The best things in life are free, of course, but there are moments when life, cannot be free! Kids are expensive, from the moment they are born, they cost you money. Here’s the thing: children are pricey, and they will cost you money right up until your own death. That’s not a bad thing; it just means that preparation is key from day one. It’s only when you decide to have children that you decide to look a bit deeper into the future and figure out what you can offer. Not only will putting money to one side give them a chance to plan their future, but you’re also going to provide them with the right support along the way.
There are many ways that you can give your children the best possible future, and that starts with sitting with companies like Keoghs Solicitors. They will be able to take you through estate planning and writing a will, which is a must when you have children. Below, we’ve got five ways you can look after your children in the future ahead.
Setting Up Bank Accounts
Children may not use their bank accounts in the same way that you do, but opening an account for them is so important. Doing it when they’re young will give time for interest to build and as they get older, they’ll be able to take over the account. You can develop good savings and strictly speaking, there will be no tax to pay on those accounts.
A Junior ISA enables your child to take over the account at the age of 16, though there are restrictions on money withdrawal until 18. They are a tax-free savings account and they’re specifically designed for under-18s. You can get a cash ISA set up straight away, and when money is invested, tax is not paid on capital growth. If you’re worried that your child will take control of this account and end up splurging the money, then you can still keep tabs on it with limits of withdrawal.
Writing A Will
Writing a will with Keoghs Solicitors is so much more than jotting down who gets the children in the event that you die prematurely. It’s about detailing where you want your money and your estate to be. You can also talk about who is going to be in charge of ensuring that your wishes are adhered to. A will can secure your children’s future, as you haven’t left it up to the government to decide what happens with their childhood home and all of your money and bonds. It’s a good investment, and it gives you peace of mind, too.
By having a life insurance policy in place, you cover an amount to keep your children secure and solvent, paying off the mortgage and their education at the same time. Life insurance is going to give you peace of mind that you have looked after your children even when you’re not here and it’s going to be a smart move in securing their future. Life insurance is going to secure your own future as well as your children’s, so it’s a smart decision either way.
An Education Fund
Wherever you are in the world, education costs money. Some universities won’t charge massive fees for tuition, but your children still need help with living costs. The best thing that you can do is set up an education fund. Some people may use this for tuition, but others can pay for their children to live comfortably and have all of the equipment that they need for success. Education is going to cost, and if you can alleviate the pressure on your teenager getting their own job, then it makes sense to take it easy on them as much as possible. Your child can then grow into an adult with options and choices when it comes to their education, and this is one of the best gifts you can give them.
You want to give your kids the best possible future, and putting aside even a small amount of money can make a big difference to them. Over time, this will build up and be something to boast about knowing that you secured their future from the moment they were born. Children need support, and you can ensure that the support that you give lives on long after you do when you go through these five tips and get them into action as soon as possible.
There’s a world of possibilities out there, and when we’re trying to make every day count for us as well as those that depend on us, we can undervalue the idea of education. If you’ve got children, perhaps you just send them to school and not think about it, but part of living our lives is ensuring that we expand our horizons. Whether you have got kids or you don’t particularly value the idea of education are there ways for you to get back into the swing of things and realising that there is a multitude of learning opportunities out there without sitting in a boring classroom?
Exploring The World
The world is our classroom! And with resources like NST, we can make sure that there is that opportunity to learn without putting our noses in books. You might not be someone who enjoys reading or finds it quite impossible to do because you’re so busy, but this is why exploring the world should be part of your your own extracurricular activities. We learn so much from exploring the world that it makes us appreciate what we’ve got.
Even if you’re someone that doesn’t like the idea of getting on a plane, you can still get your fair share of culture right underneath your nose. Whether you have children or not, getting exposed to as many different social and artistic highlights as possible is a fantastic way to learn by osmosis. Because if you start to surround yourself with cultural expeditions, whether it’s going to the local zoo or watching a play in the West End, it’s a fantastic method to get out there and have more of an adventure. It’s a fantastic springboard to getting a new hobby or fuel a desire that becomes a lifelong passion.
Using The Internet For The Right Things
We use technology so much in today’s world that we’ve got instant access to information, but we need to use technology appropriately. We can learn so much from the web, but there’s an additional skill we all need to learn and that is filtering information so that it is from reputable sources. Because of apps like Duolingo, we are able to learn languages while on the go! This is a fantastic thing, of course, and when we start to use the internet for the right things, this can sharpen our desire to to learn the right things. Because we can tend to use the internet for social media and seemingly trivial things because of the wealth of information out there if we can start to use it for a little something that can benefit us we will see the improvement in our lives.
We can all benefit from a wealth of education outside the classroom environment. Whether you have got children that don’t seem to do well academically or you had a bad relationship with school, you can learn how to develop skills without the rigid structure of education. It’s important that we develop our knowledge outside of the classroom.
It doesn’t matter if you are starting a brand new business or you are trying to boost sales for an existing product, it’s important to attend events. Advertising at events is a great way to get the name of the brand out there, to market a product or service face to face and it’s an excellent opportunity to reach out to a broader audience. However, event advertising does take up a lot of time if you give it your all. This includes preparing for the event by designing artwork and gathering materials, as well as attending the event itself and following up on leads. It’s something that can take away from the time you spend with family if you don’t find the right balance. Luckily, finding a balance is possible.
Balancing Event Advertising With Home Life Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
A lot of people assume that balancing event advertising with home and family life is out of the question, but it doesn’t need to be. Rather than becoming overwhelmed with the amount of time that event advertising often requires, do everything that you can to find a balance. This will leave you with more time to relax at home and enjoy family life. Here are a few ways to get started.
- Use a Professional Printing Service – A lot of hard work goes into designing a fantastic banner for an event, but there are ways to make the entire process a lot easier. Once you have the design sorted, enlist the help of a professional printing service. Not only can you rest assured, knowing that the printing process is being taken care of by an experienced and skilled team, but you will also have more time to focus on family life. Rather than worrying about whether or not the banner will be printed to a high standard, you can spend time unwinding at home with loved ones. There are some printers that offer a quick turnaround, such as pull up banners | 24-hour turnaround available, meaning that you don’t need to worry about anything too far in advance. Though you will want to avoid leaving things until the last minute and risk being without any advertising materials, you can rely on a professional printing service even when the event is right around the corner. There’s really no need to take on everything yourself and miss out on family life, not when there are professional printers offering affordable and high-quality services.
- Design Artwork Using Banner Templates – There are a lot of things to think about when you are designing advertising artwork, which can make the process a lengthy one. Not only do you need to think about the design itself and what you want to include on a banner or poster, but you also need to think about the layout and colours. This can be a difficult task for someone with design experience, let alone someone who is trying it out for the first time and is unsure of what to do. To speed up the process and to have more free time for family, use a banner template. A banner template makes designing artwork for advertising a lot quicker and simpler, as there is no need to worry about getting the dimensions or sizing wrongs. With a template, you have a lot more creative freedom, and you don’t need to worry about getting the design wrong. You’ll be able to submit it to the printers, knowing that it will work and look great. You can turn your rough ideas into a fantastic design, knowing that an artwork template will stop you from going too far off course. There is a tonne of templates to choose from, which means that there’s something for every designer and every business.
- Only Attend Important and Relevant Events – There’s no shortage of events for you to attend as a business, regardless of the industry that you are in. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to attend them all. It’s challenging to balance event advertising with family life, but this only increases when you attend more events than you need to. There are a lot of benefits that come with attending events, such as raising brand awareness and networking. Saying that this is only worthwhile if you are attending events that are relevant to your business and what you are offering. There is very little point in attending an event that focuses on a different industry or an event where your potential customers are unlikely to be. It’s a lot easier to balance event advertising with family life if you are only making time for the events that really matter.
- Don’t Take Advertising, Events and Networking Home With You – Though it can be difficult to leave a task unfinished and to switch off at the end of a busy day, it’s an important part of finding the right balance between work life and home life. Even if you are spending time at home and with your family, this time is only quality time if you leave the stresses and strains of event advertising at work. In order to balance everything, you need to set aside time and dedicate yourself to family life. This could involve unwinding at home, or going out for a delicious dinner or heading off on a day trip somewhere local. There’s very little point in making time for family, only to spend that time networking on LinkedIn or tweaking artwork.
As you can see, balancing event advertising with family life is not easy, but it is definitely possible. There is a lot of help out there – such as enlisting professional printing services, only attending important events and using a design template – and so finding a balance is doable. Event advertising is an important part of operating a successful business, and it’s a fantastic way to gain customers, but it’s not something that needs to impact the time you spend with family.
Many parents who begin businesses do so because they want to take charge of their time. They want to know that they can take time out for the kids when they need and that they’re able to guarantee free evenings. The trouble is that it doesn’t always work out.
Far from leaving you free to enjoy evenings with the kids, the chances are that you struggle to even make one free night a week. Instead, you find that there’s always something to do. Worse, it won’t get done if you don’t do it.
This can be frustrating, and it could even lead to disruption and resentment at home. No one likes to sit at the table with someone who spends the whole time on their phone, after all! The good news is that those early dreams of free evenings aren’t as outlandish as they seem right now. All you need to do is put the following plans in place to ensure you can enjoy that time with your kids without distraction.
#1 – Automate where you can
Given that your business rests solely on your shoulders, the chances are that you can’t resist but check-up even when you’re out with the family. Sadly, as soon as you check-in, you find a whole load of stuff that needs doing. From admin to processing online orders, a ‘quick check’ could turn into a whole night of work. Luckily, automation could save you from ever needing to check again.
Something like the web applications offered by software development agency Xibis can automate virtually any business requirements so that you can rest easy your online processes run like clockwork without you. Automating out of office email replies could also save you worrying about admin during your evenings. Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy family time at last.
#2 – Separate the business from the personal
If you use the same phone number for business and personal, there’s a high chance you’ll answer business calls out of hours. Equally, using a personal email for business purposes means emails will come straight to your private phone no matter the time of day. By keeping a divide here, you can make sure you’re able to switch off when you leave the office once and for all.
#3 – Get strict about business hours
It also pays to be strict about business hours both with yourself and your customers. No one expects the owner of a small business to work 24/7. As such, simply being clear about operating hours ensures that you won’t lose custom by not replying during your evenings. Again, sending automated out of office emails is a fantastic option here. Even just adding a note on your website of when you’re back in the office can let you off without losing your custom.
Each of these simple steps can smooth the divide between your working and personal life. And that, in turn, can lead you to work-free evenings for whole family enjoyment at long last.
Running a business and bringing up a family is something of a juggling act and you will see a lot of information about striking a work/life balance in order to feel like you have really got this thing under control. This is like suggesting that we can neatly cut our time in half, devoting it exclusively to our home and work in turn. The reality could not be further from this, however, and in all honesty, it is time to ditch this pressurised unrealistic ideal that we keep being sold. You are not failing if you cannot neatly segment your life into the two categories, far from it! Being a parent and business owner is no mean feat but rather than fighting for the unachievable why not strive to create some harmony instead. To be brutally honest there is no such thing as a perfect balance. Sometimes you will actually sacrifice some family time to grow your business, but conversely, you will also find you will sacrifice the business to focus on your family at times too. Neither is wrong or failing and what works for you might not work for others. Harmony is an individual thing and finding your own levels of harmony is what matters. If you resolve to do one thing this year, make it the intent to stop looking for a work/life balance and instead replace it with harmony. Here are five great way of achieving family and business harmony to get you started.
1. Try Themes for Your Week
On a Sunday spend some time deciding what your priorities are for the coming week, it doesn’t matter if these are home or work priorities, they are all part of your life! Then see if you can create a theme for each day, maybe Monday’s are about shipping orders, Tuesdays are for Marketing, Wednesdays for returning calls and answering correspondence, Thursdays for the kids and Friday’s anything goes depending on what is needed. To-do-lists make a great addition to harmony, you can see at a glance what needs to happen, but the priorities give the list a focus and a purpose above and beyond just working down the items. You could organise the list by priority so things near the bottom can be left undo if time escapes you, and you will not worry or stress about these things as they are not the priority they can wait.
2. Choose Wisely
We have all fallen into the yes trap, where anything that comes our way we accept and take on. This can add to our burden and heap on the guilt. It is important to consciously make choices that fit with our overarching desire for harmony. We are conditioned to work hard, in fact so hard it should all but kill us, and while this is admirable, it isn’t terribly practical or harmonious. It is time to take back control and start making choices that actually fit for us. If you do not want to take on something, then don’t feel you have to. No is such a little word but really hard to say. It is time to practice this, as for some reason it tends to be something we can say to our family, but not in business. Examine what you are taking on because if it damages your mental health and your personal and family life, is it really worth it?
3. Get Out
There is a tendency to push vital self-care habits to the side and convince ourselves that they do not form any part of our harmony. Well, that is a common misnomer, and in fact, self-care is an integral part of maintaining this harmony. So what does that mean? Well, it means that you need to be active and get out and about in the real world. It can be easy to go from desk to home and back again, desperately working all the hours you can to get everything done but the benefits of walking the dog or going for a run cannot be overlooked. Exercise helps with mood and the regulation of hormones, which is actually more important than you might realise. So take the time to go for a swim, take the kids out on the bikes or something else active.
4. Don’t Forget to Sleep
Burnout is an issue that can affect anyone, but if you run your own business, then you will want to avoid this one. Not sleeping well can cause a myriad of health issue not least feeling tired all the time. It actually weakens the immune system and leaves you susceptible to coughs, colds and viruses. It also lowers the processing power of the brain which funnily enough links directly to our productivity. Make sure you find time to rest, even if you don’t sleep well at least resolve to lay on the bed and relax with no electronics. Try meditation this is a great way to relax the brain and help restore a natural balance in the body even when you are feeling super busy.
5. Remember Who You Are
We are human, not robot. There is a limit to what we can do, and pushing ourselves actually only means that something somewhere slips. Forget trying to live up to some ideal dictated by the internet or social media and stop searching for the impossible. You are more than enough, and you need to take time to congratulate yourself on what you do achieve rather than berate yourself over things you do not get done. Our children are only young for such a short time you want to look back on the period with warm memories and no regrets. Harmony is how you will achieve this when you realise it is ok to drop the ball on something every once in a while. It doesn’t matter if you cannot attend one meeting or you cannot make every playdate on the calendar. The balance comes not from our work and home life, but from the acceptance, we find within our harmony.
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Freelancing can be the most rewarding way to work, which is of course why so many of us choose to be an entrepreneur and build a business. However, it can also seem like we are continually chasing ourselves and finding it hard to create a happy medium between family and work. So just how do we balance freelancing and family life.
Build a Schedule
If you want to make sure that you have the right balance you need to do some planning. Decide what hours you can realistically work and block those out, the rest of the time is family time, and you need to try and stick to the separation between the two. For some people one block of work a day is the best solution, for others work gets scattered into chunks that fit neatly between things like school runs, bedtimes and meal times. It is all about assessing your day and deciding what you can fit where.
Have a Back-up
So, while a schedule seems fine in principle, we all know how easy it is for things to change. A child off school sick, an appointment with the doctor, there is any number of things that can upset the balance. The way many people overcome this is to have a contingency plan. Whether that means giving up a night off to catch up or having to message clients to ask for more time, having a plan in place means you will be less stressed if the worst happens.
There is no point cramming your schedule so full you become a screaming wreck in the corner. It is essential that you set realistic targets when it comes to working. Many clients will happily wait for work as long as you keep them in the loop. Asking for a realistic deadline, not enforcing your own ideas makes more sense. Naturally, clients will want their work doing promptly, but if you have set a 24-hour goal when a client would be happy to wait three days, you will be able to better plan and prioritise work. Sometimes you will have to say no, but that is ok.
Ditch the Small Stuff
Hands up who has a cleaner? Domestic tasks are something that many parent entrepreneurs end up outsourcing. The simple fact is work and kids are your priority, and you can earn more in an hour than you would pay the lovely lady who pops in three times a week to help with the housework.
She does a better job than you do and you can rest easy knowing that it will all be done. Consider creating carpools with other parents if after-school activities are taking up chunks of time each week. That way you can do one a month rather than one a week and save yourself some time. Anything that you want to get rid of to free your time is a consideration. Far from feeling guilty, you should feel proud of yourself for finding a more efficient and effective way to get these things done.
There is something quite magical that comes with the freedom of running your own business. As a parent, it offers another level of convenience that you cannot get when you work for someone else. However, if you are not organised and create yourself some rules you can feel like all you do is work and throw your children at nurseries and relatives, so how do you create a balance? Here are some great tips for parent entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Balancing is a Skill
What you have to remember is that while you may be at home while you work, you are neither a full-time worker or a full-time parent. In order to make this situation work, you are going to have to learn to balance the two. Whether that is grabbing an hour of work while your baby sleeps, or whether realistically you need to have a couple of half days childcare scheduled, finding the pattern that works for you is paramount. Some parent entrepreneurs make it look so easy, their darling little one plays happily on the floor by their desk for hours, while your darlings seem to have one volume and leave you wanting to tear your hair out. It is about finding the balance that works for you.
There is a myriad of apps that help with organisation, from to do lists to full-on task management software. Many offer a free trial period or cut down version so have a look before spending any money and see what works for you. We are fans of Trello and Todoist, both of which are mobile, so work not only on your home based computer but on your phone and tablet too. This means you can stay organised on the go and never miss a trick. Be realising with your time scheduling; there is no point in trying to schedule a meeting for dinner time if the family need you to be in parent mode then.
Clients are just people, and the chances are many of them have families of their own. If you are expecting a new arrival make clients aware of this happy event as it may impact your ability to meet deadlines. Most people respect honesty and will have no problem waiting a little bit for work, especially if you are laying in a hospital bed having given birth or at home looking after the older children while your partner is delivering the new arrival. It is easier for people to feel positive about a delay if they can understand the proper reason behind it. Struggling stoically onwards while missing deadlines left right and centre is not suitable for your business reputation. Clear communication is the key to making sure you maintain a great relationship with your clients. Many parents often state from the start that they will not be at their desk during school run times, but can offer work after the kids are in bed for an hour or so. This flexibility is often what swings a contract for many people.
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Summer holidays are awesome! You get to spend loads of time together with the family creating memories. For the parentpreneur, it can mean you have had to juggle work and spend time with the kids. Back to school can come as quite a shock as you have had no fraught mornings trying to get everyone ready, meals times become fluid, and there is no homework to supervise. So when September comes, just how do you prepare your family for back to school and business?
Start the Groundwork Early
Make sure that everyone knows the routine is about to change again. You will probably have gone shopping for new school stuff, so this is an excellent time to talk about things. If bedtimes have been less rigid then about a week before term starts it is good to put the routines back into place. A calendar is an excellent visual aid that the children can be involved in while you are juggling getting things ready for work and school. Picture cues can be great for younger kids, so it helps them understand that they are off to school again. Get older children to take responsibility for specific tasks and help the younger ones get ready. Have a school collection point in each bedroom so you can easily see if everything is accounted for in terms of clothing, shoes, PE kit, lunch boxes, and water bottles, etc.
Make a List for School
In order to remember everything that needs to happen, or that needs to be purchased, make a list. A large sheet of paper or a whiteboard in the kitchen means that kids play their part. They can add things that they think need to happen and if you agree you can add them to the master list. Prioritise them as you add them into date order. Leaving school shopping right to the end can mean things are sold out, it also gives you less time to sort any problems like new shoes not fitting as well as hoped. If someone has a new pick up point or will be walking a new route add this as a practice item. It can be an activity that everyone helps with; perhaps a good dog walk with the family.
The Business Side
Here is another excellent place to start a list. If you have been on reduced hours in order to spend time with the family, this is a great time to start another list of things you have to do once everyone is safely back in school on the first day. Don’t expect miracles in the first couple of days; it is almost inevitable that problems will occur. Lunches left at home to first day nerves, many things will crop up that need your attention. Be realistic with your time planning and leave anything not urgent until the second half of the week, or even until week two of school. Most parentpreneurs will tell you that work, school, and home are the biggest juggling act ever but when you love what you do, so worth it.
Getting a divorce isn’t easy for any member of the party, and it may be difficult to tell your children about the family changes that are taking place. However, telling your children about divorce or separation doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think. Handling the legal part of a divorce doesn’t have to be an utter headache either, especially when you can have legal help from competent Family lawyers in your area to help you through each stage with respect for the sensitivity of your situation.
There are ways to approach telling your children that will still make them feel confident and loved, and here is how:
Tell Them Together
During a divorce, it is common for a child/children to take sides and for one parent to come out of the divorce process worse than the other. By telling your children about the change together, it presents a united front, and it will show that both parents can still be civil and will stop your child getting dragged into any conflict if there is any.
If this cannot happen, then the best option would be to communicate with each other before telling the child, so that you both know what will be said at the discussion. A structured plan of what to say and what not to say will stop the absent parent from being shone in a bad light, and to avoid sadness for the child.
Tell the Truth
Your children deserve to know the truth and nothing less. This process will affect them emotionally, and there is no point in lying about what is going on, especially when it may come out in the future.
While sharing some of these details with your children may be difficult, you want it to be as easy as possible for them to understand and it is the best way to go about this. By telling them the truth, they will be able to ask questions, plus open and share their feelings more. You know your children better than anyone else, so only use simple language that they are comfortable with.
Tell Them Things Will Be Different
There is no point in denying the fact that this separation will have a big impact on your child’s life and it is important to acknowledge that and not brush it under the table. Your children won’t want to hear about all the changes, but it is important that they know how the movement will affect everyone involved.
Mention everything that may change over the next couple of weeks, whether this is in their home life or education, as the divorce may affect their results as well as living arrangements. Parents should really take this opportunity to emphasise everything that will remain the same, as children hate change.
Tell Them You Love Them
One of the simplest points: remind your child how much not just you, but your soon to be ex-partner love them. It is a reminder to tell your children that they are a production of love and that both of you will be there to support your child throughout every milestone.
Listen to Them
Children, especially those that are younger, may have a lot of questions and it is important to answer these questions rather than avoiding them. The process isn’t just about telling your children about the change, but supporting them throughout the difficult time and it is important to listen to their worries and feelings.
Once the news has been shared with your children, sit back and listen to everything that they may have to say about the situation and comfort them in the best way possible. You should encourage your children to share their feelings and help them communicate exactly what they’re thinking.
This post has been written by Karis Jones, a solicitor in the family law department at Howells Solicitors. Karis’ main area of expertise is private, and public law children matters although she has also obtained several non-Molestation orders for those that have been subjected to domestic violence. Karis also offers legal surgeries on a monthly basis at the YMCA, Huggard centre, and Women’s Aid.
As a parent, setting up a business can be just as worrying a time as exciting. You will want to make sure that your business is a success, not to mention that it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on your family.
You are likely to hope that your family are 100% behind you for your business ideas and efforts, and if they are then it will definitely make things easier. That said, not everyone is lucky enough to have the support of their family when it comes to setting up and running a business.
So, what can you do if you find that your family are not supportive of the things that you hope to achieve when it comes to your business? Here are some of the things that you can consider.
Don’t argue with them
There is a good chance that the lack of support from your family will make you feel frustrated. Unfortunately, the last thing that you are going to want to do is try to argue with them in order to get your point across. Arguing is never beneficial. In fact, it can make the situation even worse. You can end up saying things that you don’t mean to one another, and there is a much lower chance that you will listen to one another’s point of view.
Get your vision across
Just because you should avoid arguments with those unsupportive family members, that doesn’t mean that you should just give up trying to get them to understand your point of view. Instead, it is a good idea to sit down with them and talk calmly about your business idea. You can show them how you see the business progressing and developing, as well as the end goal. If you can show them your vision, then there is a much greater chance that they will get on board and give you the support that you need.
Know what is a genuine concern
Hopefully, you will have plenty of positive people around you to support you when you are setting up and running a business. If you do, and these people raise a concern that they have about your plans, then it is probably on good grounds. You may find it hard to listen to any concerns that are brought up, but if you don’t then this could cause you a problem in the long run. Sometimes it is a good idea to take on board things that people say from outside, as it could highlight things that you are too close to see.
Keep on going
It can be tempting, when you have no-one behind you, to just give up on your dream. But, if you can, then keep on going. You may be surprised by just how much you can push yourself and that you can reach your end goal. And when you do, you can show your doubters that you were always going to get there!
If you’re a parent who’s got a great idea for a business or perhaps you’ve already taken the first steps, PIB HUB is for you. Whatever the shape, size, and nature of your business, and whatever sort of idea you’ve got, community is a great place to evolve, develop, and grow.
Our community will be particularly helpful if you:
- Feel like no one understands your position and don’t have anyone to turn to
- Lack the tools and resources to drive your business forward
- Aren’t making any or very little revenue
- Are feeling overwhelmed
- Are struggling to juggle your business and family life