Three Key Ways Tech Can Save You Money

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The influence of tech on the modern world is something that is often decried as a negative – from the (often fair) criticism of social media to the complicated argument over “fake news”. There is, additionally, no shortage of people who believe that technology has broken down the links between people and damaged our social structures, though there are plenty who would argue to the contrary.

While we could go back and forth over issues such as the above, it is worth looking at the ways in which technology can bring a net benefit to us all, including the ability to make money online. For another thing, any of us who happens to be living on a budget will be delighted to take advantage of the many ways in which being “connected” can save you money both in the long and the short term. Below, we’ll look at a few examples of how this can work for you.

Getting smart around the home

Adding smart tech to your home may seem like a weird way to save money – after all, couldn’t you save by not buying tech? And we should be clear in agreeing that not every “money saving” purchase will save you money. However, investing in a smart hub for your home, and adding smart lightbulbs and perhaps a thermostat, can ensure that you’re only using energy and fuel that absolutely needs to be used. There is an initial outlay to be considered, but if you add what you can, when you can, it will represent a long-term saving.

Using apps and extensions for your shopping

Comparison shopping isn’t everyone’s idea of fun; it’s easy to wonder whether paying 13 cents less for a bottle of water is really going to swell your funds to any appreciable degree. However, saving on your purchases has become easier thanks to a range of apps and extensions you can add on your phone and laptop. Apps like the Huawei Member Center can get you the best deals on purchases. Browser extensions including Honey, meanwhile, can search the web for voucher codes that deliver big savings on anything you buy.

Saving on the little luxuries

While there are decent offers to be found on takeout delivery using technology – and these should definitely be explored for when you’re in a hurry – you can push the envelope a little further by making those little treats at home. A slow cooker will allow you to easily cook a range of tasty cuisines that easily match takeout standard, while a coffee machine can negate the need to visit a chain outlet to enjoy quality joe. Pick up a milk frother and a few syrups (which are increasingly available sugar-free) and you can even ape the fancy creations that would usually leave you little change from $10 – for a fraction of the cost.

There are plenty of other ways that technology can offer you savings, and it’s worth looking around for ways to cut costs; you’d be amazed how often people are missing out on the opportunity to save cash.

Life Skills & Gaming: How To Teach Your Kids Both

Did you know that many games that are on the shelves in the stores are designed to teach valuable life skills? For example, children can learn patience from Monopoly and Risk – playing the long game teaches them strategy! They can gain excellent dexterity and problem-solving from video games and they can learn so much about the language in which they speak when they do crossword puzzles and more.

As parents, we want to teach our children as much as possible. We look to buy here when it comes to finding the best puzzles for our children to do to pass the time and help them with their general knowledge. The key is in knowing how you can tie in a lesson about life skills into the games that they are playing. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways you can teach your children both.

Four People Playing Dominoes

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  1. First, you need to choose the right game. If you want to teach your children about money management, pick games like Monopoly and Pay Day so that they can learn how they can “win” as much money and property as possible as they play. When you see them achieving the end goal of saving money, start a home tuck shop so that you can teach them how to manage the real thing! 
  2. Tie the games that you choose into your child’s interests. Children will be far more interested in playing games with you if they are interested in the subject involved. Games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, for example, taps into their interest in theme parks and offers them the chance to be creative.
  3. Most of the time, puzzles and jigsaws are the first games that children are given. They are taught to move from the outside in, building the puzzle as they see fit to replicate the picture on the outside. If you ensure that your child can see the image they are copying, they’ll be able to build a picture of their own life – puzzles teach them to dream!
  4. Problem-solving is a big deal in life, and the problems that your child solves while they are moving through a variety of board games and role-playing games will help them to think quickly and analytically in life, too. 
  5. Word games are perfect for helping your children to learn to spell, as well as helping them to learn how to speak correctly. Grammar is a big deal, and the spellings that your children will have to learn as they get older will ensure that they are ahead of the game at school.
  6. There are so many different types of games out there, but when you teach your children how to play board games like chess and draughts, you are able to teach them how to be skillful and competitive. This will offer them plenty of practice at how to solve problems and think fast and strategically in life, too. 
  7. Lastly, gaming offers your children the chance to have FUN. Games are for those of all ages, of course, but childhood is where the fun begins 

3 Fun Video Games To Play With Your Kids

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Those of you that are regulars on my blog will know how I feel about video games and gaming. I think they generally get a bad rep from lots of parents, usually because people don’t seem to understand the concept of gaming or how beneficial it can potentially be. 

So, I think it’s a good idea to encourage your kids to game – as long as they do so responsibly. It can be a very healthy hobby, and it’s also a chance for you to get closer to your kids. There are loads of enjoyable video games that you and your children can play together. Some of these are unique to the video game world, while others bring classic board games to life. If you’re looking to pass the time at home, here are the best games to try:

Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games

Mario and Sonic have teamed up for multiple games celebrating the various Olympics over the years. If you have a Nintendo Switch, then this is an excellent game to buy for the whole family to enjoy. You and your kids can compete against one another in a series of Olympic sports using popular characters from the Mario and Sonic universes. It’s a fairly active game as well, and can get wildly competitive! All ages can enjoy it, and it could be worth buying a Switch for this game alone. 

Scrabble

Yes, the classic board game has made it to the video game real on both Xbox and Playstation. The fun thing about this game is that it encourages your kids to practice their spelling and to learn new words. If they struggle, then you can easily use a word finder tool online to help them out. What I love most about Scrabble on the video game platform is that your kids are way more likely to play it than the original board game! It just seems much cooler to them. Plus, there are some extra features to keep everyone entertained as well. 

Overcooked

Lastly, we have a wonderful cooking-based game that the whole family will fall in love with. I’ve seen parents who have never cared for video games suddenly become engrossed in this one! The premise of Overcooked is easy to understand – you’re in a kitchen and you have to fulfill all the food orders. The instructions and controls are simple for children under 8 to follow, so everyone can get involved. It can get really frantic and exceptionally entertaining. It’s available across multiple platforms, but the Nintendo Switch version might be the best because you can use motion controls and get more people involved. 

There you have it: three excellent family games for you and your kids to play. I’ve linked videos to all the gameplay trailers, so you can see more about the games themselves. The moral of the story is that gaming can be a brilliant family activity. Instead of viewing video games as something that pushes the family apart, look at them as a hobby that can bring you all together!

What To Do When The Kids Start Moaning That The Internet Won’t Work

There comes a time in every dad’s life when the kids start bleating that the internet won’t work. For those of us old enough to remember a time before the world wide web, it’s not such a big deal. But for kids raised on zeroes and ones, it can be a traumatic experience to lose contact with the outside world, especially if you’re on lockdown

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The internet can go out of action for all kinds of reasons. And for some of them, you need to be some kind of network engineer or Ph.D. to figure them out

Others, though, are easy to solve. Here’s what to do when the internet doesn’t work for your kids. 

Check Whether You Can Solve The Problem

Most problems with your internet service occur because of factors within the home itself, but not always. Sometimes there’s an issue with the exchange or work on the line. In that case, there’s nothing you can do. 

Go to your router and check whether the “internet” light is illuminated. If it is, then it means that you still have internet service to your home and that the problem is under your control. 

Change Channel Settings In The Router Settings

Channels are bandwidths that your devices use to communicate with your router. Each device connects via a specific channel, preventing annoying cross-talk. 

Internet connections, however, can drop if too many devices try to use the same channel at the same time. It is vital, therefore, that you create different channels for each of them. You should be able to find this in the device settings. The password for administrator access should be on the router itself. 

Get A Range Extender

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Sometimes, WiFi can cut out because the signal isn’t powerful enough, especially if your kids try to watch the internet in the garden. Take a look at a WiFi extender list and find a device that will provide enough range for your property. 

Most routers will send out a signal about 20 meters before the quality begins to degrade. WiFi extenders pick up the signal from your router and then pump it out around the house further. The result is a far larger coverage area – perfect for providing internet access in the summer house. 

See If The Problem Is To Do With The Wireless Signal Itself

Another way to diagnose internet problems is to see whether it is a problem with the wireless signal or network settings. 

Instead of trying to connect to the router remotely, use an ethernet cable – the thing that looks a bit like a phone cable. Whack it in a compatible device and then connect it directly to the router. 

If the computer can connect to the internet, then you know that you have access, in principle. But if the wireless isn’t working, then it could be for a host of reasons. Try to update the driver software to ensure that you installed it correctly. Also, try resetting your router and re-entering the password, just in case there is a firmware problem.