How to Prepare your Kids for Getting a Dog

Getting a dog can be a very exciting experience. It gives your kids some added responsibility and it also gives them something to care for. If you want to prepare your kids for getting a dog, then there are a few things that you can try and do.

Understand the Dog’s Background

It doesn’t matter where you purchase your dog, or even whether you choose to adopt. You need to know the dog’s history, and you also need to know if they are aggressive around children. At the end of the day, your kids should always come first and by knowing information like this, you can be sure to make the best decision. A lot of people think that they can force an unwilling dog to accept a child, but this should never be the case. It will end up in an almost certain disaster, and it will also put pressure on the family as well.

Treats

Treats are like currency, for canines. They are a fantastic motivator when you use them properly.

If you want to help your kids to understand this, then start by giving your child a couple of treats to hold. When the dog is being well-behaved, or when they do a trick on command, tell your child to give them a treat. This will help your child to bond with your new pet, and it will also help the dog to be more accepting of your kids too. When your child hands out a treat, make sure that they keep their hands flat as this will stop their fingers from being nipped. As time goes on, you can use the treats less and less.

Warning Signs

You should always tell your child to use gentle body language. You also need to tell them to use slow, and deliberate gestures. By doing this, the dog is aware of when they are going to be petted, or stroked and it also helps your child to respect the dog’s feelings too. Of course, you do need to tell the child about the dog’s body language too. They need to listen out for warning growls, and they need to know when to leave the dog alone. If your child does not look out for these signs, then your dog may end up with anxiety or they may even resist having a close relationship with your child. Remember that not all dogs will have been socialised to deal with new people and they might not all act the same way either.

Responsibility

Getting a dog is a fantastic way for you to teach your child responsibility. They need to know when to feed them, when to give them more water and even how to help them to stay healthy. If you want to help your child, then try and assign them certain jobs. This could include filling up your dog’s bowl in the morning or it could even involve letting them out in the yard. Depending on how old your child is, you may not want to let them take the dog out for walks to begin with. The main reason for this is because younger dogs tend to pull on the lead, purely because of how excited they are for their walk. It’s very easy for a child to lose control here, so always insist on holding the lead yourself until the dog calms down a bit.

Health

Looking after a dog isn’t just about giving them food and water. They are essentially becoming a member of the family, so you need to look after their health too. This could involve taking them to the vets and even getting their claws clipped from time to time. Your child may love giving your dog a treat from time to time and this is great, but they do need to understand that if they do this too often then they could risk harming the dog’s health. Your friends may ask “why does your dog’s breath smell so bad?” and you may even notice that they start to become overweight as well. All of this can be contributed to a poor diet, and if you can teach your child about this then you can help them to understand the needs of the dog you have much more efficiently.

So, getting a dog can be great for the whole family, but it is important that you teach your child how to look after them and how to care for their immediate needs. The sooner you do this, the better experience you will have.

 

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Easy Ways to Keep Kids Entertained on Rainy Days

Kids love to be outside in the great outdoors. They can play out with their friends, or they can even ride their bikes around the local park. If it’s raining then they may feel cooped up inside and this can easily lead to feelings of boredom. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to try and alleviate this.

 

Try your Hand at Baking

Baking is a fantastic way for you to spend time with your kids. It’s super easy to do, makes very little mess and you don’t even need a lot of ingredients either. When baking with the kids, try and make sure that you give them as much to do as possible. Let them stir the mix, put it in the oven or even choose the flavourings. When you do this, you can then help them to really get invested and you never know, they may end up loving it and want to do it again! The best thing about baking is that you can eat the fruits of your labour that night, whether it is with a movie or even when playing a family game.

Have a Family Movie Day

When was the last time you all sat down together and watched a movie? Probably a long time ago. If you want to try and help your kids to curb those feelings of boredom then try and choose a film that everyone is going to love. You might also want to get some popcorn and make a full day of it. Grab the duvet from upstairs and light some candles too. When you do this, you can easily help them to feel as though they are doing something positive and it also gives you the chance to spend some quality time with them.

Delve into Arts and Crafts

If your kids love to get crafty then why not consider doing some arts and crafts? When you do activities like this, you can easily encourage them to explore their creative side and this can be really good for their motor skills. If you are stuck for some ideas, then look into making your own paper aeroplanes and have a competition to see who’s can go the furthest. You can even try and make something out of clay, or draw together. Family activities like this can really help you to encourage them and it can also put an end to boredom once and for all.

Play some Fun Family Games

Family games are a great way for you to really get everyone involved. The Ms Pacman arcade game is a fantastic choice, and you would be surprised at how many hours of fun it can give you. The best thing about games is that there are so many of them available and this is great if your kids have a ton of energy that they can’t seem to get rid of. Of course, you can have competitions to see who can get the highest score and you can even work with them to try and teach them the rules of any new games you have around the home too.

 

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Awesome Ways Technology Can Help You Save A Fortune In Your Home

Saving money can be a challenge at the best of times, but there are some simple ways that technology can actually help you do this. If you don’t already know what these are, then it is a good thing that you have come across this post, because we are going to talk about a few of them down below. So, if you are interested in finding out how tech can save you some cash around your home, keep reading.

The Movies You Love

Firstly, are you spending an absolute fortune on buying DVD’s, Blu-Rays and now 4K movies for your family? It all adds up even if you are just buying one here and there. For example, if you want a 4K movie, you are going to be looking at paying around 20 for it. But, if you want to get around this, you can always use the internet to get these movies without paying massive amounts for them. A site like funkykit.com can tell you how to do this, and you will be able to grow your movie collection without feeling like you have lost half of your savings. Okay well maybe it isn’t quite that bad, but it certainly isn’t cheap!

Timer Plugs

If you have kids, you are going to know about the struggle to get them to turn the sockets off after they have used them. Have you heard of timer plugs? These handy little items plug into your socket, you can then plug the plugs into them, and they ensure that the socket gets turned off after a certain amount of time. This way, you know that your kids are not essentially going to be eating the electricity while they are not even using their devices. You can find out more about these at a site like https://www.screwfix.com.

Accounting Software

Are you having issues budgeting and staying within these lines? It can be hard when you aren’t sure the exact amount you have in certain areas. As such, you might want to look into getting some accounting software. This will mean that you can set a budget, figure out where all the money needs to go, what is left and so on. You will feel much more organized, and you are no longer going to be spending money that you don’t have.

A lot of the time, people are spending money that they don’t have because they are not effectively managing their funds. For this reason, accounting software is going to be a lifesaver.

Smart Meter

Finally, have you noticed that your electric bill has been creeping up and up slowly? Well, if it has then you might want to think about having a smart meter put into your home. This way, you can see how much you are using, and you can see what appliances are using the most amount of energy. Using this new information, you can find ways to cut your bill and save you some money each month.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now have a good idea of some of the ways that technology can help you save a fortune in your home.

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Money-Saving Tips for the New Year

In case you are looking forward to achieving something this New Year, the probability is that the plan is money-related (saving more and spending less). It may also involve settling some bills for the moments that you spent money that you did not have.

Recent findings show that the average household in the United States has nearly $7,000 worth of credit card debt. What this figure means is that such people will have to pay an interest of about $1,000 per year. If you are in this situation, all is not lost since you can still put your financial matters in order. Check out some great tips from Kimberly Palmer, who is NerdWallet’s personal finance specialist, to help you achieve your financial resolutions.

Obtain a Balance Transfer Card

In case you have credit card debt, think about getting a transfer. According to Palmer, interest rates are currently going up. Hence, the best thing you can do is obtaining a balance transfer card for 2019 before interest rates rise any further. With that, you can easily transfer debt from your previous credit card while enjoying a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR).

If you can service the least payment every month, especially in the course of the 12 to 15-month introductory duration, you can comfortably settle your credit card debts without being charged additional interest. Also, try sticking to a strict budget by using debit cards or cash. Doing so protects you from piling up more debt.

Get Rid of Banking Fees

According to Kimberly Palmer, most people are not aware that they pay monthly fees for banking services. The charges include costs for utilizing out-of-network automatic teller machines, overdraft fees and monthly maintenance fees. However, the kicker, in this case, is the minimum balance. Failure to maintain this balance causes the average individual to part with more than $12,000 in charges over his or her lifetime.

To avoid such banking fees, find a free savings or checking account (ensure that it has the FDIC insured label). It ought to be one that gives you a high yield of at least 2% or more. Therefore, if you have $10,000 in your free savings account, which is earning 2% interest rate, you will be getting an additional $200 each year.

Adhere to the 50, 30, 20 Rule

Saving money revolves around budgeting. To achieve this, Palmer suggests following a basic breakdown whereby 50% of your money goes to your basic needs including food and housing among other things, 30% goes to meeting your wants such as going out for a dinner date or going to the cinema, and lastly, the remaining 20% ought to be put aside for future planning including savings and debt payments.

You can try reducing your want expenses such as eating out or taking a taxi. Also, even though it is quite hard, avoid paying for subscription services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix among many others. Most of these can derail your financial plans. However, you do not want to touch money set aside for things like your retirement contribution or even emergency savings, which ought to be worth six months of living expenses.

Try Re-shopping your Auto Insurance

It seems little gecko could be right after all: fifteen minutes assist you in saving 15 percent.  According to Palmer, it is quite surprising how only a few individuals shop around or go from one insurance company to another to get the best auto insurance deal. As such, most people end up paying more money for such insurance services than they actually should. This figure, on average, is more than $400 per year.

The surprising bit is that all that can be avoided by shopping around. All you have to do is spare some few minutes from your busy schedule to do some online search, key in your details, and see where you stand as far as getting yourself a lower rate on auto insurance is concerned. Yes, it is that simple. With that in mind, it is time to kick out such excessive bills this New Year and the years to come.

Set Some Money Aside

Bills or expenses are part of life since you need to take care of yourself, family and survive. However, planning for your future is equally vital. To achieve long-term saving success, you need to cultivate a saving habit. Palmer recommends that you try transferring money to your savings account automatically every month. For instance, you can do this after receiving each paycheck.    

Make this transfer either through your work’s direct deposit or your bank. Hence, if you save $40 for each bi-monthly paycheck cycle, you will have reached nearly $1,000 of savings at the close of the year; this can help navigate unexpected expenses which you can offset with your savings and thrifty deals from places like Home Depot. When you make saving an ingrained habit, meeting this year’s and future New Year’s financial resolutions will be undeniably easy.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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