Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Make your money work for you

Following on from my recent blog post on financial check-ups, once you've reviewed your financial situation here are some ways to save money, earn additional income and make your money work for you

More money
Consider ways to generate additional income or earn extra money so you can boost your income, pay any bills or start saving. Be creative - think outside the square and try different options.

Passive income
Earn money and clear your home of clutter by selling unused household items such as clothing, children's toys, furniture, appliances etc... online, at a stall or garage sale.
It doesn't need to be a massive task or require large amounts of time - break it down by grouping into categories or selling one item at a time.
Activities such as re-gifting and swishing (clothes and accessory swapping) are gaining popularity, with thousands of unwanted gifts sold or exchanged online on sites such as TradeMe and iSwish.

Save money
Consider some form of personal savings such as Kiwi Saver, an interest-bearing savings account, term deposit or similar. If your finances are tight, start small - remember, every little bit counts.
When making essential purchases, look for sale and discounted prices or shop around and negotiate. Many retailers will give some form of discount if you ask, especially for cash (which often includes credit card purchases). Be assertive, firm and confident in your negotiations.
Identify any opportunities to reduce your spending or minimise your expenses e.g. growing, baking or making something yourself rather than buying ready-made or pre-packaged goods.
Save money by re-gifting to friends and family throughout the year (be careful you don’t re-gift to the same person).
Alternatively, consider donating unwanted or excess items to charities and other community groups. Whilst you might not receive financial rewards, the value of helping others can be priceless.

Need help with your money? Do you have parenting question you'd like answered? Email Karyn results@rileylife.co.nz

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time for a financial check-up?

After the indulgent highs of Christmas and the holiday season, reality often returns with a resounding thump when the bills roll in February/March leaving many parents feeling anxious, stressed-out or depressed.

Overspending on your credit card or last-minute impulse buying may have left you and your finances depleted. Chances are you are not alone.

Now is the ideal time to review your finances and plan and set goals for the year ahead. Here are some tips to help:

Start small and simple

Don’t get overwhelmed, stressed or anxious about your current financial or emotional situation. Keep things simple – identify one area that you want to focus on first e.g. your financial goals, budget, income or expenditure.

Financial check-up
Identify any areas for improvement that may be draining or stretching you financially, e.g. credit card debt, expenditure, high-interest or multiple loans. Establish or review existing budgets and seek financial or professional assistance if necessary. Try using online resources such as sorted.org.nz to assist with debt and financial management.

Take action
If you find yourself in an undesirable financial position, one of the most important steps you can take is to do something about it. Even one small change can make a big difference and help you move towards improving your situation and alleviating stress and pressure. If you put off or avoid taking action, it will only make matters worse.
Make time to sit down, discuss and review your financial position and options with your partner or financial adviser. Set short- and long-term financial goals. Remember it's OK to seek financial advice and assistance.

Next week, I'll cover ways to save money, earn additional income and make your money work for you.

Do you have parenting question you'd like answered? Email Karyn results@rileylife.co.nz

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Parents Need to Have Fun Too!

Parents often find the boredom of similar routines and responsibilities, day in, day out, monotonous, all-consuming and overwhelming. At times, it can feel like all the fun and spontaneity in life has gone for good.

Many parents also commonly place the needs of others before their own, leaving little time or energy for self-care and fun.

As parents, we're told we should be investing a great deal of time, energy and often money to ensure our children are raised living happy, constantly-entertained, fun-filled lives.

But what about us, the Parents? Who said only little kids get have fun? We "big kids" not only want to have fun but need to have fun. Why? Because it helps us stay sane when life with children at times can feel like anything but.

I was recently one of over 300 parents who attended a parenting talk given by Nigel Latta, NZ Clinical Psychologist and Author. We were treated to an evening of learning, laughter and lighthearted entertainment.

The best thing about the night wasn't the great practical parenting advice Nigel shared with us; it was parents going out for a night with their friends and partners, and having a really good laugh! It was an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the lighter side of life (without feeling guilty for doing so!).

What helps you to relax and enjoy life? What's stopping you from enjoying life as it is right now? What do you need to do to include fun and enjoyment in your life?

It's a fact: laughter makes us feel good, and that's something I think we "grown-ups" could do with more often.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Celebrating Mothers

Every day should be Mother's day!

Mothers day is a special time for families to connect and celebrate the amazing world of parenthood.

As mothers, we have one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs there is.

If you are a stay at home mum you might be dealing with isolation, loneliness and boredom with the same routine day in, day out. You may be putting everyone elses needs before your own, with little time or energy left for self-care or relationships.

If you are a working mum you are probably balancing the demands of work and family life, juggling various roles and your available time to fit "everything" in. You could be experiencing feelings of guilt at returning to work and missing out on special milestones or events in your child's life. You may have little time or energy left for yourself and/or your partner.

Do you want to get your life back? (even for just one day!)

This Mother's day sit back, relax and let go of the burden of responsiblity and guilt. Celebrate WHO you are as a person, not just as someone's mother. Remember that mothers are people, too!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to Recession-proof your Life and your Business

I'd like to share some thoughts with you about how you can recession-proof your life and your business:

Think Big Picture
You are what you think – your thoughts will become reality. Now is a great time to revisit (or put in place) your vision for your personal and professional life.

Remain Focused with a Positive Attitude
Where does your focus currently lie – internally or externally? If you find you are continually distracted, or being drawn away from the important things in your life, put support systems in place to remain focused and on track.

Think and Act “Outside the Square”
Are you stuck in a rut? Doing something differently, or looking for new ways and ideas, opens up all kinds of opportunities and possibilities that often wouldn’t be discovered with a closed mind.

Be Realistic
Let’s face it – life is full of all kinds of ups and downs. Now is a good time to take a reality check. Ensure you are living within your means and acting in accordance with your personal and professional values. Have the courage to act responsibly, authentically and with integrity.

Be Flexible and Embrace Change
As one door closes, another one often opens. Be prepared to adapt, be flexible and willing to change. While the loss of a job can be devastating, it can also be the chance to retrain, gain new skills and knowledge, or even lead to a change of direction in your life or career.

Now more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself, enabling you to take care of others. If you don’t look after yourself first, how can you manage a business, or raise a family?

Communication is the Key
Remember, you are not alone. We are experiencing global recession. It’s important to talk through your thoughts and feelings with family, friends, a Life or Business Coach or similar professional. Remember that a problem shared is a problem halved – discussing your concerns, fears and ideas with someone else often results in a solution or leads to the formation of an action plan.

Foster a Sense of Community
Our sense of community has never been more important. The rise of home and communal vegetable gardens is one of many ways you can act locally while thinking globally, with the added benefit of eating fresh produce and saving money.

How you choose to survive this recession is up to you: Are you on the ropes, ready to throw the towel in? Or are you ready to come out fighting, to stand up, raise your hand and head high and be declared a winner? The choice is yours.