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Simple Ways To Cut Down Home Ownership Expenses

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Simple Ways To Cut Down Home Ownership Expenses

Owning a home is a significant investment move. But, unfortunately, the costs involved do not end after your final payment. Whether you paid fully for your home or working with a mortgage, you will still face various home ownership expenses. Some of these are pretty much predictable, while others can take you by surprise. And unless you already have some financial cushioning, these expenses can be a source of stress. So, are you drowning under these waves of home ownership expenses? Use these tips to cut down on how much you spend:

Switch utility and insurance providers:

Suppose you’ve used the same home insurance company, utility provider, or electric company for over a year. In that case, it’s time to shop the market for alternatives, as you may be overpaying at this point. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much utility providers and home insurance providers vary in their price range. Take the time to check other providers and compare their prices and other special offers they may have, and settle for the ones that give you the best deal in terms of service and price.

Try refinancing your mortgage loan:

If you have a mortgage on your property and it’s eating chunks off your income, then you might want to consider refinancing. Thankfully, getting a refinance mortgage quote is easy, as you can do it online. According to some experts, the average interest rate on a fixed-rate loan for 30 years is 3.14%. So, if your current rate is even a fraction higher than that, opting for a mortgage refinancing could help save you hundreds of dollars every month.

You can also speak with a mortgage broker to determine what rate you can qualify for if you refinance or get a refinance mortgage quote online. However, you need to note that refinancing may come with some fees. So, be sure that you intend to own your home long enough to recoup the expenses saved.

Generate income from your home:

An effective way to reduce your expenses is to generate income from your property. Depending on where you are, the size of your home, or your special interests, various options are available to you. One option is to rent out rooms in your home. You can also rent out spaces in your yard for small home dwellers looking for land space for their tiny homes. Another option is to register for short stay hospitality services like Airbnb or rent out storage space in your garage.

Find out if you can reduce your property taxes:

There is always a chance that your property tax is not being assessed correctly. And that’s not all, as you can also enjoy tax breaks for various reasons. Property tax is probably one of your most significant expenses as a homeowner, so it pays to find if there are tax breaks for you or if you’re overpaying.

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Saving money where you can when it comes to your home will save you lots of stress in the long run. These extra savings will sure come in handy for home ownership surprise expenses that can’t be avoided!

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Customers Refusing To Pay? Try This

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Customers Refusing To Pay? Try This

Nothing is more disconcerting than a customer who refuses to pay for quality services rendered. You’ve worked hard, but you’re not getting the reward. It can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you get the money you’re owed, no matter what your industry. Check out our ideas below:

Stop Working:

If a client refuses to pay you according to the schedule you initially set out, stop working immediately. Don’t continue toiling in the hope that you will eventually get paid. The reason you should stop working is because it helps you set clear boundaries. Clients who believe that you are a pushover may continue to ask you to work, even in the absence of any pay.

Leaving a project unfinished puts the client in a tricky position. They could try to find a workaround, but usually that’s not possible. It improves your bargaining position and makes it clear that their actions are unacceptable.

Charge Late Fees:

You can also try charging late fees. Late fees encourage clients to get their act together and to pay payments on time, instead of waiting for fines to accrue.

Work With An Industry-Specific Collection Service:

You can back up your efforts by working with a company that specializes in recovering payments. Many CBD firms, for example, use a cannabis collection agency since they understand how the industry works. Collection agencies reduce the hassle of collecting payments yourself. You don’t have to personally call clients and demand money (which can be emotionally draining). Instead, experts do it all for you.

Use Factoring:

You can also use a factoring model. Here, third-party companies buy your accounts receivable off of you and then pursue money collection themselves. Prices for this can be quite high. Usually, you’ll receive around seventy percent of the value of the invoice. However, at least it provides you with cash immediately, instead of having to wait for months, meaning that it is great for cash flow.

Make Contracts:

Making contracts in advance helps you to avoid late payment problems. By spelling out precisely what each party can expect, you have legal recourse should your customers fail to pay you at a later date.

Ask Why:

If customers won’t pay you, find out why by asking them. They could provide all manner of reasons – and you won’t necessarily know what they are in advance. In some cases, they might cite their own poor cash flow, in which case, debt collection might be the only option. In others, they might tell you that they’re not happy with the quality of the service. If there is a problem, try to find out specifically what it is so that you can correct it. Often, once you solve customers’ problems, they are more than willing to pay you.

Non-paying customers can be stressful. But, fortunately, you have many options. You can explore the issue more, find out what’s gone wrong, create incentives to pay on time, and even hire legal help.

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4 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery   

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4 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery   

Do you know what questions to ask your doctor before surgery? When you are deciding if an operation is the best fit for your medical needs, it is important to have all of your questions answered. There are many different factors that will determine if surgery is right for you or not. Here are some questions that should be asked before any decision is made on surgical treatment options.

What type of surgery will I need?

Getting your doctor to answer this question is often the first step in determining if a surgical procedure is right for you. There are three types of surgeries that can be done depending on your medical needs:

Major Surgery:

This includes any invasive process where an incision has to be made into the body and tissues, muscle or fat has to be removed, and some bone has to be cut or modified.

Minor Surgery:

These include operations which do not require major surgery but do require an incision and/or removal of tissues, muscle, or fat.

Reconstructive Surgery:

This type of surgery is performed to correct a problem that has occurred as the result of another condition such as disease.

It is important for you to know about the type of surgery you need since doctors can misdiagnose you. If this happens, don’t hesitate to get help from medical malpractice attorneys so you can be compensated.

What are the potential benefits of surgery?

Ask your doctor about the potential benefits of surgery as different surgeries will offer different benefits based on your needs. For example, if you have a herniated disc in your back that has caused pain for several years, there may be some relief after having an invasive surgical procedure to remove part or all of the damaged section.

Will I be able to go home after surgery? 

Whenever someone has surgery, there is a chance that they can go home from the hospital on the same day as their operation or within 24 hours of being admitted for treatment. However, some patients are required to stay in the hospital for up to five days after surgery. You should know ahead of time what your recovery plan will be so that you can prepare yourself and ensure that proper arrangements are made if necessary.

Will I need a follow-up appointment?

If you have been advised by your doctor to get any kind of surgery, it is important for them to outline a plan for your recovery. This will involve a list of instructions to follow during the first few days after surgery and it is very important that you adhere to these so they can be sure that all goes well with the healing process.

A follow-up appointment should also be scheduled shortly after being discharged from hospital care in order to collect test results, check your recovery, and answer any questions you may have.

If you need to get surgery, the best thing you can do is ask a lot of questions. Make sure you know everything that will be happening to your body before you consent to any procedure. Being informed is the only way to get peace of mind before you have an operation.

Featured Image By: Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Top Tips For Looking After Your Teeth

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Top Tips For Looking After Your Teeth

The ABCs of oral health is brushing, flossing, and rinsing, but they’re not the only measures to take. In order to achieve a sparkling smile, you should go beyond squeezing toothpaste out of the tube – you should get started with the tips below:

Visit The Dentist:

The reason you don’t see the dentist often is likely to be a dental phobia, financial constraints, or just plain neglect. Visit your dentist regularly (the ADA recommends twice a year), and you’ll detect problems like decay, gum disease, trauma, or cancer earlier when they are more manageable, not to mention easier and less expensive to deal with.

Recognize The Age:

Most parents tend to overlook the oral health needs of their toddlers and elderly relatives, but they require regular dental visits just as much as the rest of us. Before they’re coordinated enough to tie their own shoes, children should be seen by a dentist by the age of one. The elderly have their own oral health issues too. As people age, their saliva production decreases, resulting in more tooth decay and discomfort for people wearing dentures. Arthritis and dental decay can make brushing and flossing difficult.

Drink Less Soda:

Having an extra fizzy drink is fun, but it is also partly responsible for the bad effects soda has on our teeth. Carbonated soda contains phosphoric acid and citric acid, both of which act to erode the surface of your teeth. Even though one can or more of soda a day won’t harm your teeth, drinking more than one of them makes them more susceptible to cavities. You can add flavor to water by slicing citrus, crushing berries. or adding mint leaves.

Mind The Sugar:

Tooth decay is caused, in large, by sugar consumption. Plaque forms in your mouth and consumes your tooth enamel and gums as it fuels bacteria. When you indulge in sweetened coffee in the morning or ice cream at night, your pearly whites are bombarded with twenty minutes of acid production. Try cutting down on sugary treats and brushing and flossing every time you eat or snack to avoid being one of the twenty percent of Americans who suffer from tooth decay.

Use The Right Toothbrush:

It is best to use a brush with soft bristles. A brush this size should last for two to three months with proper care. Whenever you notice bent bristles, it’s time to replace it – but don’t wait too long. It is possible to damage the teeth and gums even if a straight bristle tip does not become rounded.

Practice Proper Technique:

While most people know that they should brush their teeth at least twice a day, a lot of people don’t bother thinking about how they should do it. Make gentle, short, circular motions with the toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle pointed toward the gum line. Be sure not to over brush each tooth. Over brushing damages teeth and erodes the gum line.

Good Flossing:

A healthy mouth and teeth are nurtured by flossing. It can cause friction and damage your gum line when you don’t floss properly, just like brushing. Keep about two inches between your fingers as you wrap floss around your index fingers. You can use an automatic flossing device to break up plaque and keep your gums healthy. If not, make sure that you unroll fresh floss for each tooth while keeping it tight against the tooth.

This guide should help you to look after your teeth and keep them healthy for bright, radiant smiles all of the time! 🙂

Featured Image By: George Becker from Pexels

Roof Upgrades Your Home Could Need   

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Roof Upgrades Your Home Could Need   

When was the last time you checked out the roof on your home? Most people don’t look too closely, preferring to call in a roofer from time to time to check it out for them. The roof on your home may be an afterthought, but if you live in an area where your roof could be affected by harsh weather, you should be checking it frequently. The roof is somewhere you should be paying attention to so that you can ensure that you are spending the right money on it when you have to.

Your roof could need the best elastomeric roof coating, extra tiles or shingles. The roof could even have a hole in it and you wouldn’t know. Here are some other upgrades that your roof might need:

Add a chimney cap:

If you don’t already have one, an airtight chimney cap could be the best upgrade that you add to your roof. These are there to save energy and keep your roof looking tidy. If you don’t use your fireplace, you’re going to find that the warm air in the house is going to leak right out of the chimney cap! Make sure that you talk to your roofer about installing an airtight chimney cap and get them to do it ASAP if you want to make sure that you don’t have animals finding their way into your home.

Add eave flashing:

You may have experienced harsh winters, but if you have ever experienced an ice dam, the best thing that you can do is to invest a little more and install eave flashing. This won’t take long, but it’ll form a watertight seal around the eaves so that you can stop your roof from being vulnerable.

Work on ventilation:

Your attic may be something you are planning to upgrade one day but you won’t want to spend time up there if it becomes like a furnace in the summertime. While the heat outside is lovely, your home is not designed to feel as hot as the sun! You should have adequate ventilation in the roof and you should consider installing some sort of ventilation, whether that’s in the form of a new skylight or a new vent in the side of the roof.

Get your gutters upgraded:

You need to have gutters that will have enough space for water to flow down. Gutters get blocked from time to time, but if they are wide enough, this shouldn’t be an issue. Get your gutters upgraded and make sure that you have ones that allow rainwater to travel down them!

Your roof is very important – make sure that you get your roof upgraded as often as it needs!

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Adults Can Rock Braces Too   

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Adults Can Rock Braces Too   

If there is one thing that we’re noticing more and more of, it is adults getting braces. After all, is there anything more attractive and confidence boosting than a beautiful smile? If you are self-conscious because you have crooked teeth, it is never too late to put it right. A lot of people assume braces are only for children, but this could not be further from the truth. Read on to discover how orthodontists can help you to achieve the perfect smile with adult braces:

Why have adult braces become so popular?

With every generation that passes, our teeth are staying stronger. However, just like the rest of your body, the challenges of aging can take over. We tend to assume that our teeth only really move when we are kids and we are still growing, but that’s not the case. Our teeth can shift naturally or because of the medication that we have taken. Therefore, more and more adults are turning towards braces to help them with this. We are also noticing more adults wearing braces for purely cosmetic reasons. It seems that we are now more concerned with our smiles than we have been. We want to feel amazing and look amazing too.

There are, of course, adults who are getting braces today simply because they didn’t get them when they were a child. Such issues that can be corrected include the likes of a jaw joint disorder, incorrect jaw position, cross-bites, under-bites, overbites, crowded teeth, and crooked teeth. If these problems are not treated, they can cause issues with chewing and speaking, earaches, headaches, TMJ, gum disease, and tooth decay. Even if you are an adult, it is still better to get braces now rather than never getting them at all!

How long will you need to wear braces for?

Everyone is different so the best thing to do is book an appointment with an experienced orthodontist who offers a range of dental services and will be able to advise on this. Nevertheless, most people do tend to wear braces for around eighteen months. Generally, the time spent wearing braces is a lot shorter than it used to be. The installation process is quicker too, usually taking between an hour or two. It is advisable to visit your dentist on a regular basis so that the braces can be adjusted as needed, ensuring that your teeth are being gently pushed in the right direction.

So there you have it: an insight into adult braces and how they can be beneficial today for a straighter smile and healthier teeth.

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Kicking Off A Keto Lifestyle   

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Kicking Off A Keto Lifestyle   

If you’re looking to start a keto diet, then you had better be prepared to commit to it. It can take some time for the effects to start showing but, once they do, you will be surprised at how much you might lose. However, before you jump into it head first, it’s best to plan your approach and make sure that you’re not inadvertently setting yourself up for a harder journey than you should. Here are some tips on how to start:

What is a keto diet?

Keto diets are all about keeping your food intake low in carbs, high in fat, and with good protein content to better control your blood sugar levels. This is to encourage the body to switch from burning glucose to burning fat as fuel. When your body starts to rely on burning fat for fuel primarily, you can reach weight loss goals more easily.

Get tracking:

One of the better things about keto diets is that you don’t need to necessarily track calories. You can if you want, but what you want, instead, is to focus on your macros. These are the nutrients themselves that are in the food you eat, with carbs, protein, sugar, and fat being those that are tracked primarily. There are keto macro trackers that can help you track those macros and see what foods might push you over the balance you’re aiming to maintain.

Find keto recipes:

As mentioned, a keto diet will involve you eating fewer carbs, eating more fats, and maintaining a moderate amount of proteins. It’s not like a carnivore diet, in that vegetables and certain grain based foods are still allowed. However, you want to find low carb varieties of foods, like this recipe for keto pancakes available here. There are plenty of keto recipe sites on the net. You should do some scouring, find enough to get you through a week’s worth of meals, and experiment to see what you like.

Learn to love keto snacks:

When it comes to snacks, we tend to reach for the high sugar or high carb things first and foremost. Clearly, this isn’t possible on a keto diet. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut out snacking entirely. While it’s always smart to keep it to a managed level, being unable to indulge cravings at all makes it a lot easier to quit out on a diet early, so you can look at these low-carb snacks featured here for some ideas of what you can have instead.

Keep up with water:

When you’re in a state of ketosis, burning through fat for fuel, you will find that you excrete fluids a lot more. You will sweat more during exercise and are also more likely to go to the bathroom more often. As such, you can easily find yourself dehydrated and feeling awful if you aren’t also increasing your water intake.

With the tips above, starting a keto diet can be a lot easier. It’s not “easy”, but it can definitely be more manageable.

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Getting Back To Work With An Injured Finger   

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Getting Back To Work With An Injured Finger   

No matter what kind of injury, you need to make sure that you don’t exacerbate it when you return to work. For a lot of people, a finger injury might not seem like a big deal. However, if you spend a lot of your time working, it can really get in the way. As such, here are a few tips to help you get back to tapping away without worrying about exacerbating the injury any further:

Take on a little less work:

It might not sound like the solution that you want, but you may simply have to get used to the fact that you’re not going to be able to type as much as you could. Most finger jams and sprains don’t take more than a few days to heal but, in the meantime, you shouldn’t think that you can keep up with your pace just by relying on your other fingers. This is going to strain other parts of the hand much more than they’re used to, which can then lead to repetitive strain injury in the hand or wrist, which can see you taking even longer to get better.

Make sure that it’s resting:

If you’re typing at the keyboard, you need to make sure that you’re not using the injured finger to do so. You need to keep that finger in a state of rest as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that it’s dressed to avoid using the fingers any further down your hand (so, don’t use your pinky if you have injured your ring finger, for instance.) Learn how to wrap a jammed finger so that you can keep it compressed and prevent it from wiggling too much while you’re typing, as well. It might take a while to get used to typing without all your digits on your side, but it is worth it.

Managing the pain:

Even if you’re able to avoid using the affected finger while you’re working, you’re still going to be moving the digits around it, which can affect the tendons controlling that finger. Micro-movements can still cause the pain to get a little worse. For that reason, you might want to look at some of the natural ways of easing pain that you can rely on during the day to make sure that you’re alleviating some of the stress that you might be causing. If the feeling starts to tick a little higher on the pain chart, it’s important to stop and rest for a while. Don’t work through the pain, that can only make it take longer to recover fully.

You might be going a little slower than usual for a while, but it’s important to make sure that you give your finger the time it needs to heal. If you have to talk with your employers or clients about maintaining expectations until you’re back at full strength, then you simply have to do it.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

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Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

Whether it’s a gentle breeze caressing your face while you run or the sun kissing your skin while you cycle, taking your workouts outdoors is always a refreshing experience. However, it is necessary to exercise without putting your health and safety at risk. Are you thinking about taking your fitness regimen outside? Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe while you exercise:

Map your route ahead of time:

It would be pretty frustrating losing your way when going for a run, walk, or cycle outside, especially if you’re new to the area. Thankfully, almost all smartphones come with a Map application and GPS functions, so you can plan your route before setting off. It is also advisable to share your route with someone you trust before you leave. If you take your phone along, be sure to keep your location on to make locating you easier if you should get lost or injured. If you already know your area, ensure that you avoid inconvenient places like construction sites, busy streets, etc. You might also want to avoid areas with stray animals to prevent incidents such as dog bites.

Dress for safety:

From workout clothes to the shoes you wear, you should aim for comfort and safety. Regarding footwear, having on the right shoes for the right activity will help to avoid blisters, twisted ankles, or any other injury. Also, your clothes should not inhibit blood flow or airflow in any way. If you plan on doing your outdoor workout at night or under poor visibility, you should wear workout clothes with features that make you more visible, especially when working out near busy roads. For example, you can wear bright colored clothes or opt for ones with reflectors to make you more visible to motorists.

Take your cell phone along:

Carrying a phone along when going for a run can be an inconvenience as you want to run or cycle ‘freely,’ but you also need to be safe. And if you get lost in an area without any internet connection, you will need something to use to call for help. Many workout garments come with spaces to store cell phones and keep them out of the way until you need them.

Protect yourself from the sun:

Sunscreen is an absolute must if you plan to work out in the sun, especially for your face. It is best to look for sunscreen products designed specifically for athletes, as they wouldn’t come off when you sweat. Moreover, the heat can wear you out pretty fast, so don’t forget to carry a bottle of water along. If possible, try to exercise during or after sunset because the sun can be scorching in the afternoon.

Protect yourself from the cold:

Cold temperatures can also drain your energy. It is possible to burn about 6,000 calories in one day when exercising in the cold. So, make sure you wear protective clothing. You might also want to take a bottle of water along to sip, as cold temperatures can suppress thirst, and you don’t want to be dehydrated.

Working out outdoors is great but doing it safely is the best with the tips above!

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Repairs That Can’t Wait

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Repairs That Can’t Wait

While some repairs around your home can be done with a bit of DIY, there are some things that you just have to call in the professionals for. No one likes an unexpected bill for something breaking down. However, leaving it to get worse will end up costing you more money in the long run with more extensive repairs or having to buy a new appliance altogether. Today, we are going to look at a few key elements of your home that shouldn’t wait until the last minute if they are on the fritz:

Kitchen Appliances:

The purpose of appliances are to make tasks and chores easier for you. Handwashing dishes is a drag and going to the laundromat can be downright miserable! To keep yourself on easy street, it is crucial to fix problematic appliances as soon as issues arise. An improperly working stove can be dangerous to yourself and your family.

Meanwhile, a refrigerator that is going kaput will force you to throw away its contents as the food will not be safe to eat if its not kept cold. When appliances malfunction, it is best to find a repair person to do it all to save you the hassle from multiple different people coming in and out. For example, you can find quality fridge repair in Barrie that also specializes in washers, dryers, and ovens.

Car Troubles:

Bad breaks and bald tires are incredibly dangerous and even more so when there is inclement weather. Getting your car troubles fixed now will better protect you and your passengers, especially with winter fast approaching. Driving is one of the most risky things that people do every day so you want to make sure that your vehicle is always in prime working order. Getting new tires for the winter is a must and don’t forget your routine maintenance checks and oil changes!

Home Security:

When it comes to home security, it doesn’t just mean your security system. It also includes your windows, doors, and garage door. Any point of entrance for someone uninvited to come into your home should be checked on frequently. Schedule regular maintenance for your home security system and automatic lighting if you have them and call in a repair person immediately for windows and doors. Cracks, weak locks, and warping create a “welcome” sign for burglars as well as pests.

Keep you and your loved ones safe by tending to problems as soon as they arise. Although repairs can be expensive, peace of mind is priceless.