What to Do If You Cannot Afford Your Kid’s Birthday

For most children, the excitement reaches fever pitch when their birthday is just around the corner. They can’t wait to have a party with all of their friends and, of course, they probably have a wish list full of presents. This can be a worrying and upsetting time for any parent that is struggling financially. It is made even worse by the fact that other kids seem to have the latest mobile phones and games consoles, and you don’t want your child to be left out. So, what can you do if you cannot afford your kid’s birthday?

pixabay-birthdaygirlPhoto Credits

Start saving
If your child’s birthday is several months away, you still have some time to save. You may think that it is impossible to put away money every month when you are struggling as it is, but you would be surprised where cut backs can be made. Here are some suggestions to help you with saving when money is already tight:

Sell things – Do you have clothes, games, or furniture around the home that you no longer use? There are bound to be plenty of people that would give them a happy home. Plus, with auction sites like eBay, it is easy to get things off your hands these days.

Use cash-back programs – There are so many different cash-back programs today. Whenever you make a purchase, you will get a percentage of it back as cash. You can add this into a savings account for your little one’s birthday.

Find cheaper gas – There is no denying that gas is a costly expense. However, you can search for the cheapest gas in your area by using the GasBuddy app. This app uses your location to determine the cost of gas around you. You can then save a few bucks every time you fill up.

Change your car insurance – If you have not changed your car insurance in a while, you could find that you are missing out on a lot of savings. Use a comparison site to see if it would be cheaper switching provider.

Go meatless – Next time you do your grocery shop; try to reduce the amount of meat you spend. If you only eat meat once or twice per week, you will save a lot of money. Plus, it is a lot healthier too.

Eliminate unnecessary expenses – It is time to rethink what the word utility means. It should mean the sort of things that you cannot live without. Do you really need your expensive cable package? If not, switch it for a cheaper Internet-based service and add the savings to your child’s birthday fund.

Unplug electronics – Even when the switch is off at the plug, your electronics still leech electricity. Start unplugging them altogether.

Ask friends or family
Have you tried discussing your money issue with a close friend or family member? The likelihood is that they will be more than happy to help if they are able to. After all, they will want your child to have a great birthday too. Bring up the subject with them and see if they offer to help. If they don’t, and you feel comfortable, you could ask them politely if they would be willing to lend you some money and if you could pay them back over time.

Have you considered a loan?
Nowadays, there are many different forms of financial aid available, and taking out a loan can be a good way to ensure your kid has a great birthday. It is simply about finding the right loan for you. Don’t take out more than you need to. Simply borrow a couple of hundred dollars or whatever is required to buy your child a present and give them a good birthday. Just because you can borrow thousands does not mean that you should. Making payments over time is a lot more manageable for most people, and a lot of lenders will enable you to choose a repayment period that is suitable to your situation. This is a good option for those that don’t want to discuss their financial situation with their family and friends. If you know you have income coming in regularly and you can make the repayments on time, it will actually boost your credit rating too, which will help you when borrowing money for any reason in the future.

Make sure you stick to a tight budget
You don’t have to spend a fortune to throw any amazing birthday party. Even if you secure a loan or a loved one offers to lend you some money, you should still set yourself a strict budget. Plus, if you throw an elaborate birthday this year, they will only expect an even bigger one next year. Don’t waste money on private venues or hiring an entertainer for several hours. Do things the old fashioned way. You can easily host a party at your own home, and it doesn’t need to cost a lot to put on a buffet and make some party bags. You could even ask some of the parents if they would be willing to bring something to add to the buffet. You don’t need to buy fancy invites either, as there are plenty of templates online today, which you can easily print out and use. Make sure you have one invite per family. If you are inviting a brother and sister, there is no need to put both names on the invitation.

You can also take care of the entertainment yourself. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a professional service. Enlist the help of one of your friends to do face painting. There are plenty of courses and videos online showing you how to face paint, balloon model, and perform magic tricks. And, there are always the traditional games that provide a lot of fun and make everyone laugh, such as musical chairs and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. To make the birthday even more special, why not have a theme? From pirates to fairies, there are so many different options.

Raising Children in the Middle of Nowhere

Raising children is one of the most stressful things that we can do these days. It’s also extremely expensive considering all of the things we have to provide for them. From clothes to video games and college tuition, we’ll end up spending a considerable chunk of our life savings just to keep our children healthy and looked after. But providing them with a good upbringing also depends on where they grow up.

As explained in this article by https://www.theatlantic.com/, many people have chosen to live as far as possible from cities because of many different reasons. For starters, it’s far enough so that you aren’t affected by things like air pollution and noise issues. The air is cleaner, fresher and it’s ultimately a better experience assuming you can handle the slight inconveniences such as no fast food deliveries and being further away from stores.

However, the problem comes when you decide to raise children. Perhaps the nearby schools just aren’t good enough, or maybe you’d prefer for your children to be brought up around technology and within close proximity to their school friends. In fact, some families even go so far as to move back into the city just for their children. This is a very drastic measure, which is why we’ve written this article to tell you what it’s like to raise children in the middle of nowhere and hopefully convince you to stay put where you are.

pixabay-guitar-girlPhoto Credits

Your children will learn to appreciate life

First, let’s start by saying that rural living can be tough! For instance, most of us that live in the countryside usually need to call water pump services like http://www.slaterpumpsmelbourne.com.au/ in order to get running water. As opposed to the ease and convenience of just turning on a tap in almost every other location, it’s a lot of hard work and they’ll grow up learning to appreciate the smaller things in life. They’ll pick up essential skills like learning to cook with fresh ingredients as opposed to buying a frozen meal, and they’ll learn to get around town on their own two feet or a bicycle instead of sitting on a bus or train. They’ll learn to appreciate nature and embrace simple pleasures instead of sitting on their computers all day.

It’s lonelier in the city

Let’s face it, even if we live in the city how often do you speak with people? Everyone is so busy and wants to work as quickly as possible that we only ever get to converse with people during breaks at work or if our job demands it. Compare that to the close-knit communities in the countryside and it’s like night and day.

Learn that the world is a big place

One day, your children might want to move to the city or you’ll decide to send them to a better college or school. Once you do, they’re going to find it hard to cope because they’re in a completely different environment to what they’re used to. People do things differently, there are new types of people to meet, and they’ll finally get to eat from those fabled “fast food” places that you’ve been telling them to avoid. They will learn to appreciate the world and how big it truly is, and their experiences will ultimately empower them and show them the beauty of life.

Getting the Kids More Active This Summer

Its summertime in the other side of the world, the sun is out and the kids have a chance to be active. But with the gadgets available nowadays, a lot of children aren’t as active as they should be. In this side of the world, school is back and kids spend much time the classroom. With a lot of school activities, they may also spend less activity after school. But did you know there are still a few ways to encourage kids to be active.

kids-activitiesPhoto Credit

Lead them into the garden

What with all the video games, TV channels and movies that are so easily accessible in this day and age — even to our children — it’s easy to allow them to stay in the house and indulge in them. It’s easy for you to give into their demands to want to be inside. In fact, it’s easy to join them inside too. But if you want your children to be more active this summer then you need to entice them outside. And to do so, you need to make coming outside and staying fit as appealing as can be. Something that you can try in this particular venture is to set them up an area where they can physically play and express themselves in as free a way as possible. If you have the space to do so, this area should be in a separate part of the garden to the space that you generally use so that they can be as active, loud and destructive as they want. And if you have the funds to do so, you should have artificial grass, such as that offered at www.astrodeck.com.au, laid down too. This will mean that no natural grass will ever be harmed as your children run around and play on it. Thus, you can retain a garden that works for the whole family, and not just the kids. So, not only will having artificial grass laid suit your venture of getting the kids active, but also your desire to retain a garden that is free of wear and tear.

Take them cycling

Cycling is most definitely a summer sport that you should get your children involved with as much as possible over the coming months. By taking your children out on bike rides, or even signing them up to a cycling club, you can be sure that you’re doing all you can to keep them not only active, but fit too. One reason for this is that cycling improves cardiovascular fitness twofold. It improves lung capacity and increases endurance. So, get your child a bike, fit some stabilisers on it if they’re too young to ride without one, and watch them cycle their way to fitness this summer.

Keeping your kids active whilst they are still children is imperative for their growth and general wellbeing. So, don’t just treat this summer as a chance for you all to enjoy and create memories in the present. No, also use it as time to ensure that your children’s physical futures are as safe and as steady as possible.