4 Important Reasons You Should Have Savings

Most people have heard at some point that they should be saving their money.  However, knowing you should do it and putting it into action are two different things.  A lot of people would rather rely on credit or wait for the worst to happen before taking action.

savings

However, this kind of mentality is dangerous.  Not only can it lead to financial disasters, but it can affect you and your family’s safety.  You want to make sure that you can take care of your family without having to lose everything.  Not convinced yet? Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should be putting your money away. 

Retirement 

Even though the last thing on your mind at this point in your life may be retirement, it’s something you should always plan for.   One day you won’t be able to work or rely on a consistent paycheck. Now is the time to start putting away money for your older years. 

Relying on social security checks alone will not guarantee you a comfortable lifestyle. You should be investing in a retirement account so that you have a nice cushion to lean on in the absence of future income. 

Paying Off Debts

 As long as you’re in debt, you’ll never be entirely in control of your expenses. Debt is like a ball and chain attached to your ankle, never allowing you to have full power of your money.   Putting money aside specifically for paying off your bills can help you to get entirely out of debt one day.

Imagine all the money you put towards your debt every month going straight in your pocket instead.  Imagine what a different quality of life you have. You could have all that if only you saved more.

Unexpected Home Repairs

Life has a funny way of throwing challenges your way when you least expect them.  If your roof were to cave in tomorrow, how would you pay for it? Would you be able to repair a burst pipe or replace your water heater? 

Having emergency savings on hand for home repairs is incredibly important as a homeowner.  Don’t leave things to chance. Prepare yourself for the worst and have money set aside for taking care of your family’s home.

Unexpected Unemployment

Losing your job suddenly can be a huge blow to your financial situation. Experts recommend having at least three months of salary put aside in case you find yourself without work.   That way, you know that you can cover your bills and basic necessities until you find another source of income. You can’t count on the bank to lend you money when you don’t have any way of proving you can pay it back.

3 Tips For Helping Your Kids Build A Fort In Your Backyard

Now that it’s summertime, you’re likely anxious to get your kids outside to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. And while it’s great to take your kids to the park or a community pool, sometimes you as the parent or guardian just want to be able to relax at home while your kids play.

backyard

One way to facilitate both of these things is to encourage your kids to build a fort in your backyard. But while this can be fun, it can also be a big project to undertake, especially for your little ones. So to help ensure that everyone has a fun and safe time, here are three tips for helping your kids build a fort in your backyard. 

Get Creative With Your Materials

While you might be envisioning an actual building with a floor, walls, and a roof when you picture a fort in your mind’s eye, you definitely don’t have to go running to the home improvement store in order for your kids to build a fort at home. In fact, getting creative with building materials can be one of the most fun things about building a fort at home.

According to Alison Zeidman, a contributor to Fatherly.com, you should try to encourage your kids to use things from nature for building their fort. Sticks or tree limbs or part of a bush can make for great building materials. Additionally, other odds and ends from around the yard can be all the materials your kids need—as long as they’ve got a little imagination, too.

Be Wise With Roofing

Depending on how long you and your children want to keep their fort up and running, there likely are a few areas of the building that you’ll want to make sure are stable. One of these areas is the roof.

While you’re not going to be needing to call in a contractor to do professional roofing for you, the last thing you want is for the roof to fall down on your kids when they’re inside their fort. Some of the best materials to use if you and your kids are wanting the fort to stick around for a few days or longer, according to HGTV, is corrugated plastic. This will help to keep the elements out while also being light and fairly inexpensive. 

Know When You Need To Step In 

Although you might be wanting your kids to take the reins on their fort project, there will probably be a few moments where you might want to step in and help them so as no one gets hurt or puts themselves in any danger.

Especially if there’s going to be any heavy lifting or attempting to use any type of power tools, Chrystle Fiedler, a contributor to This Old House, recommends that you lend a hand to your kids. 

If you and your kids are interested in building a fort in your backyard this summer, consider using the tips mentioned above to help ensure this project gets accomplished safely.

This entry was posted in Living.

Easy Home Decorating Tips for Every Season

Good décor instantly makes any space in the home feel more inviting. However, as the seasons change, your interior design should too. Here are a few helpful tips on how to decorate for every time of year.

home decor

Spring

Spring décor should focus on floral accents, greenery and pops of bright color. Try adding vibrant placemats on the dining table or using a table runner made from a patterned material. Any linens in the house should be soft and airy; this includes everything from bedding to kitchen and bathroom towels.

Floral centerpieces also work wonderfully during springtime to add character to any room. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even use different types of fresh-cut flowers throughout the season. Transparent glass vases also help to create a lighter feel and brighten up the room.

Summer

The good thing about summer is that many of your decoration inspirations from spring still work well throughout the house. Keep things floral and gentle. You may want to switch to a summer flower arrangement such as hydrangeas or chrysanthemums. Some people might also prefer to change their color scheme slightly for the summertime. While pastels are popular in spring, summer colors tend to be a bit richer. Deep shades of pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, and blue are all good choices for your summer palette.

Summer décor is all about the outdoors. Place some brightly-colored pillows on your patio furniture to make the space more comfortable for entertaining. You can also get a weather-proof basket or storage box to store light blankets nearby in case of chilly nights. If you really want to create a top-notch outdoor space, add hanging lights, mosquito-repellent citronella candles, a hammock, and an outdoor rug.

Fall

As the leaves change to stunning shades of orange, brown, and yellow, keep in mind that these are the same colors you will want to incorporate into your fall aesthetic. One creative DIY fall piece is the pumpkin flower pot, in which you fill a hollowed-out pumpkin with a mixture of autumn flowers. Use smaller pumpkins for indoor pieces or larger ones for porch planters.

Fall décor is perfect for anyone who loves a rustic style. This is the time of year for wood accents, Earth tones, and decorations made from nature. Following the rustic theme, a bark candle holder is a unique seasonal item that is sure to become a conversation piece among guests. To further the autumn atmosphere, use a mixture of branches and leaves to create a crafty piece that lines the top of your mantle. Even if you do not have a fireplace, this fall display works on a TV stand, a windowsill, or along side a hallway table.

Winter

There are few things as cozy as a nicely-decorated house in the wintertime. Garland, pine cones, and scented candles go a long way toward creating a soft and homey ambiance. Switch out the linens for heavier materials like flannels, and be sure to utilize lots of winter colors like red, green, silver, gold and light blue.

As the holidays roll around, hang Christmas lights around the interior and exterior of the house. Also, consider investing in an artificial tree. High-quality artificial trees such as the ones offered by Balsam Hill are simple to set up and can be used year after year. Balsam Hill Christmas trees also come in many different styles, making them customizable enough to fit with the rest of your décor.

Thoughtful decorating can transform your home to fit any season, and it does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. With just a little preparation, you can keep your house looking good 365 days a year.

Tips for Simplifying your Home

If you are a parent with young children, or you juggle parenting with work, life can sometimes feel chaotic. That is when having a home that is a relaxing place to spend time in is key to your happiness and well-being. Ensuring your home runs smoothly is also a job in itself, as there are always chores to do and family to take care of. If you are looking for some ideas on how to simplify your home, this guide gives you some tips.

family entertainment hub

Organising Space

Organising your space is one of the most effective ways of simplifying your rooms. If your home is cluttered, it can affect your moods and motivation. Being overwhelmed every time you walk through the door is not a nice feeling, so take some time each day to clear the clutter and get rid of any unwanted items. Keeping surfaces clear, aside from a few useful or decorative objects, will help your mind feel relaxed. Having storage solutions where you can close drawers or doors is ideal, still giving you access to the things you want, yet you are also able to keep things looking tidy.

Updating old and worn out bathrooms can give you a relaxing haven where you can soak away your troubles. The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in any household, so it makes sense to make it a room that is easy to keep clean. Go for tiling on the floors and walls and go for a bath or shower style that fits well in the space. For more bathroom ideas, see beautifulbathroom.net.

Task Schedules

You can simplify the running of your home by scheduling what chores need to be done and when. Draw up a rota where all household members can help, then there are no arguments as to who needs to do what job. While housework isn’t at the top of the fun list, spending a little time tackling jobs each day is all that is needed for a clean and tidy home.

Planning meals for the week ahead will help you when shopping at the supermarket, as you will know exactly what you need to buy. It also simplifies your cooking at home, because you will have all the right ingredients for the dishes you want to make. If you are going to have a busy week, you could also batch cook meals and keep them in the freezer, ready to use when you want to.

Budget

Another aspect of running a home is money. There are bills to pay, shopping to buy, as well as money needed for other things. It is a good idea to try to build up a savings fund, just in case you need an emergency purchase or repair. Having an amount set aside gives you peace of mind that you can meet costs if needed.

When your home runs smoothly, it benefits everyone who lives there. Take the time to simplify your home, and you will have a relaxing place to unwind and have fun with the family.

This entry was posted in Living.

5 Fun Things to Do on a Date Night

Juggling family life with a career and household chores can leave little time available for you and your partner. If you only have an hour or so to spend together each day, you must aim to make more time for your other half by occasionally booking a babysitter and enjoying a romantic evening.

busy mom workout

By routinely making time for one another, you could strengthen your relationship and create a happier family life. Here are the five fun things you can do on a date night.

  • Take a Dance Class

Even if you believe you have two left feet, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a dance class with your other half. It will allow you to embrace your awkwardness as well as each other during a routine, which could rekindle intimacy in your relationship. There are also various dance styles to suit your personality, such as:

  • Ballroom
  • Tango
  • Salsa
  • Hip Hop
  • Enjoy a Romantic Evening

Few things are more enjoyable than an intimate evening that offers good food and drink, which will help conversation and laughter to flow. Once you have booked a babysitter, you should grab a table a cozy pub, which will allow you to catch up on each other’s lives, reminisce about old times and talk about your future together. For example, you could enjoy fresh dishes and choose from a wide variety of drinks at The Corner House pub. To find out more visit thecornerhousepub.co.uk.

  • Book a Spa Day

Various obligations at home and work can lead to much stress and strain accumulating in your body. To free your muscles and joints from aches and pains, while eradicating stress, you should book a day at a local spa together.

For instance, you could embark on a couple’s massage, treat yourselves to a facial, or enjoy a restorative head massage. You’ll both feel fresh and relaxed once the pampering experience is over.

  • Attend a Stand-up Comedy Show

Many couples make the big mistake of booking tickets to the movies on a date night, which can prevent conversation. If you want to enjoy a fun evening of entertainment, consider attending a comedy show, which will ensure you are both laughing aloud together and sharing inside jokes. So, browse the local calendar for upcoming stand-up comedy shows, which will ensure you have a superb time from beginning to end of your evening.

  • Visit a Theme Park

Leave the children at home with a babysitter one day or evening to visit a theme park, which will allow you both to scream at the top of your lungs on a rollercoaster ride. It could put the spark back into your relationship, as you’ll be smiling from ear-to-ear as you eat cotton candy and play various amusement games. However, you might want to keep the activity to yourselves to avoid upsetting your children. Don’t allow family and working life to stand in the way of your relationship with your other half and enjoy a fun date together, which could help you to create a happier home for your children.

Older Home Versus Modern Build

Looking for a new place to live can be a very exciting time in life, but it’s certainly not without many decisions, and one of those is surrounding the type of house you want.Now, you may already have a very clear as to what you want, but for most people, it’s a little more challenging – especially when there’s so much choice out there, and a large selection of beautiful homes, both old and new.The thing is, both have their good sides and downsides just like everything else, so it really comes down to your own preferences and what you’re looking for in a house.

home

To help you reach a decision and narrow your selection a little, here’s a brief overview of what you can expect with both newer, modern built homes and more traditional, older ones.

What to expect with an older home:

Unique character:

Older homes are well-known for their unique character and charming features, such as high windows and ceilings, Victorian staircases and original hardwood floors.

Many older homes were built in times when a lot of this stuff was made by hand, so they’re really difficult, if not impossible, to come across. They can also be a huge selling point if you ever do decide to sell the place later on. So, if you’re looking for a home that’s more unique, an older property could be the best decision.

The good thing about original features is that they were built to last, so even things like hardwood and concrete floors can be maintained and kept in good shape through things like concrete polishing that will restore them to their original beauty.

More space:

When older houses were built, they were typically built on private pieces of land that was owned by families, and sometimes those were working houses, such as on farms, so they needed a lot of space.

Of course, when buying your house, you need to check how much land it currently comes with, because it’s often the case that part or all of the land has been sold and doesn’t belong to the house anymore.

Cheaper to buy:

Older houses are typically a good bit cheaper to buy than newer ones because they often require more work once you’ve actually moved in.

Higher running costs:

The flip side to lower purchase costs is, unfortunately higher running costs. So, unless the house is well insulated, things like heating and water can be a lot more expensive than they would be in a newer house.

What to expect with a newer home:

More energy efficient:

Newer homes are built to very strict modern-day building and safety standards, and that also includes making sure they’re energy efficient, and as green as possible. This is a good thing because it means your monthly costs will be less than they otherwise would.

Ready to move in: Modern homes are built for modern life, and this means they come with all the conveniences you’d expect, including being ready to move straight in to.

This entry was posted in Living.

5 Tips For Encouraging Your Child To Learn An Instrument

It’s an exciting time when your child starts to take an interest in learning an instrument.  As a parent, you may be having fantasies about them being the next greatest musical child prodigy.  For this very reason, it can be disappointing when they start to lose interest in practicing.

piano

Take a look at some of the best tips which will help to keep your child interested in their instrument and continue learning, even when they get frustrated. 

Let Them Choose The Instrument

A lot of parents make the mistake of choosing their child’s instrument for them.  Unfortunately, this can result in them feeling forced. Let them try a variety of different instruments and choose the one that they feel the most excited about.  They may want to try playing the piano for a week, then find that they have a greater passion for the violin the next.

Allow them to choose rather than choosing for them.  That way they’re much more likely to stay interested.  Because they may be fickle at first about choosing, it’s best to rent an instrument rather than buying. 

Don’t Force Practice

This one may come as a shock to many parents, however forcing a practice schedule will start to make your child feel like learning music is an obligation, not a pleasure.  Encourage your child to see making music as a passion that is to be enjoyed.

While practicing is essential, it’s also important to have fun when you play.  Let them choose their practice schedule in order to keep their motivation up.  However, even though you may be putting them in control, it’s beneficial to set specific ground rules which help them stay motivated to practice.  For example, they aren’t allowed to do certain other activities until they’ve practiced.  

Expose Them To Live Music

Showing your child the joys of music is one of the best ways to get them inspired.  Take them to concerts when possible, and watch live performances on the television. Listen to music together and help them engage.

Your child is like a sponge.  The more that you show a passion and enthusiasm for music, the more that they will do the same. 

Be Encouraging

Even though their playing may not be anywhere near a professional level, in the beginning, it’s important to be encouraging.  Make sure that you aren’t overly criticizing or failing to point out their accomplishments. Children thrive off of encouragement and positive reinforcement. 

Find a Good Teacher

Ultimately, the progress that your child makes with their instrument will depend on what kind of a teacher they have.  If you find a good teacher who helps your child connect with their instrument, then you’ve found the perfect mentor. 

What to Expect from your Body After Giving Birth

You’ve just discovered you’re expecting your first baby and probably feel overwhelmed with a whole range of emotions. It’s a time to celebrate, you’re feeling happy and thankful but also a little apprehensive. This is a completely natural reaction to have when discovering this news for the first time, becoming a parent is life-changing to say the least and is an absolute rollercoaster of a journey. With a new arrival to think about and prepare for, you’ll probably need some help and guidance along the way.

new mother

Prenatal

During your pregnancy, you’ll have close contact with an obstetrician and midwife for prenatal care who will advise and assist you with any medical needs leading up to labor. You’ll be an expert on each trimester in no time and will watch in amazement as your baby and body starts to adapt and grow.

Postnatal

You’ll also find there’s a lot of helpful advice for your baby after labor and, without any medical complications to consider, the timescale of development shouldn’t vary too much from one child to another. There are a number of online development trackers you can follow for reassurance and guidance to check your baby’s development is normal and healthy. If there are any concerns or questions you may have, you should always refer back to your doctor.

There is still, however, a slight question mark for new mothers when it comes to your postnatal body and what to expect in the months following childbirth. The main reason for this is because everyone is different, and one size does not fit all when it comes to bouncing back into those skinny jeans.

There’s no specific timescale for your body to return to ‘normal’ and that’s exactly how it should be. If there is one piece of advice you can expect to follow during this time is to be patient, listen to your body,and not compare yourself to other people. If you’re ready and wanting to start exercising again, speak to your doctor before embarking on a fitness plan that is tailored to a postnatal body.

Other ways your body may change after labor range from:

Hair Loss

Due to changing hormones while pregnant, you shed far less hair from your head. This is compensated after labor but will soon return to a normal growth cycle.

Stomach Changes

Your uterus will still be round and hard after giving birth, but this will slowly shrink down over the coming weeks, and your stomach will begin to feel flatter.

Energy Levels

Although most new mothers quickly become sleep deprived, you may experience an increase in energy levels postpartum.

Sweating

Excessive sweating after childbirth could be a sign of your body is getting rid of any extra fluid gained during pregnancy. If you experience any unexpected symptoms during any stage, it is always best to seek advice from your obstetrician; they should be able to put your mind at rest, address any concerns and leave you with the peace of mind to enjoy your wonderful new baby.

5 Ways to Have a Stylish House When You Have Kids

When you have kids, your family home can feel more like a playroom than somewhere for the adults to relax. However, even though it may be surprising, it is possible to have a stylish home when you have children. If your goal is to have a chic home with kids, read on for some top tips on leaving your house fashionable and protected against your little monsters.

kids room

1. Add Luxury Furniture

Even family-friendly homes deserve a little style, and adding a few statement pieces can give your room somewhere for the adults to enjoy, and stop your home revolving around your kids. Adding luxury furniture can help you to relax and make your home look fashionable for years to come, as well as maintaining the quality for it to be durable enough to withstand your kids. Deguise home provides a selection of furniture for interior design Charleston, all with a luxurious and modern finish that will leave your house feeling both homely and chic.

2. Create Enough Storage Space

A significant problem with family homes can be having toys and more of the kid’s paraphernalia scattered around the house. This can make your house seem cluttered and disguise any amount of chic furnishings that you have invested in. To combat this, you should make sure that you have created enough storage space for your home by investing in solutions such as under-the-bed containers, overhead storage, and hidden compartments. You can also help your children to tidy away their things by making tidying fun and choosing exciting storage options for kid’s rooms, such as by investing in storage units that your children can use as beds for their soft toys, or hanging baskets, for instance.

3. Create Areas for Your Kids

Every parent has to have an escape route from the kids every now and again, and creating a child-free zone in your home, such as a study or living room, can be perfect for this. However, if you want to keep your kids involved in every aspect of your life and stop them from feeling left out, you should consider creating a kid-only space in your home. This will stop your kid’s toys and possessions from cluttering the main areas of your home, and leave the bright colors of children’s furniture in one place.

4. Choose Patterns

When choosing fabrics and furniture designs when you have kids, patterns are always preferable as they help to hide and remove stains and protect your furniture from damage. However, if this is not possible, you should also aim to choose good quality fabrics which are easily washable and covers that can be removed from furniture to make sure that you are able to maintain them easily.

5. Get the Kids Involved

However, the most important thing when designing a house is to get everyone involved, and you may find that your kids have some great ideas which can inspire your home design and help to make the areas of your house more child-friendly.

How To Overcome Fussy Toddlers And Their Habits

If you are a parent it is most likely you have been in the situation where your toddler just refuses to eat or do something. Having a fussy toddler is nothing new, they are new to this world and have no idea what they like and don’t like yet. Maybe feeding time has become more of a food fight or nap time has become play time; whatever your issue you are most definitely not alone. Every single parent is going to go through one form of fussy or another during the formative years, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

toddler

Toddlers are fussy for a variety of reasons, but they most likely won’t make any sense to the average person. Your goal in handling this is to try to help them to let you know what is wrong. Communication is going to be difficult for your little one and they are going to need some help figuring it all out. Have some patience and work with them to identify what the issues are and it will make life much less noisy and cranky.

If you are struggling with a moody or fussy child, continue reading for some advice on what to do.

Understand The Drama

Kids are well documented to have frequent and puzzling mood changes. Your toddler could be as happy as Larry playing away one minute and then instantly act like they’ve been told their puppy just died. None of this seems to make any sense to us, but you can try to understand these mood swings. A lot of the time your child promptly switches to screaming and crying is because they have no other way to tell you that they need something. They have seen that it has gotten your attention in the past so this is going to be their go-to move. Your goal is to keep track of what it is that helped fix it before and keep on top of those particular needs.

Plan, Plan, And Plan Some More

One of the best ways to keep your little one happy and healthy is to keep them on a very strict schedule. Toddlers need to sleep and eat a lot more frequently than the average person and you need to plan ahead for this. Try to keep them on a schedule for naps and feedings seven days a week. Things aren’t always going to work out perfectly but try your best to keep to the same time schedule every single day. Keeping them properly fed and rested will keep them from overreacting to simply being hungry or tired.

It’s Developmental, Baby!

Toddlers are in the very early stages of cognitive and social development and are going to struggle to understand certain things and to communicate clearly. If this is the reason for your little one’s mood swings your biggest tool is going to be patience plain and simple. Parenting takes patience at the best of times and this stage is going to require something extra. Do your best to learn how your toddler is trying to communicate with you, stay patient, and eventually, you two will be on the same page.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff We know that raising kids can be full of joys and frustrations. Every day can be a struggle to get the simplest tasks completed amidst a temper tantrum or confusing mood swing. Just keep in mind your toddler is going to require a lot of extra effort on your end to understand what is causing it. Keep your wits about you, ask for help from people with first-hand experience, and don’t overthink anything. Follow our advice and your next temper tantrum may be the turning point for better communication. t-hand e