Starting a Family: Tips for Taking a Close Look at Your Future Finances


With the cost of raising a baby at its highest point ever in the UK alone, it’s clear to see why many couples are choosing to start a family later in life. When combined with other outgoings like rent and bills, not to mention the ongoing stress being a parent can cause, having a child can seem almost impossible.

But, finances don’t have to restrict you from starting a family or cause added stress as long as you’re organized and prepared. Everyone should have the right to start a family, and money shouldn’t stand in your way. Below you’ll find some top tips for taking back control over your finances so you’ll be in a position to start a family of your own.

Begin budgeting early

A 9-month pregnancy seems like a very long time for most expectant parents, resulting in many leaving financial preparation until right at the end of pregnancy. Then, once your baby is born, if you haven’t budgeted and prepared properly you could find yourself unable to buy everything your new-born needs and spiralling into a cycle of debt.

It’s never too soon to begin saving, so as soon as you find out you’re pregnant there’s nothing to say you shouldn’t start saving right away. Put money aside each month to build up a baby fund and cut out mindless spending.

If you’re already struggling with debt, or are worried about your partner’s finances if unmarried, it’s essential to get this straightened out before the baby is born. Consolidating your own debt or even getting advice to consolidate your partner’s debts is an ideal place to start.

 

Life insurance

Anything can happen at any moment, and it would be catastrophic if something happened to you without having left a financial cushion for your baby. Therefore, buying life insurance as soon as you find out you’re expecting a baby is vital for your peace of mind.

If you’re relatively healthy and have a good record, life insurance isn’t likely to cost a huge amount per month and will be an affordable yet essential preparation to make.

 

Day care 

If you know you’re going to go back to work once your baby is born, preparing for day care is crucial. In a similar sense to saving and budgeting, many new parents leave organizing day care right until the last minute and may find themselves with no one to take care of their child when the time comes to go back to work.

Day care waitlists can be extremely competitive, so getting your name down as soon as you get pregnant is the best chance you have of getting the specific care service you want.

Starting a family is a hugely exciting milestone for the majority of couples. But, if you don’t take care of your finances for when the time comes, it can be hugely stressful. So getting organized as early as possible is the best thing you can do for your baby before they’re even born!

 

Olivia Bailey writes about personal finances in her articles which appear at a variety of online homes! When not typing away on the laptop she’s busy raising her kids.

Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Controling Your Crazy Busy Life: Tech Helpers for Modern Moms

With over 80% of working parents experiencing stress-related health problems, being a mom in today’s modern society is perhaps more stressful than it’s ever been. Having to juggle work with life at home can take its toll on both your physical and emotional wellbeing, with a quarter of modern moms admitting to cry at least once a week due to stress.

 

If you’re a mom and feeling the pressure, you don’t have to go through this without any help. Today’s technology advancements recognize the pressure today’s working moms are under, and have provided a vast selection of apps specifically focused on reducing stress and making life that little bit easier for parents. If you think you could use the help of an app or two, keep reading to discover some top tech helpers you can start using right away!

 

Happy Kids Timer

 

On weekdays, mornings are often the most stressful time of all. As well as having to get yourself ready for work, you’re also responsible for getting your kids up, ready and out the door on the way to school.

 

But, with Happy Kids Timer by your side, chaotic mornings will be transformed. Specifically designed for children, Happy Kids Timer will walk your kids through everything from making their bed to getting dressed so you don’t have to. Featuring fun music and animations to keep them engaged and entertained, Happy Kids Timer will engrain a sense of routine in your kids giving you more time for yourself in the mornings.

 

Alarm Clock for Me

 

Happy Kids Timer is without doubt a great app, but it will be completely useless if you and your kids can’t even face getting out of bed. Getting a good night’s sleep will make getting up early a whole lot easier, and that’s where Alarm Clock for Me comes in.

 

In addition to providing an alarm clock and up-to-date weather information for your location, Alarm Clock for Me offers an innovative sleep timer that will lull you to sleep with either white noise or relaxing tunes. Simply download the app, set the timer, and allow yourself to become relaxed with its sounds. A great way to get your kids to sleep too if they struggle to drift off, learn more about what else Alarm Clock for Me has to offer.

 

ShopSavvy

 

Bringing kids up can be very expensive, with sales often becoming a mom’s new best friend. ShopSavvy allows you to compare the price of items you need all in one place, giving you the benefits of sales without the stress of busy shopping malls.

 

Simply search for what you need, and ShopSavvy will instantly find the best prices for the item in all available shops, giving you the exact location of the cheapest price! Saving you both time and money, ShopSavvy is a must-have for the modern-day mom.

 

Being a working parent can be tough, but you don’t have to do everything alone without help. From getting ready in the morning to saving money on grocery shopping, these apps will provide much-needed solutions to avoiding stress and feeling happier.

 

Janet Kennedy is a busy Mom, as most are! She uses tech to keep life on track and mostly in control!

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Using Travel to Teach Life Lessons: Key Reasons to Take Your Kids with You on Trips

Traveling is not only a great way for kids to learn life lessons, it’s also a good way for them to pick up new skills, develop an appreciation for other people and other cultures and to expand their horizons.

An important thing to remember when you’re traveling with kids, make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses, even those unexpected ones. If you’re looking for a good value %APR credit card, consider the Citi Double Cash card. It is one of the few cards that offers cash back. What that means is that for every dollar you spend, you get 1 percent cash back. You can also get another 1 percent cash back on every dollar you pay off each month. This can be a great way to save money when you’re traveling.

The Importance of Travel for Kids

Here’s a rundown on why traveling the world is beneficial for young people.

  • Overcoming shyness: Travel encourages kids to question, meet new people and try new things whether it’s talking to other children in a new language, trying a new type of food or exploring a historic building, travel will bring shy kids out of their shell.

 

  • Boosting smartness: Get your kids involved in the planning of your trip, not only will this get them excited about the adventure, they will learn how to discuss and deduce facts as you go along. Let them explore maps and travel guides so they get a feel for your destination.

 

  • Improving independence: Even though young people’s independence is still limited, travel can teach them to be responsible for things like their luggage and their belongings. Let them pack their things (with your supervision), and choose which things are essential and which things they need for entertainment.

 

  • Accepting difference: When kids travel and are introduced to different cultural styles and people of different ethnicity, they begin to embrace difference rather than being prejudiced or maintaining cultural stereotypes. This makes them much more well-rounded individuals.

 

  • Understanding different beliefs: Travel allows children to understand and accept other religions and belief systems from an early age. It means that they are not afraid to ask questions and you can visit temples and churches of many different types wherever you travel.

 

  • Building relationships: One of the important things about traveling with your family is that it strengthens relationships. It encourages communication within the family group and facilitates discussions of new subjects.

 

  • Keeping the inner child alive: Kids grow up too fast these days. Traveling is a great ongoing adventure. That keeps the inner child alive. Forget the latest cell phone or video games, build sand castles on the beach, watch tigers on safari, go swimming with whales, and ride on the back of a camel. These are priceless experiences that will never be forgotten.

Take your kids traveling as often and to as many different places as you can. They will love you for it and will pass the travel bug on to their own families.

Anna Duffy writes about travel; from solo backpacking in your 20s, traveling with kids to help broaden their horizons, or seniors going on a first-time cruise.

No Boredom Zone: Camping Games and Activities for Kids of All Ages

There are loads of ways you and your kids can have fun when you’re camping. Some of the most enjoyable activities are also the simplest. Here are some ways to inject a ton of fun into a camping trip using games, crafts and activities that engage and delight.

A Scavenger Hunt

This is a great way to get kids interested in their natural surroundings. Hike one of the trails near your camp ground with your kids and you can check each item off the list as they find them. Remember to leave everything undisturbed and take a picture if you want a keepsake. Here are some ideas for your scavenger hunt list:

  • a feather
  • a frog
  • a bird’s nest
  • a red leaf and a yellow leaf
  • a pinecone
  • a slug
  • a squirrel
  • a deer

Build a Fort

Help the kids to build a special hide-out. Find a large tree or rock to support the fort. Gather lots of long stick, logs and dead branches of all sizes. Lay a tarp down for the floor. Make a frame with the largest pieces of wood you have and secure them with rope or string. Weave and tie the smaller branches to make the walls. Use another tarp for the roof or make it from more branches. Add sleeping bags and blankets.

Rainy Day Fun

Just because the weather’s inclement doesn’t mean kids can’t have fun indoors. This coloring book app for Android is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in the tent. With just the touch of a finger, kids can color animals, flowers, birds, places, people, geometric patterns, and mandalas. There are 25+ color palettes to choose from and special effects to add at the end.

Campfire Stories

There’s nothing like sitting round the campfire after dinner and taking turns to tell a story. This doesn’t require any planning and can be completely spontaneous. Stories can be true experiences or completely made up. You can even have a competition to see who can tell the tallest tale. If you have older kids you can tell spooky stories as the sun goes down.

Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss

On your way to the campsite, pick up five glow-in-the-dark sticks and rings. After dark, place each of the sticks in a bottle of water and line them up on the ground. Have fun trying to throw the glowing rings around the bottles and see who can do the best.

Geocaching

This real-word treasure hunting game is fun for all the family. To participate you need to navigate a set of GPS coordinates then search for the geocache hidden at that location. Caches have different difficulty ratings so if you’re just starting out you can pick an easy one. A cache may be a plastic container, film canister or fake rock.

Have fun on your camping trip with these family activities!

Anthony Murray is a Dad who is prepared when he hears the dreaded ‘I’m Bored’ phrase escape from his kid’s mouths.

Image courtesy of PinkBlue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

10 Ways to Foster Your Child’s Creativity

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