How to create a safety net for your family

No one wants to think about what would happen to their family if they were unable to work. But if you were to fall ill, have an accident or even pass away, your partner and children could be left with much less income than before. Even if you’re not the primary earner in your home, the loss of your earnings could have a devastating effect. It’s important to think about these things before they happen, even if it’s not very pleasant. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for a situation when you can’t bring any money in or might not be around anymore.

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Get Income Protection or Critical Illness Insurance

If you can’t work for a short time or are diagnosed with a serious illness, it helps to have a way to keep money coming in. If you suddenly can’t work, you might have only a little income or even none at all. One of the insurance types you can consider is income protection, which will pay out for a short time if you can’t work. It can cover things such as your mortgage and bills. It’s especially useful if you’re self-employed and don’t have a company sick pay scheme. Another option is critical illness insurance, which will help you if you’re diagnosed with one of several illnesses.

Take Out Life Insurance

Death is a difficult thing to think about, but it’s something we’ll all have to face some day. While we all hope that our children will be grown, and we’ll be long retired by the time it happens, you can’t predict the future. If you do die while your children are still growing up, you want to know they won’t have to worry about money when you’re gone. One of your biggest expenses now is probably your mortgage. If you read a guide to home insurance, it will recommend life cover to help pay off your mortgage after your death. As well as helping them keep their home, it could cover other costs too.

Write a Will

Another way to prepare your family for after your death is to write a will. This is important if you have assets and if you have dependents. You can have a say in what happens to your children, as well as who receives your money and personal possessions. It doesn’t take long to write one up and make sure it’s legal, but it could make a significant difference if anything happens to you. If you’re a single parent, you might find it especially important to specify who will look after your kids.

Incorporated into this is planning for your funeral. It is not something we really want to think about, but buying a funeral plan, either upfront, or using monthly installments, can be a way to relieve a financial burden on your family, and most importantly, your children. A service like Co-op Funeral Directors offer plans that run from 2 years to 25 years, and help to take not just the financial burden away, but also the uncertainty that you are doing the right thing.

Build Emergency Funds

Another way to prepare for illness or accidents that take you out of work is building an emergency fund. You may already have one to deal with repairs in your home and other emergencies. But you might think about building it up a little more, in case you need enough money to live on for a short period. Some people save between three and six months’ income, just in case.

Start preparing for these situations, and you’ll be grateful if anything ever happens. If it doesn’t, you’ll still be glad you took the right precautions.

Savvy Student money tips With Cobalt Advisors

It has been quite a while since I was a student, but one thing I remembered clearly was having to pay off a hefty student loan at the end of my studying time. It took many years to finish paying off the student loans I accrued during that time. University is a time that should be one of the most fun experiences you will ever have, but, when it comes to money, you can end up building up debts that you will  be paying off for a long time, even as you are trying to sort your finances for life after study. So being a savvy student when it comes to your dosh is an option you should definitely be trying out.

In my student days.

In my student days.

Tips With Cobalt Advisors

Some debt is virtually unavoidable, but there are things that you can do that will help you manage your finances a little better. Here are my top five tips for being a money-savvy student.

  • Open a student bank account. A good student bank account will offer a good rate of interest on any savings, and an overdraft facility that is free. The TSB student account also offers a free £10 overdraft buffer, which means you won’t pay any overdraft fees or interest if you go overdrawn (either Planned or Unplanned) or exceed your Planned Overdraft limit by £10 or less.
  • Look at your credit cards and make sure you switch to a low interest card like those from Cobalt Advisors, then keep this in a special place for a rainy day. You never know when you might need instant cash for an issue – car trouble, an unexpected bill, so having a card that you could use without massive interest accruing is both useful and sensible.

Irish Students Marianne and Connell in Normal People

  • Look for a part time job. During my university days I worked part time in a shop to top up my income. Even a few hours a week can help to alleviate money worries. Student towns often have seasonal work, bar work etc. Look at things like stewarding at sports events and other jobs that can work at the weekend. Most students do not spends all day every day in lectures, so use some of that spare time wisely.
  • Budget. Writing a plan that shows what money you have, and what you need to spend it on is essential for avoiding excessive debt. Having this information down on paper shows you what is left once your bills and books are paid for.
  • Being a savvy shopper – budget supermarkets, charity shops and jumble sales, you can still shop on a budget. I lived in Birmingham’s Rag Market as a student, and totally loved my look. These days Charity shops have everything from Vintage to designer so you are sure to be able to create your own look at a budget that suits.
  • If you do need to get a loan, get a student version with low interest, that doesn’t have to be paid back until your earnings reach a certain level.
Some of my fave students - Fresh Meat.

Some of my fave students – Fresh Meat.

These are my tips, ones which I used when I was a student. You can find more useful tips in this savvy students guide.

Do you have a tip you could share?

A few holiday Essentials

As we reach the end of February, our thoughts are finally turning to Summer days. Many of us have already booked our Summer holidays and are starting to list what we need. Holiday season is just around the corner, and with half term this week, people have already started jetting off to enjoy some much needed sunshine. But it is no secret that holidays, as well as being a time for fun, relaxation and excitement, are also a time that can prove to be very expensive. Travel money, holiday wardrobes, travel insurance, new luggage, all of these things can add up and make even the most budget of holidays rather more expensive than you may have budgeted for.

So this post is about planning ahead, not leaving all that shopping for holiday essentials until the last minute. A few bargain buys will update your holiday wardrobe without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to check out your local supermarket brands for bargains, Morrisons have an adult range as part of the Nutmeg range, whilst some branches of Poundland are stocking the budget brand Pep and Co in their stores. There are also a couple of ideas for must have items, investment pieces that you will be able to use year upon year.

Swimming Watches

If your holiday is one of water adventures, then it could be worth investing in a swimming watch. Swimming watches for women are stylish and durable, and are great if you want to indulge in scuba diving, swimming, water skiing, or any other kind of watery activity. These days a waterproof watch doesn’t have to be bulky or manly, it can actually have a sleek and stylish design.

A Maxi Dress

A maxi dress is perfect for evening drinks or daytime sightseeing. it can also double up as a pool coverup, or you could add a denim jacket and it will be great to travel home in. Choose a pretty pattern for extra style points.

Sandals

A cool pair of espadrilles will work for holidays and festivals alike. Add in a metallic touch, and you have a shoe that is stylish and versatile. Try to choose a pair that will work with most of your outfits so you can cut down on the packing.

Beach Cover Up

A beach cover up can look so much  chicer than a sarong, and this black dress has an interesting back detail. This means that it would also work for drinks after dark, just add a pair of statement earrings for an evening look.

A Hat

Protect your head with the coolest cover up around – it has to be a Fedora. You could travel in this to help it keep its shape, or pack your undies into it to avoid it being flattened in the suitcase.

 

A versatile Bag

Boho prints are another holiday fave. I love the pink accents in this tote bag, it looks like it has come straight from Talitha Getty’s 1960s Marrakesh wardrobe. This sort of bag would work for the beach, or for sightseeing.