How to Make Your Next Family Pool Outing Amazing

How to Make Your Next Family Pool Outing Amazing

If you’re like the rest of America after a long lockdown, summer is looking good this year. You probably want to get out and find a pool, beach, lakefront, or other water area as quickly as possible. Whether you’re all about sunny sands or comfort by chlorine, your family wants to have as much fun as possible while relaxing. What can you do to make sure your next family pool outing is amazing?

Safety First

Before any other thing, you’ve got to make sure your family is safe while in the water. This includes having designated lifeguards, using safety equipment when needed for young swimmers, and using sun protection! If you have young swimmers or older family members who are not swimming as well as needed, getting swimming lessons is a must. Their awareness that it’s important to be careful around water is critical to their safety, and your relaxation. Water safety is a top priority during swimming lessons, which can give you and your children the tools you all need to stay safe.

Fun Water Games

It’s easy for kids to have developed a dependence on devices during a long quarantine. Being faced with a large pool is both exhilarating and confusing. While you want your kids to play by themselves, it’s great to introduce some fun games they can learn, so they can practice playing together. Something as simple as having water pistols that refills from the bottom, which can be opened into the water for continual “ammunition”, and a floating target, can be a blast for all ages!

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen

Everyone has done it- the accidental extra toasty day at the pool! Prepare ahead with several tools which can help. Your first is a high-dose sunscreen, which you can ensure that all have both on, and rubbed in, in advance. The addition of a children’s chewable aspirin is protection against pain after, but it won’t protect the skin from damage. To do that, you need to have a reminder alarm to reapply, of course! This is a perfect time to distribute snacks.

Your pool fun can continue all summer long, safely and happily, with just a little advanced preparation. Add a bag of snacks and some goggles, and you’re all set! Pretty soon your little swimmers will be begging to be in the water far more than they beg screentime!

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Obstacles in the Way of Young Families’ Financial Future

Obstacles in the Way of Young Families’ Financial Future

Being a spouse in a young family can be an interesting part of life. On the one hand, there can be so much joy as you build a loving relationship, learn about life together, and find ways to support one another. On the other hand, there are some very real challenges that can be exceptionally difficult to overcome. Among them, the obstacles that can get in the way of being financially secure.

Debt

Debt is a huge burden on any family, but especially so on young families. It doesn’t matter if the debt is “good” debt or “bad” debt. It still needs to be paid and can still lead to many feeling like they’ve overextended themselves financially. Debt has been a huge factor in the decision of many millennials to delay milestones like marrying, starting a family, and purchasing a home. It’s not surprising. Millennials carry twice the number of personal loans as Gen X. Until the debt has been repaid, you aren’t really in the best place you can be financially.

Lack of Retirement Savings

If past debts weren’t enough to deal with, thoughts and worries for the future plague young families as well. It’s partially because of the massive debts many young families have that they are behind on their retirement savings. It’s a problem that only gets bigger the longer it goes on. The later you start saving for retirement, the less you’ll have to pull from when the time comes. If you have a job that provides 401(k) matching benefits, you may be able to take advantage of pretax dollars to start squirreling away retirement funds. You can also contribute up to $6,000 in a Roth IRA if you qualify to have one.

A Rising Cost of Living

Life is expensive. Cost of living refers to what it costs to pay for housing, food, healthcare, and taxes. Some places have a much higher cost of living than others, but overall, the trend seems to be that it’s rising, no matter where you go. The rate of inflation is partially responsible for that, but no matter what the reason, it’s unquestionably a burden for a young family trying to become financially secure. Education and job advancements are often seen as the best ways to get ahead of the curve.

The obstacles that young families face to becoming financially secure can be daunting. Large amounts of debt, a lack of retirement savings, and a rising cost of living can be tough challenges to overcome. Do your best to educate yourself about your options for addressing the challenges you face so you can make the best financial decisions for your young family.

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How to Prevent Heat Loss in Your Home

How to Prevent Heat Loss in Your Home

Heat has a habit of going where we don’t want it. It enters our home on hot days and escapes it on cold days. You can’t completely eliminate heat loss, but there are several things that you can do to reduce the amount of heat loss in your home. But why should you care? Reducing heat loss will save you money on your energy bills. It will also lower your energy consumption which is good for the environment.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Insulating your home is an important step in reducing heat loss. The energy from the warm air in your home transmits to the walls of your home which then transmits to the cold air outside. Insulation slows down the rate at which this transmission occurs. All exterior walls of your home must be insulated. This includes the roof and the floors. There has been a lot of progress in the development of insulation over the years. If your home is old, you may prevent a lot of heat loss by upgrading to newer insulation that operates more efficiently.

Keep Your HVAC Maintained

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is responsible for heat generation and heat elimination in your home. Keeping your system properly maintained will make sure that heat is properly efficiently directed throughout the house. Keeping your pilot light on is one of the most important aspects of furnace maintenance. It is not unheard of for your pilot light to go out due to poor ventilation. However, if your pilot light keeps going out, this may be a sign of deeper issues in your system. If this is the case, you may need to bring in an HVAC professional.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors tend to be responsible for most of the heat loss in the home. Keeping doors closed is the biggest step towards eliminating this. The next step is to make sure that the weather stripping around the door creates a proper seal. To reduce heat loss through windows you should check the caulking to make sure there are no gaps through which air can escape. You can also use insulating curtains. Curtains and blinds on windows will help prevent heat loss by reducing the amount of heat radiation leaving your home. Heat radiation is heat transported in light form. This type of heat escapes easily through clear surfaces like windows.

Reducing heat loss is something that will bring you multiple benefits. First, you will be more comfortable during the cold months of the year. Second, you are going to feel more comfortable looking at your energy bill. And finally, you’ll feel more comfortable knowing you are reducing your impact on the environment.

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How to Save Money on a Major Household Purchase

How to Save Money on a Major Household Purchase

Everybody is being especially careful with money right now, and you are no different. But there are still some major purchases you need to make for your household. Is there a way to make sure you can both save money and get the products you need? How can you save money on a major household purchase?

Buy Used

With the internet readily accessible, buying used goods is far easier than it ever has been. There are some things which it’s difficult to purchase used, but others you can get used and not only save money but get quality, durable goods. Baby clothes, for example, are usually high quality and used for several weeks or months at a time. Cars, in particular, are much better as used options—they have already “lost” the value of driving off of the lot and being several years older, but yet, if well cared for, can be beautiful and serviceable for decades more. There are excellent groups online, on Facebook, and other websites, to find beautiful décor, clothing, and used jewelry options.

Look for Holiday Deals

Holiday deals don’t just happen in December! If you know when the deals are, you can find deals all year round. January, for example, is a great time to look for sheets and furniture. Stores often hold sales on items such as mattresses on Memorial and Labor Day. Consider waiting just a little while longer if you are buying those sorts of major items and look online for great deals.

Buy Online

There are amazing options online for finding excellent deals on large and small household purchases, by those who have been practicing safe-savings for decades. Websites such as Honey give you the option of having a web-crawling algorithm search for the best options and prices for you. Forums on many sites, such as Slickdeals, give you thousands of forum members who are dedicated to finding excellent deals. Others, like SouthernSavers, give you the option of both fun deals and local grocery deals, while also making sure you can find great household options.

There are so many ways to find great deals on major purchases, but you have to be able to resist the “sudden urge” or pressure to buy. Look around, find your best deals, and figure out what is the best option for your family. Your pocketbook, as well as your living room, will thank you!

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What Every Newcomer Needs to Know About Homeownership

What Every Newcomer Needs to Know About Homeownership

Buying a new home is exciting and complicated but doable. With a little prep in advance and taking the time to make sure you are well informed, you can enjoy the process and begin your journey towards homeownership.

The Benefits of Homeownership

Buying a home comes with plenty of benefits, even beyond the joy of avoiding constantly rising rent. One of the best things about owning your own home is that you can make the decisions about how you want your home to look and you don’t have to get permission from a landlord. Not only that, but your home will continue to gain value while you work on paying it off. You can earn equity just by continuing to own the same home. With homeownership, you also gain a sense of security knowing that you have a permanent place to live.

How to Protect Your Investment

When you own a home, you must protect your investment by taking care of regular maintenance. Making sure that you check your HVAC, take care of your roof, and pay attention to water damage so you can fix it early will help you to keep your home in great shape. You can protect your driveway from the elements by sealcoating the surface. Maintenance tasks can get overwhelming, but if you make it a part of your regular schedule, you will be able to take care of problems and keep your house looking great.

You Have Time to Perfect It

When you buy a new house, especially when it isn’t brand new, it can be tempting and overwhelming to take care of every change you want to make at once. Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you don’t have to take care of everything at once. Instead, make a list of the changes you want to make and arrange them by priority. Painting can be a great first step that will make a big difference but won’t take a major investment of time or money. When you have a plan for updates moving forward, you can relax and take time to enjoy your new home. 

If you are new to the world of homeownership, you have an exciting time ahead of you. Make sure to take the time to enjoy your home and to help it become the place you have always wanted to live.

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Why You Should Always Read the Fine Print When It Comes to Your Money

Why You Should Always Read the Fine Print When It Comes to Your Money

Despite being referred to as the root of all evil, money is also how the world turns and we live our lives. Without it, life becomes far more difficult, which is why it’s so important to make financially sound decisions. Reading the fine print on financial agreements is often tedious, but there are some excellent reasons to do it anyway.

Understand the Risks

Just about everything you do with your money will involve some degree of risk. Whether you’re putting money in savings accounts, investing in the stock market, or making a purchase, the risk is inevitable. To make an informed decision about the risks you’re taking, you need to first understand them. If you don’t find the risks listed in the body of the agreement or contract you’re agreeing to, they’ll probably be in the fine print. Reading through it carefully can help you get a better understanding of what negative outcomes you could potentially face.

Avoid Predatory Institutions

Not all financial institutions have their customers’ best interests at heart. Ultimately, businesses exist to make a profit, and some are more willing than others to do whatever it takes to make it, even if that means it comes at the expense of their customers. Predatory lenders will offer higher than average interest rates. Their agreements may include terms that trap customers into unsuitable loans. Reading through any agreements, including the fine print, can help you identify these types of institutions so you can avoid them and their unsavory lending practices.

Understand Your Responsibilities

The terms and conditions of any agreement involving your money are important to understand. This is often the part that includes information about your responsibilities and penalties you may incur for not holding up your end of the agreement. You should read through the entire agreement carefully, including the fine print. This will help you make sure you have a clear understanding of what your responsibilities are to not void the agreement or incur penalties. Failing to hold up your end because you didn’t read the agreement carefully enough doesn’t mean it isn’t binding.

When it comes to your money, you need to take measures to protect yourself financially. That means reading the fine print. Doing so will help you understand the risks you’re undertaking, avoid predatory institutions, and understand your responsibilities in the agreement. It takes time and effort, but the protection it offers is well worth the trouble.

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