Isn't Easy But It Is Possible

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Are you worried about your financial health? If so, then you need to ensure that you are making the right decisions. It’s important to get on top of your finances because if you don’t do this it’s common for the situation to take a dire turn. Here are our recommendations in terms of what you should be doing. 


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Be Honest


If you want to fix your financial issues, the first thing that you need to do is start being honest with yourself. You’re never going to fix your finances unless you can admit that there is actually a problem. This is quite difficult for some people to do because avoiding the issue allows you to live beyond your means and access a better quality of life which is often great fun. However, it’s never long before you realize that things are getting a little too dicey and you need to act. 


Clear The Debt 


Once you have admitted that there is an issue that needs to be resolved you have to think about how to clear your debt once and for all. There are numerous ways to do this. If you’re wondering how to pay off debt, then you’re already going to be on the right track here. You just need to think about how much debt you’re dealing with because this is going to determine the right path to follow. For instance, you could have limited levels of personal debt. If that’s the case, setting a budget could clear it up completely. Alternatively, it’s possible that you have debt from multiple creditors. If that’s the case, you should think about a debt consolidation loan instead. 


Set A Budget


If you choose to, you can set a budget. Setting a budget will allow you to take control of your financial situation. It will ensure that you’re no longer being controlled by your money. To set a budget, you need to calculate all your incoming costs and then subtract any bills that you have. By doing so, you will be able to guarantee that you know exactly how much you are spending and how much you have leftover to play with each month. It can be tricky at first to live on a budget but once you get used to it, it can be very freeing. You’ll no longer have to worry that every decision you make is pushing you further towards higher levels of debt. 


Build More Income Opportunities


Finally, you need to think about how to expand your income. There are lots of ways to do this. However, ideally, you should be looking at both side hustles and passive incomes. These choices are going to help guarantee that you can boost your income without it eating into your spare time. In terms of passive income options, you might want to consider investment opportunities. There are lots of investments that could be right for you. Penny stocks are a great idea because they come with low levels of risk and a high chance of success. 





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Supporting Your Child Through Life Changing Events

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When it comes to childhood, we like to think of it being a time of fun and carefree days and nothing untoward that will ruin that. As magical as we want childhood to be for our children, things don't always pan out the way we want them to. It is a sad reality that at some point children may experience the kind of issues that even adults struggle to process and deal with effectively.

Fun Ways to Strengthen Family Bonds

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When you’re a parent, one of the most important things you can do is build a strong bond with your children and ensure that they have strong bonds with all of their family - the more loving people a child has around them the better! 


For most people, bonding comes pretty naturally, but it is still a good idea to take the time to strengthen and solidify those bonds on a regular basis. Here are a few ways you can do that:


Tell personal stories


Kids love hearing personal stories about their parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles from the past. They enjoy hearing what their adult family members did when they too were young and care-free, and it’s a great way to show them that as well as being mom or dad you are a person in your own right. Sharing your past ‘secrets’ with them can also make them feel special and help to build a stronger connection between you. Just make sure your stories are appropriate!


Book a family photo session


What could be more fun than gathering everyone together for a family photo session? A good family photographer will know how to make the process lots of fun with jokes and a few well-placed props and you’ll get to show just how much you love each other not only in the moment but captured forever in the images your photographer snaps.


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Have a movie night


Something as simple as snuggling up together on the couch watching a favorite movie can be so special to a child. They’ll feel safe, secure, and loved and you won’t even have to leave the house or go to any special effort other than perhaps buying some of their favorite candy to chew on while the movie’s in progress so it’s perfect for those busy weeks when you just want to relax in your downtime.


Ask them about their life


One of the best ways to build a strong bond with children is by taking them more seriously and listening to them when they speak. Every day, you should make a point of asking your children not only about their day but at least one question about their personality such as their favorite book or what they love most about nature. They’ll feel more appreciated as a person and they’ll be more likely to open up to you in future if they know that you will listen, and more importantly, that you really care about what they think and feel.


Cook together


Cooking with children is a great way to get them interested in food and healthy eating, It’s also a great way to spend some quality time with them, especially if you sit down to eat whatever you’ve created together afterward. 


Go on vacation


Taking a family vacation where you can dedicate all of your time to each other is ideal for family bonding. You’ll build up more shared experiences and have unique adventures that you’ll all remember forever.


How do you strengthen the bonds with your children?


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What Makes A Children's Party Great?

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If you are thinking about throwing a party for your child, then you are obviously going to want to ensure that it goes as well as possible. You want them to have the best time possible, whether you are throwing them a party for their birthday or any other occasion. There are a lot of things that you are going to need to be aware of, and there is a lot of work involved too. In this article, we are going to take a look at just what makes a children’s party great, and how you can make sure that you are throwing the best possible party for your child.


Lots Of Invites


In general, you will want such a party to be as busy as possible, so that it feels much more like an event. Your child is bound to be excited if there are plenty of people in attendance, and it’s one of the hallmarks of a good party of any kind. So that means that you need to think about sending out a lot of invites as early as you possibly can, once you know what date you are thinking about having it on. You can even ask around first to see whether there is a date which seems best for most of the parents you know, so that you can increase the chances of there being good numbers. The more invites you are able to send out and get RSVPs for, the better.

Great Food


It’s not a party without food, and it is likely that this is one part of the day that you are going to spend a lot of time and money on. You need to make sure that the kids are going to love the food, and that part is easy enough. But you also need to consider the possibility that there will be kids who have particular dietary requirements. Make sure that their parents are including that information on the RSVP, so that you can prepare for it as well as possible. Beyond that, consider whether you want to get hold of a caterer to help you out with the food, or whether you are going to do it yourself - perhaps with the help of another adult who might be assisting you in planning the day.



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Entertainment


You also need to think about what kind of entertainment you are going to provide for the children. Many of the classic types of children’s entertainment are still going to work here, and you should think about whether or not you are going to want to include all or some of these at least. That could include looking out for a jumping castle rental, or getting a children’s entertainer or magician to come and do a show. You might also want to consider having pass the parcel and other classic games like that. The more entertainment there is, the better. You could even go down the pinata route if you want something a little different, and the child is not too young.

Decorations


You will probably find that you spend a lot of time decorating the party venue too. That is something that you need to think about in advance. Is there any particular theme that is likely to go down well? You could simply ask your child what they want - there is a chance they will have a clear idea, after all - or you could try to work it out with them if they are not quite sure. Then you can start to think about decorating the venue according to that theme, and in so doing you should be able to make the day much more memorable indeed. This is one part of the process that you might find you want some help with, as there can be a lot involved to get it right.


Venue


Speaking of which, you will also need to make sure that you are clear on which venue itself you might want to use. There are many options that you can consider here, and it all depends on the nature of the party and how much of an event it is going to be, including how many likely respondents you will get to your invitations. But make sure that it’s somewhere people can get to easily, and which is going to have enough space for all to enjoy themselves. If you can do that, you are going to find that the day is much more of a success.
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Surprising Mental Health Boosts

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At the moment, many of us are struggling with our mental health. You might have been spending most of your time in your home, especially if you are in a high-risk group. You might be worried about your future health and employment, and the Covid-19 pandemic may have hurt your finances. All of these worries, as well as spending less time with our friends and family members, means that many people are feeling anxious, stressed out, or depressed. 

Having a Baby? Here are 3 Top Tips to Ensure You’re Prepared

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Finding out that you’re pregnant is one of the most exciting experiences in your life. However, it’s also one of the most daunting. Although no one can be fully prepared for what comes your way, it’s good to do your research so that you’re as prepared as possible. Motherhood and fatherhood is a journey unlike any other, and without this preparation, it might come to the due date and you’re not ready for the changes.

The Ultimate Coparenting Guide (How To Keep Things Right For Your Kid, Even When Your Relationship Goes Wrong)

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When a valued relationship like a marriage or civil partnership breaks down, it can be devastating, even if there is no one else involved. Of course, add a child or children to the mix, and things can get complicated very quickly. Especially if both parties still want to play an active role in their children's lives. That is not to say that co-parenting cannot be successful, however. In fact, you absolutely do not need to be in a relationship with the other person to do what is best for your child. The same being true for bringing them up to be a happy and well-adjusted individual. A topic that you can get the lowdown on in the post below. 

8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Design The Life Of Your Dreams

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With the new year upon us, it is the perfect time to reevaluate where you are in life and where you want to go.

Outdoor Electronics For A Different Kind Of Play

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child playing with dried leaves

Most parents like the idea of giving their children something unique and interesting to spend their time on. It can be hard to drag the little ones away from the computer screen, nowadays, and many mums and dads would rather their little ones be enjoying themselves outdoors. Of course, though, there aren’t that many digital devices that can survive outdoor play. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best outdoor electronics on the market, giving you the chance to change the way your children play, without forcing them to use toys that they don’t like.

Drones


You’ve probably already heard of drones before, with these electronics taking the world by storm over the last few years. They come in all shapes and sizes, with some designed for professional camera work, and others made for fun. You will be looking for the latter and this isn’t too hard at all. It’s worth reading some reviews when you’re looking for products like this, along with considering local laws that could make it hard for your child to play with their drone. This sort of toy can teach your child about physics, along with giving them the chance to test their dexterity, with most cheaper drones being challenging to fly.

Boats


While they are often underrated when compared to their airborne counterparts, boats are amazing machines. With some being almost unthinkably huge, it’s easy to let the imagination wander when a child is playing with something like this. You can look at these battleships to learn more about the options you have available to you, giving you the chance to find a remote-controlled boat that will interest you and your child. You will need a body of water to be able to use a product like this, with lakes, ponds, and swimming pools being far better than a bath. Of course, though, like the drone, you need to think about your local laws.

Mobile Games


Not everyone has the resources to splash out on expensive gadgets for their children. Unfortunately, a lot of these items are very expensive and this leaves families on strict budgets without the option to buy them. To make up for this, mobile games have been opening up over the last few years, and there are now several options which are designed to be played outside. Pokemon Go! is a great example of this. A player needs to walk around outside if they want to progress, and there are often large meetings of other players who can trade and get to know one another. This sort of product is changing the way children can play, all without their parents having to drag them away from their phones.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of creating a different kind of play for your child. A lot of people find it hard to know what they need to do when they’re looking for alternative options for outdoor play, though this market is booming like never before.
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Future Planning: An Introduction To The FIRE Movement

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For most people, their career path is very simple. They go to college, find a job after graduating, and slowly but consistently work their way up the career ladder over the course of the next 30 or so years. Then, usually by the time they are in their 60s, they are able to retire. This is the conventional career route that has been a staple of society for decades; but it’s a route that a group of people are now challenging. 

Introducing FIRE 

FIRE stands for “financial independence, retire early”. The driving force behind the idea is that retirement is not something that people should have to wait until their 60s to achieve; instead, people focusing on FIRE look to retire as soon as possible, with some achieving this goal in their 30s (though between 40 and 50 is more standard). 

Frugality is a big part of the FIRE lifestyle; in many ways, the movement is strongly related to anti-consumerism, and people choosing to spend more time enjoying the simpler things in life rather than working in order to spend. 

How is FIRE possible?

There are a few additional considerations anyone contemplating FIRE will need to keep in mind - which we will discuss in more depth soon - but the core essentials are aggressive saving and investment. People looking to achieve FIRE will spend as little of their income as possible - saving 75% of income is far from uncommon - and will instead choose to invest. Over time, the combination of savings and compounded interest from investments results in people having a large enough sum of money to retire and be able to live on the income from investments alone, rather than relying on a salary. 

How much is considered sufficient to retire on?


Most people aiming for FIRE aim to save 25 times their anticipated annual living expenses. So, if you were to estimate that you would need to spend $60,000 per year, then you would need to save $1,500,000. The x25 rule is thought to be sufficient to allow people to withdraw 4% from their savings to meet their living costs during their retirement.

Is it really possible to save that much money?

While the idea of setting so much money aside may initially seem outlandish, it is a goal that many people are able to reach. Admittedly it’s not a short-term goal - without a lottery win or two, no one is going to achieve FIRE in just a few years  - but if you’d like to retire earlier than expected, then it can be done. 

How can you get started on the path to FIRE?

The path to FIRE will always be slightly different for every person who chooses to walk it, as everyone starts from different financial positions and with slightly different goals in terms of how much they want to be able to save. However, the general steps needed to reach FIRE are as follows: 

#1 - Cost cutting 

Cost cutting is crucially important to those looking to pursue FIRE for two reasons. Firstly, FIRE requires a much higher savings rate than the 5-10% of income that most people aim for, so outgoings will have to reduce to allow this to be possible. Secondly, when actually retired, living a low-cost, frugal lifestyle is incredibly important to ensuring funds are sustainable, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit as soon as possible.

You will therefore need to go through all of your expenses and see where you can cut back. Be stringent here: anything but essentials should at least be considered for cutting if you’re dedicated to reaching FIRE. For areas of your budget that cannot be cut entirely - such as groceries, insurance payments, and so on - look for ways to reduce the amount you spend instead.

#2 - Debt repayment

FIRE requires people to save and invest as much of their income as they possibly can, while spending as little as possible - a situation that is difficult if you are carrying credit card or student loan debt. These debts will continue to accrue interest for as long as they are outstanding, which means that there’s more money being spent servicing debt than there is being saved into a potential retirement pot - which is obviously less than ideal. 

As a result, the extra funds found after cost cutting should be put towards clearing debt rather than saving for retirement; by doing this, potentially hundreds (or even thousands, depending on the size of the debt) of dollars in interest can be saved and diverted to an early retirement fund instead. 

#3 - Mortgage repayment 

Owning a property is outright is an important part of FIRE, as having to pay a mortgage (or, worse still, rent to a landlord) will inevitably deplete savings significantly and reduce the amount available to live on when retired. As a result, ensuring that your mortgage is paid off should be your next focus when you have cleared all debts; there are various methods available when it comes to paying off a mortgage, so explore these and decide which will work best for you.  

#4 - Investing 

With your mortgage paid off, you can now consider your investment options. Within the FIRE community, low-cost index funds are perhaps the most popular, but experiences and preferences do vary, so it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a financial advisor who can help decide which investments are the right choice for your specific goals. 

A quick note: Above, we have suggested that mortgage repayment and then investment is the best choice for those looking to achieve FIRE - but this is a hotly-debated topic within the FIRE community. 

Some people believe that investments and mortgage payments should be done at the same time (so interest can be earned on investments during the mortgage repayment), while others say, as we have, it’s best to focus all funds in paying off your mortgage first so that this important step can be achieved as soon as possible. 

The decision, however, is entirely yours: if you would like to split your focus, choosing to invest and pay off your mortgage at the same time, then you can do so - the route to FIRE is different for everyone, so go with what you believe to best the best course of action for you. No two routes to FIRE are the same!

Common questions people ask about FIRE 


FIRE is such an unusual idea that it is natural people may have further questions about how it works, so below we’ve sought to answer the most commonly-asked questions...

#1 - Is it possible to retire early and still pay college tuition for my children? 

Yes, but it’s complicated; there’s a helpful guide here that parents should find useful when deciding how to factor college tuition into their FIRE plans. 

#2 - Is FIRE for me if I love my job and don’t want to stop working?

Absolutely! Many people who reach FIRE continue to work even when, mathematically speaking, they do not absolutely need to. The goal of FIRE is to simply have the financial independence to choose to work, rather than having to work out of financial necessity. 

#3 - Is property ownership an essential for FIRE? 

Realistically, yes - even if you would like to live a nomadic lifestyle (such as travelling the country in an RV) post-retirement. Property is an excellent investment, so even if you’re not intending to live in your current home when you’re retired, it will still be a valuable asset and can contribute to your income if you choose to, for example, rent the property out while you explore the world. 

#4 - Should I try to increase my income in order to reach my goal faster? 

Yes, doing so can be beneficial and is a common choice for many people focused on FIRE. It is usually preferable to try and increase your hours/wage in your day job rather than embarking on a potentially-unreliable side hustle, though you can give this a try if you would prefer to do so and have the time available. 

#5 - What happens to early retirees if the market crashes? 

As we have discussed, FIRE is highly dependent on investments - but, of course, the market can go up as well as down, which could spell trouble for those who are solely reliant on investments for income. This concern is one of the reasons why working with a financial advisor is so important; they will help to diversify risk and ensure that funds are stable even in the event of a market crash. In addition, keeping some savings in cash (as in a high-interest standard savings account; not storing literal cash) can be a good way of protecting against market downswings. 

In conclusion

The FIRE movement definitely goes against convention, but can be an incredibly positive step for those who choose to commit to it. We hope the above has provided food for thought and, if you decide FIRE is the right choice for you and your family, we hope the journey is as smooth as it can possibly be.


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