Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saving Goals For My Children

I think my boys are quite expensive what with paying for their after school activities and days out but the future is going to be decidedly more costly I think.  I need to start planning ahead for the bigger occasions, like when they are learning to drive, getting married or buying their first house.  It won't be long before they are ditching LEGOLAND cars for the real deal.


Are you saving enough for your child is an important question to consider when you look at the following infographic and see just how much everything costs!  It does make me panic slightly that the boys won’t have enough saved away.

Are you saving enough for the future of your child? via Shepherds Friendly

I am fortunate my mum set up a savings account for them and puts away £20 a month each, I would love to do the same to bolster their savings but at the moment money is a little tight.  The boys might only be 8 and 9 but I realise time will whiz by so I need to get cracking so they have a decent reserve waiting for them when they turn 18.

In terms of saving goals I want a low risk investment so would lean towards a Junior ISA, which is also a good option because it’s a tax efficient way to save and you can make top up payments too.  Very useful when children have a birthday or at Christmas and have lots of money gifted to them as you can then stow their money away safely.  Mine tend to spend it on all kinds of rubbish if left to their own devices… cheap plastic toys, sweets and expensive magazines.  To them the responsibilities of having a wife and their own home seem a million miles off.  Looking back at my own childhood I wish I had spent less on buying films and soft toys and saved more aggressively.

We were very lucky my parents gave us a hike up the ladder, our first house together was a private mortgage with my parents and they didn’t charge us any interest.  That positive start meant when we came to buy a bigger home we had the deposit we needed.  I want to be able to give my boys a similar helping hand when they need it; my parents have always been very supportive and its time to pay that forward to my own children.  I don’t know where they will settle when they are older, so I better aim for the average UK deposit at the very minimum, we might be in Wales now but they might head off to more expensive pastures! 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Launch of Match Attax Extra & Competition

We were sent a selection of products from the latest Match Attax Extra Series and my boys were super impressed!  


Usually they drag their heels when I want to get review pictures for blog posts but with these they wanted to get cracking straight away - just so I would let them start opening all the packets!!! 


The floor was soon covered with the new collection, which launched on the 16th of March and includes the biggest signings from the January transfer window.  It kept the boys thoroughly entertained as they discussed the merits of different cards, let out squeals of delight when they found limited edition gold, silver and bronze cards and later they started exchanging cards with each other in earnest so they could get closer to finishing their collections.

They are already avid collectors of the earlier set; they spent any spare money getting packets of cards and seeing what players they get.  My two also enjoy swapping cards with friends after school, its amazing just how many children are fans of Match Attax both boys and girls. 

I don’t mind them spending their money on these cards otherwise they tend to stock up on sugary treats instead and I really worry about their teeth!  I used to get them packets too for good behaviour, doing well at school, being kind to each other or excelling at an activity.  These trading cards successfully motivate football fans aged between six and 12 and work out as inexpensive treats/bribes at £1 for a packet of nine trading cards!

Swapping cards can be quite a social activity and helps their skills in negotiation, when children realise they have a rare card they can try and bargain to get more cards in an exchange.

The Match Attax game for two players is fun too, I will be writing a second post with details of how to play.  Up until now the boys had stuck to collecting and admiring each other’s cards but I think they will find the game itself very enjoyable, as they have to carefully consider which players they want in their line-up, think about tactics and substitutions.

You can find out more information by visiting www.toppsdirect.com but don’t head off just yet; I have a competition to celebrate the new launch.  I am giving away a Match Attax Extra bundle to include: Topps Match Attax Extra 2016/17 Multipack (£5), Topps Match Attax Extra 2016/17 Midi Tin (£9.99), Topps Match Attax Extra 2016/17 Mini Tin (£5.99) and Topps Match Attax Extra 2016/17 starter pack (£4.99).  If you would like to enter please fill out the form below by the 18th of May.

Win a bundle of Match Attax Extra products

Why Your Man Deserves Your Magic Makeover Touch

Us women get to change our image every season. Not all of us feel the need to, but the option’s there if we desire. Yet, while you’re updating your wardrobe, your man wears the same clothes, for years. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Though, it’s not all violins. Most men are happy to wear clothes until they fall apart. Then, they buy something as close to what they had as possible. But, every now and again, your man may feel the need to update his look. It’s not just us women who like to freshen things up. When he does, the chances are that he’ll come to you for help. That’s why it’s important you know everything you need for a man wardrobe makeover!

WHAT IMAGE IS HE AIMING FOR? 

Your man needs to decide what image he’s aiming for. Turning to fashion icons can always help you when deciding. It’s also worth having an idea of the general options available to him. It may be that he wants to become a suited and booted business type. Or, maybe the hipster image appeals to him. Don’t worry; you can convince him against the ‘man bun’ later down the line! For now, having a general image idea is important. You won’t be able to start shopping without one. This will help the two of you gain some ideas of what you need to look out for.
GET RECOMMENDATIONS
Men and women tend to shop in different ways. While women are happy to hit the town and see what they find, most men like an idea of where they’re going. Chances are that you don’t know much about men’s shops. Most stores have a man and woman section, but it’s not as easy as heading to the men department of your favorite store. You and your man are different people, and like different things. Talk to some friends and see where their men shop. Search online for the best men’s fashion shops near you. Then, develop a plan of action. Keep your man engaged by knowing which stores you’re visiting, and in which order.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

We all know that it’s important to take risks when trying a new image. Make sure your man knows this. You can never know what looks good until you try it. He may have chosen an image he would like to imitate, but there’s no reason he can’t make it his own. Encourage him to take the plunge. This may be as simple as trying a color he’s never worn before, to getting earrings like the ones on this website. No matter how extreme the risks, the results may be what makes the image work for him. 

If your man doesn’t often change his look, it’s important to make the most of this opportunity. Help him become the man he’s always wanted to be. But, remember that this is about what he wants. Don’t let your opinions cloud his judgment!