The Most Important Elements Of Fighting The Cold In Your Home

We’re going to be dealing with the cold for quite some time yet. In fact, some parts of the world are seeing their coldest times of the year right now. But that doesn’t mean that you should just wrap yourself in as many layers as possible and let that cold ravage the home. You should be prepared to fight it. But not by burning more wood and turning the heat up further. These are the smarter moves of making your home easier to heat.

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Airflow

How well is heat able to travel through the home? If you haven’t taken the time to properly address airflow, then answer is probably not all that well. For instance, look at any ventilation gaps you have throughout the home. If dust is clogging them up, then it can stop heat from distributing from one room throughout the home. How you use your heat sources matters, too. Fireplaces and stoves are very good at heating up an area, but if you’re not helping it, it might not be traveling around the room too effectively. That’s why you should consider any additional tools you might use like a heat powered wood stove fan. Those kinds of tools can help you ensure you’re getting the full benefit of the stove without having to spend any more energy when you use it.

Efficiency

That’s the key to getting a better deal on your heating. It’s about whether or not you have to spend any more energy to make the house a bit warmer. If you’re using old equipment and appliances that haven’t been properly maintained, then the answer is probably that you’re wasting a lot more energy than you should be. For instance, one of the ways to make heating the home more efficient is by insulating any hot water pipes and boilers, causing them to contain that heat for even longer. Otherwise, you should look at any electronic heaters in the home and see if they might to be repaired or replaced.

Insulation

Your pipes aren’t the only things that should be insulated, of course. Most homes have proper insulation by now, and if not you might be able to get assistance in fitting it from your local government. However, even with that insulation, it’s possible you could be missing some leaks that are allowing a tremendous amount of heat to escape the home. You should take a look around the exterior of the home and the inside of the exterior to see if you can identify any sources of warmth escaping. Sometimes, all you need is a little caulking. But it’s important to check the vital parts of the home like the roof. Cracked and missing tiles won’t just make it a lot colder. It can be a serious factor in spreading mold and damp.

It’s not enough to just stop yourself feeling cold. Everyone should be trying to make sure they’re not spending as much money to do it. Whether that’s getting your HVAC systems prepared, your exterior sealed, or even building a little tool that can drastically improve your heating.

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The Costs Of Owning A Car (And How To Reduce Them)

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Driving has become a rite of passage for most of us. But the cost of owning a car is constantly going up. Before taking the decision to become a road user, it’s important to understand the finances behind owning a car so that you don’t end up driving yourself into a sea of debt. The costs are high and you’ll need some money behind you to get you started, but there are ways to reduce spending and budget your driving so that it’s relatively affordable.  

 

The sale price

 

The first cost to consider when buying a car is the sale price. In most cases, buying privately is cheaper than buying from a dealer – although this does depend a lot on the condition of the car.

 

Budget how much you’re willing to spend before shopping around. You may wish to save up for a few months before. Alternatively, you may be able to take out a loan (your bank may be able to offer you one or you could try out a loan site such as personalmoneystore.com).

 

When shopping around, don’t be afraid to haggle. Whilst bartering isn’t something we’re used to in Western society, it’s expected in bigger sales trades such as cars. Be wary of salesmen that try to throw in extra costs on top of the original price. And never buy a car without seeing it first!

 

Depreciation

 

Buying a car second-hand is definitely the cheapest way to do it. Those willing to take any vehicle will be surprised by how cheaply you can get some older cars – sometimes only for a couple hundred pounds.

 

Unlike property, most motor vehicles will get cheaper the more they age. This is known as ‘depreciation’.  It’s important to take this into account when buying a car as whilst you may be able to get some second-hand cars remarkably cheap – they will most certainly have few miles left on the clock. This is fine if you’re buying a temporary convenience vehicle to get you from A to B. But if you’ve got a long road trip planned or hope to travel regular long distances over a long period of time, an older car may not be appropriate. Repair costs over the years may add up and you could pay triple the amount the car is actually worth. When it comes to selling the car, you might not be able to get much for it. You may even be forced to scrap it – losing you money.

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Insurance

 

Whilst the sale price is a big cost to consider, car insurance can sometimes work out even more expensive. All road vehicles in the UK must be covered by third-party insurance at least. If you’re a young driver you can expect to pay an extortionate amount at first, but this premium will go down over the years.

 

Many things can raise your insurance rate, just as many factors can lower it. Advanced driver courses and black box insurance are some drastic measures you can take to initially lower insurance. As time goes by, you should then try to avoid collecting speeding tickets or driving convictions (such as being caught driving on your phone) as these will raise your insurance.

 

Unfortunately making a claim can also raise insurance costs whether or not you were the perpetrator. Some companies will introduce a ‘no claims bonus’ offer to sway people into not making claims. When involved in an accident, always weigh up whether you’re more likely to spend or save money from making a claim.

 

Tax

 

All car owners must pay road tax – unless your vehicle is electric or built before 1973. Road tax is charged in bands, each band corresponding to how green your vehicle is. Band A applies to electric cars in which there are no emissions. The further up the bands that your car is situated, the more tax you will have to pay (so look for a car with a low band to avoid extra costs!).

 

Brand new cars pay higher tax their first year. In the second year this is reduced, sometimes by half the amount.

 

If you are not using a car you don’t have to pay tax on it, so long as you store it off road and declare it to the DVLA. You will have to sign a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

 

MOT

 

Cars that are over three years old have to go through an annual check known as an MOT test. This test checks that your car is safe and roadworthy.

 

Most garages will offer MOTs – you should shop around for prices before committing. Be wary of some cheaper MOTs from garages with a low reputation. Occasionally, you may be able to save costs on your MOT test by making a few basic checks first such as checking the horn, the oil and the tyres.

 

The tester will let you know of any compulsory repairs that need to be made. You should also talk with the tester afterwards to gauge an idea of any future problems that you can nip early in the bud cheaply before they get worse.

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Fuel

 

Fuel is expensive and prices are unlikely to fall dramatically any time soon. You can save money by driving economically. Many modern cars will have in-built features to help you cut down on fuel consumption such as indicators to tell you when the best time is to change gear. You should consider how economical the car is before buying. Certain extras can also be bought to save fuel consumption such as fuel savers and vapour devices.

 

Tyres

 

Tyres will gradually wear over time and are expensive to replace – so be careful with them. You can prevent tyre wear by keeping your tyres constantly filled up with air. Sadly, petrol stations charge you to use ‘air’, but it’s worth the cost to prevent you going through multiple tyres.

 

When buying new tyres don’t be tempted into purchasing cheaper half-worn tyres. These will no doubt blow out more quickly and you’ll back buying new tyres sooner than you need to be.

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Servicing and repairs

 

Whilst careful driving can prevent damage, as well as wear and tear, you can never prepare for all faults. Some may be electronic problems which could be a result of a manufacturing fault. Reading up on car reviews before buying can help warn you of any common faults.

 

Timing belts will need to be replaced once a vehicle has reached the end of its mileage. This is an expensive job, but failing to get fixed could result in a catastrophic engine failure – which nobody wants!

 

Warning lights will tell you when there are faults in your vehicle. Some may not be too serious, but others such as brake faults should be seen to straight away. As with all the above, remember to shop around and find the best deal. If you’re making a claim as a result of a crash or vandalism, always let your insurance company know first before making repairs.

 

Parking

 

A final cost to driving that you may want to consider is parking. Where you can avoid having to pay parking charges, do it! In some cities this may be less avoidable. Always park in places that you’re allowed to park to avoid paying fines. Unless you’re disabled, parking in disabled bays and on yellow lines will get you a ticket. Consider whether your neighbourhood has parking restrictions and weigh up these costs before buying a car.

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Start Saving Today

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A lot of us weren’t blessed with that money-saving gene, or that ability to understand why anyone would to save money; living each day like it’s your last hardly leaves room for you to think about the future and why saving is important. That’s why we sometimes need help understanding how a little bit of saving can improve our lives, a lot. As such, we have come up with a variety of reasons why you should consider putting aside a little bit of cash each month, which will hopefully help give you a clear goal to work towards. Enjoy.

 

  1. Emergencies.

This is pretty much the number 1 reason for saving money. There is nothing worse than when you suddenly have to come up with some money to cover an unexpected cost. This could be anything. It could be your car has decided it doesn’t want to drive anymore, not with the current clutch anyway. It could be that your boss hasn’t been telling the truth and they no longer need you at work, or you didn’t pass probation, and so you’re suddenly left without an income. It could be that you’re in desperate need of some water heater repair because those cold showers are starting to suck now it is the winter. There is no correct figure, but we recommend you start with having about a thousand bucks put aside, you know, just in case.

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  1. House

This is a very common reason for why people save. They want to own their own home and in order to do this they really need a down payment. What’s more, when it comes to house buying, the more money you have saved the better you will be able to negotiate a great deal. Money is power after all. You’ll be able to negotiate a better interest rate and be able to look at bigger houses or houses closer to your ideal area or whatever it may be. It will also make repayments much easier to cope with. So start saving for this.

 

  1. Vacation or Staycation

There aren’t many things that are more annoying than when your friends decide they want to book a holiday and have invited you to join them, but you can’t accept their kind offer because you can’t afford it. Or it could just be that the increasing stress of life has got too much and you just need a break. Having a little something tucked away will grant you that freedom and the more you have tucked away the further you can go or the more luxurious your stay can be. Spontaneity is a luxury well worth investing in.

 

  1. Education

It may be that you’ve decided to go back to school for whatever reason. Maybe you want to improve your knowledge, maybe you want to learn a skill, maybe you have started your own small business and want to improve on your marketing know how. Saving up will allow you to achieve this dream. It may be that the education isn’t even for you. Maybe you’ve just had a child and you want them to have the best future possible, including a college education. You best start saving now. Trust us.

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