Home Uncomforts: The Most Difficult Parts Of Being A Self-Employed Parent

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When you’re looking for the two most difficult jobs in the world, naturally, being a parent is right up there. But throw into the mix being self-employed, either as a freelancer or running your own business, and therein lies lots of conflicts. We all have our crosses to bear, and when we enter into the life of the self-employed, we should know exactly how stressful it can be. But, much like the period before your first child was born, it was a lot of uncertainty, and this is a parallel when you do take that leap and go self-employed. But what are the most common stresses about being a self-employed parent?

 

Different Finances

Whether you are running a business, you are dependent on the gig economy to provide a living, the paycheck will vary from job to job, and month to month. This can be something very difficult to get your head around because our children don’t understand the concept of money, and why should they? They rely on us to provide for them, and if we encounter difficulty in providing the essentials for our children, we will likely have to look for more work. If you struggle to get together a decent amount of money to pay for those expensive baby purchases, especially when their birthday or Christmas comes around, it means doing more work. On the other hand, you need to be savvier with regards to your financial outgoings. It’s advisable at this point to invest, and do what little you can now so that it will make life easier for you later on. Something like peer to peer lending can be worthwhile, but it feels like an expense early on in the process. This is the game of investing, unfortunately, and remember, if you haven’t made the big purchase as in life, like a house, you need to keep close scrutiny on your credit score, this is essential now.

 

A Lack Of Social Interaction

This is especially true if you are a single or a stay at home parent; you’ve got a lot of work to do, and that’s just the child! We know that our social life goes by the wayside when a child is born, but it’s exactly the same when you go self-employed. Because you’ve got to put that little bit more work into finding employment, and you combine this with doing what you can to nurture your child and give them the basics, you may find very little time to get the opportunity to relax and spend time by yourself. Much like those articles on the work-life balance state, it’s all about excessive scheduling. If you really want to make time for yourself, then build it into a timetable. It never sounds appealing, but if you want some balance, you’ve got to go down this route!

 

The Excessive Life Admin…

Finding jobs, doing your accounts, keeping on top of the files, and, lest we forget, you’ve got a business to run! The business of yourself, or under a company name, or requires many different hats. The amount our life admin can weigh us down. Luckily, when you get to the point that you can hire outside help, either by employing freelancers to do key aspects of the job, or, you need to cook the books, it’s lucky that for self-employed people, and business owners in general, there are various financial advisors around. The best option when picking a financial advisor is to go for the most comprehensive. A company like Brown, Smith & Wallace have so many different sectors that you can find what you looking for. When you are self-employed, it’s advisable to get an accountant, and you may be loathe to get one because of the drain on your finances, but once you are fully up and running, paying someone a fee to do these annoying little tasks will take the pressure off you. Think about it as a parent, instead of spending 4 hours going through your expenses that is an afternoon out with your child!

 

So Many Spinning Plates!

You learn quickly how to apply for a gig while your child has their nap, and likewise, you will clean the kitchen while doing your utmost to get that important client. Learning to spin all these plates can mean you will become overwhelmed. Some would argue that you are putting too much stress on yourself when you are trying to do so many things at the same time, but, again, this goes back to the work-life balance. If you spend a lot of your time at home, you are running the risk of blurring the working day with your home life. But, if you are so early on in the self-employed process that is essential for you to keep going, then it’s about making life easier for you. Don’t work hard, work smart! This is all about making tools at your disposal easier for you to accomplish everything. You might have seen businesses talk about the automation process, and think how you can do this in your day-to-day life. There are things you can do. One fantastic way to cut down on your typing time is to invest in speech to text software. If you don’t have the time being skills of a secretary, using software to type the words up for you is going to be the biggest lifesaver. Essentially, you can type as fast as you talk! And if you don’t have the money for a sophisticated piece of software, the Google Keyboard is a very handy edition for those who have android phones.

 

The Steep Learning Curve

Last, but not least, it’s the steepest of learning curves. Work-life balance is one of those things that crops up all the time, but if you’re trying to raise a child, and the same time raise your business profile, this means a lot of hours. You may thrive on this nonstop approach to work, or you may find it to be your undoing. Either way, consider the tasks ahead of you before you embark on this journey. These are a few of what you will encounter, but if you’re ready to face the challenge, you will accomplish the task of parenting and self-employment with sheer gusto!

 

Why You Never Want A Weak Credit Score

Most people never think about the condition of their credit scores until it’s too late, and that can cause many issues. Those who have weak credit ratings will struggle in lots of different areas, and this article will highlight some of the most severe. Hopefully, reading about these issues now will ensure you work hard to maintain your perfect rating in the future.

Credit card problems

Everyone needs access to credit cards these days because they provide a source or funding when money is tight. However, those with credit score problems will never get the best interest rates, and so they’ll always end up paying over the odds for their borrowing.

Mortgage issues

There is an infographic below that tells you everything you need to know about how credit ratings can affect mortgages. However, it stands to reason that people who can’t get a credit card company to lend them a couple of thousand dollars will never secure hundreds of thousands from the bank.

Contract deal stumbling blocks

Lots of things come with yearly contracts these days like smartphones and internet services. Some of the companies offering those deals will perform a credit check before approving each client. You’re never going to pass that is you have a weak credit score.

As you can see from the information on this page, working on your credit rating is essential if you want to live a hassle-free life. So, now you just need to take a look online at some tips that will help you to make improvements.


Infographic title: What Are the Minimum Credit Scores Need for a Mortgage?

Pet Owners: Here’s How to Manage Fido’s Finances

Your pet is a part of your family, whether it’s furry, feathery or has scales. You want to look after them as best you can, which can sometimes get expensive. If you don’t want your pet to drain your bank account each month, or to spend all your savings on unexpected veterinary costs, managing your pet-based finances is essential. There are lots of ways you can save money so that you can take excellent care of your pet. Whether you want to spend less on a pet (or pets) that you already have, or you’re planning on bringing a new member into your family, take a look at some of the ways you can manage your pet financials.

 

Budgeting for Daily Expenses

 

Every pet has certain expenses to meet its needs on a daily basis. Usually, that will include food, at least. Some pets might need bedding that needs to be changed often or perhaps material for toileting, such as cat litter. Fish and reptiles might also have expenses such as heat lamps or aquarium pumps, which will add to your electricity bill. Budgeting for these expenses will ensure that they are factored into your usual regular costs. You might take them into account when you consider your grocery spend or when you look at your energy bills.

 

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Take Less Frequent Expenses Into Account

 

Some costs aren’t going to need thinking about every day or week, but you still need to consider them. For example, your cat or dog needs to have regular worming, tick and flea treatments to keep them healthy. Your dog might need to go to the groomers every few months for a healthy and beautiful coat. Your pets might need medical checkups each year, as well as preventative treatments and medical attention, such as vaccinations. You could also have other costs, such as pet sitting or boarding when you go on vacation. That’s why it’s also a good idea to think about the expenses your pet incurs across a whole year, and not just during one month.

 

Find Ways to Save

 

If you want to avoid spending too much, you can do that and still take good care of your pet. There are some things you probably don’t want to skimp on, such as food. However, you can choose a healthy and nutritious food brand and save money by buying in bulk or looking out for good offers. The same can be applied to other items you need to buy. You can also save by ensuring you give your pet the right amount of food, and that you don’t use too much of other items too. Whenever you need to spend money on your pet, look for the affordable options. If your dog needs to be groomed, they don’t need to go to a fancy pet spa if there’s a more affordable, quality groomer available.

 

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Taking Out Pet Insurance

 

Pet insurance is vital if you want to save money in the future. You can never predict if your pet might become ill or get hurt. If they do, it could cost you a lot of money to get the treatment your pet needs. While you might have some savings that can pay for these things, your money can only go so far. It would take you years to build up savings that would cover more expensive veterinary costs, such as complicated surgeries or treatment for long-term illnesses. Whereas, if you have pet insurance, you are usually covered within a matter of weeks. If you’re asked to come up with thousands to pay for treatment, the reassurance of having your pet insurance cover will allow you to get your pet the care they need. When you choose your insurance, make sure you balance the cost with all the factors to get the best policy.

 

Dealing with Insurance Claims

 

Knowing how to deal with your pet insurance company is also important if you want to make sure you don’t spend too much on your pets. If they need to go to the vet for an illness or injury, you need to know that your insurance will take care of any large costs. You will usually have to pay an excess before your insurance kicks in, but after that, you expect your insurance provider to cover you out if your policy says they will. If you find yourself struggling to make a claim, it can often make financial sense to hire a lawyer. If you’re facing high veterinary cost, you can get more info on how to fight for a pet insurance claim by getting in touch with an attorney. You can discuss your case, and they will advise you about what you can do. The right lawyer can help you argue that you are entitled to a payout from your insurance provider.

 

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Save at the Vets

 

Not all veterinary costs will be covered by your pet insurance policy. For example, the often won’t pay for preventative measures, such as vaccinations or spaying/neutering. Some costs also won’t be worth claiming for on your insurance policy. So you should see if there are ways you can save on visits to the vet. Firstly, your choice of veterinary practice is important. Some might be non-profit organizations, which can allow them to offer benefits such as free checkups or discounts on medication. Others might offer special packages or discounts to make routine care, medication or prescription food more affordable.

 

Preventing Expensive Vet Costs

 

Preventing expensive trips to the vet is also a good way to save money. If you make an effort to keep your pet healthy, you won’t have to deal with expensive emergency situations. For example, keeping your pet up to date with vaccinations and preventative treatments is a good start. Another important tip is to ensure your pets don’t eat anything they shouldn’t and that they can’t escape your home or run off anywhere dangerous. This will prevent accidents that could make them very ill or hurt.

 

Pets cost you money, and you need to be able to handle the financial responsibility they create. They deserve to be cared for properly.

 

When the Payments Aren’t Worth It

 

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You will go through your life paying, paying, and then paying some more. Most of the time, this is necessary. In fact, you will need to spend this money to survive. These payments can range from the small to the significant and can make your life that much better as you do it.

 

However, there are times where these payments just are not worth it, and this can have a disastrous effect on your finances. It might be that you are subscribed to services that you do not use. It could be that there are payments and charges on your credit card that are costing more than you might think. It could merely be that you are not getting the most out of what you are paying for, but are still clinging to that service ‘just in case’.

 

Whatever it might be, these payments have the potential to leave you in a lurch when it comes to needing to make substantial payments towards more essential purchases or costs. This can include unforeseen medical bills, repair costs, or savings that will be vital to keeping you afloat later on in life.

 

Ensuring that you can eliminate these costs from your monthly payments will allow you to free up your finances for a more stable economic future, and give you the opportunity to prepare for the best times as well as the worst.

 

INTEREST

 

Everybody will accrue interest during their lives. It is an inevitable part of making payments and using your credit card, as well as taking out loans to pay for substantial needs such as homes or car. But you need to make sure that you do not become overwhelmed by interest rates on your credit card that could end up costing you twice as much and more if you do not pay it off in time.

 

Most services will grant you a grace period of up to twenty-eight days to make a payment, and while you will always believe that you can make the payment, some things are bound to crop up that might get in the way. Because of this, it can be easy to fall behind on payments that will quickly stack up and only cause higher interest when you come to pay them.

 

Searching for alternative banking solutions that will allow you to manage your credit at less costly expense can provide you with the extra funds needed to start paying it off. While interest is a necessary evil, staying on top and making regular payments will not only ease the financial worry but also work towards improving your credit score.

 

RENTALS

 

Renting is often seen as a much more manageable solution when compared to buying. And this method of renting can include things such as a property to live in, to household utilities to holiday homes.

 

But as much as you might think it doesn’t cost much in the short-term, in the long run, it can prove to be ruinous for your bank account. Service that offer things such as rent-a-washer or -TV might appear to save you the cash upfront, but the interest (there it is again) that comes from this leaves you spending upwards of 100% more overall.

 

Furthermore, places such as holiday homes or, typically timeshares are very much a gamble, and so if you feel you aren’t getting your money’s worth, then working with services that will help you write and send timeshare cancellation letters will assist in eliminating these money drains from your life. While some rentals are a necessity in the current climate, there are others that are more of smokescreen and should be approached with caution.

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS

 

We have all been roped in by subscription services that offer a free month’s service and then start charging afterwards. And you will happily take up this subscription and promise yourself you will cancel before you get charged.

 

But it is very easy to forget about this and you there will be times where you wake up and see an unfamiliar payment come out of your bank account. Most people will cancel on the spot. However, others want to make the most of this extra month and promise themselves again that if they will cancel when the month is up.

 

Forgetting about these subscriptions, or merely not using the service will only end up with you paying and paying for something that is of no use to you. To combat this, either cancel immediately or set reminders on your phone to avoid further costs and spend that money on something that you need.

 

INSURANCE

 

Many people will often find the most convenient insurance plan and jump right on it because everything seems simple. However, as with most things in life, if something seems way too good to be true, then it probably is.

 

Your insurance is necessary towards keeping you secure from accidents, loss, or theft, and so it is vital to have in case of emergency. Despite this, though, you need to ensure that you find the right insurance policy for both you and your family if you want to make the most of it.

 

You will hope that disaster does not befall you, but the world is an unfair and unpredictable place, and so you can never truly prepare for everything that will happen. Having adequate insurance that can provide cover for all sorts of needs is vital to easing the costs should something go wrong.

 

When looking at insurance premiums, consider what is most essential to you and your family, and find a plan that benefits this. If you are paying for snowsports but have never sped down a mountain in your life, you probably don’t need it. If you like to travel, then getting substantial travel insurance to cover all costs is the way to go.

 

WORTH IT

 

Many payments seem very much worth it at first, but you need to consider how much you will be spending altogether. Paying $10 here and there for something may not seem like much, but these payments add up, and if you are not using the services enough, or if it turns out to cost you more than you believe it is worse, you can find yourself losing money quickly without even realising.

 

Taking stock of your financial situation and evaluating what you do and do not need to spend extra on will allow you to clear out any deadwood and relieve yourself of draining payments will allow you better financial freedom as well as a calmer mind.

 

Common Mistakes People Make When Preparing for the Future

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Planning for the future can be difficult. After all, it is hard to think about the many years ahead when there is so much going on now. However, if you do not plan for the future today, you could suffer during your retirement yours, or even worse, your children could suffer when you are no longer here. With that in mind, read on to discover the common mistakes to avoid when planning for the future.

Leaving it too late – The best time to plan for the future is when you are in your twenties. This is because you will benefit from compound interest, which means you make money on the interest you make! This will make it much easier for you to save because you will be able to put away small amounts every month. However, if you leave this until later in life, you are going to have to put away significant amounts of money, and you probably won’t have as much to show for it in the end.

Not getting your will put together professionally – This is one of the biggest mistakes people make. They don’t want to invest in professional will services because they deem it an unnecessary expense. However, if you take this task on yourself, and you make an error, it could mean that your will is invalid. Your children will then have to go through the costly and tiring process of challenging a will if they are to get anything. You can save all of this hassle by getting your will constructed by a legal expert to begin with.

Not budgeting today – It does not matter what your current financial situation is, you need to have a budget. This should involve a list of your incomings and your outgoings each month, showing you how much you have left over. Don’t leave out any expenses, no matter how insignificant they may seem. You will then need to deduct a realistic amount for living expenses, and you will see how much you can save each month. Without a budget, you are going to be wasting money. Moreover, even worse, you could be living beyond your means.

Not creating a retirement road map – The final mistake a lot of people make when planning for the future is failing to create a road map for their retirement. To do this, you need to ask yourself some key questions. What type of lifestyle do you want to lead when you retire? Are you going to have any income streams once you finish working? What are your family commitments? Do you have plans to travel? Are you going to pursue a hobby, and if so, how much will this cost? Do you have a mortgage or rental payments to fund?

If you can avoid the errors that have been mentioned above, you can give yourself the greatest chance of success when planning for your future. There is a lot to take into account, but it will all be worth it in the end, and it will give you great peace of mind too.

 

Mom Down: Handling Illness and Injury As A Parent

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Everyone knows that raising kids demands a lot of time, energy, and sacrifice. These are things that parents all willingly do, dedicating themselves to providing everything their children could possibly desire. We get up when it’s still dark outside to make packed lunches, and play chauffeur as they tour a thousand and one different after school clubs– and we do these things willingly.

 

However, there will be periods in your life when you suddenly… can’t. More than anything, you want to be able to get up and go about your life as normal, taking care of your kids and blasting through your to-do list, but circumstances have said otherwise.

 

The causes of “Mom down”

 

There are two main reasons you may find yourself incapacitated. The first is illness; maybe you’ve caught a dose of the ‘flu or just aren’t feeling yourself– whatever the cause, the result is that you can barely find the energy to sit up in bed, never mind go through your usual routine.

 

The second cause of “Mom down” is injury; perhaps you tripped when walking down the stairs, or have suffered a personal injury that requires the assistance of the likes of Babcock Partners to resolve. Either way, you find yourself struggling for your usual mobility. In some ways, injury is even more difficult to cope with than illness; you otherwise feel fine, but there’s a part of you that just isn’t working like it should. This can be incredibly frustrating.

 

Whether it’s illness or injury that is the cause of your sudden inability to parent quite like you usually would, you’re going to need to figure out how to cope– and that can be easier said than done. Below are a few generalized suggestions that should apply to most circumstances, so if you ever find yourself in a “Mom down” situation, you’ll be able to both parent and take care of your own health needs at the same time. Here’s how to do it.

 

#1 – Don’t be afraid to rely on others

 

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Whether it’s your partner, your parents, or your best friend, it’s important to acknowledge that you’re going to have to rely on others during your convalescence. Your kids’ lives are going to continue, but you’re not going to be able to assist in the way you normally would. Relying on others is a key part of helping to ensure a good continuity of life for your children until you recover.

 

If you are struggling for support — either due to lack of choice or people being too busy to assist — then it is worth considering part-time help, such as a nanny, while you’re in recovery. This is only necessary for long-term conditions, as most kids will adjust fine to a week or two of life not quite as they know it, but if you’re going to be down for longer, then you may want to consider the professional options.

 

#2 – Follow your treatment tips exactly

 

How often do you do exactly what your doctor tells you?

 

If you’re anything like 99.9% of people, the answer to the above question is likely to be… sometimes. Most of us follow doctor’s orders until they become inconvenient to us; we don’t finish a course of antibiotics because we forget, or we push ourselves a little too far when we’re really not well enough to do so.

 

If you want to get back to normal as quickly as possible, do try to follow all the advice from the medical professionals involved in your care. Of course, this is tough. It’s difficult to resist the urge to just drive your youngest to soccer practice or head to the grocery store to pick up your child’s favorite meal, but resisting is actually beneficial in the long run. Resisting ensures that you will recover, fully, faster. It’s better to be “down” for two weeks completely than for four weeks while struggling.

 

#3 – Let the usual rules slide

 

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When you are restricted as to where you can go and what you can do, you may need to lift your usual restrictions on how much TV your kids can watch or whether or not they can play indoors. If this is the case, it’s fine. A few weeks of this isn’t going to harm them, and you can return to normal as soon as you’re back on your feet. A little indulgence that gives you space to recover should be beneficial for both you and your children in the long run.

 

#4 – Be honest with your kids

 

No matter how young your children are, they will want to know what’s happening and why you’re not your usual self. Children are very perceptive and sensitive, and even if you just smile and insist you’re fine, they’re going to be able to intuit that you’re not.

 

You don’t need to go into graphic details in terms of an explanation on your health, but a basic explanation is better than just saying “I’m just tired, honey” or “I need to sit down for awhile”. If possible, try and relate the situation something they have experienced: “remember when you had that tummy bug and had to sleep for a few days? It’s like that for mommy right now…”. This helps them to understand the situation, even if they don’t quite comprehend the reason behind it.

 

#5 – Practice absolute germ control

 

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If you are ill with a condition that can be passed between people, it is wise to introduce strict germ control into your home– even if that means going without those precious hugs from your children for a few days. This is tough, but it’s necessary. You’re not going to have the strength to care for your kids if they fall ill too, so avoidance can sometimes be the safest bet.

 

Of course, avoidance is no guarantee that illness won’t spread; bugs do tend to pass through a family very quickly. However, taking a few steps to limit the risk of the infection spreading is better than nothing, and hopefully luck will be on your side too.

 

In conclusion

 

When you’re unwell or injured, the fact that you can’t be as active and involved in your kids’ lives is always going to grate. However, if you follow the above, you should make it through to the other side, and normal life can resume.

 

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What No One Tells You About Running A Successful Business

If you have recently launched your startup from home while trying to balance the burden of a new business with the responsibility of being a good mom, you are not alone. The idea of mompreneurship is becoming more and more popular in the twenty-first century due to the ability to run a business from the comfort of your own home and the opportunity to fit your work life around your family life. You may be designing bespoke greetings cards, knitting and selling kids clothes or providing accountancy services to SMEs. Whatever it is that you have chosen to specialize in, you have relinquished the luxury of full-time employment, a steady wage and promotion prospects for the opportunity to strike out alone.

 

However, what happens when your venture really takes off to become a lucrative money making empire? No one tells you what to expect when you see the sales stacking up, the revenue increasing and your cash flow buoyant. How do you manage your money and what are you going to do with your ever-increasing profits? Take a look at how you can ensure that you spend your business cash wisely.

 

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Expansion

 

Although you may have started out with a small, nuanced and restrictive business vision, this may now need rethinking. If your turnover is going through the roof and your business is becoming a market leader, you will need to take a step back and assess the journey that you are taking in the world of mompreneurship.

 

Before you spend or do anything, you need to employ the services of a high-quality accountant to help you decide how best to spend your company’s money. They will help you construct a five-year business plan. This will take stock of where you are now and attempt to secure the foundations of your business while keeping an eye on expansion. This will be closely tied in with your business vision. Do you need physical stores? Could you do with moving to a large office? Once a business becomes successful and large, working from home may no longer be an option.

 

Alongside your accountant, you can work out how much to budget for new office space, software, computers and employees. If you have grand plans for your startup, you may want to alter your business vision a tad and aim big. There’s nothing wrong with striving for a ten-store chain of shops or a 50% market share of the business. You may even want to take a foray on the international stage. If you have a product or service that you think will translate successfully in overseas territories, you could explore trialling your business abroad. If you are nervous about taking the plunge, why not carry out some market research first to see if your expansion plans are viable.

 

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Staff

 

As you grow, you will inevitably need to take on staff to help you with the continued successful running of the business. New roles may emerge, and you cannot be expected to shoulder the burden of them all. While you don’t mind putting a financial hat on, working in HR, doing some of the admin and making a good cup of tea, the thought of constructing an international online marketing campaign may scare you to death. The Proactive Broker Network suggests that you consider using some of your profits to invest in the development and well-being of your staff. Pay an above market rate wage, implement a bonus structure and have a solid pension plan available to all employees. By investing in your staff, you will be able to retain the highest caliber of employee, maintain a high morale within your team and have a cohesive and happy ethos in the office.

 

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Your Environment

 

Having the luxury of a buoyant cash flow means you could have your pick of premises. You won’t have to make do with a dive of an office in the least salubrious part of town. If your business relies on footfall, you can select a premises in the center of town in the thick of things. You may be able to afford a high street position, a large spacious office and an office space in which your staff team are happy and pleased to work in.

 

Invest in some decent ergonomically designed furniture, add a smattering of greenery to the office and set up that all-important chill out zone. Your staff will appreciate a chance to relax, kick back with a games console and then return to their duties within the workplace refreshed and reinvigorated. Remember that a happy employee is a productive employee.

 

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Technology

 

If you have a swollen business wallet, you are in the fortunate position of being able to have your pick of the latest industry-specific software that you might want to exploit. In the twenty-first century, businesses are becoming more reliant on software than ever before. Technology enables companies to be more efficient, save money and become more successful. Not investing some of your business profits into technology would be foolish.

 

You may want to splash the cash on some new hardware, laptops, communications software or payroll software. Consider what your rivals are using, take advantage of free trials and analyze how each piece of kit can benefit your business. Just because you have the cash to spend doesn’t mean you should waste it on needless equipment and software that is expensive yet never gets used. Before you make a purchase, make a list of the inefficiencies that you need to overcome and only buy the software and equipment that will help you achieve this aim.

 

Running a successful business should be easier than running a struggling one. And it is. However, there are still pressures and stresses in ensuring that you are spending your money wisely, growing your capabilities and expanding in the right way. Follow this advice and your mompreneur status could go from a work from home startup to a money-making empire.

 

What are the Foundations of a Successful marriage?

A successful marriage is based on many elements, and can really depend on the kind of person you have married. Many you have married someone who can provide for you, or maybe you provide for them. Perhaps you get on really well with your partner’s family and friends, or perhaps some of them you clash with. Perhaps you have things in common with them, like hobbies or interests, or maybe you are opposites that fit well together. Whoever you married all them years ago, and whoever you are married to now, there are important elements to all relationships that make them successful. No matter who you are, or who you have both become, there are elements that everyone can practise to encourage their marriage to grow and thrive. Read on to find out some ways on which you can nurture you marriage, and help it grow to its full potential.

 

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Communication

 

This is key to any relationship you have, whether that is with your kids, your co-workers, or your partner. It is difficult to empathise, or to understand the other person if you cannot talk to them. Communication is not just about talking to other person, it is also about being honest too.  Communicating honestly helps the other person to understand your state of mind, and the kind of thoughts you are having. This is so essential to move forward from anything that has happened within your marriage, or even to arranging dinner dates.

 

Communication is not just about being able to talk about your own thoughts and feelings, it is about being able to listen and react to what your partner is saying as well. A healthy relationship is all about understanding how the other person is feeling, and working through problems by talking about them. If you learn to listen and communicate well, and learn how to articulate your thoughts and feelings, then whatever comes your way you will be able to tackle it head on.

 

Other Options

 

It is always a choice to stay within a marriage, and it is a choice to leave it as well, which any party can do at any time. Ending your marriage doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t love that person anymore, and it certainly doesn’t mean your children will be any worse off. If you feel this is the best thing for you and your family, consider a local divorce attorney.  You can still have a healthy relationship with your ex-partner, and it might even be healthier than your marriage. If this is the best option for you and your family, although it might be difficult, with goodwill and good communication, everyone involved might be able to be better off from this decision. Although no one wants, or often sees this is their future, it is the best option for many families.

 

There are loads of elements to having a good relationship, but communication is definitely one of the most important ones. Practising this will not only help your marriage, but all your other relationships too.

 

Choosing a Car that’s Fit for all the Family

Choosing a new family car isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Gone are the days where you picked a car for its cool colour, or because the top comes off!

 

Before you know it, you need to transport an army of kids, friends, dogs, luggage, pushchairs and elderly relatives. So, you need to look for something strong, big and safe that’s going to look after your most precious things in the world. Here are a few key things to remember when choosing for your four-wheel family, now and in years to come, as well as some advice on saying goodbye to your old car.

 

 

Image credit: Pexals.com

 

Make room for storage.

Whether it’s food, drink, toys or books, pick a car that has lots of storage, otherwise it will all just end up on the floor! Some cars come with some great little secret pockets hidden away.

 

Child-friendly interiors.

As with anything you buy with children around, you’ll want to make sure the inside of your shiny new car isn’t going to get ruined. So, it should ideally be a dark colour, as we all know how easy it is for a spillage to happen and little muddy footprints to appear.

 

Check out the 10 best American family cars for some inspiration.

 

Can you switch off the airbag?

For mums with teeny tiny ones who want to fit a rear-facing child seat to the front seat, you will need to deactivate the front airbag. Always remember to activate it when an adult gets in though. If you do have teeny tiny ones, finding the right car seat is also a very important aspect to consider. You can get some great advice for what to look for in a child’s car seat here.

 

Will it be a push to get your pushchair in?

With the great range of cars that are available now, you shouldn’t struggle to find one that you can get your pushchair in. However, some boots can look quite spacious, but if the opening isn’t big enough, then it’s of no use to anyone.

 

Four-wheel drive.

Firstly, you’ve got to ask yourself if you need a four-wheel drive. The idea might sound fun and conjure up images of taking your family on an exciting off-road adventure, plus it’s obviously safer if you were to go to places with ice and snow. However, cars with four-wheel drive will cost you more to fill up at the pump.

 

Wide opening doors.

The best family cars have wide-opening doors, as trying to get a child seat through a narrow door is an extra hassle busy mums can do without. This is especially important if you have a bad back or often transport elderly family members that find it tricky to get in and out.

 

Saying goodbye to your old car.

For whatever reason you’re saying goodbye to your old car, take a look at all the options available, from online to auctions. If there is a more serious reason for you having to part with your car and you or a family member have been injured, a personal injury attorney will be able to offer you professional care.

 

Tips for teenage drivers.

If your children are slightly older, it won’t be long before you know it and you’ll be having to decide on the best car for them. To make sure you’re prepared, here is some great advice to get them on the road without breaking the budget.

 

Woody Woodpecker {Movie Review + Giveaway}

 

Synopsis:

Woody Woodpecker is back with his signature laugh, wacky antics and wisecracks in his first ever live-action/animated film. Woody must protect his forest home from Lance Walters , who starts building his dream mansion in the forest with his son, Tommy , and fiancée, Vanessa . To make matters worse, Woody must avoid the clutches of two grizzly poachers. With a series of crazy hijinks to sabotage their plans, Woody proves he’ll stop at nothing to defend his turf. Get ready for laughs in this hilarious comedy about everyone’s favorite woodpecker!

Woody Woodpecker is a legendary icon created by Walter Lantz in 1940. Woody Woodpecker & Friends have entertained kids for more than 75 years! Woody Woodpecker cartoons appeared in theaters until they debuted on television in 1957. Woody’s popularity resulted in new shows airing across several decades. “The Woody Woodpecker Show” has been broadcast in over 155 territories and 105 languages worldwide. He is one of the most memorable cartoon characters in animation history, featuring the little red –headed bird with the unforgettable laugh, who’s forever pecking his way out of trouble. Woody has evolved from a cartoon TV character to a Pop Culture Icon with his fearlessness, crazy antics and smarts.

My Thoughts:

I’ve loved Woody Woodpecker since I was a kid. It’s one of my all time favorite childhood memories and I am beyond excited that I get to share that memory with my kiddos now.  This movie will have you laughing for days! It’s full of action and funny moments that the whole family will enjoy, regardless of age.   I highly recommend this movie for family night. Your family will thank you for it!

 

Purchase it!

Woody Woodpecker arrives on DVD, Digital and On Demand on February 6, 2018! Make sure to grab your copy!

Activity Sheets!

Giveaway!

1 lucky TCMS reader will win a DVD copy of Woody Woodpecker along with the Woody Woodpecker soundtrack!  Simply comment below and tell me who you want to win this Woody prize pack for. Giveaway ends on 2/16. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to claim their prize.