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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Category: News

  1. Five Frugal Things I've Done This Week

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    I mentioned last week that I have been enjoying the Five Fabulously Frugal Things posts from Emma and 3 and I have become a little more conscious of our spending habits, even more so as this week has been half term. Keeping two girls of two different ages occupied and happy is no mean feat, especially when I am sure they simply believe that the money is delivered from the hole in the wall.

    Five Frugal Things Ive Done This Week

    1. Saved on Cinema Tickets by using my Taste Card. As part of my bank account, I get a Taste Card and it gives you money off meals but if you upgrade to the Taste Card Plus for just £7.99 you can make HUGE savings on days out, like 40% off Cinema or Warwick Castle tickets.

    2. Kids Eat for £1 at Harvester. Yes £1! So after our discounted cinema visit, we went and had lunch and for every adult meal we bought, we got a childs meal for £1. This was a half term offer but it is definitely worth checking out websites for venues prior to arriving.

    3. It is no secret that I LOVE shopping and I do 90% of it online but before I check anything out and pay for it, I always google discount codes for that website. This week I have managed to find 20% off codes for some of my daughters clothes which was a great saving.

    4. I bought uniform for next year! I know this sounds ridiculous but it appears that John Lewis are not longer stocking our school uniform so they are selling off all their stock at less than half price, I therefore "may" have purchased enough school logo cardigans and jumpers to last for the next school year, or so. 

    5. Theatre visit for FREE! Now I have to admit that this wasn't something I found but we were lucky enough to be offered tickets by some friends to go and see a traditional pantomine and it was amazing. (Oh no it wasn't ..... oh yes it WAS!)

    There are lots of things we want to save for this year and being a little more conscious week by week, will hopefully help us get those things a little sooner. 

    Have you done anything to save money this half term?

    I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky  in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.

     

  2. Why writing a will is important for your children

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    I was watching one of the those daytime TV programmes the other day (whilst taking a well deserved break from the laptop of course) and the subject of what happens to your children when you are gone was being debated. Although death is a part and parcel of life, it's not often talked about around the coffee table. As inevitable as getting out of bed in the morning, the question remains as to why we’re always planning what we’re having for dinner tonight instead of planning for what’s happening to the things we care about the most once we’re gone.

    Why writing a will is important for your children

    Taking the time to write a will, clearly defining your wishes is one of the most important things you can do, especially for your children. Wills aren’t just there as written expressions of how you want the family home, or assets divided up, but they also clearly define your intentions for who will look after your children in the event of your death. Writing a will is a decision that many of us find difficult but a will provides clarity for whom you are leaving responsible for your children’s well being, defining the person, or people, who will be guiding them into the future in your absence. 

    which-unmentionables

    A lack of planning now can result in even more distress and anxiety for your loved ones at a time when you’ll be unable to help. So make the time to write your will today, safeguarding and protecting your children for tomorrow. 

    Katie Price was a panelist on the daytime TV show I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post and much like her, I need to sort my will out to safeguard my girls futures ..... although I suspect my will may be a little less complex than hers!

  3. Talking to your child’s teacher about asthma

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    We have spoken openly about asthma and the affect it has on us as a family, so we have been working closely with Asthma UK about children starting school and are therefore delighted to share this information on their behalf.
     
    You know the location of every spare inhaler within a five-mile radius. You know exactly when the neighbour’s birch trees start releasing their pollen. Even before your child starts to wheeze, you know the signs that their asthma symptoms are getting worse.
     
    You are an expert at your child’s asthma – and it still catches you out. So it’s understandable to be nervous at the thought of handing them over to a new teacher on the first day of the school year.
     
    Make sure you’re all on the same page
     
    Lots of parents tell us that they worry about leaving their child with other people – and it’s a fact that children are much more likely to go to hospital with their asthma in September than in August. But there are things you can do to make sure that you and your child’s school are working together to reduce the risk.
     
    Sharing and talking through your child’s asthma action plan with the school is a great start. At a glance, a teacher or classroom assistant can see exactly what they need to do if your child starts feeling worse. And because it’s personalised to your child, you know they’ll get exactly the treatment they’ve been prescribed. If your child doesn’t have one yet, ask your GP or asthma nurse, or download an asthma action plan here. Your GP can help you update the action plan every six months to make sure it includes any new triggers or changes to their medicines.
     
    Prepared, not pushy
     
    Parents sometimes tell us that they worry about being seen as ‘pushy’ or over-protective if they speak to their child’s teacher about their asthma. But more than a million children in the UK are affected by asthma – so the odds are that there’ll be a couple in your child’s class. A few minutes’ discussion could help your child AND their classmates to stay well, and make sure they don’t miss out.
     
    Every child’s asthma is different, but asking a few key questions can help you make sure the school is prepared.
     
     Back2SchoolChecklistFSV2-update-Ellie
     
    Keep lines of communication open
     
    It’s not just about the start of term, though. Starting the conversation about your child’s asthma now makes it easier to update teachers during the year – for example, if your child is more tired during the day because symptoms have kept them up at night. And teachers can feed back to you too: maybe your child benefits from the warm, humid air of the swimming pool.
     
    We’ve collected more back-to-school tips from asthma experts and other parents at www.asthma.org.uk/back-to-school - you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.
     
    And if you’re concerned about  your child’s medicines, feeling under pressure or have a question you’ve always wanted to ask, call the Asthma UK Helpline. Our friendly asthma expert nurses are on the line Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm – just call 0300 222 5800.
     
    Thank you Little LilyPad for donating this space to Asthma UK – we wish ALL parents and children a happy and healthy new term.
     
  4. Does it cost a guest to go to a wedding?

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    Have you been to a wedding this summer? Did you find that being excited for the couple is one thing and then you realise that it might be quite costly for you and your family to attend as a guest?

    We have two weddings to go to this year, one in the Autumn and one on New Years Eve and whilst the latter helps us to solve the "what are we doing for New Years Eve debate" it also means hotels, outfits and gifts straight after the expense of Christmas. We are firm believers in never arguing about money but it is quite sad to see that one in four Britons has argued with their partner about the cost of watching others say "I do"

    There has been a recent survey by Experian’s that suggests the rising cost of weddings is rocking the boat for many couples, and not just for the bride and groom. In fact, almost a quarter of Britons (22%) have argued with their partner about the cost of witnessing others tie the knot. Eek!  

    Experian have highlighted some top do's and don'ts for financial harmony, which I think is great advice for any frugal family.

    Do

    • Set the ground rules. Do you want a joint account for regular expenses and separate bank accounts for personal spending? Or do you want everything to go together?
    • Work out who does what. The more frugal partner could look after the budget, while the more extravagant works out the ‘treats’, like meals out or trips away
    • Agree on short and long-term goals and how you’re going to achieve them, and review regularly together
    • Be honest about your past. If you have a less-than-perfect history of repaying money you owe, this could affect both of you in the long-term if your credit reports become linked
    • Take time together to understand if you need to improve one or both of your credit reports. Do this well in advance of applying for credit together
    Don’t
    • Spend all your time together talking about money 
    • Keep secrets. Research from Experian shows that 29% of people in the UK discovered that their partner was keeping credit card debt from them
    • Dig yourself into a hole. If you find yourself in debt, don’t borrow more in the hope of putting things right. Ask for help and be open about it with your partner
    • Talk about money issues when you are angry. Arguing about money is never going to be productive
    • Expect your partner to completely change. It’s unlikely an extravagant spender will do a complete about-turn and suddenly become frugal

     

    Wedding-guest-infographic-600

     

    Managing your finances and your relationship can be quite a balancing act – when it comes to both organising and attending weddings, moving in together or just life in general. That’s why Experian have created a dedicated Money & Relationships Guide to help people understand what we know can be quite a complex series of topics – in jargon-free, easy-to-understand language. All of the guides are available online. Hopefully these guides will be helpful for you and your followers who are trying to get their heads around how credit referencing works, and the good, the bad and the surprising when it comes to managing your finances to get what you want in life.