General

Three Ways to Get Ahead as a Millennial

There are few generations quite as interesting as us millennials. We’re widely criticised and misunderstood, often considered as lazy and self entitled by older folk. But as a demographic, we’ve done a lot of good. We’re entrepreneurs who are carving new paths in business and career thanks to the fact we’re savvy with technology. We’re the most ethnically and racially diverse generation, meaning we’re more accepting of others- we’ve pushed forward movements such as gay marriage and gender equality. And as a generation, we’re more educated and informed than others that have come before us. However, it’s not all good news for Millennials and if we’re looking at general trends, there are a few things we could be considered ‘guilty’ of. If you’re looking to get ahead, here are some things you can do.

Buy your own home

Millennials are less likely to be homeowners compared with older generations, and there are a few reasons for this. First, we’re the age group that grew up in the recession, which has meant many of us are jaded with our feelings around borrowing money. High house prices and a struggling economy (that’s only just recovering now) meant that even those who did want to own homes, doing so was often out of reach. Millennials also tend to like living in and around big cities where there’s plenty to do, where house prices are even higher. It’s always worth getting on the property ladder, if you’re able to save up for a deposit then it’s best to do so. You could even buy something cheap and fix it up over a couple of years- get new windows and doors, rejig the layout and have a new bathroom and kitchen fitted over a period of time. This would allow you to add value and own a home that you wouldn’t have been able to afford in a ‘move in ready’ state.

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Learn to drive

Millennials drive much later than previous generations have. The high cost of living is one thing to blame here, high driving lesson prices along with zero hour contracts and money being tight can have people feeling like learning to drive isn’t a priority. Again, coming back to the fact that Millennials tend to like cities, where public transport links are good but your can’t really drive your own car easily, it’s no wonder so many put it off. But learning to drive is a smart move, you never know when you might need it. What if you want to move away and transport links aren’t great, or you get a fantastic job offer but it requires you to drive?

Get your finances in order

Millennials are known for spending on frivolous things– expensive coffee, meals out, artisan products and more. This is despite the fact that due to the economy, many are struggling financially. Get your budget in order, stick to a plan and be careful of overspending.

General

Tackling A Home Renovation When You Have Kids

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Making a home perfect for you and your family is a dream for many people. The idea of being able to create a custom-made space to suit your needs, decorated exactly as you like is hugely appealing. And with the costs of moving house so high, it’s little wonder that embarking on a home renovation is a popular choice for many. And although the end results can be amazing, you do have to live through a fair amount of chaos to get there, especially if you have children. While the ideal scenario is to move out while construction works are taking place, that isn’t possible for a lot of people, So, can you survive a home renovation project while also tackling the day to day issues of family life? Read on for some top tips…

Plan One Room At A Time

If you have a property where multiple projects needs carrying out, and you can’t afford to move somewhere else, then tackling lots of areas at once simply won’t work. Instead, you need to prioritise the most important rooms to get done and tackle them in order, so that you can close the door on the chaos and dirt as you go. Only you can decide what order to go in but as a general rule, if you have lots of ground floor rooms to reconfigure, it’s wise to make sure the bedrooms are sorted first so there’s somewhere calm to retreat upstairs. If it’s the bedrooms and bathrooms that need an update, make sure your family room is liveable downstairs.

Accept The Longer Timescales

It’s easy to get frustrated if things aren’t moving quickly enough, but when there’s a young family involved you have to learn to be patient. There’s no point in beginning to strip old wallpaper impulsively one evening if you can’t get it finished and will be waiting weeks for a painting contractor. The slow approach really is something you have to live with and especially if you intend on doing some of the work yourself. Get used to grinding a halt during nap times!

Timing Is Everything

When trying to accommodate a family and do major works to your home, you must take advantage of the most favourable times to do things. Fit in your major building works from September to November and January to May. This leaves the summer holidays and the Christmas period to concentrate on family activities and gives everyone a break from the noise and disruption of renovations. If there are things that need doing outdoors, schedule them in for April and May when the weather is likely to be kinder. Try to suit the activity to the time of year and the conditions, as much as possible.

Remember To Take A Break

You also need to look after yourself and stick to healthy habits. Working, raising a family and renovating your home is a lot, and there are bound to be times when you feel tired and stressed, so make sure you’re also taking down time out for yourself and your partner – even if it’s just a quiet walk or an afternoon curled up with your Kindle. Life has to be about balance so make sure you don’t put yourself in danger of burning out.