4 Steps for a Sound Financial Future For Your Family

4 Steps for a Sound Financial Future For Your Family

There are many things that we hope for our family, including, of course, that everyone is happy and healthy. In order for that to be the case, however, you need to ensure that the financial aspect of family life has been well taken care of. While it is possible to be happy without millions in the bank, that goal becomes much easier to manage if you’re in a financially stable position. It provides the platform upon which many other positive things can grow. But it’s also true that it can be a little difficult. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how you can create a secure financial landscape for your family, both now and in the future. 

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It doesn’t matter how much you earn: if your outgoings are greater than your incomings, then you’re going to be in trouble sooner or later. As such, one of the best things you can do for your family is to spend an afternoon getting a complete overview of your finances. Take an in-depth look at the money you’ve got flowing into your bank account, and the money flowing outward. You might spot a couple of expenses that are unnecessarily harming your finances. 


While everything might be fine right now, it’s always important to remember that things could look a little different in the future. If things change for the worse, then you’ll be in a much better position if you have savings. Aside from helping you to stay financially secure if you hit a rough patch, savings can also help with other important and enjoyable things, such as helping to pay your child’s college tuition and taking family trips overseas. You don’t have to put huge chunks of money away each month if you’re not in a position to do so, but it should be something. Every little helps! 

Think of the Future

It’s not something that we like to think about, but it’s important to consider what would happen to your family should something happen to you, the primary breadwinner. While you can’t predict the future, you can take steps to ensure that your family is in a strong position to weather the storm by being prepared. This can involve buying life insurance, so you can have peace of mind that your family would be financially secure if something bad happened. Other types of insurance policies are also recommended, such as home and business insurance, if you’re running your own company.

Teaching Good Practices 

Finally, remember that though there’s a lot you can do to keep your family financially sound, you’ll also want to teach your children good habits too. This isn’t something they’re going to learn about in school! Ultimately, the best way to ensure that your children are financially stable in the future is to give them the tools they need to manage their own money (and, of course, make their own money too). It’ll give you peace of mind that they’ll always be OK. 

The Essential Guide To Family Car Buying

The Essential Guide To Family Car Buying

If you look at your driveway only to see a bit of an old banger staring back at you, it might be time for a new set of wheels. While you may have opted for a sporty little number or a torque laden classic in the past, now that you have a young brood, you need something more practical. You may be tempted to go for a brand new car. However, the moment you drive this vehicle away from the forecourt, it will have depreciated dramatically in value. Instead, it’s time to consider a top quality used car. Take a look at this essential guide to family car buying.

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Now that you are a parent, you need to consider your budget and ability to maintain the running costs of your new car. The more expensive vehicles with larger engines can be more expensive to insure. However, if you go for a slightly smaller hatchback, you will have less of an outlay initially, and you won’t have to fork out too much each month for your insurance. If you are concerned about your tax obligations and the fuel economy of your new motor, you might be better off investigating hybrid vehicles. These cars are electric and require a recharge rather than gas. This means that they cost less to run each week, they are better for the environment and they require no tax.


As a new parent, you want to make sure that your children are safe and secure on every journey. Check out the Euro NCAP website to look at the safety review of the car you are looking to buy. The vehicles undergo rigorous testing and a final score is calculated. The site will also list the safety features of each car and their efficacy. At the very least, you should be purchasing a car that has blind spot sensors, an advanced braking system and side impact bars. It doesn’t matter what car you buy, you must always remain a defensive driver. You might be a cautious driver, but you cannot account for the actions of other road users.

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While a leather trim might be your dream, it might not be practical. If you do go for a car with a luxury interior, it might pay to whip on some neoprene rubber seat covers to protect your suede or light colored fabric from toddler fingers and spillages. You also need to consider whether there is any point in buying a small hatchback, if you are soon looking to move out into the country or you want to expand your brood. If this is the case, an SUV might be more apt. Consider the long term lifestyle of your family and buy a car that suits. If you do long journeys on the motorway an SUV that does at least forty miles to the gallon is a good shout. For inner city driving you will need a smaller, perkier car that will fit into the tightest of parking spots.

It can be tricky to find your next vehicle. However, follow this guide and you will find your ideal family car.

Things You Can Do Today To Protect Your Family’s Finances

Things You Can Do Today To Protect Your Family’s Finances

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How secure is your family’s financial future? Or do you even know? Looking after your family’s budget is a difficult task in itself, but planning for the unknown events of the future can be even trickier. However, there are a few things you can do today that will have an instant and positive impact on your family’s future finances. Let’s take a look at some of your options right now.

Build an emergency fund

First thing’s first – put some money away into an emergency fund to protect you and your family from one-off events that could end up doing you severe damage. What happens if your car breaks down and you can’t get to work, for example? What if you have an accident that your health insurance doesn’t cover you for? Ultimately, if you don’t have savings set aside in an emergency fund, the likelihood i that you will be looking at getting into a lot of debt to cover yourself. And that’s going to eat into your current budget – possibly by a significant amount.


Teach your kids about money

Your children won’t get a sound financial education for their schooling – it’s all down to you to teach them about money, saving, debt and credit. Of course, these are incredibly difficult concepts to teach kids, but there are plenty of resources out there that can help you explain finances to little ones. If you can provide them with sound financial knowledge from an early age, by the time they reach adulthood they will be able to make sensible decisions and enjoy a better life – it’s that simple.

Get a family lawyer

Having a lawyer that knows your family gives you many advantages. As Pearce Webster Dugdales Lawyers point out, family lawyers aren’t just for divorces, separations and child maintenance issues. They can also help you with your wills and estate planning, deal with powers of attorney, and help you with serious financial issues like bankruptcy.


Get an accountant

With the best will in the world, there is no way any of us have the time to investigate all out financial options – unless we are very lucky, of course. But there is a simple solution that will save your family a lot of money – and give you more time to enjoy together: hire an accountant. They will reduce your tax exposure, identify investment opportunities, and help you put your money where it is most effective. Yes, there is a cost involved with hiring an accountant, but ultimately that expensive will be dwarfed by the amount of money they save you.


Finally, learn about investing your money, and you will enjoy a much brighter future. You can put money in a standard savings account, of course. But if you want better returns and a more comfortable lifestyle in the future, there are much better options out there, from building a property portfolio through to buying government bonds. It’s also worth setting up a college savings fund for your kids. The cost of a further education is enormous, and every dollar you save will be a great help to them.

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How To Buy a House With a Zero-Down Home Loan

How To Buy a House With a Zero-Down Home Loan

Buying a house remains a dream for many when they consider the down payment required. Inflation is steadily increasing, and the housing sector has been hit hard. But with a zero-down home loan, you can still make your dream come true without the need to save up for a large down payment. This article tells you how to go about it: 

What Is a Zero-Down Home Loan? 

As the name suggests, a zero-down mortgage is what it sounds like—you can get a home loan without making a down payment. Typically, most homebuyers finance the purchase by paying a certain percentage of the price (typically, 20 percent) up front as a down payment and borrow a home loan for the remainder. For example, if you want to buy a house that’s priced at $400,000 and you pay 20 percent ($80,000) as a down payment, you only need to borrow $320,000. The down payment demonstrates to the lender that you’re committed and less likely to default on your loan on account of the up-front investment. 

But saving for a down payment is not always easy. It can take years to save a huge sum of money. In the event you lose your job or are unable to work, it may take even longer than anticipated. And the higher the price of the house, the higher your down payment. 

In such cases, the option of a zero-down mortgage can be a boon. You can borrow the entire amount you require to buy a house, only needing to pay closing costs. Plus, you also get to purchase your house whenever you want—your home ownership doesn’t have to wait until you are financially well-off. The money you save can be invested elsewhere, which offers you better returns. You leave your savings intact but also get to enjoy the perks of homeownership. 

How Can You Get a Zero-Down Home Mortgage? 

There are two popular ways to obtain a government-backed zero-down mortgage: VA loans or USDA loans. Each loan has a highly specific set of eligibility requirements you must fulfill. There are also zero-down loans available through individual lenders. 

USDA Home Loans 

USDA home loans are sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture. These loans are for borrowers residing in specified rural and suburban locations. Here are the three types of loans provided by USDA: 

  1. USDA Direct Loans—extremely low-interest rates for low-income borrowers 
  1. USDA Loan Guarantees—provided by participating lenders at low-interest rates and minimum or zero down payment 
  1. USDA Home Improvement Loans—loans exclusively meant for paying for repairs or improvements of existing houses 

Applicants should have a very high credit score, preferably above 640, to qualify for streamlined processing. Those without a high credit score may need to wait a while for approval and even furnish rental and utility payment histories along with their loan application. 

Applicants should be purchasing a single-family unit that will be their primary residence. Their total gross income should be less than 115 percent of the median income of the county where they are residing to borrow guaranteed loans. In the case of direct-issue loans, the income limits can be as low as 50 percent of the median income for certain locations. 

VA Home Loans 

VA loans backed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs are available to those in active military service, veterans, and surviving spouses of a veteran. These loans are structured as lower-interest, zero-down mortgages to make homeownership easier for veterans and their families. They are provided in the form of a home loan guarantee benefit. 

While the loans are extended by private lenders such as banks or mortgage companies, a portion of the loan is guaranteed by the VA. In lieu of your down payment, the VA agrees to reimburse the lender should it face any losses on account of foreclosure. This allows the lender to provide the loan on better terms. 

The VA provides this loan for buying a house in all parts of the country. The closing costs are also limited, and there is no need for buyers to furnish private mortgage insurance. However, zero down payment is an option only as long as the sale price of the house is at or below its appraised value. Moreover, individual lenders may require the borrower to make a down payment based on their credit profile. Additionally, while the VA doesn’t consider credit score or income to determine eligibility, individual lenders may do so. 

Lender Loans 

A government-backed zero-down home loan isn’t the only option. Many individual lenders offer no-down-payment programs. Borrowers in good standing can take advantage of many of the benefits of a zero-down loan without needing to meet the location, income, or veteran status of government-backed programs. Benefits may include discounted private mortgage insurance, low or no lender fees, competitive interest rates, and so on. 

For instance, Solarity Credit Union offers its Home Now option. It is a zero-down home loan with reduced private mortgage insurance and a waived lender’s fee. Once you clear the quick pre-approval process, you can get up to 100 percent financing at competitive rates. The closing process is completely online, and you can e-sign the documents from anywhere. 

Since the loan servicing always remains with Solarity, you don’t need to worry about a new lender every few years. You can also speak to a Home Loan Guide to choose the best option for your requirements. 

How Do I Know If a Zero-Down Mortgage Is the Right Choice for Me? 

Saving on having to pay a substantial chunk as a down payment is an advantage. This means you will have more savings that you can use during emergencies or for costs that arise after you buy the house. If you are planning to make a down payment at the cost of emptying your savings, it’s worth exploring options and finding lenders who are willing to extend zero-down loans. Do your research to determine which loan programs you’re eligible for and find a loan that meets your needs. 

With home prices so high, having the option to make no down payment makes buying a home accessible. If you are keen to own a house and saving for your down payment is the only thing holding you back, explore a no-down-payment option to make your dreams come true. 

5 Steps for Setting Your Affairs in Order

5 Steps for Setting Your Affairs in Order

How to Prepare Your Affairs In Case the Worst Happens

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a death toll in the millions from all around the world. The best way to protect people from contracting the illness remains distancing yourself from other people and staying indoors as much as possible. But people still need to go to work, especially if they’re frontline workers.

However, although the definition of frontline workers needs to be agreed upon by authorities, you may already be returning to your regular workplace. This is particularly hazardous. For example, even if your wellness resort adjusts to the pandemic, you still face an increased risk of contracting the illness and getting hospitalized.

Worse, you may have a preexisting condition and fall mortally ill. The mortality risk of the illness depends on largely on your age, but you never know how it can affect you and your capacity to earn. Although it is a very sensitive and grim topic, you need to learn how to set your affairs in order in case you are hospitalized for a prolonged time or in case the worst happens.

Here are five steps you can take to ensure your affairs won’t be a mess if you fall ill and that your loved ones are take care of.

  1. Locate all Personal Records

You need to set your affairs in order long before you put yourself at risk. Locate and collate all important personal records your family or loved ones may need to check you into a hospital or to access your finances. These will generally fall into three categories: personal information, financial data and medical information

Medical information includes your insurance policy and documents on the coverage of your health insurance. Your previous medical history will also be necessary to guide doctor’s treatments.

Your personal information includes all documents that will help your loved prove that you are who you say you are. Birth certificates, certificates of employment and marriage licenses belong in this category.

Finally, you must collate your financial records. The passwords to your bank accounts, lists of assets like real estate property and investments should all be easily accessible by your family in case the worst happens.

  1. Create a Reference for Important Documents

Naturally, all your documents will be incredibly difficult to parse. This is why you need to make it easier for your loved ones to reference and find them. For example, you can sort out all your files into different clearly marked folders with tabs indicating the contents. You can print out a page identifying which document is which and where they can be found. This will make the process significantly easier if you do succumb to an illness.

  1. Prepare Advanced Directives

If you do catch the virus, you’re more likely to be incapacitated for a long period or even rendered uncommunicative. You may be too delirious to manage your healthcare and finances or unable to speak due to medical devices. This makes arranging advanced directives essential prior to the events. Advanced directives generally fall into two types. A living will instructs people on how you want to be cared or in your illness. The other type is assigning someone who will have durable power of attorney for health care. This designated person will be in charge of making medical decisions for you.

If you own a business or have a lot of enterprises, you may also want to assign someone with durable power of attorney, which will empower them to make decisions for you in any legal task should you be unable to make them on your own.

  1. Come Up with Financial Strategies

Whether you’re running your own business or simply working on the front lines, you and the important people in your life need to come up with financial strategies should you fall ill. This can include where you’re going to get the money to pay for your health care. Which assets are you all willing to part with to fund prolonged hospitalization? Should you sell the car first or take out a second mortgage on your house? Setting these protocols up long before they become necessary makes it less hard for your loved ones and reduces the stress from an already stressful situation.

  1. Contact a Legal Professional

Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to get the advice of a legal professional. Have a lawyer go over your affairs such as your will and check if everything is in order. This can help you spot any issue that could reduce legal entanglements if you’re unresponsive or worse in a hospital. Their help will also be necessary if you plan on changing your will.

Yes, it’s not pleasant to discuss what could happen when the worst happens. But bad things, like serious illness, can and regularly do happen, especially in these uncertain times. Not discussing the probability and how to handle such events helps no one. Learning how to set your affairs in order will give you and your loved ones some peace of mind in these troubled times.

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