Financial Footing For A Future First Time Buyer

When it comes time to move, there’s a lot to consider where your kids are involved. Moving is a major shake-up in their lives. Making them part of the process is essential for happiness. Parents continually check their kids are on board, and even let them select houses they’d like to view. Some even let the children add a point or two to the all-important house checklist. What better way to ensure they’re on-side?

But, the considerations shouldn’t stop there. For those with older children, it’s worth getting them even more involved in the process. After all, it won’t be so long until those kids are branching into the property market themselves. The more you teach them now, the better position they’ll be in down the line. This is especially important from a financial standpoint. Any financial understanding they gain will help them understand how much they need before moving out becomes a reality.

To ensure you teach the right lessons, we’re going to look at a few of the different factors you should let them be a part of.

Choosing a location

You can’t move to a new area because your child tells you to. But, giving them a list of cities you’re considering could be useful. That way, you can leave them to research, and see if they find the cheapest area on your list. You’ll want to work this out on the side, of course. But, if your child reaches the right answer, they’re sure to learn a valuable lesson. There’s no getting around the fact that prices vary across postcodes. And, during their research, your child is sure to discover this. Thus, when it comes time to buy for themselves, they’ll know to do similar research.

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The value of a home

The chances are that it won’t take much convincing to get your kids online and searching for houses. This is the best part of the house hunt for children. So much possibility, and the chance to have a sneak peek inside other people’s homes! But, as well as having fun with this, it’s worth giving your older kids some idea of pricing. That way, they can factor cost in when looking, and gain some insight into how much properties are worth. Of course, pricing will have changed by the time they come of age, but showing them the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current market will help them understand it later on.

The hidden costs

It’s also worth keeping your teens informed of the hidden costs of buying. Sit down with them while you use something like this stamp duty fee calculator. Explain how stamp duty works, and explain why everyone has to pay it during the buying process.

Explain, too, about estate agent fees, and costs such as moving companies and so on. It may be harder to get them interested in this, but this it’s the stuff they’re sure to remember when they embark on their own home buying journey.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Teaching Your Children about Debt and Borrowing Money

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Teaching Your Children about Debt and Borrowing Money - erasing debt image

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Most people don’t get into debt out of sheer stupidity. Most people get into debt because they have not been educated about money – or more specifically borrowing money. They find themselves in a situation whereby they need money quickly, and they borrow it without fully understanding what they are letting themselves into. There are then those who are enticed by all of these amazing promotional offers, and they sign up to a number of credit cards without considering how this is going to impact their rating. The obvious solution may seem simple: avoid borrowing money altogether. However, if you do this, you won’t have a credit history at all, and this is arguably just as damaging as having a bad credit report. So, we need to educate our children about borrowing money responsibly, the impact of borrowing on their credit report, and what to do if they do find themselves in debt. After all, in some cases, debt is unavoidable.

LESSON ONE: THE VARIOUS WAYS YOU CAN BORROW MONEY

Firstly, you need to make sure your children are aware of the different methods of borrowing money. In general, this can be split into two categories: loans and credit cards. Of course, there are then many different types of loans and credit cards. With regards to the former, you will be given a certain amount of money, which you will then have to pay back to the lender with interest on top. With a credit card, you will have access to a certain amount of money, and you will only be subject to interest if you do not pay the full amount off by a certain day of the month. Credit cards are ideal for those who need access to money to tick them over until they get paid. If you are self-employed, for example, and you don’t know what date of the month your money is going to come in, you can use a credit card to tide you over until then. A loan is more suitable when you are making a large purchase. There are many different types of loans, including bank loans, secured loans, and payday loans. The latter provides a fast loan approval for those in need of money as quickly as possible. However, the APR tends to be very high, so you’ll end up spending a lot of money taking the loan out. A secured loan will be secured against one of your assets, for example, your car or your home. If you default on your payments, the lender can sell your vehicle or your property to cover the payments you have missed. It is important to teach your children about the different factors they need to consider when taking out a loan or applying for a credit card. A lot of people never learn about APR, and so they end up borrowing money without having a full understanding of how much they are paying for it. This is an easy way to get into debt, and it can be avoided with simple education.

LESSON TWO: CREDIT REPORT

The next thing you need to teach your children about is their credit report. Explain that their credit report is something that a lender will view when determining whether to lend them money. This does not only relate to companies who deal with loans and credit cards, but catalogue companies, furniture stores offering financial plans to pay off furniture over the course of a few years, phone contract businesses, and such like. It is, therefore, critical to maintain a good credit score. Unfortunately, a lot of people end up causing damage to their credit report without even realising it. This is why you need to teach your children about the different aspects that do and do not impact a credit score, and the steps they can take to improve their credit score. One thing a lot of people do not realise is that they do not have one set credit score. There are a number of companies that provide credit reports, and most companies and lenders will look at one or several credit reports to gauge whether someone is credible to lend to. People can access their credit reports online, and it is a good idea to do so, so that you can have a general understanding of what your score is, where you are going wrong, and where you are going right.

So, let’s go over the different elements that make up your credit report, and the impact they have:

  • Your personal information – One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your credit score is to make sure that all of your personal information is up to date. If it isn’t, lenders may struggle to verify who you are, and this can have a negative impact on your rating. Plus, if your personal details aren’t correct, you could miss out on notifications, which could result in you failing to pay a bill, which will, of course, have a bad impact on your credit score.
  • The total balance of your active credit accounts – The total balance of your active credit accounts plays a crucial role in determining your score. If you have a mortgage, this will not be included within the calculations. This includes your credit cards, any purchases you are still paying for, overdraft facilities you are using, and any loans you have taken out. If you owe more than $15,000, this will have a negative impact on your credit score. If you owe more than $30,000, this will decrease your score even further.
  • How much of your available credit you are using – There are a number of factors to consider here. Firstly, your highest credit limit will play a role. If you have a credit card with a limit over $1,000, this will improve your credit rating, as it shows that you are a low risk borrower. However, you also need to think about how much of your available credit you are using. For example, if you are using 95 percent of the credit you have available to you, this is bound to have a negative impact on your score, as it indicates you are relying heavily on credit.
  • Payments – Are you keeping up with your payments? This is the most important factor of them all when it comes to your credit score, as a late or missed payment will stay on your account for roughly six years.
    • The age of your credit accounts – Again, there are a number of factors to take into account here. Firstly, the average age of all of your credit accounts is considered. Having an average age of 33 months or more is considered a positive. Also, the number of new credit accounts you have opened. If you have opened a number of accounts within a three-month period, for example, this will have a negative impact. However, if you have only opened one credit account, this will not have a bad impact on your score.
    • Credit applications – This is where a lot of people have a negative effect on their score without even realising. Many people decide to make numerous credit applications, and then they will accept the best credit card they get approved for. A lot of people also try their luck, applying for cards they are unlucky to get accepted for on the off chance that they will. This will have a negative impact on your score, as credit applications are included in your report. There are soft searches, which don’t impact your score, and hard searches, which do impact your score. The best thing to do is use one of the online services that are available to determine your chances of being accepted. This ensures you only apply for credit cards whereby you have a high chance of approval, so that you don’t need to carry out numerous applications.

LESSON THREE: WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET INTO DEBT

Last but not least, it is important not only to teach our children about avoiding getting into debt, but also about what to do if you do get into debt. The problem can easily get worse and worse when someone does not know how to deal with debt. It can seem like the end of the world, but it doesn’t need to be. In fact, you will find plenty of inspirational stories on the Internet about people that have gotten themselves out of severe debt.

Most people agree that the best way to tackle debt is to pay off the biggest debt first while making the minimum payments on all loans and cards to ensure you are not subject to any further fees. You should also ring up your credit card provider or any other lender you owe money to and see if you can negotiate more favourable terms. It is then a case of examining where you went wrong and how you got into debt in the first place. This will help to ensure you do not make the same mistake again.

 

Saving On Your Daily Basics

We all want to set a good example for our kids, and the best way to do that is through the doing itself. So, we need to cut back a little on our spending, but still comfortably live whilst a good amount of our income gets filed away into a savings account for use later. And the best place to tackle is the money that goes into what we buy everyday to keep our household full of goods! Here’s some ideas on cutting back on the daily basics we don’t actually need that much of.

Saving On Your Daily Basics - shop scene

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Understand Where Your Money Goes

Every week we use our finances to take care of multiple parts of life, so working out where your money goes and the percentage each time is the first step. So, this is a lifeline for people who are already looking into visiting debtconsolidation.co, as paying off any debt we already have is key to keeping our money flowing properly.

So your bills are taken care of and any debt you have you know you’ll be able to manage; that’s an incredibly secure place to be! Once we know we’re in the clear, it’s time to plan out what goes into what. Does your money all drain away into a savings fund? Or maybe you’re overbuying from the supermarket whenever you go out to it? Or maybe you have no clue what your finances are doing, and you’re just on a monitoring schedule. Consider your usual week and then go from there.

Tackle Food First

Food is a big money suck, and that’s because we need it to live! It can probably get pretty annoying that the peppers you bought only a couple of days ago are already pruning up, so that means we need a little reevaluation on what we buy. If you know you’re not going to use it, immediately put it back.

Make some meal plans for the family, and try to churn them out at the beginning of each week. If you know what to buy and absolutely know you’re going to use it, your meals will be more delicious and the fruit and vegetables that cost a little more than the microwavable packet burger will be worth the investment.

The long and short of it is: know what food you have in your cupboards and your fridge, and keep the basics stocked up, and plan your meals out in advance to cut back on any waste.

Then Cut Out the Little Luxuries

It’s good to have a treat from time to time, we deserve it for working so hard after all! Yet, once a week is a pretty good schedule for them, and more regularly might be where you’re going wrong. Don’t cut out the nights out with your friends, but make sure they’re more of an occasion!

You can easily buy lower priced treats, such as bath bombs for your own spa night, and movies to watch at home. Don’t overspend on basics!

How To Set A Good Example Of Handling Money For Your Children

Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. However, the pressure to set your children up for the best start in adult life can seem like a monumental task. Teaching your child to cook, do their own laundry, and clean the bathroom all takes time. However, the most strenuous of lessons can be handling money. Money stress has the ability to keep you up at night, and can even be the main reason for relationship problems and family feuds – something everyone wants to protect their children from. Below are a few ways you can best educate your child on dealing with money and give them their best chance in life.

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Teach Your Child The Time Value Of Money

Earning pocket money is a given in many households with young children, however helping them to understand the time value of the money they receive may not be. Everyday life really does revolve around money. The tap turns on because your water bill is paid, and you get up every morning for work to ensure you have the money in order to pay that bill. Simply sitting down with your child, whilst playing a game of shop, to explain why the cashier is at work every day can help your child to comprehend the process of money, and why they have to earn it through doing chores.

Allow Your Child To Gain Experience Purchasing

Depending on the age of your child, you may think it is too early to allow them to go up to the counter themselves and purchase the fidget spinner they wanted so badly. However, giving them the experience of asking a shop assistant for help and advice on a purchase could start to build a good foundation for their spending habits. Encouraging your child to really think about and research their purchases to ensure they are getting the best price available, and highest quality. Just like you would seek advice on investments and pensions from wealth management services – you can educate your child on seeking advice on their purchases – no matter how small they may be.  This will help to set in a place a healthy and intelligent habit that will continue into their adult life.

Teach Them About Waste

Opening your child’s eyes to food waste and the cost of breakages could help them to understand the value – and the privilege – of money a little better. Accidents, of course, happen, and even more so when you have children. However, you can help your child to be more careful by explaining to them that what they have broken cost money, which is now having to be thrown away. It’s the same process with food. The rule “no sweets before dinner” is important to reduce the amount of food wasted in your household – explain that food also costs money and throwing it away is not only a waste of food but money too.

Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas on how best to prepare your children for their independent, working life. It is never too early to start instilling good habits, and they will certainly thank you for it later on in life.

Healthy Money Attitudes To Teach Your Children

Healthy Money Attitudes To Teach Your Children - piggy bank image

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When it comes to passing on lessons to your children, most people think about manners, temperance and sensibility take priority. Not many of us consider it important to teach a young teenager about money matters in depth, or to begin a structured approach to gifting them a monetary mindset.

While this might seem like overkill from a young age, it can be very helpful for their development. We often keep habits we are taught from a young age. If you were ‘forced’ to make your bed upon waking as a child, it’s likely you’ll keep that habit for the rest of your life.

If you were brought up in a clean and tidy household, you are much more likely to value organization and tidiness in your living area as an adult. By this logic then, teaching our children from a young age about money, making them comfortable with it and feeling responsible for it, can help them make great financial decisions early on.

We’ve collected some fantastic tips to teach your children from a young age, and examples you can use to relay this information in an understandable way.

Money Is Dynamic

The ‘hoard’ mentality can harm someone over cautious with their budgeting. Sometimes purchasing quality over quantity is important, so long as it’s coupled with a sense of temperance and patience. Depending on the age of your child, you might illustrate this by taking them around two separate toy or video game stores.

In order to gain the best video game released that week, suggest they sell two of their older games, or that this will be their only game you buy them for a period of months. Show them that money is dynamic, and it’s okay to spend. But also back that up with foresight, and a budgeting timeline. Demonstrating this with a product they are interested in receiving will teach them the value of financial compromise, despite money being healthily spent.

Every Dollar Has Value

Of course, the value of one dollar is, well, one dollar. However, teaching your children every dollar has value is important. Teaching them every dollar has value could be illustrated by incentivising their chores. If you allow your child to wash your car for $15 every week, consider adding a bonus $5 if they vacuum the internal seats and carpets. This shows them how effort translates into money, and how sometimes it’s worth applying effort to gain more and becoming more secure. One other way to best exemplify this is to teach by osmosis. If you have debts yourself, the child will often figure this out – especially if you’re stressed about it often. Using debtconsolidation.loans and showing them a surface, illustrative only budget to show what percentage of your income is being applied to a singular debt payment, they will see that careful financial planning and always counting the dollars to the minutiae of their accounting prowess has benefit.

With these tips, your child should hopefully be introduced to financial planning, temperance and a healthy attitude to spending. As they move into the world and gain their freedom through work or college, they are much more likely to make sensible purchasing decisions.