Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Teaching Your Teen to Drive Safely


While teaching a teen to drive can be a dreaded experience for any parent, it’s a great way to  prepare him or her to be a safe and competent driver. The risk of a teen getting into a fatal car  accident is three times higher than that of an adult aged 20 and above. By giving his or her  driving education the serious attention it requires, a parent can help his or her teen avoid  becoming another statistic. Here are four actionable tips a parent can use to teach a teen to drive  safely.  

Grasping the Basic Driving Skills 

A parent should ensure the driving lessons are in line with the current skill level of the teen. This  involves teaching the basics during the first few lessons. The teen should get used to sitting  behind the wheel before he or she can actually start driving. Giving him or her an organized and  detailed tour of the car, from the gas and brake pedals, dashboard controls, turn signals, to  parking brakes, is a great place for parents to start.  

Showing him or her how to adjust the mirrors and how to correctly position the hands on the  wheel is also important. The teen should drive only when he or she has mastered all of the basics  and can repeat everything back to the parent.  

The first lesson should take place in an empty and clear space, such as a parking lot. That way,  the teen can practice igniting, turning, or stopping the vehicle at various speeds in an area that is  free of obstacles. Once the teen has basic skills for navigating obstacles, the parent can introduce  traffic cones. 

Route Mapping 

Before hitting the road with a teen, the parent should identify the best route to use. The teen is  traveling through an unfamiliar area behind the wheel and learning a new skill, all the while  aware that one slight mistake could result in disastrous consequences. It is, therefore, wise to  give him or her more organization and predictability.

Avoiding congested highways and freeways that may be beyond his or her skill level, especially  during the first few days, can make the driving lessons enjoyable for both the teen and the parent.  Without mapping the route in advance, avoiding those areas would be impossible.  

Identifying the Skills to Practice 

Besides mapping the route before each lesson, the parent should also determine the skills the teen  will learn in each session. It could be navigating toll booths, maintaining a safe following  distance, or parallel parking. Keeping these in mind during the planning phase can help a parent  choose a route that has all the things he or she wants the teen to learn. If he or she wants the teen  to practice parallel parking, for instance, there should be plenty of opportunities on the selected  route.  

Eliminating Unnecessary Distractions 

AAA lists distracted driving as one of the main causes of car accidents involving teen drivers.  Therefore, when teaching a teen to drive, the parent should get rid of unnecessary distractions to  ensure all the attention is on the road. He or she should also avoid playing music or using a  phone. Although the parent isn’t the one driving, he or she serves as the second pair of eyes for  the teen until the teen can comfortably navigate obstacles and look for cars independently.  Moreover, the teen can learn safe driving habits by just watching how the parent behaves as an  instructor.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The laws surrounding data privacy have changed a lot in the last few years. As more questions have been raised about the way businesses handle the personal information they collect about their customers, new legislation has been introduced to protect consumers. All businesses are responsible for managing customer data in the right way to ensure that they are in line with the laws. 


Unfortunately, a lot of business owners think that they’re doing everything above board even though they are inadvertently breaking data privacy laws. If you are found to be breaking data privacy laws, your business could be subject to a huge fine which, in some cases, could sink the business. The authorities won’t have any sympathy for you because the infringement was accidental, so it’s up to you to make sure that you are looking after data properly and you avoid the common pitfalls that people fall into. These are some of the most common ways that businesses accidentally break data privacy laws. 

Not Knowing The Law 

The laws surrounding data privacy can be quite complicated and they are always changing. Technology has advanced so much in the last few decades and legislation is only now catching up, which means that new laws are being introduced all the time and old laws are being updated. There are also specific laws that apply to certain types of business. For example, if you run a child daycare business, there are different laws surrounding the private data of children. There are different rules for medical businesses too because private medical information needs extra protection. 

A lot of businesses get caught out because new laws are introduced or they don’t realize that their business is subject to different rules. When the laws change, they don’t update their own data privacy processes to bring them in line with new legislation. It’s important that you stay up to date with the law so you are aware of any changes and you can change your business processes as a result. 

Failing To Ask For Permissions

Whenever you go to a website these days, you’ll get a pop-up asking about cookies and data collection, etc. You’ll get the option to choose what data you want to share and how it will be used. This is a legal requirement in the EU, and if your site doesn’t have this feature, you’re breaking the law. You want to make this process quick and easy for your customers and make sure that they know they are in control of their data. Check out these GDPR consent form examples to get an idea of how to ask for permissions in the right way. You can also use this as an opportunity to ask people to opt in to marketing emails etc. Make sure that you stay up to date with legislation to ensure that you are giving the right options on your consent forms. 

Using Customer Photos For Marketing 

Customer testimonials are a great way to promote your business. Their opinion carries a lot more weight than yours does, but you do have to be careful about how you use them. Photos of customers enjoying your product are great for marketing, but you can’t just use them without permission. If you upload pictures of people on your website or print them on direct mail marketing materials without asking them first, you are in breach of data privacy laws. So, if you are going to use customer photos, get their permission in writing first, so it doesn’t come back to bite you later on. 

Bad BYOD Policies 

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are becoming more common in business. It saves you a lot of money if your employees can use their own computers and tablets for work, and it’s often easier for them because they’re using devices that they are comfortable with. Remote work is much easier when people use personal devices too. However, there are some big security concerns that you need to manage and a lot of businesses breach data privacy laws because they have bad BYOD policies in place. 

If your employees don’t have adequate security software installed on their devices and they regularly use unsecured public wifi networks, all of the customer data they have access to is at risk. Banning people from using their own devices is one way around this but if you still want the benefits of BYOD, you need to improve your policy. Make sure that all devices have been assessed by your IT department to ensure that they are protected and offer security software to all employees. Make sure that all of your employees understand the importance of data security and they know how to set strong passwords on their devices, etc.

Bad Phone Policies 

Whenever you speak to a customer over the phone, you need to take steps to ensure that customer data is protected. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses make mistakes and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Whenever you speak to a customer on the phone, you need to ask security questions to make sure you are speaking to the right person. If you start discussing personal details without asking security questions, you could accidentally reveal personal data to the wrong person. It’s easy for people to fall into bad habits and start skipping the security questions, especially as customers often get frustrated with them. To combat this, you need to explain the importance of these questions to your staff and give them a short script to help them explain it to customers too. 

Be careful about recording phone conversations too. Although it can be beneficial for training, you could be breaking data privacy laws if you record and store phone conversations that contain sensitive personal information. You can still record calls, but you should cut the security questions and any credit card information or addresses, etc. 

Most data privacy breaches happen by accident and the perpetrators think that they’re doing everything right. If you are making these common mistakes, you could be breaking the law. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Of all the ways that people spend money on their vehicle, paying a mechanic is generally not something you want to skimp on. This is because a mechanic understands your vehicle better than you and you want the peace of mind knowing that they’ll repair your vehicle, not cause more damage to it. This is especially important if you’ve got a car that you want to keep around.

But what about repairing your own vehicle? Is that a viable way to save money on car-related costs without putting your car in danger? While knowing how to repair a car is certainly a great skill to have, it’s not as easy as it sounds and might not be worth it depending on the person.

Do you have access to the knowledge you need to repair your car?

First, consider how easy it is to access the knowledge you need to repair a car. For example, do you have access to local lessons, or do you know a mechanic that can help train you? If not, then you may need to rely on YouTube videos, online courses, and various books to get started.

If you don’t have easy access to car repair knowledge, then it may be difficult to start learning how to fix things in your vehicle. As such, it might not be worth learning.

Do you have access to spares, tools, and aftermarket parts?

Most people can just buy parts online. Even specialized parts such as Duramax head studs can be purchased over the internet these days. For tools, you can buy anything you need locally or online as well.

However, certain aftermarket parts might be hard to source if you don’t have contacts. As such, you may want to try to network with other DIY mechanics and services in your area to expand your options for spares.

Are you willing to invest in repairing your own vehicle as a long-term commitment?

Repairing your own vehicle is a difficult and long process, especially if you have no prior knowledge. If you’re not ready to invest a lot of time into learning the ropes, then you may want to reconsider.

If you don’t have time to spend on learning how to repair your car, then it’s much faster and often cheaper to just take it to a mechanic. Learning mechanical skills like this is time-consuming and not something you’ll see an instant return on for your investment.

What if your vehicle is too far gone?

If you’re looking to repair your vehicle because it’s in really bad shape, then it might be worth turning it into a long-term passion project. If you’re looking to replace it, then you might just want to sell it instead and get a newer car.

The choice between repairing or replacing a car can be difficult at times, but if your car is beyond saving or will take too much time to fix, then you may as well just replace it.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Excellent Ways to Manage Home Finances



How are your home finances? You might be among the many people who feel that they could manage their finances at home more effectively. Here are some of the most effective ways of handling your home finances.

Have A Budget

Home expenditures require an organized budget, which stipulates the money to be spent on different things. Most people buy home stuff without budgeting, and as a result, they end up purchasing unnecessary items. You can curb this by ensuring you have a budget that shows the things you need and their cost.

Coming up with a budget is simple and you can do it even without anyone's help, provided you know the things you need. You only need to establish the things that your household requires and therefore put them into your budget. You also need to put some extra money apart to deal with anything that might come up beyond the budget.

Live Within Your Means

There are a lot of people who spend beyond their limits to impress others. You do not have to spend extra money or to show other people that you are a certain standard. Some people even take payday loans so that they can show society that they have money.

The best way of living within your means is to avoid associating yourself with people who put pressure on you financially. These include friends who would not mind spending a lot of money because they are affluent. Such people will compel you to spend even money you do not have just to impress them and stay in their class.

Buy The Right Appliance

Some of the appliances in your home require that you pay huge bills, including electricity bills. You might be paying expensive bills simply because you purchased appliances that consume a lot of energy. To avoid this, you should take your time while shopping and ensure that you purchase devices that do not consume a lot of power.

One of the ideal ways of ensuring the appliances you purchase do not consume excess power is buying certified appliances. These are the appliances that have modern designs, especially when it comes to power consumption. The store you purchase your appliances from should have descriptions directing the power consumption of the stock's different appliances.

Avoid Impulse Buying

Most people purchase things just because they have seen them without having a real need for such needs. A perfect example is going shopping for food and then ending up buying a shirt just because you found a good deal. It is advisable to avoid purchasing things that were not in your plan.

To avoid impulse shopping, you should have a designated time when you go shopping. You should not be going shopping just because you have time or money. Instead, it would be best if you were going shopping only when you have planned or when you require certain things.

Therefore, by implementing the outlined ideas, you can effectively manage your finances and eventually be able to save more.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

How Do You Improve Your Credit, Anyway?

When it comes to your financial health, you should be concerned with more than how much is in your bank account or how much you are earning alone. There’s another measure of your financial health that is just as crucial for long-term planning: we’re talking about credit. Here, we’re going to offer a reminder as to why credit is so crucial and, from there, look at the steps you can start to take to improve it.

The importance of credit

First of all, it’s important to remember what your credit score really is. It’s a numeric value that is assigned to you, as a person, by a host of credit organizations. Effectively, it’s a measurement of how reliable you are when it comes to sticking to the terms of a credit agreement, whether it’s a loan, a long-standing bill order, or otherwise. Your credit can dictate the terms of future loans you get. Better credit typically means better terms such as lower interest and more flexible payment periods. As such, if your credit score is too low, then you can expect to repay more for each loan compared to someone with a higher credit score, for instance. But how do you improve your credit score?

Make sure that you pay everything on time

The most important way to keep your credit score up is to make sure that you’re not falling behind on your existing credit arrangements. Don’t think about applying for anything else until you’re sure you have your current set-up in order. If you have trouble remembering to pay bills and can easily fall behind that way, then consider using apps that can give you bill reminders, or setting up accounts with your creditors that allows for automatic payments directly from your bank to them. If you’re using rolling credit such as a credit card, then you should make sure that you’re making frequent repayments, rather than just climbing out of the hole once you get deep enough in it.

Get out of unarranged debt

Not all debt is terrible for your credit rating, but that’s something to get into later. Unarranged debt, such as being late on bill payments or falling behind on your credit card can very much be detrimental to your credit score. If you’re deep into unarranged debt (i.e., debt that isn’t tied to a loan that you planned to take out, such as an arranged overdraft), then you should look at ways to get out of it. If you need to take advantage of a debt relief program, then consider making a move on it. The sooner you are out of debt, the sooner your credit score can start to heal again.

Make sure there are no false black marks on your credit report

Your credit report is a record of your past and existing credit arrangements. It is used, in part, to determine what your credit score will be. Every person has the right to access their credit report from one of the three major credit reporting agencies at least once a year. From there, you can take a closer look to see if there are any black marks, such as outstanding debts, that you should take care of. However, it is not uncommon for people to find that there are records that should not be on that credit report, such as late repayments that you don’t really owe, or records that, by rights, belong to someone else. If you see any records on your credit report that don’t make sense, it’s typically recommended that you get in touch with the company that filed the report in the first place.

Make use of your credit

In some cases, it’s not a low credit score that is the problem. You might not have much of a credit history, to begin with. That might sound like a clean slate to you, but most lenders and financial institutions are looking for someone who can provide proof that they are able to stick to their financial arrangements. Making use of low credit options such as guarantor loans, with someone else as a signatory, can help. You can build up your credit history by showing that you are able to stick to the letter of the loan agreement.

Mind your utilization rate

If you’re making use of any forms of rolling credit, such as a credit card or an overdraft, it can be healthy to use them and repay them again. Much like taking on a manageable loan, this is a way of building your credit score. However, you should pay attention to how much you are relying on these forms of credit and how “deep” you are into them. This is known as your credit utilization rate. Typically, a lower credit utilization rate will be better for your credit score. You don’t want to constantly be as deep into your overdraft as it allows. You should use it wisely, instead.


Don’t open or close accounts too quickly

It’s easy to assume that taking actions regarding credit accounts can help you, but you should make sure that you’re not making one of the common mistakes that can bump your score down. First of all, do not close unused credit cards or overdrafts unless you are at risk of misusing them and getting yourself into debt. Keeping these open can help you maintain a low credit utilization rate which, as mentioned above, is good. Otherwise, even if you’re trying to build a credit history, do not start applying for a lot of new credit arrangements. Take your time, apply for the best one that suits you. Otherwise, credit agencies will see a lot of inquiries going into your credit, which can be a bad sign to them, leading to a decrease in your credit score.

It can take a while for a credit score to start to improve, especially if you have any uncleared debts on your record. Get started with fixing it now and you should start to see real improvements by the time you need to make use of your credit, whether to buy a car, a house or otherwise.

Friday, February 5, 2021

One of the most important parts of looking after your money is making sure that you are planning for the future as well as you can. If you can do that, you will be able to get so much more out of life, and you are going to find that things tend to work out a lot better for you in general. So what can you do to make sure that you are planning for your future more successfully? In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the things you might want to bear in mind if you hope to do some better planning for your own financial future.

Know What You’re Saving For

You already know that it’s wise to save, so you don’t really need to be told that. But if you are keen on ensuring that you actually do it, and you keep up with it, you might find it helpful to have something clear in mind that you are aiming for with regard to those savings. That can be anything you like, whether it’s a holiday or simply something to have to retire with. But whatever it is, having it clear in your mind is going to make it so much easier to save your money as required.

Reduce Your Expenses Every Month

If you are clever about it, you should be able to bring your expenses right down month after month, even past the point where you would think you could go. If you want to do this, it’s all about reducing your expenses a little each month. You might think that you could only do this for a certain amount of time, but actually there is always a little something extra you can save on or get rid of entirely, and that’s something that you should count on. So, make sure that you aim to reduce your expenses every single month, and you should have a much brighter future.

Get Serious On Debt

Debt is a hugely important thing to be aware of, and a problem which you are going to want to think about and not ignore. As it happens, everyone has debt at some point in their life, and there is always something you can do to do away with it. Even if you are only getting rid of a little at a time, it is still worth doing, and could help you to have a much brighter future soon enough.

Establish Your Emergency Fund

We have already spoken about savings, but this is somewhat different to that. With an emergency fund, you are trying to put money aside not just for a rainy day, but if you should ever be in a real dire situation that you need to get out of immediately. There are a lot of situations that could happen where this might be relevant, so you need to make sure that you are doing all you can to put aside some emergency funds.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Outside Issues That Could Be Holding Your Career Back In 2021

 

A successful career has always been a priority shared by millions. Right now, though, the focus is even greater, especially if the pandemic posed stumbling blocks in 2020. Even if your job stayed safe during the past 12 months, this period has highlighted the need to strive for better.

However, dedicating yourself to learning new skills and proving yourself to be worthy of a better job is only a part of the puzzle. The other pieces need to be in place too. Here are some of the issues that could be holding you back.

Body Language

When looking to make yourself an attractive candidate, you must remember that employers want the whole package. Your skills and talent only go so far, especially as the competition for jobs is greater than ever. A body language course and confidence booster could be a game changer. It is just as beneficial as direct skill development.

Improved body language doesn’t only improve your hopes of making a big impression when attending job interviews. It also influences client opinions while it can enhance your hopes of getting noticed for a promotion. Whatever increased success looks like to you, body language is a vital factor.

Location

There’s a lot of truth in the ‘right place at the right time’ cliche. The reality is that your skills may be in demand in one city but not in another. Likewise, some locations boast a thriving or emerging industry. For example, New York and Los Angeles are enjoying success in the electric vehicle market. 

Therefore, it may be better to rent for the next stage of your life. This will give you the versatility to follow the opportunities rather than limit yourself to those in your current location. Your career isn’t the only key feature in your life, which is why relocation isn’t for everyone. If a better job is the priority, though, this issue can’t be ignored.

Driving

A growing number of workers and contracts need to travel around for work. Therefore, problems with your license could significantly reduce your possibilities in some sectors. If facing potential disqualification due to an accident that’s not your fault, a car accident lawyer could save your job prospects. As well as protect your finances.

If you are a young worker yet to earn your license, it’s worth looking into taking lessons ASAP. Aside from improving your primary career, it offers a backup for if you lose your job. You could fill the employment gap with a delivery job or taxi service. Or, you could gain a commercial vehicle license for even more.

Health

Finally, you must not overlook your health. If you want to give the best version of yourself at work, you need to be the best version of yourself away from it. Checking out hearing loss symptoms or other health issues is essential. Otherwise, the impacts can seriously harm your productivity levels.

For similar reasons, you must adopt a good nutrition plan and stay. Studies show that even 2% dehydration can affect your ability to work. Conversely, when you are a fit and healthy worker, you’ll display the energy and vigor to produce great work time and time again. And that’s something that won’t go unnoticed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Side Hustles: How To Utilise Your Spare Time

Let’s be honest here, who couldn’t use a little bit of extra money? The truth is that we are always on the lookout for additional funds. After all, you can never have enough in your savings account, can you? Whether you are in the process of saving for your future, you are saving for a new home, or you’re looking into treating yourself to that once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world, the truth is that you are most likely constantly looking for new ways to up your income. The answer is to create a side hustle. 

If you have some spare time outside of your 9 to 5 job, why not consider utiliszng that time to start your own side hustle? It will give you the opportunity to give your income a boost, pursue something that interests you, and may help you to reduce any financial concerns that you have. Intrigued by the idea of starting a side hustle? 

Below is a guide to a few simple ways you can utilise your spare time to give your finances a boost! 

Photo source: Pixabay

Create an interests list 

The first step towards creating a viable side hustle that has strong income potential is to create a list of your interests. This is important, because you will only succeed at a side hustle if you are working in an area that interests you and that you have knowledge in. So it’s important to sit down and consider where your interests are positioned; are you someone who is into cryptocurrency and spends most of their time looking at sites like Diem Answers and Crypto Today? You need to think about where your interest lay, and use that to create a side hustle that you find interesting and will actually enjoy doing. 

Consider how much you can invest 

Once you have thought about the kind of side hustle that might be of interest to you, the next step is to consider how much money you can invest into it. It might be that you don’t want to invest anything into your new venture, in which case selling a service is probably your best bet, such as selling a freelance marketing package or an accounting service. If you’re happy to invest then you need to take the time to think carefully about what you want to invest in, and how much you are happy to invest. Remember, any investment can always be lost, so it’s important to ensure that you can live without the money you are putting into your side hustle. 

Schedule time for your side hustle 

When it comes to running a side hustle, one of the most important steps that you can take is to make sure that you schedule adequate time for your side hustle. If you are not going to put the time into it, you will see that your side hustle will fail to excel. That’s why it is so important that you make sure that you are putting adequate time into your chosen venture, to help ensure that you see results. 

There you have it, a few simple tips and suggestions for ways in which you can effectively utilize your spare time to see financial results. 

How To Improve Your Driving Experience On The Road

 

While driving eventually becomes natural and fairly easy to do, it may also cause some anxiety or worry for you. There’s a lot to think about and pay attention to if you want to avoid any accidents and stay safe.

Be glad to know there are steps you can take to help improve your driving experience on the road so you become a better driver and feel in control. It’s important that you’re focused and paying attention to what you’re doing and can react quickly if anything unfortunate or sudden does occur.

Invest in A Reliable Vehicle

You can improve your driving experience on the road by investing in a reliable vehicle. If your car is old and run down and not working properly then it may be time to shop for and purchase a new or used car that will keep you safe and protected on the road. Once you replace your vehicle, make sure you commit to taking good care of your car and staying current with routine maintenance and upkeep. There are also technology upgrades for your vehicle you can invest in that will improve your time out on the road.

Know Who to Call

The reality is that you can be doing everything right and still run into issues while you’re driving to your destination. It’s important that you’re prepared for anything and know who to call if you get stuck. Keep the number for a trusted towing company handy and contact them if you need help transporting your vehicle or getting it up and running again. Always keep your insurance information and contact details in your vehicle and contact the authorities if you’re in an accident that you need to report.

Practice Driving

The truth is that you’ll get better at driving and become a better driver when you practice. Therefore, take your car out often and get behind the wheel so you begin to feel more comfortable driving over time. You can improve your experience on the road by becoming more familiar with the signs and rules of the road and going through the motions. You may even want to practice parallel parking if you find it challenging to do and want to improve your skills.

Make Sure You’re Well-Rested

Improve your driving experience on the road by ensuring that you’re always well-rested before you get behind the wheel. It’s especially vital if you’ll be traveling long distances and need to be alert for an extended period. Get plenty of sleep the night before you head out driving and make the decision to have someone else drive or not go someplace if you feel overtired and groggy. You’ll have a much better time getting to your final destination when you feel good and aren’t susceptible to making silly mistakes.

Conclusion

Put these tips into practice and you’ll be on your way to improving your driving experience out on the road quickly. Remember that not all that occurs when you’re driving is in your control so always be alert and ready to respond. Put safety first and commit to becoming a better driver over time so you can continue to improve.

Monday, February 1, 2021

 

In the West, we have quite a narrow definition of success. We think people have “made it” if they offer other economic value. 

But when you dig a little deeper into the emotional lives of the people who do amass a lot of wealth, you soon find that there are problems. They have a lot of resources, but they’re still searching for meaning and value in their lives. 

The problem with this definition of success at the moment is that it is all about the individual. It’s about acquiring some sort of personal pleasure at the end of the road. 

It never actually winds up satisfying you. There’s always some new mountain to conquer. 

When you care for others, though, you redirect your energy away from yourself and onto another person. In a sense, you forget about your desires - and that can offer a lot of relief. 

You can see this ethic in action in the caring profession if you click here. The founder of the first hospice, Cicely Saunders, was famous for valuing the quality of life of the individual. For her, it was all about the other person - and that gave her meaning. 

The benefits caring for another person can bring you personally are enormous. It takes you off the treadmill of economic success and allows you to become a more generous person. 

Getting A Sense Of Accomplishment


Getting a sense of accomplishment can be a challenge sometimes. You’d love to feel great all the time about what you’ve managed to achieve in your life, but many of your personal victories aren’t what you thought they’d be. You hoped that getting a raise or a relationship would make you feel complete, but it didn’t. 

Switching your focus outwards towards other people can feel like a massive challenge. But when you do it, it can make all the difference in the world. All of a sudden, you feel like you’re providing meaning. And importantly, you get a sense of accomplishment that goes beyond anything you could generate for yourself. 

Feeling Worthwhile

If you sometimes struggle to feel worthwhile in life, then caring for other people could be a way to help. When you care for another person, you suddenly take on a “parental” role and gain responsibility. Somebody else is relying on you to help them navigate their lives and improve their condition. 

Growing Personally

Personal growth is a strange thing and can come from practically any situation. It often comes from the unexpected - when you change the status quo and do something different. 

Caring for another person with challenging needs could be the perfect avenue to help you feel like you’re moving your character forward positively. When you look after somebody else, you often have to suppress your desires and develop your powers of empathy. It can be a tough road, but it’s one that’s worth taking. At the end of it, you’ll feel like a much more loving and warm person. And, frankly, that’s because you probably are!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

 
Financial security is not guaranteed for everyone. What would you do if you got fired today? Would you survive if a recession hit? How will you live without money when you are a senior in retirement? You need to start saving as much as you can while you still have an income.

Here are five tips to help you increase your savings and secure your financial future:

1.      Record Your Expenses

How much money do you spend? Now, how much money do you spend on essential things, and how much do you waste on non-essential expenses? You will be surprised.
Start by recording your weekly or monthly expenses – depending on your financial cycles. Compile your expenses for that month and sum them up. Highlight each expense clearly and don’t leave anything out – especially your credit cards.

2.      Make a Budget

So, how much do you spend per month? More importantly, how much do you make per month? Is it less or more than how much you spend, and by how much? Make a budget to find out.

A budget will tell you more than just the difference between your income and expenses. It will help you organize your finances and identify opportunities for saving more money. It should contain all essential expenses, such as groceries and rent – not everything you spend your money on. It should be an ideal representation of how you should use your money if you were not struggling with impulsive spending.

3.      Set Savings Goals

How much would you like to save per month? You can do it if you are disciplined in your financial usage – and if your savings goals are practical.

The best way to motivate yourself to save more is by setting productive and tangible goals. For example, you can save for that new car that you have always wanted. You can also save for a house where you will raise your family. As such, set your goals and focus on achieving them. Additionally, follow up on your goals by saving enough money to realize them.

4.      Cut Down On Your Spending

So, how much do you spend on non-essential things? How many subscriptions do you pay for but don’t even know it? Do you eat out too much than necessary? Do you need the latest pair of shoes that you just bought?

Cutting down on non-essential expenses is the best way to save more from a fixed income. It also pays to make sacrifices that will free up your financial obligations, such as clearing debts that carry high long-term interests.

5.      Leverage Savings Accounts & Tools

There are lots of resources that will help you save and secure your money. For example, there are savings accounts that will automatically deduct your desired savings amount when your check comes in. Additionally, there are retirements and pensions accounts that will help you save for your sunset years. Make use of these tools.

Final Thoughts

It feels good knowing that you have some money stashed away for a rainy day – especially when that dreaded day comes. As such, put these tips into practice. Additionally, consider investing your money in safe and lucrative investment options. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Is Your Child Ready To Take Care Of A Dog?

Have your children started asking you to get them a dog? A puppy is a big responsibility at any age, and it can be hard to know if your children are ready to take care of a dog. If you add a canine companion to the family at the right time, learning to look after a dog can improve a child’s sense of responsibility and caring, and improve their health. Buy a dog before they’re ready, and you’ll soon be stuck doing all the puppy care yourself, with children who have lost interest in the poor thing.

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If you’re going to buy a dog for your family, you need to be confident that you’re all ready for one, and that your children can be responsible enough to take care of the dogs’ needs and that they can interact with it safely. There are some good signs to look out for to help you decide whether the time is right for a furry friend. 

They’ve Put In The Research

Dog ownership isn’t always easy. There’s a lot to learn, and even adults can find raising a puppy very difficult, tiring work. Unfortunately, it’s not all cure puppy cuddles. You need to know that your children are aware of the responsibilities that are involved with owning a dog and aren’t just thinking about how cute puppies are and how fun they are to play with. If they’ve spent some time doing research about dogs, such as finding out what all the things are that the dog will need, this is a good sign that they’re thinking seriously about dog ownership. Have they done a bit of research about different breeds and thought about which might suit your family the best? Do they know where there are local breeders or rescues that you could get the dog from? Have they looked into the best food, beds, toys, and dog bowls? Have they spent time here learning about proper puppy training? You should do all this research yourself too, but taking an interest in it is a good sign that your children know that puppies need a lot of care. 

They Know How To Behave Around Dogs

Do you have friends and family who have dogs already? Take the children round to visit and see how they behave around the dog. Do they know how to safely introduce themselves by offering up their hand to sniff or do they just grab at the dog immediately? Do they leave the dog alone and wait for it to approach them or are they annoying the dog, trying to make it play? 

If you’re going to have a dog in the house, then your children will need to know how to interact with it safely and in a way that is enjoyable for them and the dog. Dogs are animals and can be unpredictable, and even the friendliest, best-trained pooch can react aggressively if it feels threatened, cornered, or hassled by your children or if the kids are not behaving in a safe way around the dog. Make sure they know how to behave with a dog before you bring one home. Assuming your new pet would never snap is a big mistake

Are They Responsible?

Depending on the age of your children, they could have different responsibilities to help to care for the puppy, such as feeding, walking and cleaning up after it. You don’t want to get stuck having to do it all by yourself when the kids are bored after a week and have realized that having a puppy isn’t just playing, cuddling, and petting. 

Do your children have chores they are responsible for at home already? If they’re good at getting through their chores without complaining or being nagged and are helpful around the house off their own back, this is a great sign that they will be responsible enough to take over at least part of caring for the dog. Depending on the age of the child, there will be something they can do to help look after the dog, whether it’s filling up their water bowl or taking them out for a walk after school. 

Remember that a dog is a family pet, and no child can completely care for one alone. The whole family needs to be responsible enough to make sure the dog is getting everything it needs and is being properly cared for. 

Are You Willing To Help?

No matter how responsible your children are or how much research they’ve done into the best puppy care, they will need some level of help caring for the dog. Don’t get a pet for a child if you’re not willing to be in charge of its care. Depending on how old your children are, you might need to accompany them on walks, walk the dog in the morning while the kids get ready for school, train the dog, or check the dog has been fed, walked, or groomed. 

Studies should still come first, meaning that if you’ve bought a dog for your older children, you might need to take over walks and other care during exam season. If nothing else, you’ll need to be prepared to cover any vet’s bills and expenses like food, training classes, and toys. 

Before deciding to buy a family dog, do your own research into the care they need, and the sort of dog that would best fit in with your family life. Make sure that you are prepared for the expense and responsibility of owning a dog, as well as the children. They might understand how much care a dog needs, but are you ready and willing to take that on?

Don’t forget to consider the future too. Dogs live quite a long time. If you buy a dog for the children, what will happen when they grow up and go off to college or move out? Are you willing to be left with the dog as the kids fly the nest? 

Great Reasons To Rent This Year

 

When looking for a place to live the main question we ask ourselves is whether to rent or buy. Buying a house or a property is a big commitment and often the deposit we have to save for this is enormous. But what if you need a place to call your own without the wait? 

Today we are talking about renting and some of the reasons why it is a great choice for first time property owners. If you are looking to call somewhere your own this year, consider renting a property for these reasons. 

It’s faster 

One of the main reasons people will choose to rent instead of buy is for speed and convenience. The contract for renting is much less strenuous than buying and this means the turn around is much quicker than for those who take on a mortgage. You can sign your contract and be in your new property within the month whereas when buying you could be waiting up to a year. For convenience if you want a home quickly, renting is the easiest option for you. 

They are newer 

One great reason to rent a house or an apartment is that the home is usually new and in mint condition. Finding new apartments for rent is much easier than finding a new build house to buy - and a lot of the time your rental property will be kept modern and fresh by the landlord to ensure quality as well as to keep up with regulations. Whereas if you were to buy a house made in the 50’s; the home could be very old fashioned in terms of decor as well as building style. You’ll likely have to fork out a lot of money to update it and this can be a huge investment all on its own. 

You don’t pay for repairs 

If you don’t have a lot of money aside from your rent and bills each month; a rental property could be a safer option than a mortgaged one. The reason for this is that if an appliance breaks or a leak occurs - you don’t have to pay to fix it. The landlord owns the property and it will be their responsibility to pay for damages and unexpected breakages - meaning you’ll never be caught in the lurch having to pay for an emergency repair on your home. 

You can stay as long as you need 

For many people, a rental property is a placeholder property that serves a purpose while you look to settle down and get into a position to buy. If you are young or you simply don’t know what you want yet in life; a rental will give you a place to stay without the worry of being stuck in one place for too long. You can stay in a rental property for as short or long a period as you like, and you always have the option to move out into a different rental when you fancy a change. 

You don’t have to commit 

Buying a house is a massive commitment. It is a contract of 20+ years and you must be ready to settle down in your life before you make this kind of sale. If you think you’ll be moving around in your life for your job or lifestyle or you aren’t ready to settle in one place yet; don’t buy a property. Renting is more flexible and will allow you to carry on living your life the way you want while you have a bed to sleep in when you get home. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Moving to a new home is quite exciting. However, it may seem like a demanding task, considering all the work that goes into it. Fortunately, there are some strategies that you may apply to make your move smoother and more manageable. Below are a few tips on how to do so:

1.     Declutter As Much as You Can

One of the best ways for packing and moving to be bearable is by decluttering.  Decluttering before you enter the packing stage will help to lighten your workload. Take time to go around the house figuring out which items you would like to sell, donate, toss or keep.

It is also essential to take measurements of your new home and get rid of any furniture that might not fit or that you may not need.

2.     Send Out Notices Beforehand

There are a lot of entities or individuals who you may need to notify before you move. To make this process easier, create a moving checklist to determine how and when you will accomplish this task. In some situations, you may be required to visit local offices, while some entities allow you to make the notification via phone call.

Making a list beforehand and setting dates to complete these tasks on your calendar will make it less likely to forget anyone.

3.     Invest in Moving Boxes

Picking some boxes from your local grocery might seem like the more convenient and less expensive option. However, you ought to invest in some moving boxes. They, too, are relatively inexpensive, and they come with the advantage of increased durability, which is worth their cost.

Grocery boxes can expose your valuables to bug infestation and moisture. Moreover, they are not built to serve this purpose, and they can easily fall apart and lead to breakages as you move.

4.     Decide if You Want To Hire Professional Movers or Not

If you do not have easy access to friends and family to help you move, or when moving to another state,  hire interstate removalists' services. Although their services come at an extra cost, they can significantly reduce the amount of work and stress associated with moving.

5.     Pack a Little at a Time

The best way to ensure that packing doesn't become overly stressful and exhausting is breaking down your process into steps. If you procrastinate and try to pack everything a right or two before moving, you might get exhausted and overwhelmed with stress.

You may opt to tackle a room on a set period each day, during which you pack items into boxes. For easier unpacking, pack sets and pairs together, making sure each box is large enough to fit a set of items.

The process of moving to a new home can be stressful and time-consuming, especially if you do not have the right strategy in place. However, the above moving tips should help to steer your move in the right direction.

3 Tips for Picking the Best Family Car

 

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While almost every family today gets to own a car, not many find joy in the riding experience. Although plentiful, cars come with a host of variations, some not ideally suited for families.

Knowing how and what to look for in a good family car will help you beat the odds and pick the best possible vehicle.

Use these tips to find a car that best suits your family's lifestyle for better on and off-road adventures.

Prioritize Safety

When on the road, your primary duty as a parent is to always ensure your young ones are safe. With no shortage of drunk, careless, or distracted drivers on the roads, picking a car that caters for your children's security should be top of your priority.

Going for a car with airbags, seatbelts, and sometimes a black spot detector is the best way to keep all parties safe. Vehicles with a monitoring system also offer you the chance to monitor kids at the back while still maintaining a clear eye on the road.

Protect your family from harm by routinely checking on your car and paying for top quality service like Platinum Wheel Repairs.

Choose Convenience

Children can be a handful, and as such, you require the best tools to better facilitate your journey at all times. While no car is entirely perfect, a suitable family car should at least have:

Cabin Watch System

Placed strategically for the driver to see, there should be a screen showing those at the back. It is great for monitoring kids while still driving.

Cabin Talk System

Adjacent to the driver need be a communication device that aims to ease the conversation flow between those at the back and the one driving.

Automatic Seats

Kids tend to argue over petty issues, and this often results in fights. Prevent such happenings by ensuring the car has automatic sliding seats that can come closer together or stay further apart during such conflicts.

Always go for cars with other unique features like split screens and automatic door detection systems for a smoother family riding experience.

Check on Space

Whether you plan on taking your family for a road trip or just the occasional drive around town, having enough room in your car is essential.

Choose a vehicle that can accommodate your family size while still having space left for guests. A car with at least six seats, for example, is enough to keep everyone comfortable by ensuring there is enough leg space left. Vehicles with adjustable booster seats next to the driver often prove valuable for families who plan to expand.

Prioritize enough room for the luggage as this is where most of the family staff goes. Have enough space for travelling backs and or shopping.

Final Thoughts

To any family, a good car is a prized asset. With a reliable vehicle, you can take your kids to school, go for road trips and make sweet memories like teaching your child how to drive. When in the market for a good car, you can never go wrong by prioritizing safety, choosing convenience, and checking on the space.

Getting rich is a massive challenge. Not only do you have to have good ideas, but you also need to work hard for a very long time.

Virtually nobody makes serious money via get-rich-quick schemes. It often takes a decade or more of relentless perseverance. 

But what if you want to use your time for something else and don’t want to give up the best years of your life to make money? Can you be rich without actually having a fortune in the bank? 

Well, maybe. 

Start Investing Early

The power of investing is quite remarkable. You can put away a small amount of money while you are young and then simply wait for it to grow over the subsequent years. 

If you wait a few decades, you can wind up with a massive pile of cash at the end of it - way more than you ever expected you could make. Small investments of a few thousand in your early twenties can turn into millions by your late sixties when you come to retire. 

Focus On Your Health

Being wealthy in terms of health isn’t ever guaranteed in life. You could get sick at any time. However, you can invest in your body and make it less likely that you’ll feel under the weather or acquire a serious illness. And that can improve your quality of life far more than money in the bank ever could. 

Most people don’t realise the extent to which they can build health “wealth.” Choosing the right lifestyle strategies can add years to your life. And that gives you more time to enjoy it and accumulate interest on your investments. 

Grab Deals Online

Many of the world’s wealthiest people live extremely frugal lives. Warren Buffett is a good example. 

But why do they do this? 

As Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki puts it, it’s not about what you earn - it’s about what you keep. You can have a very modest income and still build tremendous savings throughout your life. 

The trick here is to cut down on your spending in the present. Look for saving opportunities, like Aliexpress cashback, online. Find coupons, discount codes and bulk buy offers. And, if you know that there’s going to be a sale, wait for it to launch before you start handing over your hard-earned cash. 

Cut Back On Your Big Expenses

Three things cut into your budget more than anything else in life: food, housing costs and transportation. 

Think about how much money you spend on your mortgage or when dining out. It’s often a big chunk of your monthly budget. 

And what does it really add to your quality of life? Not a great deal compared to building wealth, right? 

Being rich often involves making conscious sacrifices that allow you to invest more of your money and increase. 

Ask yourself whether you really need to live in a four-bedroom home if there are only two of you? 

Be honest about whether you need a car or whether you could cycle or take the train? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Advice For Staying Happy & Well As A Single Parent

 

Being a single parent is a lot of work and can be a tough role to take on. You may not only be parenting by yourself but also working a full-time job.

While it may not be easy, it can be done and is possible when you have the right approach and mindset. The following advice will help you to stay happy and well as a single parent who’s trying to ensure a good life for your kids. Remind yourself of all the positives in your life and all you’ve been able to achieve so far parenting by yourself to keep you motivated to continue on strong.

Get Out of the House

As a single parent, you may not have a lot of free time or time for yourself. However, it’s imperative that if you want to stay happy and well that you practice self-care and do what brings you joy. Get out of the house once in a while to enjoy nature or go on a date with someone new. If you find someone you like and it ends up being a good night then you may want to look into getting the contraception pill to avoid any unwanted consequences.

Accept Help

It’s up to you to admit when you’re doing and taking on too much and need help from your support system. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for it when you feel like you could use a break and extra hand. Enlist the help from friends, family, and neighbors and let them know how you could use their assistance. It may also be worth getting into a carpool rotation with your kids so you’re not always the one having to do all the driving to and from school and other activities and sports.

Spend Quality Time with Your Kids

You can stay happy and well as a single parent by enjoying quality time with your kids. Be grateful that they’re in your life and you have loved ones with who you can spend time with when you have the availability. Mix it up by participating in a variety of activities together. Be fully present by staying off your phone and engaging in meaningful conversation with your kids when you’re with them.

Stay True to Yourself

It’s also essential that you stay true to yourself and not let single parenting change you. Remember how strong you are when you’re struggling and lean on others for support. Do your best to co-parent but don’t blame yourself for the mistakes you’ve made in the past. Let each day be a chance to start fresh and over and for you to focus on all that’s going well for you and your kids. Use your new role as a learning experience and go easy on yourself when you do have setbacks.

Conclusion

Stay happy and well as a single parent by using this advice to help you along in your journey. Make being a good parent a priority and give yourself a break once in a while so you can continue to do your best. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace, even when you have bad days.