Home Checks That You Should Turn Into a Habit

posted by on 2021.07.21, under Partnered Post
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Every now and then, we encounter a home-related issue that turns into a massive problem over time because we neglected to perform regular maintenance. For example, roof-related issues can lead to leaking, structural issues, and even pest infestations. If you’re not careful about maintaining your home then it may lead to expensive repairs in the future. This is why it’s important to turn regular home checks into a habit, and here are some of the most important ones to consider.

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Inspect your roof regularly, especially if you haven’t done so for a long time

If you haven’t inspected your roof for a while then it helps to perform regular maintenance. Even a visual inspection is a good idea because you’ll at least get to see the current state of your roof. If you notice that your roof is falling apart and there are tiles missing then you may want to have it checked professionally. If there are pieces of your roof falling off, then it’s usually not a good sign and you should try and do something about it sooner than later.

Clean out any air ducts and make sure your air conditioning system works correctly

You’d be surprised at how much dirt, dust and grime your air conditioning system can pick up over a long period of time. If you’re constantly using your air conditioner in the summer to cool your home then your air ducts can quickly gather dust over time. These ducts eventually need to be cleaned or else it will reduce the efficiency of your system. This makes it more expensive to run your air conditioner and you might find yourself spending more to cool your home each summer.

This is why it’s a good idea to consider home air duct cleaning if you want to keep your air conditioning system working correctly. This might also affect your heating system in the winter, so it’s never a bad time to get it inspected. We suggest having a professional inspect your system once every year if it’s in constant use.

Inspect any plumbing issues that you might encounter

If you want to save money at home then it’s incredibly important to take better care of your utilities. A great example of this would be your plumbing. It’s one of the most important systems in your home because it carries water to your home while also flushing away wastewater. Because it’s such an important utility that we rely on every day, it’s vital that you maintain it and take notice of any issues even if you don’t think they’re pressing matters that need to be dealt with right now.

For instance, a leaking tap is something that doesn’t usually indicate a huge problem, but it can be a sign that there is a plumbing issue somewhere that will only get worse over time. If you’re serious about protecting your home, then make it a habit to check any utility issues before they grow into serious issues.

How You And Your Family Can Save Money At Home

posted by on 2021.07.19, under Partnered Post
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A house can be a money pit. Ware and tear simply happen leaving you needing to fork out to ensure your home is in a livable or appearling state. However, there are ways you can save money at home. Ways you can limit spending a lot of money on varying home outgoings. Each household will function differently. It might just be you living in the home or it might be a large family of five or more. Maybe it’s just you and your partner for now. Either way, there are no doubt things you can do to make life a little easier on yourself from a financial standpoint. Here are some tips to help you save a bit of cash at home. 

Stop Heat Escaping

Heat escaping is a huge money suck. If it’s escaping your home then you’re going to leave your heating system on for longer, which costs more money. Your house won’t be warming up as fast as it should. It might be that you need to look into getting Replacement Windows around your home. A lot of heat can leak out at the edges of windows if the sealant is old or damaged, or if your windows are old and need updated. At the same time, you need to look for any other areas where cold air is allowed to get into the house. Check the walls outside and look at your vent systems to make sure they’re shut off at the right times of year. If you can stop heat escaping there’s no doubt you’ll spend less money on heating your home. 

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Learn Some DIY skills

If you can pick up on certain DIY skills then you won’t need to pay for expensive tradespersons to fix or change things around your home. Painting is super easy, for example. So long as you’ve got patience and the right tools. You can pretty much learn anything on your own if you’re willing to put the time in and it’ll be a skill that you have for life. With that said, don’t mess around with electrics and plumbing. Those are the two things you shouldn’t touch as an amateur because you could end up causing a bigger problem which results in you having to pay more to get it fixed, or you could end up hurting yourself or those around you. For the small, handyman type jobs there’s always a youtube tutorial or a book showing you exactly how to do what needs to be done. Try it out and see if you can save yourself a little cash. It all depends on the time you have available. 

Don’t Waste Food

Everyone wastes food. However, if you can really clamp down on it in your kitchen then you can ensure that you don’t waste large quantities which of course costs you money. Try to narrow down your shopping habits. Don’t buy what you waste. Also, stop buying it at all if you just know you’ll end up eating out for dinner on a Friday but still always buy food at the supermarket. Try to check all of the dates and freeze things that you won’t eat, to pull down the shopping cost next week as you can just reuse the items there. Try to educate your family regarding portion sizes and food wastage. By being careful, over the years, you can save yourself a decent amount of money which can be used for whatever else you’d like. 

Recheck Your Internet And Cable Price

They bump up all of the time. As soon as you’re out of your initial joining period the price will go up quite dramatically. Always check and get yourself a better deal. Stick the end date up in a calendar and make sure that you know when it is. You might even be able to get a better deal in the entirety. You could get faster internet for less money, or a cable pack with more channels or at least more channel options. Try not to stick with the same provider. It might look like they’re offering you a way better deal with a chunk of cash off, but in reality it could be a whole lot less elsewhere. Try and use one of the many comparison sites out there to try and benchmark what you should be paying for what you want and you may end up being pleasantly surprised at what you can find. Be sure to check the small print and understand the length of time you’re actually signing up to. 

Here’s How To Get Your Dream Home For Less

posted by on 2021.07.15, under Partnered Post
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You probably have some specific ideas about what your dream home looks like and the features it might have. You’re definitely not alone here and a lot of people are keen to find a home that matches the image that they have had in their heads for years. You might assume that to get your dream home, you need to spend a lot of money. But this is not the case. Here are some tips to ensure that you can pay less for a property that you will love. 

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See The Potential

One option would be to think about investing in a fixer-upper. You can do this if you can see what a home could be rather than what it is right now. There are lots of fixer-uppers on the market that will just have aesthetic issues. These will be easy and affordable to fix. It’s a matter of finding the right contractor for the job and ensuring that they do deliver the full support that you need. 

Build It From Scratch

Another possibility would be to build the home of your dreams up from the foundations. To do this, you need to think about buying a plot of land rather than a property itself. If you take this step, then you will be able to guarantee that your home has everything that you ever wanted included. You don’t have to worry about it not living up to the image in your head. If you are building your home, it’s important to speak to a few different home builders. You need to check out different rates as well as the case studies of companies. Building your home might seem expensive but it can be more cost-friendly than buying an existing property on the market. 

Search Far And Wide 

If building your home isn’t the right option then you need to make sure that you are completing a wide and thorough search for your dream property. It’s important to make sure that you look at lots of different locations. For instance, you might want to look at rural locations as well as beach properties. Living luxuriously near the beach is a dream that a lot of people have and finding the right home is always going to be the start. Looking at lots of different locations will also mean that you know how much you should be paying so you don’t get gouged on the price. 

Understand Owners

Finally, you need to make sure that you understand owners who are selling homes and the signs that they are looking for a fast sale. One example would be a property where the furniture has already been moved out. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you should consider to ensure that you get your dream home for less than you might imagine. Don’t forget, buying a home at a lower price shouldn’t negatively impact your quality of living. You shouldn’t give up on your dream of having a luxurious home because it might still fit into a more modest budget that you could be working with. 

How Much Of Your Monthly Budget Should You Spend On Clothes?

posted by on 2021.07.08, under Partnered Post
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If you are trying to be frugal with your money, you should start by looking at the amount you spend on clothes. Some people fall victim to impulse buying and waste a huge chunk of their budget on clothes. But it’s easy to go too far the other way and avoid buying clothes at all. The problem is, wearing worn out clothes can knock your self-esteem and it can cause you a lot of discomfort. You need to buy new clothes sometimes, but you also need to avoid overspending, and this can be a difficult balance to get right. 

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Often, people don’t really know how much they should be spending on clothes. So, how much of your budget should you spend on clothes? 

The 5% Rule

There is no exact answer to how much you should be spending on clothes but the 5% rule is a good guideline to follow. On average, you should aim to spend no more than 5% of your monthly budget on clothes. This is a good rule to follow because it is proportionate to your income, which means that you can afford to splash out a bit more if you are doing well and you have a bit more in your budget, but when things are a bit tight, you don’t risk overspending. 

However, you should consider other factors and adjust the rule slightly. For example, it may be worth spending a bit more than 5% of your budget if you are buying good quality clothes that will last a long time. A good winter coat that will last you 5 years is going to save you money in the long term, so don’t worry about spending a bit more on it. It’s also likely that you will go over budget on clothes at certain times of the year. If you are a family and the kids need school uniforms, for example, that could push you over the 5%. 

Where Should You Spend Your Budget?

Knowing how to divide up your clothing budget will help you avoid overspending. The key is knowing which items to spend more on and when you can go for the cheaper option. Shoes, for example, usually make up a large percentage of people’s clothing budget. Although you could go for very cheap shoes, the quality will be bad and they won’t last, so you will end up spending more overall. So, always go for quality when buying shoes. Jeans and coats are also worth spending more on because quality items will last for years to come. However, you should still look for ways to make savings on these key items. If you are looking for the best place to buy shoes, check out this post for a list of places to make savings. Waiting for sales and buying off-season is another good way to make savings, especially on things like winter coats. If you can save on the big items, you will free up more of your budget for other things. 

Once you have bought the key items that are likely to cost more, you should try to stretch the rest of your budget further. Things like t-shirts and basic tops, and underwear and socks can all be picked up cheap, there’s no need to go for the most expensive options. That doesn’t mean you should go for the cheapest option because you still want quality, but look for mid-range prices and always try to pick things up in a sale. 

Also, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend the full 5% every single month. Some months, you might not need anything new, so don’t buy things for the sake of it just because the money is there. In months when you spend less than your allotted 5%, put that extra money aside so you can spend more later on without going over budget. 

How To Make Your Clothing Budget Go Further

If you want to make your clothing budget go further, there are a few key things you can do:

  • Use Overstock to get big discounts on a range of clothes (they have lots of other great items too). 
  • Always wait for clothes to go on discount and track online prices to get the best deal. 
  • Buy second-hand clothes from thrift stores or on eBay. 
  • Go for quality pieces that will last instead of buying lots of cheap items. 
  • Sell old clothes that you don’t wear anymore. 

If you can stick to the 5% rule and use these tricks to stretch your clothing budget, you can keep your spending under control. 

Dog Owners: 6 Fun Games You Can Play With Your Furry Friend During COVID

posted by on 2021.07.04, under Partnered Post
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The coronavirus pandemic has halted lots of activities due to government restrictions, such as lockdowns and social distance rules meant to curb the spread of the virus. However, self-isolation does not have to affect your relationship with your furry friend. COVID-19 is likely to have limited the fun you have with your dog. However, there are still many games you can enjoy together, even when self-isolating.

You do not want to leave your dog bored. When this happens, your pet may start showing undesirable characteristics, such as chewing your stuff. In contrast, playing with your dog keeps them away from destructive behaviors. Hence, it is a great way to have fun with your furry friend.

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Here are excellent indoor games you can enjoy with your dog during the COVID-19 period.

Fetch it

Does your dog like fetching stuff around the house? This can be an excellent opportunity to have fun together. You need a small ball or any other object that fits in the dog’s mouth for this game. Alternatively, you can use a big ball, which your pet can roll. You will need to throw the object some distance then ask your dog to fetch it for you.

Additionally, if your dog knows various stuff by their names, consider asking him to fetch them one by one. This can also be a great way to train your dog in some basic commands. For instance, if your dog does not love fetching, try training first. Use phrases such as “pick it up,” “bring it here,” “drop it,” etc. You may want to give granola to your dog or any other treat as an encouragement after a successful fetch.

Treat/treasure hunt

Dogs have 45 more scent receptors than humans, making them one of the best animals when it comes to smelling objects. This is an excellent opportunity to train your furry friend to sharpen his sniffing abilities. All you need for this game is to collect some containers and have them placed upside down. Buy your dog’s favorite treat and place it beneath one container. Lastly, ask your dog to find which container has the treat. If he finds it, congratulate him by letting him have the food.

Equally, you can play the treasure hunt with different objects. Moreover, you do not need food for all kinds of the hunt. Try using a different object and see if your dog can identify it. For instance, you should consider using a snuffle mat to sharpen your dog’s sense of smell.

Obedience training

Training your dogs on basic commands can also be an enjoyable game for the two of you. Besides, obedience training is one of the best ways to have fun with your dog indoors during this period of Covid-19. Whether it is for pleasure or enhancing your dog’s skills, this activity is so engaging.

Consider using simple commands such as sit down for starters. If your dog is more advanced on such matters, try more complex commands such as fetching objects around the house.

Obstacle course

Another enjoyable indoor game for dogs is the obstacle course. With this game, you need your dog to jump over obstacles. It is also a great way of training your dog to keep him physically fit.

The obstacle course will help you drive away boredom. For this game, you will want to plant obstacles around the house then ask your dog to follow the trail with obstacles. When he reaches where there are obstacles, he will jump over them. You can use a stack of books or pile boxes up.

Alternatively, you can use a set of cones for the obstacle course. However, you will need to consider the size and abilities of your dog.

Tug of war

If your dog loves a game of tug, this will be a great way to exercise indoors. Accordingly, this can be an opportunity to teach your dog some self-control. For instance, you can add rules to the game to determine when your furry friend pulls and when to stop.

Fun with toys

Teach your furry friend the names of his toys. After the dog has mastered them, ask them to pick them up as you name each. You can make it more challenging by hiding the toys and asking your dog to find them.

The Bottom Line

There are no shortages of engaging indoor games to enjoy with your furry friend. Ensure you make the most of every activity and use it to train your dog. You need your furry friend in his top condition because exercise can strengthen your dog’s immunity. So, why not use these games to improve your dog’s overall health and have fun.

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