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 or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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. Schools may teach your teen everything he needs to know about their plan for the future, but it doesn’t teach them other important life skills and values like doing a tax return, practising compassion and managing personal finance.

    It is never too early to sit down with your teen and brush up on some important money lessons that can help him a lot during his impending adulthood. We have put together 7 of the most valuable money lessons we think you need to teach your teen.

    7 Money Lessons to Teach your Teen

    Making a Choice

    The right steps usually start with having the right mindset- encourage your teen to have a healthy money mindset, and they will be more likely to stick to it. Remind them that everything in life has a cost, and they can pick what he wants, but they can’t possibly buy everything. Advise them to make conscious choices about where they wants to spend their money.

    Avoid Impulse Buys

    We’re all guilty of this one- from that irresistible sale to just something cute that catches our eye- we often tend to buy things impulsively, and end up regretting it almost instantly! Help your teen understand the difference between wants and needs and remind them to ask themself whether they really needs something when they are about to go make a purchase. A good idea is to ask them to wait for a day before they make the purchase- this will help them make the decision in a more level headed manner.

    Making a Budget

    You know how much of a difference this can make when you’re trying to save up for something or are just looking to get your money matters back on track, and yes, now's the right time for your teen to learn it too! Encourage your teen to create a budget from their monthly allowance, and set particular amounts for particular expenses, and to try and stick to it as much as they can.

    Keeping Track of Finances

    This one’s just an extension of creating a budget, but again, is super important! Get your teen to download a money tracking app on their phone or just use an old diary to note down their expenses. This will help them get more organized not just on the financial front, but also in other parts of their life.

    Every Penny Counts

    Remind your teen that saving is cool, and that every little penny that they puts into the piggy bank today will add up, and turn into a big amount in the future. If there’s something they want to purchase, encourage them to start saving for it, and then ask them to pay for it when they finally manage to do it- the feeling of responsibility and satisfaction that comes with doing this can be refreshing and can bring about a positive change in your teen!

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    Having an Emergency Fund

    Creating and maintaining an emergency fund is again, a crucial money lesson you need to teach your teen. Remind them of how these little savings can help them in the days when they are actually in need of funds and can keep them prepared in days of personal financial crisis.

    Contentment & Sharing

    Last, but definitely not the least, as a parent, you need to teach your teen about giving too! Encourage them to donate a certain amount every month- even if it is small, and share with those that are less fortunate. Allow them to experience the joy of giving, and at the same time, teach them to be content with what they has, and not fall into the comparison trap.

    And finally, make sure you too, as a parent, are a good role model for your teen, and that you too, make wise choices when it comes to money. After all, kids tend to learn from what their parents do, and not what their parents tell them to do!

  2. Childhood memories can be a funny thing and I am frequently saying to my husband that we need to give the children memories not material things. I remember the holidays we had when I was a child and bizarrely I remember the cars we had. I can even quote the number plate from the brand new Ford Sierra we had when I was about 10 or 11.

    Childhood Car Trip Memories

    Bizarrely I also remember that song by Janis Joplin that went …..

    Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz
    My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. 
    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends, 
    So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

    (Sorry if that is stuck in your head all day now!!)

    There are strong leather smells that evoke memories of travelling in the back of my Mums Triumph 2000 with its plush spring seats and no rear seat belts (it is horrifying to think that we just used to slide around in the back of the car).

    My dad was (and still is by trade) a mechanic and we would always have a car being built in our garage at home and spare parts from WWW.SPAREPARTSTORE.CO.UK were almost part of the furniture. My brother and I have fond memories of his latest project being ready “for Christmas” ….. although I have a feeling that we may still be waiting on completion. I remember being taken to school in a variety of different cars that my dad was working on, from luxurious Mercedes and Jaguars, through to hand painted vans and Hot Rods. I was always a little embarrassed getting out in the school car park and never realised just how cool it was to have a Dad that drove such a variety of cars.

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    Fast forward to the present day and both my husband and I have had the pleasure of owning a Mercedes Benz …… although none of our friends drive Porches so there is no need to make amends! My girls are never embarrassed about the cars we drive, they are more concerned with making sure I am not singing in the car when they have their friends in there on our road trips.

    I know as parents that embarrassing our children is almost part of the job description but while they won’t have memories of sliding across the back seat of the car without a seat belt on, or being taken to school in a Hot Rod, I hope that they will remember the car journeys we have had, the giggles on the school run each day and maybe, just maybe they will smile as they remember me singing in the car with their friends.

  3. If you have a teenager, you will know how much time they "want" to spend on social media, so we have been looking at whether the use of Instagram and Snapchat is hindering the development of relationship skills for teens? One study suggests that it depends on the teenager. Some psychologists believe that social networking sites have tuned the internet into a more intimate and safer place for teens and young adults than it was ten years ago.

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    Parents of teens have good reason to be skeptical and seek answers about teenage activities that weren’t available when today’s parents were coming of age. It's normal for parents to wonder whether it is healthy for teens and young adults to spend a bulk of time instant messaging or updating their Instagram grid or Snapchat story.

    News reports and daytime talk shows continue to warn parents about teen internet use, online bullying and sexual harassment issues that teens may encounter online. Most parents of teens would admit they wonder about the kinds of messages teenagers are writing back and forth to each other online. Some parents of teens also wonder if using social networking sites prevents young adults from learning relationship skills.

    Psychologists at the University of Amsterdam, Patti Valkenburg and Jochen Peter have studied internet use for teens for the past ten years. In the 1990’s, only one in ten teens routinely used the internet and ones who did had only public chat room sites for interaction. In the twenty first century, the world-wide-web has experienced an explosion in networking opportunities.

    Are social networking sites unhealthy for teens?

    In Social Consequences of the Internet for Adolescents: A Decade of Research (Current Directions in Psychological Science, February 2009), Valkenburg and Peters credit networking sites like Facebook for the increase in positive interactions for teens on the internet. They believe that social networking sites have created a more intimate atmosphere where teens and young adults are more likely to connect with peers and discuss personal issues in a positive way.

    Research can offer a bit of comfort for parents of teens who are concerned about internet use and its effect on relationship skills. Although studies can show the positives of sites like Facebook and others, as parents we should always continue to monitor internet use and activity for teens and young adults and educate adolescents about unsafe internet practices as well as promote face-to-face relationships for teenagers.

    Easier said than done though eh?

  4. With so many different types of blended families these days, very often people end up with two properties and it makes sense to rent one out. More and more people are now looking to rent rather than buy, and so you're almost guaranteed to find a suitable tenant. However, before you rent out your property, there are several things you need to go over before allowing someone to live on the premises. To ensure you achieve success a landlord, you should take a look at the following tips, which will make sure your letting process is legitimate, and your tenants are satisfied. 

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    Make sure everything is working

    If your property is an older build, it may have some wear and tear, so to avoid any tenant complaints, you should make sure to repair anything that needs fixing as soon as possible. This could include a leaky shower or a faulty boiler, which you may be able to fix yourself, or if you're not qualified, you can call in someone else to complete the job. When performing any maintenance, you should make sure it is done correctly. Otherwise, your tenant may experience the same problem when they're living there, which can be problematic for you. 

    You should also fix any external issues like a broken roof, window seals or even a broken doorbell. While the latter may only seem like a small problem, it will show your tenant that the property is well looked after and they should not face any issues if choosing to live there. 

    Compile a property inventory 

    Before your tenant officially moves into the property, it is essential that you make a list of all the inventory, especially if you’re offering a furnished rental. This involves listing detailed descriptions of everything from furniture to the smallest ornaments, and it should also include the condition of these items, should anything happen.

    By creating an inventory, you can protect yourself and the tenant from facing any replacement charges. This should also prevent any theft from taking place, as your tenant understands that you have a record of everything in the property, so they are aware that they will be liable if anything is missing at the end of the tenancy.

    Secure the property

    One of the most important things tenants look for in a property is how secure it is, as they will want to feel safe in their own home. To ensure you meet their needs, you should consider updating your security systems, by placing security cameras outside or even using technology like smart doorbells which can be connected to a smartphone to show your tenant who is outside, even they're away from home. 

    Property experts like RW Invest utilise automated door systems, which means only tenants are allowed to enter the property. By implementing this technology, it has caused an influx of tenant demand and also significantly increased the value of each apartment.

    Check over the tenancy agreement

    Once you’ve approved a tenant to move into your property, you can then start to make it official by both signing a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement should include the monthly rental charge, the start and end date of the tenancy, tenancy deposit terms, damage costs, landlord and tenant obligations, and more.

    Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should make sure that the tenant understands everything within the agreement, and if not, you should explain everything to them, so there is no confusion moving forward.

    And good luck!