Vaping: Is It A Parental Concern?

Just a couple of years ago, a lot of parents including myself, didn’t know the first thing about the word “vaping”. The first Google search of mine, for the word, was enough to introduce me to the phenomena and its popularity amongst teens and various adult age groups. For people out there who still aren’t familiar with the trend maybe because of their lack of interest in smoking, vaping is claimed to be an alternative to smoking that is a lot safer, 95% safer than smoking to be more precise. Vapers (people who vape) use an electronic cigarette to inhale and exhale vapours similar to smoke, unlike the regular cigarette scenario.  E-cigs heat up the e-liquid to produce vapours that may or may not contain nicotine.

teen-vaping-concern

Why is it so Popular?
A variety of e-cig types like e-pens, e-hookahs, and various types of mods introduced by the e-cig industry seem appealing to teenagers as something cool, high-tech/gadget-y and fun. E-cig marketing campaigns highlight vaping as a 95% safer alternative to smoking because vapers don’t have to deal with tar-filled tobacco and other dangerous ingredients present in regular cigarettes as well as also get to choose the amount of nicotine present in their e-liquids apparently ranging from 0mg (no-nicotine) to 24mg. Even the celebrities could be seen endorsing the act with their e-cig devices at the Golden Globe Awards.
Besides the act of making huge vapor clouds, the main feature that makes e-cigs popular among teenagers and various other age groups is the availability of e-liquids/e-juices in various playful flavors like custards, candies, fruits, cakes and the list goes on. There are more than 7,700 e-liquid flavors offered by various brands that are equally sold online as well.

What You as a Parent Can Do?
The main thing you can do as a parent is be informed, so that you can pass the correct information onto your child. Superior Vapour has produced the detailed infographic below, which gives you lots of facts and figures about current vaping information and trends, and this could be a useful starting point.

If you ever happen to find out that your teenage kid is vaping then it is important that you must handle the situation without losing your cool. If your kid is underage then tell him/her to wait until they’re of an age to legally purchase and use the product. This way, you will be able to avert them from vaping as long as you can and until they are old enough to make a wise decision. Kids these days still look up to their parents and listen to them, so if you handled the situation right, hopefully, you wouldn’t have to ask them a second time.

UK Vaping Stats InfographicCopyright Superior Vapour

Managing Home Renovation Scope and Budget

A great time in the life of a home owner is when all the bills are paid and all the new improvements are done and paid for. No more mortgage to pay each month and the home is up to date with all the latest gadgets and trimmings. But actually, this is a rare scenario of fantasy land for the everyday homeowner, so we have to be a little more savvy with our budget when it comes to home renovations.

home_improvement

Celebrate the Accomplishment of Home ownership with Good Decisions

Home ownership is a great time in life, having done a great deal of research, searching, dealing for the right home price, signing for a mortgage, and all the activities involved in relocating. But even if you buy a brand new home, time flies and starts to take its toll on the once shiny, new paint job. Appliances can fail, shingles get loose, leaks and cracks can appear. Your home can become a victim of time just like our own bodies. Money will be needed to fund home improvements to shore up any decay and keep the home from falling into disrepair, or just to prevent it becoming outdated in interior design. For those who hold the aesthetics of the home dear, planning a project to renovate the home is in order.

improve1

Being realistic is a good starting point.

Questions should be asked, can work be done in the best way, with cash upfront to avoid having to take on debt with interest on top of periodic payments to fund the project? Cash is the very best and most economical way to complete a home improvement project. For those who have cash on hand to do this or have a windfall of cash coming in, this is a wonderful thing. There are those who have been good at saving and when the time comes the cash can be drawn on. A kitchen can be remodeled or an addition like a conservatory can be added on and this can all be done within your budget. An emergency situtation like fencing needing to be redone or repaired to add to the security of a property to keep your lovely home safe.

Project Scope and Budget for Home Improvements

Remember to plan properly if the home improvements, such as a paint job, are to be financed. Cash is king, but not many of us have the cash on hand for home improvements, especially in emergency situations. Borrowing money wisely is a skill. For many, the Home equity line of credit, or a second mortgage, secured by equity in the home, is a good way to keep the interest rate low at around 4 to 5 percent. Seek a shorter term than 30 years as this will keep the cost of the renovations down, paying less interest over time. A 25 or 15 year term would be better with no early pay off penalties.

You also need to make sure you research your home improvements carefully so that you don’t end up overspending or spending unwisely. If you are looking to change your windows, for instance, then it is worth checking out a reputable company who can offer not just a quote, but also help and advice.

Construction Loans are Another Option for Very Short Term Projects

Many home improvements are funded by the builder in an interim loan that pays for the immediate construction costs. The bank will inspect your project at each phase of the project and fund each step to pay the contractor or the contractor will offer this financing and the you will pay the contractor with a final second mortgage secured by the equity in the home.

Contingency Funding

We all know about Murphy’s Law. Whatever financing method is chosen, always consider the contingencies of overages, unplanned events that obstruct the completion of the project, and higher costs for resources and materials. Always plan for at least 25% over the original budget as many times the unexpected costs do materialize.

 

 

The House Move – More Things To Consider

It may just be me, but it seems that everyone I know is currently in the middle of moving house. My sister has recently sold and plans to be in and settled before Christmas, two different friends have had to move in with parents whilst they wait for their moves to finalise, and I have been invited to a housewarming party later this month by yet another friend who has just moved in and is now getting settled. Clearly there must be something in the air.

From talking to these friends though, I am picking up lots of things that you need to consider and plan for if you are moving house. Whether you are moving for the first time, or moving home again to somewhere bigger, or in a different area, you need to be aware of things that can happen and throw a spanner in the works.

You need a reputable removals company.

Your belongings are precious so you want them to be truly looked after when you are moving. However, you also want the move to be affordable and reliable, with punctuality also being a massive issue – you want your furniture to be in your new home as soon as humanly possible. Look for a company that has built up a good reputation like The Man Van and this should be one area of your move that runs smoothly.

Have a Contingency Plan

Hopefully your sale and move will be painless, but sometimes things don’t go to plan and you need a contingency plan. Even sales without an upward chain can be delayed, so you may need to look at somewhere else you could stay if that occurs – you may need to move in with friends or family, or rent somewhere to ensure you don’t lose your sale.

You may also need a contingency budget in case any unexpected, or unplanned for, expenses occur due to delays in exchanging contracts, or issues occurring from surveys.

Agree on what is going to be left behind

A friend recently moved into her new home to find stuff and rubbish left in virtually every room. She had to hire a skip in order to clear the house (I saw the photos, it was pretty unbelievable.) Make sure you agree that the house will be cleared before you move in, and the only things left are items that have been discussed beforehand – i.e. carpets and curtains that you may have agreed as part of the sale.

Don’t be left with another expense of having to clear away someone elses clutter.

What if you are moving abroad

If you are moving abroad, whether it be to Europe, North or South America or to the Far East, you need to establish a good relationship with your estate agent or realtor in order that everything is ready in time for your move.

Check shipping for your furniture and belongings and make sure this is organised in plenty of time. Also check working visas and any other visas or permits so you are not left stranded on the other side.

Make sure any agreed repairs have been carried out

If you have made an offfer but have added a stipulation that some repairs or work need to be carried out, you need to make sure these things have been done. When we made an offer on our current home, we stressed that a fence needed to be added in the garden, On the day of the exchange of contracts this still had not been done, we ended up with some electrical items left in place, but also with an expense of a fence.

Visit your new home in order to measure up and check on those repairs. Don’t leave it until the last minute.