MORE than Finances

Get your finances in order, and get on with your life!

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The Factors of Borrowing from Family and Friends

girls-1209321_640Money can sometimes come between friendship. It can even spoil family relationships at times so it is important to think before lending to or borrowing from friends and family. It is often the cheapest way to get the money you want but there are other considerations. If you are in real difficulty or you know that you are lending to someone in real difficulty, there is always the chance that the debt cannot be repaid and you must be prepared for that and the consequences of that happening.

There are considerations when the situation arises which may affect the decision.

Immediate family

If you know that someone in the family has a short-term cash flow problem and the money will be repaid fairly quickly, there is really no problem in agreeing to a loan. You may even get a little interest as well.

However, it becomes more difficult when a relation who has a history of financial problems wants money. The prospect of repayment is slim so the wisest thing is to refuse because you are likely to be seen as an easy source for money again in the future.

How much

You should never lend an amount that you cannot afford because that can put you in trouble in addition to the person you are helping. Each individual has a different view on what obligations they have and how they should address them. Even close relations can let you down and it is certainly best to regard any lending strictly on a business basis. You may well get no favors in return for your help so don’t expect them. If the ‘’transaction’’ is kept on a formal business basis, with a proper contract, there will be no surprises on either side.

Criticism

There is no benefit in criticising someone for getting into financial difficulties. It happened to many during the recession when unemployment was an everyday event. Certainly someone who has regularly lived beyond their means has made mistakes; sometimes this is evident in an expensive credit card balance. Anyone embarrassed to admit to this and able to get a personal loan at a cheaper rate should take one, and pay off that balance in full.

Conditions

If you do agree to help someone out, you should make it clear that you are unable to do this a second time; that should engender more discipline in the friend or relation who has got into difficulties.

You should be firm in this and not give way to sad stories unless there is a serious emergency. If you stress to a borrower the need to think more carefully about their finances, they should perform better in the future.

If the money being asked for is to pay specific bills then it makes sense to say you will send the money directly to the creditors involved. If you are met with a frown when you suggest that, gauge the reaction of the person asking for money.

You should not discuss this with any third party, including the closest of relations. That is only likely to result in gossip and harm to relationships.

Repayments

If you have prepared a contract then you should expect to be repaid in accordance with that contract. There are ways to get the money back without hounding the borrower though you should not feel guilty about asking if the money is not forthcoming.

Joint Responsibility 

One thing you should never do is to open a joint account or credit card whereby you become responsible yet have no control over the spending on that account or card.

Help

You will probably be more adept with money than the person asking for help. There is nothing wrong in offering advice about handling money so that your friend or relation performs better in the future. If they do, it is less likely that you will need to help out in the future.

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How Blue Apron Can Save You Money

I’ve always wanted to be a professional cook like on TV.  When I got my Blue Apron box, it was a little like having a secret fantasy come true.

If you know you want to sign up already click here. If you need to know more about it then please keep reading.

Ordering Your First Blue Apron Box

The ordering process is quick and easy. Simply go to Blue Apron’s webpage and sign up. After inputting your information and any coupon codes you find you select which meal plan you want.

Blue Apron will let you pick your favorite types of meat to eat, or rather your least favorite. In the settings menus, you can check or uncheck meats you do or don’t like. This allows Blue Apron to tailor the meals to what you like rather than what they just currently have available.

Blue Apron also offers vegetarians a wide array of options. As someone who loves to eat meat, I can say that the vegetarian meals they sent so far have been some of my favorites.

If after you sign up you don’t want to get a box every week you can “skip” a box. Or you can go in like me and skip all the boxes. Not that I’m never going to order again but I don’t want to accidentally forget that I’ve got a box coming and I’m on vacation and can’t get it.

When It Arrives

The box itself is not that large, or at least not as large as I thought it would have been. Once you open it though you see everything packed perfectly. It’s in an insulated bag with several ice packs and has so much food in it that it looks like you’ve just gone grocery shopping.

I took everything out of the bag and cleared a shelf in the fridge that was designated for Blue Apron meals. There were some things that came that I already had like limes, garlic, and oranges that I didn’t want to mix.

Preparing The Meal

Have you ever been jealous that TV has perfectly portioned out amounts of whatever they need? The first 15 to 25 minutes of making this meal will be making that for yourself.

Blue Apron comes with recipe cards that have instructions so detailed anyone could do it. Starting with chopping, mincing, slicing, etc. all the food. What I like is that it will have you start cooking one thing and then the instructions tell you when it’s time to start working on another portion of the meal instead of waiting.

According to the recipe cards, the meals I made should have taken a total of 30 to 45 minutes. It took me about an hour on each. Probably because I’m not as comfortable with a knife and don’t chop as fast as they are expecting. I also had to stop and read the card over and over again in an attempt to make sure what I’m doing is correct.

Once you start the process though it is really fun and relaxing. A warning however, it does dirty a lot of dishes. I used a small plate or bowl for each ingredient as I was prepping so I could just dump the whole thing in when needed. There are ways that you can decrease that but, to me it’s part of the fun to be able to just pour it in the dish.

How Filling Is It?

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Having just two people in my family made the choice of sizing easy. One of the dishes I made I had several people over and turned into 4 dishes instead of 2. They were very filling and we all were happy with what we got. Making me think that had I eaten a whole amount myself I wouldn’t have been able to move because of how much food we had.

Not all the meals were as filling. The first meal, Oaxaca Cheese and Plantain Torta, was not nearly as filling. It fed both of us and we were full but had no leftovers. So there was no way we could have fed more than just us.

Should You Use Blue Apron Every Week?

We loved Blue Apron so much we want to do it every week. The food is great, better than anything I make on my own, but the cost is also pretty steep. I can usually make a meal for the two of us for half the price that these meals cost.

However, my wife and I also go out to eat from time to time and that can get pretty expensive. So we consider Blue Apron meals more as a special night type thing and it actually cuts down our budget. Instead of spending $35 to $50 at a restaurant by using Blue Apron we spend $60 for 3 nights of amazing meals.  In fact, it might also be cheaper than going to the grocery store in some situations. Savingadvice.com did a neat analysis of a Blue Apron meal and found it was about half as expensive as supermarket prices once you factor in the unit costs (here).

Not only will Blue Apron save money, but it also teaches me how to make things I would never have thought to make before. The plantains are things I’ve never really had before, especially in a sandwich. But, they were amazing and I would gladly eat them again. Not to mention I can get them at the produce store for less than $2, making it a very inexpensive meal.

If you have ever wanted to cook like the pros making delicious meals you can brag to your friends about then you need to sign up for Blue Apron. This link is good for $30 off your first order.

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Financial Smarts: How to Raise Future Adults with Superior Money Skills

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The skills and disciplines that you learn as a child tend to stay with you into your adult life and if your parents were careful with their money, there is a fair chance that they will have passed on these savvy financial habits to you.

Now it is your turn as a parent to take up the challenge of raising your children to be adults with excellent money skills and good habits in that sphere.




Here are some insights and tips on how to teach your kids to respect money and make sound financial decisions.There is a look back at your own experiences and how it shapes your financial outlook, plus a reminder that sugar-coating the facts isn’t always the way to go.

Valuable lessons

Not all financial experiences are positive ones and it is perfectly possible that you might have grown up in a home where things didn’t always run smoothly from a money perspective.

Kids pick up on stress and tensions in the room, so there might have been moments when all was not well with the family finances, but you were too young to be told what was going on or your parents tried to hide their problems from you.

All lessons are valuable to a certain extent, so if you saw your parents struggling with money and don’t want to repeat that scenario yourself, or were taught from an early age how to handle finances competently, these are both lessons that you will have learned from and can pass on to your own children.

Reality check

It is always a good idea to talk about money with your spouse and face any problems you are having together, and it is also a sound policy to talk to your kids about finance in an age-appropriate way.

The reality for many families is that it can be a struggle to survive from one paycheck to the next, and the next generation are likely to be facing an almost unprecedented debt burden when you look at the average credit card balance and student debt carried by many young people.

It is part of your parental responsibilities to try and prepare your kids for the financial future they are facing so that they can make informed decisions when it comes to using credit and working to a budget each month.

Maybe you don’t need to broach the subject of how to consolidate your finances with your young children, but getting them to understand the value of money and how to set savings goals should certainly be on the agenda.

The clock is ticking

If you think that there is no rush to give your kids a good financial grounding and it is better to wait until they are a young adult, that could be a mistake that could prove costly.

You only have somewhere in the region of just 180 months to teach your children all about money, and that’s if you start early. If you leave it until they get into double figures before talking to them about money, the clock is ticking down at a much faster rate.

Now is always a good time to start teaching your kids all about money so that they possess the skills and confidence to cope when they have to do for real themselves and don’t forget to look after your own finances, as the kids are watching what you do.

Finally, if you are serious about educating money smart kids, consider picking up a copy of Tom Corley’s Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life. Its a good resource on life and financial skills for teens.

Anthony Farmer is an educator and thinks teaching kids how to manage expenses and ‘real life’ situations is key to bettering the future generation.

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How has the Internet Become a Necessity in Life?

google-485611_640These days, we don’t see the internet as being a luxury like it once was. Instead, it is a necessity and without it most people would find their quality of life to be particularly poor. The internet has influenced practically all aspects of our society – from communication to health care – and we have it to thank for our rapidly advancing technology. There are many reasons why the internet has become such a vital component to our way of life.




For education

The internet has now become a huge part of the education system and student without access to it will likely be at an incredible disadvantage. It’s taken over the researching process and has been a key source of information. Thanks to the ease with which students can access information necessary for completing assignments, essays that might have taken week to complete in a few days. Without it, students might find themselves pouring over piles of books in the hopes of finding the information they need, and without an accessible library they might be left completely helpless.

The internet is also important for independent study and self-improvement. Both young people and adults who don’t have the time or the funding to be officially educated can use online resources and take online courses to overcome their reduced opportunities and improve their chances of finding a suitable career.

For shopping

The internet has allowed people to shop from the comfort of their own homes, which has become something of a necessity for individuals with mobility impairments, injuries or illnesses. Without it a lot of people would be forced to forfeit their independence.

For functionality

The internet of things has brought about some amazing technology that has drastically improved our quality of living. This is especially useful for people that might otherwise have difficulty using certain technologies that we encounter in our daily lives. For example, research has been made into creating pacemakers with wireless internet connection. With this technology, pacemakers will be able to immediately contact emergency services if the person suffers from any heart problems. Developments have also been made regarding introducing the IOT to train crossings. With this technology, train crossings can warn any nearby vehicles of oncoming trains, which will likely prevent many train related accidents in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about the IOT and its applications, turn to Machina Research for bespoke IOT industry reports.

For business

For businesses, the internet has become an important marketing tool and a source of information. Companies collect more detailed market research, publicise information about their company and publish their contact information for those who might need it, and advertise their services and goods. The internet has also helped independent shop owners to grow their business, giving them a more cost effective option to renting a property and setting up a literal shop.

For communication

The internet has become necessary for people to keep in contact. Not just in a social context, but in a professional context as well. Doctors can keep in contact with their patients and track their treatment, employees can easily communicate with other people in their company and tutors can keep in contact with their students to give them help when needed, and so on.

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How to Finance a Trip to Europe

roofs-1186466_640A trip to Europe is a great experience. There are so many locations to choose from and anyone could find something to love about it. However, a lot of us might put a vacation on hold because we feel like it’s too expensive. It’s true that it takes a certain amount of saving to get your vacation underway, but it’s not impossible. With enough time and dedication, that road trip around Europe could be a reality. So, if you’re struck by wanderlust and looking for excitement, here are some ways you can start financing your trip to Europe.

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