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It’s Time To Start Planning For The Future

One of the things that most of us tend to struggle with is thinking about what the future holds for us. Now, this is actually pretty understandable. Without the ability to see the future, most of the time we’re just making our best guesses at what it holds. However, this leads to a lot of people choosing to ignore it entirely and just focusing on the present tense. This is a mistake. The trouble is that the future has a tendency to sneak up on you pretty quickly and if you’re not ready for it, that can be pretty scary. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can start planning for the future.

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Saving

The most obvious and simplest way that you can start planning for the future is to start putting some money away in a savings account for a while. Most people assume that they don’t have a large enough income to start saving but this simply isn’t the case. The truth is that, even if you’re just putting away a tiny amount here and there, that can make a huge difference. You’d be truly shocked at just how quickly those little bits of money can start to add up over time.

You career

It’s easy to find yourself stuck in a run when it comes to your career. After all, there are plenty of things in modern life that make it pretty easy to fall into a job that you don’t really care about. However, one of the things that a lot of people don’t really pay attention to is the fact that they often end up in a position where they’re in a job that’s just not going anywhere. Sure, it might pay the bills but it doesn’t offer them the chance to grow or develop over time. When it comes to your career, it’s always a good idea to not just think about what it’s like now, but how it can help you move forward into the future.

What happens next?

It’s pretty understandable that most of us don’t really want to think about the potential of something happening to us. Leaving behind the people in our life is a sad and scary prospect. However, it’s something that’s worth thinking about, especially if you have a family. Whether you’re making a will or planning for things like inheritance tax, working with wills & trusts solicitors can make that a whole lot easier. Planning for what happens next is never fun, but at least with the right support, you can make it at least a little bit easier.

Of course, none of this is to say that you should spend all of your time thinking about the future to the point that you miss out on what’s right in front of your nose. The key to living your best possible life is finding that balance between living in the moment and making sure that you’re making plans and allowances for the ways that things might go in the future. This isn’t always easy but it’s by far the best possible way to make sure that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises in life.

New-Build Vs Renovation Project – Which Should You Buy?

For first-time and more seasoned buyers alike, one of the first questions they must ask themselves when looking for a property is, should they buy a new-build or should they look at buying a house with potential, but that needs a little extra work? Both new-builds and renovation projects come with their own sets of pros and cons, so we’ll take a closer look at some of them in this post to help you decide which may be right for you.

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New-Build

New-build sites such as Wyndham Ridge are cropping up all over the place, advertising beautiful views, prime locations and modern houses – but what do they deliver? 

Pros of a new build 

  • They’re new
    Perhaps the most obvious pro of a new build home is precisely that, it’s new – which means it tends to be free of faults and flaws that many homes gain with age and you can move in knowing that you should have many years before you need to start making any dramatic renovations. New properties are also built to higher energy efficiency standards that can save you money.

  • They often come with a guarantee
    New-build sites often come with guarantees of up to 10 years, meaning that should anything go wrong in your home within that period, it will be fixed, free of charge.

  • They’re community-focused
    Many new-build developments have a strong community focus and include elements such as children’s play parks and community meeting points to make them feel like a part of their own village.

  • They’re a blank canvas
    A new build property is an ideal blank canvas and some companies will even let you choose your own fittings if you are buying off-plan. 

Cons of a new build

  • They lack character
    New-build homes tend to be a part of a larger new-estate in which many of the homes look the same, lacking character.

  • They can be more expensive
    Purchasing a brand-new home can be more expensive than buying a run-down property and doing it up. They also may come with a service charge which must be paid annually for the upkeep of the communal areas. 
  • They can encounter issues
    New homes haven’t proven that they can stand the test of time and you could experience issues once the house begins to settle. 

Renovation Projects

Renovation projects are a popular choice with those looking to turn a profit on a home, but do they really work out better?

Pros of a renovation project

  • Character
    Perhaps the biggest pro of a renovation project is that the property will likely have history and character.

  • Profitability
    A new build property will only increase in value if the area it is in increases in value, a renovation property, on the other hand, can increase in value due to the renovations you make and therefore can turn a quicker profit.

  • Room for negotiation
    Renovation properties usually have room for price negotiations as you are dealing with a single owner rather than a corporation. This can make them more affordable for first-time buyers. 

Cons of a renovation project

  • They require effort
    The biggest con of a renovation project is that they require effort, whether that be from a builder or your own fair hand.

  • Costs can build-up
    Renovations can reveal hidden issues causing renovation costs to rise and making the project potentially more expensive than planned.

  • Chains
    Many renovation projects come with a chain, meaning that you’ll be waiting for other parties to sell their home before everything can go through. 

Conclusion

New-build homes and renovation projects clearly sit at opposite ends of the spectrum, and which you choose will largely depend on how much effort you want to put into the property, the importance of character and how much you’re willing to spend. Only once you know what your priorities are with your property can you decide which to buy.

Don’t Discount Your Hobbies – They Could Make You Rich

Everyone has hobbies. But did you know that you can use yours to make money? 

It turns out that a lot of the things that you do for fun can be a great way of generating cash, often as a byproduct. You get to enjoy yourself indulging in your favorite activities while at the same time, boosting your regular income.

So which hobbies can wind up making you money

Writing

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Writing is difficult. Being able to write well is a skill – and one that few possess. For that reason, it’s highly valuable. If you’re ready to write engagingly and entertainingly, people will want to consume more of your content.

A lot of people who write for fun also sell their services to others over the internet. You could transform your passion for writing into work, creating compelling content and articles for firms in your target area. Many firms are willing to pay double or even triple the regular writing rate for people who churn out quality content. 

Gaming

If you went back ten years and told somebody that gaming was a way to make money, they’d laugh at you. But thanks to games like Dota 2, Team Fortress and playing European Roulette in HD, that’s all changed. Now you really can make money from gaming – so long as you’re good at it. 

Making money from gaming all comes back to e-sports. Gaming audiences all over the world are prepared to pay to watch the best gamers in the world compete against each other for victory across a variety of video games. This money generation is then feeding into the prize money that players can win. You don’t have to be the best in the world – just good enough to give other gamers a run for their money. 

Traveling

People usually view traveling as a giant money pit – somewhere you throw your dollars, never to see them again. But thanks to the internet, that too is changing. Those who have a strong sense of wanderlust can generate money from their passion as influencers and bloggers. 

Travel companies are desperate for people who blog about their experiences at their resorts. They want them to post videos, pictures, and blogs that effectively pay for themselves. And they can pay you for the privilege. So if you’re continually jetting off all over the world and have a camera, consider transforming it into a money-making scheme

Cooking

Finally, cooking is yet another hobby that can help you make money. Here again, you’re tapping into the large influencer market, using your culinary skills to inspire your audience. If you build a large enough following on social media, you can attract the attention of advertisers, keen to flog their products. Sometimes it’ll be a specific brand of food, and other times, it might be something like a toaster or a blender. Whatever it is, you can wind up with some pretty decent advertising deals that allow you to enjoy your hobby and make a profit from it at the same time. 

4 Tips for Motivating Your Kids to Pick up Good Habits

Every good parent wants their child to have the best possible future, and to succeed in life to the best of their abilities. But what should you do, in the here and now, to make that happen?

While, of course, there aren’t any clear-cut answers to a question like that, it’s probably a good idea to assume that your child’s habits will have a dramatic impact on their future, and on their ability to be successful in whatever it is they attempt in life.

By the same token, instilling good habits in your child isn’t the kind of thing that you can just do in a completely authoritative, top-down way. Rather, as with so much else in life, it’s very important to hone your own motivational skills, so that you can motivate your kids to pick up and maintain good habits of their own accord.

Here are a few tips for motivating your kids to pick up good habits

4 Tips for Motivating Your Kids to Pick up Good Habits - teaching kids good habits - piggy bank image
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Present positive behavioural examples to them in the form of uplifting stories

Kids are always looking for examples to model their behaviour. That’s why role models are so important, both in terms of parental role models, and in terms of broader cultural role models.

One of the best ways of motivating your child to do positive things, and to acquire positive habits of their own accord, is by presenting positive behavioural examples to them in the form of uplifting stories.

If you give your child a story that explains sound financial principles, or that underscores the importance of keeping a tidy bedroom, for example, it is much more likely that the child will engage and identify with the story they’re being told, take the message to heart, and at the very least will be receptive to following the advice contained within.

Sometimes, you may even find your child spontaneously acting on the moral of the story, without you having to do or say anything else.

Be sure to praise and reinforce positive actions, instead of just treating them as expected

Children are always looking for praise and approval from their parents, and so when your child does something that you like and consider positive, it’s important that you praise and reinforce those actions in a clear way.

If you simply treat those good behaviours as run-of-the-mill and “expected,” you will be depriving your child of the emotional stimulus that can make all the difference in helping them to create positive associations with those behaviours, and to actually feel motivated to engage in them on a regular basis.

In some cases, and for some particular actions, it may be appropriate to give your child some kind of small gift or treat as a reward. Often, though, it will be enough just to smile and tell them they’ve done a very good job, and that you’re proud of them.

Use visual tracking systems such as star charts in order to make the process more tangible

Even as adults, we all tend to take a lot of satisfaction in seeing visible markers of progress and success. That’s why various leading fitness apps will show charts, and will give us comparative stats, to keep us motivated. And it’s also why crossing items off a checklist can feel so deeply satisfying.

For children, of course, the same principles apply, and they apply even more so.

If you want to motivate your child to pick up and stick with positive habits, consider using visual tracking system such as star charts, in order to make the process more tangible. As your child accumulates more and more stars or other positive signifiers, they will naturally feel more inclined to keep going, and their momentum will increase.

Lead by example

There’s no point at all in telling your child to do something, if you yourself then proceed to do the opposite, right in front of them.

Children, when all is said and done, are far more interested in following the examples of their parents than they are in following the advice of their parents.

In other words, one of the best things you can do to help motivate a child to establish good habits, is to lead by example. If you tell them it’s important to keep a tidy room, then make sure your is tidy. And if you expect them to get dressed in daytime clothes every morning, then don’t let them catch you lounging in front of the TV in the afternoon in your pyjamas.

Worried About Missing A Credit Card Payment?

Forty-six million Americans (almost 1 in 5 adults) think they will miss at least one credit card payment due date in 2020, according to a new WalletHub credit cards survey released today. This indicates that cracks in the foundation of consumers’ finances are beginning to show, under the strain of mounting debt. The average American household already owes a near-record $8,700 to credit card companies. In light of that, WalletHub’s survey examined people’s experiences with late payments and their attitudes regarding the likelihood of future encounters.

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Why do so many people expect to miss credit card due dates in 2020?

“The reason that roughly 46 million people expect to miss at least one credit card due date in 2020, according to WalletHub’s latest credit card survey, is that we’re stretched too thin – in terms of both time and money,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “U.S. credit card users started 2020 with more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. Up until this point, we’ve managed to keep our accounts in good standing at historical rates. However, expecting to miss due dates is a sign of cracks in the foundation. And not only do 18% of people expect to miss at least one credit card due date in 2020, but 30% us say that not having enough money is the reason we’re most likely to be late.”

What are some tips for credit card users concerned about late payments?

“The easiest way to avoid late payments, and the fees and credit score damage that can accompany them, is to set up automatic monthly bill payments from a checking account for at least the minimum amount due each month. This will at least remove forgetfulness as a potential cause,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Automated payments won’t do much good if you don’t have enough money in your bank account, however. So careful budgeting and saving are key, too.”

Is it worth asking credit card companies to waive late fees?

“Credit card users who almost always pay their monthly bills on time but fail to do so once in a blue moon should definitely try to ask their credit card company to waive any associated late fee. It really can’t hurt, and 9 in 10 people who’ve tried in the past say they’ve been successful at least once, according to WalletHub’s new credit card survey,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “This is actually one reason why credit cards that emphasize ‘no late fees’ as a feature are sometimes overrated. You might get that on other cards, anyway, just by asking. Plus, ‘no late fee’ often actually means no fee the first time you miss a due date. After that, all bets are off.”

Key Survey Findings

Credit card issuers are forgiving…if you ask nicely.

Nearly 9 in 10 people who have tried to get a credit card late fee waived were successful. Women are 18 percent more likely to have tried to get a fee waived than men but are also 2 percent less likely to have been successful.

Payment priorities change with age.

People aged 18 to 44 are most worried about missing credit card payments. The 45-59 demographic is most concerned about their mortgage, while those over 59 put tax payments as their biggest worry.

Luxury can lead to lapses.

People with high income are almost twice as likely to miss a credit card payment due to forgetfulness as people with low income.

Men and women react differently to fees.

When asked about their attitudes toward getting a late fee, women are 39% more likely than men to feel “punished.” Men are twice as likely to feel “indifferent.”