» Views & Ramblings category
Posted on 9:39pm Wednesday 24th Apr 2013
We have talked quite alot about finances on the Lilypad lately but this is important to growing families, with ever reducing budgets due to the rising cost of living. So can changing bank accounts save you money and how easy can it be to change?
I have changed utility providers before and have always used online comparison sites but I think sometimes we open a bank account and never look to see if it continues to provide us with the best deal and options for our money. (I am guilty of this, as I still have the bank account that gave money boxes for savings goals as a child!)
We don't claim to be financial experts but in the words of Martin Lewis "Switching CAN make you £100s. While banking is 'free', this only applies if you're in credit. Most banks pay a pitiful 0.1% interest on your money then loan it out as overdrafts at 20%. So, even if you like the service, if it's so good, are you willing to pay £100s in lost benefit?"
There are lots of options available and we are not here to suggest anyone in particular but to serve as a reminder that changing your bank account or indeed loan or mortgage could save you hundreds of pounds. Using a comparison site or budgeting tool, like the one we found on family friendly site MyFamilyClub definately helps to reduce the search.
Budgeting for a family can be a juggling act, whether you are living day to day or saving money for your children's future, so it's great to know that we can save money by using a simple budgeting tool to make simple changes. At this point, I usually make a comment about saving money means I can buy more shoes but the rate my daughters are growing, I think it will be more shoes for them instead!
Posted on 11:35am Monday 22nd Apr 2013
Listed under: Views & Ramblings
We were inspired by a discussion on our Facebook page about the choices of having more children, so when Halifax asked us about parents managing their finances responsibly, it made us consider how careful parents need to be.
I vividly remember a friend once telling me that if you waited till you could afford children, then you would probably never have them. I always thought babies were expensive, with the cost of nappies, wipes and clothes that they grow out of every 3 months .... that was until I had a 7 year old. When the children are little, you have control over their expenditure but as they grow up, the outside influences tend to have an influence on your bank account too. When children reach school age there are the limitless requests for money for this activity or that school trip, not to mention all the after school clubs and birthday parties that ensue.
So our Facebook discussion asked about "how many children is enough" and interestingly alot of responses were more than the average 2.4 children. So many of our followers had 3 or more, with one lady having an amazing 7 children (I was totally in awe) but there was a general consensus that parenting is a hard job on its own without the pressure of providing for more and more children. However, the ultimate response was if you can provide for them (and cope with them), then you should have as many as you like!
Juggling your finances in the current economic climate can be difficult and there is no doubt that no matter how careful we all are, there will always be that surprise cost that comes just when the money has run out. My mum always taught us that if you can't afford it, then you shouldn't have it but if you are responsible, there are some great interest free Halifax credit cards. I am not advocating running up huge credit bills but with 0% interest rates available, it gives you time to repay the card, without additional cost to your family.
I have had a Halifax bank account for years and unlike some banking establishments, they have always provided a great service and been totally transparent, which is what you need from a bank. Having the ability to apply for services online always appeals to me and being able to manage it online is an added bonus for busy parents who don't have the time to physically pop into a bank. Parents are generally busy folk and making sure that we all make the right choices for our family is paramount, whether that is deciding on something simple like a credit card or one of those life changing decisions about having another baby!
Disclaimer: Whilst Halifax approached us to write this post, I personally held an account with Halifax for over 10 years and have used their credit card services, so this post is from a personal perspectivie, not a comercial one.