Thursday, September 21, 2017

Should You Save For Your Child's Future?

Are you a firm believer that everyone should work themselves for what they have? Or do you think this day in age things can be so difficult that a helping hand is the only way to get ahead? It’s a difficult one, especially as parents. We want to do right by our children, and finding the balance between handing them everything on a plate and letting them struggle through on their own can be a tricky one to get right. On the one hand, scraping through and overcoming obstacles teaches life lessons and makes you appreciate what you achieve all the more, but on the other, the financial world can be so difficult to navigate these days that all of the hard work in the world sometimes isn’t enough. If you want to give your child a helping hand, here are a few great reasons why it’s worth saving. If you start when they’re young, by the time they reach eighteen or twenty-one they will have a great nest egg to help with one of the following:


Higher Education
Education one of the main reasons many parents save for their children. Higher education is expensive, but it’s one of the very best ways you can improve your child’s prospects and generally give them a better chance of a prosperous and successful future. Along with fees, you have things like accommodation, books, living costs and more to take into consideration. Then they might want or need to go onto more education after that, for example, science based undergraduate degrees could lead to a master of science degrees or even a PhD. A medical degree is likely to then mean a large stint in medical school- the costs can really add up. College costs vary widely and if you’re on a lower income or in certain areas your child may be entitled to some financial aid when they come to start college. However, there’s always going to be some cost, so it’s worth having this money put away so it’s ready to be accessed if needed for your child’s education later on. It’s always better to have money in the bank than not have it available, and it’s always better to save than lend. Your savings shouldn’t affect your child’s entitlement to student aid, and you’re likely to always need to pay something anyway so be ready for this. If there is money leftover, it could always be used for something else.

Buying a House
It’s now harder to get a foot on the property ladder than ever before. House prices are going up, and mortgage lenders are demanding better credit ratings and higher deposit amounts, so it’s difficult for young people to achieve home ownership these days. Unfortunately, this can lead to getting stuck into a cycle of renting, once they move out of the family home to gain independence, saving while paying expensive rent is even more difficult. If you start saving early on, even having a few thousand to help them towards a mortgage deposit could help tremendously. You don’t need to feel as though you have to save for the entire thing, but a boost from the ‘bank of mom and dad’ can allow them to achieve this milestone. From there, they don’t have to waste money paying rent to someone else each month, every payment goes towards buying their property. Encouraging your child to start saving a portion of their wages as soon as they start work will help them to reach this goal more quickly, then with your help they can secure their first property.

Learning to Drive and Buying a Car
Having a car can open up a whole world of opportunities. Work, school, extracurricular and social activities will all be made easier for both you and your child if they’re able to drive themselves once they reach age sixteen. The cost of lessons, the purchase of the car and the initial costs needed can be expensive, so having some money put away for this is worthwhile. It’s a fantastic life skill, and over time their car insurance will decrease due to their experience on the roads so by the time they move out of the family home, it will be much more affordable for them. You save yourself having to run around giving lifts or prevent them from having to use unreliable public transport. It could be motivation for them to get a part-time job while they’re still in school to pay for it, this is useful as it gives them life experience and further independence.

Gap Year Travel
One of most people’s biggest regrets in life is that they didn't travel more when they had the chance. While of course, it’s possible to travel at any age and adjust the course of your life to allow this, it’s difficult for many. Education then work than family life later down the line are all very intense and time consuming, so taking a few months or a year out to indulge in this kind of thing are tricky. But travel is such a worthwhile experience and it’s not all about just having fun. It’s about seeing and appreciating the world, meeting new people, taking opportunities and learning. If you want your child to have this opportunity, you could save so they could take a gap year and experience all of this. They could go backpacking, volunteer abroad, visit some of the most spectacular places on Earth. These kinds of experiences really open up your eyes and give you a better understanding of who you are- things that will come in useful to your grown-up child throughout their life. This might sound like a very luxurious thing to save for, but it’s something that could definitely benefit them and shape them as a person for the better. Especially as this will be when your child has just finished highschool so won't have a full-time job or the ability to save for this themselves.

Start a Pension
Your child’s pension might be a long, long way off. But planning for it and saving for it now is a great, tax-efficient way to provide for them in the future. Even if you’re not around for it, your child will always be the most important person in your life and knowing that they’re looked after in old age can give you great peace of mind. Because pension savings are tied up until age fifty-five, you know that this money isn’t going to be dipped into, spent or wasted in their youth like a trust fund could be. It can provide great returns, although there are downsides too. For example, the age that a pension can be cashed out can be pushed back, and rises and falls in the market can affect the amount they will get. However, overall it’s a fantastic investment and is something that you can do as a parent.


Whatever you plan on saving for your child’s future, starting early and adding whatever you can afford to the ‘pot’ will quickly add up. This money can be incredibly helpful and give your grown-up child opportunities that they simply might not have had any other way. You can still encourage your children to work hard and appreciate all that they have while still giving them a helping hand when it comes to the bigger expenses in life.

Are you saving for your child’s future? What are you saving for?

Trick or Treat Halloween Treats!




Trick-or-treating—going from house to house in search of candy and other goodies—has always been a popular Halloween tradition, and we have some brands we'd like to share with you that are great for those little Trick or Treaters this year.

M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Candies Ghoul’s Mix Share Size-



Scare up a sharing opportunity with new M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Candies Ghoul’s Mix Share Size. With festive seasonal colors and a batty design, this new mix is destined to be a delicious personal treat for ghouls and enough to share with a gobblin’ friend.



** Watch this spot for more Halloween treats...coming soon!




Monday, September 18, 2017

Emmy Looks for Less from Azazie.com

Television’s elite rocked the red carpet tonight to celebrate the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards and a rainbow of fashion frocks took center stage.  If you want to sport a similar style, but not sure you can handle the price tag, don’t fear!  Azazie.com - an online bridal wear retailer that boasts made-to-measure dresses at a fraction of industry costs - has an array of stunning styles to ensure you look like a million dollars, without spending it. For some style inspiration, highlights of the night include:  

Wonderful in White – 


With summer wedding season barely in the rearview mirror, many celebrities - such as Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) and Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld) - opted to wear white for television’s big night.  Trying to extend her newlywed status a little longer, Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) joined the club, donning a beautiful strapless white Marx Zunino mermaid gown that showed off her amazing figure. For a similarly stunning look, Azazie’s Misty ($249) gown is a flattering sweetheart tulle strapless gown with a full pleated bodice and corset back that is sure to fit you like a glove, without breaking the bank.

Red Carpet Ready  – 




Red is always a sizzling color that ensures you’ll stand out in a crowd. Helping her to do just that, Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) wore a beautiful one-shouldered red gown that accentuated her curves in all the right places.  Similarly stunning, Azazie’s Carissa floor-length one-shoulder chiffon dress boasts a trumpet/mermaid silhouette, twisted flare in the back and one-sided ruching at the hip, all for the incredible cost of $129. 

Black Beauties  - 



Black sequined gowns were a hot trend at this year’s Emmy’s and stars such as Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Emmy Rossum (Shameless) looked fierce in sexy strapless dresses from Thierry Mugler and Zac Posen respectively.  To recreate this sultry look, try Azazie’s floor-length sequined Estrella gown ($109) that features a sweatheart neckline and mermaid silhouette for an unforgettable, yet affordable look. 

Orange is the New Black –



Color dresses were abundant at tonight’s award show and Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) is always one to embrace a bold hue. Tonight was no exception, as she wore a bright orange Zac Posen gown with thick straps and front detailing. Azazie carries several similar styles that provide a ton of bang for your buck.  The floor-length Melinda dress (shown in Tangerine; $129) features spaghetti straps leading up to a halter neckline, pleating throughout the top of the bodice and pockets to stash some money and your favorite shade of lip-gloss.  Kaitlynn(shown in papaya; $119) is a floor-length, empire style dress with a heavily pleated bodice that is sure to flatter any figure.

Back to the Basics – 



Celebrities were looking to make their mark at the Emmys and did so with interesting necklines (plunging galore!), embellishments and back detailing.  Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies) showed off her sexy side, wearing a green spaghetti strap dress with double back strap detailing for a little edge.  Azazie’s floor-length Kailyn ($119) dress boasts a similar strappy look, featuring an overlay of chiffon for an illusion halter neckline and back straps held together with a jewel button.

All Azazie.com dresses range in size from 0-30, as well as custom sizing and come in over 60 colors.

Making The Best Of A Bad Lot: A Guide To Repairing Bad Financial Decisions

Sometimes in life, we make bad financial decisions. It may be because we don't have enough information at hand to make the right ones, or it could be because we are so preoccupied with the issue it clouds our judgment. However,  one thing is sure, bad financial decisions can have a grave effect on our lives and cause repercussions for years after. That is why if you find yourself in this type of situation it's best to do a little work to try and repair the problem as best you can. So read on for some advice on how you can make the best of a bad financial lot.

No medical insurance

Medical insurance is something that many people see as vital for both their health and wellbeing and their peace of mind. However, with premiums being so high, it can be something that some folks skip to make ends meet. Unfortunately, this a is a false economy because if anything does go wrong, the cost you incur from such bills is likely to far outweigh the little you manage to save by avoiding insurance in the first place.

Of course, you can't go back in time and change this, so what are the other options? Well, you can lower your medical bills by choosing free health care, or even traveling overseas to receive treatment that is cheaper than it is in this country.

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Another option to consider is to apply for social security disability benefits if you can no longer work. To do this, it's always best to get the professional is like LaPorte Law Firm involved. As this increases your chance of being accepted. Then when you are awarded disability, this amount can help pay for your basics as well as go some way towards any medical bills you have incurred. Meaning that you can avoid bankruptcy and further damaging your credit.

Bad investments

Many people see investing in stocks and shares and other financial products as a quick and easy way to make money. However, the reality of investing is often quite different. As you can lose as well as gain.

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So what can be done to make the best of their bad situation? Well, first of all, it's a good idea to stop putting good money after bad. So that means it's best to avoid the temptation to recoup a loss on the stock market by investing more money. This is because it's like being at a casino and continuing to play when you have wiped out, in the hope that you will make enough money back to cover your costs. Yes, it may happen, but if it doesn't you will be in even more debt, making the problem much worse, and with no guarantees, either way, it's just not worth the risk.

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The next thing to consider is whether your loss is permanent or temporary. You see the stock market can change in an instant, but those that are successful with these types of investments, are usually the ones that are in it for the long haul. As they can keep their investment in until the value of their stocks rises again. Making their loss only a temporary. Although, this does depend on them being able to do without the money in the short term, which is why most financial advisors suggest that you never invest money that you can't afford to lose.

No savings

Many people also make the poor financial decision to ignore saving for their future. Meaning they end up living paycheck to paycheck with nothing left over. OK, some folks will argue that they can't save because they just don't have enough, but is this always the case?

It is, of course, dependent on each individual's circumstances, but in many cases, it is possible to make reductions to everyday costs. Allowing there to be some money left at the end of the month that can be saved for an emergency fund. A fund that is there just in case the worst happens like the car breaking down, or someone getting sick.

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Common and relatively easy changes that can be made to fund this emerging savings budget include being stricter with the grocery budget, by planning meals and using coupons to cut the cost. Changing service providers for things like energy and utility can also assist in reducing month bills, allowing them to be more left over to be saved.

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It can also be helpful to divert funds to pay off bills that are on credit before saving anything. As this is a more efficient use of money in the long run.

Bad credit

Credit scores are important. So important that they can be the one thing that can stand in the way of your next major purchase, like a home or vehicle. That is why it's vital to look after them and keep them as high as possible.

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So how can this be done, especially if they are already damaged? Well, it's things like missing payments, being late, and not communicating with your credit provider when there is a problem that can cause your credit rating to fall. It can also be problematic if you apply for too many loans or new credit cards in one go. So one way to repair your credit rating is to stop doing any of these behaviors.

Another way is to consolidate your debts into a single loan, meaning the incidence of late or missed payments is reduced. While also making your monthly outgoings more manageable. Something that could improve your standard of living as well as your credit rating over time.

No 401K

Lastly, a terrible financial decision that many people make is to skip membership to a 401K program. As this leaves no provision for your finances in your old age.

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Of course, if you can change this by opening one, you should. Although if you are readily approaching, or have already arrived at retirement age without one, what can be done?

Well, if you don't wish to continue working it can be helpful to liquidate other assets that you have. Such as selling a property or business concern to allow you to live off of the profit you have made. Something you can find out more about here.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Small Home Appliances That Make Life a Little Easier

Gerry and I have come to rely heavily on on two wonderful products; the Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker and the George Foreman Red Evolve Grill System.

Gerry loves his morning coffee and generally consumes about 4 cups throughout the day.  He loves the fact that he can fill up the reservoir with water, put in a filter basket with his favourite coffee and set the timer for when he gets up and voila he has fresh delicious piping hot coffee when he gets up in the morning. Even great for that afternoon coffee break time with some cookies or a muffin!


Sometimes when Gerry gets up early and the coffee is brewing he can easily sneak a cup without having a mess on the coffee maker and all over the counter. The other wonderful thing about this coffee machine is that it allows us to set the time within a 24 hour time frame. It is also so easy to clean with its removable parts which are dishwasher safe- making clean up effortless.  The carafe is a large one too, that holds 12 cups of delicious coffee.

As many of you may know we love to travel in our RV and sometimes weather conditions don’t permit us to BBQ or grill outdoors so the George Foreman Red Evolve Grill System is perfect for our road trips as well as in the home.  It’s compact enough that we can put it into a cupboard on our motor-home and not worry that it will go flying off the counter if we should hit a bump in the road.


We just love that it has a 2-in-1 capabilities and simple digital controls with removable plates so we can make steak, chicken and so much more and then change out the plates and make waffles or pancakes.  It is quite versatile and easy to use no matter what we’re cooking up. 

We love the fact that the temperature is adjustable from 300 degrees to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The ceramic plates heat evenly for excellent non stick cooking and the tilt tray allows us to enjoy tasty meals without the fat. The fat rolls down into a tray for easy disposal and no counter top mess.


And speaking of  it's ceramic plates, they’re so easy to clean and stay so clean too when we are cooking. A simple wipe gets most of the grease off and a soapy dish cloth or sponge gets all the removable parts sparkling clean in no time. 

The Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker and the George Foreman Red Evolve Grill System have really made our lives much easier.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: Canus Goat's Milk Skin Care Products

I love trying beauty products. Skincare too is important to me. With aging skin, goats milk skin care products make perfect sense to use.



I have tried the Nature by Canus bar soap, body washes and lotion and love them. They really make your skin feel good after using them. Canus has made its line of Goat's Milk Skin Care Products affordable for all, even for us thrifty folks!

The best thing about Nature by Canus, is that they combine a pure vegetable soap base with fresh goat's milk, plant-based ingredients and natural essential oils, such as Lavender, Olive Oil and Wheat Protein. Their signature formula, available in Original and Shea Butter, is free of parabens, phosphates, glutens and artificial colors. Plus their products are not tested on animals. That's alot of good going on in their skincare.

The Canus name produces more than 70 goat's milk skin care products for adults and children.

Canus has also launched its Canus for a Cure campaign to help patients coping with cancer and is active in supporting the Komen Race for the Cure events, Ronald McDonald Houses and the American Cancer Society HOPE Lodges. Teh company as well is also loving to the environment by using eco-friendly packaging, local sourcing ingredients, having Smart warehouse lighting, hybrid company vehicles, and an extensive recycling program. Thumbs Up!




Thursday, September 14, 2017

Find and Reserve Campgrounds Online for Free with RoverPass


RoverPass is a free online booking site with thousands of listings for RV parks and campgrounds. Campers who use RoverPass can quickly and easily find and reserve campsites across the country without having to place a call. Each campground listing is complete with reviews, campsite activities/amenities, pictures, and more.

Recently, they’ve rolled out a program similar to Airbnb but for RV and campers. Local members of a community with extra parking space on their land can create a listing on RoverPass. RVers looking to stay in the area can request to stay, pending the land owner's approval. This system helps cities with few public and private RV parks to accommodate RVers who want to visit the city for a few days but can’t find any availability.

The company also offers a Frequent Traveler Club. This membership allows you to book through RoverPass for free as much you’d like over the course of a period of a month, six months, or a full year. It’s perfect for those planning to travel across the states, from Seattle to Tampa, and stay at dozens of parks along the way!

Review: Starfrit Heritage The Rock Ceramic 10 Piece Cookware


My new Starfrit Heritage The Rock Ceramic 10 Piece Cookware is a dream and currently replacing my old Teflon cookware which was getting scratched quite a bit, resulting in unhealthy Teflon getting into our meals.

It’s time to say good bye to Teflon and never look back.  I love the appearance and even distribution of weight of the Starfrit collection including the even cooking of all all our meals.  



This is a beautiful collection of 10 pieces which includes three sauce pans with lids in sizes of 1, 2.1 and 3.2 quart as well as a stock pot with lid that has a  6.2 quart capacity and a deep frying pan 4.4 quart with lid as well.

The ceramic finish is rock like and is supposed to be 3 times better than any non stick products on the market.  Best of all I love the fact that the cookware is scratch and abrasion resistant which means they’re durable enough to stand up to anything type of stove from gas, electric, ceramic, halogen and induction stove tops. Plus I really like the color of this set!



I love the fact that when cooking with this set the food literally slides out of the pots, sauce pan and frying pan making clean up a breeze.  They wash up perfectly and are also dishwasher safe. So if your considering a new pots and pans set and want to get away from Teflon, this set is a great suggestion!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Re-Do on The RV Kitchen and Front Room Cupboards

Our RV kitchen cupboard and front room doors were in need of a stain re-do, but when Gerry went to just stain or varnish over top, it wasn't sticking too well, and then it was running and making white streaks on the doors. Oh no! What now? Well, he had to take the doors all off and sand them all down and start over with the staining and a clear coat. problem fixed but alot of time spent to fix them.




Monday, September 11, 2017

On This Day- Remembering 9/11

On This Day: Thinking of all those who put themselves in harm’s way to save lives on 9/11. Those that lost their lives and as well families who have had to carry on without their loved ones, we will always remember this day.