Be A Healthier You With Small Changes

Being a healthier version of ourselves is what we’re all on the lookout for. Consistency is key—we’ve all been in the same boat, training for the Iron Man one day and back to takeout food the next. So start small with simple changes to your daily life. That’s where the results are going to come from. Here are a few tips to get you on track to a healthier and happier you.

Pay Attention To What You Eat
Throw crazy diets out the window, and go for a lifestyle change instead. Fill your plate with delicious fresh food where variety is key—include big heapings of vegetables & fruit, meat, fish, nuts & seeds and quality dairy. Make it a fun experience by trying different coloured foods and treating yourself to a day out at your local farmer’s market. As an added bonus, eating a healthy sized-portion of protein will help you resist the dreaded afternoon crash by keeping you fuller for longer.

Finding it hard to shift the extra weight? It could be inflammation rather than fat. New research reveals eating a low-inflammatory diet will improve your overall health and weight. Cut out all the nasties like sugary drinks, high fructose corn syrup, overly-processed foods and prioritise self-care (stress is a big factor!).

Be Smart With Your Vices
Keep your after-dinner glass of wine or a cold beer after a long week—just be smarter about it. You can switch the alcohol percentage to a lower one. Your body will thank you, especially when you’re rearing to go the next day with no hangover in sight. There’s no compromise on taste, and you’ll still be able to unwind and go out with friends.

If you’re a cigarette smoker, you know it’s time to give it up. Think of all the money you’ll save and the enormous health benefits. By quitting, you can lengthen your life expectancy, decrease your risk of cancer, and it’s the single best thing you can do for your heart. While kicking the cigarette habit once and for all may be challenging, think about switching to vaping as a better alternative. According to a study by the University of Dundee, choosing vaping over smoking can reduce your chance of heart attack and stroke. Find a large selection of vape kits and e-liquids at Vape Store, one of Australia’s leading suppliers.

Move Your Body
It’s what our bodies are designed for and the best way to maintain your physical and mental health. There’s plenty of evidence that regular exercise keeps chronic illnesses at bay and leads to a longer life. Don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you need to be at the gym from morning to night. A long walk three times a week is enough to give your body and mind a positive boost.

Take advantage of the picture-perfect weather in the Gold Coast, and get outside. Everything seems better in the sunshine—it’s an instant mood booster. Giving yourself sufficient time in the sun (in a safe way) helps your body maintain its Vitamin D levels and rebalances your circadian rhythm for better sleep.

Breaking bad habits is tough, but sticking to these small changes in your day-to-day will make it possible. Good luck!

Ways to save on your home loan in the Gold Coast

With inflation rising and fuel prices ballooning threatening taking the cost of living even higher, there’s one more aspect of our finances that might shock us in the long-term – mortgage interest rates. With mortgage interest rates at the lowest they’ve ever been in this country, there’s only one direction they can go, and that’s upward. Some banks such as the NAB have already raised their interest rates.

If you’re a homeowner and want to save money on interest – or get into your first home – here are some tried and true methods to help you on your way.

Move to an offset account
If you can, move your mortgage to an offset account instead of a regular mortgage. This means your savings are “offset” against your mortgage balance – if you have $500,000 left on your mortgage and $50,000 in savings, you will only pay interest on the remaining $450,000. This can reduce monthly repayments or years off your mortgage.

Refinance lower rates now
If you haven’t checked your interest rate or loan package in at least two years, you should look into home loan refinancing. Don’t let loyalty to your bank cloud your judgement – shopping around for different mortgage rates could save you thousands, if not tens of thousands in interest. As of writing, the official RBA cash rate is 0.1%p.a. – but with inflation increasing, it seems likely that rates will rise as well. If you play your cards right, you could lock in a super-low interest rate on your mortgage for the next few years without being caught out by price hikes.

Consolidate smaller debts
If you have a lot of smaller debts snapping at your heels, you may want to roll them into a refinancing package instead. This can help you save money on high interest credit card balances. This is helpful if you are struggling to pay over the minimum amount each month. Be sure to do the maths before you commit – adding more to your home loan balance over many years may cancel out the potential savings; so weigh up whether it will make a dent in your mortgage or whether you should go down the traditional personal loan consolidation route.

Loan modification
If you are having trouble paying your home loan due to financial hardship, you may be able to access loan modification. This means a lowering of the interest rate, principal, or monthly repayments. You don’t need to be at imminent risk of default to access the program – but you may have to show you will have difficulty in paying back the loan in the future.

Queensland housing finance loan
If you are having trouble raising a deposit and are a low-income earner, you may be able to access the Queensland housing finance loan. If you have good credit and regular income but are having difficulty getting a loan from a bank or traditional lender, this may be a viable option. There are conditions of course – read the entire fact sheet at the Queensland Government site here.

You could also take up loans and grants from the Department of Housing and Public Works such as home loan grants and mortgage relief loans. Check them out here.

The information presented here is general in nature and should not be a substitute for professional financial advice.

Child Drawing

Ashley shares why she loved studying Early Education and Care at EIM Training

My name is Ashley and I’m a mother in my 30’s. Studying again after my traineeship in Child Care 13 years ago was not on my radar, until I got the urge to come back into this field of work after having my 3 girls.

Studying my Diploma to advance my skill set and push myself to be better came easily to me once I started working again. I started back at Community Kids Coomera where my daughters went for day care and afterschool care. I have been with Community Kids for 3 years but as of January 2022, I will be moving over to Kool Kids Pacific Pines to take on an opportunity to work in a Kindergarten room while I study my Bachelor degree – an opportunity I am extremely grateful for.

I moved over to EIM from Open Colleges 2 years ago and it was a great decision for me. I felt more supported through EIM and loved how my trainer would come and visit me in my workplace to
check how I was tracking and answer any questions I had. I really value that quality of teaching with an institute -it helped motivate when I was stuck in a rut and my trainer was always helpful and answered every question.

I managed to finish Diploma in Early Education and Care within the 2 years and liked how excited my trainer was for me to have graduated, I appreciate those small things. I found the online portal easy to use and loved tracking my progress along the way. Because I was working throughout my diploma studies, I was fortunate enough to do more recognition of prior learning units (RPL’S) which helped me get my Diploma within the 2-year time frame.

Throughout my studies I would talk with my trainer about my future career and study goals and how after I finish my Diploma, I want to start studying my bachelor degree in early childhood education. To have the knowledge from my Diploma and working fulltime in the Early Childhood industry, I have no doubt I have set myself up for greater success in my Bachelor studies.

I am excited for my future and where I am taking myself and am really happy with choosing EIM to advance myself into the next level of my career. I cannot fault EIM and how they conduct themselves and help their students. I had the most amazing experience with EIM and while I am excited to have graduated, I am also sad I won’t see my trainer monthly.

Thankyou EIM for giving me an exceptional study experience, I know for the future if anybody is wondering where to go to further their studies, career, knowledge that I will suggest EIM to study through. Great experience all round, 5 out of 5 stars!

EIM trainer Dianne shares why she loves teaching Early Childhood Education and Care

Hi my name is Dianne and I am a Trainer in Early Childhood Education and Care.

I have 15 years’ experience in the childcare industry and have a very strong desire to help make the childcare industry a better place for all children, educators, families and our communities.

My career started as a trainee within a centre, I then finished my Certificate III and went on to do my Diploma.

I knew from the first day that this is where I was supposed to be – it truly is an amazing career.

As an educator, there has been lots of opportunities to work in different roles throughout the centre as a cultural educator, sustainability educator, WHS educator, supervisor and educational leader.

I believe children have the right to create, explore and learn though play base learning. By giving them lots of opportunities to practice and extend on their social, emotional and self-help plus self-
care skills.

My aim as a trainer is to build skills in educators so they can go out into the workplace and have a really good understanding of what is required of them as an educator.

I give them lots of opportunities to practice and to be confident in what will happen when they get to placement so they understand that children learn best when they play and explore.

To start, I help them become familiar with policy and procedures, WHS practices, cleaning procedures, supervision and ratios.

Also, It’s important they are aware of their actions and to understand they have a duty of care to all children.

One of the wonderful rewards of my job is to see where the students start from and watch as they grow and build on their skill set and gain industry knowledge and confidence, which builds a better future for the children of tomorrow.

How to communicate post-separation?

Separation can be an extremely difficult time, especially when children are involved. As our emotions are likely to be heightened during this time, it is essential that we prioritise the interests of those ‘caught in the middle’ – the children.

To help you during this difficult time, we have a few tips:

1. Keep all communication short and simple
Take all emotions out of the equation by sending business-like messages. This will help you keep the conversations short and polite, whilst still gathering the information you were seeking from the other parent. You should seek to use your communications to discuss matters relating to your children, not as an opportunity to raise personal feelings towards each other.

2. Be respectful
As difficult as it may be to put the emotions aside, it is essential that as parents you remain able to communicate with each other. This is the first step towards ensuring a healthy co-parenting relationship. As much as you can, you should speak positively about the other parent so as to make your children feel safe and comfortable, rather than ‘caught in the middle’. Avoid at all costs posting on social media about the other parents, the circumstances or any inflammatory posts.

3. Message on a safe platform
Any separation will be stressful and can result in parents scattering messages to each other across a number of platforms including social media, text messages, emails. We recommend that to ensure that all your messages regarding your children are stored safely and securely, you should download a co-parenting app. This will be particularly useful in the event you need to search through them to find information at a later date. Further, no communications can be deleted.

4. Be understanding
Begin by accepting that both parents are probably going through the same thing. As times are stressful, things might be said that should not be said. Answering angry messages with angry messages is not going to help the situation. Remember that helping the other dealing with this time can be helpful to your matter overall, especially as this will ultimately benefit the children.

5. Communicating directly is better
Although it may be difficult to communicate with the other parent, it is always better to deal with things without having to go through intermediaries. In the interest of maintaining a healthy relationship for your children, it is important that the children are not used to pass messages between parents, even when they are older.

If you need help with your separation, the team at Richardson Murray can look after your legal affairs so you can focus on you. Feel free to book a free initial consultation here.