#SWAAYthenarrative

How to Avoid Facing Financial Difficulties

Financial difficulties can impact on all areas of your life. If they are not jumped upon immediately, they can spiral, causing you to lose everything. However, there are many things you can do to try to reduce the risk of ending up in that place to start with. Continue reading for our top tips.

Budget

The word budgeting may make your brain think of the US TV shows where stay at home moms collect thousands of coupons to buy seven trolleys' worth of food for just $5. It can include that, but you don't need to be that extreme. Simply sitting down with your partner, if you have one, and going through income and expenditure is essential. Work out where unnecessary spending is occurring and try to cut that back. If lots is cash being withdrawn from the bank and you are not sure what it is being spent on, try keeping all receipts for a month and analyzing your spending at the end of that. It can be enlightening.

Make swaps

We often hear of parents going to extreme lengths when trying to encourage their family members to get on board with saving money by trying own brand products rather than the big brands. Swapping labels and decanting food into alternative containers are just two ways. However, it is not simply groceries that can be swapped to make savings. Try looking at your utility bills and whether you can make savings by choosing different providers. TV companies, such as Sky, may also be receptive to your situation if you explain that you are struggling to afford the current package. It does no harm to see if there are any offers available to you. The same goes for your mobile phone billing.

If your annual holiday involves going to an expensive resort abroad, try to investigate your options closer to home. Not only can you save on the costs of the flight, accommodation could be cheaper too. There is so much to explore within the UK, like Nottingham, that you could surprise yourselves by having more fun and getting more for your money. Try to avoid eating out every night and cater for yourselves every now and then.

Insurance

In the UK, we are lucky to rely on the NHS for healthcare. However, not everyone has that option. In the US, for example, taking out an insurance package such as Mutual of Omaha Medicare can prevent massive, unaffordable expenses should the policy holder fall ill or be involved in an accident. Although healthcare may be free because of the taxes we pay, it is also advisable to consider what would happen should you fall seriously ill and be unable to work. Critical illness cover is one way of ensuring your mortgage payments would be paid while you are incapable of doing so.

Teach your kids the value of money

"Dad, can I have a new game?" We all know those pleas for expensive toys, games or even just the money itself for going out. If children aren't taught from an early age that things cannot simply be bought on a whim and that they have to be earnt, not only will your children be spoilt, you will end up splashing out far too often than necessary. Providing pocket money in exchange for helping around the house or encouraging them to help out with tasks, such as washing the car, can help instil this value into your offspring.

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.