How Preschools Support Working Parents

In today’s economy, a family barely gets by on daily basis without both parents working full-time. It’s understandably strenuous to even get a side job to cater to the family’s wants and needs. Nevertheless, that’s the bitter and ugly truth of what the society is facing these days. Both parents have to be working and earning a sum of money in order to live comfortably and to send their children to good schools. Parents are visibly seen to be extremely worried when it comes to preschool education as it is costly. However, the Singapore Government is in effort of making a lot of initiatives to lessen the parents’ burden by introducing new amendments in preschools all over the country.

Packaged price and discount

Working parents are probably buzzing about which preschools to send their kids to when they finally reach a certain age level, particularly the age of 4 as they have to genuinely select a preschool that tallies with their working hours. Knowing this hardship faced by most of the couples, kindergartens are now offering a packaged price for monthly fee of the preschool and nursery within the working hours of the parents. With this kind of system being introduced, parents are able to save quite a fortune of money while also winning at picking a good school. Another offer kindergartens often advertise to parents is a few percent off if you send more than one child to the same kindergarten. These family package offers helps parents immensely in making good choice for schools.

Government subsidies

Government too is making a move to help supporting working parents. They are planning to beef up subsidies including for middle-income families. The spending on early-childhood education which is today,  S$1 billion a year will be doubled for government to be able to raise their share from 50% to 80% in preschool places. Extra subsidies on basic childcare will also be made available especially for working single parent. A recent poll conducted showed that parents spend 6 to 15% of household income on the high expenses for preschools. It is time for government to finally shed the light on how costly the early childhood education is.

Late pick-up fees waived by some preschools

Working parents tend to feel guilty to their children and burdened of the charged extra hours of preschools when asked to go home later than the actual hour. Many parents suffer the same thing. They need to make more money but at the same time, the charged hours in preschools burn a hole in their pockets. Fortunately, there are initiatives of SAFRA National Service Association on lessening the burdens of working parents by introducing that some selected preschools are to waive late pick-up fees for father on duty. Operationally-ready national servicemen (NSMen) and their families do not have to pay a fee if they’re late picking their child up from the selected preschools.

In conclusion, more and more parties are becoming more understanding on how money-consuming early childhood education can be. Helps are being provided here and there to help parents lessen the burden of paying child raising expenses every month. More information about affordable curriculum can be found at My Little Campus’ preschool education website.

Two Things You Must Know Before Enrolling Your Child into an International School in Singapore

Are you a parent? Are you considering enrolling your kids into an international school but don’t really know if it is the right decision? If yes, this article is for you. You see, choosing between an international, local, and a hybrid school in Singapore is somewhat difficult, as each of them has their highs and lows.

If you are serious about building a solid foundation for your kid or you plan on sending your kid abroad to study in later years, then you should opt for an international school. There, he will be taught how to interact and socialize with people from different culture, race, and background.

Even more, he will be taught how to speak English, Mandarin, and a few other languages fluently and master important subjects like math and science. The bottom line is that international schools in Singapore have a lot to offer to little kids and teenagers.

In this article, we are going to be looking at some important things you need to know before choosing an international school for your kids.

Teacher and student relationship

Since your kid is going to spend a huge chunk of his time with his teachers, it is important that you learn a thing or two about them. This way, you will be able to ascertain if they will be able to address his specific needs. One thing, you must keep in mind is that the connection between little kids and their teacher is by far more important than any curriculum. Think about it this way- your little one is accustomed to being surrounded by people who love him and want the best for him. School may be the first time they are spending their day away from these people. So, you need to ensure that the person that is going to be teaching has a good educational background and is engaging. A good teacher should be ready to do whatever it takes to help their kids grow and develop quicker while learning about their strengths, weaknesses, interests, background, and goals.


This is the second most important things you must give careful attention to before opting for an international school, and for good reasons. You see, the curriculum of a school will affect your kid at a different level. For example, if you enroll your kid in a school whose curriculum is tailored around science and English, he is likely going to be immersed in both subjects and ultimately become good at them. So, if the curriculum of a popular international school that has been lauded by many parents isn’t in line with your goals and preferences, it makes no sense to enroll your kid in it.

Presently, Singapore is home to a lot of International schools, while some of them are great and have very high teaching standards others aren’t really doing so well. This makes it critical for parents to do deep and extensive research before choosing an international school for their kids.

International Schools or Local Schools: Which Should You Enroll Your Child?

Starting or changing school can be a big deal for parents as well as for children. There are a lot of reasons that make parent change the school their children attend. It could be that the school they enrolled their child into is not able to meet the needs of their child.

Changing your child’s school is likely going to affect him negatively. This is because he is going to miss his old friends and teachers.

If you are serious about your child adapting and excelling in Singapore’s education system, you should check out GESS, an international school in Singapore. They offer a wide range of programmes, such as the IB diploma, and cater from kindergarten to high school. For a good private school in Singapore, you should check out GESS above.

The following article by Intern3 shed light on some 6 tips that will help your child settle into his new school quickly.

6 helpful tips for starting and changing schools

Starting school for the first time or changing schools is a big deal for both parents and children. They are faced with a new environment, new classrooms, new classmates, new teachers, different responsibilities and new challenges. Dr. Vanessa Von Auer, Principal at Integrated International School, recommends this six-step approach to prepare yourself and your child. Read more here.

Since you now know some tips that could help your child settle into his new school. It now time for you to choose the school to enroll your child. Parents in Singapore have to choose between an international school and a local school.

The following article by Tracy Tristam shed light on the pros and the cons of local and international schooling in Singapore.

Singapore local schools vs international school: The pros and cons form one family

Choose the system that’s best for your child

For us there isn’t a simple answer. You see, back when we arrived in Singapore in 2008, it was on an all-singing, all-dancing expat package. Remember those? Does the expat package really exist anymore? We didn’t think about sending our son to anywhere other than the nearest international school, which happened to be EtonHouse International School on Broadrick Road. Read more here

You likely not know a thing or two about the international and local schools in Singapore. That said, new reports are showing that children in international schools perform better academically. This has made a lot of parents enroll their children in an international school.

The following article by team expat unveils the top ten international schools in Singapore.

10 top quality co-ed international schools in Singapore for expat children

From pre-school to secondary school or high school studies, here’s a list of quality international schools to put on your expats’ to-research list! While moving countries is a big deal for expat parents with school-going children, moving schools is another painstaking matter altogether.

Expats in Singapore should prepare for long waiting lists due to the influx of foreigners to the modern island city, and weigh out the pros and cons of choosing one school over another. Read more here

To conclude, changing your child’s school is never an easy decision. But there are tips that could help your child settle in quickly in his new school. Choosing a school to enroll your child can be very difficult. If you live in Singapore, you will definitely have to choose between an international and a private school.

Countless reports have shown that children from international school perform excellently well academically. That said, settling for just any international school is not really a great option. Do some research or choose from the top international schools in Singapore.

What We Need to Know about Nursery School

Sending a child to school is one of the most exciting and one of the biggest steps that parents and their children must take. It is an important step because it is where most of the learning is extended and done. It is where they learn advanced lessons which also include the improvement of their personality and character. That is why parents must see to it that before they send their child to school, they, along with their child, are fully prepared and that everything is well planned.

Finding a suitable nursery for your child can be a breeze, check out to understand more.

Dr. Rachna Singh will tell us more about how we could prepare our children for nursery school.

Preparing Children for Nursery School

Nursery school is an institution for educating young children between the ages of three and five years. Allowing a child to make the transition from the comforts and security of home to an unfamiliar atmosphere, with prescriptive and descriptive norms of behaviour, is often extremely challenging for both parents and the child.

The parents are often concerned about their choice of institute while the child has to learn to adapt to a completely new environment. However, this transition to schooling is both essential and important.

It is advisable to prepare the child in advance for this change. There are some ways that can be followed by parents to ease this process of change for the child. These include, familiarising the child to his or her teachers, organising a trip to the school itself, ensuring the safety of the child, giving the child some space, and communicating with the child to address his or her concerns. A play meeting can also be organised for the child with the other children who have enrolled in the school so that the child can make friends before entering the new environment. When a child is separated from the parents for gradually increasing periods of time, they learn to individualise and gain a separate identity of their own. This allows them confidence to face new situations by themselves. As the child begins going to school, the parents could engage in active listening of the child’s daily activities at the school, and assist in the process of coping with the demands of the school and its curriculum. Read more here.

The child is going to be into something new that it is why it is just right to familiarize the child to his or her teachers, organize a trip to the school itself, ensure the safety of the child, give the child some space, and communicate with the child to address his or her concerns. These are just some of the preparations to be made and it’s up to the parent to add up to this.


Having your child enter a preparatory school could really be helpful as a start of a child’s learning. Sarah Jackson will then tell why investing to birth to five education benefits the work of an elementary school.

Why investing in birth to five education benefits the work of an elementary school

It’s mid-morning in Oakland, Calif., and three moms push strollers down the hallways of Allendale Elementary School. Principal Charles Miller greets them warmly.

It’s the middle of the school day, but unlike at some elementary schools, strollers in the hallways are not an unusual sight.  Neither is the crowd of toddlers running down the corridor toward the playground that I join moments later, followed by caregivers carrying infants or holding tightly to pudgy fingers.

In addition to serving elementary school students, from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade, Principal Miller believes that serving the infants and toddlers in this community is part of his job.

“The birds-eye view,” he told me “is that elementary schools may have an incomplete understanding about what their work is with regards to students upon arrival.”  Especially in communities serving low-income students, Miller says instructional leaders should not assume that students arrive at their door with everything that they’ll need to be successful learners. Investing in “birth to age five” education, Miller says, “benefits kids, benefits the community, and benefits the work of a school.” Read more here.

Early educational programs could really help young children learn foundational skills to help them get ready for math, reading, language development, manners, self-regulation, and also with their social and emotional skills. Along with those that are mentioned above, there are other benefits that early childhood education could give us. Pete Evans will explain to us how early childhood education could help in the economy of a country.

Every $1 spent on early childhood education pays back $6 later, report finds

Canada is lagging the world in spending on early childhood education — and it’s going to cost the economy in the long run, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada suggests.

In a paper published Thursday, the think-tank argues that for every dollar spent on early childhood education programs, the economy gets about $6 worth of economic benefits down the line.

Not only do such programs give kids a head start, but they free up parents to work and increase the family’s income, too.

“The science is unquestioning,” said Craig Alexander, the group’s chief economist and one of the authors of the report.

“There’s clear evidence that kids develop better and stronger essential skills,” he said, “and we can basically show that this does act to reduce income inequality.” Read more here.

Great! Having your child enter a preparatory school does not only benefit your child’s future education but the country’s economy as well. It is amazing to think that for every dollar spent on early childhood education programs, the economy gets about $6 worth of economic benefits down the line. That would be a simple great way of helping your country. As parents, we should be responsible enough to think that sending your child to early educational programs could actually make a great impact for more advanced learning. That is why it is your responsibility to prepare yourselves and your child to enter school.

What Can Your Child Benefit from International Preschool Curriculum?

The importance of educating a child early cannot be overemphasized. This is obviously because preschool play a very important role in the physical, emotional, mental and social development of your child and in the long run it will determine to a large extent the kind of person they would become.

The curriculum of most international preschool was developed with a goal of improving a child’s learning process. It is designed to cover all facet of a child’s life with the overall purpose of improving who they are as an individual.

Around the world, there are children who have reached new heights and surpassed expectation because of the foundation that was laid out for them in the preschool they attended.

Currently, there are more than one hundred international preschools in the different continent today. In all, IPC has contributed a lot to the global educational system.

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the curriculum adopted by IPs and how children can benefit from it.

A deeper look into IPC

The IPC was created to encourage cultural harmony through the education process. It is also designed to enhance the self-awareness, thoughts, and perspective so as to promote unity and a deep understanding of other cultures.

The international preschool curriculum is tailored to be in compliance with the local law and customs. Also, they are strictly inspected by the government, so as to ensure that it is up to standard.

The focus on IPC is in six areas and children learn from these areas through exploration, play, and OC (objective centred) learning style. Below are the six areas that IPC focus on:

  1. Social skills
  2. Language
  3. Sciences
  4. Numeric skills
  5. Creativity (arts)
  6. Motor skills.

In other for children to get more out of these areas, international preschool has deemed it fit for parents to play a part in their child’s learning process.

With each of the areas of learning listed above, a parent is given a newsletter. These newsletters are designed to acquaint the parent with what their child is learning, it also includes several activities that children could engage in so that they can continue learning even while at home.

How international preschool can be of benefit to children

Due to the fact that the IPC is carefully designed to exposed children to a vast variety of information. The benefits children will derive are endless. Below are a few.

A comprehensive learning system

The curriculum of IP is aided by several tools that make the learning process much easier and exciting. Some of these tools are flash cards, workbook, worksheet and many more. Also, the IPC also focus on reading skill and level of accumulation.

Involves the parents

IPC provides a window for parents to understand their child’s learning process. It also gives insight to parents on how they can aid their children in learning throughout the day. Also, the IPC creates an avenue for parents to communicate with teachers about their children.

Top notched teacher

Basically, international preschool teachers are well trained so that they can impart knowledge to children. Even more, teachers have access to a large variety of courses, tools and consultancy guide that will make them better prepared to teach children.

In all, the international preschool curriculum is designed to make a child stand out from their peers and perform excellently as they grow up.

Don’t just enrol your child in the first preschool you lay your eyes on, rather, take your time to make good research to learn more about them before enrolling your child.

Benefits of Learning the Spanish Language

Spanish is the third most spoken native language in the world. In today’s time, one could imagine how beneficial it is for an individual to be able to learn and speak the language fluently and with ease. Whether you are a student, an employee, a traveler, or a business person, being bilingual proves to have its very own advantages. This will open doors for a dozen opportunities once you step out into the world for immersion.

If you are looking for a Spanish course in Singapore, you should check out Berlitz Language School. They are one of the most established and oldest language schools in the world, and they offer a wide range of language courses and at varying proficiency levels. If you want to learn Spanish seriously, you should check out Berlitz Learn Spanish in Singapore above.

In an article by John-Erik Jordan, we will learn the benefits provided by learning a second language.


The Top 5 Reasons To Learn Spanish

Want to finally learn a foreign language, but can’t decide which one? Besides the obvious benefits that learning any language brings, here are our top 5 reasons to learn Spanish

Reason 1: It’s a global language

Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, and the most spoken language in the Americas. It’s the official (or co-official) language in Spain, most countries in Central and South America, and several Caribbean countries too. It’s a useful language to know when doing business with Spanish or Latin American firms, and a great way to strengthen your CV and improve your career prospects. In the United States alone there are over 50 million people who speak Spanish as their native or second language. So even if you don’t fancy yourself a globetrotter, Spanish is probably the most useful language to learn if you want to flex your language muscles on a daily basis. Read more here…

With all the languages in the world, it is pretty convincing to pick Spanish as the one language one must be able to learn. Besides having an interesting vast culture, Spanish could also be one of the easiest ones to start speaking quickly compared to others that would take quite some time. The following article by Barcelona Budget gives more extensive benefits of learning Spanish.


What are the Benefits of Learning Spanish?

There are substantial benefits of learning Spanish. It is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, and that means that there is a slew of good reasons why you should know it. Let’s explore why learning to speak Spanish is in your best interest and how you can have a good time while learning!


Hundreds of Millions of Native Spanish Speakers Globally

How many people speak Spanish? There are over 400 million people in the world that speak Spanish, which makes it one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. In fact, Spanish ranks second only to Mandarin in nature speakers. The number countries where Spanish is spoken is truly impressive.

Spanish is the official language of 20 different countries. This fact means that learning to speak Spanish really is a must for those who want to travel and see the world. Here is a list of the countries that have Spanish as their official language: Read more here …

Now we can further understand how helpful learning Spanish is to us, especially to people who dreams of roaming the world someday. Aside from providing job opportunities, learning a second language also helps in extending our knowledge and vocabulary that will prove to be useful in other areas of life. Patty Brown will tell us more about it.


Continuing education Spanish classes provide benefit in a variety of fields

Being bilingual is advantageous in many situations, and certainly so in the workplace. Not only are you likely to encounter someone whose primary language is not English at just about any job you work at, but being able to effectively communicate with that person will help them feel at ease and elevate your company’s standings in that person’s eyes.

One of the most beneficial languages to learn is Spanish. Health care professionals, human resources managers, law enforcement personnel, real estate agents, restaurant managers and many more occupations can all benefit immensely from Spanish classes. Construction, manufacturing and customer service industries also benefit greatly from having Spanish-speaking employees. Read more here …

See how beneficial Spanish is? Not only is it helpful in schools and homes, but it also is very useful in the workplace where a thousand doors to opportunities and creating great communication and connections take place. We have seen the difference it could make in a variety of business industries whether you are an employer or an employee and the mark it could leave on your customers and clients.

Selecting a Childcare Centre for Your Child

Are there times when you are too busy but you have a child to take care of? Do you have work but you have a child to look after? Looking for someone to look after your children is a tough and scary decision, but you have no choice but to do it. However, we should not worry because there are childcare centres around where we could entrust our children. We just have to choose the right centre that could be worth it.

At My Little Campus, lessons cater to children from infants to kindergarten. The school is notable for their primary school focused curriculum, so do check them out if you want to prepare your child for primary school well.

In an article by Baby Hints and Tips, they are going to tell us about how we should select the right childcare for our children.

How do I select the right childcare for my child?

Finding childcare or even occasional care for your child can be a daunting, overwhelming and even scary experience. As a parent there is so many variables that become part of this decision, how is it possible to line the options up side-by-side and make an informed decision?

Well, mums and dads, put your panic, frustration and sheer exasperation aside – we have the answer to the ‘finding quality care’ puzzle solved!

Eenie Meenie is an innovative new website that allows you to weigh up the options and choose a childcare facility that’s right for your child. For once you’re comparing apples with apples – finding a registered childcare is actually easy!

Here’s how Eenie Meenie is solving those hurdles one relieved parent at a time!

Holy heck – is everything booked out?

Finding somewhere you can actually get a spot without a 17-year wait list can seem impossible. We’ve almost all been there, calling centre after centre trying to find a place for our little one. Read more here.

If you are looking for a childcare centre for your child, you could try looking it up at Eenie Meenie. It is a website that could help you decide from any of your options. Health Hub will give us more details on what we should know if we are planning to bring our children to a childcare centre. Let us read below.

Placing your child in a child care centre

If you have to put your child at the child care centre, it is important that you choose the right one for him/her. Here are some tips to help you.

Selecting a child care centre

For some working parents, there may come a time when you have to consider placing your child in a child care centre if you have no alternative child care arrangements. Child care would be a new experience for your child and may require some getting used to. Children benefit from the ample socialising opportunities a child care centre provides.

            Child care centres provide child care services and pre-school developmental programmes for children aged between 18 months and below 7 years old. Centres may offer full-day, half-day and flexible programmes to cater to the different working schedules of parents.

Generally, they are open from 7am-7pm on weekdays and 7am -2pm on Saturdays. Some centres have flexible programmes for parents who work part-time or flexible hours. Read more here.

There we have step by step process – from selecting a childcare centre, getting started, then helping them cope up and adjust. This would help parents who are doing this for the first time.

In the next part of this article, we are going to talk about the growing demand for courses in early education. Let us find out why in Priscilla Goy’s article below.

Growing demand for courses in early childhood education

Despite a general decline in applications to polytechnics, diploma courses in early childhood education have bucked the trend.

More people have enrolled for diploma courses in this field in recent years, and there has been an overwhelming response for degree courses too.

This comes amid efforts to attract and retain pre-school teachers in the manpower-starved sector, which has been expanding to meet young families’ rising demand for pre-school services.

Singapore has around 16,000 pre-school educators, and another 4,000 are needed by 2020.

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is the only public university here to offer a full-time degree in early childhood education, which will start in July. The course had more than 480 applicants – eight times the number of places offered. Read more here.

According to the article, there is a need for 4000 more preschool educators that is why there is a growing demand for courses in childhood education. The number of educators is really important because the student-teacher ratio must be balanced. If not, it would affect the quality of education that would be given to the students. That is also one factor to consider in choosing a childcare centre for our children. We must see to it that the teacher could handle the entire students well. Consider all that was mentioned above and you can now choose the right centre for your child.

5 External Climatic Factors That Affect An interior Design Project

Decorative stone has become an intrinsic a part of designing homes and other architectural buildings. This style is also known as Feng Shui, which is becoming very popular. In lieu of buying costly furniture in order to add new scopes to your home, a far more affordable and simpler way can be carried out – purchase some planned well accessories that can draw out the best in your home.

Rooms were dominated, as ever, by practical considerations. It resembles a human tent and it is composed of ‘heavy-duty polyester’ and has ‘nylon zipper’. Lighting your kit can be considered a fun yet challenging time. You can use a valance or cornice box over it to soften the harsh edges. WordPress surely causes it to be easier for you to definitely design such friendly pages.

It was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and showcases a rectilinear block. A cottage garden can be d in the lot of ways. At this stage, the contractor and sub-contractors obtain first chance to place numbers to the project.

If you need a desert garden that offers natural shade, there are trees with billowy foliage such as the mesquite or fascinating green bark such as the Mexican Palo Verde. There really are a variety of decorating ideas around the market today, but the best way to complete your interior Christmas decorating is to the items yourself or with your family. One elderly client may be too frail to her bed and vacuum her floors. . The furnishings would incorporate a great deal of worn-looking wooden furniture and farm-style shapes.

Did you realize they make modern dollhouse furniture? Modern dollhouse furniture is designed post 1960’s and features a distinct look and shape towards the furniture style. There are some guidelines to which makes it a bit easier, but a majority of would suggest having it done by means of a professional to save lots of yourself the time and cash that could be needed to fix mistakes. Any changes made to the model during design are d in every views, such as 2d elevations and 2d plans as well since the 3D model. There are a few guidelines to making it a bit easier, but most would suggest having it done by means of a professional in order to save yourself the time and cash that may be required to fix mistakes. If you’re the master of this website:.

Eco-Friendliness: Dedication to commercial maintenance proves that a company cares concerning the environment. There should be contrast within the colors, as with the cypresses and olives. For instance, you may hang a photo depicting people eating or of food in the kitchen, or attach a label for the door reminding the patient to lock doors.

Read More. It is within the final 220 years that children have had their very own distinct clothes. . You can make artwork yourself and try a couple of craft projects and help make your accessories from items that you simply already have around the house.

Finding the Right Primary School for your Child in Singapore

Singapore has one of the best school systems in the world, and they house numerous International School in Singapore that provide an excellent opportunity for expat families to ensure their child’s future success. By providing internationally recognized curriculum and a diverse community of new cultures and ideas, these schools are ideal for families who are continuing their life adventure in other countries. Such environment will nurture the child’s adaptable and social skills, benefiting them in the long run. However, finding the right school is not an easy task, but with some research, your family will be able to find an institute that is ideally suited for your child’s educational goals.

Experience – Reading about the experience of a child in a particular school or hearing it from a friend will give you greater assurance if your child will be safe attending the same school. The school’s reputation, online testimonials and the experience of the teachers and staff is a good measurement of the school’s standards. If you do not know anyone in Singapore, participate in online forums and discussion to learn more about the school’s environment through other parents.

Diversity – Early childhood is an ideal time to expose children to new ideas, different cultures and different ways of life, allowing them to have an easier time adapting to change. When researching schools, get a sense of the school’s ethos and what types of values they instill in students. Schools that cater to a wide variety of cultures, without a dominant nationality or ethnic group, provide students with a rich learning environment in human experience.

Class Size – Teachers with large class sizes struggle to provide students with the individual attention that they need. In the primary school years, it is especially important that students receive this type of specific attention in the learning environment to ensure that they get the most out of their learning experience and don’t develop any misconceptions about the material. Look into schools that offer smaller class sizes, and learn about the average teacher turnover rate. When you meet with teachers, pay close attention to their enthusiasm and if they seem genuinely happy to be teaching at the school.

Curriculum – The curriculum is a fundamental issue that can make a big difference in your child’s future. Most expat parents prefer schools that offer curriculum from their home country, and it is important that the material is age appropriate yet challenging for your child. Finding a school that prepares primary students for IB material is a great way to ensure they will be prepared for any school around the world. In addition to the core curriculum, ask the school about extra-curricular programmes and afterschool opportunities. When searching for the right primary school for your child, a proper tour is necessary to get a feel for the institution and its approach to education. If you are moving to the country, it may be tempting to do the majority of your research online before you arrive, and while that research will be helpful in determining which schools you want to visit, you should make sure to visit the school in-person prior to enrolling your child. Only by visiting the facilities and talking with educators and administrators in person can you truly get a feel for the school and how your child will fit in with the culture of the institution.

By asking questions about the experience of students at the school, the cultural makeup of the student population, the size of classes, and the core curriculum, you will likely have the right amount of information to make an informed decision about the quality and fit of the school.

5 Ways To Beat The Budgeting Blues

Let’s face it, budgeting isn’t always the funnest thing in the world to do. Those of us that get somewhat excited about it are a rare breed, and to the normal person it’s actually pretty boring. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of people don’t have very good budgeting skills, it simply doesn’t pique their interest. Regardless of whether you like to do it or not, budgeting is a necessity in our lives. So how can you help yourself? By doing things that help to make budgeting easier or (dare I say) more fun, you make it more likely that you’ll actually do it on a consistent basis. When it comes to budgeting, consistency is the key. Here are 5 fives to beat the budgeting blues.

1 – Get Everyone Involved

One way to make it fun is to budget with the whole family. Not only does it help to teach everybody money management skills, it can turn into some sort of family bonding time. The more time you spend together, the more excited you’ll become about working your budget since you all can do it as a team. It also helps everyone’s confidence because they feel like they’re involved.

2 – Create goals, and rewards

Give yourself an incentive (other than just more money) to do better with your budget. Set up savings or payment goals, and decide to treat yourself to a little something if you hit them. Once you start to achieve a couple of them, it should basically just be a part of your normal routine. Starting off with those special incentives can help you get over the hump and help you build lasting money management behaviors.

3 – Explore your options

Hopefully you have some semi-automated way to deal with your budget. Personally, I just use a simple spreadsheet to give me a quick look into my monthly finances but it allows me to easily create variations with the numbers. By seeing what a little change in your savings or spending habits can do to your monthly finances, it starts to become like a game to me. Giving yourself the opportunity to see where you could be as well as where you are can really spark a lot of ideas of what you really want to do with your finances. For the most part your budget can be boring, but when you’re exploring new paths with it the excitement picks up.

4 – Put the “fun” back in your budget

I talk constantly about the importance of adding fun into your budget, and I want to reiterate it again. To often we get caught up in our wanting to save as much as possible that we forget to focus on the quality of our lives as well. Budgeting skills are very important, but make sure you add a set amount of money aside each month for recreational purposes. How much is up to you, and chances are it will fluctuate throughout the year, but it is absolutely crucial to give yourself some set aside “fun” money. In order to make any budgeting plan last, you really need your little times here and there when it feels like you’re not focusing on just the money.

5 – Think of your budget differently

Part of the problem with budgeting is that if it doesn’t interest you, it’s hard to keep up with. One thing you can do to combat that is by correlating your budget with something that you enjoy. For instance, instead of looking at it like you have to save $250 a paycheck to build up enough to buy a house, look at as each paycheck you get another 1% of your housing fund. It may not seem like much of a difference, but that slight change in thinking does two things. First of all, it shifts the focus to the house (something you’re interested in) instead of the money (something you’re not). Second, it puts a finite number to the problem. Instead of just saying $250 a check, which can last forever, we say 1% of your goal. That means that you can track your progress every month and you know that once you reach 100%, you’ve achieved it.

Even if budgeting isn’t your particular forte, being able to master it is important in daily life. We all have our interests and goals for our lives, and the simple fact is that money makes a difference in those things. Being that it’s such a necessity in our society we all have to find ways that we can manage it better to achieve the things we really want to. The basic principle is to do whatever you have to in order to make budgeting easier or more interesting to you. This list should hopefully just get you started if you’re stuck, but over time you can do things that work best for your situation. Whatever you can come up with to help you get your budget under control is basically a gift that keeps on giving.

College Is About The Total Experience

With the cost of tuition rising every semester, there are a lot of arguments about whether a college degree is always the right choice for people coming out of high school, or even those that are considering going back after being in the workforce for a while. We have discussed some of the pros and cons here, and it definitely is something that people have to take their current situations and life goals into account before making up their mind. However, the value of going to college isn’t just what you learn in class, or even getting that piece of paper as tangible proof that you did something. A lot of the value in going to college comes with the experiences that you go through during your years of trying to get your degree. In a lot of ways, those experiences will benefit you far more throughout your lifetime than the actual knowledge you learn in your classes.

For a lot of people going to college is almost like a rite of passage into their first independent chapter of their lives. Maybe you’re moving away from home for the first time, or just really concentrating on your career or future for the first time. Either way it’s a big step that can help mold you for the rest of your life. In high school everything is mandatory, so you do as your told and get through it as best you can regardless of how interested in it you actually are. College is the first time you actually have something invested into the experience. Whether it’s student loans, scholarships, or help from family and friends, there is some money that has been spent for your higher education. The pressure and the expectations are much higher once that happens and it shifts the driving factor from something that’s mandatory to something that is inherent within yourself (not wanting to let people down). This is much of what everyday work is like. Sure, there are those that only do what is absolutely required of them, but most people don’t want to let anyone down and it drives their performance at work as well. Once you start to build relationships with people that have invested their time or money into you, you want to make sure their confidence in you is rewarded by performing at a high level.

We talk a lot about the importance of interpersonal skills and success, and going to college can be the first glimpse of that concept. Not only do you get a lot of exposure to group settings in class, but college in general is a social environment. You meet new people, are forced to be outside of your comfort zone, and end up being exposed to things that you never were before. In many ways it’s extremely exciting and eye-opening. This is why many people say they “found themselves” during their college years. It’s not so much about the topics they studied, but more about the things they learned about themselves after being exposed to all kinds of new things. Over time the book knowledge may fade or become out of date, but a lot of the social skills are timeless. The fact is that we have to learn them sooner or later, and it’s greatly beneficial to your personal life and career the sooner you have to go through them.

Going to college can be an opportunity to truly test yourself and challenge your abilities on many levels. This is one of the greatest benefits of the total experience, because you are almost guaranteed to have to go through things you’ve never had to before. They won’t always be good things, and that’s part of what makes college tough. With tuition rising like it is, is it still worth it? I would say that if you have the opportunity to go and are currently in a situation where it makes sense, then it’s at least worth a try. Not only can you come out of it with a degree that will make you more marketable, but you’ll probably gain some real-world perspective on what it takes to survive in a competitive workforce.

Managing Your Work – Work Balance

Many companies now use their focus on work-life balance as a marketing tool to attract talented employees and keep existing ones. They try hard to offer incentives in the form of extra days off, fun family activities, and flexible schedules to show their employees that they care about the “other” life you have a home as well as your ability to be productive at work. All these things are great, but what about those of us that are trying to start our own business as well as work a full-time job? Well, the short answer is that something will have to give but the real trick is to understand what (and when) that something is.

One of the reasons that people suggest keeping your day job while you try to build your business is because it provides you the financial security you need to be able to withstand the non-profitable startup years of building a company. Plus, if your idea just flat out bombs then you haven’t put you (or your family) into a rough financial position since you still have your primary income source. However, what you give up by doing this is almost all of your free time. Basically you’ll spend the majority of your week working at your job (40-60 hours a week probably), and whatever is left over you’ll probably use to build your business. It can be a rough time for you and your family, and one of the main reasons why people say to make sure that you’re family is a part of the decision to pursue starting a business. For you, you’ll basically be working even when you’re not “at work” and for your family it means less personal time to spend with them. So what should you do?

The first thing you have to do is continue to perform at your day job. Your job is your primary income and the source of stability and security for your family. Now, if you decide not to be the ultra-ambitious worker that you used to be since your interests have changed, that’s okay. But at the very least you should be putting a solid effort in at your day job to keep your career on track in case your business ideas never really take off. When it comes to family financial security, I think that always has to come first and our personal desires second. Next, make sure that you’re making smart decisions with balancing your personal time between your family and your business. When building your business ideas, make sure you focus on a few at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. If you’re on a strict schedule, decide to do some work in advance so that you can have a couple days off from your business every once in a while. That way you’re still working towards your goal, but you provide yourself a little flexibility in your scheduling.

Hopefully, your business interests are doing something that you enjoy, as this will at least make that work feel less like “work.” But you still have to take in account the time to spend with your family. One way to achieve this is to get them involved into your business efforts if at all possible. In work (as in life) we have to recognize opportunities to consolidate things, and if you can make your business interests into something fun that your family can share, then you get the best of both worlds. If you’re not able to easily do that, don’t worry. It just means that you have to be better at organizing your time more efficiently, and be willing to take a break from things that are less important than family. At the end of the day, family should be more important than all the rest. We make them bend to our needs and be more flexible since they will, but we have to remember to reward that flexibility by spending quality time in return.

The Future Is Finances On The Go

In our internet and wireless age, it’s all about information at your fingertips and on the go. When it comes to managing your finances, most of us make use of the information overload available to us and try to research and analyze until our brain hurts. It’s a natural progression when it comes to finances. We want to feel confident in how we manage our money and with a wealth of charts and numbers just a click away we take full advantage. So what’s the next step in getting our financial information anywhere at anytime? Mobile.

With the wireless industry being so competitive, the technology is being pushed to it’s peak at a rapid pace. A few years ago it was cool to have a phone that took pictures. Now that’s the low end of the spectrum, with the most advanced models functioning more like hand-held computers then telephones. With more and more of our personal information being stored online at our various companies that we do business with, and on the mobile devices that we carry, the wireless environment is going to hold the key to our ability to transact and do business in the future. It’s only a matter of time before our phones end up being our version of a “mobile wallet”, basically acting as our gateway to our personal and financial information.

Many major financial institutions currently have a mobile solution in place, and the amount of functionality they provide is growing by the day. Most offer the ability to view account balances, transfer funds instantly, and even pay all your bills. Having the ability to make transactions on your banking accounts at a moments notice is a powerful feature in our constantly moving society. Plus, you don’t have to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to do it. Basically anywhere your phone has service provides you the ability to harness the power of the mobile internet to do whatever you need to.

Imagine being able to manage your whole financial picture and portfolio from your handheld mobile device? Seem a little far-fetched? Well it’s closer to reality than you think. Wireless companies are scrambling to get the most functional phones out to market, and offering special deals to promote texting and wireless internet as the main features of the rate plans. Mobile internet is here to stay and is only going to get more important as time go by. It’s only natural that managing your finances, and ultimately your life, via mobile will end up being more accepted every day and eventually becoming a permanent fixture in the way we manage our lives.