October 19, 2018

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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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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Top 10 Online Apps to Teach Your Child how to Read

Parenting encompasses all aspects of your child’s life. Whether it’s playing, eating, personal hygiene, interacting with others, and learning new skills, parents need to teach and guide their kids on how to do everything properly. One of these important aspects is learning how to read, and parenting is crucial to ensure that your child will be able to learn more effectively.

Technological advancements in Australia have made it possible for learning to be more convenient. While some parents frown when they see kids who are always using smartphones and tablets, you can use these gadgets to teach your child how to read through online apps. More than just games and social media platforms, there is a huge selection of apps designed to make learning and even parenting more fun and enjoyable.

In this article, we’ve rounded up great online apps that you can download and use to teach your child not only how to read but also skills in writing, science, and mathematics:

ABC Reading Eggs

Kids can learn skills in spelling, vocabulary, and proofreading with this learning app. Since it was developed by an Australian primary educator named Del Merrick, it focuses on Australian spelling as opposed to American spelling available in other apps. Reading Eggs is commonly used in Australian schools.

Bookworm

This learning app focuses on spelling and vocabulary wherein children need to link letters to form words.

Britannica Kids

Make the reading experience more fun and interactive with this online app that covers a wide range of topics and areas of interest. Kids will learn how to read and enjoy the activity with images, videos, and games.

iWriteWords

In this learning app, kids will enjoy writing letters and numbers, as well as simple words.

Endless Alphabet

Puzzles and animations in this online app make learning the alphabet and building vocabulary a lot more fun for children.

Toontastic

This online app is ideal for kids who love storytelling. It involves a puppet show that enables children to create a story and share it in a creative way.

StoryKit

This is another storytelling online app wherein kids can create their own stories and books from scratch. It likewise enables children to make changes such as editing and adding audio to several picture books.

Interactive Telling Time

Learning how to tell time is important, and this online app can help kids to know what time it is through fun animations and sounds. There are also difficulty levels to suit children up to 12 years old.

Quick Math

Teach kids how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide the fun way with this learning app. It has a feature that allows you to monitor their progress as they learn basic operations even up to pre-algebra topics.

Aesops Quest

Are your kids fond of puzzles and storytelling? Consider this learning app that involves remembering the various elements of a story to finish a level that comes with a puzzle.

Do you know other online apps that can help children to learn how to read in Australia? Share your ideas 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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