Random Ideas By Andre

Start Early And Stay Healthy

Eating healthy doesn't need to be boring

Eating healthy doesn’t need to be boring

What you reap is what you sow and what you eat is what you become. These life lessons come in handy while teaching our kids ways to stay healthy. Building healthy eating habits in kids at a young age always go a long way in developing their health. Eating right at an early stage affects their physical and mental growth and development during their formative years. It Build healthy eating habits early have a lasting effect on their impressionable minds helping them maintain these habits as adults and live a healthy and disease free long life.

As parents it is our responsibility to put in the effort to build healthy eating habits early in kids. These include eating the greens, drinking milk for growth of bones, eating plenty of fruits and nuts, moderating colas and candies and avoiding late night binges.

Three ways to teach your kids healthy eating habits are as follows:

1. Watch what you eat

Teach your child to eat healthy by setting the example

Teach your child to eat healthy by setting the example

Kids like to ape their parents. They watch and learn. They often do what you do and not what you ask them to do. Hence if you are binging on unhealthy street food, fried potatoes, colas, candies and late night snacks, do not expect your children to be any different. They are watching you. Even if you are strict with them they may follow your order while you are around but would naturally be tempted to enter the forbidden territory of unhealthy snacking while you are not watching. They may also rebel and do the exact opposite of what you instruct them to do as your actions and not words inspire them as adults.
So practise what you preach and show them how it is done. Alter your wrong eating habits and watch your kids savour their veggies.

2. Presentation is the key

Think like a child when you want them to relish an otherwise boring healthy dish. Make it fun for them to eat their healthy meals like by adding their favourite chocolate flavour to their milk; spreading the fruit jam like on the toast in the form of a smile, making toffee shaped vegetable sandwiches. So put your creative cap on and make eating healthy fun and play and not a boring decree to be carried out by the kids.

3. Reward them with their favourite treats

Completely banning unhealthy food may cause the kids to yearn for it more and in some cases also rebel. Use a reward mechanism to let your children earn these treats. You could treat them on weekly based on their overall conduct, good Samaritan behaviour displayed, eating healthy and getting good grades at school or play.

Make it look good... Your child might find it fun and eat it

Make it look good… Your child might find it fun and eat it

Children by nature are curious and need to know the reason behind everything. If you are patient and can explain the benefits of healthy eating habits they are likely to follow. Building these healthy habits may call for a lot of effort and patience from the parents, but it would help in building their child’s health and immunity and save them the trouble and expense of visiting doctors!

Pay Off Debt Or Invest More – A Million Dollar Question

What would you do with some extra cash

What would you do with some extra cash

The biggest dilemma that the investors who have extra cash flow face is whether to use the spare money to pay down debt or invest more. Coming to a definite conclusion can be a daunting task as many factors may influence your decision. Here are few tips to help you decide conclusively:

Interest earned and interest lost

If you want to decide between paying of your debt or investing more, it is very important to calculate the difference in interest rates between the two. This is a no brainer but the calculations may become complex once you factor the deductions from tax. Secured debts like home mortgage have an advantage that the interest you pay is tax-deductible. However, some investments like 401(K), IRA and retirement saving schemes also have tax advantages. Therefore, calculate the interest lost or the expected interest that can be earned after factoring for tax benefits or accruals.

Future plans of taking loan

Be debt free

Be debt free

If you are planning to take a secured loan in future, then maintaining a healthy credit score is important. Your credit score is better if you hold on to the debt and pay your regular installments on time. Some people do the mistake of believing that they can free their home from debt and later on take home-equity(Loan on home). However, the bank may not give you loan on home later at the time of your need because many other factors like value of home going down or tough market conditions.

Investment options available

Another factor that can influence your decision is the investment options available. If you have not invested in retirement saving schemes yet, then it may be a better idea to diversify your portfolio by investing in such schemes. Similarly, if you already have a lot of participation in safe investment schemes then you can invest your money in high-risk high-return policies. However, this will depend on your risk taking capabilities. If you are conservative in your approach, then paying down debts may be a better decision.

Terms and conditions of loans

Sit with your banker and understand the terms and condition of your loans properly. If it is a new loan then most probably, the maximum part of your regular installment is going towards the interest amount and not the principal amount. Similarly, if it is an old loan then the maximum part may have started to go towards the principal amount and it may be a better decision to leverage on your loan by holding it and investing to buy more assets. Lastly, also calculate the prepayment charges that some bank may charge you for repaying the loan before the stipulated time.

You must understand the terms and condition of your loans

You must understand the terms and condition of your loans

Apart from these factors, your age, future plans and expected market conditions may also play a very important role in taking the final decision. Lastly, do not forget your peace of mind. You do not want to invest too much with high amount of debt on your shoulders and then spend sleepless nights especially in rough market conditions. You can also go forward by allocating funds to both the places in a ratio suitable to your need and liking.

Paying Student Loan Faster – A Getaway To Financial Relief

After graduation you need to work to pay your loan

After graduation you need to work to pay your loan

Many graduates leave college with two major things- a degree or diploma and a large student loan bill. The latter therefore becomes a liability that ought to be settled faster. And currently in United States, many people are in this situation; many are making progress, some are struggling while others are getting by. But how do you pay off your student loan really fast? Here are the 3 ways to pay off your student loans faster:

Reduce interest rates

You need to reduce the interest rates of your student loan

You need to reduce the interest rates of your student loan

Many student lenders (including the Department of Education) have discounts for people setting up direct deposits. The department of education which is the lender for all federal student loans has emerged as a strong platform to allow students settle loans faster through a discount of about 0.25% for those who are keen set up direct deposits. Many lenders prefer this mode of deposit at it reflects on the graduate’s commitment towards settling loans as well as increasing the graduate’s likelihood of making on-time payments. Although the percentage discount is often viewed in some quarters as one that offers limited re-payment options, it can potentially knock off a chunk of cumulative interest over the years. This is so and especially those owning the lenders large debts.

Earning more income to inject towards your loan

It can be hard to settle a large bill if you don’t have additional income. Therefore, you can try to extend a drop quote towards your employment status by doing side jobs. This will enable you to sustain livelihood while at the same time meeting your loan concerns. Therefore, if you are lucky to make maximum use of your abilities, you can definitely find some side jobs that will add to your efforts of clearing a nagging college loan. Alternatively to suit such purposes, try to extend on the level of your income. Multitasking and freelancing after work can be overwhelmingly daunting, but nevertheless, equally awarding towards settling student loans faster.

Making frequently bigger payments

This sounds obvious but it is a daunting undertaking. Many graduates will not imagine sacrificing on the comfort of their salaries in the name of paying loans. Nonetheless, student loan lenders are often satisfied with whatever you pay, as long as it is above the stipulated monthly payment (after a review of the payslip). You can absorb the pain of surviving on a pressing budget during your very first years of employment so as to save the comfort of the future- which is many times worth every bit of your income. However before doing this, it is advisable to leverage the services of a financial advisor as they can help you determine what to pay with regard to your financial need and status.

Payment of a student loan

Remember, it´s important to make the payments of your student loan

Remember, it´s important to make the payments of your student loan

You will always throw the reminders in a garbage kit or even in the Cuisinart, but none of this will clear off the debt. Therefore, the only proven and sure way to clear off the student loan debt faster would be to remain committed towards repayment. Many times, some financial reliefs and grants will come your way, either during or before employment, and this is another way to settle the bill.