Declutter your home in time for Christmas!

Declutter your home in time for Christmas!

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Christmas is on the way! Woohoo! But is your home ready for the festive season? Considering the extra toys and games your children will be receiving from Santa, and thinking about the visitors you may have stepping over your doorstep; you really do need to think about having a decluttering session now to get your home ready. You will have greater peace of mind (and more space) if you do!

So, where do you start?

Create a sorting system

For your smaller items, use a three-box system, labeling each with ‘keep,’ ‘sell,’ or ‘recycle.’ This is a helpful way to guide your thinking. When thinking about what to keep, ask yourself these questions.

When did I last use it? (If you have rarely used it, it may not be worth keeping).

Does it hold sentimental value? (You might want to keep nostalgic items).

Do I have a duplicate? (If so, you probably don’t need a copy).

Do I need it in my life? (If it holds no benefit at all, then you probably don’t need it).

After asking yourself those four questions, you should be able to sift through what you own. Should you sell anything, do a price check online to make sure you get the best possible price for your unwanted goods. And remember, you may have something collectable, so it’s always worth finding out before you sell something too cheaply.

Think about your larger items

From surplus coffee tables to pieces of equipment that are no longer functional, consider what you might do with them. You could sell your furniture online, using such online marketplaces as Eames.com – check here to learn more – or by donating any pieces to local charities who will sell the furniture on at discount prices. And for any equipment that is no longer functional, recycle them at a plant near you or sell them on the classifieds to anybody looking for scrap parts. By getting rid of any of these items, you will instantly create more space in your home for the festive period.

Speak to the kids

You don’t want to upset your children by getting rid of their precious possessions, so have a word with them first. Implement the sorting system we described earlier, and remind them (should they kick up a fuss), that they do need to make room for the new toys and games that Santa will be leaving under the Christmas tree in the coming weeks.

Invest in more storage

To keep a tidy house over Christmas (and beyond), invest in more storage to both manage anything you intend to keep and to store any new items coming into the house. New toy boxes for the children will come in handy, as will new clothes and shoe racks to manage the fashion you may have put on your Christmas list. And if you are struggling with a lack of space, use these storage hacks to help you manage both your old and new belongings.

Finally

A clutter-free home is a stress-free home; just the thing you need this Christmas season. We hope you found our ideas useful, but let us know what you think, and gift us with your decluttering tips if you have any. Thanks for reading, and oh yeah… happy Christmas!

Are your kids all tied up?

Are your kids all tied up?

The moment you become a mother, you need to impart a whole wealth of knowledge. That child is a sponge. You need to make sure they absorb everything from how to walk and talk, to how to identify shapes. Even once they’ve grasped the basics, there are more lessons to learn. When they’re older, they need to learn how to get dressed and, what we’re focusing on here, how to tie ties and shoelaces.

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Both of these stumps every child at some point. They’re tasks we take for granted but they’re actually pretty complicated. It’s no wonder, then, that they’re difficult for little brains. Most parents praise velcro shoes and elastic ties. But, there comes a time when your little one will need to learn how to do these things for real. At the very least, they’ll want to follow the lead of other kids in their class. And, when that time comes, it can be difficult to know where to start. After all, these are things you’ve been doing without thought for years. Knowing how to pass that knowledge on can be tricky. Lucky for you, though, we’ve got some pointers which could help.

Remove alternatives

We get it; you’re a busy mom, and taking time out to teach things like this isn’t easy. Hence why you reach for alternatives rather than tackling the teaching task. The trouble is, substitutes don’t teach anything. Quite the opposite. If your child uses velcro shoes, they’ll never learn how to do their laces. If they slip an elastic tie over their heads, they’re not going to understand how to tie one. What’s more, having these options will stop them from even trying. The answer? Take away the alternatives, of course!

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Use rhymes

With alternatives out of the way, it’s time to find easy ways to teach those valuable lessons. One of the best options here is to use rhymes. Parents have been doing this for goodness knows how long, and with good reason. Kids seem to learn well with the help of rhymes. For one, these take the menace out of those kids ties and loopy laces. They’re also a fantastic way to ensure your child doesn’t forget the steps they need to take. There are many rhymes already out there you could use. Or, you could make up your own. Either way, this method is sure to wiggle into your child’s memory and make for long-lasting lessons.

Practice makes perfect

The last thing to bear in mind is that practice makes perfect. There are few children out there who will be able to do this after their first lesson. What’s more, expecting them to do so could lead to their feeling disillusioned with the whole affair. Instead, make sure they know that it’s okay to take their time with practice. It may take them a week or more to get right, but they’re sure to get there eventually. The more they practice, the more chance there is of your lessons sticking!

 

3 Steps to enhanced peace of mind for your family

Peace of mind is inherently valuable. It allows you to go about your everyday life with maximum efficiency and confidence, safe in the knowledge that the things that matter are safe and protected.

If you’re looking to introduce more peace of mind into your life, here are three simple steps that can help accomplish this goal.

#1 – Invest in home security

We all want to feel safe in our homes, so home security is a worthwhile investment that protects you, your family, and the items in your property. A good home security setup comprises of an alarm system first and foremost; if you already have such a system, schedule a service to ensure all is working well. If you don’t have an existing alarm, consider getting one – they really are worth it, given the enhanced security protection and the resulting benefits to your own peace of mind.

#2 – Look for natural products wherever possible

We’re constantly bombarded by health scares regarding everyday products and items, with products such as scented candles and mattresses now linked with potentially harmful side effects. To avoid any future panics, it’s often best to focus on simple, natural products wherever possible – the fewer ingredients, the fewer possibilities for future worries about health consequences.

#3 – Opt for life insurance

Life insurance is the defining insurance product for peace of mind, providing the ultimate reassurance that your family will be well cared for and protected whatever happens in the future. If you have never purchased life insurance before, the infographic below is a great starting point that can help you decide just how much life insurance you need, and you can then explore policy options to suit.

 

Infographic Design By How much life insurance do I need

 

 

Transform your family into a financial dynasty

Transform your family into a financial dynasty

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Businesses and entrepreneurs often write down what they hope to achieve in the future. It’s a reminder of why they work so hard towards their goals, and it’s seen as perfectly normal. But when family members try to do the same thing for their kin, all of a sudden it seems weird. Families are supposed to be informal, so adding a layer of official paperwork goes against the grain.

It turns out, however, that families that adopt a business mindset tend to do better. They are more explicit on what they want to have in the future, and how they want to get there. And they have a sense, financially, about how they are going to achieve it.

When Robert Kiyosaki wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad, he intended to educate the leaders of families on wealth acquisition. When whole families work together toward the same monetary goals, they often end up getting there more quickly.

So what can you do to improve your family’s prosperity and turn yourselves into a financial dynasty?

Allocate Time And Workload

Have you ever wondered why people today are so much wealthier than people who lived in the past? Although technology played a role, most of it comes down to specialization: people doing the same tasks over and over again at high efficiency.

You can apply the same principles to your family. Think about where you should focus your family’s resources for maximum return. Could you, for instance, benefit most from putting money into your children’s education? Would you be better served giving capital to your offspring so that they can start their own profitable businesses? How about paying a bit more money to live nearer to an industry in which you have significant skill?

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Don’t forget to treat the process as you would any project in business. You’ll need to keep track of important milestones to make sure that you’re achieving your goals in good time. And you’ll want to track your financial return over time to figure out whether you made a good investment decision.

Many families want to stick with their old routines. But doing so can be counterproductive, especially when an opportunity comes knocking. Only families who are prepared to break out of the mold make genuine progress in their quest for wealth. Just doing the same thing over and over again is unlikely to lead to a breakthrough.

Set Goals Together

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For financial transformations to work at the family level, each person needs to feel as if they have a say in the direction. That should include children as well as parents.

When businesses discuss their plans, all of the owners discuss them together. They work out what they want to produce, who to sell to, and how many people they need to employ. Families also need to go through a rigorous process to discover what each person wants.

Remember, it’s not always about just acquiring wealth. As any wealthy person will tell you, money doesn’t make you happy, and nobody gets rich by just focusing solely on their bank accounts. Moreover, it’s about the process: having a passion for what you’re doing and doing it well.

Families, therefore, need to concentrate first on what is important to them and then money afterward. Often money is the result of serving others, and so if your family become useful in the world, then it will generate piles of cash as a byproduct.

Make Timely Investments

One of the reasons that services like OnlineCash4Payday® are so popular is because they give families the flexibility to use capital as they please. Many families are financially conservative with their resources and miss out on opportunities to magnify their wealth.

Let’s go into a little more depth. The average family tends to save money by depositing it in a savings account with the bank. Because interest rates are so low and banking fees are high, the actual interest returned is often in the region of 1 to 2 percent, and sometimes less. But savings account, although easy and secure, are by no means the best way to generate significant capital for the entire family.

Take corporate bonds for instance. These are widely considered to be relatively safe because even if a company fails, it’s the bondholders who get paid off first, not people who hold shares. In most cases, companies repay the loan and interest, but even when the company fails, many bondholders get their money back. What’s more, interest rates are in the 5 to 7 percent, meaning that there is genuine scope for compound growth, year after year.

Shares are the highest risk, but families could do even better here. A family that invested $1,000 in Netflix ten years ago would have more than $60,000 in their brokerage account today. Finding these opportunities can be difficult, but it’s well worth it. What are your children and their friends interested in right now? There’s a good chance that the company behind it is one to buy for the future.

Put Values Front And Center

Top businesses often talk about the value of “company culture.” Company culture, however, is just a euphemism for values: things that the company won’t do in pursuit of profit. Families need to apply the same concept: what are they prepared to sacrifice in pursuit of wealth, and what are they not?

Most families, for instance, are unwilling to sacrifice time together purely to get more money. What is the point of money if you have no time to enjoy it together? Some families will also avoid taking opportunities that involve moral compromise.

The key here is to make sure that there is an open dialogue between all family members. Ensure that values do not conflict and find out how each person wants to share the wealth when it comes. Often discussing values leads to new inspiration and understanding of one another.

Create A Mission Statement

The vast majority of companies have mission statements. Most are uninspiring. They merely describe what the company hopes to achieve. The most interesting, however, are those that invoke values or describe a vision.

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Take Alibaba, the Asian rival to Amazon. Their mission statement is “to make it easy to do business anywhere.” Forbes, the online news site, says that they want to challenge people with exciting and new ideas every day. Finally, Sony doesn’t want to sell you new electronics; they want to fulfill your curiosity.

Mission statements can be powerful when done correctly. So which mission statement should your family choose?

Perhaps the best mission statements are those that contain an element of gratitude. Yes, you want your family to be financially successful, but you also want to bring them closer and be happy together. Gratitude is an excellent way to do this. You could be grateful for your good fortune, and the opportunities you now have that you didn’t get in the past.

Writing down your mission statement and displaying it prominently can also make a big psychological difference. It doesn’t have to be overbearing, just something in the background that reminds all members of your family what you’re striving to achieve every day.

One Final Point …

Becoming a financial dynasty is a challenge. It’s not something that every family is cut out to do. But with persistence and determination, your family can work together to achieve its financial goals. Being wealthy is about more than budgeting properly or getting a promotion: it’s about having the right vision and working together with other people to achieve it.

Your family vehicle doesn’t have to be a huge money drain

Your family vehicle doesn’t have to be a huge money drain

Owning a car is, for many people, an essential part of life. It helps them commute to and from work, it gives them the ability to carry around lots of items, and it’s great for taking the kids to school. Owning a car is, for the most part, a critical component of life, but it’s also one of the most expensive ones.

From insurance costs to financing a car and the money spent on repairs and maintenance, you can expect to pay a ludicrous sum of money in order to keep your car operating at an acceptable level. As a result, many people are starting to sell their vehicles and switch from that lifestyle in favor of public transportation. It’s generally seen as cheaper, easier to manage and a lot less stress.

However, in this article, we’re going to explain a couple of ways on how you can drastically lower the costs of your car and prevent it from being the huge money drain that it has a reputation for.

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Buy a smaller car

Smaller cars are generally cheaper to insure, they’re easier to handle and the get better gas mileage. If you’re tired of paying a lot for your petrol and want to lower your insurance, then getting a smaller vehicle is a fantastic option.

Switch your insurance

One of the most expensive things about owning a car is the insurance costs. In fact, many people will find themselves paying more for insurance than the car itself over a couple of years. As a result, it’s vital that you compare car insurance rates and try to find the lowest one. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save each year by just switching providers and looking for a better deal.

Mix car usage with public transportation if possible

You don’t have to drive everywhere if you have a car. Mix it with public transportation and you’ll find you can save a lot of money on gas.

Be wary of used vehicles

Just because a used vehicle is advertised as being lower in price, it doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with a cheaper car in general. Maintenance costs could be higher because it’s a used car with older parts, and you might be hit with hidden fees that the used car dealership charges.

Drive safely

If you want to avoid repairs and maintenance, then it’s vital that you drive safely. Always keep an eye on how you drive and keep your car well-maintained so that there’s less of a chance a component fails or something needing a fix. The better you take care of your vehicle, the less you’ll pay in maintenance.

As you can see, owning a car no longer has to be such an expensive part of life and if you’re smart with your finances, you can continue using your car without incurring huge costs that will drain your monthly salary. There’s no reason to give up your car yet, so keep a hold of it using the tips we’ve outlined in this article!-