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Caring For Elderly Parents: Ready For The Responsibility?

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It’s important that we all face up to the fact that one day our parents won’t be able to do much for themselves anymore. As they age, they will start to get quite frail and weak, which will make some tasks quite a bit harder for them. They might not be able to drive anymore or do something that we take for granted, such as climb the stairs. It’s always best to be prepared in life, so you might want to think about how you and your family will cope when the time comes to start taking care of your elderly parents.

You will need to think about the responsibility involved with caring for aging parents, and how you can give them all the care and attention that they will need. Read on to find out more!

Hold A Family Meeting

If you have one, two, or even more siblings, it’s important that you share the responsibility of looking after your parents and thinking about their future. So, it’s worth holding a family meeting. This gives you all the chance to sit down together and consider the pros and cons of all the options available to your parents. It’s essential that you have your parents at this meeting too as they should have a say in their own care.

Consider What Your Parents Need And Want

Of course, you always need to put your parents’ needs and wants first when you are coming to a decision. If one of them has a long-term health condition, then you need to give that priority. It might require you to find some extra care for your parents so that they can enjoy their later years in comfort. It’s also important that you ask your parents about what they want from their care and support. They deserve an input in this after all!

Think About How Much Money Is Available

If you are considering moving your parents into a care home, it’s necessary to think about how much money there is to put towards this. If you can’t afford this, you might have to move in with them and care for them yourself. Don’t worry if this is the case, though, as there are plenty of benefits to home care that will be really advantageous for your parents.

Are You Prepared To Be A Caregiver?

If you and your siblings do decide to care for your parents yourselves and share the responsibility between all of you, you need to make sure you are all prepared for the role of caregiver. It will be a big change for everyone, especially as you will all undergo a role reversal. You will now be responsible for your parents, and they might need to take some time to adjust to this change in your relationship. After a while, though, you should all settle into your new roles and will all benefit from them.

Hopefully, these tips make it easier for your family to care for your elderly parents.

Host the Perfect Halloween Garden Party for Kids

Halloween Garden PartyHalloween is fast approaching and more and more people in the UK are celebrating, especially families with young children. For American families, trick or treating plays a huge part in Halloween but parents in UK can be a little more reluctant to let their children take part in the door to door tradition. Instead of trick or treating, parents can avoid stranger danger by hosting their very own outdoor Halloween parties instead. Find out how to host the perfect Halloween garden party for kids with advice from the garden specialists at Artificial Grass Direct.

Step One: Party-Proof the Garden

Children + face paint + copious amounts of sweets = carnage. A Halloween garden party is a lot more forgiving on the home than a house party but there are still steps you can take to ensure easy clean up. Re-home all breakables (including ornaments and potted plants) for the night and cover furniture to protect it from spills. If you have natural grass in your garden, we recommend covering it with blankets or tarp otherwise you could run the risk of little monsters tearing up the turf. If you have artificial grass, this will require less maintenance as it is much more durable and can easily be wiped clean!

It’s important to keep guests warm and dry so double check the weather on party night and consider using a gazebo or similar cover if it looks like it might rain. You can also use a patio heater or fire pit to regulate your garden temperature but make sure to protect your garden and your guests (especially if there are young children attending) from the heat.

Set the Scene

Now you’ve party-proofed your garden you can focus on making it look the part. A quick and easy way to set the scene is to pick up a couple of cheap Halloween themed fairy lights and decorations. You can save money on these by buying at local pound shops and discount stores as opposed to name-brand supermarkets. From fake cobwebs and spider decorations, all the way through to bat bunting and life-size plastic skeletons, these decorations might look a tacky but that’s the spirit of Halloween! You can even go all out and carve a couple of pumpkins, if you have time, as a fun pre-party activity to do with the kids.

Spooky Snacks

Bring the trick or treating tradition to your own back garden by setting up sweetie stations with a variety of treats. You can buy plenty of themed sweets this around time of year including gummy worms and eyeball candy or you can make your own. We recommend cake pops since they are simple to make, fun to decorate, and easy for little ones to hold.

Halloween doesn’t have to be unhealthy, though. If you’re worried about the sugar content of store-bought sweets swap them out for healthy alternatives. A couple of chocolate chips can turn a regular banana into a ghostly ‘Boonana’. Another option is to sandwich apple slices together with peanut butter before adding mini marshmallows to make mutant mouths with terrifying teeth. There are plenty of healthy Halloween snack recipes out there on the internet, a quick search will yield plenty of ideas and inspiration!

Gruesome Games

Finally, no party is complete without a little entertainment. Depending on the age of your audience you can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned horror story but there are plenty of other options if you’re worried about giving your guests nightmares. Bobbing for apples is a classic Halloween party game (just make sure to supervise at all times) and little kids will enjoy activities such as scavenger hunts or cupcake decorating. You can even host pumpkin carving contests for older children.

How And Why You Should Increase Your Family’s Probiotic Intake

If you’ve been researching healthier lifestyles, you’ve probably run across the term “probiotics.” But what are they, and why are they important?

How can they help your family live better?

The Basics

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gut. They play an integral role in our overall wellness by influencing our digestion, mental health, immunity, skin and other facets of our health.

Your body makes probiotics on its own, but there are several reasons why you might want to increase your intake:

– You have an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. This could be due to illness, injury, poor diet, lactose intolerance or any number of medical issues.

– You’re struggling with something like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and your symptoms could be eased with better digestive habits.

– You’re taking antibiotics that are interfering with the natural balance of bacteria in your body.

Getting Enough Probiotics

There are many ways to increase the probiotics in your gut. You’re probably most familiar with supplements, but you can also eat certain foods that have been cultivated to contain them.

You might prefer a more natural method if you’re trying to help your entire family with their digestive health. While kid-friendly supplements exist, a lot of parents are simply more comfortable with the organic path. It’s also a lot more fun to prepare a meal together rather than popping probiotic tablets!

Here are just a few foods that are rich in probiotics:

1. Yogurt

You’re probably already familiar with yogurt because of how delicious it is but are you aware that it is one of the best dietary sources of probiotics?

It is made by the bacterial fermentation of milk and has many of the benefits of dairy while also helping to boost the friendly bacteria in your stomach.

Just be sure to avoid sugary yogurts with lots of additives.

2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is similar to yogurt in function but has a more fluid consistency.

It’s also a bit on the sour side you may need to flavor it with some fruits.

3. Tempeh

If you’ve never heard of tempeh, you’re in for a treat. It’s a soybean product that originated in Indonesia but is currently enjoyed all around the world.

The fermentation process makes it bind together in a solid, cake-like form, and it’s popular with vegetarians, health food enthusiasts and anyone who wants more protein or probiotics in their diet. Consider experimenting a little with your next family dinner.

4. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a kind of shredded cabbage that’s been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. It’s known for its white appearance and sour flavor, and it’s frequently used as a topping on sausages and hot dogs to give them a bit of a kick.

In addition to its taste, sauerkraut is also a great source of probiotics, so it can improve your health and expand your horizons at the same time.

5. Pickles

In terms of probiotics, pickles are cucumbers which have been placed in a salt and water solution and left to ferment for some time. This fermentation process is what creates the healthy bacteria that are beneficial to our health.

The drawback to pickles is that they are high in sodium due to the amount of salt used in the fermentation.

Pickles created using vinegar do not have probiotics.

Practical ways to help make school transferring easier

Changing schools is occasionally required for children who will benefit from it. It does present a difficult situation both for parents and students. This makes your child a “new kid” amid a classroom of strangers and he’ll need to navigate a new building, catch up on new lessons, as well as make new friends.

Regardless, changing school mid-year doesn’t need to be a bad experience for kids. Oftentimes they can be simply happier in their new school environment. What you need is a little preparation and thought. Here are a couple of practical ways to help make school transferring easier.

Check out the school 

Take your child to visit the school before school starts by arranging a private tour. This will allow the both of you to have a sense of what it will be like walking into the first day of class. Knowing in advance where everything is, including the library, classroom, cafeteria, and lockers are located can reduce first-day anxieties.

Young children may also benefit from visiting his class for just a bit while you stay with him, so when he attends on his own, the experience will be easier. You may also try having a meeting with your child’s teacher to make sure that a desk and any necessary supplies are already prepared before the first day. You may also inquire about any paperwork on policies or homework guidelines.

Assess the included advantages 

There are always some things that could be better even though your child might love his previous school so much. Talk to your child about the advantages of going to the new school. Maybe your child has been labelled by the other kids and find it hard to break away from that. Perhaps the coursework isn’t at the right level or the teacher isn’t spending enough time explaining the homework. A new school means a new start, making those negatives a problem of the past. It’s quick for kids to just see the negatives of a situation and forget that there can be benefits as well.

Get yourself involved

See what organizations or groups exist in the neighbourhood as well as your child’s school. Connect with the school’s local Parent Teacher Association. These organisations have great resources and can inform you about the issues and events that happen at school. You may also meet other members who have kids in your child’s class, which can help them make friends faster

Seek out extracurricular activities

Joining outside programs is a fantastic way for new students to easily make new friends as well as feel accepted by their new school. It also gives students the chance to learn new skills and it is helpful for college admission as well. Local clubs outside of the school also be a nice place to make new friends.

Considering a new school for your child

If your child needs to change schools, you need to weigh your school choices. Choosing One World International School (OWIS), one of the top international schools in Singapore, is an excellent way to start off your kid’s new educational journey.

The OWIS campus is filled with adaptable learning environments that allow students to work together and to think creatively. They provide the latest technology that improves the learning process for students they encourage outdoor learning prospects that invite students to connect with the world around them.

There you have it. Make use of these practical ways to help make school transferring painless for you and your child. Best of luck!

It’s Okay to Be Sad: 10 Simple Points That Outline How to Explain Divorce to a Kid

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Kids are more resilient than they get credit for. Many of them survive their parents’ divorce with some ease. But, many children are pressed by the incidents leading to the divorce. The divorce finalizes an emotional crisis that children may be less able to manage psychologically.

It’s tough on them. It’s simply confusing, frustrating, and scary for their developing minds. For instance, children need security and being self-concerned as they are, they cannot see what’s in it for them. They may worry about the security of home and hearth or about which parent will have custody.

Children of divorce need to know it’s okay to be sad, but there are ways to help them through the stress.

10 simple points that outline how to explain divorce to a kid:

Psychology Today notes, “Sadness is valid and useful and alerts us to how we need to treat ourselves.” And, that’s an adult understanding, but children don’t have this perspective. The experience of divorce lawyers and counselors has developed some simple points that outline how to explain divorce to a kid.

These strategies would vary with the age of the child, but for our purposes here, we are talking about young children:

  1. Be age-appropriate. Parents must understand to whom they are talking. They should meet with the child personally rather than offloading the conversation to a grandparent or lawyer. They should collaborate on a script and keep it short and direct.
  2. List the child’s needs. The divorce conversation is not about the parents. It is about how the change will affect the kid’s needs. Every child is different and values somethings more than others. Kids might worry about the future of their pet. They may worry about where they will live or what school they will attend. These concerns are selfish on the surface, but they also reflect their fears and insecurities. The kids aren’t after sophisticated answers. They want assurances.
  3. Listen actively. Young children have difficulty expressing their feelings in words. They are more likely to show anger, confusion, and/or tears. So, attentive parents will listen proactively. That means nodding in agreement, summarizing what they say, and reiterating their word choice. Active listening shows respect, leads to better understanding on both parts and clarifies future relationships.
  4. Prepare with patience. The older the child, the more drama surrounds the conversation. The child’s confusion creates many “why” questions. A series of why questions if the child’s way of focusing. They are trying to discover a sensible solution by funneling the responses into an explanation they can appreciate and accept. They are trying to build context once parents have told them their existing context will end.
  5. Keep it pointed. Divorce is not the time to overshare. The child who asks “why” is just as likely to ask why the sky is blue. The child is not looking for a legal or psychological explanation. They do have parents at a slight disadvantage because the parents don’t know what direction the conversation will take, what needs are priorities for the child, or how the child will express their confusion. So, parents are advised to answer accurately, simply, and responsively.
  6. Aggressively avoid blame. The child must not feel fault in the divorce, and parents only confuse the child more by blaming their spouse. Blaming diminishes the kids’ values and perceptions. It makes more sense to help the child cope by allowing their responses. It’s okay to be sad, so parents should make room for their emotions and behaviors.
  7. Promise futures. In the first conversation and in talks thereafter, parents should stress what will stay the same. Assurances of the things that will stay the same will reduce fears and build confidence in going forward. It should also reduce the questions asked.
  8. Make the child part of the process. The first conversation does not solve the child’s problems. Without overwhelming or burdening the child, parents should keep the child informed on the process. With as much prior notice as possible, parents should explain where the spouses will be living, what the custodial process and decision means to them, or how the divorce court process works. Keeping them informed about the process respects their role and answers their questions.
  9. Look at other divorces. Chances are good that there are divorced families in the immediate family and among the parents social circle. Hopefully, those families model good resolutions to divorce. If they have handled their divorce well, parents can refer their children to observe what does and doesn’t work.
  10. Listen to the divorce lawyer. Experienced divorce lawyers have observed the best and worst divorce events. While it’s not their job to assume parental responsibilities, they can be a knowledgeable and compassionate voice. At KM Family Law, LLC, for example, they opt for an approach that frames divorce as a collaborative transition and resolution rather than a devastating split.

It’s okay to be sad!

Huffington Post says, “We are a culture of doing and fixing. We want to make it all o.k., and we want to do so as quickly as possible.” So, sadness becomes a weakness. As sadness is stifled and suppressed, it turns to anger. Then, anger is restrained and punished.

Conscientious parents want their kids to avoid this black hole. The should want their children to handle the stress and change, and they should want their children to grow and mature through the otherwise unavoidable divorce.

Conscientious parents, emotionally involved in the drama of their own divorce, must understand their children are part of the divorce. The kids’ problems are not after effects; they are current with the divorce process and must be addressed and managed with a shared plan and strategy for reducing the kids’ sense of threat and loss.

It’s okay for the children to be sad. They deserve genuine and clear explanations. And, they need confidence in their voice and the strength to handle the process.

No Time to Make Meals

Guest Post

One of my biggest struggles as a mum is trying to find time to cook decent meals for my kids that they will eat and that I feel good about them eating. I know they will always eat all the mac and cheese and chicken nuggets I make for them, but what about their broccoli, fruits and other foods that their little bodies need?

There will be many times where I will work extra hard to make something for my kids that I think they will like and that I feel good about, but then they refuse to eat it. We can sit together at the table and have a battle of wills over who will hold out the longest, but nobody wins there. Honestly, I don’t have time for that kind of struggle. I need to find foods that they will eat without a problem and that I don’t have to feel guilty about.

The Extra Effort

I found that if I make the food fun, then that can help my kids to eat it. I cut the fruits into shapes like stars and dinosaurs, and the kids love them. Some of my kids are so picky about the kids of foods that most kids will eat without a problem. Bananas, strawberries and apples are all tough foods to get my kids to eat, but once I make it fun for them, then they will tend to eat it without an issue. Making the extra time to make food interesting and exciting to them is tough to do sometimes, but it is worth it. I find that if I prepare things the night before, then I have the extra time I need throughout the day to get other stuff done. If we spend an hour and half on lunch, then I feel like my entire afternoon is shot, so I try not to put elaborate meals on my schedule for noontime.

The Sneaky Meal

Another way I manage to get my kids to eat food without spending a lot of time making something is to take foods that they like and add a bit of nutrition to it. So, I make the aforementioned mac and cheese and add just a hint of broccoli to it. Other veggies can go in there as well. I have added cooked carrots to great effect as well, and I know there are some kids that will pick through their food and pick out the pieces they don’t like. If you make the pieces of veggies or whatever else small enough, though, then your kids might be less inclined to take them out. It’s hard for them to complain about something so small, especially if you cover everything in cheese so that they can’t tell what is good for them from what is creamy pasta. This works pretty well, and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time.

I am constantly trying to find ways to give my kids the food they need to have without spending a long time in the kitchen, and this is a doable solution. I do the same thing with pizza, adding some pineapple or whole tomato pieces onto it, but I run into the pickiness problem there sometimes. Kids are likely to pick things off their pizza that they don’t like, so I have to encourage them to eat all their food if they want dessert or something like that to get them to overlook the healthy stuff on their pizza. There are ways to deal with even picky kids when you want to incorporate some healthy food into their regular diet, and every kid is different. There are a few tricks that work for me, but I can’t promise they will work for you.

Make Lots of Food

Probably the biggest time saver I ever use in the kitchen is just mass producing whatever I am cooking. If I am making a casserole, I make two dishes of it. If I’m making a soup, I use my largest pot. That way, there are plenty of leftovers, and I can just heat them up later in the week to feed myself and the kids. If I did a good job on the food and the kids like it the first time, then they have no problem eating it again. They despise eating leftovers that they were not too crazy about in the first place, though.  

I try to only make large portions of those foods that I know my kids will love. Otherwise, I can be stuck eating it all by myself over the next week. Sometimes, when I mass produce the food, I end up neglecting my chores around the house, so I like to hire a cleaning company, for example Diamond Clean Calgary to take care of things for me for that day or just ask my husband to pick up some of the slack. One way or the other, I make some concessions and do things a bit differently so that I have time to make the food I need to make.

There is a chance that when you make foods in large quantities like this that something will go wrong. The more you make at once, the more likely it is to all just burn or fall flat or something. So, I take my time and try not to multitask too much. And when I do that, it usually turns out okay.

I know some kids are really difficult when it comes to finding foods for them to eat. It can also be time consuming to try to cook different things throughout the week to see what your kids will eat. I say just stick to the things they like and spice them up in some different ways or give them something tangentially related to what they like. Hopefully, my methods will work for you, but you may have to come up with some of your own for dealing with your kids.

How is Genetic Carrier Screening Performed?

Genetic Carrier ScreeningAt a preconception or early prenatal appointment, your doctor may recommend a genetic carrier screening test. A genetic carrier screening is a test that lets you know if you carry a gene for a certain genetic mutation or genetic disorder, and it is most useful for determining your likelihood of having a child with a specific genetic disorder. Carriers do not usually exhibit symptoms of the genetic disease, but are more likely to pass the mutation onto their offspring.

How to Prepare for Genetic Carrier Screening

If you or your partner have a family history of genetic disorders or belong to a particular ethnic group that is at higher risk for a particular genetic disorder, you may want to make an appointment with a genetic counselor to discuss your testing options and future plans if you test positive. If you are unsure of your family medical history or ethnic groups to which you belong, you may also want to consider meeting with a genetic counselor to discuss your likelihood of being a carrier of a genetic disorder and coordinate your testing accordingly.

Genetic Carrier Screening Process

There are two kinds of genetic disease inheritance: autosomal recessive and X-linked. When both parents are found to be carriers of a disorder that is passed on through autosomal recessive inheritance, they will have approximately a 25% chance of having a child with that disorder. When only the mother is found to be a carrier of an X-linked disorder, the child has approximately a 50% chance of being born with that X-linked disorder. For both types of disorders, usually the mother will be tested first to see if she is a carrier. If she tests positive, then the father will also undergo testing. If the mother tests negative as a carrier for all recessive and X-linked genetic diseases, then the father will likely not need to undergo testing.

The testing process for genetic disorders is quite simple and can be performed using a simple blood draw from the mother. Results are provided to your doctor within two weeks, and your doctor or genetic counselor will schedule an appointment with you to go over the results.

After Genetic Carrier Screening

A genetic counselor will be able to provide additional insight and guidance about the likelihood that your child will be born with an inherited disease, alternative options to conceive (if necessary), and how to plan for appropriate treatment for a child with an inherited genetic disorder.

SOURCES:

https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Carrier-Screening#carrier

https://www.nsgc.org/page/whoaregeneticcounselors-473

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/inheritance/riskassessment

https://www.babycenter.com/0_carrier-screening-for-inherited-genetic-disorders_1453030.bc

Travelling in the U.K. #ExploringCheshire

If there’s one thing that Husband and I have realised this summer it’s that we want to do more stuff as a family all year round. We put so much pressure on ourselves in the holidays to pack in the days out and activities that we’re all a bit burnt out and the holidays seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. We decided that if we did more stuff for the rest of the year, there wouldn’t be a big rush in the 6-week break and we could enjoy it all a bit more.

We’ve vowed to travel more within the UK and see more of our lovely isles, and one place we’d like to go is Cheshire. It’s a great county with so much to offer (and it helps that it’s home to a lot of players from our beloved Liverpool FC!), and the lovely folk at Laurus Homes have made a really interesting infographic to show some of the best parts of the area:

Cheshire

Here are some of the places we’d love to visit:

Blue Planet Aquarium Ellesmere Port

Blue Planet is the largest aquarium in the North West and you can view Europe’s largest collection of sharks through our captivating 71-metre underwater tunnel – you can even swim with them! It’s also home to over 100 living displays and thousands of marine creatures from around the world, so you’re bound to find something fun for the whole family!

Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival

These days, I’m a bit too much of a lightweight for the intense environments of most music festivals, but one which showcases the best jazz and blues sounds right up my alley!

McArthur Glen Cheshire Oaks

The only thing I love more than shopping is getting a massive bargain and this retail park in Cheshire is a designer outlet, home to shops which give massive discounts off of designer brands!

Where in Cheshire would you love to visit?

Could You Live A More Self-Sufficient Life?

With countries around the world experiencing their longest and hottest summers for some years, it’s more important than ever we consider our carbon footprints and the waste we produce that could contribute to global warming. While recycling has been encouraged for some time, there are other ways you could live a self-sufficient life with you and your family and have a kinder effect on the planet. Here we’ve put together some fun and interesting ways you can incorporate self-sufficiency into your daily activities.

Home Harvested Breakfast

Kitchen windowsill herb gardens and spice plants are a fond favourite but there is plenty more you can grow easily at home. Set up a home allotment plot and grow favourite dinner accompaniments such as tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, you can even plant some sweet delights including strawberries and even pineapple! If you plan your garden right, you can continue to grow all year round providing you healthy variation to keep your palette happy.

A meal of just vegetables likely isn’t going to take your fancy but no one can turn down the freshest of eggs and keeping chickens is a great way to bring a pet into your life that offers a daily reward. Chickens like any pet can bring you lots of joy and can be quite affectionate, responding to your voice and following you around the garden.

Turn Your Waste into Plant Food

You may have heard of a composting toilet used in caravans, but could you bring one into your home? There are plenty of composting toilets available on the market and the new designs handle your waste without worry about nasty odours, not to mention the fantastic effect they have on your water bill. Considering the huge amounts of water used every day by toilets around the country, a composting toilet is a brilliant way to live a greener lifestyle.

Harness the Energy of the Sun

Electricity bills can be a huge outgoing every month with the amount of connected smart gadgets that are ever increasing. Consider installing solar panels on your home, modern day designs can still generate on overcast days, so you don’t need to worry about lack of sun in the winter months. Solar panels can drastically lower your electric bills and in some areas even produce enough energy to provide you free electricity (once your panels are paid off).

Live in an Eco-home

The term eco-home can be applied to many types of dwellings that are either self-sufficient in nature or eco-friendly in their build. An earthship would be an extreme example of an eco-home, completely built out of recycled materials including bottles and vehicle tyres and using natural materials like earth and clay. Could you build your own earthship?

A less extreme example would be a park home, built to strict energy efficient standards and often manufactured from sustainably-sourced resources and materials. Find more information on how a park home could save you money in the long-term and look at park homes for sale here. Park homes can be bought and installed on private land but are most common in residential parks where residents feel a greater sense of community and are close to necessary amenities and facilities like entertainment and sports. Perfect for starting a growing community or even keeping chickens together! Greener community living is a great way to accompany your eco-friendly park home.

Are you a self-sufficient home-owner or do you struggle to keep up with the recycling? Consider living a greener life today so your children may follow these traditions and help improve life on our planet for all people and species, the globe over. We only have one planet, so it’s important we take care of it and there is a special sense of accomplishment that is felt from living a self-sustaining lifestyle where you grow, harvest and recycle as much as you can.

When is it the Right Time to Get a New Car for Small Families?

Obtaining a new car is a big step for a small family and a vehicle is often essential in order to address daily activities. When is the best time to consider a new car and what factors should you consider in advance?

Year-End Sales Events

All dealers are required to clear out old inventory before the new models can go on display. So, they will often offer discounts and other special packages such as extended warranties. The end of the year is a great time to see what is available, but keep in mind that others will likely have the same idea.

The End of the Month

Many experts feel that the end of the month is a great time to get a new car. This partially arises from the incentives that are offered to sales representatives. As they rely upon commissions, you could very well be presented with an offer that would not otherwise be possible.

Model Changeovers

Out with the old and in with the new. This phrase is particularly relevant within the car industry. Countless makes and models emerge every year and quotas need to be met.

Therefore, newer versions tend to roll out in the beginning of the year. This is one of the reasons why the month of December is a good time to begin performing research.

However, the end of the model year can sometimes occur in the spring or the summer. This is often the case if the dealer happens to be releasing recreational vehicles such as convertibles or SUVs. Keep up to date with your local dealerships to learn when new designs are coming to the market.

Online Shopping (and In-Person Testing)

The great thing about the online retail community is that you have an immeasurable amount of information at your fingertips. Check out local and regional dealer websites to first see what is being offered. Compare the price of each model with other providers as well as with the official listing (MSRP).

Also, be sure to research your leasing company first. Examine their history, what services they provide and what other customers have to say. Having said this, always perform an in-person test drive before committing to any deal. NEVER close an agreement over the Internet, as you might not be aware exactly what you are getting.

Holiday Sales Events

The holidays are great times to find a money-saving deal on your favorite vehicle. You will often find discounts equivalent to five or even ten percent. We should still mention once again that others will likely have the same idea. Try to schedule an appointment in advance.

A new car can provide your small family with room to grow and there is no doubt that such vehicles are a pleasure to drive. If you would like to discover even more family-oriented advice, be sure to subscribe to Mum’s the Word. There are countless tips and tricks here to make your life easier than you can imagine.