Begin Financial Education Early: It Makes Perfect Cents!

As a responsible parent, you want to ensure that your child is healthy, safe and happy. Part of instilling confidence and self-esteem within your child is making sure that they understand money and finances, and that they’re ready when they do eventually fly the nest into the big wide world. It’s never too early to start teaching your youngsters about money. Having an open and transparent attitude to family finances and being there to answer any questions that your toddler, adolescent or teenager may have means that they’ll be clued up when they have to make major financial decisions later in life. Take a look at how you can teach your kids the value of money.

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Structured Play

Two-year-olds are now able to open up an iPad, swipe across the screen and watch their favorite nursery rhyme on youtube.com without any intervention from mom or dad. Technology is taking over, and this is the same when it comes to money. Internet banking and paying by card means that toddlers rarely see any real money. When you are playing shop or heading down the local store to purchase a small item, get your real life notes and pennies out. Allow your child to feel the genuine article, not a plastic replica. Little kids love nothing better than feeling more grown up than they are, so allow them to pay the guy behind the counter when you pick up your newspaper and see if they can count their change.

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Family Finances

As your kids grow older, they may begin to want for more things whether this is the latest smartphone, console or tablet. If you are struggling to afford their wishlist, it’s vital that you tell them why. You may have recently renovated the kitchen, had to fork out for a new gasket on the car and paid for them to head off on their annual school trip. This meant you had to take out more short-term loans and credit cards putting you into debt. Explain to your child that this is manageable but only if you reign in the spending for a while. If this situation is familiar to yours, consider heading to a site like consolidate.loan and compare debt consolidation lenders. This way all those tiny chunks of debt can be merged into one monthly repayment.

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Incentivise

The best way to get kids saving is to make it worth their while. As you give them pocket money, they may choose to save up for something like a drum kit or a trip to the cinema. Motivate them by pledging to top up their funds with $5 every time they save $20, giving them an extra impetus to save. As they see their nest egg accrue, you may want to introduce the idea of a bank account or other avenues down which they could see their money grow even further. As they get older, it’s important that children understand the importance of saving, so they don’t become frivolous with money as they enter college and adulthood.

Financial education is only sometimes taught in schools, but it should also be an integral part of the home. Teaching sound money sense from an early age will enable your child to grow up feeling confident, content and happy when budgeting, saving and spending.

 

Children of Debt: Using Your Financial Struggles as Tools for Teaching

All households can experience tough times, and some more than others. Having less to spend is not all bed new, though, and It’s actually quite common that children of low-income families grow up to be more financially savvy than their peers. If your family is going through a dip in finances at the moment, you can easily take advantage of this to teach them a few valuable lessons – just avoid the pitfalls.

Here is how some families use financial struggles to safeguard their children from similar problems, as well as a few words of warning on what to steer clear of.

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Have constructive money conversations

Talking about money problems with children is on the top of the to-do list. When times are tough, and you keep it to yourself, it tends to cause a bit of confusion. Be open about it and you’re giving your children a chance to understand the situation.

Explain that you need to save money, as a household, and that they can be of big help by simply remembering to use less electricity. These conversations are healthy and constructive; the problems are presented together with a solution, rather than mindless worries.

Some parents take the money-talk too far and burden their children with it. The conversations about money are used to unload themselves of worries, and the parents may even feel a sense of relief afterwards – while the child is left with a sense of being unable to help.

Admit your mistakes

While we should all learn from our own mistakes, your children are in the unique position of being able to learn from your mistakes as well. Take responsibility for the situation you’re in, admit that you haven’t been as on top of your finances as you should have, and avoid blaming it on your circumstances.

However tempting it may be to point out that you’ve gone through a costly divorce or that the economy is tough, save these blame-shifting talks for your friends. When you’re talking to your children about it, it’s all about being the grown-up, and grown-ups take responsibility.

If your child or teenager ever find themselves in the same situation, they won’t spend time on pointing fingers but instead get right to work and sort things out; just like you taught them.

There are so many words of wisdom to be found in financial problems, and you can use the situation to teach them about the importance of budgeting, the code of practice 9, and general saving alternatives. By being stubborn and proud, you’re just letting a fantastic teaching opportunity slip away from you.

Growing up in a family that needs to save money rather than spend it can actually be quite healthy for their future finances. It teaches them to understand the value of money and how important it is to have a backup fund in case something should happen, so keep teaching the right kind of values while picking yourself up.

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.

Living A Champagne Lifestyle On A Lemonade Budget

We all want to live a champagne lifestyle, but if we don’t have the 5-star budget that is needed to fund it, there is no way it’s going to be possible. Don’t think you will be able to increase your finances anytime soon to pay for a deluxe life? No problem! There are actually some ways you can make your lemonade budget stretch to cover all those champagne life choices, whether you are based in the UK or US. Read on to find out more!

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Always Go With The Budget Alternative

 No matter what you buy to treat yourself, there is going to be a wide range of products for you to choose from. For instance, if you love indulging in a few glasses of wine on a Friday night, you will always see that there are a few different bottles to choose from in UK supermarkets at different prices. But don’t just go for the most expensive option. Otherwise, your finances will quickly drain away, and you won’t be able to splash out on other things. So, if you are going to treat yourself with something luxe, it’s always a good idea to go with the cheapest option.

Consider Relocating

Did you know that there are some neighborhoods that can impact on your finances? This is especially the case in the UK and US. Those areas and boroughs that are often considered quite high-class and posh often feature exclusive supermarkets while the cheapest grocery stores are located in areas that aren’t so well off. So, take a look at current property for sale in the UK and the US to see if you could move to a cheaper location. Once you’ve paid for all the initial moving costs, you will find that life works out a lot cheaper over the long run!

Search Coupon Websites

If you have your eye on something that is slightly above your budget, don’t fear – there might be a very simple way to make it a lot more affordable. And that solution is to take a look at coupon websites. Most UK and US coupon and voucher sites feature deals and discounts for fashion stores and big name brands. If you are lucky, you might even find some designer names on there as well! Most vouchers and coupons can be used online or in-store.

 Cut The Fat

It’s a good idea to sit down and take a look at all your receipts from the past month. Did you buy anything that you don’t really need? Or maybe you still have a direct debit leaving your account each month for a service that you haven’t used in a while. If so, you need to cut down on these purchases. That way, you can cut the fat, and will find that you have a lot more money left over to spend on luxury items. Plus, managing your money in this way will make you a lot more responsible with your finances.

As you can see, being able to afford the champagne lifestyle that you’ve always dreamed of shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s just about being more careful about how you look after your finances!

Revealed: The Financial Impact A Big Family Can Have On Your Home

Having a big family has a lot of pros and cons. The most obvious pro is that you’ve got a lovely large family with a lot of amazing children. It can be a lot of fun for everyone, particularly your children as they can all play with one another.

Unfortunately, a big family can be hard for your finances. Especially when we’re talking about the home you live in. The more people living in a home, the more negative the financial impact can be.

Below, we’ve got a few points that show you how a big family can impact your finances:

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You Need A Big Home

If you’ve got four or more kids, it really narrows down your property search. You can no longer look at small family homes or apartments, you need something big and spacious. As a result, you’re probably looking at properties with multiple bedrooms at the higher end of the market. In turn, these cost loads of money, and you’ll probably have to get a large mortgage from a company like Enness Mortgages. You could potentially be paying double what someone with two kids pays for their home. If you want to live comfortably, you need a big home for your big family, so your hands are pretty much tied.

The alternative is to stay in your current home and try to increase its size through renovations. However, this still means you’ll be paying a lot of money. So, either way, your family is forced to spend a lot on your home when you have a big family.

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You Have Higher Monthly Costs

When you have a house, you get the benefit of not paying rent. But, this doesn’t mean there are no monthly costs to pay. You’ve still go to pay all of your utility bills, and the size of your family greatly affects this.

When you’ve got a big family, you have more people using energy, more people using water, and more people using the internet/TV/phone. As a result, your bills can go through the roof. Imagine having four kids all in their rooms with their lights on watching TV? Or, think about the morning routine where your entire family uses loads of hot water as you wash. Every month, you will be paying a fortune for various utilities because of your large family.

At this point, it looks like it’s all doom and gloom for your big family. Naturally, some of you may be put off having lots of kids after this! But, don’t worry, there are steps you can take to contain things and ensure your finances don’t take that much of a hit. If you search for houses that are maybe in slightly cheaper neighborhoods, you can still get a big house without overpaying for it. A lot of the time, the further away from a major city you look, the cheaper the houses are. Also, teach your kids about saving energy and make sure they turn things off when they’re not using them. Also, get energy saving appliances to help as well.

There’s no denying a big family will have a huge financial impact on your home, but it’s just one of those things you have to be conscious of and learn how to deal with so it doesn’t damage you too much.