Saving for Joe’s future

I sometimes find it hard to remember the days ‘BJ’, that is, before Joe. But one thing I do remember clearly is just how much disposable income we had, money to spend on frivolities like clothes and make-up, eating out, excessive amounts of shopping that we didn’t need, and holidays. These days it seems that every penny is accounted for and earmarked and most of it seems to be earmarked for Joe.

Earmarked for Joe? Yes, it has to be said, it costs a fortune being a mom to a football mad boy. Each month we spend around £100 on his football training and subs. He has a season ticket at West Bromwich Albion which is another £50 a year. His feet won’t stop growing, so it seems new boots are needed every couple of months, and they have to be Puma or Nike, and then there are the new football strips, wanted (new design of course) and needed (why won’t his legs stop growing – is my boy part giraffe?). Add into this the Fifa points that I seem to be buying every week, the school trips and residentials, and the fact I need to remortgage in order to do the food shop and it is clear, being a mom of a boy is very expensive, and it will only get more expensive, which is why I’m already thinking towards the future.

The dreaded Fifa

New Goals

Football with his team

We’re not wealthy by any means, so Joe can’t exactly have a trust fund, but there are ways to make sensible savings towards the future, even if it is only a small sum each month. One way where you can not only save money, but can also allow it to grow is by opening a Junior Isa Account. There are two kinds of Junior Isa’s, a Junior cash Isa and a Junior Stocks and Shares Isa. The main difference between a junior Isa and an adult Isa is that the junior Isa does belong to your child, money cannot be removed until your child reaches the age of 18, and this is what makes them perfect as a way of saving towards their first car or University costs.

The regular Junior Isa account earns interest like a savings account, and you can deposit up to £4,260 per year into the ISA, which could create a nice little nest egg by the time your child is 18. If you opt for the Junior Stocks and shares Isa, then your money is invested in financial markets with the aim of earning returns for investors that are greater than those you would get in a Junior Cash ISA. There is obviously some level of risk involved, but your returns could be much greater too, so it is definitely something to weigh up.

With university fees being so expensive, most establishments now charging the maximum amount of £9,000+, it would be good to have some money set aside to help with this, or with a deposit for a first home or a car if your child decides against university.

Do you have any savings put by for your child’s future? What are you saving for?

How Families Can Make Their Homes Feel Warmer This Winter.

We’re in the throes of winter and coming home to a warm house has become the best part of the day. However, for some, switching on the heating can be a huge decision.

A recent survey looked to find out why more and more households are leaving it until the very last minute to switch on the heating. Even if it’s icy outside and temperatures have fallen heavily, many families are still refusing to turn on the heating. Ever increasing energy bills are forcing people to look at other ways of conserving heating.

But there are other things that you can do to make your home feel warmer, as it could be that you are actually allowing the warmth to leave your home.

Here are a few things that you should be looking at to make your home warmer and more economical this Winter.

Is Your Loft Insulated?

The problem in many homes is that even when the central heating is on, the heat is escaping and therefore it needs to be left on longer and longer. Having your loft insulated is one way to prevent the warmth leaving your home, and it also helps keep your home cooler in Summer. Loft Insulation can be installed in the loft floor or between the beams of the roof, depending on what you want to use your loft for, storage or a living space. It is relatively cheap to buy loft insulation, but the rewards are immense and heating bills should be cut.

Remember, heat rises, so if your loft isn’t insulated, up to 25 per cent of your home’s heat is escaping through the roof. That means you are paying for 25% of those heating bills for the heat to literally disappear through your roof.

Doors and Windows

Another thing to check is your external doors and windows. If you can feel a draught coming through you need to look at ways to stop this. Double glazing is brilliant for this and if you are looking for double glazing Cheltenham you could check out Albany Windows who have some really good deals. If your budget doesn’t run to this then look at things like thicker curtains that could add another layer of insulation – lined curtains work really well for this. Keep curtains open when the daytime sun is out, but close as soon as night starts to set in.

Bare Floorboards

It is fashionable these days to have bare floorboards, but boy are they a cold option. In Winter, it pays to have these covered up with a large rug, which will stop the cold coming up from concrete floors and will make your home look and feel cosier.

Shut Doors

A simple task like keeping your doors shut should help to keep warmth in, so when you are in one room, shut the doors, Also keep doors shut on rooms you are not using, like the bedroom during the day to keep them as warm as possible.

What tips do you have to keep your home warm in Winter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Financing Your Life And Choices

Once upon a time shopping was simple. You went to the cash machine, drew out your money, and you shopped until it was all spent. Designer clothing was the property of the super rich and famous, the rest of the population were perfectly happy to stick to the Great British High Street, and as for internet shopping, it was merely a blink in the World Wide Webs Eye.

But fast forward to the present day.  It is no longer just the celebrities who carry the designer bags, or wear the Louboutin shoes. Nor is it just the rich who buy designer clothing. Take a look at Harvey Nichols or Selfridges on any given Saturday and you will see women of all ages and backgrounds lured by the beauty of designer goods. It is an expensive game to be part of, but luckily there are various loans online through various banks and online companies that can help you with financing your wardrobe.

If you have a touch of the shopaholic Becky (and I have to hold my hands up and say, yes, that’s me), then a short term loan from a may be a much better option than a shop store card or a credit card.  It may be that you decide to splurge on that super designer piece you’ve had your eye on, or maybe your wardrobe is in dire need of an overhaul, it could even be that your mobile phone has seen better days, or your car is now on its last legs. Whatever you decide to spend on you can rest easy in the knowledge that you will not be alone in needing help .

If you want to find out more about the current lending trends in the UK, you can find lots of information by checking out the consumer credit index produced by Cash Lady. This new tool on their website shows that millions of people apply for shot term credit solutions each year, and they have  broken down the data into monthly consumer trends by city, showing the average loan request, monthly income, and even top employers. The findings are fascinating – the top employers for Birmingham are the NHS, ahead of supermarkets Tesco and Asda, and the top reason for lending is an unexpected bill, with a special occasion also appearing in the top three reasons of most UK cities.

Whether you are paying an unexpected bill, finding money for a special occasion like a birthday or a holiday, or even just splurging on something you’ve had your eye on for a while, there are ways of safe borrowing that can make this process much easier.