Is it Worth Getting Extra Qualifications as an Adult to help Career Prospects?

As we want to progress through out career, we may find that in order to get a promotion we need some extra qualifications. This might be short courses to give us the information that we need or longer ones to give us qualifications that we missed out on when we were younger. It can be difficult to know whether the course might be worthwhile, particularly if you have to pay for it.

Calculating the cost

You need to start by calculating the cost of the course. This could be a very small amount if it is a short course, but it could be very expensive if it is a long course such as a degree. You will need to think about lost income as well, as a result of doing the course. If your company pays for the course it is likely that they will let you do it in work time and will pay you while you are doing it. However, if it is something that you are doing outside of the company then you will have to fund it yourself and they will not pay for your time while you are doing it. If you need to take time off work to study, then you will need to include the cost of this lost income into the cost of the course.

Calculating the gain

It is just as important to calculate the gain that you will get from the qualification. Assuming that you will pass the course and get a job you will need to find out how much salary you are likely to get from the job that you hope to get. Work out how much this will add up to in total over the rest of your working life. Then you will be able to calculate how much you will gain financially from the course.

Paying for the course

If you do pay for the course yourself, then you will need to calculate any costs of this as well and factor them in. This might be a loss of savings interest if you use your savings to pay for it. It could be that you will have to borrow money to pay for the course and you will have to include the cost of the interest. If you can get a student loan then the costs will be slightly different as you will only repay what you owe in your tax code if your earnings are high enough and anything you do not pay will be written off after thirty years. You should still make some estimates about how much the loan might cost you and what costs you should factor in when you are calculating the costs.

Making the decision

It can be quite a difficult decision to make. There is always a risk that even if you do get the qualification then you might not be able to get a job using it at the end. It is worth looking to start with to see what sorts of jobs are available so that you can estimate what your chances are. If the course is long then you need to think about whether there are still likely to be jobs available. This is tricky but try to consider whether the job is something that will always be necessary or at least in the short term.

You also need to consider whether you will cope financially with any loan repayments you need to make. If these are student loan repayments then they are means tested and so should be okay. However, if they are other types of loans then the repayments will need to be made regardless of income and this could be more problematic if you cannot get a job or if the job does not pay that much. You also need to think about how you will manage financially while studying if you are not working at the same time. If you have other earners in the household then they may be able to support you. However, if you are supporting a family, then things could be much trickier. You may be able to work part time while you study which could be helpful but you need to be sure that you will be able to cope with doing this alongside studying and your other responsibilities too.

It is worth making sure that you get all of the information together before you decide. Make sure that you are fully aware of how much money you need to manage and then make sure that you will have enough money so that you can cope for the whole course. This will include paying for the course as well as covering your living expenses. If you can manage then it is worth considering doing the course. You then need to work out what the chances are that you will get a better paid job at the end of it and whether it will pay enough extra to cover those costs that you had doing the course.

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How Much Pocket Money Should I Give to my Children?

It can be really difficult knowing how much money you should give to your children for their pocket money. They may want to buy various things, they may want what their friends get and you may be struggling to repay loans or not have a very high income and so it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. There are also pressures to use pocket money to teach them about money ready for the future and so it is worth thinking about how much to give them rather whether to give them any at all.

As much as their friends

There is often pressure form children to ask parents for as much pocket money as their friends get. It can be tempting to give them this much too or perhaps even more. However, it is worth bearing in mind that their friends may be showing off and stating they get more than they actually do or they may be expected to buy things like clothing or toiletries out of their pocket money. They may even by lying about how much they get just to make themselves seem better. It is worth talking to your children about this and explain that different families can afford different amounts and that there will be some families that will not be able to afford anything at all.

It is also important for parents not to feel pressured by other parents to give their children certain amounts of money as an alternative to a regular short term loan option. These days there can be a lot of rivalry between parents, particularly at the school gates and it is wise not to get involved in this. It can be useful having an idea of what others do and why so that you can decide what might be best for you to do.

Enough to save

It is worth thinking about whether you want your children to have a savings account with their money in and whether you want them to save their pocket money in that account. If this is your intention then you will need to talk to them about opening an account for them and your intention to give them money to put in it. You could set up a direct debit to pay the money straight in, which will save you having to fiddle about with the cash and go in person to pay it in. However, the children may prefer to have the coins in their hand and visit the bank. Going to a bank or building society is a good opportunity to teach them about these places and to talk to them about the function of banks and what they do.

Enough to buy what they want

It might be that you want your children to be able to afford to buy a few things. It might be that they want to buy a few treats at lunchtime at school, buy something for themselves at the weekend or save up towards something bigger. You may have an idea in mind about what you want them to be able to buy or they may have an idea so this should help you think about the amount. It can be a good lesson to learn if they have to save up for what they want though. Holding onto their money for a few weeks or months until they have enough to buy something can be difficult, but it will help them to get into a good habit for when they are older. They will learn how good it feels to buy something that you have saved up for compared with always being able to get what you want without worrying about saving.

As much as you can afford

You will, of course, need to make sure that you can afford the amount of money that you decide to give to your children. Once you start regularly paying them it will be hard to stop as they will start to expect it. If you have several children then you will need to do the same for all of them and so this could add up. Make sure that you set it at a level that you can afford. If your children are old enough it could be worth explaining to them that this level may be too expensive for you at times so they may not always get it.

Should they earn it?

Some parents will only give their children a certain amount of pocket money if they earn it. They may have chores that are worth a certain amount of money that they need to do in order to get paid. Although this will get them used to the idea that they have to work to get money, it may also mean that they will always expect to be paid when they work, so if you ever want help with things around the house they may refuse to do it unless they get paid.

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