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How to start financial planning for a growing family

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How to start financial planning for a growing family

It’s no secret that having kids dramatically changes your family’s financial picture. And whether it’s your first or you’re an old pro at the parenting game, every addition to the family is going to change your overall financial landscape. Here are five ways to tighten up your financial picture as your family gets bigger.

Take Another Look at Financial Goals 

Short and long-term financial goals look different when you’re single or newly married than when your family begins to grow.

You may suddenly need to shift monthly savings toward a down payment for a new, larger family vehicle instead of a dream vacation. Get realistic with upcoming larger expenses for your family, and be sure you’re saving enough to support your long-term retirement vision too.

Increase Your Emergency Fund 

The general recommendation for an emergency fund is three to six months of living expenses, and every extra mouth means living expenses will likely increase. As new kids are added, it’s smart to reassess your monthly expenditures, using a family budget worksheet, then boost emergency savings accordingly.

Bump Up Life Insurance 

The beneficiaries listed on a term life insurance policy will receive the death benefit payout if you pass while the policy’s in place. That’s why it’s critical to keep the beneficiaries up to date with each new addition. But some parents find they also want to increase the total life insurance coverage amount when little ones come into the picture.

More coverage means a higher payout if something happens to you. Whether you’re a primary breadwinner, a caregiver, or if you share both jobs, losing you would mean a heavy financial burden on the family — more so with every new child.

Think About Saving for Education 

Many parents want to help their kids financially as they grow up. And one of the ways to do that is by funding a 529 college savings plan or similar account. As your family grows, you may need to open new accounts or change contribution amounts to spread money evenly amongst your children.

If education isn’t a concern, you could look at opening a regular taxable brokerage account to give each kid a nest egg once they reach adulthood.

Update Your Estate Plan 

While most parents think they’ll be around forever, it never hurts to clearly define a guardian for kids just in case something happens. Outlining a legal guardian in your will or estate planning documents is a critical step and one that should be taken with each new child’s birth. Failure to do so could leave the fate of your children in the hands of the court system.

The Bottom Line 

There’s a lot to plan for with a growing family beyond how much you’ll be spending on diapers. Don’t forget to reassess financial goals, increase your emergency fund, update life insurance policies, save for education, and update your estate plan. Checking off these boxes helps to ensure your family will be financially cared for as it continues to grow.

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The importance of providing excellent customer support

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The importance of providing excellent customer support

Customer support is extremely important for businesses of all sizes. It can be the difference between a satisfied customer who continues to do business with you and a dissatisfied customer who takes their business elsewhere. The fact of the matter is that online consumers have very high expectations when it comes to customer support and most consumers expect brands to be available to them 24/7.

Therefore, when a new online casino or an eCommerce opens, for example,  they immediately set up customer support means and methods so that they can provide assistance to their customers. This is especially important when you handle a multitude of transactions on daily basis. One wrong move and you can have customer outrage on your hands. With that in mind, let’s have a look at why excellent customer support is so important.

The benefits of efficient customer support

Efficient customer support is important for businesses because it can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. Good customer service can also help to generate new leads and sales.
There are many ways to deliver efficient customer support, but some of the most effective methods include using live chat, providing self-service options, and offering 24/7 support.

How can businesses measure the efficiency of their customer support?

There are a few key metrics that businesses can use to measure the efficiency of their customer support.

First, businesses can look at the average handle time (AHT) of their customer support team. This metric measures the amount of time it takes for customer support representatives to resolve an issue. A lower AHT indicates that customer support issues are being resolved more quickly, which is generally considered to be more efficient.

Another metric a company can use to measure the efficiency of their customer support is first contact resolution (FCR). This metric measures the percentage of customer support issues that are resolved on the first contact with a customer support representative. A higher FCR indicates that more issues are being resolved without needing to be escalated to another team or individual, which is again generally considered to be more efficient.
Finally, businesses can also look at the number of customers who are satisfied with the customer support they received. This can be measured through surveys or other feedback mechanisms. A high satisfaction rate indicates that customers are generally happy with the level of service they received from customer support, indicating that it was likely efficient.

How can businesses ensure they provide efficient customer support?

There are a few key things businesses need to do in order to provide efficient customer support.

First, they need to have a clear understanding of what their customers want and need. Once businesses know what their customers are looking for, they can start to put together a plan on how best to provide support.
Second, companies need to make sure they have the right tools and resources in place to provide support. This includes having a knowledge base or FAQ section on their website, as well as customer service software that can help streamline the process.
Third, businesses need to train their customer support team on how to use these tools and resources effectively. This will help them resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Customer support is of vital importance because it shows that a company is willing to help its customers out whenever they can and as much as they can. Efficient customer support is, therefore, a bridge that establishes a meaningful relationship between brands and their customers.

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4 Components of Interior Design

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The job of an interior designer is to figure out how to fill a space positively. To create an environment in a room that makes you want to spend time in that room. It is more than deciding which pillows to put where and what color of curtains to put up. It can be overwhelming so you may want to hire someone for Idaho Falls interior design to help you navigate what to put into your home. Below are the main components that are well thought out and help determine how a space is filled. 

Space

When it comes to the space within your home there is negative and positive space. Negative space makes your home feel open, so it is the space that is not necessarily used. Positive spaces are the pieces in your home used, such as your couch or dining table. The key is to find a balance of positive and negative space. You don’t want your home to feel too crowded but you also don’t want it to feel empty. 

Lines and Shapes

There are lines all throughout your home that you may not have even noticed. The three types of lines are vertical, horizontal, and dynamic. These 3 lines give off different feelings within the home and guide your eyes in different directions. Lines that are collected together create a form. This is how you get shapes into your home. Depending on the style that is wanted to be achieved will determine what kind of lines you should use and what forms are used in your home.

Lighting

The amount and type of lighting in a home can make all the difference in the mood within the home. There are two types of lighting, natural and artificial. Natural lighting is obviously what comes in through your windows. It can be manipulated with shade sand curtains if needed. Artificial lighting is made up of task, accent, and ambient lighting. Task lighting is what is needed for day-to-day tasks such as the lights in the kitchen. Accent lighting is to create a focal point in the room such as a chandelier. Ambient lighting is for the sole purpose of creating the mood that you want within the room. 

Color

Particular colors can create different feelings within an individual. It has been shown that colors can have an effect on our moods. For example blue typically brings feelings of calmness to individuals. Color is a detail that is usually picked because of what it looks like but an interior designer is able to think more deeply about what the color means. This allows your home to give off the mood you are looking for. 

What Mood Do You Want to Create?

Decorating your home can be overwhelming due to all the different pieces that make your home come together. You have to think about the space you have, the lines that you have within your home, the shapes that are created, the lighting, and the colors that are within your home. All of these pieces are put together to create a mood within your home and an interior designer helps you achieve that specific mood. 

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Remote Work VS. Digital Nomadism

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Remote Work VS. Digital Nomadism

Remote work may be tempting to an ever-increasing number of people, but not everyone understands the difference between freelancers and digital nomads.

What type of work model should you choose if you want to shift to remote work?

Let’s take a look at the basics.

Digital Nomads

Digital nomads work while traveling. Many of them choose to establish a stable client and found a business in one country before they even start traveling. Traveling is expensive, after all, and there are also local taxes to consider, in addition to the state taxes.

However, it is important to note that digital nomads do not necessarily rely on gigs for a living. In fact, many of these people are entrepreneurs or are looking for long-term contracts with established businesses.

The chief difference between a freelancer and a digital nomad is that the first doesn’t necessarily make a different country their base.

Freelancers

Freelancers are remote workers who like to retain the freedom to live a lifestyle where they can bring their work with them. Unlike digital nomads, these people usually rely on outsourcing or casual gigs, and are more likely to work from their favorite café or park than a different country.

Many freelancers looking for gig work pick projects on specialized platforms. Usually, they aim to establish a steady client base and sometimes even run their own business.

What Does Hiring Digital Nomads and Freelancers Mean for a Business?

First of all, these people are tech-savvy. Unlike employees scared of giving up office work, digital nomads and freelancers are used to virtual communication and are always on top of new tech developments.

The biggest challenge is incorporating them with traditional workers, which is to say that you must train team managers to learn to do things differently.

So, rather than asking yourself what remote workers can offer you, ask yourself what you can offer them.

Here are some ideas.

1. Flexibility

Both digital nomadism and freelancing offer independence but remote workers may have set hours, and may not be able to travel as readily as digital nomads. Some companies are even offering in-house gigs to remote workers, which are operated through the actual company.

Flexible work schedules will be appreciated by both categories, so plan your projects ahead so that you can accommodate different time zones.

2. Taxes

One of the biggest differences is how taxes must be filed when you’re working abroad. Some remote workers may have their taxes taken out, as they’re actual employees, while others may file a 1099 and are responsible for paying their own taxes.

Some digital nomads consider renouncing U.S. citizenship to stay on top of unnecessary costs, but this is not a rule of the thumb.

However, it is highly likely that digital nomads will have considered how to prevent double taxation, which usually means picking one of the following options:

  • The Foreign Tax Credit (FTC)
  • The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)
  • Tax Treaties

3. Roles

Many remote workers and digital nomads go after the same kind of roles. The keyword here is flexibility but also consider the fact that some roles simply cannot be performed remotely. Think in terms of frontline work, for example.

However, you can safely conclude that if a role can be performed remotely, remote workers won’t even consider office work for a second. That’s why these people look for good remote startups to work for, as startups are synonymous with new tech.

Some of the typical roles freelancers and digital nomads perform include (but are not limited to):

  • Blogging and Vlogging
  • Online Tutoring Services
  • Writing and Copywriting
  • Designing
  • SEO and Social Media Services

4. Continued Learning

Both have great opportunities for continuing their education. It can be done part-time as you go, or digital nomads may take entire courses between gigs. For remote workers, some companies may provide eLearning options, while with others, it may be the responsibility of the workers. These courses can range from obtaining degrees to simply brushing up on some soft skills, depending on what a business looks for in their employees.

5. Offer Appropriate Contract Types

As mentioned above, some remote workers and digital nomads run their own businesses, others rely on gigs, and some look for a steady client base regardless of the type of work.

However, what all these people have in common is their expectations of the contractor.

Simply put, a contract you offer must include the following information:

  • Project scope
  • Deliverables
  • Pricing and rates
  • Payment schedule
  • Project timeline
  • Project deadlines
  • Legal terms
  • Cancellation terms
  • Contact details of both parties
  • Ownership and/or copyright
  • Signature of both parties

Think in terms of projects and how to best define the responsibilities of both parties to avoid misunderstanding.

Key Takeaways

Remote workers and digital nomads are a great addition to any team, but there are definitely some things you simply have to offer them if you want them to remain loyal to your business.

Continues learning will always be appreciated, and the same goes for a flexible schedule and appropriate contract.

Whenever in doubt, ask them what they are looking for. Neither remote workers nor digital nomads are shy when voi8cing their expectations!

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