Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or by one of our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. Most people experience challenges when it comes to keeping some cash for use in the future. Especially as parents, it is crucial for you to focus on your long-term goals. The goal could be to save money for home renovation, purchase a car, buy a home, or start a business. To succeed in saving the target amount, you have to start monitoring your spending habits and reduce expenses. Here are some of the best saving boosting products on the market.

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    Open an Individual Savings Account (ISA)

    Opening an ISA at your preferred financial institution is one of the best products that will boost savings. At the end of every week or month, you deposit a certain amount of money in the ISA account. It will help you grow savings efficiently without paying taxes, as you are limited to £20,000 each year. Once you lock your cash in the deposit account for a fixed period, you earn an interest income which adds money to your account.

    Automate Savings (Use an App)

    To boost your savings further, it is crucial to automate savings into your ISA. You can you use automated programs to transfer a certain amount of money to your account. You can set the app to deposit at payday or several times during the month.

    No Credit Card

    To increase your savings, limit access to cash in the account. Put the funds in your savings account, which is not linked to a credit card.

    Lifetime ISA

    A lifetime ISA can help you increase your savings. You can use the cash to purchase your first home or use it after retirement. Once you save £4,000 per year, you get 25% bonus in your account from the government. The maximum amount is £1,000 and age limit is 50. Additionally, lifetime ISAs can have cash or stocks or combination of the two.

    Help to Buy ISA

    In case you are saving to purchase a first home, you should consider keeping cash in a help to buy ISA. The account attracts a government boost of 25% of the amount of savings. The maximum bonus is £3,000. It is available for first time home buyers.

    Stocks and Shares ISA

    The account allows you to invest your money in a flexible and tax-efficient manner. It offers higher returns than a cash savings account. The gains are tax-free, and you can invest up to £20,000. The stocks and shares ISA allows you to invest in the best portfolio. You can spend on shares, cash, bonds, or commodities, but remember, your capital is always at risk.

    Pay Debts

    Paying old debts such as education loans, will not only improve your credit score, but also boost your ability to save. Once you have repaid all old debts, you can focus on increasing your savings. Subscriptions To increase your savings, you need to reconsider whether you need various subscriptions services. You can reduce payments to magazines, premium channels subscriptions among others to lower monthly bills and boost savings. Do you really use that gym membership (be honest)? Can you reduce your phone bill?

    Coffee and Other Unnecessary Spending

    If you love coffee, you can cut daily visits to café and start making coffee at home. Importantly, reduce shopping on items not in the budget.

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    Consult a Financial Advisor

    Set aside some cash to purchase a book on savings tips or consult an advisor. The guide will motivate you to continue savings and we love stuff that motivates you!

     

  2. We have had lots of discussions with friends recently about planning for the future and so many of our friends don't have the "pension pot" that their parents did but are choosing property over pensions. The theory is that property is an investment and unless something really terrible happens, you are never going to actually lose money on it. (fingers crossed).

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    Lots of people now have "blended" families with two people coming together after divorce and are faced with the dilemma of having two houses. Again, so many of our friends have chosen to live in one house and rent out the other. Sounds simple doesn't it? What I didn't realise was all the red tape involved in this from changing your mortgage to the different insurances you need. You need a crash course in the etiquettes and rules of renting not to mention a guide for first time landlords on property insurance.

    Quotezone Landlord

    There are lots of things to consider but equally you avoid all the costs and headaches associated with selling a home too. Ultimately, if you rent your old house out rather than sell it, you could end up over time with a valuable asset that generates a regular income ..... which maybe better than the ever reducing pension pots that our forecast for our generation!

    What do you think?

  3. What better way to celebrate Valentines than with your BFF and a L.O.L Surprise!  (Or Galentines on the 13th February, which is the new way to celebrate those girl friends you love). Even more exciting is to share the love with the NEW L.O.L Surprise Series 3 and the introduction of the Confetti Pop!

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    This Spring, L.O.L. Surprise! Confetti Pop launches in the UK on the 14th February with nine brand new surprises including new dolls, new accessories and a new surprise water feature. The L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop looks similar to the first two series in shape and style and although you have your zips to "unlock" the treasures inside you suddenly get to the balls which has a "spin me" instruction to reveal sets of doors. (excitement levels definitely increased at this bit)

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    Not only does the L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop have outfits, accessories, shoes and dolls - hidden amongst the layers is a ribbon, inviting you to pull and reveal a confetti pop! surprise which can be enjoyed over and over again. (we struggled with the over and over again bit but to be honest, once the doll is out that is all they care about!) The "pop" feature is exciting but definitely needs a little adult or older children's help to actually make it pop but the little LOL Surprise! jumping out is great fun.

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    So once you have "popped" the LOL Surprise! Doll out of her ball (be prepared for the confetti) you can create your cute little character. At £10.99 the Confetti Pop is slightly more expensive than the previous series but I think that they have definitely injected a new excitement for little ones to enjoy.

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    To compliment the Confetti Pop, they are also launching the series 3 L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sisters. They have five surprises and the clue hints at which doll is hidden inside. Reveal stickers, accessories and a doll. The surprises don’t stop there – bathe your doll to reveal her colour change water surprise. Her ball can become either a keyring or bath set. Mix and match the adorable accessories with both the L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop and L.O.L Surprise! Pets. There are 35+ L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sisters dolls to collect in series 3. 

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    We have previously had LOL Suprise! Dolls as gifts and used for rewards and every time there is something new to find and discover. They are great collectables and my daughter and her friends will play with them for hours, so at the same price you can pay for a couple of magazines, there are so many more hours of fun to be had!

    The new Series 3 get a huge thumbs up from us and are no doubt going to be popping up on most little ones wishlists this year!

    L.O.L. Surprise!TM Series 3 is for children aged 6+ and is available from all good toy retailers including Smyths and The Entertainer. For more information, visit https://lolsurprise.mgae.com/

  4. I have talked a lot about my girls education and have made no secret of doing everything in my power to help them on their school journey. My eldest has enjoyed tutoring in the past but my youngest daughter is yet to experience the joys of SATS but with Key Stage 1 SATS on the horizon, we have been checking out some of the Letts KS1 Revision Guides to see how useful they can be.

    KS1 English SATs Revision Guide

    At Key Stage 1 (Year 2), every child will take official SATs in reading and maths. They will also be assessed by their own  teacher on speaking and listening, writing and science.The Letts Revision Guides give handy tips for parents throughout the guides and the books encourage the "little and often" rule. It is not about intensively coaching your children but to present revision as a small part of school life. 

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    There are a range of books available for the core subjects of English, Science and Maths and the guides have top tips and ideas on how to test your children using every day examples such as looking at house numbers, not always just looking in the books. 

    KS1 Maths SATs Revision Guide

    Personally I have found it useful as a parent to help me to understand what the children are being assessed and measured on. It also looks at the what and why ...... such as what ARE fractions!

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    One of the good things about the Letts Revision Guides is that if your child learns best through listening, then you can use the free Letts audio book wherever the headphone symbol is shown.  Every child learns differently, so having this consideration is a big plus.

    KS1 Science Revision and Practice

    The books are well laid out and easy to use. We found that they were easy to pick up and put down without feeling too much like we were "cramming" for a test. KS1 is the first real assessment that our children face and while the Department for Education proposes replacing the much-maligned tests with a teacher assessment when children start school, this is still under consultation.

    Letts have been helping children and parents along their education journeys for years and we are therefore delighted to give you the chance to win a set that includes

    • Letts KS1 English SATs Revision Guide
    • Letts KS1 Maths SATs Revision Guide
    • Letts KS1 Science Revision and Practice
    • Stationery set

    Win a Letts KS1 Revision Set

    Good luck!

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: 1 of 5 Letts Revision Guides & Stationery Sets
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 05/03/2018 at 12am