Friday, July 1, 2022

3 Ways to Make Moving Day a Breeze


Is it time to move to pastures new? Maybe your current home is too big or too small, perhaps it’s too expensive or maybe you’ve finally managed to get a step onto the property ladder and are moving from renting to your first mortgaged home? Whatever the circumstances, moving is an exciting time. The actual process of moving, however, is not so much. In order to make things easier for yourself, here are a few ideas.

Create a ‘moving day bag’

Moving day can be a really long day. Depending on the size of your house, the number of things you own, and how far your move is- it can actually end up stretching over a number of days. This means that for a chunk of time, all of your stuff is boxed up, and you don’t know where anything is and for this reason, it can be really stressful. Do yourself a favor and plan out some essentials that you’ll need easy access to on the day, and put these in a separate bag before you start packing. Things like your phone charger, some snacks, bin bags, toilet paper, and other essentials will all be well appreciated on the day. It saves you from having to rummage around in bags and boxes that have already been packed and sealed. 

Start early

The packing process takes longer than you think. Once you know you’re going to be moving, it’s worth making a start on the packing so you can give yourself as much time as possible. As well as items in the house, consider your attic, basement, shed, garage, and other areas in the home that will take a long time to sort through and box up. Consider that you will need to take apart some pieces of furniture to move them, and also how much stuff you’ll need to either throw away, give away or sell. Listing items to get rid of can all take time. On top of this you’ll need to make any repairs and clean the home you’re moving out of ready for the next homeowner or tenant. If you have the budget, have a cleaning company come in and do this for you once all of your stuff is out since it saves you a huge job that way! Start by packing up non-essential items, if you don’t have the space to store boxes you could always look for a local storage area to keep them until you’re ready. That way, when moving day comes everything is already boxed and ready to be moved into the new place. 

Stockpile

A new home is a fresh start, and so it’s nice to have certain items brand new to use in the new property. Things like pillows and duvets, towels, bedding sets, crockery, cushions and other decorative pieces are all ideas. Store them away and then when you move you have nice sparkly new items to use which can be a huge novelty in a new home. Picture the first night in your new property- a hot bath with fresh new towels and into bed with new bedding. Bliss!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

How to Balance Finances With Kids

Managing finances as a whole can be stressful, and it becomes even harder when you have a child. The primary expenses of an adult can add up, so when the costs of a child are added into the mix money might become tight. That’s why budgeting is now your new best friend. Read on for some tips and tricks on balancing finances with kids.

Adult Expenses

As an adult, you’ll find yourself with a list of the typical weekly or monthly expenses. These range from the smaller expenses like gas and groceries, to larger ones such as rent and car payments. Making sure you get these payments in on time is a primary financial responsibility for you. You’ll also notice that most of these expenses will change when kids come along.

When it comes to your car payments, you’ll most likely have insurance, loans, and/or typical maintenance costs to cover. In order to keep the maintenance costs low, you’ll want to keep your car in its best condition. This way you can avoid emergency payments on your vehicle and save that money for other important expenses. Cars can take a lot of money out of your wallet and once you grow your family, you may need to upgrade to a more family-friendly vehicle and add features like car seats and safety controls on your car.

Renting a place to live can also add up quickly, and many people believe that buying a home is better for your wallet in the long run. Although the upfront costs of buying a home can be intimidating, there are ways to make you feel a bit more comfortable with this option. If you have a lower credit score, an FHA loan can help you buy a home and take advantage of lower interest rates. This is a more attractive option to home buyers that are trying to balance their finances better, like those growing a family. Especially since you’ll most likely need to buy a bigger home to provide more space for you and your kids.

Child Expenses

After looking at the typical adult expenses, let’s add in the costs of raising a child. With a newborn, the costs of delivery, hospital care, and healthcare in general, can be tremendous. Many families choose to go with a home birth if it’s a safe option for the mother. This way you can avoid a larger hospital bill.

 Once your baby is born or even before your little one arrives, you’ll be spending a lot of money on infant items like a changing table, stroller, car seat, and a weekly formula supply. If you’re someone who’s able to breastfeed, and it’s safe to do so for a longer period of time, this can help decrease the expense of additional food for your baby until they grow to need more nutrients.

Once your child needs solid food, that weekly grocery cost goes up. You’ve already had to add diapers, baby wipes, and other necessities to the list and now you’re paying even more for their source of food. Money-smart parents rely on budgeting for their weekly groceries and take advantage of coupons and sales at the grocery store. Buying in bulk is another popular way to stock up on what you need and also save money in the long run.

Once your children get older, they may want to be involved in things like sports or music, most of which come with additional costs. If you’re feeling like money is tight, utilize local resources to help you out. Looking for a violin for your daughter to play in the school orchestra? Check out Facebook Marketplace for a used one in good condition. Does your son want to play football this fall? See if a neighbor has hand-me-down equipment he can use. These tips will help you lower your costs while still letting your kids do what they love.

Financial Freedom

A goal of many adults who have their family’s expenses to worry about is achieving financial freedom. The typical answers here are getting a job that pays more or building a stricter budget, although these aren’t necessarily realistic. 

If you’re struggling with debt, it may be best to prioritize paying that off over boosting your savings. Once you have your debt under control, you can start saving and investing to grow your money. As your funds grow through investment, you can use that money for things like future emergencies or major purchases. Things like this aren’t glamorous but will set you and your family up for the future.

If possible, try finding a side gig to make some extra money. Whether you work full-time or are a stay-at-home parent, you may find you have a few hours each day where you can start a hobby that also makes you money. For example, some moms find that crocheting is relaxing. You could crochet items and sell them for profit! This is a great way to relieve stress and make extra cash. The more money you make the more you can possibly spend on your little one!

Raising a child and growing your family don’t have to take a toll on your finances. Yes, it may cause some extra stress, but with these tips, you can balance your finances and live a happy, stress-free life.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

5 Unusual & Fabulous Gifts for Your Best Friend

 Whether it is your best friend’s birthday for which you are currently searching online to purchase the best possible gift for them, or else they have recently been going through a hard time and you want to put the smile back on their face, then you have definitely come to the right place.

So here, for your information and of course reading pleasure, are some fabulous ideas and inspiration for some gifts for your best friend. 

1. An Instant Camera

These days, the best way to mark a historical event in your friendship and to immortalize the memories you make together is to ensure you have numerous photographs of the event itself.

If you and your bestie love nothing more than spending quality time together on a night out, for example, then a slightly more expensive but undeniably absolutely fabulous birthday present is an instant camera. Polaroid cameras are the most popular. Even in a world where photographs can be taken on a smartphone or tablet, there is something beautiful about printing the photograph then and there.

2. Their Signature Fragrance

A sentimental and incredibly thoughtful gift for your best friend’s birthday is one that ordinarily, is usually associated with being gifted by a spouse or significant other.

Gifting your best friend a bottle of their favorite perfume and signature fragrance not only shows how thoughtful you are and how much you love them but also is a subtle way of encouraging them to be who they are and celebrating their individual character. 

3. A Night at the Theater

If your best friend is a cultural butterfly who loves nothing more than the sensory experience of the theater, then why not treat her to a fabulous night out at the theater for her birthday this year,

There is a myriad of different types and genres of shows and performances to suit every taste, from musical theater shows to dramatic plays; just make sure to book your tickets through a reputable and renowned supplier by checking BoxOfficeTicketSales.com reviews.

4. An Expensive Bottle of Champagne

If your best friend is one of those girls who seems not only has everything in the world that she needs but also absolutely everything that she wants, then why not go down the more traditional and high-end line of treating her to a bottle of expensive champagne?

To really make the present go ‘with a pop’, you could even search online for a company that produces bespoke and personalized champagne glasses and has both your and her names inscribed on the sides.

5. A Personalized Plaque

Sticking with the personalized theme in birthday gifts, another fantastic and decidedly more affordable unusual present for your best friend is a handmade personalized plaque with a quote of your choice. 

The added benefit of choosing this last gifting option is that there is a multitude of private and small businesses that only use eco-friendly materials and products in the production of such plaques and ornaments, meaning your birthday gift will also be entirely eco-friendly too. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Everything You Need to Know When Moving to a Small Apartment

Whether you have just started planning your move away from home for the first time, are downsizing from a larger home, or else have just closed on your smaller than average apartment, then you have certainly come to the right place.

Here, for your information and of course reading pleasure, is everything you need to know, well of any importance anyway, when moving to a small apartment. 

Look For Creative Storage Ideas

When looking for ways to improve your apartment storage options, there is a multitude of different products to choose from as well as different tricks to try, including but in no way limited to the following:

  • Utilizing space on the walls for shelving
  • Order custom-made units which fit under the stairs or in the corner of the room
  • Invest in aesthetically striking stackable boxes
  • Storage benches for the hallway and other narrow passageways
  • Hooks on the back of doors and cupboards

Pay Close Attention to Your Floor Plan

Naturally, but still, a point which some people overlook, when moving into a smaller apartment or into a shared floor in a larger house, it is absolutely crucial to plan the floor layout carefully, ideally before you actually move in.

This way, you can assess the situation and where your treasured items of furniture can be placed before you actually move in, and if necessary, especially if you are only living in the smaller apartment on a temporary basis, you could even look into self-storage options in your local area. 

Maximize Your Outdoor Space (However Small!)

Often, especially associated with smaller apartments which are located in cities and large towns, there is a balcony space, however tiny, which you can utilize to your advantage.

Spending time on your balcony or other outdoor space will not only serve to make you feel as if your interior living spaces are considerably larger but will also provide you with a place in which to keep and even grow a variety of plants.

There is a myriad of benefits to living with real plants and flowers, including but not limited to the following:

  • A reduction in stress and anxiety levels
  • A therapeutic way to work from home
  • An effective boost in efficiency and productivity at home
  • Assistance in recovering from illness and sickness quicker
  • A way to improve the quality and freshness of the air inside the space
  • Sharper levels of focus, concentration, and attention

Create High Focal Points

As there is clearly not an overly large amount of space in terms of the floor plan of your apartment, when considering d├ęcor and design, the best possible piece of advice is to draw the eye upwards by creating focal points high on the wall and even on the ceiling. 

If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, you could even invest in some beautifully crafted wall sculptures to hang, or if not, instead, choose some eye-catching artwork and hang each piece high up on the wall.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Managing The Costs Keeping Your Car In The Right Condition

One of the largest running costs of owning a car, that you’re likely to deal with on a semi-regular basis, is the cost of making sure that it’s in the right condition. If you want to keep it working and at low risk of giving you any problems while you’re driving, then you are going to have to pay, for maintenance, repair, and any replacement parts that it might need. However, it might not have to be expensive as you could make it. Here are a few ways to manage those costs.

Source- CC0 License

Get it serviced on a more regular basis

There’s a very good chance that your car has some sort of service manual or schedule that the manufacturer recommends that you follow in order to ensure that it stays in the best condition it can. It’s widely recommended that you follow that. Yes, it might mean paying more to get your car serviced on a more regular basis. However, the simple fact is that if you get your car looked at and serviced more often, you’re a lot more likely to spot the smaller issues that can later blow up into much more expensive repairs in your face. You don’t want that to happen. Similarly, if you do notice any small faults, don’t ignore them. Fix them before they have room to grow.

Do more yourself

There are some aspects of car repair that should not be attempted by an amateur. You’re not likely to bring a dead engine to life nor to work out what’s wrong with the suspension. In those cases, leave it to the professional. However, there are plenty of DIY car fixes that you might be able to make yourself. Most of them are routine replacements, like changing the fluids in your car, replacing a spark plug, or changing a brake pad. All the same, you can save yourself a trip to the garage and the costs associated with it if you apply yourself a little more when needed.

Don’t leave glaring gaps in your insurance

What could make a major repair more expensive than having to pay for all of it yourself? It’s not all about the costs of the service itself, but how you pay for it. To that end, you should make sure that you choose your provider or collision insurance very carefully. You want to make sure that you have enough coverage to keep your car on the road in the event of an accident, as well as to make sure that you’re covered when you need it most. Naturally, if there are other concerns, such as vandalism, that are well-warranted, then you may want to look at going more comprehensive with your plan, as well.

Source your own parts

Your mechanic might be a lifesaver when it comes to making repairs when you need them and even in pricing those repairs. However, if they have to source and provide any replacement parts, then they might put something of a mark-up on those parts. This doesn’t mean they’re trying to rip you off, simply that it’s one of the only ways they can make money on simple repair jobs. As such, you can find plenty of car repair parts on the website, whether you opt for a store that sells original manufacturer replacements or third-party replacements that can sometimes be a good deal cheaper. Just try not to cheap out too much on car parts. Follow the golden rule: buy cheap, buy twice.

Budget for it

How can you budget for your car repairs when you don’t know when you’re going to need them? Well, you can start by assuming that you are always going to need money for repairs. No psychic powers necessary. Simply keep track of how much you spend on repairs, services, and replacements for the car on the average year, and save up to make sure that you have that much set aside for it at any given time. This can stop you from having to rely on credit, either through your own credit cards or even from the garage, which can add on the interest pretty quickly and steeply. You can also look at the costs of some of the most commonly replaced parts to get a better understanding of what you might need to spend.

Saving money on your car repairs and servicing is going to require you to become a pretty savvy customer at every stop. The tips above should hopefully give you some strategies you can rely on to keep those costs down.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Top 4 Honeymoon Destinations For Loved-Up Newlyweds

 A beautiful wedding is something many people dream of, but it can take a lot out of a couple. From budgeting for the wedding to dealing with vendors, you will probably be happy to see the end of it all when the big day finally arrives. Luckily, after the wedding comes the honeymoon. This is the time you can both finally relax and enjoy each other’s company. Here are 4 honeymoon destinations that are perfect for loved-up newlyweds.

Kick Back and Relax in Hawaii

Beautiful Hawaii is made up of volcanic islands, and it can be found in the Pacific Ocean. This tropical paradise is a popular destination for honeymooners for many reasons. It offers romantic retreats for couples who just want to sit back and relax, it is steeped in ancient culture, and there are a plethora of exciting water sports for newlyweds to participate in. With breathtaking scenery and stunning beaches, Maui is arguably the most romantic island in Hawaii. Furthermore, there are plenty of all-inclusive Maui resorts to choose from that offer opportunities to take part in thrilling activities, enjoy local delicacies, and simply bask in the glow of being newly married.

Soak in the Culture in Italy

There is something undoubtedly romantic about Europe. Every country has something special to offer but for a honeymoon destination that truly stands out, look no further than Italy. It is full to the brim with rich history, diverse cultures, and varied landscapes. From the ancient ruins of Rome and Pompeii to the incredible coastal towns such as Cinque Terre and Tuscany, there is something to see and do throughout this wonderful country.

Discover the Undiscovered in Antarctica

If tropical islands and romantic city breaks aren’t your things, a trip to an unexplored world might do it for you. Antarctica is the ideal honeymoon destination for intrepid adventurers. It offers couples the chance to explore terrain that is rarely seen by other people, and it gives you the chance to witness spectacular wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas. During your wilderness adventure, you can enjoy whale watching, ice camping, and water-based activities such as snorkeling and kayaking. Honeymooning in Antarctica is a unique way to begin your marriage.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side in Kenya

Couples who want a honeymoon that’s different from the norm but doesn’t like the idea of a cold destination should consider Kenya. This distinctive country gives you the chance to get to grips with other cultures, enjoy the natural beauty of the African plains, and experience close wildlife encounters. As one of the most revered safari destinations in the world, Kenya is inevitably buzzing with wildlife. Here, you can join one of their renowned safari tours and watch wild animals, such as lions, elephants, and hippos, in their natural habitat. When visiting Kenya, the infamous Maasai Mara is a must-visit site. The extraordinary sight of watching all of the exotic animals going about their daily lives on the savanna is a remarkable experience.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Best Ways to Improve Your Life in 2022

 If you are dissatisfied with the current direction that your life is going in, you might be looking around for some of the best ways that you can change. If that is the case, here are some of the top steps that you can take to improve your life in 2022.

Buy a New Build Home 

For many people, security about where they are going to live is their number one priority, and if you are fed up with most of your money going on rent, you might be longing for a home of your own. As such, 2022 might be the year to do just that. However, rather than only looking at whether you can afford a mortgage on older houses, you should consider investing in a new build home that you and your family can thrive and create memories in. As such, if you are uncertain whether a new build home is for you, you should consider looking at reasons why you should buy a new build

Get a Job You Love

If you find that your job is making you incredibly miserable, you should consider quitting it and finding a job that you love instead. Although this might seem difficult, by looking at your skills and seeing how many of these could be transferrable, and by thinking about how you can turn your hobbies into a career, you will soon be able to find a job that you adore and that you excel at. To help you on your way, you might decide to sign up for recruitment agencies and look at online job boards. However, if you are struggling to find a job that you enjoy, you might decide to go freelance or to become self-employed. 

Improve Your Relationships 

The quality of your relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners can impact your overall satisfaction with life. As such, if other people in your life are getting you down, you should consider communicating with them about how you are feeling and cutting out toxic people who are bringing negative energy into your life. You should also take the time to see the people that you care about and ensure that you are making an effort to maintain your connection, even if this is only through the internet. 

Stay Healthy

The key to a life that you love, though, is staying healthy, since being healthy can help to give you more energy and passion for the activities that you enjoy. As such, to stay positive, you should tell your doctor about any health issues that you are experiencing, eat well, and be as active as possible. You should also try to keep your mental health as stable as possible by developing self-care techniques, meditating, and considering visiting a therapist if your mental health issues become overwhelming. This will then stop you from being hampered by conditions like anxiety and depression, which can have a huge negative impact on your quality of life.