Given the amount of weird stuff happening with the world’s economy over the past decade or so, does anyone else worry about their children’s future? We live in uncertain times, and no matter how well loved your little ones are, talk of our children’s generation being less well off than the one before is incredibly concerning. If this sounds familiar, you are in very good company!
But there’s no need to panic – as long as you are a little smart with any money you have put away. Today, we’re going to take a look at a few clever things you can do with your money to help you give your little one the best possible start to their adult life. Let’s take a closer look at all the best options.
Now, I appreciate the expense of having children means that not everyone will have any savings at all – and most people will relate to that. However, it’s really important to establish some kind of financial cushion that will help you through emergencies, rainy days and maybe the odd holiday once a year – if you’re lucky! We’re not talking about that money, however – never touch your emergency fund as it is an important buffer. It’s any extra money on top that we are discussing – spare money that you free up by making a budget, cutting some unnecessary costs, and maybe receiving as one-off gifts on birthdays.
Sure, it’s so tempting to spend all your income every month – and it might even seem necessary. But most households overspend without realising it, and I’ll bet that if you create a proper budget and savings plan, not only will you be able to build up an emergency fund, you will also find a little extra to put aside for your kids. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you can save – it’s the saving habit that is important. Now, let’s take a look at some of your savings options.
A lot of people scrimp and save a fortune to buy their first property, and it can be incredibly tough. But don’t forget that as soon as you are on the housing ladder, you own something you’ve never owned before – capital. And given how much banks love and trust capital, you are in a far better position to buy more. Sure, there are a few things to learn before buying an investment property. But, whether you rent it out to another family or start a holiday home business, the point is that if you are clever and ensure you cover all your extra home loan expenses with rental payments, it’s possible to have a second property at little cost. And in 25 years time when you have paid off your mortgage, you could gift that home to give your child the perfect start to life. It’s something of a myth that you need to be wealthy to buy a second property, although you do need to be financially stable and savvy.
Raising kids is expensive enough as it is – some reports think it is over $250,000 by the time they are 18. That’s an astonishing amount of money, but it doesn’t include a university education. If you want to avoid the huge costs of tuition fees and living expenses while they spend anything from 3-7 years at university, law school or medical school (we can all dream, right?!) then you need to be putting in some effort right now. There are plenty of options, from Australia’s special education funds that are solely for schooling, through to things like investment bonds that you pay into and get a return in 10-15 years. Other options exist, too. Term deposits are available from banks, credit unions or building societies, and are virtually risk-free. And you will get a higher rate of interest than your usual savings account in return, too.
Encourage your kids to save
Even when your little one is still toddling around bumping into things, a lot of people tell me that they grow up real fast. And by the time they go to school and learning some basic maths, they will also be able to start working out how to use money. Help them. Start by putting any birthday money into a high-interest, long-term savings account – and make sure you leave it there! Once they can work out the difference between a dollar and a cent, you can teach them how banks work by using a piggy bank – and let them see their money ‘grow’ by you paying them ‘interest’ for saving. And by the time they are getting pocket money, encourage them to put a dollar or two in the real bank every month, getting them in the habit of saving by themselves. Don’t forget that schools don’t really teach kids about money – it’s all down to you. And a financial education is one of the best investments you can make for them to ensure they are savvy enough to cope with the demands of the modern world when they get older.
Set up a trust fund
Finally, consider setting up a trust fund for your little one. A lot of people think these type of tools are only for the wealthy, but that’s not right – anyone can open one. They are, however, very complex financial tools that may need the help of an accountant to arrange. Trust funds are generally seen as ‘safe havens’ for any assets that you might have, that you are willing to hand over to your kids – and it will also keep them safe, out of the hands of creditors in the event you end up bankrupt. Which, let’s face it, is not beyond the realms of possibility when you consider the cost of raising a child! Ultimately, you act as a trustee, while your child is a beneficiary, and the trust fund opens up to them at a given point in their life – an 18th or 21st birthday, for example. There are a few different options, including a family/discretionary trust, a unit/fixed trust, and a hybrid trust. While there are slight differences between each of them, they are relatively easy to set up.
OK, so there you have it – a few ideas for you to save money for your kids. It can seem overwhelming when you feel like you can’t afford to save, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your little ones. Good luck!
We all want to look out best, and that can be quite challenging for those of us who are on a budget, but it really doesn’t have to be. It is perfectly possible to look very much put together, and even more expensive than the cost of our clothing and accessories might be, by doing a few simple things.
Sound good? Here are some little ways to look more expensive:
Invest in a Quality Handbag
Even if you have to save up for it, buying a quality handbag ( it doesn’t have to be a mega-expensive one) is a good investment because it will immediately elevate any outfit you pair it with by association.
What represents a quality handbag? One which is made from quality materials and has a highly-precise level of detail – there are plenty of handbags that fit the bill without breaking the bank. Just make sure that you choose a bag in a neutral shade so that you can use it with any outfit, and take good care of it, and you will always look a bit more expensive when you carry it.
Have Your Outfits Tailored
Most of us can’t afford to buy bespoke designer outfits, but we can probably stretch to paying a few bucks to have our clothing tailored by a company like House of Astor, so that it fits us perfectly. Doing this will immediately make you look more expensive because your clothes will fit better and this will also enhance your figure too.
Have Clothes Professionally Laundered
This is more important when you’re dealing with dry clean only clothing, but having your clothing regularly laundered is a good way to ensure that they’re as clean, crease free and well-cared for as possible, and this will make them appear more expensive and ensure that you look very well presented, even if you only paid a modest sum for them. So, find your nearest Master Dry Cleaners locations, and take your clothes there. Sure, it might cost a little more than home laundering, but you’ll soon see that it really is worth it.
Find Your Signature Scent
It isn’t always the clothing, the hairstyle or even the designer bag that makes you appear more expensive; sometimes it’s the fragrance you choose to wear. Finding your signature scent – one that enhances the way you naturally smell – and using it sparingly on your pulse points will give the impression that you’re a sophisticated, well-groomed woman and this impression will extend to your appearance as a whole.
Choose Accessories Wisely
As you will probably know, accessories can elevate any outfit, but they can also bring them down. It’s perfectly possible to make even cheap costume jewellery look more expensive, but only if you make the right choices. First of all, you should avoid any very fake looking plastic gemstones, choosing clear, crystal styles instead. Secondly, when it comes to metals, the darker, the better – cheap, shiny jewellery can look tacky. Other than that, you can basically do what you want jewellery-wise.
Pay More for Your Coat
Depending on the weather, you might not wear a coat very often, but if you live in a place where wearing a coat is a necessity a lot of the time, it’s worth spending more on one or two quality ones because, a good coat, when it’s buttoned up can hide a multitude of sins and make a pretty standard outfit appear to be way more expensive.
Keep Your Shoes Clean
It doesn’t matter whether your shoes cost you $50 or $500 if you keep them clean and you regularly polish then to get rid of any scuffs and scrapes, they will look more expensive and they will add to the whole aura of your outfit instead of detracting from it in a big way.
The Devil is in the Detail
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make outfits look cheap and worn out, such as loose threads, missing buttons, stains and bobbles, rather than the fact that the clothes were inexpensive in the first place. So. if you want to look more expensive, it’s a pretty good idea to learn some basic sewing and clothing care skills and to get diligent about removing any small imperfections as soon as you notice they’re there.
Steaming your clothing instead of ironing them will not only ensure that they are even more crease free, but it will take up less of your time, and it will damage your clothing far less so that they look better for longer too.
Bold or Black
Instead of going for earthy shades of brown, beige, green etc., if you want your wardrobe to look expensive, vibrant and luxurious, you should invest in jewel colours first and foremost, with a few pastels thrown into the mix for good measure. If, however, you are in any doubt as to what works, go for black because it’s much easier to make black look expensive than it is most other colours.
Keep Prints to a Minimum
In terms of prints, stick to the classics, like leopard print and polka dots because other patterns go out of fashion pretty quickly and they can make your outfit look a lot cheaper when that happens.
Get a Good Haircut
A good haircut will instantly make you look more expensive. Find a style that suits your face and matches the kind of fashion you’re into and go to a reputable local salon to have it cut. Keep on top of maintenance and always have a stylist dye your hair – box dyes almost always look cheap – and you will be amazed by the results.
Bag and Shoes Should Match
Matching your bag and shoes is a great way to add a subtle touch of class that need not cost you very much at all if you are smart about what you buy.
If you do as many of these things as you can, and you hold yourself with grace, you will look more expensive, fashionable and sophisticated than you ever have before, and it won’t even have cost you very much in the great scheme of things – what’s not to love?
You’ll have put so much effort into actually getting your entrepreneurial journey started, you definitely don’t want it to go to waste. Yet so many people do. They either give up on their hopes and dreams, or they don’t put in the time and effort needed to make a successful business on their own. So if you’re just about to go on your own journey, we’re here to make sure you do it right. There are steps you need to take, and rules you need to follow to make sure that you go on the best entrepreneurial journey possible. So, without further ado, here’s what you can do to make sure you stay on the right path.
Start Off On The Right Foot
If you don’t start off on the right foot, you’re never going to end up in the place you need to be. So to begin with, your time and effort is the only way to start off on the right foot. Yes, you need to be selling a good service, or product, but without the commitment to what you’re doing, you’re never going to get anywhere. A lot of people struggle with this part. When you’ve always worked in full time employment, getting into the routine of working from home just isn’t easy. You need to plan your day before it has even begun. Set yourself time for breaks, and don’t overwork yourself. This is one of the main reasons why so many people just don’t make it. They’ll put 100% effort in in the beginning, and burn out their motivation. So take your time, and ease yourself into it. The more of a passion you have for what you’re doing, the easier it is going to be.
Spread Your Wings
Once you’ve found your feet a little, it is time to expand. Expanding isn’t always easy, and it can be a risky move with money. But one technique we know will help to bring you in that extra custom that you need is a virtual mailbox. This allows you to have an address somewhere else in the world, and is sort of a way of growing your business in a fake way. A digital mailbox forwarding service allows you to create a presence in a country that you wouldn’t usually have, without even having to do much. It will draw in more customers than you’re used to, and will make your business look so much more professional. It is a technique that loads of well established businesses use, and their customers never know anything about it!
Stay On Track
Once you’ve got to the point where you’re feeling comfortable on your journey, it is not the time to get relaxed. Just like we talked about in the opening paragraph, you need to try and be as focused as possible. The more you put into your business, the more you’re going to get out of it. Make sure you’re always looking for ways to improve and bring in more custom.
When you’re at home, you’re always going to want to feel relaxed. Your home should be the one place where you feel comfortable enough to unwind after a stressful day and just be yourself. But when your home doesn’t feel all that relaxing, it’s really hard to do this. Whether you’ve got a lot of noise or distractions in your home, you may find it really difficult to chill out and relax. And that is always a problem. Because life is busy and stressful, and everyone needs that space that allows them to just forget it all for awhile. So, it’s time that you got one. Because yes, you can easily transform your home into something so much more relaxing. Let’s take a look at how.
The number one issue that could be affecting your ability to relax is always going to be clutter. It may sound a bit strange, but when your house is messy, or you’ve just got too much stuff around you, then you’re not able to relax. It’s just how it goes. Because your home will feel chaotic, and that then impacts your mind. So, your first step here is to declutter. And be ruthless. Have a big home clear out so that you’re not hoarding old things that you no longer need or want, and that you’re able to make your home feel a bit more organized and together.
Next, you’re going to want to make sure that your home is comfortable. And this has to be physically comfortable. So get yourself a good comforter like Hunker.com suggests for the bedroom. In the living room, make sure that you have a comfy couch and that you’ve got cushions and throws to make you comfortable too. When you’re physically comfortable, it’s going to help you to relax.
Create The Right Atmosphere
Now, it’s onto the atmosphere. Because you’re always going to want to make sure that you’re able to feel comfortable too. For this, you should think about setting the right mood. With a fire, such as UltimateFires.com.au, you’ll be able to do this. Not only will you get heat to warm you up and relax you, but fires with flames also help to get off a really cozy and relaxing atmosphere too.
Work In Some Relaxing Details
But you don’t have to just stop there. Instead, you could really start to bring your home alone with the right relaxing details too. For this, you should look to relaxing candles to help you. They’ll not only feel really cozy as they burn and the flame flickers, but when you choose the right scents, they will also help you to relax.
Finally, you have to then make sure that you’re able to actually switch off. Because you’ve got the space just right, but now you need to let yourself unwind. And it’s all in the mindset. So make sure that you’re not able to play music or read, and not just sit on your phone or mindlessly watch TV.
Home decors can be difficult to apply. What inspiration should you apply? Spending plenty of money on items you might not enjoy in a number of months could be considered a waste, as tastes change and so do people. A good level point to organize your decors from is the thought ‘what do I deserve from my main home?’ This can cover a lot of ground, so finding some of the most important areas to explore is paramount. That is the intention of this article – hopefully these tips help you get a grasp on your general home renovation tactics:
Comfortable, Long Lasting Furniture
No matter what decors you find, from strange reclaimed wood pieces to professionally crafted Brosa Furniture, you deserve a comfortable place to sit. You also deserve your tables, footrests, shelving units to also be to an aesthetic you like. A great place to start is to assess the longevity of certain items. A flimsy plastic table might look nice now, but how long will it endure life in your home?
Would you be better suited by a more wooden and structurally secure item of furniture in your home? Could the efforts in manufacture here allow for that ‘premium quality’ that in itself will look impressive? Remember, aesthetic beauty comes in many forms, and premium does not always mean overly artistic. Minimalist furniture will also help you prevent making gaping decors mistakes. After all, we’re almost certain everyone with indoor textured wallpaper now regrets putting that up to a degree.
A Strong & Secure Space
You deserve to feel secure. This can come through a number of locks on your doors of course, but how quality are the doors in themselves? Could you be due an upgrade? While we’re at it, why not consider the structural strength in your windows and window arches? Thicker materials, or specialist items made from reclaimed wood can bring history to them. These new implements might also help with added insulation, preventing you from spending too much on your heating bill, or allowing too much ventilation and water damage.
Stamping Your Personality
While this article might have seemed against personality in any form, quite the contrary is true. Stamping your personality on your surroundings can help you craft the narrative of your home in a wholesome way. For example, if you’re an artist then why not showpiece some of your designs? It could be that your new home for your new newlywed life could do with an intermingling of both ‘his and her’ design, allowing for a gender balanced home that celebrates you both, and takes nothing from the other. Looking around your home and injecting personality in the blank spaces (with restraint,) can make your home feel like your home without any internal argument. This is how you craft your home as your little space, a wonderful place for you to enjoy the shifting tides of your life.
With these tips, you can be sure your home is celebrating and honouring you, rather than making you feel less than you are in any sense.