How To Get A Bang For Your Buck When It Comes To Family Money

The topic of family money management is one that comes with raised eyebrows. Apparently, everyone seems to have their own idea of money management, and in some cases, it makes it hard to progress. It is estimated that around 30% of couples clash over monies. This is because of priorities, tough choices and personal preferences for money management. Luckily, there are few things that can restore calm and ensure a good return for every dime spent.

Good Budgeting

There is no perfect budgeting criteria that can end all family clashes over finances. However, there are a number of things that can help a family with good budgeting.

First, you need to embrace the habit of creating one. Many people know about budgeting but rarely do it. All kinds of expenses emerge every day and you need a realistic and systematic way of ensuring efficient fund use.

Secondly, you need to set your priorities straight, which is the sole purpose of a budget. Good budgeting will focus on family priorities creating a win-win deal for everyone. Start good budgeting today and you will lessen family clashes.

Consulting and Support

Many hands make work light and two heads are better than one. It is not wrong to seek out advice and support from other people who have been in your situation before. This will really help you more than you can imagine.

You will not only gain great insight into successful family money management but also avoid certain mistakes that generally cut across most families. So, take an initiative to seek counsel and advice. You will be one step ahead.

Account Consolidation

Some people have multiple accounts. This may mean having multiple credit card balances over time if you are in need of money. Managing all these credit accounts can be very expensive. Consider taking out a loan to consolidate existing debts, thereby reducing the managing costs by settling everything all at once.

Time-savers for Money

Family comes with tons of responsibilities and you will never have enough time in your hands to do everything. So why not try out some options to save time.

A good example is checking with your bank to see what kind of services they offer to their customers. Do they have mobile banking? Can you automate bill payments? Is it possible to schedule savings? And can you have a system for email and text alerts concerning your finances? These are all awesome ways of saving time and creating room for other things.

Successful family money management can be achieved with discipline and effort. These tips are just a few reminders of what you need to do.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet

The idea of getting a pet can be ever so tempting, especially when the kids keep asking, asking, asking. However, pet ownership is not to be taken lightly, and it’s not something that everyone can do well. So before committing to a pet in your home, there are a few things that you should definitely consider first.

Research The Idea

Don’t even begin searching for a pet until you have done all the research necessary. That means firstly researching which kind of pet will work best for your family, and then discovering everything you can about caring for them. Sit everyone down and have a serious meeting about all the things that will need to be done, and ensure that everyone understands they will all have to pitch in. From walking a dog to feeding your pet the right foods, to treating them for fleas and ticks with treatments from VetIQ, there is a lot to do. Some pets require less care than others. A dog, for example, needs a lot more looking after than a goldfish. However, that doesn’t mean that that care should fall to one person, or that just because you don’t want to take your dog for a walk or clean out your hamster’s cage you can leave it for another day. This talk will determine whether you’re actually ready for a pet at all; gauge your family’s reactions, and you’ll know what the answer should be, even if it’s not the one you, or they, were hoping for!

Be Honest

If you want to get a pet, you must be honest with yourself about your lifestyle. Are you at home enough to take care of it? Do you have the room? Could you afford the vet’s bills? The bedding? The food? If you can’t, or even if you’re not sure, it’s best not to get a pet. It should be easy to work out a budget and see if you have the spare money to care well for an animal. It should also be easy to determine how much space you have, and how much time you’re at home. Animals will need company, and they will need room not only to move around in but for all their equipment too. These observations could also help to determine which type of pet you get, and how big it could be, so it’s an important step to take. If your children are the ones pushing for a pet, it’s essential that they take part in this preparation stage too. If the answer is no, they will be able to understand why.

Choosing The Right Pet

There are pros and cons to every type of pet, so it’s important to think of them before deciding which one to choose. Dogs and cats may be popular choices, but they need a lot more attention and are harder work than many smaller animals. Guinea pigs can be an ideal first pet because they are social creatures, and are easy to handle. Gerbils and hamsters are lovely, but due to their small size they can be hard for children to hold properly, and that means they soon lose interest. Whatever you get, make sure that all of your family are happy with the choice, and that they will all want to get close and take care of the pet. There is no point in having a lizard, spider, or snake in the house, for example, if someone won’t go near. What would happen if it managed to get out of its cage or vivarium? What would happen if everyone was sick and just left the one person who couldn’t stand to be near the creature to feed and care for it? It wouldn’t be fair. If it is to be a family pet, it has to be one that everyone will love. Pets that aren’t going to be suitable for a family include rabbits. Rabbits bite and scratch, and although some will eventually get used to being held, many won’t. This can mean a lot of nasty nips for the kids, and the rabbit could potentially suffer from a broken back or limbs from being dropped. Chinchillas are cute and soft, but they are also high maintenance and need a lot of specialist equipment. They also like to take dust baths, so they make a lot of mess. Some dogs are just not happy being around children, so you’ll need to do your homework if you have your heart set on a pooch.

Find A Way For Everyone To Contribute

If the only thing standing in the way of you saying yes to a pet is that you don’t think your younger family members can deal with the work involved, try coming up with ways to make it possible and to make it fun. If it’s fun, they’ll want to be more involved anyway, and making things into a game, or, better still, a competition, is a good way to ensure that no one’s chores are pushed to one side. A small child may not be able to clean out the fish tank successfully, and they may not be able to walk the dog. They certainly shouldn’t be cleaning out a cat’s litter box. But they can take part in some way. This ensures that they are having good values instilled in them, and by the time they are ready to carry out the work, they can do.

Be Prepared

Once the novelty of having the new pet wears off, some children may start to lose interest in helping out. Be prepared to get stuck in yourself. Someone has to do it, after all. Despite what your children may have promised (and some will promise the world to get their longed-for new pet), things change, and if no one is there to take responsibility then it is the pet that will suffer. How you handle your child’s change of heart is down to you and your own method of parenting, but the pet needs to be considered.

Savings Accounts for Retirees – What to Consider

As a retiree, you know that you are looking for savings accounts that will yield the best interest rates in the shortest period of time, simply because that is the stage of your life you are now in. When you first began working and raising a family, you had decades to look forward to when saving larger sums and, so you could be complacent with accounts that grew slowly, over time.

However, as a retiree, you want to take advantage of your money now while also saving for any future eventualities which might require you to draw significantly from your accounts. Anything from medical bills to assisted living may require you to withdraw sizeable funds, so it’s time to look at the best savings account for a retiree.

Will Your Adult Children Be on Your Account?

One of the things you should seriously consider when choosing the right savings account for you as a retiree is whether or not you will be adding one or more adult children on your account. While it can be risky adding someone to a jointly owned account, many older adults like to have their children as co-owners in the event that they should need to make immediate financial decisions for their aging parents.

Sometimes ill health requires a sizable withdrawal and other times we put our children in charge of everything financial so that we can simply relax in our golden years. A savings account that can fund our living expenses is ideally suited for this purpose, but also, if you should suddenly pass, the portion of money belonging to co-owners of an account isn’t going to be subject to inheritance taxes if jointly owned. That is a huge consideration for retirees and why so many add their children to their accounts even if their children won’t be accessing the account during their lifetime.

Various Types of Savings Accounts to Choose Between

If you are looking for a savings accounts with the best rates, one thing to be aware of is that there are various kinds of savings accounts and not all banks offer the same types. You can choose between traditional savings accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) or even Money Market savings accounts. Some banks offer all three while others have only one or two of those options.

The thing to realize is that with a traditional savings account you can draw as much or as little money as you want at any time that you want but Money Market and CDs operate in a different way. Some are set up in such a way as to incur a monetary penalty if funds are withdrawn before the account reaches maturity and others allow you to write checks against them periodically. This type of account may not penalize you for using your money if you stay within the pre-specified amount and number of withdrawals.

How To Decorate A Family Room

Your family room is a special part of your home, a place where moms and pops really enjoy getting together with their kids to spend their leisure time together. While your family is growing up, it’s often the heart of your home, so it’s important to decorate it so that everyone feels at ease there.

Given that you have to accommodate adults as well as children of different ages, you might think that this could be difficult to achieve; however, there are some clever design tricks that can make it possible for you to create a family area that is welcoming, comfortable, and smart so that everyone feels right at home there. The best ideas are often the simplest, so here are a few hints and tips to help you achieve a fun, welcoming, and relaxing room for all the family in your home.

Color palette

Catering for everyone is best achieved by using neutral colors on the walls, floors, and ceilings in the room. Pale tones will make the space look bigger. Think of this as a backdrop for different accents that you can use in designated areas. When creating a play area, for instance, you can include brighter, primary colors on area rugs, scatter cushions, and storage units. A quieter corner for reading or storytelling can be more muted in tone, while a family viewing area for watching movies benefits from comfortable seating in modest, plain shades.

Doors and windows

When it comes to doors and windows, you can make your family room a little different from other parts of your home. Match the outside of your family room door with other doors in your hallway, but consider treating the inside a little differently. For example, if you want to minimize noise leakage, you can put a simple foam panel on the inside of the door. It’s an easy job to do, and the foam comes in a range of attractive colors, so you can choose a shade to match your décor. This is a brilliant solution if your kids love noisy play sessions or play loud video games. It’s also useful when you are watching a family movie as it reduces the amount of sound filling other parts of your home.

Windows in a family room don’t need swathes of drapes that trail on the floor or blinds with fiddly cords as these are more of a hazard in a space where kids will be active. Instead, choose elegant family room shutters that will produce a clean, streamlined outline of your window shapes and are also adjustable. This way, you can control the amount of daylight coming into the room and create a real movie theater atmosphere when you plan to watch something charming, exciting, or festive together.


Bearing in mind that your family room will get a fair bit of wear and tear, choose furniture, fabrics, and wall paint that are durable and washable, where possible. To cater for a range of uses, you’ll find that seating units with built-in storage are a great bonus so that toys can be cleared up easily before bedtime. Add wall-mounted shelves out of the reach of tiny hands to house books, speakers, iPod docks, and DVDs, as well as good old-fashioned CDs and vinyl.

Your viewing space may also be best positioned in a corner so that you can group couches and armchairs together cozily.


Good general lighting means that everyone can see clearly across your family room without any shadows. During daylight hours, your window shutters can be opened fully or the slats tilted slightly to avoid too much glare if this should be a problem. Artificial lighting in the evenings can be from a fixed overhead point with perhaps a few pockets of space where task lighting is installed.

For example, in a quiet corner you could add a floor reading lamp and some really comfortable chairs or floor cushions for rest periods in between noisy play. A foldable games table and stackable chairs are ideal if your kids enjoy playing real, as opposed to virtual, board games from time to time. Sometimes the best family fun happens around the games table, just as it often does at shared family meals, especially on festive occasions.

Fit for purpose

Perhaps the most important thing about decorating your family room is to start from the point of view of how it’s going to be used, building in how this might change over time so that your family room “grows up” as your family does.

3 Ways to Get the Funding You Need to Move

Moving can be expensive, but when the time comes and you need to make it happen, it needs to happen. Whether you are looking to get more living space as your family expands, moving to take a job opportunity, or facing a change of life circumstances, you need to be able to get the funds you need to make the move quickly and easily. If you have been wondering how to receive funds to move with, here are three great options you can use to make it work.

  1. Residential Bridge Loans

Bridge loans are a great way to cover the cost of moving because they let you get some of the money out of your property even before you close on a sale. Use a bridge loan to pay off your mortgage and provide the moving funds you need to pack up and go. If you have enough equity in your home, you can even manage to get extra to cover a new down payment. Then, when you sell your home, you pay off the bridge loan in the process.

  1. Estate Loans

If you have to move because you shared a home with someone who has passed away and the property is to be divided among the heirs, estate loans can provide you with the funds you need. Borrow against your share of the inheritance to cover moving costs with ease.

  1. Signature Loans/Hard Money Loans

Unsecured loans allow you to borrow against your own income without risking a piece of property as collateral. This tends to give them slightly higher interest fees than other loan types, but it also makes them easy to get if you have the right credit rating, so you can easily cover short-term moving expenses.

For more information about your options for funding a move, talk to North Coast Financial representatives today.

3 Tips for Having Your Loved Ones To Stay

If you are already struggling to balance a busy schedule, you may shudder at the thought of having anyone else to take care of. However, when you are part of a big family unit, you won’t always have a choice in the matter. In fact, it is extremely likely that you will have plenty of loved ones staying with you on a regular basis. They may visit for festive occasions, they may fancy a change of scenery, or perhaps they are eager to catch up with your little ones. The important thing is that they are in your home, and that they require your attention. If you are wondering how you can manage this situation, you will need to read on. Below are three tips for having your loved ones to stay.

Create a guest room

If you are going to manage your stress levels, you should definitely consider setting up a guest room. This is a fantastic way for you to separate your house into zones. Instead of worrying about having to prepare a room at the last minute, you should have a space that is always spotless. It could even be a room that your children are kept out of, as this will save you the hassle of tidying up their mess. When it comes to creating your guest room, don’t hold back. Invest in beautiful bedding and attractive decorations. You should also purchase useful items such as travel shampoos and spare towels. You could even treat your guest to a small travel kettle from VonShef, so they can make tea and coffee without waking up the whole house. What better way to make them feel welcome?

Get your kids involved

When you have guests to stay, it is important to remember that this effects your entire family. That is why you need to encourage your kids to get involved. Otherwise, they could end up feeling left out. Why not spend the weekend, before your guests arrive, enjoying fun and creative activities with your kids? This could be the perfect opportunity for you to make homemade gifts for your visitors. Then, your little ones will have something to show off when your guests arrive. You should also give all of your family members a special role. Perhaps your eldest child could be in charge of preparing drinks and your youngest child could be in charge of fetching the coasters. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that everyone has a part to play.

Deep clean your home

Another important step to take, is deep cleaning your property. This is the best way for you to make sure that you don’t get caught out at the last minute. It will also give you the chance to be proud of your home, instead of cringing at the clutter and chaos. When you are conducting your deep clean, you should also rid yourself of any unnecessary items. You could hold a yard sale or donate to your local thrift store. Just make sure that you clear your home of as many items as possible. Not only will this improve your aesthetic, it will also give you more space for your guests and their things.

Great Dress Fashion For Moms

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the fashion trends of the season because they are always fitted on women that are stick thin. The pressure to be so skinny can even cause anxiety. As a mom it’s almost impossible to be stick thin. Your body has changed over the course of your pregnancy and giving birth and priorities change. Obsessions with looking stick thin perfect and maintaining the perfect weight has been replaced with time looking after your little one and making sure they are healthy, happy and safe. They will always take priority but Research Verified reviews will also help you stay on top of your health!

Still, of course you want to look fabulous and it doesn’t mean you have to be tiny to look great. The following are the most lovely of fashionable dresses and how to incorporate it into your wardrobe:

Curve Beach Dress

Curve Beach Dresses are lovely, especially for fuller figures although they suit any type of physique. They cover the breast area well and give a young, fun look and are frayed at the bottom. They are perfect for any day at the beach or just walking around the city in flip flops or your favorite sandals. They’re also great because they’re easy to put on and remove and look lovely with summer hats. If you wear accessories with it choose delicate items like modest necklaces and earrings. Heavy bangles don’t go very well with this type of outfit.

Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

This is a gorgeous dress design for any type of figure. It’s dainty and lovely and screams tea with the ladies or afternoons spent having picnics under trees with the family. It wraps around your body beautifully and can be worn any day of the week. It can be worn with high heels or sandals.  Light accessories suit it best such as dainty hanging earrings and dainty gold or silver necklaces. Different colored rings also suit this dress well.

Crochet-Panelled Cotton-Gauze Dress

This beautiful dress is a winner as it works with everything. It is simple and plain and hides any sort of stomach weight you may carry. It looks lovely with a jacket or sweater and you can pair it with heels or any color boots you may choose. It even works well if you just want to walk around barefoot with your little one. It is a total winner with a sexy back detail making you feel ultra feminine.

Linen A-Line Dress

This dress works so well because it is so basic. It can be decorated with thick accessories and will look great with bare legs or tights fitted with boots. It’s simple and you can even wear it with a nice thick belt. and a comfortable bra.

No matter what, as a mom you can still dress up and look and feel great – even if you are not as slender as you were before. Dresses are so wonderful as they bring out the inner-feminine in you. Go ahead, put away the track suits and gym pants and opt for beautifully designed dresses that will make you feel more womanly. Enjoy all this fantastic fashion and be proud to look in the mirror any day of the week!

Make the Most of Your Summer With These Home Improvement Tips

What better time to get the home ready for winter than in summer time? The kids are out of school during these sunny months, which makes the weekends ten times more relaxing. You and the family can make the most of the summer by engaging in these DIY home cleaning and repair projects.

Consider Painting the Deck

Your deck goes through a lot during the winter months. Why not take a summer weekend to repair and paint the outside structure? Having a paint day is just what the kids need to get away from the video games and into the center of nature in all of its splendor. You can even turn the chore into a complete day of fun by having a cookout, away from the fumes of course, after everyone has completed the task. Checking for damage while the kids are painting the deck is the best way to make the most of your time.

Clear Out the Garage

Platform shoes were in during your last garage overhaul. It is high time that you got rid of unwanted furniture and clothing that have taken up space in your garage for years. Consider selling items that are not too worn so that the kids can get a lesson on business this summer. You should also check the interior garage for obvious holes in the roof. Hire the best local roofing company if the sunshine radiates in places where darkness should dominate.

Thoroughly Clean the Showerheads

The shower gets brief cleanings throughout the year. Summer is your time, then, to address buildup that could lead to clogs and malfunctions. Remove every showerhead in the house and, with the kids’ help, clean every opening. You will notice the difference between a cluttered showerhead and clean device immediately upon bathing.

Clean the Refrigerator Coils

So many families use spring and summer to thoroughly clean every crevice and crack of the fridge’s interior. Few, however, remember the coils on the back of the appliance. Your refrigerator will thank you and the kids for purifying it through and through by preserving your foods for longer periods after a good coil cleaning.

Your family can take full advantage of the summer months by locating and filling open spaces in which rodents can enter. Making a game out of the chore is usually the best way to get kids interested in the activity. You deserve rejuvenation this summer, and so does your home. Cleaning and caulking for better home care are the way to go during sunny months.

How To Get Your Home Ready for Seasonal Changes

When there’s a change of seasons in the air, you can always tell. Whether you feel the sweaty touch of summer, the chill grasp of winter, or the delightfully refreshing kiss of spring and fall, you should take care to celebrate each season. To make sure you’re ready, prepare your home for the changing weather, diet, and lifestyle that accompanies different times of the year.

Switch Up Your Home Décor

The seasons typically invoke certain colors or moods. Winter, for example, is a time of darkness, while summer is light and airy. By switching up your décor to match the time of year, you’ll feel more festive and ready to partake in that season’s events. Choose yellows and greens in the summer, burnt orange in the fall, rich and dark colors like purple or brown in the winter, and floral and rustic prints in the spring.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are a mixture of different natural substances designed to improve overall health and well-being. When placed in your home, they act as a natural aromatherapy that reduces tension and increases energy levels. For example, you might want to try a mix of cardamom, orange, and ginger oils in the fall to keep your immune system boosted and get rid of seasonal depression.

Perform Routine Maintenance Tasks

While it might be boring, there are certain things you have to do to physically prepare your home for the change of seasons. For example, when cold weather strikes, it’s time to roll up the outdoor hoses, close your pool, clean out your gutters, check your hot water tank, re-caulk your windows, and more.

One essential thing to check on regardless of the time of year is your HVAC system. You’ll want to make sure you have air conditioning when the hot days of summer make their appearance, as well as heat when the blistering days of winter arrive. Getting an HVAC tune-up from a service professional can ensure your system gets any repairs or maintenance it needs to function properly.

Stock Your Cabinets with Seasonal Food

Many fruits and vegetables only grow seasonally, meaning you can only get them at specific times. Don’t squander this opportunity. Instead of stocking up on processed foods, fill your refrigerator with fresh, locally grown produce. This will prevent you from overindulging on sugary, processed foods during the lull of winter or the excitement of summer.

Retrieve Your Seasonal Clothing

There’s a good chance you have a bag of winter or summer clothes stuffed away in the attic. Don’t forget to go get it before you’re stuck wearing jeans and a sweater on a 90-degree day. Take the opportunity to go through some of your older clothing and donate it to a homeless shelter or other charity. Spring isn’t the only time for cleaning.

There’s no need to panic when the seasons change. By keeping your home updated for the appropriate time of year, you’ll always be prepared for what the world throws at you.

Cyber Security Solution for Your Child’s Smartphone

It is often hard to regulate which sites your children are visiting online. Whether it is on their mobile phones or desktops, there are dangers lurking all around the web. Your child may be getting tricked by a hacker and revealing a ton of your family’s personal information, without even knowing it. You may not have realized it but your smartphone is at risk of being hacked or attached with viruses and malware just as your home computer is. Did you know that your phone can be hacked while it’s in your purse or pocket without you being aware? The key to protecting your phone is to install an antivirus app such as the AVG Antivirus that can assist you in keeping those hackers  away. Do not leave yourself open to viruses, malware, or attacks from hackers who would use your confidential information to do you harm. Here are a few ways the AVG Antivirus App can assist in protecting your smartphone from cyber-attacks.

Dodge Dangerous Apps

With the mobile antivirus from AVG, you can protect yourself whenever you’re downloading apps to your smartphone. Unfortunately, apps that you download may contain malware, viruses, or spyware that could wreak havoc on your device. By having this installed before you download, you can prevent those dangerous apps from taking over your phone. The app works silently in the background to scan and protect your phone from dangerous apps and viruses.

Other Features Added

If you lose your phone you can track it down via Google Maps with the AVG app added to your phone. You can also lock your phone remotely and even wipe it clean if you feel it is lost for good. There are other features you’re sure to enjoy such as the ability to passcode lock your files and photos to keep prying eyes from gaining access. There’s also a great feature that allows the app to run silently in the background and help monitor your battery life and even data usage. It will kill tasks that are taking up your battery life and also scan Wi-Fi access to make sure you’re protected at all times.

Download Avg for android here.