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February 2020

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Kids clothes can easily take over your life if you’re not careful. When your baby is born, your friends all want to shower you with gifts and it brings them great delight to buy your baby clothes. The clothes are cute because they’re miniature and your friends are so thoughtful and generous that the mass of kids clothes acquired soon becomes more than you can bear to dig yourself out from under. Laundry becomes a torturous task that seems to take over your life. 

You spend your days laundering and folding kids clothes, only to find that when you go the put the clothes away, the drawers and closets are overflowing and things are hard to put away. “I’ll just leave this right here on the table for now. I’ll have to go through her drawers to make some room later,” you think. Been there, done that! What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? 

Here are my top three tips for simplifying your child’s wardrobe.

1)      Throw things in the trash. Maybe a harsh first point, but going through your kids’ clothes and tossing anything that is ripped or stained beyond repair is a great first step in simplifying their wardrobe. They probably aren’t wearing these clothes anyway and that makes this an easy place to start.

2)      Pull out anything that doesn’t fit right now. Ever had the battle over the too-small pair of pants at the last minute while you’re trying to get everyone dressed and out the door? Eliminate the struggle and remove things from their drawers and closets that don’t currently fit. Store seasonal clothes in bins and donate or pass down to younger siblings clothes that no longer fit. This will give you a bunch of space to work with and it will also show you exactly how many of each item you have. I did this recently and found that my daughter had 33 tops in her drawer. Many of them didn’t fit and taking them out left us with so much room!

3)      Fill in the gaps – Capsule Wardrobe. Does a capsule wardrobe intimidate you as it did me? Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. You can do as many or as few pieces in a capsule wardrobe. The key is that all the pieces can be worn together. After you throw away all the ripped and stained items and pull out anything that doesn’t fit right now, you’ll be able to better assess what your child needs. Don’t skip those first two steps! They’re essential to getting the capsule right the first time.

These are my top tips for simplifying a child’s wardrobe, but it could work in an adult’s closet too! Tell me – are you a clothing minimalist or do you love to shop and buy?

It’s something that nobody wants to talk about but like it or not, you will get older.

On the plus side, today isn’t the day that we’re about to remind you about the bulging belly and grey hairs that are often associated with aging (although these by no means happen to everyone – the former is a common myth in fact).

Instead, today is all about finances. It might be a seemingly boring topic, but in relation to aging it can also prove to be quite popular. As you’ll soon find out, as you age you will meet your fair share of financial surprises but contrary to popular belief, they’re not all bad.

Surprise #1 – You might earn more

Today isn’t the day that we’re going to bang on about pensions. Instead, it’s about how much MORE you could earn when you get older.

The prospect of retirement can be fun if you anticipate relaxing days spent on sunny beaches, but if you have concerns about potential debt and the general difficulties of living on a fixed income the prospect of retirement can suddenly become scary. A reverse mortgage lender can alleviate many of those concerns by providing you with a non-traditional form of loan designed just for retired individuals. Under the loan terms you can borrow money against the value of your home and pay it back at your leisure using a reverse-loan calculator you can find out exactly how much you’ll be getting per month. No full repayment will be required as long as your primary residence continues to be the home in question and you will continue to be the homeowner for the duration of the loan.

Sure, your pension might aid in this process, but this surprise is probably going to apply to those of you who are still working. This is because studies have found that 90% of over 50s are actually classed as “happy” in their job role. This is mainly due to the fact they have reached their career goals and are regarded as an expert.

As we all know, a happy worker tends to be a motivated one. The domino effect of this is that pay rises and promotions are still on the table – with many people also taking on extra freelance work to supplement the coppers some more.

Surprise #2 – You will probably have to provide for your children even after they fly the nest

We all know the cost of raising children – it spans into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

This figure is seemingly on the rise though. More and more parents are helping out with a house deposit for their kids, for the simple fact that it’s otherwise unaffordable.

It doesn’t stop at bricks and mortar though – it can stretch as far as funerals and elderly care. In relation to the former, many people feel as though it’s better to pay “today’s rate” with a pre-paid funeral plan, to ensure that the family doesn’t have a huge bill. Then, with elderly care, it’s been all over the news over recent times how expensive this is – and it’s not getting any cheaper.

Surprise #3 – You might have more financial flexibility

The final surprise is another pleasant one; you’ll probably have slightly more financial flexibility than you once thought. We’re mainly referring to refinancing and if you need a quick boost of cash, mortgaging is most definitely possible. In fact, it’s something that’s come on leaps and bounds over recent years and while banks may have once been reluctant to loan to the elderly, this is no longer the case. Of course, there are limits, but these are higher than they once were which just carves a few more avenues to those of you who might want to make that luxury purchase.