The Importance Of Having A Back Up Plan

Recently, a well established British company called its nationwide sales staff for an unplanned meeting and fired most of them as soon as they arrived without any warning. A lot of those who were fired were devastated and reportedly returned home in tears. Apparently, they didn’t have a backup plan because they had never imagined something like that would ever happen to them. This incident shows how important it is for everyone to have a backup plan in these economically uncertain times.

So what is a backup plan? Basically, it is a plan for an alternative course of action in case things do not go your way. It gives you something to fall back on and a chance to start all over again or to give your life a completely new direction. It ensures that you will not have to end up in the streets or hand over your children to foster care in case you lose everything you have. It makes sure that you will have enough to feed your family, pay your monthly bills and repay your debts.

Here is a backup plan (or Plan B) that you could use as a model for your own backup plan if you lose your business or job:

  • Save a portion of your income for a rainy day: When times are good, make sure to set aside a portion of your income for a rainy day. Having enough money to pay your bills and your debts makes life more bearable in times of hardship. If you have large enough savings, it gives you something to restart your life with. I would say 6 – 12 months worth of expenses.

  • Practice living within a budget: When money is flowing in, it is easy to get carried away and spend extravagantly. But you should never forget that good times do not last forever and there may come a time when you will have to count your pennies, so create a monthly budget and learn to live within it. It will help you to make a painless transition into a life of reduced income.

  • Invest in a side business or find a part time job: If you have some money or an additional skill, invest in a side business or find a part time job. Having an alternative source of income, however little it may be, makes the prospect of suddenly becoming unemployed less bleak. With a business or job already in place, you will find it easier to rebuild your life.

  • Develop a hobby and learn new skills: The process of learning should not end until the day you die. Develop a hobby, such as cooking, and enroll in training courses and programs. Many people who have lost their job or business have found great success with the skills they have learned as a hobby.

How about you, what’s you back up plan?


7 Rainy Day Activities Your Kids will Love

Once those rainy days roll around and the kids are off from school, parents have two things on their mind: how to keep their kids out of the rain and how to keep them occupied without having to spend much money. It is always handy to have a few options up your sleeves to make a rainy day a memorable one for your kids as well as for yourself.

Here are 10 rainy day activities that your kids are sure to love and will cost you very little:

1. Play board games the old way

Although kids these days have access to hundreds of online board games, they’ll appreciate the old fashion way of playing if you play with them. The all time favorite classic board games for kids include Monopoly, Snake and Ladders and Candy Land.

2. Take the kids swimming

Children love swimming and seem to be able to swim all day. Besides being a great way to exercise, swimming is cheap. Take your kids to an indoor pool to avoid the rain.

3. Take the kids to a movie

These days, children spend a great deal of time watching TV online. However, they still love going to the movie with their parents. There are always great movies playing at the theatres, so choose one that is making waves and take your kids to see it. To cut the cost, choose a day when there is a discount.

4. Read stories

Good stories never go out of fashion and children of every generation love them. Choose a good book and read it to yourself first. Then plan how you are going to read it to your kids, improvising the voice and mannerism of each character.

5. Give the kids a cooking lesson

Kids do not generally like cooking because they think of it as a chore. However, they will love it if you make it fun. Choose some simple dishes that your kids love and show them how to prepare the recipe and cook them. Do it over several days – one dish per day. Besides being fun, it will be a lesson they will greatly value when they become adults themselves.

6. Paint the walls

If your rooms need repainting, then involve your kids in DIY painting. Show them how to use the brush and how to apply the paint without creating a mess. When they have learned enough, give each of them an area that they can call their own. It may not be a good idea to paint the exterior of your house, but you can always paint the interior walls and ceilings. And your children will simply love it.

7. Have a party

Most children love to dance and eat. Besides being fun, dancing is a great way to reenergize the body and mind. You can get a karaoke machine and sing your favorite songs.

Use your imagination, be creative and think out of the box when searching for things to do with your kids on a rainy day. To keep the costs down, concentrate on the resources available at home. You may not know it yet, but if you look carefully you will find that your home is a treasure-trove of things that help you save money on children’s activities at any time of the year.

What do you do on a rainy day to keep your kids occupied?

8 Ways To Save Money During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most profoundly life-changing experiences in a woman’s life. Discovering that you have conceived and are on your way to becoming a parent are epic moments that you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. Pregnancy brings many significant changes with it and among the most important will be regarding your finances – or how to manage them, to be more precise. While your income will probably not increase, there will be additional costs that you will find difficult to avoid.

Here are 8 ways you can save money during pregnancy:

1.  Ask your friends and relatives for baby items

With so many little kids in every neighborhood, there is bound to be someone you know who may still be in possession of used baby clothes, toys and other things in good condition. Ask them what they have and whether they would like to pass them on to you.

2.  Go on bargain-hunting trips

Since your costs have suddenly increased, it is time to start hunting for bargains – even if you are not in the habit of doing so. Haggling is a skill that not everyone is born with but everyone can learn to master. In every store where they allow bargaining, negotiate with the salesperson to get the best deal.

3.  Take advantage of sales

At any time of the year, there are several sales going on in outlets, supermarkets and malls. Find out where sales are taking place and how much discounts they are offering. You can usually save 50% or more on purchases during sales.

4.  Buy second-hand baby items

Once your baby is born, there will soon come a time when he or she will need things like a baby bath, play mat, baby swing, toys and other items. If you are unable to get any of these from your friends or relatives, then buy them second-hand from your local eBay.

5.  Magazine subscriptions

Magazines provide a lot of interesting information on pregnancy, house keeping and other topics to keep you occupied. But it is now time to drop the subscriptions to make money available for other more important things. Instead, visit websites and blogs where they offer free advice.

6.  Mailing lists

Many online companies offer discount codes and coupons and even sample products as a reward for signing up for their mailing lists. Take advantage of this by signing up for as many mailing lists as you can.

7.  Buy vitamins and food supplements in bulk

You need a lot of vitamins and food supplements to keep yourself and your baby healthy during pregnancy. Since you will need to have them every day until the birth, it is not a good idea to buy a little at a time. You can save a lot of money in the long run by buying in bulk because of the discounts and free gifts.

8.  Shop online

Online vendors can afford to offer their merchandise at a cheaper rate because they often do not have to pay overhead expenses or spend a lot on advertising costs.  Most of them also allow you to return the items you have purchased if you don’t like them.

Pregnancy is an exciting phase in life. Since your costs will increase no matter how careful you are, you have to be innovative and creative and think of many different ways to save money during your pregnancy if you wish to go through it without any financial worries.

What are some of your pregnancy saving tips?

This is a guest post

5 Ways to save on your next grocery store trip

On average, Canadian households spend between $50 and $250 per week on groceries. The actual amount is dictated by family size and income level. Larger families need more groceries and the more affluent consciously or unconsciously gravitate towards more expensive items. But regardless of the size of your family and income, your grocery bills can quickly grow out of proportions and unbalance your monthly budget if you are not a prudent shopper.

So here are 5 ways you can save money on your next grocery store trip:

1. Make a shopping list and stick to it: Having a grocery list before heading to the grocery store will prevent you from buying on impulse and giving in to temptations. This often results in your buying things that you do not really need and forgetting to buy the things that you actually need. A shopping list helps you buy only the items that you absolutely need and avoid the ones that you can do without. You can view it as a carefully considered plan that addresses your weekly requirements.

2. Do not take the children: Taking children to the grocery store may sound like a good idea since you will have company and a helping hand to carry the groceries. But from a “saving money” point of view, that is a very impractical idea as kids invariably always want to eat something whether they are hungry or not. Grocery stores know this and they display tempting foods where children can see easily – often right next to the entrance. Leave the children at home if you want to save money.

3. Buy in bulk when there are sales and promotions: Many groceries stores have sales and promotions on a regular basis. Whether it’s through coupons or their flyers. If you know that there is going to be a sale not too far in the future, then you should wait for the day. Buying in bulk during sales and promotions often saves you up to 50% or more off the money that you normally spend on your grocery trip. Of course, you should be careful not to buy more than just the right quantity of the things that can go bad quickly, such as tomatoes and bananas.

4. Compare prices: A prudent shopper always compares prices – of different items in the same store and of the same items in different stores. If you want to save money on your grocery bills, then you should also develop the habit of comparing prices. Because there can be considerable differences in prices, you can save a lot of money by buying cheaper items. However, “cheaper” should not be at the expense of “quality”. Consuming low quality food can often lead to sickness, which can be more expensive.

5. Shop only once a week: Shopping can be addictive and the more often you visit the grocery store, the more money you will spend unnecessarily. So make it a habit to visit the grocery store with a shopping list only once a week. In fact, you should buy all non-food items such as toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, detergents, bleach and toiletries at the beginning of each month to last the month. You should buy food for the whole week during the weekend. This way, you will not spend money on unnecessary things.

What are some tips you use when grocery shopping?

Online Trading With ANZ

onlinetradingBuying shares in a company gives you the opportunity to own a piece of a company that is publicly traded. The main goal is of course to make money either by a dividend that is paid, or a share price growth, or both. There are many companies that offer trading services that will allow you to buy and sell shares that you like.  ANZ offers online trading services through their website 24/7 and provides a wealth of data to assist you when determining which investments to buy.

Here are a few things you should consider when buying:

  • Do your homework  (Know what you are buying)
  • Buy shares only in companies you are familiar with
  • The company you are investing in should have a long history of growth stability
  • Thorough research is highly recommended with independent analysts and reports
  • Learn about buying shares if you are newbie

The benefits of buying shares are:

  • Capital growth

This is what everyone is looking for. Their stock to go up in price so they can either sell at the higher price, or celebrate now that their investment has just gone up in value.

  • Dividends

Shareholders are paid dividends in the event of share profits. Some companies allow dividends to be reinvested into new shares or in the form of an income. The dividends also have tax benefits.

  • Shareholder privileges

Shareholders in a listed company are entitled to receive general information on the company and are at liberty to vote at annual general meetings.  Privileges can differ depending on the type of shares you have.

  • Trading

Being able to buy and sell at your own leisure is a great advantage of buying stocks. You can access your account 24/7 and you can trade online from the comfort of your home. If you choose to buy stocks through ANZ it is quick and simple. You’ll own a piece of the pie in no time.

  • Diversity

Buying shares in a variety of different companies whenever you like is a huge benefit of trading. You can choose the company of your choice to buy shares in and you can choose to sell your shares in a different company. It’s up to you

Online trading has come a long way and there are many companies offering these services. Research and choose the best company that is going to meet your needs.

What company do you use for trading?

This is a guest post

Picture by Preeti Sawant



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