Teachable Moments: Moving House

As an adult, you’re probably well aware of all the hassle that moving house tends to entail. You know you’re going to spend months viewing properties, scanning over contracts, and juggling buying a new house with trying to sell your old one. It’s likely a situation you’ve been through at least once before, so you know what it’s going to involve.

Your kids, however? They probably have no idea. By the time they’re of an age to understand what’s happening, their first move is going to be an alarming time. They can only remember ever living in one particular place. What happens to move them to another house is a somewhat mystical process, most of which goes over their heads.

This isn’t necessarily the best choice. If your children are of an age to understand what’s happening, then it’s worth seeing moving as a teachable moment. Rather than the process being something your kids have to go along with, but don’t get much information on, it can be a time of learning. There’s so much you can teach them during this time, but perhaps the most useful things to extrapolate are…

#1 – The Basics Of Home Ownership

Teaching your children about the basics of home ownership is a necessary part of your job as a parent, anyway – but what better time to do it than in the midst of a move?

Explain how ownership works. If they’re of an age to understand the math involved, then you can also teach them what a mortgage is. Obviously, you don’t need to delve into hugely complicated legal and economic detail – but a basic overview should suffice.

#2 – The Process Of Moving House

There’s no need to hide what happens to facilitate a house move. The sooner your children are exposed to the way the housing market works, the more time they will have to understand it before it becomes relevant to them. Focus on the basics:

  • How to find homes for sale. While going to real estate agent’s shop windows is the established method, the truth is that your children will probably primarily search for their own properties in future via the online property market, so you’re going to need to cover this.
  • How you go about selling your house and how you choose a price for it.
  • The basics of the legal process of exchanging contracts.
  • How the escrow process works – obviously, only if this is applicable to the move you’re doing.

Most children should be able to grasp at least the basics of the above; you can add or subtract where necessary depending on your child’s age specifically.

#3 – Stress Management

It’s not just financial teachable moments during the house moving process, either. You can also teach about how to handle stress. We all know how tough moving house can be, so showing your children that you’re on top of all the stress – and managing to keep smiling – can be a great practical lesson. Making it a lesson will also force you to cope with the stress better, so both parent and kids will benefit!

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Dodge These Family Financial Pitfalls, And Learn How To Climb Out If You Do Fall In!

When you have a family to take care of financially, you will want to do your best to avoid any pitfalls. However, even if you do take a tumble, there are ways of getting out again. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Buying a house that is too expensive

One the biggest problems I see families getting into is buying a property to live in that is far too costly to afford comfortably. This is because it’s all too easy to buy into the dream of getting that perfect home or forever house, no matter what the cost.  

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However, when you have a family to take care of, there are other costs to include in your budget, not just your rent or mortgage. Unfortunately, when these take up most of your earnings it leaves very little left for other essential things like clothes, bills, and transport, and even less to pay for fun family times and making memories together.

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I’m, not saying that your home it’s unimportant it, is. As it’s the base that keeps you safe and allows you to raise your family, but it’s all about balance. So, if you find yourself in a home that is a drain on your finances, it may be time to consider moving to something more reasonable. As all you are doing is taking money away from others areas of your life, often the ones that are vital to its overall quality.  

Not getting your taxes right

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Tax, the dreaded task most of us have to do! The problem is that when you are busy, and you have a family to care for it can be pretty easy to put it off, or not be as accurate as you might if you were sitting in an office at work doing your return. However, not giving your tax return the proper attention is a big mistake, because not only can it cost you a fortune in unpaid taxes and fees, in some cases, you can actually get in trouble with the law as well. Something you will want to do your darnedest to avoid, especially if you have a family depending on you.

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So to avoid falling into this hole in the first place it best to keep excellent records including receipts, invoices, and notes on anything that is tax deductible. Then when you have to file your return, it will be a lot easy to make sense of everything.

If you have a problem with your return once you have filled it, don’t panic. Instead, schedule a free tax consultation with Joe Callahan, or another specialist and get them to help you assess the situation. Remember just because the IRS is making a case against you, doesn’t mean that they will win. So get as much information and help as you can to build your side of the case and give yourself a good chance of success.

Forgetting To Save For A Rainy Day

Rainy days, they do happen, and that is something we should all be aware of. That is why is so important to have something tucked away just in case it’s needed. After all, it’s unlikely you will foresee every problem that you come across in life!  

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To prepare for this, it can be useful to put away a certain amount each month into a saving account. This keeps it separate and also allows you to earn interest on your money, so it’s working harder for you.

Of course, you may get caught down this particular financial hole, without having an emergency fund to fall back on. In this case, to get out, you will need to find the money elsewhere. To do this, try selling something of value that you own like a piece of jewelry, some IT equipment, or a musical instrument. Another option is to take out a loan either from a bank, or payday lender if you only need the cash for a short amount of time.

Lastly, one of the cleverest ways of getting yourself out of this particular hole is by taking out a 0% credit card. This allows you access to the money that you need, while also ensuring you don’t actually have to pay back more than you borrowed, as you do with most other loans. Although it is worth mentioning that the 0% interest rates on most credit cards only last for a certain amount of time and usually don’t apply to cash withdrawal, only actual shopping purchases. Meaning they will only be suitable for some situations.

5 Ways to Making Saving Exciting for Kids

Saving money is a valuable life lesson that it is important to teach from a young age. The more good practices are instilled in childhood, the more likely it is that they will be continued throughout life.

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There are a wide variety of different techniques that we will talk a little bit about here, but teaching the relationship between family and money is something that should be ongoing. So, let’s get on and look closer at some money-saving teaching tips.

Make a Savings Chart

If your child wants to save for a particular toy, you can make a chart to figure out exactly how much money they will need to save. Your son or daughter can then place a sticker in the chart each week that they save money so they can actually see themselves getting closer and closer to their overall goal which certainly builds up excitement.

Offer Rewards

You will probably be all too aware how effective rewards can be when encouraging your kids to do something, so think about what motivates them – whether this is an extra half hour playing video games or a trip to the movies – and offer this as a prize if they hit a particular savings goal. This helps to reinforce the positive link between savings and rewards.

Teach Them About Shopping Around

The internet has opened up a whole world of financial opportunity, and one thing that is a good idea to teach your children is about shopping around for a deal. This helps to show them about getting the most for their money and the knowledge that their savings will go further if they always get the best price that they can.

Set a Good Example

Of course, kids learn by example, so if they see you regularly saving your money then they are much more likely to follow suit. If your kids are particularly young, you can show them about saving money by putting your money in a jar. You can then get your kids a jar of their own so they can start to copy you. If they are older, you can set a good example by helping them to open up a savings account at your bank.

Play Games

Board games such as Monopoly and The Game of Life are useful in promoting the value of saving. They also help to demonstrate the consequences of certain decisions and the fact that unexpected costs sometimes spring up in life. While you are playing the games, you can talk to your kids about the similarities and differences that they have with real life financial decisions.

These are just five basic techniques that you can use to help get your kids saving money. Ultimately, it is all about showing them the rewarding aspects of saving money by getting them excited about it. As well as this, you should always be looking to teach them small financial lessons whenever you can that they can apply to real life situations.

The Immense Benefits Of Being More Money Conscious Around The Home

There are so many benefits of becoming more money conscious around the home. Sometimes, when we’re simply living our day to day lives, it can be easy to forget that most things we do cost money. Putting the heating on costs money. Running the water costs money. Cooking dinner costs money. Absolutely everything, whether necessary to live (like eating), or for fun (like watching TV) costs money. Being more money conscious around the home doesn’t mean becoming a Scrooge or developing a negative mindset. It simply means being smarter. Here are some of the immense benefits of living this way:

You’ll Be More Friendly To The Environment

Usually, the ways in which we become more money conscious around the home mean we are being more eco-friendly. This really does matter, and many people must start making eco-friendly changes so that we can work towards healthier, more sustainable environment. Don’t you want your grandchildren to grow up in a healthier environment? By doing things like changing your light bulbs to LED bulbs, turning down your thermostat, and being more conscious about turning the tap on, you’ll help the environment. Every little helps!

You’ll Have More Money To Spend On Cool Stuff

When you become more money conscious around the home, you find you have more money to spend on cool stuff. Of course you don’t want to go out and blow all of your cash on gadgets, but you will be able to afford more of the stuff you fancy. The infographic below can give you some great ideas!

Credit to Sunny.co.uk