Moving House: The Affordable Approach

If you and your little ones are planning a big move this year; it’s important to keep things as stress-free and as affordable as possible during each step of the way. Your kids are like sponges, and they will no doubt be absorbing your approach to spending and saving as you navigate through the property selling and buying process. There will be far more than simply exchanging the money needed for your next home, and receiving whatever you can for your current abode, so it’s worth a little extra effort when it comes to preparing and planning ahead.

A happy and straightforward moving process is something that you can get the whole family involved in. They’ll learn a little about each stage of selling and buying, and the work that goes into a successful moving day, so don’t be fearful of explaining what is happening to them. If there are particular financial consequences to certain actions, especially positive ones; share and explain them so that you can instil some great values and knowledge surrounding the cost of moving house, property, and real estate in general. Who knows; you might just spark an interest in a budding property tycoon of the future! The following are some things to consider if you’re about to pop up the for sale sign and want to save cash where you can as you’re heading out on your exciting property adventure together.

Moving House: The Affordable Approach - family home image

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Research And Sourcing

If you head towards the first estate agent or property legal team that you see; you’re unlikely to be able to save much money at the beginning of the process. However, doing some thorough online research, and sourcing more affordable options to suit your family, will ensure that the process doesn’t leave you broke. Therefore, it’s worth checking out some conveyancing quotes online as a starting point, and you can figure out the extra cash you’ll need to put aside to pay for everything. There are also options to sell your own home now, which will get rid of hefty agent fees, so that’s another area to consider if you’re willing to put in the work. You’ll need to balance what’s most important to you and your family in regards to time, money, and effort along the way, so the sooner you get started, the better.

A Bit Of DIY

The do it yourself approach will save you money throughout selling and buying a home, and the process of moving along the way. Therefore, it’s worth figuring out what you’ll be able to do without hiring anyone to help. If a survey comes back on a house that needs crucial renovation, rewiring, or a multitude of other work; work out if you’d be able to fix any problems yourself before moving day rolled around or as soon as you all moved in. In regards to removal costs; you could consider the packing process as soon as you know you’re moving and renting a storage unit near your new home so that you can do the majority yourself. Again, it’s about weighing up what will cost more time, money, and effort than you’re willing to spend, and going from there.

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.

Help Your Child Achieve Their Dream Home By Teaching Them How While They’re Young

It’s never too early to start teaching your children about money. In fact, the sooner you start, the more likely they are to find financial security in later life. Having money awareness from the off will allow them to make stable life decisions. Most parents want their children to get all their dreams. This includes their dream home. Mistakes made early in life can stop that happening. Help your child make the right moves to ensure they get the home of their dreams when they’re older.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF HARD WORK

Teaching your child the importance of hard work is the first step in ensuring they achieve their dreams. When you’re young, it’s hard to take education seriously. Encourage your children to take responsibility for their learning. The better they do at school, the more likely they’ll be able to afford a house when they’re older. Encouragement is easier said than done. Helping your children realise their dreams will go a long way towards giving them an incentive. Remember that your dreams might not be the same as theirs. Take a step back and help them realise what they want. Have conversations about the future and see what their plans are. Children can get carried away. If they go off on a tangent, try to bring them back to the considerations they’ll face down the line.

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HELP THEM CHOOSE A CAREER

When you’re young, you’re asked to make the biggest career choices in your life. It seems strange when children rarely know what they want to do. Choosing the wrong subjects at school and college can hold your kid back. It can even stop them getting what they want. Without that good paying career, they’re unlikely to get the million pound mortgage and dream home. Again, be sure to let your children make their own choices here. The best thing you can do is make sure they’re aware of their options. It might help to show them what problems the wrong choices can cause. Give them an idea, too, of the financial situation each career choice would land them in. Children and young adults often make decisions based on what their friends are doing. Make sure your child knows which jobs offer the best future and makes decisions based on that.

TEACH THEM THE IMPORTANCE OF SAVING

Even with a high paying career, your child won’t be able to achieve that dream home without some savings. Teach them about the importance of savings from early on. If they receive pocket money, it’s worth limiting this. A smaller amount of pocket money each week will mean that they have to save up for the things they need. Financial knowledge is the whole point of pocket money, after all. Without starting early, your kid is unlikely to be able to afford a deposit or mortgage. Talk to them about your saving process, and what it has helped you to afford. Show them, too, what they could achieve with substantial savings behind them.

New Money Book For Kids – Getting Rave Reviews

Troll Bridge cover - Money book imageThe Troll Bridge is the latest release in the multi award-winning Financial Fairy Tales series of children’s books.

The series helps explain money ideas and principles to children at a young age with a view to developing positive values and habits such as saving, responsibility, making money grow and entrepreneurship.

“To capture the imagination of children and give them an understanding of modern life within a story is fabulous. I look forward to reading more Daniel Britton stories to my family”- John Whiteman, Business Troubleshooter & author of 9 Days To Feel Fantastic

The Troll Bridge is a fun and innovative way of looking at why we pay our taxes. Everyone and everything crossing the bridge has to pay the troll. Everyone accepts this until a young boy starts asking why.

The Troll Bridge is released on Wednesday May 7th – look out for exclusive launch day offers and bonus materials!

“Often parents struggle to teach their children about money. Well – problem over! Dan’s Financial Fairly Tales are a brilliant way to introduce children to money concepts. All wrapped up in wonderful stories.” Elizabeth O’Shea, Parenting Specialist at Parent 4 Success

Just for fun, I’ve made a series of 3 videos – please take a moment and vote for your favourite. You can also leave comments below and share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Video 1

The financial Fairy Tales: the Troll Bridge

Video 2

The Troll Bridge preview

Video 3

The Troll Bridge

 

Is the Virtual World Contributing to Financial Illiteracy?

There is no doubt the internet has changed the way we shop and make purchases. Not only has it made things more convenient, letting us make purchases from the comfort of our own home, but also internet shopping has removed the need for cash. Even when we do venture out of the home and go shopping, many people forgo physical money altogether, preferring instead the convenience of paying for everything with plastic. However, if you have children, this may not really be a good thing.

The problem with this cash-free society is that it makes teaching children about the value of money incredibly difficult, because children have nothing tangible to learn with. Even when we withdraw cash from a bank machine, the concept of where this money comes from can be quite difficult for a child to grasp. After all, you have simply inserted a plastic card into the wall and received cash.

Then there is the rise of adults opening up bank accounts for their children. While on one hand this is a good idea, as it helps children learn about saving and earning interest, it can also remove the tangible nature of money because looking at numbers on a bank statement is far removed from counting out coins from a piggybank.

Plastic culture

Of course, children need to learn about using plastic. Both credit and debit cards are essential tools they will have to get to grips with by the time they are adults, and by the time today’s children grow up and become financially independent, credit and debit cards are probably going to be even more important, especially if cash use continues to decline. However, without a basic understanding of money, where it comes from, the difference between debit and credit, and knowing that money spent equates to money earned, we could be at risk of bringing up a generation into this virtually cash free world who are financially illiterate.

Already, many children are growing up with a limited grasp of how debit and credit cards link to physical money. Many parents now make purchases for their children on the internet, buying books, video games and other items. Some parents are even giving children their very own credit card to make purchases or to act as a safety net in case they need money when they are out. In addition, other parents are readily offer up their credit card details to their children so they can purchases on the internet themselves or even open up credit accounts, both of which can have unforeseen consequences.

The blurring of real and online worlds

A good example is the number of parents who open up accounts for their children to play online video games. As most parents know, online gaming is incredibly popular among children, but many games not only require a monthly subscription to play, but also in many cases, allow players to purchase additional items in the games using real money. Of course, parents have to hand over their credit card or debit card details to open the accounts for their children, which is where the danger lies.

An increasing number of news stories have highlighted incidents of children running up huge credit card bills by making purchases while playing online games. Many of these children are very young, so can’t possibly grasp the concept that buying things in a virtual game world has an impact in the real world. In addition, the number of children that run up bills by making online purchases without their parent’s knowledge is rising too.

All this shouldn’t come as a surprise, because but with so many of us now making online purchases, the line between the real world where money is physical and has to be earned, and the virtual world, has become blurred. It is, therefore, no wonder that children have a hard time grasping the basics of financial management and how credit cards should be used responsibly, which could be costly when they grow up.

Young debtors

There has been a significant rise in young adults, and in particular, students, getting into deep financial trouble because of improper credit card use. In the United States, one fifth of all bankruptcies are filed by college students, and the picture is no better in the UK. Most students have little or no credit history, and yet many are offered credit cards as soon as they start university. The consequence of this is that many students are getting into difficulty. Even by university age, not enough students have an understanding of interest rates and charges, but one of the biggest dangers is the ease in which credit cards give ready access to cash. Credit card cash advances are controversial, because they can encourage irresponsible behaviour. Making purchases with a credit card is one thing, but withdrawing cash that may be spent on anything, including socialising, leads many students to become debt ridden before they’ve even started work.

Another problem is that many students are leaving school without a strong psychological link between actual cash – the physical money they earn – and the money they see in their bank account and credit cards statements, which is probably because of the reliance of plastic for online shopping and the diminishing use of cash, as mentioned earlier.

Back to basics

This psychological link is an important one too. Because even if a young person understands that the money borrowed on a credit card has to be paid back, psychologically and subconsciously this link can remain fuzzy. Growing up in a world where money is not tangible, but virtual, means the psychological link between what you have and what you have earned with what you can spend can be difficult to develop, but as with most things, by teaching children about money and the value of things at a young age, can help reinforce this psychological link.

Most children get money quite early on in life, whether as a Christmas or birthday gift or as pocket money, and often this is where developing this psychological link should start. For instance, paying money directly into a child’s bank account may seem like a good idea for encouraging the child to save, but actually handing them the physical cash helps enforce the idea that money is a tangible thing that exists beyond the numbers on a bank statement or online account.

Secondly, many parents make online purchases for their child and either deduct the money from their child’s pocket money, transfer it out of their bank account or even not take it from them at all. By far a better tactic is to make your children physically hand over the cash before you make any payments online, which again, will reinforce that what is spend on the plastic has to come from somewhere. The same is true in making purchases in physical shops. The act of handing over physical money and receiving change shouldn’t be underestimated, and neither should the importance of the trust old piggy bank, as it can provide a child with something that is physical, tangible and visible, rather than virtual.