Ignoring these strange home noises could cost you a lot of money in the future

Unexplained noises in the home are always a cause for concern. Is it just the floorboards creaking, a maintenance issue of some kind, or could it be a ghost? Ghosts are pretty unlikely, but there’s every chance that it could be a maintenance problem.

The top six mistakes to avoid when saving for education

Wow – another festive period is over, and the children are going back to school this week in South Africa. Here in the UK where we relocated, schools already started, so you have a bit of catching up to do in terms of getting into a rhythm with school hours. But it’s nice to see all the smiley, familiar faces returning to school!

As parents, we all want the best for our children, and this often includes being able to give them the best education that we can afford.

Below I thrash out some of the common mistakes that parents make when saving for education, with some sage advice from Allan Gray, Sanlam and Old Mutual.

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My Jet2 holiday trip to Ibiza and the Cala Verde hotel with two active boys

A recent anonymous social media post from a mom relayed how she was lacking in confidence when it came to holidaying with her young children. She was worried because things had changed. When her second child came along she said holidays have become more stressful and challenging.

I really get it. Travelling with two children (and even one) can be stressful. But for some reason I got a bee in my bonnet about booking a trip for the boys and I to Ibiza. As the holiday drew nearer, I admit I was getting a bit worried.

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Get a free book that’s designed to teach your child about investing and saving

Children are generally more interested in spending their money thank tucking it away for a rainy day. It’s been a tough battle to get my eldest to save even though he’s got a bank account.

Here in the UK the children are spoilt for choice when it comes to kid’s accounts. There are more options than there are in South Africa and the apps here for accounts such as GoHenry allow you to monitor their spending and earnings with your own parent access while the child gets their own version.

Teaching them to save for major events such as Christmas isn’t an easy thing to do. Once they see that little pot grow, they realise that if it hits a certain amount then there is a plethora of toys that they can buy.

What’s worse, websites like Amazon and Takealot in South Africa make accessibility to toys and games even easier. Kids soon realise they can get instant gratification within a matter of days. It’s just too easy to buy stuff in stores and online. You don’t even need to get out of the house!

So, I was very pleased to see that one investment house, Foord Asset Management, have made an effort to educate children about the advantages of saving. They’ve published a beautifully illustrated book, More Than Enough, which tells the story of a little squirrel who is collecting acorns with her mom. The little squirrel’s mom gives her offspring lessons about gathering enough for the future and unpacks the basics about investing. The book is available to parents for free.

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What’s that old man doing in the park reading a book near my children?

This was a question raised by a concerned mom on a social media platform. To put it further into context, the woman who posted her concerns said: “Lone gentleman in the playground reading a book on a bench. Feel awful to think negatively but a bit odd don’t you think?”

It made me stop and think twice and I was of course intrigued to scroll down and read through the over 74 responses (and counting) made to the question posed about two hours before I wrote this up on my blog.

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Two day budget beach holiday in Eastbourne with my six-year-old

As family holidays go you can’t beat a getaway to the beach. Sand, sea and surf is all you need and it’s enough to keep even the most active of kids happy. So now that we’re in the long summer break in the UK I thought it would be nice to catch a family break in the sun.

Unbelievably it’s been extremely hot here in the UK, with the second hottest day on record ever recorded yesterday. I don’t really remember a time when the weather has been so charming. I lived in London for nearly ten years between 2000 and 2009 and I don’t remember summers being this generous and winters being this mild.

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