Serious About Saving Money? Three Drastic Ways to Go About It

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Money really does matter in life. Whether you like it or not, we need it to be able to keep a roof over our head, to feed ourselves and to get the things we want and need. It tends to be a pretty taboo subject and isn’t something we can always speak openly about with friends and family, and so whether we’re aiming to save for something or struggling with cash it can often be a lonely journey. Maybe you’re saving up for a house deposit, or perhaps you’re just trying to pay down debts and get your finances straight- if you’re serious about saving some money then here are three ways to go about it.

Move house

The most drastic change of all but something that could save you hundreds, even thousands a year is by moving house. If you’re paying hundreds on rent each month it’s essentially dead money and cash you could be saving. You could move to a smaller property that’s cheaper to run with rent and bills, or you could move in with a kind friend or family member for a while and pay them a set amount in order to save cash. Renting a room with other house sharers is another option, bills and rent tend to be combined and it will be much cheaper than living alone. A great option for the short term.

Give up your car

If you own a car then a large part of your budget every month will be going towards this. Fuel, breakdown cover, repair costs, MOTs, insurance, tax and so on. Giving up your car, at least for a while again will free up money for you to save, pay down debts or whatever you need to do. Start walking everywhere or cycling, it’s good for you and you’ll save £’s while losing lbs. You could look into buying a motorcycle instead, they tend to be much cheaper to run but would still enable you to get around if you need to do longer trips. Just be aware of the risk, any accident attorney like https://www.braininjurylawofseattle.com/seattle-motorcycle-accident-attorney/ will tell you that will motorcycling is less dangerous than you might think, accidents that do occur are more likely to be life changing or fatal.

Start cooking at home

One place that most of us tend to spend too much is on, is food and drink. We buy cold drinks or coffees throughout the day, we order takeaways or go out to restautants to see friends. We buy bottles of wine to enjoy at home, and purchase too many groceries that end up getting wasted. Get a handle on your spending on food and drink and you’ll save yourself a fortune. Buy supermarket cheap brands, and create recipes in bulk that can be frozen and eaten again later on. Big pasta or rice dishes can be combined with any meat, vegetables or sauces that are on offer for example- they cost next to nothing but can be healthy and filling. Start bringing your own drinks and coffee to work and on days out, and stop dining out for a while. Watch the savings start adding up!

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5 Ways to Make Money with the Extra Space in Your Home

Posted by Kate Cygan on May 13, 2019 4:34:18 PM

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For most people, our homes are our biggest tangible assets. So it seems like a no-brainer to put them to work and make a little money if we can. Airbnb is a big success story, but not everyone wants to rent out their homes for vacationers. Luckily, turning your house into a short-term vacation rental isn’t the only way to make money with your extra space—and we’ve got five creative ideas that prove it.

5 Ways to Turn Your Home Into Income

1. Share Your Garage or Workshop for Projects

Your unused space doesn’t need to be fancy to earn a little extra income. Your garage or workshop might be a real lifesaver for a weekend mechanic, local artist or a group of musicians needing rehearsal space. To find these creative neighbors, try reaching out on your neighborhood email list or in your church bulletin, posting on the local Craigslist or just putting up some flyers in the coffee shop near your home.

2. Offer Your Home as a Potential Filming Location

Similarly, your home doesn’t have to be a mansion to be useful as a filming location for movies, commercials or TV shows. Lots of productions need “real” homes that look lived-in and authentic. Your state or local film commission may maintain a database of homes that are available as film locations—especially if you live in an area with significant film/TV production like Toronto, Chicago, New York City, L.A. or Atlanta. You can also list your home on referral sites like SetScouter.com, which help location scouts find available properties easier.  

3. Rent Out Extra Parking Space in Your Driveway or Yard

If you live in a big city, downtown area or anywhere near a sports venue, beach or other popular destination, you know that parking is at a premium. Depending on demand, you can make some extra money by charging people to park in your driveway or even (temporarily) in your yard. Covered parking would likely generate the most money, but people will pay for parking convenience even without special amenities. If you live in a congested business district, you might even find a renter looking for an ongoing monthly deal. Finding parking space renters might be as easy as putting a sign in your yard or taking a flyer to a few office buildings nearby.

4. Share Your Empty Storage Space with a Neighbor

Surely you’ve noticed the proliferation of storage places across the country. But who said people have to store their stuff in a big commercial building? You might have an empty bedroom or extra space in your garage or basement. Maybe you own a warehouse, or your property includes some empty space or an RV pad. Someone in your area is probably looking for space to store things like ski equipment, holiday decorations, heirlooms or even a boat. They might as well rent your extra space! Check out Neighbor.com. Their platform makes it safe and easy to find and connect with potential renters, with free background checks, secure automated payments and a $2 million host guarantee.

5. Share Your Home With a Housemate

If you’ve got an extra bedroom, in-law suite or basement room, homesharing might be a perfect solution. Having a housemate—in other words, a compatible renter—can bring in some pretty considerable incomewhile also providing companionship and even some help around the house. 

Making money from your extra space might be simpler than you think. With today’s connected communities and helpful technology tools, it’s easier than ever to put extra space to work. It just takes a little creative thinking and willingness to be flexible. We hope these innovative ideas have opened your eyes to the potential in your home.

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Restoring Your Home After A Fire

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It’s during the summer months that you can find that your home is just a bit too warm, so you end up going out a lot. But when we are going through those incredibly hot southern summers, it can switch our brain off from time to time, and this is where our lack of judgment can mean that we burn our food, or even worse, suffer a fire. And when this happens, it can feel devastating. While you’re more than relieved that everybody is okay, you’ve still got to deal with the cleanup. What can you do to make sure that you rebuild and restore your home effectively after a house fire?   

Assessing The Damage

After you’ve called the insurance company, you should think about bringing in a professional fire restoration contractor. They can recommend a structural engineer to examine the property so you can get the ball rolling. It’s important that you contact the insurance company right away because the claims process can take a long time. Once you’ve secured the property, you can get on with addressing the structural repairs. This follows with the assessment of the electrical system, and then it’s time for the cleanup.

Restoring The Property

In terms of a house fire, there are two main sorts of damage apart from the fire damage itself. There is soot damage and smoke damage.

You’ve got to be careful when it comes to soot damage, even if the fire didn’t completely gut your property. Soot can be very dangerous to your health. You’ve got to be careful not to breathe it in. And when you are cleaning up the property, you have to start from the top and work down to the bottom because soot could fall from objects while cleaning. Because soot can be oily and stain carpets, you have to make sure that the carpet is secure. Once you are confident that the search has been removed from all of the high up areas, you can vacuum it all up. Be sure that you protect yourself in terms of the appropriate breathing apparatus.

Smoke damage is a different beast. It’s something that you can see for the most part, but you can smell it more. Even if you don’t see particles deposited, you will always be able to smell it. And when you are attempting to clean up specific materials, it’s important to go for the textiles first. And if you’re wondering what are textiles, they consist of items that don’t break, so this could be blankets, clothing, toys, sports equipment, and so on. Cleaning these can be difficult to get rid of the smoke residue and the odor, but there are some homemade techniques that you can use. To begin with, you can use a bucket of warm water with non-corrosive detergent on surfaces, and in terms of clothes, a good quality washing powder should do the job. Because it can be a lot of money to replace all of these items, you naturally want to be able to recover most of it. But if there are items damaged beyond repair, especially in terms of clothes, this is something that you need to discuss with your insurance company.

Additional Cleaning

In terms of soot and smoke damage, you’ve also got to be aware that your home should be protected from future damage. Mold is one of those things that may not enter your mind because of the severity of the fire. But if there’s minimal damage to your walls and ceiling, you can use a solution of hot water and bleach to wipe down the walls and prevent mold and mildew growth. It’s also important to realize at what point you should bring in a professional. Some homes will need to be treated right away by a professional. And again, this is something that you will have to discuss with your insurance company, but you can also look at local contractors that provide services for cheap. It’s difficult to find the right contractor because your insurance company will have specialized ones that they use. Generally, it’s far better for you to have an expert deal with it that comes highly recommended, rather than finding a cheap contractor that may not do everything to a high standard.Restoring your home after a fire is a long process, and can be emotionally draining. But you have to remember that, despite the hardships you are going through, and the time that it may take to get the home back up to code, that you shouldn’t lose heart.

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Live Smart: Making A Smart Home Work For You

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Your home is your haven; it enables you to have quality time to yourself, and helps you escape the modern world. In this respect, you need to have your home work with you to make life easier. And a smart home is one of those things that everybody ponders, but may not necessarily think it’s easy to implement. But when you think about what a smart home can do, like regulate your heating, put the television on, it makes you maximize your downtime with major efficiency. But upgrading to a smart home can be difficult. But upgrading in this respect doesn’t necessarily mean putting everything through the internet; it could also help you to minimize certain expenses. So, with this in mind, how can we upgrade our home so that it becomes smarter?

Minimizing Your Expenditure

If you worry about money, you’ve got to ensure that your home is energy efficient. There are numerous ways you can do this, such as by getting solar panels, or other alternative forms of generating energy. If you are interested in this, you can look at the solar panel installation process to get an idea of it. But when it comes to money worries, if you can make your home smarter by installing a smart meter, as well as a few upgrades to minimize your water use, like a low-flow shower head, all of these things will add up to a significant saving. If you install a smart meter that can tell you exactly how much you are spending on your energy each and every day, it becomes an ingrained habit to turn the heating down by one degree or so, so you can see exactly how much you are saving. And it’s not just these practices, you can use natural cleaning products or make your own for very cheap, or install energy efficient light bulbs. There are so many different ways for you to upgrade your home, but also save you money.

Choosing Your Assistant

Whether it’s Alexa, Siri, or Google’s Assistant, it doesn’t take much effort to connect to these so you can control your lights, the heating, or any electrical items. It can take a while to get accustomed to this. But when you think about the efforts you have to put in now, this will make life easier for you further down the line. When you upgrade to a smart home, you’ve got to make it work for you. But this requires a lot more effort at the very beginning. And picking your assistant certainly comes with a lot of questions, but you need to decide what aspects of life you need to make easier. Heating is a great example because if you’ve had a long day in work, and you live by yourself, by getting the heating to come on 20 minutes before you walk through the front door, it’s going to make your property a lot more welcoming, especially during a dark and dreary winter.

Of course, there are so many different components of a smart home, but you’ll have to decide which ones you really want. Some people don’t feel comfortable with a smart home, but if you decide that you need to make life a bit easier, picking an assistant, but also minimizing your expenditure are two simple aspects to make life so much simpler.

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Simple Eco-Friendly Changes You Should Know About

We are living in a great time, every year there are more products created that make it easier to live a greener, more eco-friendly life. And who doesn’t want to get in on that action? Let’s face it, the world needs some help, and we are in the position of knowledge now, we know what is good and what isn’t. From cleaning supplies to toothbrushes and shampoo bars, there are a million little ways that you can cut back and make changes that will have a positive impact on both you and the planet.

You don’t have to change your life completely to be able to make an impact either. Changing a single product in your routine will work, of course, the more, the merrier though!

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Why You Should Swap

The idea of eco-friendly products can seem like a bit of a minefield, but the truth is, they tend to be more simple in terms of ingredients and usage – once you are used to it of course. They have less of an impact on the planet, and in some cases, they even make significant contributions. Like the companies that plant trees, recycle and donate to green charities if you buy their goods. Going ‘green’ can be more economical too.

Hydrate and Reuse

Reusable water bottles. The chances are you aren’t drinking as much water as you should be anyway, but by getting a few reusable water bottles, and setting timers on your mobile phone, you’ll be hydrated and happy in no time. This cuts out the need to buy water bottles on the go too. Simple and effective. You can buy ones that are slightly more expensive that have reminders built in.

Clothing

Ditch the fast – fashion market and opt for more eco-friendly alternatives. They might cost a little bit more in price but they will last for a considerable amount of time and not only that, there are some cutting edge fabrics and designers. Coconut leather anyone? You can also check out a lyocell material consists of cellulose fibre. Tencel is being seen more often in high street stores too. It is produced in a sustainable way and is very versatile.

Straws

There has recently been a bit of backlash over a well known fast food chain swapping from plastic to cardboard. But, wouldn’t it be better if you were to carry your own mental straws instead? They’re easy to clean, usually come in a range of colors and designs and the best part is you won’t ever need to use a single-use plastic straw with a paper wrapper again.

By putting your money where your mouth is, you are making an impact on the world around you, and there is no ‘too small’ in this case. Taking control of what you use, and how you use it matters a great deal. There is an eco-friendly alternative to almost anything, it simply takes a spot of research and knowledge about the difference it makes.

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Transform Your Backyard Into A Party Space

Want to throw lots of parties in your backyard this summer? Making sure that your home’s outdoor space is well equipped for socialising could be important for ensuring that all your guests have a good time. Here are just a few ways in which you can transform your backyard into a party space.

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Create a designated social area

If your backyard is just a lawn, you may want to consider adding a designated social area. Most people position this area right next to the house for easy access, but you may decide to locate it at the bottom of your backyard if this area gets the most amount of sunlight.

Creating a hard, dry, level surface for this social area could stop people’s feet from getting muddy and offer a stable surface to place furniture. The three main choices of surface tend to be gravel, patio and decking – each type of surface has its pros and cons.

Gravel tends to be the cheapest option and requires little maintenance – you may only have to rake it to keep it looking neat. It’s not always the most stable surface, but it will keep guests’ feet dry. Gravel may not be a good option with young kids – infants may try to put the stones in their mouth and it could hurt to fall on.

Patios tend to be the most favourable option. Laying a patio can be a little more expensive than laying down gravel and you may want to hire a professional to do it as it can require more precision. Patios require little upkeep – you can simply sweep them to keep them clean. Over time, they may start to get discoloured with dirt, in which case you may want to use a pressure washer to clean them.

Wooden decking is another popular option that you may want to consider. Decking can be easily elevated to keep it level, making it the most suitable option for sloped yards. It can be the most expensive option and the most time-consuming to build. That said, wooden decking is easy to clean and maintain – it may only need to be refinished every few years.

Invest in good quality outdoor furniture

Having good quality outdoor furniture is important when hosting backyard parties. There are many different materials that you can choose from, each of which has its advantages.

Wood tends to be a good weatherproof option, providing that it has been sealed. It can also be lightweight making it easy to carry. That said, you may want to protect wooden furniture in a storm to stop it getting carried away.

Metal outdoor furniture can be a little more resilient against winds. Cast iron generally won’t budge in a storm, however its heaviness means that it’d more difficult to manoeuvre around. Materials like cast iron are also prone to rust in the rain and may need to be regularly painted to keep them looking presentable. Aluminium could be a better option for offering something lightweight and waterproof.

Synthetic materials can also be good choices. You should avoid cheap plastic which is likely to flimsy and easily carried away by a strong wind. Instead, opt for premium synthetic materials. Such options may not be suitable for those that want to keep their backyard natural and eco-friendly.

Provide shelter from the elements

It can be worth having the option of shelter to hide under for when it starts raining or for when the sun is too intense. There are many different types of canopy that you can look into.

Umbrellas are the most basic form of shelter. These tend to sit in the middle of tables, although you can get large freestanding umbrellas. Umbrellas tends to be there purely to offer shade – in the rain they may not offer suitable enough shelter to keep your guests outdoors.

A gazebo or a marquee could be a better option for providing shelter against the rain. These are large fabric canopy structures that everyone can huddle under. Some people keep marquees up permanently in their backyard, whilst others use them as a temporary measure.

There’s then the more luxury option of an opening roof. This is a canopy fixed to the side of your house that can be opened or closed to provide shelter for when you need it. This can be the most effective form of shelter, but it’ll cost you the most. The most basic opening roofs are retractable fabric awnings that are pulled out manually, whilst more premium opening roofs can be operated via a button or even smart controlled.

Add some outdoor lighting

A good party is likely to continue long into the evening. For when the sun sets, you’ll need some form of outdoor lighting so that everyone can still see each other.

Candles are the most basic form of lighting and could help to create a soothing atmosphere perfect for when the party is winding down. You could even put these candles in lanterns to protect them from getting blown out by wind or rain.

Another affordable option could be solar lighting. Such lighting is powered by the sun, saving you the need to use batteries or trail cables out whilst also saving you money on energy bills. Solar lighting can come in all forms from fairy lighting to fixed wall lighting.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, you may want to get something that runs off the mains. There are spotlights and floodlights that can buy cable of lighting up a whole backyard. Just make sure that your lighting isn’t do bright that it annoys the neighbours!

Upgrade your barbecue

No backyard party is complete without a barbecue. Upgrading your barbecue could help you to cook more in less time, which could be useful for large gatherings.

The most basic barbecues are charcoal barbecues. Some people prefer these for the distinctive taste that they give to food. They do however take the longest to cook on. Buying a large grill could allow you to cook more at once, which could make this style of barbecuing more convenient.

Gas barbecues are easier to get going and you can adjust the heat more easily. They tend to be more expensive than charcoal barbecues and buying gas may work out more expensive than buying charcoal. That said, for many the convenience makes up for the cost.

Electric barbecues are some of the most expensive grills. These tend to run off the mains and don’t require any fire. Like gas barbecues, they can be convenient allowing you to easily adjust temperature.

Offer some outdoor heating

Having some outdoor heating could also be handy for when the temperature drops in the evening. There are many types of outdoor heating that you can try.

Fire pits are the most basic form of outdoor heating. This involves building a designated area for lighting a fire. Some neighbourhoods may have restrictions on fire pits and they could dangerous if you have kids.

Chimineas are another option. These act as portable outdoor fireplaces allowing you to position them in the best suited place. They may not offer as much warmth as a fire pit and they may still have some of the same safety concerns, although neighbourhoods are less likely to have restrictions on them.

Electric and gas patio heaters are another option to look into. These forms of heating don’t use an open flame making them safer and are usually fairly portable. They will however cost you more to buy and to use.

Take anti-pest measures

When throwing a party, you may also want to deter unwanted visitors such as bugs. There are many anti-pest measures that you can take to keep your backyard critter-free.

When it comes to warding off wasps, you could try using wasp traps – these can be made using empty bottles containing a sweet substance to lure in wasps and trap them. Hanging up a crumpled paper bag can also sometimes deter wasps by making them think that it is a rival nest.

As for mosquitoes, citronella candles are a popular way of warding off these critters. Mosquitoes may also be attracted to still water where they like to lay their eggs – if you’ve got a pond, adding a filter or a fountain to keep the water flowing could stop mosquitoes nesting there.

Ants could also ruin your party by getting at food. It could be a good idea to keep sugary foods wrapped up. Getting rid of any ants nests in your backyard could also help to solve the problem.

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Recycling For The Greater Good

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When people think about recycling, they usually think of the bins, the tin cans, and the cardboard and while that is an essential part of recycling, it is also just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads more things you can recycle, and the benefits are endless. Recycling can help you to declutter your house at the same time as doing something good for the environment.

Start with small things such as batteries. Did you know that batteries can be recycled? There are several shops including Ikea which will accept your old, duff batteries limiting the number of batteries being dumped with other trash as they contain some heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

While it’s nice to have shelves full of books, it can also add clutter to your house. While there’ll be some of personal value to you that you can’t bear to part with, many of your books could be donated to second-hand bookstores, to the local library, local shelter or to charity. Or you could even make some money by selling them on Amazon.

Even if your car is a load of scrap, it can still be recycled at a junkyard. A vehicle will be crushed and then sold as scrap metal, which can sell for a high price these days meaning that you could get a tidy sum for an old banger, depending on the metal. Remember to clean it out thoroughly before it goes in though. Check all the cracks and crevices as you never know how much loose change or jewelry you might find and don’t forget to check the glove box either.  If your car is in too good shape for the scrap heap, then you could always take it to used car dealerships and buy from there also.  

As people upgrade their phones, as they must have the latest model – there are loads of phones and devices getting thrown away each year. Then there are all the ones which have been dropped or smashed, plunged into water or just lost then that’s another load going into the trash…so try not to add to it. If you’ve finished with your phone then have a look at companies who will buy used phones off you, some for parts and others to be wiped and sold on for someone else to use. Otherwise, if you’re feeling generous, you could donate your unwanted phone to Hope Line. Just make sure you wipe your phone of any personal data (numbers, notes, etc.).

The same goes for computers and other electronics. While most recycling centers have specific areas for your old televisions, computers, and fridges, there are different ways to get rid of your things and do-good while you’re at it. There are places which will accept used computers and electronics such as Best Buy or Cex and they might even pay you for it. Then there’s donating to Computers For Schools or the National Center for Electronics Recycling. Just make sure you wipe the hard drive to make sure there is no personal or identifying information left on the computer.

Both inkjet and laser printer cartridges also come with recycling instructions in the package. Just remember that before you recycle, to put the cartridge back into its original casing. If not, put it in a plastic bag.

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