4 Tips for Freeing Up Your Finances

4 Tips for Freeing Up Your Finances

If you’ve been reading the blog you’ll know that in January I started a family Frugal Living challenge, aimed at cutting back waste, sorting our finances and putting more into our savings and pensions. It can be tricky to balance budgeting with raising a family. Financial security is important for everyone — especially those of us with children.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to manage costs as a parent. Here are four ideas that could help.

Plan Spending in Advance

To stay on top of your finances, why not plan all outgoings in advance? By doing this on a regular basis, you can avoid splashing out on products that you don’t need.

In turn, you could make massive savings. Store a simple cash flow document on your phone to make sure that you can view it anywhere. This way, you can instantly squash that desire to spend impulsively by seeing how it will affect you later in the month.

Instant mobile access is also useful if it feels like you rarely get five minutes to sit down at your laptop or tablet. Let’s face it, that description applies to most of us as parents. But you needn’t let your busy family life get in the way of managing your finances.

Work from Home

If you’re a stay-at-home parent and miss the thrill of work, don’t worry. You can easily transform a passion into a successful home-run business. In fact, self-employment has almost doubled over the past 18 years. As a result, there’s more support than ever available to people who want to make cash by doing what they love.

Do you want to free up your finances, get your teeth stuck into a long-term project, and be there to support the kids? If so, this could be the perfect money-making solution for you?  I’ve been a freelancer for nearly 13 years, 9 years full time which is something that I chose to do so that I could still earn and be flexible around my family’s needs.

Prepare for Rainy Days

Nobody knows what the future holds. Sometimes, darker periods can occur. And when they do, it’s useful to have a financial back-up in place. Should an event or issue affect your income, with savings you’re fully prepared to deal with it. With this contingency money, you and your family can remain financially secure whatever the circumstance.

In addition, putting aside small amounts for your retirement could help you to stay financially afloat well into the future. This is what we’re working hard on at the moment.

So long as you contribute regularly to your fund, there’s never been a better time to start saving than now.

Enjoy Free Activities and Days Out

I mentioned this briefly in my Frugal Living February Update blog post. Saving money doesn’t have to be boring and we don’t always need money to have a good time. Free days out can be fun for everyone.

What’s more, you won’t be paying to enter a popular destination – you’ll be doing whatever you’ve arranged solely as a family – so this is also likely to bring you all closer together.

Parenthood can be challenging enough without the stress of financial organisation. But when you know how, you can easily arrange your finances and attend to your family at the same time. Once you’ve dealt with the money side of things, you’ll be able to enjoy life to the full. And this will benefit everyone in the family.

 

Teaching Children About Different Cultures

different cultures

Our world is a rich and diverse one, full of hundreds of different cultures, faiths and belief systems. Childhood is the perfect time to learn more about the wider world. Learning about different countries, cultures and beliefs makes children more accepting and can prove highly beneficial as they move forwards through life. As regular readers will know, I have two children, aged 8 years and 12 years and for us teaching them about diversity forms an important part of our parenting.

Of course, school will play a big part in the development and education of our children, and the experiences they encounter while at school will probably go on to influence the rest of their life. Most school curriculums include variations on subjects such as Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, and Citizenship; often starting with a basic foundation in primary school before giving students the opportunity to learn more at secondary school. My eldest has certainly been enjoying his RS lessons.  As parents  though, it is ultimately our responsibility to to teach diversity, to help them explore different cultures and more.

There are many ways to teach children about different cultures. Here are just a few:

Learn by Example

Young children often like to follow in the footsteps of their parents, mimicking their actions and copying phrases and speech patterns. Most children look up to their parents and want to be like them, which is why one of the best tools available to you is yourself.

Understanding Different Faiths

While younger children might prefer to follow your lead or learn through games and fun activities, older children will most likely be mature enough to start learning by taking in the world around them. Different faiths, cultures and beliefs will start to become more evident, whether it is in school, on social media or simply while out and about.

Religion can be a complex and controversial topic, which is why some people prefer to shy away from it to avoid complications. However, our children need to learn about the world around them, and simple discussions about faith can help youngsters understand why people believe the things they do. It can also help with questions around everyday occurrences like choosing to dress a certain way or eating (or avoiding) a particular type of food. Put simply, if children know the reasons behind these things, they are more likely to be accepting and tolerant.

Travel to Learn About Different Cultures

What better way could there be to learn about different cultures than to see them for yourself? Travelling may be a challenge with young children, but once they get a bit older it can be a brilliant way to open their eyes to the wider world and show them new countries, cultures and sights. This is something we would love to do.

different cultures

Make Learning Fun

Fun activities and exciting games are a perfect way to get children engaged and interested in learning – no matter what it is that you are trying to teach them. There are plenty of games, activity packs and resources available out there, so do a little research and see what you can find.

Whether it is learning about what a zakat calculator can be used for in Islam or trying out different recipes from around the world, there are plenty of creative ways in which you can incorporate learning into daily life.

Above all else, it is important to educate the next generation about the differences between people in our world and help them learn to embrace their uniqueness. Inclusivity and understanding are essential for creating a better, happier future for all, so why not do what you can today to shape a brighter tomorrow.

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