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Category: Provision Newsletter Articles

Travelling with Kids: 4 Travel Hacks

Date: Dec 15th, 2019

Meltdowns in the street, vomit in the car and that dreaded statement of, “I’m bored,” continue to curse family holidays the world over. Travelling with kids is always going to be an adventure that’s split between magical moments and holiday hell. However, that’s never going to stop us from going, right? 

Next time you’re set to jet or drive off, take these top travel hacks with you. 

1. Slow things down 

No matter where you’re going on holiday, chances are you’ll need to double the estimated travel time when the kids are going too. While rushing around at home is often a normal part of everyday routine, this feeling amplifies to meltdown stage if it’s a plane, bus or train you’re rushing to catch. And, the person melting down is probably going to be you! 

The key is to slow everything down by leaving ample time, and then some, in the planning stage. Don’t book flights with quick connections or pay in advance for activities with rigid time restrictions. Leave plenty of time to get to the airport or station. Make sure everyone’s had a snack and gone to the bathroom before getting off a plane, to avoid dramas during long waits at customs or baggage claims. Want to be on the road by 9am to arrive at lunchtime? Leave for your road trip two hours earlier. 

2. Book a hotel for the kids

It could be tempting to book the kids into their own hotel after the twentieth ‘boredom’ tantrum of the day. Failing that, the next best thing is to book a hotel that suits the kids in the first place. When you’re researching, look a little further than the pool and a family room. 

Does the hotel offer a dedicated kids’ pool? A playground? Menus for children? Cot and stroller hire? Babysitting services? Kids clubs? The more facilities a hotel has for children, the better chances there are of other kids being there too. You know what that means? It’s back to lazing by the adult pool for you. 

3. Take packing seriously

What you pack, and often what you don’t pack, makes all the difference to your state of mind. First of all, what can you eliminate by buying or hiring it there? Strollers, car seats and cots are literally huge inconveniences, so relieve yourself of the responsibility if you can. 

Know that overpacking is a major cause of headaches on holidays, so write down a list of essentials and don’t be tempted by the ‘just in case’ items. You’ll want to throw them away when you’re carrying heavy bags and a toddler or two. 

When you’re in transit without suitcases, always check that you have everything you need for a day in a backpack, in case of luggage delays. It’s handy to gather a couple of brand new toys, activities or books to whip out in meltdown moments. There’s nothing like something new to holt a tantrum in its tracks (and no one on the planet will judge you for bribery on holidays).  

4. Gear up for adventure

Children lose their parents all the time, whether deliberately or not, so it’s best to prepare for the inevitable. If you’re visiting busy tourist attractions, deck the kids out in bright colours and write your phone number on a cool wristband they can wear. Don’t forget to take snacks, as they may not find anything they like there. Bandaids and antiseptic are always a good idea. 

Most importantly, to turn meltdowns into magical moments, pack your sense of humour and don’t stop expecting the unexpected.

 

Source: Clientcomm

This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

 

 

6 Sustainable Christmas Ideas

Date: Dec 06th, 2019

 

By the time we sit down for a sun-drenched lunch on Christmas Day, lounge rooms across the country are usually piled high with shreds of wrapping paper, screwed up gift tags and shattered plastic toys. Cue sunset and leftover prawns join soggy crackers, wilted salad and half-eaten lollies in the bin – all wrapped up on pictures of Santa in the plastic tablecloth. When you really think about it, that’s a whole lot of money thrown away as non-recyclable rubbish.

With a few simple tips, it’s possible to host a more eco-friendly Christmas that saves money and unnecessary waste, without skimping on festive cheer. 

1. Shop locally

Supporting local businesses helps to encourage a sustainable local economy. Best of all, you’ll often find eco-friendly, organic products in specialty stores that are unique and handmade with love. Before the big day, buy your fresh food from the farmers’ markets and stock up on homemade goodies – or make them – instead of packaged treats from the supermarket. 

2. Choose gifts that last

We’re all subject to that last-minute rush of buying gifts and the panic that comes with it. Plan a little earlier this year to avoid grabbing shiny things off the shelves to fill stockings. Instead, choose gifts that last or offer experiences. Consider items like houseplants, reusable coffee mugs, wooden games and puzzles or handmade gifts of food, natural beauty products and candles. Buy your loved ones tickets to a concert, lessons in a favourite hobby or make your own gift certificate for a service you’ll do for them. 

3. Rethink wrapping

Wrapping paper is one of the biggest sources of waste each year, so pop that sparkly new roll back down and consider other options. Start collecting reusable gift boxes, use festive scraps of old material, make brown recycled paper look fancy with your craft skills or wrap a gift inside another gift of a scarf or shirt. 

4. Decorate with nature

If you have toddlers, cats or even guests who’ve had one too many beers in the sun, plastic Christmas trees and fragile decorations may not survive to see the next one. Keep it green by sourcing a tree from sustainable forestry systems. Or, simply buy a potted shrub or tree with the aim to replant it after the celebrations. Use pine cones, frangipanis, nuts, fruit or twisty twigs for table displays. It’s amazing what you can find in the backyard when you look closely. 

5. Create a meal plan

There’s nothing worse than hosting a celebration and feeling like you won’t have enough food for everyone. But, seriously, has that ever happened on Christmas Day? To avoid wastage, write a list and allocate just one dish to each person or family, in categories so that everything’s covered but not repeated. That way, you won’t end up with five pavlovas.

6. Donate unwanted gifts

It’s hard to buy the perfect gift, and many of them end up in the back of the cupboard. Take the opportunity to give back by donating gifts to a charity or regifting them to someone who wants them (it’s not a social taboo, it’s a form of recycling!). 

Every little bit helps in the long run, towards a sustainable future. Plus, you’ll find there’s a lot less cleaning up and a lot more money left in your wallet heading into the new year. 

This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page. 

 

 

Grow your super in the new year

Date: Dec 02nd, 2019

Making an extra voluntary contribution now might improve your lifestyle once you retire.

A new year’s as good a time as any to make plans. How about a gift to your future self by maximising your retirement contributions?

It’s not as far-fetched or self-absorbed as it might seem.

If you think of this as investing in your future self or your loved ones, it could make good sense. We’re used to spending on education and training, which are also investments in tomorrow. And which really matters more, upgrading to a flashier car today, or buying a jetpack* a few years down the line?

There’s no time like tomorrow

There are a number of ways you can contribute more to your super, to take advantage of time and the magic of compound interest.

These include salary sacrificing, and a range of tax-deductible, spouse and downsizer contributions, as well as government co-contributions.

Things to keep in mind

What you do right now affects how well you can live in future. So, before you decide to gift your future self, think carefully about the right course for you.

If you’re thinking about making extra contributions towards your retirement, make sure you’re across the super contribution rules.

For instance, if you go over the super contribution limits, additional tax and penalties may apply.

Remember that the value of your investment in super can go up and down. Before making extra contributions, make sure you understand and are comfortable with any potential risks.

The government sets general rules about when you can access your super, which means you typically won’t be able to access your super until you retire. If you’re over 65 and making contributions, you generally need to satisfy work test requirements and be under age 75.

Extra contributions may also affect any rainy day savings you set aside for emergencies, so do your homework before you commit to your future self.

If you’re in a position to engage professional help, you might also talk to us on |PHONE| about what’s right for you.

The not-so-silly season

Many of the presents we buy for ourselves and loved ones date quickly – that new smartphone isn’t new for long. Increasing retirement contributions may delay gratification but pay dividends down the line.

If you have some years to go before you retire, you may even be able to retire sooner if you increase your contributions now.

That gift of time might be the biggest reward of all.

Source : AMP November 2019

Important:
This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling |PHONE|, before deciding what’s right for you.

All information in this article is subject to change without notice. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP and our company do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP and our company do not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

5 unusual self-reflection questions

Date: Nov 29th, 2019

The end of the year is a great time for self-reflection. It’s a time when you can ask questions to help clarify and inform about your clients, profits, processes and more. But here are five unusual questions you’ve possibly never asked before; the answers to which might boost both your joy and sales in 2020.

Question 1: When did I laugh the most?

This may seem like a light-hearted question but it’s surprisingly serious. The moments where you enjoyed a genuine, wholesome laugh were likely the moments where you felt a pure sense of joy.  This is a priceless mental health boost that benefits you in both work and play. 

So, can you pinpoint when you laughed the most? For example, if you laughed heartily and regularly with a particular peer or colleague, can you collaborate or interact with them more often? If you laughed most with a friend or family member, can you engineer your work-life balance to spend more time with them? 

“Two popular answers to the question about what you love most about being a business owner are ‘freedom’ and ‘flexibility’. However, many have been so busy and/or stressed that they enjoyed neither. “

Question 2: When did I feel the most excited during my workday ?

Have you ever wanted to jump out of bed to start the work day? If so, you know how invigorating it feels to be EXCITED! 

Did you get excited when delivering a presentation, attending networking events, working with a particular type of client, or doing a specific stream of work? 

Whatever made you excited, can you do that more often? For example, if you’re a graphic designer who absolutely loved creating logos for mechanics, but spent most of your year designing corporate annual reports, can you set aside time next year to attract more of your ideal logo-designing clients from the motor industry?

Question 3: In what clothes did I feel the most comfortable?

Some of us like to chill out in trakies while others like to dress to impress. Your preferred attire is generally (but not always) a good indicator of your preferred work style. For example, if you love getting dressed up, can you attend more events?  If you prefer wearing pyjamas all day, maybe less client meetings are the go? Wear more of what you love, and love the way you work.

Question 4:  What’s my reply to, “What do you love most about being a business owner?”

We all enjoy being business owners for different reasons, what’s your favourite reason? And, in the past year, did you get enough of that wondrous thing you love so much? 

Two popular answers to this question are “freedom” and “flexibility”. However, many have been so busy and/or stressed that they enjoyed neither.  If this is you, can you outsource some tasks, speak to a coach or fire some clients? Whatever you love most about being a micro business owner, can you get more of it in the New Year? 

Question 5: What food and drink did I enjoy the most?

Food and drink are a big, enjoyable part of our lives, so why not let some of that joy infiltrate into your workday? In offices there are Friday night drinks, working lunches, birthday cakes and more, but when working for yourself, food can become the stuff you shovel down your throat at the computer. 

So, what did you love eating and drinking the most in the past year? If you loved a particular dish at a local restaurant, can you have client lunches there? Can you create your own Friday night drinks with colleagues?  Can you meet with prospects at your favourite café, or have your very own brainstorming sessions there? Or, can you simply ensure you eat away from your desk/workspace more often? Your favourite food can certainly lift your mood, and perhaps increase productivity and sales too. 

Although these five questions are slightly different to the ones you usually read about, if you choose to ask them, the answers may provide useful insights to help boost business and happiness in 2020. I hope they do!

Source : Flying Solo

This article by Lucinda Lions  is reproduced with the permission of Flying Solo – Australia’s micro business community. Find out more and join over 100K others. 

 

Important:
This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

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