4 Tips for Soon-To-Be-Parents

They say that you can’t prepare for becoming a parent, but is that really true? It can’t be. While you can’t prepare fully for the madness and joy that comes with parenthood, that doesn’t mean that you should just sit back and do nothing. There are absolutely ways you can prepare for parenthood, which will make the process all the more smooth when it eventually happens. Below, we take a look at some useful ways to prepare, which will take your “absolutely clueless” to “slightly less clueless.”

 

Baby, Mother, Infant, Child, Female, Happy, White, Joy

 

Ease Out Of Old Lifestyle

You’re going to have a long list of responsibilities when you become a parent, and that means there will be an even longer list of things that you can’t do. If you’ve been making a habit of staying out late or otherwise being social, then you might want to slowly ease out of that routine. If you only go cold turkey – when it comes to socializing – when the pregnancy becomes “real”, then you might find the process pretty difficult. Enjoy the process of being at home, of settling into motherhood or fatherhood before the baby has arrived.

Read Up On What to Expect

How difficult parenting would be – actually, how difficult everything would be – if there weren’t useful advice from people who have already done it available to read. While your circumstances will be unique, you can get some general advice on how to manage your forthcoming bundle of joy by reading some parenting tips for newborns. They’ll be an invaluable source of guidance and know-how knowledge when it comes to making sure your child has everything they need. No-one has all the answers, but between all of us, we’re getting pretty close.

Monitor Your Temperament

The number one fear among soon to be parents is that they’re going to be a bad mother or father. If it’s a concern, then it’s highly likely it’s going to come to pass. Still, there’s always room for improvement, in all aspects of our lives. Take a look at yourself; what are your flaws? No matter what they are, there will be a way to improve them. If you’re not a patient person now, you might not automatically become a patient person when your child arrives. Read up on how to improve yourself. It might just be your saving grace when the baby arrives.

Talk To Your Parents

It’s your first child. You’re going to be nervous, and have a sense that you’re going to get everything wrong. But don’t worry, because everyone feels that way. To drive the point home, just talk to your parents about their experiences as first-time parents. They’ll fill you in all of the horror stories and uncertainty that was part and parcel of raising you and any siblings you have. And if you turned out just fine, then that’ll show you that there’s nothing to worry about.

 

Apart from the tips above, take the time to enjoy the experience. You only become a mother or father for the first time once!

Money Saving Tips for your Next Family Vacation

Tips to Save you and your family money while traveling

Summer is over for another year – deep sigh – but you may still have plans to go away with your family on a vacation. Perhaps those wintry slopes of a ski resort lie in wait, or if the cold isn’t your thing, and your hometown is prone to those annual visits from cheeky Jack Frost, then you may be thinking about heading to sunnier climes. Or you may be thinking about next year, planning your annual family vacation when summer rolls around again. Whatever the case, here are some tips that will help you save money on your travels.

  • Start your vacation fund. If you still have a long way to go before you head out on your holidays, start to put money aside now. The more you save, the more you have to play with when away. You might even start to make some extra cash, so you won’t have to donate huge chunks of your pay into your vacation fund.

Vacation tips for families

  • Book your vacation early (or late).  If you know where you want to go, look for early booking deals with your travel agent, or visit travel sites online. You may be able to get cheaper prices on flights and hotels. Some travel companies also allow you to set up price alerts, so you will be notified by email when prices drop. If you’re not ready to book early, then book late! Conflicting advice we know, but there are sometimes special travel deals for late bookings, as travel companies try to cut the losses of any cancellations.

 

  • Sign up to a travel rewards credit card. A credit card is one way to lose money, but provided you act responsibly, signing up to something like the Amex platinum edge credit card can be cost-effective. Not only will you get a signup cash bonus, but it doubles as insurance, meaning you have a backup should your flight get cancelled, or you lose your luggage.

 

  • Choose a cheap destination. When traveling with kids, nowhere is particularly cheap, especially if you give in to their ‘I want’ demands (hint: don’t!), but some places are cheaper to travel to than others. Consider the cheap family vacation ideas here, as this useful guide may hold the ticket to the next place that captures your family’s heart. Alternatively, head to somewhere that is less touristy. This way, you are less likely to fall prey to hotel and food diners who hike up their prices to ‘steal’ money from gullible tourists.

Travels Tips for Families

  • Research available discounts. When you have chosen a place to visit, research the destination, and look for any discounts that may be available. Some places offer a CityPass for discounted admissions into popular attractions, and there may be family travel passes available that will make getting around a town or city on bus or train cheaper than it otherwise would be.

Disney Travel Tips

These are just a few of the ways you can save money on your family vacation, but if I have neglected to mention any money-saving idea that you use, please share in the comments!

Do you Love Christmas? Why September is the Perfect Time to Start Thinking About It!

Brown Pinecone on White Rectangular Board

Mentioning Christmas in September will often get you some funny looks. After all, it IS incredibly early- we haven’t even had Halloween yet! But thinking about Christmas in September doesn’t mean putting your decorations up (like this family did!) or playing your favorite festive album on the way to work each morning. It can simply be a case of planning ahead and getting prepared financially. While Christmas is a lot of fun and a fantastic way to spend time with loved ones, it can also be a huge struggle if you’re working to a budget. Lots of families find themselves in debt in the new year, or just feeling down and upset that they haven’t managed to provide their children with as much as they’d have liked. To get around this, early planning is essential. If you start now, you have plenty of time to spread the cost, get things as you go and come December it won’t be a mad rush to source and buy everything you need. Here are some ideas which will make Christmas easier financially.

Save what you can

Any money you can put away will come in helpful come December. If you have online banking, you could transfer a couple of dollars every week from your main account into a savings account each time you’re paid- it will all add up. You could start a change jar, throwing in any loose change that’s left in your pockets at the end of each day. There are Coinstar machines in most supermarkets which make it easy to change pennies and change into pounds and notes for easier spending. Another good tip is to sell what you no longer need, this raises money while clearing space for new items that will be coming in at Christmas. If you donate your old items to a charity shop, you could be helping another family provide for their children in the process.

Pick up generic presents

Whether it’s stocking fillers for the kids or token gifts for colleagues and neighbors, if you spot something that’s a good deal and would make a great gift then pick it up. Again, it gives you less to buy closer to the time. Bubble bath and bath sets, boxes of chocolates, trinkets and more- these can be bought surprisingly cheaply from discount stores, and supermarkets.

Find deals on decorations

Once the festive season is underway, anything Christmas themed will go up in price. So it can be a good idea to scour bargain stores and places like eBay for decorations now when they’re much lower in price. Think about things like your Christmas table too- glasses, table napkins, place holders and more are all items you can buy ahead of time and put away ready for Christmas dinner.

Start your non- perishable and long life food shopping

Your food and consumables are one of the biggest costs for most families at Christmas. Instead of waiting until December 1st, start grabbing items now. Chocolate, sweets, alcohol, canned goods and and other items can be picked up each week with your normal shopping. Box it up and put it out of sight, and start a stash ready for the festive season. Write a list and tick things off as you go, this prevents you from accidentally buying twice.