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Protect your family!

We all want to keep our families safe, protect them financially and make sure that their finances are safe. But how does one even go about it in today’s life? Where do you start and what do you need? We give you practical guidelines.

Is it possible to keep my family safe all year round?

For certain. The secret lies in creating habits that will protect you against illnesses – regardless of whether it is winter or summer. Go ahead and follow these five guidelines and keep the family (and consequently your marriage) round, sound and healthy.

1. Build-up an immune system

Ensure that everyone in the home’s immune systems function optimally by taking vitamin and food supplements. You don’t have to choose the most expensive product on the market, but ensure that it at least contains Vitamin C and A, iron and Zink. Important: Don’t wait until one of you gets sick before getting immune boosters, take it every day, right through the year, so that you can build-up a strong immune system.

2. Wash your hands

You have probably heard this a thousand times, but clean hands are still the best way to prevent the spreading of germs. Make a point of it to wash your hands after visiting a public place and before working with food. Teach your children to wash their hands especially after playing outside or after sneezing/coughing. These days you get a cute germ protection spray in various ranges, often referred to as waterless disinfectant sprays. Always keep one on you – you have no reason to walk around with infected hands.

3. Keep the kitchen clean

Did you know that there is more bacteria live in your kitchen than in your bathroom? Food related illnesses may not be as bad for adults, but it can cause the little ones to get very ill. Clean your surfaces after use every single time, especially after you have worked with raw meat or fish. Disinfect all surfaces often, and especially the handles of cuboards and the fridge. Cloths and sponges can become a breeding ground for unwelcome bacteria – wash and replace it often. Tip: place your kitchen cloth in water in the microwave for three minutes. In this manner you cook the germs off quickly.

4. Bathroom etiquette

We all know that the bathroom needs to be disinfected often. There is, however, items in the bathroom that we don’t necessarily realise can become a problem. Take for example toothbrushes. Your toothbrushes’ germs can spreads to hubby’s should they touch each other. When you are ill, you carry germs to your toothbrush and they can hang around there even after you are healthy, so rather replace your toothbrush. Also remember to wash all towels often.

5. Take allergies on

Pets, dust mites and fungi in the home can make the lives of asthma sufferers very difficult. Invest in a vacuum cleaner (and cleaning materials) that have the ability to neutralise hair, dust mites and other allergens.

My child at school

Children have a lot of close contact with friends, toys and toy apparatuses at school. Therefore you want to encourage your child to maintain their hand-washing routine when you are not there.

Another big concern that many parents have, is what to do with a child that suffers from serious, chronic illnesses, for example diabetes. Make sure your child is okay by doing the following:

• Inform the school of your child’s condition and the implications thereof. Teachers must be aware that your child has special needs. Should your child need to eat, drink and use the bathroom often, asks that he not be prevented from doing so.
• Ask that the teacher or the school nurse ensures that your child uses their medication. Currently there is an appliance on the market that fulfils this very need for diabetic sufferers and it can tell you whether your child has done a finger prick to test his/her glucose levels.

Protect your family financially

The management of ones finances is a stressful situation for many households. To be honest, several marriages end in divorce because of financial issues. Daily we are bombarded with several financial services and products that try to tell us that we can’t live without it, but where do you draw the line?

What does my family really need financially?

A budget

You are supposed to earn more money than you spend. Yet many families don’t have a proper financial budget to manage their expenditures. This is a big mistake! Go sit with hubby around the table and make a list of every single thing that you buy or pay for every month. Ask yourself whether the expenses are truly needed. Look at where you can scrap or replace something with a cheaper option. It is very important that you put aside something (even if it is R50) every month for an emergency.

Medical Aid of hospital plan

One’s health is unpredictable and unfortunately it is not always in our hands. You and your family can’t get by without medical protection. How do you decide between a medical aid and a hospital plan? In case you get sick very often or need medication, choose the more comprehensive option – a medical fund. If, however, you are very healthy and you just want to make provision for emergencies, a hospital plan is the cheaper option and more appropriate option.

Pension Fund

When one is young, retiring may sound like something that is still very far away in the future. Do not be irresponsible and not make provision for your old day. The sooner you start, the better. Just a shockingly small percentage of people save enough for retirement, ensure that you are not one of them.

Coverage and insurance

There are different form of coverage and insurance available – some protects your assets and others protect your family and lifestyle. If your budget is already stretched to the limit and you can’t afford all sorts of protection, analyse your family’s needs and determine what you need the most.

Simple guidelines to save money

Clothes: At the end of every season shops mark down the prices of clothes that were left over. Go shop for new clothes then.

Groceries: It is often cheaper to purchase products in bulk. You can go halvies with a colleague or just choose products that don’t spoil and has a long shelf-life. Also: When you purchase groceries, don’t do it on an empty tummy. A grumbling tummy makes that you buy expensive snacks instead of healthy food.

Debt: Settle your debt with the highest interest rates (such as credit cards) first so that your debt doesn’t build-up quickly.

Meals: Use the stove once to make two (or more) meals. Make a very big portion in one go and then freeze the rest.

Transport: Carpool with colleagues and friends to save on fuel as well as wear and tear on your car. Also plan your shopping trips so that you just go to the shops once a week instead of every day.

Keep your family safe

Are you a single mom with no man in the house, or does your other half often work late? You can’t always be there to keep your family safe, but just as much as you can take steps to prevent your marriage from sinking, in the same manner there are also several things that you can do to make your home more secure.

Thieves that break in are usually searching for easy targets, so the harder you make it for them, the less likely they will be willing to bother you.

Ten ways to upgrade your security measures

1. Install fake cameras: Nobody will know whether the security cameras against your walls are truly working and a thief won’t want to find out the hard way. So, ig you can’t afford purchasing the real deal, buy a few fake cameras and install them above your doors and windows.
2. Get a strong and sturdy security gate: Place security doors and gates everywhere you possibly can. It must look like way too much effort to get into your house. You can even place one in front of every bedroom door – this will help to keep every member of the family safe during a crisis and give you the opportunity to phone emergency services.
3. Het a peek hole in your front door: This is the easiest way to protect your family by opening the door for the wrong person. Leave a chair for the children nearby the door if they are too short to reach the peep hole.
4. Get cordless alarms: Any form of noise makes thieves do a quick U-turn. Even if you don’t have a massive sounding alarm system in your home, you can still scare off trouble-makers with a pair of hidden, cordless alarms.
5. Place extra locks on your doors and windows: Place extra locks on the inside of your windows and doors in such a manner that it is difficult to see it from the outside. You can use something as simple as a sliding lock or look for something with more muscle.
6. Don’t give thieves places to hide: Get rid of anything that minimises your sight within the garden (bushes, shrubs, walls, sails), because this just creates more hideaway places for thieves.
7. Get a motorgate or gate with a remote control: While in your vehicle, you still have a chance to drive away, but as soon as you get out to open the gate, you are vulnerable. A gate that you can control with a remote control can give you those extra seconds that you need to avoid any danger.
8. The more lights, the better: Lights that go on when something moves outside, is ideal. However, if you are on a tight budget, invest in at least one outdoor light that runs on solar power. Remember, trouble makers don’t care about attacking in the dark, but they certainly do not want to be seen!
9. Strengthen your security gates: Most homes have security gates in front of their windows, but as you know, it’s not impossible for thieves to break through. Go ahead and purchase a few extra sets of security gates for every window so that it becomes twice as hard for burglars to get through and gain access to your home.
10. Make your own “alarms”: Several people keep watchdogs on them to warn you when someone is sneaking around. For those that don’t want dogs, its time to get creative. Make you own alarm. Place a thin rope or fishing line roughly ankle width on the ground right in front of your window. Attach a few cans to it. Fill the cans with a handful of marbles or stones. Place grass over it to camouflage it. As soon as a thief looks through your window, he will step on the cans and make a big noise. Even if you don’t hear it, the thief should get a nice fright and may very well scare him off for good.