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tips to make managing your finances easier, budget tips

Managing your personal finances can be tough when you are a parent. It feels like there is never enough money and there’s alway something unexpected to pay for. It can be extremely frustrating but there are tips to make managing your finances easier. Just when you think you’re getting ahead, the car breaks or the central air goes out or there’s another tuition payment for ballet due. There are so many different things that contribute to the stress that builds up surrounding money, but if we break it down together then you might be able to work out how to cope a little better. Me too! In this article,I’m going to be taking a look at some of the things that you can do in order to manage your finances better and easier, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.

Managing Finances Can be Difficult as a Parent, Tips to Make Managing Your Finances Easier

Learn The Word No

First, I’d recommend that you start learning to say “no” without guilt. Of course, if you can say yes and you want to say yes, then this is entirely different. But, a lot of people say yes when they are in no position to do this, and that is a huge problem. It causes a lot of people a lot of money issues, and we don’t want to see that happening to you. As such, whether it’s to yourself, or whether it’s to your children, you need to be able to say no when something is not wanted if you cannot afford it.

We understand that saying no to your kids can sometimes feel awful, especially if they really want what they are asking for. But, there is only so much that you can do, and you can’t magic up money that you just don’t have.

Save For What You Want

Instead of just splurging all of your cash that should be for something else or in your savings account on something that you want, take the time to save up for it. With the money that you have leftover each month, you can take some of that and save for whatever it is that you are wanting. It might take a little while, but it’s going to be worth it in the end because you get the thing that you want, and you don’t have to use any money that was already allocated to get it.

Plus, you will know that you do actually want the product as you have spent the time to save for it. Most people will get bored of saving quite fast because they feel as though the item is not worth the amount of time and effort that needs to be spent to get it. Because of this, you will know that if you do stick it out that it’s something you really wanted.

Budget Well

Budgeting should be at the very top of your list for how to manage money. If you are not budgeting, then how do you know what you are spending? How do you know what you have left at the end of every month? How do you know how much to put into savings? The short answer is that you don’t know the answer to any of these questions which explains why you are having problems with money. It’s tough to manage money, we know, but it’s not tough to create a budget. 

To create a budget, you simply need to create two lists: one of these is going to be your incoming funds, and the other is going to be everything that you need to pay out. Take the total of the outgoing away from the total of the incoming, and see what is left. Make sure that each list is as detailed as possible, and always round up instead of down. For example, if you have a bill of 77.65, round it up to 78. It’s always nice to have a little more leftover than not enough to cover it. 

The money that is left is yours to do with what you want. However, we highly recommend that if you can afford it, you put half of this into savings so that you start to build up a decent nest egg. It’s important to have some savings for a rainy day, and even though it’s tough, it can be done if you are dedicated enough.

Find Discounts Where You Can

If you are spending too much money at the moment, then you need to start saving money, which can begin with finding discounts. When you are looking around online and doing some shopping, they often ask you at the checkout if you have any voucher codes. Now, there are a few ways in which you can find these discount codes, one of which is signing up to the company mailing list as they will often send them through this. Or, if you’re in the UK, you can use a site like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk which has a whole list of codes for you to choose from.

Try to keep in mind that if you’re struggling for money then any discount is a good discount. Any place in which you can find some savings is going to be helpful, and obviously, the bigger the discount, the better for you.

Save On Your Energy Bills

Have you given much thought to your energy bills? At the moment, the cost of gas and electricity is rising through the roof, having soared to numbers that haven’t been seen in a long time, perhaps ever. It’s tough because you need energy to be able to live the way that we do, but there are some ways that you can save. For example, if you use energy saving light bulbs, this will dramatically improve the overall cost of your energy bill. As well as this, when you leave a room, make sure that you turn the lights off. We know that it doesn’t feel as though you’re using energy because it’s what you’re used to, but if you want to stop paying through the nose so much, this is important.

You can look up other ways to save, and there are a few more such as getting better insulation. Just remember that this is more of a long-term goal, so you might not see any immediate savings.

Always Set Aside For Savings

As I mentioned earlier, you should always be setting some money aside for savings. The more that you can do this, the better it is going to be for you. I know that when you’re on a tight budget it can be tough to find the motivation to save, as you want to use the little money that you have left for the things that you love, or things for your children. However, if you can manage to put at least some of this in the savings pot, future you is going to thank you greatly when you need it.

If you think that you’re going to struggle with this, you can even start putting this into your budget if you think that it will help.

Credit Cards Are Not The Solution

The final thing that I’m going to say is that credit cards are not the solution to all of your problems, they are simply another problem that you are going to have. While it might not be a problem right now, it’s certainly going to be one when it comes time to pay it back, and that’s what you’ve got to keep in mind. Credit cards charge you interest, so even if you are borrowing some money, you’re going to be paying back a lot more than what you originally borrowed, which is not what you need in your life.

I wish someone had taught me this lesson before I went away to college and they were throwing free t-shirts and pre-approved credit cards at me. It has become like a chain around my neck. A lot of people view credit cards as something for nothing, but this is simply not the case at all. It’s no free money, as my daughters used to think when they were little. A credit card is just a way to get money right now so that you can pay it back later. While it might seem like a fantastic solution to all of your problems, what’s the likelihood of you being able to pay it back when the time comes, over the minimum payment? It’s a vicious cycle that you are better off never getting involved in as once you start, it’s extremely difficult to stop. This is especially true when a lot of credit card companies will up your limit without letting you know, and you think ‘oh well I must be doing okay so I can spend more’ but this isn’t necessarily true. Live within your budget if you can, and you will be just fine. 

We hope these tips are helpful to you. Now, you can see that even though managing finances can be difficult when you are a mom or dad, it can be made much easier. Sometimes, all it takes is breaking things down until they are small enough to be manageable. You don’t have to do everything at the same time, sometimes it’s taking your time and working through things at your own pace that is going to work out the best.

What is your best tips to make managing your finances easier for parents?

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Work Smarter So You Can Spend More Time with Your Family

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Having a demanding career while at the same time having a family and being a mom is a tough act to juggle. Believe me, I know, I am currently working three jobs. It’s all things I love and I wouldn’t have it any other way but I’m blissfully exhausted. When you have a passion for what you do, you find the will and the way, you dig deep and find the energy to do what you love and be with the people you love the most. I want it all and I think I deserve it. That’s why I have to work smarter so I can spend more time with my family.

Moms and dads, your job can be demanding and there may be a lot of pressure on you to be successful. But instead of stressing over that, take action to find a schedule that works for you. Learn how to work smarter so you can spend more time with your family and less time trying to play catch up at the office.

Have To-Do Lists & Set Priorities

You can work smarter after you become a mompreneur so you can spend more time with your family by having daily and weekly to-do lists. You should know exactly what you want to get done each day and have a good stopping point for leaving the office in the early evening hours. Set priorities so that you feel comfortable and satisfied with what you’re able to achieve while at work. Keep the to-do lists reasonable and lean and avoid taking on more than you can feasibly handle in one day.

Take Advantage of Technology Solutions & Automate

Your business must run smoothly and you need satisfied customers if you’re going to succeed as an entrepreneur. Use technology to your advantage as a business owner. Invest in the right tools and software such as testRigor so you can spend less time on mundane and repetitive tasks that you typically would do manually. Effortlessly test your web or mobile application and purchasing process with this automated software testing solution. You can perform testing faster to save you and your team valuable time and enable team scaling simultaneously.  

Hire Skilled Workers & Delegate to Them

Spend more time with your family and less time at the office by hiring skilled workers to help you. You’re only one person and can only get so much done in one day. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to have people on your team who can assist in helping you reach your goals. Delegate to them and take some of the work off your plate so you can focus on running your business and getting home to your loved ones at a decent hour. You’ll also have people you can trust to manage your company while you’re away on vacation this way.

Eliminate Distractions & Avoid Multitasking

Another way to work smarter is by eliminating distractions such as turning off your email and phone notifications while you’re concentrating on your tasks. Limit your time spent scrolling through social media or having side conversations that aren’t business-related. If you’re working from home then make sure there’s someone available to take care of and watch your kids and pets. Also, avoid multitasking at all costs and instead focus on one assignment or project at a time. You’ll likely be able to complete it faster, will make fewer mistakes, and be more productive overall this way. You may not realize it but you’ll also feel less stressed out because you won’t be spreading yourself and your brainpower too thin.

Take Breaks

You can work smarter and get through your tasks quicker by taking breaks throughout the day. For example, you should get up to stretch your legs, drink water, and eat lunch so you feel your best when it’s time to work hard. You may be hesitant to take breaks when you’re very busy but the reality is that doing so can help you be more productive. You’ll have a clear head to think and complete tasks and you’ll be less likely to experience burnout. It’s a great way to regroup and relieve stress and will help you recharge your attention and productivity.

Conclusion

Spending time with the people you love is invaluable and essential. When you work smarter you can still get done what’s necessary without putting forth more effort and energy. Instead, you’ll be able to run your business and stay on track and at the same time not have to make a lot of sacrifices when it comes to seeing and spending time with your family. These tips will help you get more done in a shorter period of time so you can work reasonable hours and workdays and maintain a more flexible schedule and have more quality time with your loved ones. You’ll be happier for it and your family will appreciate seeing and being with you more frequently.

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Tired of Waiting Around? 6 Benefits of Learning to Do It Yourself, DIY

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand waiting around for other people to do things for me. I’m not sure if that’s the control freak in me, me being the oldest child of six, being a mom or my type-A personality poking through but whatever it is, I prefer to be able to do things for myself.  I love having people in my life that I can count on but I’m so independent that the occasion where I take advantage of having those people around, is few and far between. I pride myself on being capable, but I’m wise enough to also know my limitations.

As a homeowner, I’ve come to realize that every home is full of unexpected costs even if it’s a new build. Things come up that slowly but surely drain your savings accounts and sometimes, feel like a never-ending to-do list of repairs, replacements, cleaning, and just about everything else you can think of. If you’re like me, you’re probably tired (maybe even a little annoyed) of waiting around for the “handyman” (the Big Guy) to be available to do the things you need done.

Why keep waiting? If you’re reading this, you are a strong, capable woman who has probably grown and given birth to a human being, you can do hard things, Girl, you got this. Forget about waiting for someone else to do the things you want to be done. Learning to DIY is an excellent skill that means you never need to wait for someone else to do what needs to be done, ever again. You’re thinking, “But Debi if DIY is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?” Because some people prefer leaving things out of their wheelhouse to the professionals. I do too, in some instances. Let’s be honest, I can’t do everything.  But if I can do it right, I’m all about rolling up my sleeves and learning to do it myself. 

No More Waiting Around 

The best reason to learn to do it yourself is so you don’t have to wait around for someone else to do something you are completely capable of doing. You might be surprised at how many repairs around the house are actually pretty easy to fix, whether you need to replace door handles or fix the dryer heater element to make sure everyone’s clothes are ready in time for school or at the very least they don’t go sour. 

By taking a proactive approach to your home, you can overcome small issues quickly. You won’t need to put your life on hold while you wait for the repair company to come over, which means you can get on with it yourself and focus on the next repair. 

Save Money and Time 

Since you’re not waiting around any longer, you can save time, even if it takes you a little longer to repair it than it would a professional. Everyone has been there before where the repair company comes in, twists a nut or bolt, and leaves. You don’t need to waste their time (or your money) anymore.

This also makes saving money around the house so much easier. While some companies are happy to come out for free quotes, they will still charge you for the work and materials (especially with the price of gas right now) which is often much more than you’d have to pay if you did it yourself. 

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill is always a great way to boost your knowledge and help you feel better about yourself. With so many DIY tasks simpler than you think, it’s easy to expand your horizons. 

What’s more, as a student for life I can attest to the fact that the more you learn, the easier it is to learn other things, too. You can use your existing repair knowledge to identify different ways to approach problems around the house and fix them without causing significant damage. 

Pass the Knowledge onto Your Kids 

Parents always need to teach their kids how to survive in the real world. I mean they don’t even offer home ec in school anymore. And let’s be honest, without that class, most Gen X latch key kids might have starved to death. What would I have done without learning how to cook an egg in a basket and how to stitch and make my very own pillow? While our kids may not need DIY skills or other essential life skills right now, they will once they move out of our house, whether they go to college or find a place of their own on the other side of the country. 

Learning DIY skills gives you a great chance to pass your knowledge on to them. They don’t need to help you out all the time, but asking them to be your assistant and encouraging them to watch will give them the basic knowledge they need to approach DIY safely. They’ll know to switch the water off at the source while fixing pipes, and they’ll also know to turn off the mains so that they don’t electrocute themselves. They’ll also build self-confidence from being self-reliant and if all else fails, they’ll know they can call mama for some advice because mama can get things done.

You will Be More Active 

One under-appreciated benefit of DIY is how it can help you be more active. People often don’t think about all the heavy lifting or regular work, even if it doesn’t feel like hard work. 

If you wish you could be more active but don’t love going to the gym or running, DIY could be an excellent way to burn some calories and move, and the more projects you attempt, the more intense and ambitious your activities become. 

You Gain Respect 

People love people who know what they are doing, especially if you don’t look like you have a handy bone in your body. If you want to surprise friends and strangers alike, learning DIY and coming to their rescue is a solution that’ll make you popular. 

You might even be able to make some money off them once you show off your skills, as neighbors will be happy to pay you for your time, so they don’t need to wait around for the handyman.

Just Do It… Yourself

Learning DIY brings a wide range of benefits that can help your family just as much as it can help you. If you’re tired of waiting around for the handyman to get back to you and arrange an inspection or appointment, you can get ahead of all your home’s demands and upkeep by learning to fix common problems all by yourself, and you’ll be thankful you did. 

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5 ways to relax at night, chill out, get ready for bed

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Do you have trouble winding down at night? An endless list of things show up in your brain right at the exact moment you’re supposed to be drifting off to LaLa land? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, millions of people have difficulty relaxing and getting ready for bed. I’ve been an insomniac since college so I know a little bit about this topic. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself calm down, relax and prepare for sleep. This blog post will discuss 6 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. 

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and gynecological misadventures are all my own.

Listen to calm music

There is something about music that can soothe us and make us feel more relaxed. So if you’re struggling to wind down at night, try listening to some calm music. This can help you relax both your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.

Some suitable genres of music to listen to for relaxation purposes include classical, jazz, and nature sounds. Many apps and websites offer calming music specifically designed to help you sleep. 

Do some gentle stretching 

Gentle stretching is another great way to relax your body and mind before bed. It can help relieve tension and reduce stress. You can do several different stretches, so find ones that work best for you. Start by doing some simple neck and shoulder rolls. Then, move on to other body areas such as your back, legs, and arms. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds before moving on to the next one.

Doing some light stretching before bed can also help improve your sleep quality and reduce the risk of pain waking you up during the night.  But don’t do a full cardio workout unless you want that rush of endorphins at bedtime. Be warned it won’t bode well for your insomnia.

Sit outside for a while  

If you have trouble relaxing indoors, try spending some time outside. Sitting or lying down in a park or other green space can help reduce stress and anxiety. I keep a comfy sectional on my deck for just this reason. The fresh air and natural light can also do wonders for your sleep quality. If it’s not possible to sit outside, simply open a window to let some fresh air into your room. You can also try smoking marijuana outside if it helps you to relax. But you might want to invest in this spray to get rid of weed smell and keep the neighbors out of your business. Or just go the edible route, no nasal evidence left behind.

Take a relaxing bath 

There is nothing quite like a warm bath to help you relax at night. Add some soothing aromatherapy, add a few drops of lavender oil to your bathtub or light a delicious smelling candle to help further promote relaxation. One of my favorites is GYV MesoAmerican Beauty Mango pineapple candle. The heat from the water can also help reduce muscle pain and tension. Soak in your tub for 20-30 minutes to give yourself enough time to relax fully. Moisturize yourself from head to toe. I love the Mango lotion from GYV. For luxuriously attractive and beautiful glowing skin I’m obsessed with Dignity Coconuts lip balms and raw coconut oil.

After your bath, avoid any activities that will stimulate your mind or body. This means no working, watching TV, or using your phone or computer. You want your body and mind to be relaxed, so give yourself time to wind down before bed. 

Pop a gummy

IYKYK if you don’t, I’m definitely talking about a CBD gummy. Just 1 Inflamade Yummy Watermelon Vegan Sleep Solution gummy and you will sleep all night long. Deep Sleep CBD + CBN Vegan Gummies combine the power of CBD + CBN – and works to put your mind at ease and sleep throughout the night. With 20mg CBD + 5mg CBN, and 3mg Melatonin per watermelon gummy, products are lab tested to ensure 0% THC and 100% Drug Test Safe.

The compounds CBD and CBN have different impacts on the body, but when combined, they aid in alleviating restless nights and insomnia.

If you are looking for something with THC to relax your mind before bed and get a great night’s sleep, I highly recommend Berry Burst Indica Gummies by Encore Edibles at your local dispensary. It’s one of my personal favorites for overwhelmed and exhausted moms who just can’t relax. It does the job 100% of the time.

Practice some deep breathing exercises: 

Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to relax your body and mind. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality. To do a deep breathing exercise, simply sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough to expand your stomach, not just your chest. 

All this to say, there are many things you can do to relax at night. By listening to calm music, doing some gentle stretching, spending time outside, taking a relaxing bath, and practicing deep breathing exercises, you can wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep. 

These are 5 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. What is your top tip for relaxing at night?

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how to hone your personal style

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Do you want to start dressing more stylishly? Maybe you just want to get back to dressing and feeling like yourself again, like before you were somebody’s mom. Let’s be honest with ourselves, getting dressed up in fashionable clothes that fit well and make you feel attractive makes everyone feel better. I know it sounds superficial but it’s definitely not. We deserve that little luxury. Either way, you can find out everything you need to know, right here.

How to Hone Your Personal Style

Become an Expert

The first thing that you need to do is try and gather as much inspiration as possible. You need to become an observer of all of the outfits you like, whether it is on Instagram, on fashion blogs or even in magazines. Look at all of the women and think about what makes them stand out. What resonates with you? What is it that makes you identify with that style? If possible, you need to be precise and you also need to train your eye. You then need to try and copy or imitate the outfits that you do like. Surprisingly, you can get a stylish wardrobe without breaking your budget. Believe it or not, this is a very helpful and creative technique, and it can really help you to build your foundational understanding of fashion. It also forces you to actually pay attention to detail.

Use a Mirror

If you do not have a full-length mirror, then now is the time for you to invest in one. A big mirror is so important as it gives you the chance to play around with different proportions and it also gives you the opportunity to play around with textures and colors too. You can accessorize better, and you can also become your own personal stylist. Just make sure that you are always seeing the bigger picture. If you want to help yourself then you also need to try and experiment with jewelry and accessories. You can try and buy a 1-carat diamond ring, a pearl necklace or some cute statement pieces if you like, and you will be surprised at how much of a difference this can make to your outfit and how you feel in that outfit.

how to hone your personal style

Get out of your Comfort Zone

Getting your own signature style can be very difficult to do. You may even find that it takes years of practice to fully develop your personal sense of style. At the end of the day, you have to make sure that you are not afraid to make mistakes. It’s just clothes. Knowing the trends is helpful but not the most important thing. Try and keep things fun and expose yourself to various styles and aesthetics. If you can do this, then you will soon find that it is easier for you to create an outfit that you love. Don’t be afraid to play around with patterns, colors and even accessories. Silhouettes are also a very good starting point, so explore things like this.

Proportions are Important

Proportion is everything if you want to try and create aesthetic harmony. If possible you need to try and wear clothes that are fitted to your body shape. If you want to play around with an oversized piece of clothing, or if you want to experiment with something that is an unusual shape, then you need to try and keep the rest of the clothing items you have fitted. This way you can make your outfit look fantastic, and you can also make sure that you are not dressing in clothes that look too baggy or oversized for your look.

In the end, fashion is about feeling beautiful in your own skin and it’s more about how you feel than what you wear. Be adventurous and self-confident and you’ll be the sexiest version of yourself.

What is the one piece of fashion that defines your personal style?

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How to Stop Your House from Becoming a Money Pit, home maintenance

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As a homeowner, you find out pretty quickly that there are always unexpected issues and costs. Surprise, the central air isn’t working! Surprise, the house isn’t level! Surprise, an opossum is living in your attic and it smells like he died! Staying on top of your home’s many unexpected issues and covering the costs of them can not only be stressful but costly, as well. But there are ways to cut those costs with a little diligence and maintenance (which is less effective than fixing something that has already broken). It’ll take some awareness, planning, diligence and elbow grease but it’s cheaper than the alternative. Let’s talk about how to stop your house from becoming a money pit.

Sure Money Pit was a funny movie but no one actually wants to live that life. So if you feel like your home has become a huge financial drain on your family, now is the time to do something about it. Below are tips and ideas to help you to start making small positive changes that will save you money.

How to stop your house from becoming a money pit

Clean Everything Regularly

One of the first and most important things you can do with your home is make sure that it’s kept properly clean and in good shape at all times. By doing the basic things like this, you can make sure that no bigger issues arise later on because that’s not what anyone wants. When you clean the home inside and out on a regular basis, you can make things like mold issues less likely. It’ll help avoid problems later. I’m not saying anything crazy like dusting every week, making the bed daily or even putting away that folded laundry, I’m saying basic upkeep so you’ll notice when things aren’t right.

Create a Savings Fund for Home Maintenance

The fat is not lost on me that this is easier said than done. But if you want to make sure that you don’t get hit financially upside the head by the cost of looking after your home, creating a savings account that allows you to cover those costs without having to forgo eating and obliterating your finances in the meantime. Putting just a little money aside each month that can go towards maintaining your home and making sure all of those costs are covered is a good idea. And any savings that aren’t used can be put to use when a bigger repair needs to be made in the future or a family vacation.

Get an Energy Audit

Getting an energy audit carried out by a professional is a good idea if you want to reduce the running costs of your home. From day to day, we all use energy in the home. And it makes sense to use less of it, both from a green and eco-friendly point of view, and a money saving point of view. When you have an energy audit carried out, you’ll get to see how and where you’re currently wasting energy and what kinds of changes you can make in order to improve things.

Ensure the Ground Slopes Away from the Home

One of the problems that many homeowners face relates to water and how it impacts the foundations of the home. If you have lots of standing water around the home, that’s not going to be good for you. Make sure that the ground around your property slopes away from the house. By doing that, you can make sure that any rainwater flows away from your home and not towards it. It might sound like a small thing but it’s massively important especially if you got a “great deal” in a flood zone.

Inspect the Roof Every 6 Months

Inspecting the roof is something that you should try to do at least once every 6 months or so. You never know when a problem might arise, and when it does, you want to get it checked out as soon as possible. The truth is lots of roof problems go unnoticed for a long time, and when they are finally noticed, it costs a lot of money to get them fixed. So be sure to consider that and think about having your home’s roof inspected at least a couple of times a year.

Put a Home Warranty in Place

Putting as many measures in place as possible to ensure that home repairs don’t end up costing you a fortune is a good idea. And that’s one of the key reasons why you should think about putting a home warranty in place if you haven’t done so already. This will mean that if you do suffer any issues in your home, some of the costs will be covered for you by the warranty. It’s the kind of security measure that you definitely need to have in place if you want to avoid big financial impacts in the event of something going wrong.

Create a Maintenance Schedule

Having a regular maintenance schedule in place is something that can help a lot when it comes to taking care of all the things that need to be taken care of regarding your home. It’s so easy to overlook or forget about certain things when you don’t have a schedule in place that you can follow and fall back on. That schedule can be followed week after week, month after month, ensuring your home stays in the best condition possible.

Make Sure the Carry Water Away from Your Home

We’ve already talked a bit about the impact water can have on your home and its integrity. If you want to go further in making sure that standing water around the base of your home doesn’t become a big problem for you, you should think about the role your gutters might play in that. If the gutters are dumping water next to your home, you have a problem. Ensuring the drainage system is doing everything it should do and that water is being carried away from the home safely is going to be key.

Replace Heating and Cooling Filters Every Few Months

Your heating and cooling system is something you won’t want to overlook when it comes to avoiding financial disasters. When something goes wrong with it, it can be very expensive to fix. That’s why you should take extra care to maintain the system well and have someone look at it for you regularly if you’re not sure how to do it yourself. One of the most important things you can do is replace the filters every few months, or even monthly if you want to be extra cautious.

Fix Gaps and Damage to the Home’s Exterior Right Away

If you notice any gaps in the exterior of your home or holes that simply shouldn’t be there, it’s a good idea to have these filled and fixed right away. Any damage to the exterior should be dealt with sooner rather than later and that’s something that you can take care of yourself in most cases. The first task, however, is to check the exterior on a regular basis and make sure that you’re noticing these issues sooner rather than later.

Install Stronger Locks on Doors and Windows

Installing the strongest possible locks on the doors and windows of your property is another thing that you might want to consider. If you don’t do this, you’ll always run the risk of these entry points causing you security problems. Stronger locks and doors will avoid damage being done via a break-in and, most importantly, avoid the break-in from happening in the first place. So that’s definitely something to think about.

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to stop your home feeling like such a financial burden for your family, so be sure to make the most of each of the tips and ideas discussed above. By making the right changes in the right areas, there’s no reason why you can’t save yourself a lot of money.

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Ever wonder why some people can accomplish so much in just a day and you can’t seem to? Or maybe you’ve got a super-efficient friend that takes out a to-do list like a boss. No matter what the case, you too can be more productive with just a few new habits. It’s easy to change with a few new habits of highly productive people

Still wondering how they do it? Are they superhuman? No. Are they organized? Yes. 

Everyone I know is looking to be more productive. In their work, their home life, with their hobbies and in general. I thought for sure when the pandemic quarantine happened I would get so much done but I didn’t. In reality, I got exhausted just from the anxiety and worries about everything that could have happened. My daily productivity slowed to a halt.

Making lists and promises to yourself isn’t actually going to make us any more productive, if it did everything on our to-do lists would be done. Instead, you need to take action. 

Build systems that enable you to work smarter, not harder.

Here are some easy to follow habits of highly productive people.

The Don’t- do list

Adding too much to your to-do list is asking for trouble. To be productive, you should do what is required of you without overloading yourself. Shorter to-do lists are not only beneficial in terms of getting everything done, but they have a bigger mental benefit. 

When you check something off your to-do list, you get a boost of achievement and happiness. 

The more you tick off the list, the most you want to do. 

Focus on you

Tired people who aren’t feeling great will need to make some changes. Taking care of themselves first thing in the morning is essential. 

If you wake up, check your email, and get a sense of dread, you are starting off on the wrong foot. 

Instead, when you wake up, focus on just waking up in the best way possible. 

A good breakfast – either healthy or something you enjoy – preferably both. Take time to read the news or a newspaper. Perhaps you can listen to it on the radio. It’s about what makes you feel good. 

Giving yourself time to wake up without worrying about everything you have to do, gives you a bit of peace. 

Take breaks

Tired people cannot produce the same amount of high-quality work as people who are refreshed and energized. 

Taking regular breaks in your working day is essential to give yourself time to think and concentrate on something else for a while. 

Going for a walk, stretching, having some lunch, and of course, drinking some water will make all the difference. 

For every 20-30 minutes you work, step away for between 3-5 minutes, and every 1-2 hours, have a more extended break of about 20 minutes. 

This is the Pomodoro method, and you can have a timer that can help you stay on track. The Pomodoro method is perfect for keeping you focused for short periods. 

Since we respond to deadlines, it enables us to work faster and more efficiently. 

Sometimes what we really need is a hard reset. Read more: 5 Tips for a self-reset break to make your life easier. 

Eat the frog

Whatever the task is that you don’t want to do – do that first. The tasks that we put off can often hold us back. We keep thinking about them until we manage to get them done. 

The most challenging work can feel much more overwhelming than it is; once it is done, you might wonder why you hadn’t done it before. 

When you complete this task, you are free to move on to more enjoyable work. 

It is typically the type of job that leads us to avoid doing anything by procrastinating. If that sounds like you then, you need to read more into learning how to stop procrastinating

Say No

The key to getting everything you need to get done, done? Not accepting things that get in the way of you completing it. If you have friends and family or co-workers that ask more from you than you have the time or energy for, then say no. 

While helping others makes us feel great, we need to learn that sometimes we should come first.  Saying no to things that require too much of us is entirely okay. So say no more often. 

Multi-tasking

Trying to do five things at once means you are trying to stretch your mental and other capacities to their limit. 

Focusing on one task at a time is the only way to complete tasks to the best of your ability. 

When we switch between tasks, we can lose up to 23 minutes of focused work time. That can have a significant impact on how much we can get done. 

A significant impact on productivity. 

Getting your best work done is about organizing what you need to get done in the most benefits you. 

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DIY Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your Home. DIY Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your college dorm, DIY Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your apartment

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Lacking storage space in a house or apartment is a common problem that many homeowners can relate to, especially at this time of year, as kids are packing up their entire lives and moving into college dorms and houses. In these instances, sometimes your bedroom is the only room that is actually yours. The space inside of a bedroom has its limitations, usually of the space variety.You need creative DIY bedroom storage ideas for your home, apartment and college dorm to maximize your spaces and make it your own. Our bedrooms are where we decompress. You want it to be functional and inviting at the same time. To do this, it helps to have some clever storage solutions.

Here is a compiled list of some of the best DIY bedroom storage ideas.

Install Shelves Along the Perimeter of Your Walls

When you have a small bedroom, like a dorm room, the easiest way to make it look bigger is by adding shelves along the perimeter of your walls. You can also go crazy and install a wardrobe for your bedroom. Not only will this give you more storage space and an uncluttered feeling in your room because there won’t be so much stuff on display, but they’ll also offer some privacy for when you’re changing clothes.

Use Crown Molding as a Shoe Rack

If you’ve got so many shoes (like me) and don’t have much bedroom space for storage, this is something worth considering. Turn your crown molding into an instant shoe rack! All it takes is some mounting hardware to attach the bracket at just the right height off the ground so that you neatly arrange your heels where they belong. Plus, because it’s hidden behind doors or curtains, what more could anyone ask?

Baskets 

A basket can be a great way to store things in your bedroom without an immediate home. For example, you might want to keep some lotion or sunscreen on the bedside table but not always within arm’s reach when getting out of bed. Instead of taking up space with multiple items on your nightstand, put them all into one container and place them on the side of the nightstand (in a drawer or under the bed) where they won’t move around too much.

Built-in Nooks

Built-in nooks are a great way to increase your bedroom storage space. If you have an unused closet or wall space that you can fill with shelves and cabinets, this option might work for you.

They take up floor space, but the payoff will be more than makeup for it. You won’t need to worry about getting out of bed whenever you want something from under the bed anymore because everything will be within arm’s reach on built-in shelving units. Plus, when guests come over, it’ll look so cozy with all those books lining your walls. So there’s no downside to taking advantage of available surfaces like these!

Shelf Dividers

To easily organize items on your shelves, it’s a good idea to have dividers. It makes seeing what is in each section much easier than just one big pile of stuff you can’t see through. Plus, they’re cheap compared to buying new shelves and nails for them. 

Use Your Radiator As Shoe Rack

If you live in a small space and don’t have much storage, use your radiator as a shoe rack. For example, you can buy a shoe holder that fits your radiator and then use it to store shoes.

The best part about using the radiator for storing shoes is that they’ll be off the ground and out of reach from pets or children who might accidentally get into them.

With these tips, you can have a cozy and neatly arranged room. Of course, some might work better than others, or perhaps a combination of these would be best. Whatever solution you find may require an investment in time and money, but it will pay off with the extra space that comes with it.

What’s your best DIY bedroom storage ideas for your home, apartment or college dorm?

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why luxury fashion is an investment

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Spending money is something I take very seriously. I’m not cheap by any means but I know how hard it is to earn money and I know what it feels like to not have it so I’m frugal. I don’t deprive myself but if I buy something it has to be worth it to me…in some way. I don’t believe in waiting for special occasions so I want to invest in things I can appreciate every day and I want to appreciate every day like it’s the last day.

I’m don’t usually shop at Walmart or Target for clothes, shoes or handbags for myself (though on occasion I have found some cute, quality items) but as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to differentiate between quality made and disposable fashion. I know the difference between throwing my money away and making an investment and I’m here to tell you that an investment in your overall happiness and quality of life is just as important as investing in a good piece of jewelry or property.

Today you can find clothes, shoes, handbags and watches ranging from a few tens of dollars to hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on if it’s an original piece of couture by Dior, a high-end luxury piece off the rack like Zimmerman, a midrange dupe by a less expensive designer like Steve Madden, fast fashion like Primark or a mega mass-produced copy of a dupe sold on Shein.  You choose your own fashion adventure but keep in mind, that not all products are created equal but they all have their place. Most people own reasonably priced pieces with a few luxury pieces interspersed within their wardrobe.  Owning luxury items is not easily accessible to everyone and to be honest, not everyone cares about the brand name. 

But thanks to many amazing brands, you can still have a quality fashion wardrobe on a budget if you are an intelligent and patient buyer without always paying the highest price. For example, just look at the GMT Master II guide. But the question remains: why buy a luxury item, when you can get it for less? Here are some valid reasons to wear a luxury watch! 

1. To be at the forefront of technology 

When we talk about being at the cutting edge of technology in the watchmaking sector, some will quickly think of the famous Apple Watch. Yet the largest watches are a thousand times more complex.  Owning a luxury watch means having years of innovation, research and testing on your wrist, each more complex than the next.  In short, wearing a luxury watch means having an object designed and built down to the last detail, thanks to decades of know-how.  The big brands carry out all the stages of production: from the casting of gold alloys to the assembly of the movement elements, the case, the dial and the bracelet, including machining and finishing. It is a sign of the times, and a sign of fashion. 

2. For social status

Wearing a luxury watch is an indescribable feeling. A feeling of confidence, exclusivity, specialness which can only be found with the biggest brands. This is valid for you, but also for others. Your high-end watch is more than just a watch. It is a symbol. It says to the world that you belong in all the rooms. When you wear luxury fashion you know who you are and it shows.

3. For the universe that goes with it 

Having a luxury watch on your wrist encompasses a whole universe. You don’t just walk into a Rolex store. You enter the world of the brand. Specific smells, watches displayed in a certain way and salesmen dressed in costumes. It’s an experience. In addition, the greatest watch models have a unique history.  The Rolex Submariner for example highlights its crossing of the Atlantic. Omega’s Speedmaster and his conquest of the moon. These watches do more than carry a story: they feed the legend. 

4. For an irreproachable quality

The precision of assembling a luxury watch is comparable to that it takes to plan the trajectory of an earth-moon rocket. In other words, surgical precision. Wearing a luxury watch means having all risk insurance on your wrist. You have gone away for several decades with your timepiece, if not several generations. To give you an idea of ​​the performance of these little jewels of watchmaking, NASA has equipped an astronaut with an Omega. This one remained 365 days in space.  

5. To make an investment 

When you buy an after all mundane watch, you are spending money. This is called a liability. On the other hand, the purchase of a luxury watch, on certain models, is a real investment. The watch will gain in value over time. After a few years, you will be able to resell it with a nice added value. This is called an asset. 

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Easy Tips to Grow Your Savings Today for a More Financially Secure Tomorrow

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

As I get older and I have time to breathe, out from under the weight of all the firsts of being newly married and a new mother, my dreams are once again growing. I can see clearly and I know what I want for our future. The time for pressing on, pushing through and getting by is over. I want to live in abundance without fear of how to get through the next catastrophe. I want all the easy tips to grow your savings today for a financially secure tomorrow.

I’ll be honest with you; I’ve never been one to want to be rich. But I want enough money to not worry about how to afford the life I want to live. I grew up in a blue-collar family with a stay-at-home mom and 6 siblings. We learned to get by that was our state of existence. Savings is not an option when you are living paycheck to paycheck. Don’t get me wrong, we were happy and we had food, shelter and love. When it comes down to it, we were luckier than most but I don’t like the anxiousness that comes with being the adult in the situation. I want to be financially comfortable.

Whether we want to admit it when we’re younger or not, saving money is important for securing our family’s future. It’s the very thing that can help you move to your dream home, ensure you have an emergency fund saved up and pay for things like your kids’ high school and college tuitions, quinceañeras, memory-making family vacations and their weddings. 

Having savings goals gives you something to work towards, helping to motivate you to stick to your budget. It might not be fun saving but it’s extremely satisfying reaching a savings goal or paying off bills, but what happens when you get there? Growing your savings can boost your assets and provide you with even greater financial security for the future.

Do you want to be more financially comfortable? Tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Sick of feeling like you’re working your butt off and have nothing to show for it? Could you do more to grow your savings? Take a look at some of the following ideas.

Easy Tips to Grow Your Savings Today for a Financially Secure Tomorrow

Choose the right kind of savings account

Is your savings account providing you with benefits? If you’re using an ordinary savings account, you could be missing out on valuable interest that could help you grow your savings. Learning how to choose the right savings account can help you find an account with great interest rates, helping you earn money on your savings. Work smarter not harder.

Try a side hustle to put more money away

Starting a side hustle is a great way to add to your savings. But know going into it that side hustles take work, a lot of work. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. I’m a freelancer so I am a queen of side hustles. Many people take on a side hustle to generate an extra income that can help them reach their savings goals quicker than expected. Have you considered mining Bitcoin as a way to earn some extra money? It could be an enjoyable and profitable side hustle that could even turn into a full-time venture. Explore different side hustle ideas to find a good fit, and see how it could benefit your finances.

Invest your savings wisely

Investing your savings is another way to grow them. You’re never too old to learn how to invest, with some options that are ideal for novices, as well as more experienced investors. Some employers provide investment schemes that can help you invest a portion of your salary, or you can work with a broker to help you find the right sort of investments for you. Having investments can be a great way of boosting your savings, but it’s important that you make yourself aware of the risks before you commit. 

Find ways of cutting back to allow you to save more

Is there more that you could be doing to save more? There are ways you can save money every month you might not have thought about. From haggling with your phone and internet provider to cutting back on your energy use, you could make a lot of additional savings each month. Take a look at your outgoings and set yourself a target that will help you spend less so that you can save more.

Being able to save is a huge achievement – a lot of people struggle to save money successfully. But once you’re in the habit of saving, you can take things to the next level by finding ways of maximizing your savings to boost your family’s finances. With so many ways to grow your savings, make sure you take advantage to help ensure a bright future for your family.

What’s your best easy tips to grow your savings today for a financially secure tomorrow?

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