As a parent, you want to make sure that you raise your children to the best of your ability. You want them to be happy and feel confident in the choices that they make. Therefore, if they pick out certain toys to play with, why does it matter if they are designed specifically for boys or girls? What should matter is that your child is enjoying what you have purchased for them. Placing a gender bias on toys can affect their self-esteem and limit their future potential. Here are the reasons why you should avoid placing a gender bias on your kids’ toys.

Shaping a child’s world

The toys we play with as a child will end up shaping how we view the world as adults. A lot of our interests are shaped from what we experience when we are younger. So, if we played with a toy cooker and stove, there is a chance that we would enjoy cooking more as an adult. We may even decide to go into a cooking career as a chef! By limiting the type of toys that children can play with, this may affect how they grow up and what type of people they become. They may grow angry as adults because they have not been allowed to explore certain interests because of their gender. You do not want to limit your children. So, allow them to enjoy whatever toys they choose.

Gender Stereotypes

Most of the time, you will be able to spot the differences between toys created directly for boys and girls. Often this is because they will be blue and pink. This bias will direct girls to distinctly more “girly” objects, whilst boys may be pushed towards sports or scientific objects, like robots or rockets. If you set an expectation of what girls and boys are supposed to do when they are young, you will find that they will retain these values growing up. So, if the values become toxic, it may perpetuate certain stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. For instance, one toxic stereotype is that boys love cars and girls do not. That’s certainly not the case. There are many girls that love the freedom that driving brings. If a child chooses to give a car some feminine trappings, it is through their own choice, not because of a stereotype. So, what’s stopping you from purchasing your kids ride on Lamborghinis? Let them experiment and enjoy themselves with their own interests.

Developing core values

Although many toys are marketed towards a certain gender, it’s important that your child is allowed to play with as many toys as they want. Each toy presents a certain purpose that may help strengthen or develop a core value. For instance, if your son wants to play with a doll, it’s likely that he will strengthen his empathy and caregiving capabilities. If your daughter wants to play with blocks, it’s likely that she will strengthen her hand-eye coordination and engineering skillset. Allow your children to develop their own personalities through play.

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Being a mum is a full-time job. Besides doing the housework, you have to take good care of your kids and spend quality time with them. Yet sometimes, you might feel like you need some sort of fulfilment in the professional area of your life as well. Or maybe you want to have your own money to buy that lovely dress you saw on the Internet! Or you simply don’t want to let your talents be wasted.

Whatever the reason, you can fulfil that dream by working as a virtual assistant. This type of job has a lot of benefits that perfectly match the role of a stay-at-home mum. Besides providing the opportunity of working remotely while also enjoying the time with your kids, it also contributes to self-development.

Sounds wonderful, isn’t it? I mean, who wouldn’t want that sort of harmony in their lives? We know we would. If you think this is what you were looking for, keep reading to find out the advantages of working as a virtual assistant if you are a stay-at-home mum. 

work from home jobs

There is no fixed work schedule

A job that provides flexibility is a dream for many people. But to a stay-at-home mum who has so many duties, it can bring comfort and relief.

When working as a virtual assistant, you get the freedom to decide when you are going to complete the tasks. You don’t have to stick to any schedule- as long as your work is well done, it doesn’t matter what time of the day you do it.

Some people are more productive in the morning, while others do a better job if they work in the evening. You get to plan your day however you want to have time for your family. As long as you meet the client’s deadline and deliver the work in time, your working hours are up to you.

You can achieve work-life balance

Let’s be honest- work-life balance is something everyone is aiming for. Your job matters, but so does your personal time. A 9 to 5 job doesn’t only involve the time spent at the office, but also the commuting hours. You arrive home late after a tiring day at work only to realise that you ran out of food and you have to cook. Not to mention the other housework that you’ve been postponing. Among all these duties, all you need is a moment to breathe and unwind.

A virtual assistant job can bring the balance you need in your life. You get to manage your time better so that you can also care for your kids, watch your favourite Netflix show, and have coffee with your best friend.

Achieving work-life balance means living a fulfilling life. Investing in your professional growth while also making time for your passions will increase your well-being. 

It is an excellent growth opportunity

From data entry and travel booking to social media management, virtual assistants get to perform a wide range of tasks. And if you are the type of person who doesn’t like routine, you might find this job ideal for you. By offering different kinds of services, you get to learn many things, which is a fantastic way of growing professionally. If you don’t want to stick to the services that you’re already skilled at, you can always learn something new through online courses.

As a virtual assistant, you will constantly be evolving! You will gain knowledge on how different systems and programs work, and you will acquire multiple skills. You also get the opportunity to explore various working fields and see what suits you the most. Maybe having fun when creating something in Canva is more enjoyable for you than checking emails. Or maybe writing content comes naturally to you. Whatever is that thing you excel at, you can only find out by trying out different things!

It is a good source of income

Even if things might not be very stable at the beginning, starting a career as a virtual assistant can be a great source of income. It doesn’t matter if you are a single mum who needs to take care of all the finances or if you want to make your own money to help your husband with living expenses- an income is always welcomed.

The amount of money you will make will vary depending on what you offer to your clients. If you are available for services that are not common among other virtual assistants but are highly requested, it will automatically lead to a higher income.

 Plus, you can make money while drinking your coffee in a hotel room and enjoying an incredible view! There really is no limit to what you can do if you are a virtual assistant.

You don’t miss out on interacting with other people

When you are a stay-at-home mum, you don’t really get to interact with people aside from your family members, so it can become quite isolating at times. However, a virtual assistant job requires interaction with your clients. Be it either a phone call, a video call or an email exchange, you get to talk to other people, which can  reduce that feeling of loneliness.  Even though the interaction happens through a screen, it is still significant. Actually, if you are an introvert, you might find online communication even more satisfying!

Working as a VA is meaningful

Working as a virtual assistant can be really satisfying. You help people grow their businesses by simplifying their lives and reducing the stress they might experience. This can bring you a lot of fulfilment and make you feel like your work is valuable.

Besides, it’s more beneficial than other online businesses, such as those from the MLM spectrum. If selling products is not one of your strengths, these jobs can be really stressful and disappointing. But as a virtual assistant, people hire you for your qualifications and because they want your services.

You will be an inspiration to your kids

Children pick up what they see in their environment. They learn from adults- that’s why they must be surrounded by people who are an inspiration.

As they grow up, your kids might be interested in knowing your entrepreneurship story. They might even want to follow this path as well, and then you could share with them what you have learnt throughout the time. Your children will look up to you because they will appreciate you for being a supportive mum who is also successful at work.

Thanks to its many advantages, a virtual assistant job is wonderful for stay-at-home mums who don’t want to give up on their careers. It gives you flexibility, balance and leads to your growth- things that not any job can provide.

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If you’re prepping your newly born infant for their photography session, you must have already booked ahead of time. Generally, “newborn” photography is for babies who are no more than 2 weeks old at the time of the photos. 

However, no one is going to tell you that you can’t do 1 month, 2 month, or whatever month photos of your child. They will surely be just as cute! Let’s go over some tricks of the trade for preparing your baby for their photoshoot.

Fed and Rested

Specifics may be given to you by your newborn photographer and you should absolutely follow those instructions. However, if you don’t receive much insight, it’s not too hard to figure out. First, you want to make sure that your baby is fed 20-30 minutes before the photo shoot.

A hungry baby is a crying baby and a crying baby in a photo is funny here or there, but not for every photo. The best way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to make sure they don’t have anything to cry about. This will ensure that your baby is happy and going to be giving you all those beautiful poses that babies naturally show off so well.

You also would be wise to make sure that your new baby is rested enough that they aren’t sleepy and cranky during the shoot. It’s okay if they are slightly tired and end up taking a nap during the shoot. Sleeping baby photos are absolutely stunning but you may not want them sleeping in every photo.

If your baby is rested enough that they are not cranky and will be awake for maybe half of the shoot, then you have found the sweet spot. That way you can get some awake and some asleep.

Simple Outfits

Some parents really want to be specific in what their baby is wearing and that is understandable. From a photographer’s perspective, however, the best thing to do is keep it simple and clean. Actually, the best thing to dress your baby in is a solid-colored onesie. I know that seems basic but it will keep the focus of the photo on your little beauty rather than their outfit.

Babies also do well when they are swaddled and photographed. We all know that babies love being warm and wrapped up, this is because it reminds them of the womb and it is comforting. You can find gorgeous wraps and swaddles in many stores that are simple and provide your baby with the comfort they will be craving during this shoot. Many parents also enjoy incorporating headbands or other accessories. 

Additionally, a few diaper shots is a crowd-pleaser. Babes have such soft, new skin and features and that is what parents end up truly missing when they start to grow. You’ll sometimes hear how moms hate when their little ones lose their rolls. 

Don’t Hover

This is a tip for the parents to utilize to prep rather than a tip for your baby. Once you arrive at your appointment and things are grooving, you should really allow the photographer to do what they do best. 

It may be tempting for a new parent to interfere with the photoshoot, but this probably won’t be appreciated much by the photographer. They may ask for your help but wait until that happens. It’s okay to worry, and nothing is going to stop you completely, but trust that they know what they are doing.

Newborn photographers are trained to work with infants and small children. They know how to move your baby and pose them in ways that will be most appealing for the photo and safe for your little one. If you’re able to stick to most of these tips, then you can just sit back and enjoy the experience.

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Looking for plastic free Easter eggs this year? Or maybe you want a vegan Easter egg? I’ve picked out five of my favourites so you can enjoy your Easter treats guilt free.

best plastic free easter eggs

Happy nearly Easter!

I’m not in anyway religious, but I’m happy to jump on the bandwagon of any religious festival that requires the eating of chocolate eggs. Judge me if you will but there we are.

One thing that has always annoyed me though about Easter and Easter eggs in particular is all the waste that goes with them – all those chocolate eggs in huge plastic shells, just waiting for the wrappers to be torn off so that the plastic can get chucked in a lake and eaten by a pregnant dolphin, or whatever it is that happens to it. It’s definitely something like that. But then of course the fishing industry does more damage to fish than plastic, so perhaps veganism is really the answer. Not that Easter eggs normally have fish in them, but still, the principle is sound.

One really easy change you can make this Easter is simply to look out for plastic free or vegan Easter eggs, or ideally both! I’ve picked out five of my favourite options for you, plus if this has got you feeling the vegan Easter vibe why not have a go at making my vegan hot cross bun recipe?

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No-one goes into a marriage thinking it’s going to end in divorce, but unfortunately it does happen, and sometimes financial complication arise. So, what can you do to save money post-divorce? Read on to find out…

Whether you’re getting a divorce due to unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, or you’re using an annulment solicitor to void a marriage that should not have happened, going through a breakup means overcoming many challenges. It can, amongst everything else, lead to complicated financial issues. Not only can the solicitor cost money, but going forward into life as a singleton can leave you in a financial spot of bother.

It’s a stressful time, and adding money to the mix is even more stressful for some. But, it is important to ensure that you, your family, and your finances are protected after a divorce and that you can divorce cheap and quick. This will help you to get on the right track for rebuilding your life post-divorce, as you will now need to support your household on one budget.

Read on to find out our eight top tips that might help you to save money post-divorce…

How to save money divorce

1.   Review your insurances

More specifically, it’s important to make sure that your life cover is sufficient. This is especially important if you have children who are financially dependent on you.

Make sure to seek financial advice so that any policies are set up correctly to eliminate any Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) liability that could be due in the event of a claim.

2.   Create an emergency fund

It’s important to start creating a backup fund now, so you have a safety net. Easier said than done, we know, but you’ll thank yourself later!

This could be used to fix a broken boiler, car repairs, or if an unexpected incident happens in your life. Three to six months of living expenses is a recommended amount to strive for. After this, you can start to think of short- and long-term savings goals, if your budget allows.

Start looking at subscriptions you can cancel and other luxuries that will help to increase your disposable income and allow you to save.

3.   Switch utility providers

Another way to save money is to look around to different energy, gas, and water providers. Although, this wouldn’t be recommended by many experts in the current climate, it’s something to bear in mind for the future.

How to save money divorce

4.   Organise your finances

One of the main expenses during a divorce that will drain the money you receive, is the time of your lawyer.

If your finances are organised, you and your ex-partner understand who wants what, and you know your rights in terms of pensions, this can make the divorce process much smoother and quicker, saving you time and money. To do this, some of the things you need to know are:

  • Whether your ex-spouse has insurances in place to cover maintenance payments.
  • Check to see if there are Pension Adjustment Orders (PAO) as part of the divorce settlement.
  • Ensure to recognise how important a pension is.
  • Get your bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, mortgage payments, car loans, investments, retirement accounts and copies of titles and deeds organised.
  • Ensure you have a paper and electronic copies of important documents where possible.
  • Make a habit of emailing, not calling, your lawyers because time is money.
  • But if you do need to call your lawyer, ensure that you have a clear and concise list of questions you want to get answered.
  • Avoid paying for appraisals on houses and cars where you can.
  • Change beneficiaries on your pension fund and other savings.

If this sounds all too much, be sure to seek the help of a financial adviser to help you out.

5.   Consider a roommate

Although it might seem daunting, getting a roommate could be one of the answers to saving money post-divorce. If you are keeping your current property, you might have a spare room that can now be rented out.

The right roommate will help to take over some of the burden of the cost of rent, but they can also share the cost of groceries if you decide. In some circumstances, and once you’re sure they are trustworthy, you may also be able to rely on them for occasional supervision of your children.

6.   Downsize your home

As a couple, you would’ve been able to afford a bigger home than what you can do now you are a single household. Your expectations on your home need to be realistic, as you will struggle to save money if you want to buy a house of a similar size. So, consider downsizing to help ease the mortgage repayments.

How to save money divorce

7.   Don’t forget child benefit/tax credits

If you are based in the UK, you might be entitled to child benefit or tax credits. This might not make a huge financial difference to you, but it could help to cover the essentials your child needs and will take a little bit of stress off your plate.

8.   Change your habits

Changing your habits could be one of the ways to save money after a divorce. It might be difficult to give up the things you are used to, but until you have worked out your budget it would be useful to give it a try.

Habits to change could include eating out less, spending time with friends and family at home, or changing the supermarket you shop in. All of this might seem small, but it will add up.

How to save money divorce

Feeling More Confident About Your Finances Post-Divorce?

Here, we’ve summed up eight tips that might help you to save money throughout the divorce process. Not everything will be suitable to you and your situation, but there is lots of advice out there that can help you to save money before, during and after a divorce or annulment.

Are you going through a divorce or annulment and have some top tips for saving money? Let us know in the comments below.

Photos by Pixabay from Pexels, Pixabay from Pexels,  Scott Webb from Pexels, Michael Burrows from Pexels.

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Getting a divorce can be draining – both physically and emotionally. After investing a great amount of energy and emotions into a relationship, watching it all go down the drain can be heart-wrenching. Afterwards, you might even feel lost and empty.

In such a case, the first thing you may think about doing is changing your name back after divorce. It is one way to ensure that you are moving on. However, many women tend to keep their maiden names. It could be because the proper way to go about it is a bit shrouded.

It is all pretty understandable, and that’s why we are here to make the process a bit easier for you. If you’re struggling to find a legal and easy way to switch to your maiden name after your divorce, this is the article for you.

We have answered possible concerns you may face in the name change process. Have a look. 

Should I change my name after divorce?

There is no absolute right or wrong answer to this question. It is a matter of personal choice. For example, some people choose to keep their married surname to have the same surname as their kids. Others might not want to go through the hassle of changing their surnames.

Hence, whether you decide to revert to your maiden name after a divorce is completely your decision. There are no legal or moral obligations to undergo a surname change after your divorce.

Changing Your Name

After your marriage, you might have had two options staring back at you – take your husband’s name or opt for a double-barrel surname. However, after a divorce, it is only human to want to reclaim your maiden name. 

Most of the service providers and organisations accept the Decree Absolute, which is proof of the fact that the couple is divorced.

However, some other institutions like the bank often ask for a copy of the marriage certificate to be submitted in court. This certificate is later not returned, and hence, could be problematic. 

To get around this problem, you have two options at your disposal – make a copy of all your legal documents, or go for a deed poll.

If you were to ask us, a Deed Poll could be the way to go. It is legal and hands down the easiest way to go about your name change. 

If you just adopted your husband’s surname after marriage, it would be fairly easy for you to revert to your maiden name. You’ll need to submit a couple of legal documents, like your marriage certificate, absolute decree, and a signed statement stating that you wish to revert to your maiden name. These should suffice.

However, if your married surname was either a double-barreled surname or any other combination of you and your husband’s surnames, you’ll have to apply for a deed poll.

If you’re going through a divorce and wish to adopt a different surname altogether, you’ll require a deed poll for the same. However, you’ll not need a deed poll if the only change you’re looking for is your title. None of your primary documents, including your passport, recognises it as your identity.

Changing My Surname – A Fresh Start

Although there is no jackpot that you are entitled to after you change your name, many people believe it to be a fresh start and a new phase of life after you change your name using a Deed Poll. 

They seem to claim that changing their surname after marriage tends to help them feel more in control of their life and aids them in completely moving on.

Final Word

Whether or not you decide to change your surname after your divorce, that’s your decision. However, if you choose to change your name, a Deed Poll will be the best suitable option for you. 

Do you have more questions regarding the name change process? Feel free to shower them in the comments.

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If you’re in a long-term relationship or a marriage, you know that it’s not always easy to keep the fires burning. People from all walks of life can suffer from dry spells or inactive sex life, but what you need to know is that your sex life is not always indicative of the quality of your relationship.

Many outside influences such as work-related stress and daily chores can disrupt your intimacy. Sometimes, all it takes to change up the game and reignite the spark is an open mind! In this article, I want to show you the best male sex toys to use for solo masturbation or partnered sex to improve your sex life and eventually transform your relationship!

Why male sex toys, you may ask? Well, we all know that standard dildos and vibrators made for women are fantastic tools for masturbation and partnered sex. But, the sex toy market has grown so much in the past decade, and you don’t have to limit yourself to the classic choices.

There are tons of exciting options for male toys out there. They can fulfill your biggest fantasies and improve orgasms for both partners! So check out the best male sex toys you can try to spice up your sex life!

Pleasure Ring

Pleasure rings or C-rings are some of the most popular male toys. They are affordable, easy to use, and they provide tons of pleasure for you and your partner. These toys wrap around the base of a penis and use tension to safely restrict the blood flow during an erection.

The primary purpose of C-rings is to help with erectile dysfunction, but anyone can use them for wild and exciting sexual acts. For one, they make the penis look bigger and harder, and they also maximize all of the sensations. Plus, they can also delay your orgasm. This is especially useful if your receiving partner has trouble climaxing during penetration and needs more time.

There are many different types of pleasure rings available, from those that wrap around your penis and testicles to those that provide various vibration patterns. If you don’t know where to start, a vibrating cock ring is one of the best couples toys for ultra-tingly mutual pleasure!

Male Masturbator

Masturbators are some of the oldest sex toys for men, but they’ve come a long way from their cheap and non-functioning pocket vagina variants. Nowadays, you can find all kinds of vaginal, oral, and anal masturbation sleeves that perfectly replicate the experience of actual sex. They are some of the best toys for realistic solo fun!

If you have a high sex drive or your partner doesn’t share your appetite for kinky sex acts, a masturbator can fulfill all of your desires. Usually, these toys look like hollow tubes, and they have a life-like orifice. They are precision crafted to replicate the look and feel of a real vagina, mouth, or anus. Some of them even have warming features, vibration, automatic thrusting, and even remote control.

Also, you can even find masturbators that replicate the look of a porn star’s orifices. This could be just the thing if you’re looking to fulfill your porn star fantasy! And aside from giving you intense pleasure during masturbation, they can improve partnered sex. You can use them to increase your stamina and learn to last longer in bed!

Blowjob Machine

Who doesn’t love a good blowjob? While a deep and long BJ is one of the best pleasures a guy could ever get, not everyone likes to give them, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Fortunately, the sex toy masterminds have come up with a next-gen solution: blowjob machines!

If you’re confused, blowjob machines are automated robots that resemble classic masturbators. But, they utilize advanced technology and unique internal textures to give you the best hands-free blowjob out there.

Some of these machines, like the Autoblow AI, even use machine learning and artificial intelligence to simulate real-life oral sex movements and techniques. From slow and intense to fast, deep, and rough, a blowjob machine can give you your dream BJ whenever and wherever you want! It’s the perfect gift for you or your male partner!

Butt Plug

If you want to experiment with your backdoor for the first time, a butt plug is always a good idea. These anal toys can be used by men of any sexual orientation during masturbation, foreplay, and penetrative sex.

Typically, butt plugs have a conical shape that is specifically designed for easy insertion. They also have a small neck at the base and a stopper that prevents them from entering the anus fully. This keeps you safe and also enables you to wear a plug for a long time. Most commonly, anal plugs are made of high-quality silicone or steel. Many guys love them for the extra weight they provide. Plus, they’ll give you a unique feeling of fullness, even if you don’t like conventional in-out anal penetration.

The reason why they feel so pleasant is that their round shapes can target a lot of pleasure nerves outside and inside your anal canal. They can maximize the fun during oral sex, foreplay, penetration, and so on. Butt plugs also look kinky, and they can allow you to spice up your love life by trying new activities such as roleplay or even bondage.

Prostate Stimulator

A prostate massager is designed to directly target your prostate gland and give you unique P-spot orgasms. Also known as prostate milking, P-spot stimulation is quickly becoming one of the most popular sex acts for men. Many men enjoy the unusual yet immensely powerful full-body orgasm that’s possible only through prostate massage. The best tool for that is a prostate massager. This toy looks similar to an anal dildo, but it’s anatomically designed to hit the male G-spot just right.

This toy will give you an ergonomic shape with a finely crafted tip for direct P-spot stimulation. Depending on the model, you’ll also get a variety of vibration settings and patterns to play with for ultimate hands-free orgasms. You can also use these toys during sex with your partner to maximize your pleasure.

Let’s Play!

So which toy is your favorite? Is it a naughty C-ring or a high-tech blowjob machine that can give you the ultimate sloppy BJ? Buy a sex toy today, and you’ll change your sex life and your relationship forever! Just remember to use lots of lube!

 

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art gallery mallorca

Having arty friends can be both a blessing and a curse. You are never short of ideas for gifts for your other friends and family. You can give out bespoke gifts that are unique to the person that you give them to. That is to everyone who is not your arty friends. These guys work hard but finding presents for them can be very difficult. You need to appreciate all they do by gifting them something extra special. There are lots of different ideas that you can get for them. Look below to find out some.

Sewing Machine

Depending on what your arty friends do, they may already have one. However, these are great gifts for your friends who have an inclination towards crafts and hobbies. It can allow them to add another string to their bow and even push on their business. Or it may be a great gift for them so that they can make their own clothes. An easy-to-use and reliable machine can be bought from brother. If you are lucky, you may even be gifted something magnificent from this gift.

Technology

Art has progressed significantly in the recent past. No longer are they beholden to pens and paper that must be constantly topped up and maintained. In fact, many artists now use computer tablets to create their art. It creates less mess and allows for access to materials that are not readily available for purchase. There now exists technology for sketches on paper with ballpoint pens that can be transferred from your pad to your computer. This means that your friends can rest easy without fear of losing their work.

Headphones

Finding the time and space to create art can be difficult. Your friends may come off rude if they become irritable at constant interruptions. One way to stop this is to gift them headphones that block out sound. This means that they can indicate that they are busy as well as listen to what they want to without being interrupted by the outside world. They are also a gift that is not solely for work which they may appreciate.

Workshops

Buying your friend an art workshop almost feels like you are going against them in the art world. However, they will likely appreciate it. Not only will it be a fun day away from their own work but it will grant them the opportunity to experience another side of the artistic world. You can book a range of workshops and classes from pottery to smelting. They will come out of the workshop with great memories, a new appreciation for a different medium of art, and maybe even something to take home. These can be really fun for an arty friend.

Arty Friends

These are some of the most helpful and hard-working people in your life. They provide you with gifts throughout the year that you can give to your other friends and family. It is only right that you give back to them something that they will appreciate. Find out what your friend like and try and get them something that will help them in the future.

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benefits of budgeting

When it comes to managing your money, a budget is key. But sometimes it can be hard to see the benefits of creating and sticking to a budget.

The below tips are provided by Creditfix, experts in providing debt help and information on everything from how long CCJs stay on your credit file to economic abuse.

Below are six reasons why you should have a budget, regardless of your stage in life.

1). Budgeting Can Build Wealth Over Time

A balanced budget will help you build wealth over time. By setting aside money for savings and investments, you create the opportunity for greater financial security down the road.

2). Budgeting Can Help You Eliminate Debt

A budget is also a great tool for eliminating debt. If you consistently spend more than you earn, the only way to get out of debt is by paying off what you owe with money that you have yet to earn. Budgeting will help you get on track and keep you there.

3). Budgeting Keeps You Accountable

This is perhaps the most important reason to budget. A budget holds you accountable for where your money goes and will let you know if you’ve overspent on one category so that you can cut back somewhere else. Budgeting keeps you in tune with how much money is really available to spend each month.

4). Budgeting Preserves Your Freedom to Choose

Budgeting forces you to make choices about how you’ll use your money, rather than just spending it willy-nilly. It’s a way to decide if going out for dinner is really worth the extra expense that week or if staying home and making a meal at home would be a better option. Budgeting preserves your freedom to choose, which is priceless!

5). Budgeting Helps You Spend More Intentionally

Budgeting allows you to think about your monthly expenses and spending patterns in advance so that you can spend money more intentionally. This means choosing whether it’s really worth the extra expense to go out for dinner or to order take-out, rather than making a meal at home. Budgeting allows you to figure out what’s really worth spending money on and what you could live without.

6). Budgeting Can Bring You Peace of Mind

Budgeting can also bring you peace of mind by helping you get organized and stay that way. Budgeting gives you the opportunity to see where your money goes and enables you to plan for future expenses. Budgeting can even help you stay on top of unexpected emergencies, like that broken-down car or surprise medical bill. Budgeting provides a sense of security that comes from knowing that you have a plan in place to manage your family’s finances effectively.

So, is budgeting really that important? Budgeting can do all of the above, but it’s also essential for planning ahead and staying in control. Budgeting is an essential habit worth developing for yourself and your family.

 

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best coffee makers

Coffee is a versatile drink enjoyed in a variety of ways. Some people love hot steaming coffee with lots of froth and milk, while others prefer theirs black or on ice. You can also enjoy your coffee sweetened or with its raw, roasted slightly bitter taste. Another popular preference is iced coffee which is best taken on a hot day to cool off. Lately, however, a lot of coffee shops have been sporting the term nitro coffee, which is a type of chilled drink infused with nitrogen.

Nitro Coffee

The drink came into the market only four years ago and is thus fairly new. Mainstream outlets have recently adopted it into the menu, with hopes of expanding into more shops countrywide. It has however become popular quite fast as many people have grown to like the unique taste of the drink.  

To make Nitro coffee, one has to start by creating a cold brew. Often, people opt to create an iced coffee drink by just combining the two in a glass. As expected, however, the result often turns out watery and bitter. To resolve this issue comes cold brew, which is fairly easy to make. All one would need is to grind their coffee granules and then add cold or room temperature water. Allow it to sit overnight or for about 12 to 24 hours then strain it out. The next step is to turn this cold brew into nitro coffee by infusing it with nitrogen.

So how does one infuse nitrogen with coffee?

Most cafes simply do this through the use of a pressurized valve, and then serve the drink ‘on tap’, similar to a keg. For large-scale production, it would however be best to invest in nitrogen generators instead of having your cylinders refilled every so often. If you are a smaller coffee shop, however, the latter is also fine and perhaps more economical and attainable. If you are a coffee consumer and would like to experiment with this drink, you can visit any cafe and give it a shot. Alternatively, you can also make this type of coffee from the comfort of your home. All you would need are your choice of coffee granules as well as a whipped cream dispenser that contains nitrogen cartridges.

What makes this drink special?

  1. Has a smooth, velvety texture- The nitrogen will create tiny bubbles into the coffee thereby creating a soft foamy feel. You might not even need to add milk or any other form of dairy, as people often find this smoothness to be creamy enough.
  2. Much sweeter – Due to the use of the cold brew, the coffee will have less bitterness as compared to regular coffee. Moreover, the nitrogen will slightly change the flavor making it sweeter than a plain cold brew. You can however always add a sweetener or vanilla syrup if you prefer your coffee this way.

Visit your local restaurant and give this drink a shot, or make it by yourself at home. The experience will surely be worth it.

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Getting your next car or shopping for your first car can be a really exciting time. But for many it can be quite daunting, especially if you’re not sure how to fund your next car. There are a lot of questions to consider before getting a car. One of the main factors which can determine which type of car you get and how you pay for it is your budget. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can fund your next car and how to decide which is right for you.

Cash

Many people say when it comes to cars, cash is king. Buying a car with cash can be the most cost-effective way of owning your next vehicle. When you buy a car with cash, you will be the legal owner of the car so you can sell it when you are ready and make any modifications you like. You also don’t owe anyone any money and don’t have to pay more money in terms of interest. However, cars can be expensive to buy outright, and you may not want to spend your full savings on purchasing a car. Buying solely with cash may also limit your choice of car, depending on how much you have saved.

Credit card

If you don’t have the cash to hand to pay for your next car, you may consider paying for a car on a credit card. Buying a car on a credit card works the same way as buying anything on a credit card. You pay for the car in full on a credit card and then pay it off monthly with added interest. Some credit card companies tend to offer 0% interest rates for a set amount of months and as long as you pay your car back in this time frame, you won’t have any interest to pay! If anything goes wrong with the vehicle, you are also protected under the Consumer credit act if the car is not up to standard, or the dealer fails to supply the vehicle. You should note that some dealers won’t let you pay for a car on a credit card so it’s best to check first before you commit to getting one.

Hire Purchase

Hire purchase car finance is one of the simplest forms of car financing. You would apply for a hire purchase loan and if accepted, pay a deposit then spread the cost of your chosen vehicle into monthly payments with added interest. The interest rate is set by the finance lender based on your personal circumstances. Low interest rate car finance is usually offered to those with good credit scores but people with bad credit can also be considered for hire purchase. Hire purchase agreements are usually spread over 1-5 years and the lender owns the car throughout the agreement. Once the final payment has been made, the ownership of the car then transfers to the customer. There is no mileage limitation associated with hire purchase, but the lender has the right to take the car away from you if you fail to meet your finance payments.

Personal Contract Purchase

PCP car finance deals are a form of hire purchase but instead of paying off the full cost of the car, your payments only cover the cost of depreciation at the end of the agreement. Because of this, monthly payments tend to be lower than other options and can be more suited to those who like to change their car more frequently. At the end of the agreement, you have three options, you can pay the balloon payment and keep the car, hand the car back to the dealer or use the resale value of the car on a new car. In most cases, customers tend to hand the car back to the dealer so its key that the car is kept in good condition. You will set a mileage limit at the start of the agreement, and you could face additional mileage or damage charges if you exceed the rules of your agreement.

Personal Loan

Personal loans are a type of finance that isn’t secured against the vehicle you choose. This is because personal loans can be used to buy anything you want. Some people even take out personal loans that will cover the cost of their vehicle and first year’s insurance. You would apply for the amount you want and if accepted, it is deposit into your bank account and then you can get the car you want! You can get a car from a dealer or private seller, and you own the car from the start. You then make monthly payments with interest till the end of your agreed term. If you decide to sell the car before the agreement is up, you will still have to continue to make the repayments.

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If there was one thing I could change that I feel would significantly change the quality of my life it would be the consistency of my sleep.

When I was a teenager, pre-children, (I was 16 when I was first pregnant so my teenage years and parenting overlapped), my sleep was impeccable. I used to be in bed by around 9pm every night and I slept so soundly that sometimes my mum and my sister would worry that I was actually dead. They could shout at me and shake me and nothing, I was out cold.

And then I had a baby and honestly I’m not sure I’ve slept properly since. With my first daughter it wasn’t so bad – I still did the half ear open thing that all mothers do, but she slept well and I didn’t have a prolonged period of sleepless nights. Belle though found sleep more difficult. For the first couple of years she slept in bed with me and would wake sometimes hourly, and it wasn’t until she started school that she started sleeping through the night.

Fast forward another 10 years or so and the perimenopause and all her delights were upon me, most noticeable of which was an apparent inability to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time without having to balance it out with an equal amount of time spent thrashing about uncomfortably, counting down the hours until I knew I would have to be awake again.

Starting HRT last year helped massively, and I do wake up less and for shorter periods now, but my sleep is still far from perfect and it varies during my cycle too, some nights letting me go for hours at a time, others keeping me on high alert with anxious dreams and periods of overheating.

Fun. Times. All. Round. View Post

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