October 19, 2018

20 Cheap & Fun Things to Do on School Holidays

Whether you’re on a budget or receiving parenting payment for your kids, there’s no need to worry about how to keep children busy and productive on school holidays. Here are 20 cheap and fun things that kids can do:

#1 Plant some herbs and vegetables

Fill your garden with different herbs and veggies. If you don’t have a garden, you can use pots or recycle cans and plastic bottles to plant seeds.

#2 Go camping

If you’re on a budget, you and your kids can still go camping without leaving the house. You can set up a tent in the backyard.

#3 Watch movies at home

How about a movie night? You can borrow some movies from your local library. To recreate the cinema experience, prepare some popcorn and chips.

#4 Show some artistic and creative skills

Kids will surely have fun face painting, making beaded accessories, and other activities that will develop their artistic side. As for the materials, look for old buttons, newspapers, strings, and other craft items.

#5 Set a playdate

Keep kids entertained by inviting one or two of their friends at your home for an afternoon of games and tasty snacks.

#6 Go for a treasure hunt

Write clues and let kids look for the items that you’ve hidden around the house. Of course, there are prizes for those who would be able to look for the hidden treasures.

#7 Visit art museums

There are many galleries in Australia that you can visit free of charge. These include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and the Art Gallery of NWS.

#8 Learn origami

You can buy an origami book or better yet, just download some simple designs online. You can even ask your kids to choose whatever figure or item they want to make.

#9 Update the kids’ bedroom

Give the room an upgrade without shelling out a lot of money. Ask your kids to help in storing their toys, books, and other things in their respective shelves. You can also rearrange the furniture.

#10 Create greeting cards

Surprise grandparents and other family members with handmade cards created by the kids.

#11 Have a picnic

With just some snacks, drinks, and a blanket, you and your kids can have a budget-friendly picnic at the park.

#12 Go on a road trip

Spending time at the beach is always a good idea.

#13 Drop by a farmer’s market

Feed your kids’ curiosity about fresh produce and where certain food items come from by going to a local market.

#14 Go biking

Keep them moving by going on bike rides.

#15 Learn how to cook

Spend an afternoon with your kids as they learn a thing or two about cooking or baking.

#16 Set up a book swap party

Your kids can go to their friend’s house and take one or two books with them to swap, a great way to develop their reading skills.

#17 Go star gazing

Just put a blanket in your backyard and stare at the stars for a quiet, relaxing evening.

#18 Play board games

There are so many fun and exciting games to choose from.

#19 Organise photos

Let your kids make their own scrapbooks where they can add captions and other souvenirs.

#20 Set up a garage sale

Ask your kids to go through their stuff and see which items can be sold for a few dollars.

Do you have other ideas on fun things to do on school holidays and parenting payment? Share your tips in the comments section.

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Top 5 Parenting Blogs You Should Read

Parents face a lot of tasks and challenges every day. First and foremost, you need to provide at least the basic daily needs of your kids. Whether you have at least one source of income or are receiving parenting payment, managing your finances can be a real challenge. This is just one of the almost endless list of things that most parents think about.

As much as you want to believe that you have everything under control at all times, it may not be true sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new parent or raising teenagers. There will be instances when you need some guidance or tips on how to make things work. The good thing is, there are many parenting blogs out there. Obviously, these blogs cater to parents and/or would-be parents. Bloggers share their experiences and tips as parents or main carers of a child.

Here are five parenting blogs that you can read:

Planning with Kids

The woman behind this blog is Nicole who has four sons and one daughter. In her blog, she shares a lot of what’s happening in their lives on a daily basis, from meal planning to doing household chores, playtime and family activities. She’s a believer in having a daily plan to reduce the chances of getting disappointed, frustrated, or overwhelmed.

Website: https://planningwithkids.com/

How to Be a Dad

In this parenting blog, Charlie Capen and Andy Herald use wit and humour when sharing their lists and instructional diagrams on how to be a parent. It’s also for soon-to-be parents, giving you tips on how “not” to do certain things.

Website: http://www.howtobeadad.com/

Mummy to Twins

Raising a kid is hard enough, but imaging having twins! How about three kids? This blog was renamed Mummy to Twins Plus One after Suzanne gave birth to her son. She uses her blog to share her personal stories and how to have a community for parents of twins. One of her articles, Making a Safer World for Kids, even became viral!

Website: http://mummytotwinsplusone.com/

Out With The Kids (OWTK)

Jeff Bogle is the voice of Out With The Kids. This is where he shares photos and stories about his two daughters.  He also covers recipes and funny parenting experiences.

Website: http://owtk.com/

My Mummy Daze by Fi

In this blog, parents are reminded that while being parents is overwhelming, the emotional ride as well as the challenges are normal. Parents will learn some tips on how to overcome certain negative emotions that can come with raising kids.

Website: http://www.circleofmoms.com/blogger/my-mummy-daze

Do you know other parenting blogs that are worth looking into? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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How to Raise a Money-Savvy Kid

Financial literacy is an essential skill for anybody, and it’s better to understand it as early as possible. Teaching your kids how to be money-smart is a gift that they will use when they get older. There are so many benefits of raising a money-savvy kid.

If you’re receiving parenting payments, having someone who knows how to save money can also help you with the household finances, particularly in creating a weekly pocket money budget. But how can you raise a money-savvy kid?

Here are some things to take into account:

  • While the concept of saving may be hard for your kids to learn, introducing it to them at a young age will help instilling in them the value of putting money aside to buy something that they want or to make their weekly allowance last up to the end of the school week.
  • Spending is a money concept that may be much easier to teach your kids. When you go to the mall and they want some toys, you can encourage them to compare prices and choose the best deal. They can also decide if they really want new ones or they can just reuse their toys at home.
  • Be a good example. Kids emulate what adults say and do. When it comes to raising money-savvy kids, it is important to set a good example. You can let them see you putting spare change into a coin bank. At a supermarket, you can include them in checking prices and teaching them some saving tips such as items that can be bought in bulk or buying produce that’s in season.
  • Teach your kids that money is earned, not automatically given. When your kids are old enough to get school allowance, you can teach them how to spend and save, and be responsible for their own money. Also, you can educate them that money is not something they can automatically receive by linking housework and money. For instance, they can get their allowance only if they help clean their room.
  • Teach your kids the concept of helping others. Sharing toys with their siblings is a great start towards teaching them the value of generosity and thinking about the needs of other people. Show them the concept of donating to community groups. They can decide what they can donate or sell something to raise funds.

Do you have other ideas on parenting payment and how to raise a money-savvy kid? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Understanding Parenting Payment Support in Australia

In Australia, parenting payment refers to the main income support payment of the main carer of a young child. As a principal carer, you will be responsible for the care, welfare, and development of the child.

In this article, you will find out more about parenting payment support in Australia:

How can you be eligible for parenting payment?

You should have assets and income that are below the limits. You should also be the main carer of a child. If you are single, the child must be less than eight years old. If you have a partner, the child must be less than six years old. Also, you cannot claim the parenting payment before giving birth.

Aside from these, you should meet the principal carer rules, residence rules, as well as tests on income and assets.

How can you claim the parenting payment?

As a principal carer, you must be an Australian resident who is in Australia, and you must be a resident for 104 weeks. Also, you need to stay as an Australian resident if you want to keep getting the parenting payment.

There are some exemptions to the 104-week rule. You can claim the parenting payment if you were a refugee when you arrived in Australia, or you are a holder of a specific visa sub-class. It can also be that you just became a single parent in Australia. If any of these rules doesn’t apply to you but if the country you’re living or working in has a social agreement with Australia, you may use that setup to claim parenting payment.

Make sure that you’ve met the requirements before making a claim. Fill out the claim form then submit it together with other documents that may be required.

Here are other things that you need to know: 

  • If you’re single, you are no longer eligible to claim parenting payment if your youngest child reaches eight years of age. If your youngest child reaches six years of age, make sure to meet the requirements on part-time mutual obligation so you can continue claiming parenting payment.
  • Most main carers claim the parenting payment every two weeks, but you can do so every week.
  • Always adhere to the rules related to parenting payment to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Seek advice from a qualified individual so you can better understand the eligibility requirements and how to make claims.

Got other ideas on parenting payment support in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Top Financial Planning Tips for Single Parents

It’s challenging enough for couples to raise a family and manage finances, and it becomes even more difficult for single parents. As a single mum or dad, you need to do everything on your own, particularly managing your budget to ensure that your child’s needs are well taken care of. If you’re looking for tips on financial planning, here are some things that you may want to consider:

Know all of your entitlements

Ask Centrelink about the entitlements designed for single parents. If you are caring for at least one child who is below eight years old, you will get a parenting payment. Young parents (below 19 years old) will also receive additional assistance.

Likewise, an increase to the Family Tax Benefit Part A was introduced by Centrelink to aid single parents in handling the costs of raising teenagers. You need all the help that you can get so make sure to be familiar with parenting payment and other forms of assistance for single parents.

Create a comprehensive budget

Know how much money comes in and where it goes. Be realistic so you can stick to your budget. List down the amount of money needed to cover expenses such as mortgage, loan repayments, food, school fees, child care, clothes, insurance, and utility bills.

Consider work and study options

As a single mum or dad, you need to earn enough money to provide for you and your child’s needs, but it can be a challenge. You can look for courses to learn skills that will make you qualified for a better-paying job.

Save and invest

Having an emergency fund is essential, more so if you’re a single parent. While saving and investing may be difficult, try to save and invest even a small amount, then do it regularly. Eventually, you’ll have savings that you can use for an unexpected expense or to make a major purchase.

Take care of yourself

As they always say, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” You cannot earn money and take care of your child if you are always sick. Being a single parent can also be lonely as the loss of a partner to share decision-making and responsibilities with can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. But you can cope with the situation by staying fit and healthy. Have a positive outlook in life so you can perform better at work and be healthy emotionally.

Got other financial planning tips for single parents? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Budget Birthday Ideas for Your Kids

Parents want to throw awesome birthday parties for their kids, but of course, these cost money. From the balloons and birthday cake, to party food, the event can be expensive. If you’re a carer and getting parenting payment for your child, it may be a challenge to throw a birthday party. The good thing is, you can still pull something off without having to shell out a lot of money. Here are some budget birthday ideas for your kids:

Make a guest list

A lot of the party elements rely on the number of guests you’re going to invite. As much as you would want to invite everyone you know, you need to keep your budget in mind. Invite a few family members and close friends. Your child may even appreciate an intimate party with loved ones.

Go digital

Instead of sending out printed invitations, use social media sites and email to send word to guests about the birthday party. There are many websites that enable you to create your own electronic invites. You can save on printing and postage costs, plus going paperless is environment-friendly.

Consider cheap food options

There are a lot of affordable, delicious choices to choose from. Snacks can be bags of popcorn and sandwiches. You can also set up an ice cream station where guests can make their own dessert with toppings such as sprinkles and marshmallows. For a healthy option, drop by the local market to buy fruits for skewers.

Visit discount shops for budget-friendly decorations

A great way to save money is to have a party box of supplies where you can put all decorations you’d find on sale throughout the year. Look for streamers and Chinese paper lanterns. If you have some time on your hands, you can make buntings out of coloured paper. You can also create paper flowers for the table centerpiece.

Skip the party bags

Most kids who have already attended birthday parties may expect party bags as they leave your event. These can be expensive. Why not have a cupcake decorating activity where the kids can bring their own decorated cupcakes home? Those sweets can serve as your party treats, plus you can keep the guests entertained.

These are just some of the budget birthday ideas for your kids. Keep your options open and see where you can save money and still have an amazing party.

Do you have other budget birthday ideas for your kids? Share your tips in the comments section.

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9 Parenting Products that You will Love

Parents and would-be parents need a lot of products designed to help them in taking care of their kids. There are so many parenting products nowadays that finding the items that you need may be overwhelming. The cost is another consideration. While there are branded items that can be really expensive, there are products that are still within the budget. For parents who are getting parenting payments, you’ll find a range of items that are both affordable and of good quality.

In this list, we’ve rounded up nine parenting products that you will surely love:

1. Nursing covers

Breastfeeding is an essential part of being a parent. In general, newborns need to be breastfed up to 12 times a day. If you’re outside of the house, make sure to bring a nursing cover with you so you can breastfeed your baby conveniently.

2. Nursing bras and tops

And since you need to breastfeed multiple times a day, make it easier by wearing a nursing bra or top. This provides quick access for feeding.

3. Breast pump

This is a great parenting product for working moms and/or those who have a low milk supply. A breast pump will help ensure that your baby is well-fed throughout the day, whether you’re with your kid or not.

4. Nursing pillow

Just like babies who need to be comfortable at all times, mums also need and deserve to nurse and take care of their babies comfortably. A nursing pillow will help you to achieve that.

5. Disposable diapers

Some mothers prefer cloth diapers, while others opt for disposable diapers for ease and convenience. There is a wide range of disposable diapers to suit varying baby needs.

6. Diaper cream

Keep diaper rash at bay by using diaper cream. Of course, parents don’t want their babies to deal with rashes from several diapers worn in a day, so it’s a must to have diaper cream in your arsenal of parenting products.

7. Baby monitor

Baby monitors have been around for decades and nowadays, they come with various features that enable parents to monitor their baby while they’re not in the room or doing other tasks around the house.

8. Baby carrier

Baby carriers come in different styles and features, but all of them are designed to safely carry your baby and enable you to do other things.

9. Sippy cup

Babies grow up so fast and before you know it, you’ll have a toddler. Introduce liquids to your kid with a sippy cup, a spill-proof drinking cup specially designed for toddlers as they shift from bottles to cups.

There are so many parenting products that parents and would-be parents love. Got other ideas? Share them in the comments section.

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How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Money in this Cash-less Age

In this technological world, how do you begin to teach kids the value of money. Giving them a good foundation on money-related matters such as saving, spending, and budgeting will greatly help in developing their personal development. It doesn’t matter if you have a huge income or are getting a parenting payment. Teaching kids how valuable money is can be challenging at times, but what makes it more difficult is the fact that we’re in this day and age when digital and cashless transactions are everywhere. Online shopping, for instance, doesn’t involve physical cash, and kids may find it hard to understand.

So how can you teach your kids the value of money in this cash-less age in Australia? Here are several tips to consider:

Start with piggy banks or saving jars

Set ground rules for saving and spending in such a way that when they need to buy something, they need to save money for it. By the time they have already saved enough, they can withdraw the money to make a purchase.

Open a savings account

Teach them how a savings account works. Kids will eventually understand that money deposited is kept in a safe place and can be withdrawn when needed.

Use an ATM

This greatly illustrates the value of money in this cash-less age. Explain to your kids that the ATM keeps the money saved in the savings account. When you withdraw money, you’ll have less in your account.

Check and pay bills

This is another great opportunity to teach kids how to use money. Explain to them that electricity and internet connection cost money, and you need to work hard to pay for these expenses. Who knows? They might even remember to turn off appliances when not in use.

Include kids in creating a household budget

This teaches them about income, spending, and savings. Explain to them how much money the family needs for food, utilities, entertainment, and mortgage on a given month. It will help them understand the value of working hard to earn enough money for basic family needs and savings.

Teaching your kids the value of money in this cash-less age is very crucial since you’re establishing a foundation on how they can manage money properly as they grow older. Use real-life situations so they can develop healthy financial habits and learn how to earn, save, and spend money.

Got other tips on parenting payment and how to teach children the value of money in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Expensive Clothes for Kids

Your kids may look really cute in those expensive clothes you see in the mall in Australia or online. With many parenting responsibilities and household expenses, is it worth it to pay a hundred dollars for a trendy sweater your child will soon outgrow or stain?

We’ve gathered reasons why buying expensive clothes for your kids may not be practical at all.

They grow quickly

On an average, a pre-adolescence kid aged 6-10 can grow about 5-8 cm and about 2-3 kg each year. Their feet can grow 1mm per month in length. Just imagine if you’ve bought them a pair of designer shoes worth $100 and very quickly they won’t be able to wear them anymore.

They may look undoubtedly adorable in them, but it’s more practical to go cheaper with clothes and shoes at around this age. Go to Target or Kmart and save yourself some money!

They dirty them

It’s common parenting knowledge that kids love to play in the dirt! Children seeks out all kinds of textures. Painting is another fun activity. Your 6-year-old’s designer clothing can be a waste of money if he or she frequently dirties them, and over time the clothes’ condition will get distressed and lose its quality.

Nobody can tell the difference between designer and Kmart

Why pay so much money for a pair of jeans or shoes that your kids will outgrow in a few months or so? Kmart offers a wide variety of inexpensive clothes, and your young kids will not even mind if they are wearing designer or not. Don’t spend lots of money on clothes and shoes just because your kids look cute in them. There are cheaper alternatives that will look equally as good.

It’s expensive

Expensive clothes are exactly that – expensive! The price of the clothes and shoes does not always dictate quality and durability. If you’re planning on buying your kids something that you want to last for a while, it’s more important that you select something that will actually stand the test of time. Quality and durability doesn’t need to be expensive when you know what you’re looking for.

There are many practical parenting strategies you can use for you to save money on your young kids’ clothes, such as mixing and matching outfits and shoes, buying clothes that are one size up, purchasing play clothes exclusively for play time, renting clothes for special occasions, and many more.

How do you save money buying clothes for your kids in Australia? Leave a comment.

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How to Sell Your Kids’ Secondhand Clothes on eBay to Earn Extra Cash in Australia

For some households, having a parenting payment is very helpful in meeting the needs of children. But there are those who still find ways to earn extra cash. There are so many ways to earn more money to add to the parenting payment. One of which is to sell pre-loved items. And in this day and age when everything seems to be digital, you can sell items such as your kids’ secondhand clothes on eBay. It’s a great venue for people to start a small business and have additional income.

So how can you sell your kids’ secondhand clothes on eBay to earn extra money? Here are some simple tips to get started:

Be familiar with the website

As with any form of business, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the different aspects of the marketplace first. You many have experience in using the website before but as a seller, there are things that you need to be familiar with. Navigate the website and understand the end-to-end selling process.

Know what terms customers usually use

No matter how great your content and items are, everything will go to waste if nobody can find it. It’s all about being visible online, so put yourself in your customers’ shoes and identify the terms normally used when looking for items online. There are also online keyword research tools that can help you determine the right words to use in your product title and description.

Post clear photos

One disadvantage of selling online is that customers don’t get to feel or touch or see up close the items that you’re offering so in most cases, they will rely heavily on the photos available. Make your items visually appealing by taking photos with enough lighting and with a plain background. You can also hang the clothes on hooks on a plain wall for better photos.

Provide complete and accurate description

Another important element in presenting your items for sale is the product description. Make sure to always list the right size or measurements, brand, color, and other details which may be important for customers.

Offer excellent customer service

There are instances when customers need to ask about the item, shipping fee, and/or delivery period. As an online seller, make sure to respond to their inquiries as soon as you can. Also, deliver sold items on time and if there are shipping concerns, make sure to inform your customers. Negative reviews can greatly impact your eBay business so it is important to address customersinquiries and ensure that they are willing buy items from you again.

Got other parenting payment tips and how to earn extra cash in Australia? You can share your ideas in the comments section below.

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