Budget Birthdays For Your Bambinos

We all want to through our little ones awesome birthday parties, but there are just sometimes when our budgets don’t allow it. This is especially the case if you are a single parent or you or your partner have just been let go from work. If there isn’t much money to go around, you probably won’t have any spare to put towards a fabulous party. Thankfully, though, children’s birthday parties are very easy to organize, even if you are on a restrictive budget. Hopefully, all of the following tips and ideas will help you through a reasonably priced party that your child will never forget!

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Forget About A Venue

There are lots of different venues that can host children’s birthday parties. Some restaurants will rent out function rooms while your local leisure center might organize a sports-themed party for you. However, if you are trying to plan a party with little money, you should try and forget about renting out a venue. These can be very expensive, even if you hire one for a couple of hours. It’s best to have the party in your own home and garden. If you only have a very small house and no garden, you might want to think about having the party in your local park. It’s totally free to use parks and you will be able to organize a birthday picnic or tea party if the weather is going to be nice.

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Organize Your Own Food

Another aspect of party planning that can be extremely expensive is sorting out the catering. Rather than hiring a catering company to make a buffet for your party, you should think about cooking and baking yourself. Even though this will take up quite a bit of time for you and will require a lot of careful planning, you will find that it can drastically reduce your costs. It’s also a good idea to try and bake your own birthday cake as well. Don’t worry if you aren’t a very good baker – there are now lots of baking kits you can buy that will help you. Betty Crocker does a really good one for birthday cakes. It’s also worth planning your party for around 2 pm – 4 pm. As it won’t take place over a mealtime, most parents won’t be expecting you to feed their kids a lot. So, you will be able to get away with preparing just a few snacks and the cake.

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Host A Potluck Party

If you don’t fancy cooking everything yourself, you might prefer to host a potluck party. This is when you ask all the other guests to bring a dish to put towards the buffet. Just make sure you add a note to the invites asking everyone to bring something. If your party is themed, you might like to mention the theme so that everyone brings a dish that matches the theme. One of the great things about organizing a potluck is that you will be surprised with all the amazing and delicious foods that people bring to the party!

Be Smart When Gift Shopping

One of the things that can often cause a birthday party to go over budget is all the birthday presents for the child. Every parent wants to make their child feel extra special on their big day and do so by buying them lots of gifts. However, if you don’t have enough cash in the bank, you shouldn’t put yourself in the red just so your child gets a lot of presents. After all, bigger isn’t always better. One way to reduce the costs of birthday gifts is to browse sites such as dontpayfull.com to try and find some coupons and vouchers. You might also want to go gift shopping when shops have their sales. Alternatively, simply restrict your child’s gifts to a certain amount of money. For example, set aside $100 to use to buy their presents and make sure you don’t go a penny over!

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Think About Joint Parties

If your child’s birthday is close to one of their friend’s birthdays, you should think about holding a joint birthday party. This can be beneficial for you and the other child’s parents as you can evenly split the costs so that you both don’t have to pay full price for anything. If you decide to host a joint party along with the other parents, then you might even be able to afford a venue and catering company.

Go Electronic

About a decade ago, lots of parents would spend money on fancy invitations for the party. But now, thanks to the Internet, you don’t need to do so anymore. There are lots of cheaper, electronic options instead. For example, you can simply email all your child’s friends’ moms a quick message about the party with all the necessary details. Alternatively, if you are on facebook.com, you can create an event page and invite all the moms and dads on there. It’s useful to bear in mind that not everyone is on Facebook, though, so you should make a point of telling those people in person.

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Think Of Free Activities

If you can’t afford to hire a children’s entertainer, don’t worry. There are lots of free activities that you can do during the party. If you are having the party in your garden or a park, you could plan a scavenger or treasure hunt. There are also some outdoor games you could play with all the kids, such as hide and seek, blind man’s buff, and three-legged races. Most of these games can also be played inside if the weather starts to turn bad. Basically, any kind of children’s game will go down really well at a birthday party. So, why not ask the kids what they want to play!

Planning and hosting a children’s birthday party doesn’t have to cost you the whole earth. Now that you have all of these great tips and ideas, you should be able to keep your overall costs down to a minimum.

Have fun!

Migrating From US to Australia; Important Things to Consider

America has been considered as the one of the dream places in the world; “The American Dream” as they call it. However, a lot has happened recently; government transitions, life changing recessions, and everything in between somehow eradicated the “American Dream” mindset and migration to other countries has become an option.

As Americans who were used to the benefits of being a citizen in a first world country, transferring to another first world country would be the top priority. Among them, is Australia. Over the past few years, the land down under has been attracting quite a number of migrants from all over the world and as America has historically, and some are wondering why? There must be something great in there because after all, people won’t flock there if there isn’t.

Accordingly, Australian citizens are enjoying quite a number of benefits, particularly in the sectors of health and your kid’s education. Just like Americans, Australian citizens can easily travel to a lot of countries visa-free too. If you’re going with your entire family, getting a job is very important to sustain their cost of living which is unfortunately much higher compared to the US. However, securing a stable job down under comes with a greater pay, so you can pay your bills. Your kid’s education is pretty much secured from the primary to secondary level so saving up for university fees is quite attainable.

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Another thing to take into consideration is the Australian culture. Australians are known to be very sociable, so having a chitchat with people anytime and anyplace is very common. Language-wise, there won’t be any problem for Americans, but just like any other English-speaking countries, there are quite a number of words with their corresponding Australian-exclusive meaning. They commonly wear “Thongs” in Australia, especially during the hot summer days. Well, you should know by now that “thongs” in Australia means slippers or flip flops and not the small underwear. They also have this soft way of short-cutting terms like Maccas for McDonalds and Salvos for Salvation Army. These examples and more of their rich culture is quite an adventure to experience. Take note as well that Australians drive on the left side of the road, which is opposite compared to the US and it is just normal during your first few months to look on the wrong side when crossing the street, so be careful until you adjust.

Grow Your Family’s Emergency Fund

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When you’re young, free and single, having an emergency fund to tide you over should you need to repair the car or buy a new washing machine doesn’t seem particularly important, especially when you could be spending your cash on designer handbags, beach vacations or fun nights out at the local bar. When you’re a parent, however, it’s a different matter completely.

When you have other people depending on you for their food, shelter, and safety, you really do need to get smart about your finances, and an emergency fund becomes an essential part of your budget. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, or if you have set one up, but it is looking pretty pathetic, here are some tips to help you grow your family’s emergency fund starting right now:

Start Now

There is never a bad time to start a family emergency fund. In fact, do it right now, even if you only have 10 dollars to spare, go down to your bank and open up a new savings account, deposit that $10 and set up an automatic payment to add another $10 next month and the month after, if that’s all you can spare. It will soon add up, and your family will have more peace of mind in knowing that you are working towards building your savings.

Start with Small Goals

When you’re starting to build an emergency fund, you should start with a small goal, such as saving $1000. This will make the process more manageable, and because you won’t find it too unrealistic, you won’t give up before you’ve really got started. You might think that because finding fast loan shops is so easy, that you really don’t need any savings, but when it comes to your family’s finances, the more options you have, and the safer those options, the better for all of you. Loans have their place, but they shouldn’t be a total alternative to savings, so start small, keep building and your family will be more financially stable than ever before in no time at all.

Diversify Your Portfolio

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If you already have an emergency fund in place, and you’re adding to it each month, you might want to think about growing your fund by diversifying your portfolio. I know it can be scary if you haven’t had much experience of dabbling with the stock market before, but if you stick to low-risk stocks, diversify your portfolio and take regular financial advice, your modest emergency fund will continue to grow and look after you as your kids grow up and eventually head off to college.

Create a Household Budget

A good way to divert more money to your emergency fund and any other savings you might have, is to take an honest in-depth look at your whole family’s incomings and outgoings each month and then to draw up a budget, which cuts out anything unnecessary (you can have a few treats) leaving you all with more money to play with at the end of the month. You can then use some of this ‘newly-found’ cash to build up your emergency fund so that you won’t have to worry about finding money to pay for the cat’s treatment or to ensure that you can keep your car running when it runs into problems.

Aim for at Least Seven Months’ Salary

It might seem daunting right now, but many financial experts believe that the average American family should try to build up an emergency fund which is equal to at least 7 months’ salary – that includes both you and your spouse’s salary if you’re both working – so that you have a good buffer should you find yourself with a serious financial emergency on your hands, such as being unexpectedly out of work.

Don’t Neglect Your Debts

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Although building an emergency fund for your family is very important, you should not do so at the cost of paying off your debts. You also should not neglect to build up an emergency fund until you have dealt with your debts. What I would suggest is taking measures to minimize the amount of interest you have to pay, either by taking advantage of 0% balance transfer offers or consolidating your debts with a low-interest loan. Then, you can split any spare cash in your budget between paying off your debt and boosting your emergency fund.

Of course, if you have a high-interest debt, and there’s no way of changing that, diverting most of your money to paying that off would be sensible, but at least try to divert a little to your emergency fund because, if you don’t you could end up even more in debt, if an emergency does strike your family and you have no other way of covering it than to use credit.

Make it a Bill

When you’re trying to save money into your emergency fund every month, one of the things that really helps is to make it a bill and add it to your budget. If you treat it just like a phone bill and set up an automatic money transfer between your current account and your savings account, you won’t miss it so much, and you won’t end up not paying into your savings because you don’t feel like it or because you’ve been tempted by a new pair of shoes.

Review It

At least once every year, you should sit down and review your emergency fund to see how well it is performing. It might be that the account that was once giving you a great rate of interest isn’t performing so well, or that you could get bigger returns by diversifying your portfolio in another direction. It might also be that your budget is no longer the same, and you’re able to add more to your emergency fund, and knowing about this will help you to grow your fund more effectively.

Use it For Emergencies Only

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It’s called an emergency fund for a reason, so don’t be tempted to dip into it to buy Christmas presents for the kids or to treat yourselves to a vacation. Sure, it’ll feel good in the moment, but when your fund is depleted, and the dog needs surgery, it won’t feel so great!

Does your family have an emergency fund? How do you ensure its growth over the months and years?

 

Accounting- It’s Not As Hard As You Think

Why is it that most incoming university or college students despise accounting? Or more than that, after a year or semester of experiencing the “dreadful” subject, they often transfer to another program to prevent further mental torture.

Yes, accounting is hard on its own, same goes with any other courses in the university, whether it’s engineering, medicine, arts, psychology, education, communication, law, marketing, or architecture. The reason why most students fear the subject is the notion that accounting is one of the subjects that will not just give you a simple headache, but a nightmare, if you even have the chance to sleep.

That belief alone creates the stigma that it is really hard to complete the course when in reality it isn’t. What makes accounting more difficult is that idea being embedded in the mind of the individual making them enter the school with a mindset like that, and with that, things will never come easy.

But how come there are still very large numbers of enrollees for accounting course every year on every university?

Accounting is a career that is considered to be an element of a long term job security. Most students find accounting course to be an effective way to stay longer in the business world. Accounting is a profession that will never lose a place in the business industry. After all, it’s totally necessary to keep financial records accurately.

What will it take to get an accounting degree?

Guts, perseverance, and no light amount of work – those will mostly do the work. It’s doable for anyone who’s interested, in the end it is still a bachelor degree waiting for them upon graduating from the university. But in case of a limited time frame which makes an enrollee unable to take the full-time university course, a Diploma of Accounting can be attained in training centers. Although the diploma is attained in a shorter time period, it will still provide the same practical skills and knowledge needed to work in a financial or accounting department.

What are the perks of having an accounting degree?

Having a degree in accounting gives you an edge as an accountant in a variety of knowledge and skills. It will likely be able to put you on different types of accounting career, including management accounting, governmental auditing, public accounting, and internal auditing. Also, accountants may further their career by getting themselves a master’s degree. An MBA, or a master’s degree in accounting, could widen their job opportunities even further. But an accountant might not be employed just by having a degree. Being a CPA or a Certified Public Accountant makes you the cream of the crop and will likely be employed in almost any firms, so choosing the right school could help you a lot in succeeding in your accounting career.

Accounting is not as hard as most people think it is, nor does it require a genius to finish the degree. And if people still think accounting is just math, yes it is, but simpler, it’s just an application of the numbers. Being poor in mathematics doesn’t mean one will never be qualified. Never get discouraged, study and keep motivated. But if it still is a setback, then don’t pick a major based on self-asserted flaws, seek to improve. Remember, improvement always comes before success.

We Only Use OnePriceTaxes.com When We File Our Taxes

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It’s that time of year again when we have to sit down and figure out our taxes.  My hubby likes to sit down and do it the old-fashioned way by doing it by hand and using his calculator.  But, with tax laws changing every year and with so many options for deductions, we both agreed to turn to a popular website called OnePriceTaxes.com.  This is where we can trust our refund will be maximized and it’s very easy to use.   They have four different options when it comes to how they will calculate our taxes and one is FREE! 

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Also, they have a referral program, so they literally will pay you if who refer someone that uses their website for their own taxes.  Their premium package is only $39.95, deluxe is $29.95 and their basic package is just $19.95, so everyone can afford their tax service.  Also, they have dozens of short articles explaining specifics about taxes and specific situations.  These articles will inform you about the tax year you are filing and help you prepare for future tax years to minimize the amount of taxes you pay.  There is no doubt OnePriceTaxes.com provides the best value and the most simple option to file your federal and state taxes.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are my own.