Seven Ways to Get Your Family Bond Better

Families come in every size and form. You might be living with older family members and looking after them after their health has let them down. You might have your children and grandchildren in your family. It is also possible that you joined forces with your new partner and are now living in a mixed family. No matter if you are trying to get generations or step-siblings to get on well, you will have to make sure that you are investing in bonding exercises that will promote respect and harmony in the family. Below you will find seven tips to get started.

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  1. Family Trips

Whenever you are taking the kids for a day out, you need to invite other family members, too. The more the merrier, and older people enjoy a walk in the park just like little ones. You will have to pick the location to suit everyone in the family, and find something to do for every person to do. You can get different generations to bond together and have fun, while creating memories for a lifetime. You should not simply accept your elderly parents’ excuses to stay at home; get them to help with teaching the kids how to prepare the picnic basket, at least.

  1. Nights In with a Movie

New and newly bonded families can set up a home movie schedule and have a night in with a pizza or takeaway. Whether you would like to get people to vote for a number of movies to watch on Netflix or Blue Ray or are open for suggestions and debates, it will be a great night. Not to mention that you will also save a lot of money by not paying too much for your popcorn and your drinks. Put the money aside so you can plan a trip to the park or a getaway as a family.

  1. Cooking Together

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If you would like your kids to be self-sufficient when they go to college and avoid living on pot noodles and burgers for years, it might be time to introduce them to the kitchen and the different appliances. It is never too early to teach your kids to cook simple foods; toasted sandwiches, pasta, or even pizza for the night out. Have one night allocated for cooking together, and you will see how confident your kids become in the kitchen.

  1. Gaming

Of course, playing brings every generation together. If you have just joined another family and are now trying to get the kids to bond together, you will have to create a gaming competition at home. Find out which video games are their favorites, and ask someone to be the judge. Once you have the night arranged, you will see that the conversations between teenager are becoming less awkward.

  1. Family Shows

If you would like to celebrate being a family, you might even arrange going to the theatre together to watch a family show. Whether it is Christmas or someone’s birthday, you can find a nearby restaurant where you can have a family meal before going to the theatre. This will also teach your kids the rules of getting dressed up for special occasions. Look for romantic or family friendly shows, such as the Waitress and have something to look forward to together.

  1. Sport Events

It might also be a good plan to get people to enjoy a live sport game together. The laid back atmosphere of the event will create a stronger bond. No matter if you are basketball or football fans, or are supporting different teams or sports, you will all have a lot of fun at the match.

  1. DIY Projects

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Once you have a new family structure in place, a lot of things need to be taken care of before you would be able to feel comfortable. If you are into DIY, you can teach the little ones a trick or two. Alternatively, if you are moving an elderly family member in your home, you can ask them to teach your kids some great skills, such as crocheting or knitting, maybe embroidery. Even if you don’t have time to pass on the skills, you can give your older family members a sense of belonging and purpose.

When families change and join together, it is important that you change the routines and help everyone settle in their own roles. Use the above bonding exercises to help your family become a well-functioning unit and learn to respect each other.

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Buying a Used Car Is More Involved Than You Think

Buying a used car sounds easy, right? You walk up to the dealership, you pick a car you like, ask the dealer about it and then after a couple of forms and a deposit, you’ll be off in your used car and everything is fine and dandy. You’ve saved plenty of money, you’ve signed up for all the financing and you’re ready to live a life as a car owner.

But is that really all there is to it?

Well, no.

Used cars are often seen as the cheapest way to get yourself a vehicle. Pay a couple hundred, get yourself a very cheap and old vehicle and then you’re good to go. That’s the general idea, but what most people don’t realize is that buying a used car is more involved than they think. There are potential future issues like your vehicle breaking down due to used and worn parts, there might be cosmetic problems like a funky smell in the seats, or you might even pick the wrong vehicle and only went for the cheapest option.

Choosing a car is already quite a big task, even if you have a lot of funds. That makes choosing a used car on a budget an even bigger undertaking, but if you’re willing to put in some time and effort, it’s actually fairly manageable.

So to help prevent you from falling into the trap of “buying a used car is easy”, here’s a guide on helping you pick the right used vehicle.

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  1. Set yourself a budget

If you have unlimited funds then you probably don’t need this article. However, if you’re like most people, then it’s important to set yourself a budget. It can be a rough estimate of how much you’re willing to pay for a car, it could be how much money you can set aside for a deposit, or it could be a guesstimate based on your income. Whatever the case, set yourself a budget so you know how much you have to spend and how much you’re willing to go over.

Stay within your means when buying a vehicle. Yes, you can get financing deals and even zero-interest deals, but that doesn’t mean you should be going for something that you really can’t afford. Your budget is going to determine everything from the car itself to insurance and road tax if applicable, so set yourself a budget and stick to it!

  1. Used vs new cars

This article is about buying used cars, but ultimately, there are times when buying a new car can actually be more beneficial. For instance, new cars often come with more financing options and advanced technology that you’ll rarely find in a used model. They also give you more peace of mind because a new car is probably more reliable than a used one. You often get more protection with your new card as well. For instance, if it breaks down, then you could get free repairs as long as it’s under a certain mileage. Shopping for a new car is also much easier because there’s often more choice and you can pick exactly what colours and features you want from the manufacturer.

With that said, used cars typically come with much lower price tags. This means you’ll save plenty of money, but insurance costs might be slightly higher if compared directly with a new model. However, the car model and make are bigger factors when it comes to insurance premiums. Buying a used car often allows you to buy a more expensive model because of the cheaper cost, and it also means there’s less stress when you’re actually driving your car. Because it’s used, you’re less likely to get upset if you get a dent or a ding because you never paid the full price anyway.

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  1. Decide on features that you need

When picking a used car, you need to be aware that the features available are going to be a year or more out of date. That means safety options might not be there, new speed options might not be available and the general efficiency of the car might not be what you see described in reviews.

Decide on what features you deem important to you. Focus less on the engine specifics and features and focus more on practicality. For example, if you’re going to purchase a family car, then make sure it has plenty of space, lots of seats and a fair large trunk. The more versatile the vehicle, the better it functions as a family car. On the other hand, if you’re only looking for a compact city car, then the features you’re looking for will completely change. Trunk space might not be such a huge deal, but you might appreciate a smaller size so that it’s easier to park into tight spaces and drive around. Fuel economy might also be on your mind, but again, keep in mind that as cars age, their efficiency does reduce a little.

Safety features are also important. The last thing you’d want is to contact an auto accident law firm because some security feature on your vehicle failed. Make sure you do plenty of checks to ensure that your vehicle has features like stability control if you’re driving in an area known for its adverse weather.

Ultimately, you’ll have to make some compromise or else you’ll spend forever looking for the right used car for your needs. It’s important to actually determine where you’ll draw the line for certain features. Decide what your must-have features are and then make a list of luxuries. It’s hard to set a price on every feature, but as long as you make an effort to do your research on the various features and fuel economy of each vehicle, you can make an informed decision when picking a vehicle and get your money’s worth.

  1. Calculate the total costs of your car

Remember that buying your car isn’t the end of it. You’re going to have to pay for the car itself, taxes, license fees, insurance and other fees that you might be missing. You can get quotes for insurance and you can often ask the dealership about other fees that they don’t explicitly mention. Some dealerships will even charge extra fees that they mention in fine prints.

Make sure you do plenty of research on your purchase before you make a final decision. It’s a good idea to add an extra 10-20% onto the cost of your vehicle to account for things such as taxes and license fees and then calculate the insurance cost as a separate expense.

The cost of the vehicle will also depend on what channels you go through. For example, classified ads can typically be cheaper since you have the option to bargain for it. However, many people don’t trust buying face-to-face because it doesn’t come with as much security. If you’re able to contact a reputable seller then this changes, but in most cases, people will rely on dealerships to purchase a used car. This will incur extra fees and the warranty might have certain restricts, but it’s typically safer if you’re concerned about how much money you’re paying.

The last option is to actually purchase a vehicle at a car auction. These are risky places to purchase a vehicle since you don’t have the luxury of test driving and examining the car thoroughly before you place a bid, but millions of vehicles are sold via auctions every year and it can be one of the cheapest places to purchase a vehicle. However, there’s no backing out and there’s no guarantees or consumer rights. What you purchase is what you get, so make sure you do plenty of research into the car you purchase. Only auctions tend to be a little safer, but unless you live close to the person selling the vehicle, you won’t be able to test or inspect it.

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Some final words

Buying a used car isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but it’s certainly more involved than what most people think. There are plenty of places to purchase a used car, but you end up taking more risks the lower the price is. Test driving is important in the world of buying cars, used or not, but it’s especially important with used cars because there could be very subtle differences.

For example, you’ll want to check if the car veers to one side for any reason, you’ll want to check if the steering wheel is in a comfortable position and you want to test if all the features work. The last thing you want is to buy into a scam or be told that certain features don’t actually work on your used vehicle.

Either way, purchasing a used car can be a fun process. You might come across ridiculously good deals, or you might even settle on buying a new car instead for the increased security and peace of mind.

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