Reduced Costs + Increased Fun = A Formula For Family Success

Most average families wish that they had more money, and those financial issues are easily among the most common causes of headaches. But while finding ways to reduce your ongoing living expenses, nobody wants to sacrifice their sense of enjoyment. Thankfully, you don’t need to.

With these five simple lifestyle changes, you’ll soon save money in a variety of areas without losing the things you love.

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Use price comparisons

The internet is a very powerful tool that can save you money in a whole host of aspects. Getting cheaper rates on your energy bills will work wonders. Meanwhile, using a VPN can generate savings on hotels and other luxuries. When coupled with an analysis of your TV and broadband package options, your monthly bills and ongoing services will cost far less. For instant and future financial matters, this is a great starting point.

Choose repair over replacements

Whether it’s a kitchen appliance or a pair of shoes, things break. Worst still, those faults often surface at the very worst times imaginable. While most people will jump straight into the concept of replacing the product with something new, a repair job may be the better solution. You can find services at https://www.trustatrader.com. If they can get your home back to its best at a fraction of the cost, the long-term rewards will be huge. Similarly, getting good at DIY can pay dividends.

Utilise coupons

Most people can appreciate the fact that shopping around can bring great discounts. However, many overlook the impact that coupons and special promotions can bring. Coupons are a great way to reduce your weekly grocery costs while loyalty schemes can result in cash back in many different areas. The vast majority require minimal effort from you, which is why ignoring them any longer would be a mistake. Now is the perfect time to get started.

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Lose the need for ownership

We live in a society that is focused on the idea of ownership. In reality, though, there are many products where it may be better to rent. Depreciation rates make vehicles the perfect example for this, and you can find out more at https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk. Aside from being kind to the pocket, it can be the best way to ensure you drive the best car that your budget can afford. In some cases, considering fashion choices and other features can be very rewarding too.   

Cut the waste

While most people are guilty of many small mistakes, there is no doubt that waste is the biggest problem of all. Food is the big one, and this guide to cutting your waste will make a big impact. On a similar note, selling unwanted goods via the internet is a great way to claim some extra money rather than simply throwing those items in the bin. Aside from the personal benefits, it can be great news for the environment too. What more incentive could you need?

Make those five simple changes in your life, and the results will show in no time.

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Eight Spring Cleaning Steps You Should Never Forget

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Everyone has the usual household chores that they get done every day or every week, but there are some things that are usually left until you have an excuse for doing a thorough clean. Well, spring is the perfect excuse. It might not feel like it yet, but the days are slowly getting longer and warmer, so what better time is there to let in some fresh air and wipe away all of the bugs and germs of winter. I know what you’re probably thinking, yes, spring isn’t quite here yet, but it is only just around the corner, so it’s sensible to start making plans now. While you’re doing so, make sure you remember the eight important steps listed below.

  1. Remember The Forgotten

When you’re completing your usual chores, there are lots of things that you probably forget or decide to put off until you next clean, and then forget about them. Luckily, these things aren’t necessarily important and don’t need to be cleaned every week, but they do need to be cleaned at some point, and what better time to do this than spring. Your walls and door frames are just two examples of these types of things. Some warm water and a little washing up liquid will do wonders and get rid of all of the grime of the past year, so don’t forget these forgotten things during spring.

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  1. Deep Clean Carpets

Most people vacuum their carpets every few days, or once a week at the least, so it might be surprising that your carpets are actually filthy; You just can’t see it. Renting a carpet cleaner or hiring a professional to clean your carpets will bring life back into every single room of your home. It will get rid of any built-up hair, dirt, or dust, and leave your carpets looking as clean and fresh as the day you first bought them. They can usually also get rid of any stains that may have occurred over the past year too.

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  1. Clean Windows When Cloudy

Depending on where you are in the world, it can be absolutely freezing throughout winter, so getting outside and cleaning your windows is as unlikely as a pig flying to the moon. Unfortunately, over winter, your windows will have suffered quite a lot due to the wind, rain, and snow, so they could probably do with a good clean now that it’s starting to warm up. Just be sure that you do this on a day that is fairly cloudy, as water will dry too quickly on your windows when sunny, and will leave streaky marks.

  1. Move Everything

All throughout the year, you’ve probably just cleaned around pieces of furniture or kitchen appliances, as moving them would be a lot of hassle. However, if you want to give your home a thorough clean this spring, then you are going to need to get some help and move everything around so that you can clean where furniture was. This is especially important when deep cleaning carpets if you want to avoid sofa shaped dark patches in your living room. To make this feel more worthwhile, you could use this as an excuse to move rooms around and give them a new look.

  1. Don’t Forget To Declutter

If there is ever a time to contact a skip bin hire company and have a proper clear-out, it’s springtime. When I’m on a decluttering mission, I tend to follow one simple rule – If something is broken, or I haven’t used it in the past six months (and it’s not a seasonal item), then it can go. Go room by room, and put everything in “keep”, “donate”, and “throw away” piles and make sure to keep them separated to avoid any mix-ups. Trust me, I know that this is not going to be very easy, but you will feel a lot more relaxed at home when you don’t have unwanted junk spilling from every cupboard and drawer.

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  1. Change Your Wardrobe

Throughout winter, you will have been wearing mostly warmer clothes, like jumpers, long-sleeved tops, scarves, and gloves. When it starts to warm up, the last thing that you want is only to be able to find these types of clothing. To make your life a lot easier, get all of your clothes out and separate them into “spring”, “summer”, “autumn”, and “winter” piles. Then you can make your spring and summer clothes more accessible by bringing them to the front of drawers and your wardrobe and put your others to the back or store them away somewhere, like your attic.

Bill St. Clair, the assistant fire chief at Coast Guard Fire and Rescue in Kodiak, displays a type of smoke detector commonly used in the United States Oct. 11, 2013, in Kodiak, Alaska. Most modern models of smoke detectors are designed to not only detect smoke but carbon monoxide as well. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

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  1. Complete Safety Checks

Although this isn’t necessarily a cleaning tip, it is something that you should regularly do, so spring is a great excuse and reminder. Go around your home and test all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they all work. You should also test your fire escape plan, or come up with one if this isn’t something that you’ve thought about yet. You should also purchase a fire blanket or extinguisher, if you don’t already have one, and make sure you know how to use it.

  1. Get In The Gutter

Throughout winter, you should have been checking your guttering regularly and cleaning it out to avoid causing any damage to your home. However, a lot of debris can build up in your gutter in a short space of time, and because spring is notorious for its rain, it would be best to give it one more clean out, just to make sure that your guttering can function properly. You can also use this time to repair any damage that might have occurred over winter.

Some people absolutely love spring cleaning, and some people absolutely hate it, but whatever side you are on, you can’t deny that it is incredibly important. However you feel, I hope that these tips will help you, and ensure that you don’t forget any important spring cleaning steps this March.

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Are You Ready To Launch A Home-Based Business? A Guide To Getting Started

Are you ready to take the plunge and set up your own business? Many budding entrepreneurs choose to base their new business at home to save money, but launching a home-based company isn’t as easy as putting a desk and a chair in a guest bedroom. There’s a lot of work involved in getting a new venture off the ground, regardless of the location of your headquarters. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Creating your base

If you plan to run a new business from home, consider where you’re going to base yourself. The areas you choose to use for work purposes will probably depend on the kind of company you hope to launch. You may need an office, a studio, a gallery, a treatment suite or a workshop. Think about the best location for your headquarters. Have you got spare bedrooms that could be converted into an office, an art or design studio or a stockroom, or do you only use part of the garage? Could you use the loft or basement as a workspace, or have you got outbuildings that would make fantastic treatment rooms? Whatever type of business you hope to create, you’ll need space to be creative, meet clients if this is applicable and get your head down and focus. If you can, it’s best to choose an area that is separate from living rooms and bedrooms, as this may help you achieve a better work-life balance. Before you start looking at colors, desks or blinds, come up with some designs and layout ideas.

Kitting out your headquarters

Before you can knuckle down and get started, you need to make sure you have all the tools, equipment, technology, gadgets and supplies you require to do your job. There’s no point in starting something to find that you haven’t got everything you need to finish it. Stock up and get yourself ready in advance of the launch date. If you’re designing an office space, prioritize furniture. You’ll need a comfortable, supportive chair, preferably with a caster for greater flexibility, and a desk you can adjust to your height. It’s also a good idea to invest in storage. If you have a treatment room, a home salon or an area where you plan to meet clients, ensure that the space is clean, tidy and smart, and add some touches to inject interest. Plants, wall art and splashes of color work well.

Drumming up interest

Once your home is set up, you can turn your attention to drumming up interest. There are countless ways of doing this from posting flyers through doors and paying for adverts in the local press to using social media, email marketing and search engine optimization. Design your campaign based on your target market and the type of business you own. Promotions like flash sales, offers for recommending the service to friends and introductory discounts are a great way to get people talking.

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Are you ready to launch a home-based business? If so, hopefully, this guide will come in handy. Good luck!

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Your Living Space Is Much More Important Than You Think

Your Living Space Is Much More Important Than You Think

Atmosphere

Many people out there don’t realize how important their home is for their mental health, and it’s vital that you can feel happy when you spend time there. Even if you don’t work at home, the time you spend there can still have a significant impact on your day. Afterall, you go to sleep there, you wake up there, and you likely eat there! As some of the most critical parts of the day, you need to make sure it’s not such a negative experience!

Decorations

When it comes to decorations, there’s so much you can do to change the atmosphere of the room, and the mood can be set depending on what you want. Most importantly though, is knowing what’s going to look nice. You don’t want to spend out on loads of decorations to find that some of them throw entirely the room’s look out. What makes it even more difficult is if you lack creativity and experience when it comes to decorating, but that doesn’t make it hopeless! There are many sites online that you can visit if you’re looking for some inspiration, where others share their designs and decoration ideas.

Lighting

If you’re looking to add color and positivity to your home, natural lighting can do a great deal, and it’s best to make the most of what you’ve got. Not only does it help the mood, but it can also help bring warmth to the room, which is also crucial for a positive atmosphere!

Natural lighting isn’t the only factor to pay attention to; there’s a lot you can do with bulbs too. If you’re trying to create a warm and cosy look, a dim and warmer color bulb can make for a much nicer atmosphere, as brighter and white lights tend to be harsh. That said, if your house has the right features, it can also help to brighten your colors and bring a cleaner look instead.

(Source: Pexels)

Colors

Colors are very important when it comes to creating your mood, and it can be cost-effective when it comes to the bigger changes. Typically, wallpaper and paint can make the biggest differences to a room, and when you don’t have to pay too much for it, it should be a priority! Usually, you can get samples from home stores of different paint strips and wallpaper pieces, so it’s great if you need to experiment and match them against what you already have.

Comfort

Being comfortable in your home is the most important factor when it comes to your investments. If you’re going to buy furniture, it’s best to make sure it’s going to be used and appreciated. You’re likely going to have to search harder for what you want, as finding the right amount of comfort with the right look can be tricky. Not just that, but shooting for more comfortable furniture can also rise up the price. If you’re struggling for cash, you should put your priorities into your sleeping furniture, as it can have the most significant impact on you. If you’re struggling to sleep and waking up in the night with aches, it can ruin your entire day, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to work.

Tidy up

Having a messy house can really ruin your mood when you know you have to come home to it, as it’s just extra labor that you have to take care of. It’s best that you take care of it as you go to lessen the workload you have to think about. Not only that but if you work at home, then it can be very distracting for you. There are even messes that you can’t take care of on your own, and you need a professional like ABC Home & Commercial. Things like messy wires and cables can be hard to clear up alone and can bring a risk if you try to deal with them yourself.

Like mentioned before, your home can have a huge impact on you on a daily basis, so it’s best to deal with any problems as soon as you can. Don’t let your home be a burden in your life, splash out some cash for the best experience! It’s ridiculous how many people aren’t willing to prioritize their homes over their other purchases, and they don’t consider how much better their life can feel once they have the perfect living space for them. It’s worth the investment!

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Get Your Garden to Flourish With Natural Techniques

You can put a lot of love into your yard or garden. It’s the place where you can spend time as a family, enjoy your own company and the outdoors, or use your free time to garden. Whatever you grow, trying to get it to its biggest and healthiest is likely to be one of your aims. You want fresh green grass and flourishing flowers so that you can admire them and they make your home look beautiful too. If you love taking caring of your yard, but you’re also concerned for the environment, you might be wondering whether it’s possible to grow your garden without the use of harsh chemicals. You can find more natural ways to control things and encourage your garden to grow.

Add Nutrients to the Soil

For your plants to grow up strong and healthy, they need to get enough nutrients, just like you do. They get what they need from the soil they’re planted in, which means you need to ensure that the soil contains enough nutrients. There are plenty of natural fertilizers and enhancers that make this easy to do. Mulch is an excellent option, helping to reduce weeds too. You can even buy it in bulk from Edrich Lumber, which is handy if you have a large yard or do a lot of gardening. It’s very easy to use, and it looks good too, with different colored options available if you want to add an aesthetically pleasing aspect too.

Photo from Pexels

Grow Adapted Plants

When you’re growing things in your garden, try saving the seeds for plants that produce easily collectible ones. If you can’t get seeds, cuttings from your existing plants are useful. This helps you to grow hardier plants because you’re using seeds from the ones that have adapted to the specific conditions in your garden. They have grown used to the soil and everything it contains, as well as the pests and weeds that might try to stop them growing properly. Cultivate your own super plants by nurturing the ones you already have, instead of planting brand new ones all the time.

Stop Weeds and Pests

Controlling weeds and pests is the one thing people often feel can be very difficult to do organically. However, there are actually lots of ways you can do it. Natural pesticides and weed controllers will help you keep your plants healthy. If you’re dealing with a particular kind of pest, there’s usually a recommended remedy for keeping them away. Sometimes this means introducing another bug, such as using ladybugs to get rid of aphids. Mulch is a great way to keep away weeds, as well as regularly weeding.

Water Wisely

Remember to be careful when you water your plants. If you do it incorrectly, you could end up encouraging diseases that affect the health of your plants. The best way to water is to avoid too much moisture directly on foliage, using drip irrigation and soaker hoses.

Take the natural approach to seeing your garden grown, and you’ll be able to look at it with pride.

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Don’t Let The Task Of Home Cleaning Burden You

Don’t Let The Task Of Home Cleaning Burden You

Happy home

When you think of home, you shouldn’t be thinking of work to do and stress of keeping everything clean, you should be thinking of somewhere you can go to wind down in comfort. There are many people out there who are too busy to have to worry about the mess, and it can be even more difficult when it comes to living with a family. Not only do you have to worry about your own mess building up, but that of your kids too! When you come home stressed and tired from work, the last thing you want to be doing is tidying up just so you can feel comfortable and welcomed in your own home. It’s not just the effort that you have to put in, either, it’s the whole feel of it. Most people hate cleaning, and it can leave you feeling gross afterward, which makes the whole ordeal so much worse! You shouldn’t have to, and you don’t!

(Source: Pexels)

Hired help

Living that busy lifestyle should help to ensure you have some extra money here and there that you want to invest in a greater quality of life. Often it can be hard to identify what’s going to help make those improvements, as they can take a lot of thought! You should consider investing in cleaning services, as they can take a lot of strain from your shoulders. Not only do you avoid the extra task of cleaning your home, you don’t have to be there while it’s going on! That means you can get home after that long day of work, to a clean and tidy home. Think of how much time that saves you, and how much better you can feel coming home knowing that you don’t have to do anything! All you need to do is book a time and arrange entrance to your home, and you can have it done while you’re at work, or out enjoying yourself!

It’s important to consider that not only do they come equipped with much more experience, but they also have professional equipment that ensures an efficient job. Most cleaning services out there will have your home spotless in the time assigned, and leave you wanting them again! It’s not as expensive as you would expect either, you’ll find it at quite an affordable rate if you’re looking to spend out on a greater life quality!

Better family life

Those out there who work a busy schedule often have it hard when it comes to finding time to spend with family, especially with the extra stress of keeping everything tidy. You don’t have to worry about any of that anymore, and you can keep your stress levels down to a minimum while you wind down and enjoy the time with your partner and/or kids. It’s never good to have too much stress building up in your life, as it can cause you many mental issues while exhausting you at the same time. Don’t let it get to you, let the cleaners look after it!

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Giving Your Home More Street Appeal

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No matter whether you are in the process of trying to sell your home, or you simply want to give your house a bit of a makeover, kerb appeal is something you should certainly focus on. However, it’s something we tend to overlook. We focus on the inside of our house because this is where we spend most of our time. Nonetheless, the exterior of your house is going to be the first thing people see when they approach your property. It sets the tone for the rest of your home, and so it is arguably one of the most important elements of your property. Not only this, but when selling your house, you want it to stand out from the other homes in the area, and boosting your kerb appeal is one of the best ways to do this. But, how do you go about it? Read on to discover some top tips.  

Don’t let your neighbours ruin your kerb appeal – Let’s deal with those pesky neighbours first and foremost. There is nothing more frustrating than putting so much effort into your own home only for the house next door to ruin it. If your neighbours have rubbish outside of their house, for example, the best thing to do is offer to remove it for them. Yes, this can be an inconvenience, and you shouldn’t really have to do it. However, you are going to get a lot further by approaching it as if you are doing a favour for someone, rather than moaning to him or her about it.

Make a grand entrance – Needless to say, your front door and the surrounding area needs to be pristine. Consider replacing your front door to make a big impression. You don’t need to go for a bright red door to make a statement. Opt for something with glazing panels for a statement feature and a modern look. Plus, little finishing touches can go a very long way, from stylish door numbers to beautiful potted plants at either side of your door.

Repair or replace your garage door – Your garage door is just as important as your front door, yet you probably don’t treat it as such. If your current door is broken, you should look into getting a garage door repair. If your current door is simply old and doesn’t look great, you should look into getting a garage door replacement. Your garage may not be the most exciting part of your property, but it can certainly let it down if you do not give it the care it deserves.

Spruce up a tired façade – You should spruce up any tired facades by rendering over ugly brickwork, or by repointing or repainting. However, make sure you don’t go overboard with your choice of paint colours. Choose something that suits the period of your property, and make sure your selection is more sensible than your front door choice. You don’t need to go for the same colour as other properties in your area, unless you are in a heritage area, of course, but you probably won’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.

Add some greenery – It does not matter how small the space is that is available to you, you need to add some greenery. You don’t need a large garden in order to plant a creeper. Plus, how beautiful do houses look when they have plants trailing up them? This is not the only option available to you. You could easily make a window box yourself, for example. The options really are endless when it comes to greenery; it’s just important that you add some, no matter what form it is in. Plants and trees create a homely and welcoming vibe. They add personality too.

Give your windows a bit of TLC – Nothing makes a home look more run down and uncared for than windows that are dirty. Make sure you clean your windows regularly. Moreover, get rid of any rotten window frames – this is never a good look!

Naming or numbering your house – Naming or numbering your house is something that a lot of people like to do, especially the former. It gives your house some character and makes it unique. Nevertheless, this can easily go south if you do not do it correctly. Plaques with pictures, such as trees and birds, can be a bit OTT and they do not do any justice to the front of your property. You should also stay away from badly painted names and wonky numerals. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised by how many houses are adorned in this manner.

Lighting is vital – Last but not least, another way to improve your home and your kerb appeal is to get the lighting right. You need to place lighting at either side of your front door, which will add symmetry. It’s also a good idea to incorporate different styles of lighting throughout your gardening, ensuring they are at the most critical points. For example, you could have lighting that turns on automatically when someone approaches the pathway to your front door. This creates a much more welcome entry to your property. Plus, the last thing you want is for someone viewing your house to fall over on his or her way to your front door because it is so poorly lit. This is never a good look!

As you can see, there are many different ways you can boost your home’s kerb appeal. From replacing your garage door to ensuring your neighbours don’t ruin your kerb appeal, there are a number of steps you can take, which are guaranteed to have a positive impact on the overall impression your property gives.

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