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.
Back to school sales are beginning to pop up and organised parents are starting to think about the start of the new school year. School supplies lists are growing and every year more parents find themselves frustrated with the growing cost. With a plan and a little thinking ahead you can save money on school supplies this year.
Go through what you have in the house from last year before you buy anything new. You do not need new pencil sharpeners, scissors, and other odds and ends that do not get used up. This can lead to a big savings as you work your way down the teacher's list.
Keep an eye on the sales. The early sales are often not as good as the later ones so only start shopping if you know a better price will not be coming. If you have the budget but want to wait for the sales getting a gift card to set to the side is always a great way to set your budget.
Buy non-school supplies items off your teacher's list at the pound shops or use vouchers and sales to get the best deals. Some teachers list items that help keep our kids from getting sick during the school year. While this bothers some parents it can be valuable for keeping your family healthy come flu season. Tissues, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer in your child's school will save you a lot of money after so if you find a good deal, your child's teacher would love some extras.
Stock extras when the best sales hit or grab extras when offers are online, so you won't need to pay full price later. These extras can be pulled out when your child needs more supplies without paying full price or if you really want to plan ahead, they could even be used as frugal stocking stuffers.
If money saving is on your hit list for this summer, why not take a look ateasy ways to save money from Baby Budgeting.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
The weather at the moment can’t seem to make up it’s mind what it is doing. One minute we have glorious sunshine and the next the weather is wet and miserable. So we are looking ahead to the summer and what we can be doing now so that we can enjoy lazy summer days at home with our friends and family.
We have therefore put together our top 5 tips for preparing your home (and yourself) for summer.
Check appliances are working
Check that your fans / air conditioning units are fully working. If not, now is a good time to replace them rather than when it is baking hot and you find that everywhere is sold out. Getting them “out of season” usually means that you can get a good deal and it is worth checking out voucher sites for offers and discounts too.
Get The Garden Ready
When the sun eventually comes out to stay, everyone will want to be outside and if you are not enthused at the idea of regular garden maintenance, why not try some artificial grass for your garden, it is a great alternative to real grass, allowing you to enjoy summer days as well as making mowing, watering and weeding things of the past!
Find out of season offers
Like the fans and air con units, buying things out of season is the best way to get a great deal. So if you need extra picnic pieces or garden furniture, now is a good time to look for the best offers. In the height of summer, it is not only the temperatures that rise it is also well known that the prices do when there is high demand.
We can all be a little guilty of hoarding items “just incase” we may need them but a spring clean is a great way to go into summer with a clear mind and a clear house. Summer bbq’s can sometimes lead to friends staying over and you don’t want them tripping over bags and boxes that are stashed in your spare room. Get rid of the unnecessary and it is one less thing to move / clean on a weekly basis too!
Don’t delay till later
Start now! It is easy to think that summer is months away but in the blink of an eye the children will be finishing the summer term and the long summer holiday will be upon us.