Tag Archives: saving money

4 Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Household   

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4 Tips For Creating An Eco-Friendly Household   

With increasing concerns about the environment, many are finding ways to take action so they can help save mother Earth. This includes looking into ways to be more aware of how they can help, what companies are doing, how to buy, how to better recycle, and being energy-efficient at home. The smallest of changes can make a massive difference if it’s all combined!

Not only are these changes great for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet too. There is this idea that you need to be rich in order to be sustainable but that’s far from the case. Living a sustainable lifestyle can not only be incredibly cheap, but it can save you a lot of money each year. These are some ways that you can create a more eco-friendly space right at home:

Check to see if there are any cracks that need to be sealed:

You want to make sure that your home is well insulated, especially during the colder months. Right before fall or winter hits, you’ll want to do a thorough inspection at home to see if there are any cracks that need to be sealed up in your doorways, window seals, vents. It’s also best to take a look at your doors and windows to see how energy efficient they are. Something such as a bend window is known for being majorly energy-efficient and those can save you a lot of money each year in electricity. Sealing up your cracks and changing out the doors and windows are also great for boosting your property value as well.

Take a look at energy-efficient swaps at home:

There are plenty of appliances that can be swapped out for something more efficient. This can include checking out bathroom appliances such as low-flow toilets, showers, and sinks but it can go far beyond that as well. Did you know that your light bulbs could save you money? There are plenty of energy-efficient light bulbs on the market that can help you out. Even looking into Star Energy appliances for your kitchen or laundry room can make a massive impact.

Buy secondhand:

One way to avoid getting things thrown into a landfill would be to check the secondhand market first such as visiting flea markets, thrift shops, and going on websites such as Craigslist, eBay, or even Facebook Marketplace. If you’re unable to find a secondhand version of the product you’re looking for, then you can buy it brand new. We all know that the secondhand option will be much cheaper!

Start a garden:

Even modern apartments will have a space to do some gardening. Gardening is not only a way to save on groceries, but improving that green thumb of yours can help offset your carbon footprint. Having a garden is wonderful for bees and other pollinators such as butterflies too. There are so many perks to having a garden, that it can even boost the curb appeal of your property.

But what if you don’t have space for a garden? What if you don’t have a lawn? Even if you don’t have adequate spacing, you can make room for growing some produce or flowers. Many apartments will have balconies or a large table will do too. Your plants don’t necessarily need to be outside in order to thrive. If you have some space next to a window, that will be just as adequate.

Helping the environment and saving some money is the ultimate win/win and there is no better time than the present to get started!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Getting By In Money & Mindset: 3 Methods To Incorporate

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Getting By In Money & Mindset: 3 Methods To Incorporate

It is not easy in the slightest to get by in the modern world. But whether you are trying to make extra money through numerous practices, or you are consciously trying to downgrade your life, there are so many different approaches that you could take to get by. Let’s show you a number of practices that could prove beneficial, and how you could use them:

Method One: Embracing a Minimalist Mindset

Minimalism has become very popular, not least because it can help you to make the most of very little. A lot of people are talking about minimalism as an antidote to what the modern world offers. If this appeals to you, you could sell your house quickly through companies like Offer Pear and start to live a more off the grid lifestyle. Being minimalist has a number of benefits for our mental health. We live in a world dominated by stuff. It seems that if we have to get ahead, we need more stuff, which means more money. A minimalist mindset means that you are effectively training yourself to get by with less.

Method Two: Becoming a “Slashie”

Also known as a portfolio career, this is where someone will make multiple income streams from different careers. A relatively new term, however, it appears to be essential to get by. Over the last couple of years, people have found that living off one income stream is not enough. Therefore, they’ve had to find ways to achieve extra income. There are naturally many approaches to doing this. If you already have a full time job, you may find having an extra part time role on top of what you do sufficient enough to help you live the lifestyle you want. But it is important to be aware that this approach can be difficult to maintain, depending on what your lifestyle entails.

Parents will struggle to maintain this approach if they don’t go about it in the right way. This is partly why many people try to find passive income streams. This is another very popular approach, but one of the downfalls of going with a popular approach to earning money means that it is already over saturated. If you want to become a slashie, the most important thing to consider is doing it in a way that doesn’t cause you to burn out. Many people feel that they need to maintain their lifestyles, and despite rising prices, rather than reappraising everything they have, they find they need to work more. The result? More stress, anxiety, and a whole slew of health problems! But, that being said, if you want to go down this route, the best approach is to do things that will actually make you happy and fulfilled.

Method Three: Addressing Your Expenditure and Income

Part of the problem in getting by in the modern world is that we believe that we need to earn more to maintain a current lifestyle. We’ve already talked about the importance of becoming a minimalist, but this may not be for everyone. You may think that your income is the first thing to address, but you need to look at what your income is actually going towards. If what is coming into your account is going out straight away, you need to look at the things you’re spending your money on.

One of the simplest things we can all do is to make a couple of downgrades. There are plenty of things that we can do for free, but rather than actually thinking we’ve got to completely get rid of everything to live a better life, it is about playing the odds and the balances. You can still go out for meals with your friends, as long as you find other ways to cut back on your day to day life. A very common example is daily takeaway coffee. If you opt for a homemade coffee, you will see how much this adds up.

These three methods can work together in tandem whether you are looking to save up for a big purchase or just cushioning your savings. The most important thing is to keep your mental health in check to avoid burn out. It is always okay to treat yourself!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Cost Effective Ways Of Losing Weight And Being Healthy   

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Cost Effective Ways Of Losing Weight And Being Healthy   

One of the main reasons why people struggle to lose weight today is because they deem it to be too expensive. You only need to take a trip to a supermarket to see that the processed, unhealthy foods are exceptionally cheap, while it costs a lot more to get your hands on the good stuff, like fish, organic fruit and vegetables, and white meat. Plus, you then have the likes of a gym membership and exercise equipment to add into the mix. It’s not hard to see why the expense can be off-putting. Nevertheless, you can lose weight healthily without spending a fortune, and here are some ways to do so:

Embrace free exercise options:

Yes, joining the gym is going to cost you money. However, there are many different ways that you can lose weight. You don’t need a personal trainer, nor do you need to buy expensive exercise equipment. What about a good old-fashioned run or power walk? This is one of the best ways to exercise and it doesn’t cost a dime. Also, thanks to the Internet, you can gain access to so many different exercise videos free of charge. All you need to do is a quick search on YouTube or another video site and you will see all different types of exercise videos you can follow, from Zumba to yoga. You no longer need to pay to go to a class.

Rethink your commute:

Another easy and effective way to incorporate free exercise into your lifestyle is to rethink your commute. If you live within a few miles of your place of work, how about biking or walking there? If this is not an option, small changes can make a massive difference. For example, take the stairs and stop using the elevator.

Skip ‘healthy’ convenience food:

Not all healthy foods are expensive – carrots are probably one of the cheapest things you can buy in a grocery store! What is expensive, however, are those convenient ‘healthy’ foods. You know, those 100-calorie snack packs, and the ‘healthy’ ready meals that are available in supermarkets. These are nothing more than budget drainers. You would be much better off buying a packet of dried fruit and nuts and making your own snack packs with sandwich bags. Weight loss has a lot to do with budget control, but do you really need to spend way over the odds for someone to give you the right quantity? You can do this yourself. In fact, if you’re worried that you will overeat, all you need to do is carry a measuring cup with you, and this will ensure that you are always on the right track.

Buy in bulk:

One of the best ways to save money when you are shopping is to buy in bulk. You can buy the likes of frozen vegetables, wholemeal rice, and oatmeal in bulk, and this will save you a lot of money. Another option is to buy a whole chicken instead of buying chicken pieces. You can easily cut the whole chicken up yourself into portions for the week. This will save you a good deal of money over time.

Are you eligible for surgery?

If you are deemed morbidly obese, you may be eligible for surgery. This is something that you may have to fund yourself or you may be entitled to some form of monetary assistance from the government. This all depends on your unique circumstances and where you live. Nevertheless, it is something that is worth exploring further, and this is certainly a case of money well spent if your weight is having an extremely detrimental impact on your health. You can’t put a price on living longer, but as any medical malpractice attorney will tell you, selecting a surgeon carefully is critical.

Ditch the red meat:

Ditching the red meat is not only good for your diet, but good for your bank balance too. Lamb and beef can cost a considerable amount of money and they contain more calories than white meat, such as chicken and turkey. Instead of embracing the red meat one night a week approach, why not go meatless? Turning veggie, even if it is for one night every week, will make it a lot more cost efficient for you to lose weight.

Make the most of vouchers and coupons:

Last but not least, one of the best ways to save money on your grocery shopping is to make the most of vouchers and coupons. Nowadays, you only need to do a quick search online to find hundreds of vouchers for different stores. You can also make the most of money saving apps too. Also, a lot of supermarkets and grocery stores offer you a discount on your first purchase so it’s worth exploring the option of buying from different stores from time to time. Don’t forget to make the most of loyalty cards as well; those reward points certainly add up over time.

If you follow the advice that has been discussed above, you should be able to lose weight without it impacting your bank balance. While there are a lot of companies that profit from exploiting people’s want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need to buy into what they are offering. Being healthy doesn’t need to cost a fortune!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

DIY Projects For Your Home

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DIY Projects For Your Home

If you are handy, completing DIY projects in your home is a great way to get creative and save some money. This is especially nice as the holiday season is fast approaching and there are gifts that need purchasing! Today, we are going to discuss some DIY projects that range from a beginner skill set to advanced to spruce up your home and fatten your wallet. Let’s get to it:

Painting:

Of course, you can hire a professional house painter but you can also do it yourself! From painting your house to freshening up a couple of rooms, completing a painting project on your own can be lots of fun. You can get creative with the colors and patterns that you choose and you can even turn it into an event. Gather some friends and have a painting party. Music, pizza, and a movie night afterwards will turn a chore into an absolute blast.

Painting doesn’t just have to be limited to rooms and the exterior of your house. If your walls are looking bare, try your hand at painting your own unique artwork to hang up. You can watch tutorials on YouTube or attend a Paint Night with friends to help you get inspired.

Refurbishing:

Refurbishing old and used furniture is an awesome way to save money and even make money if you’d like to sell your completed pieces on the side. It is also eco-friendly as you can purchase used pieces from a secondhand store and give them a whole new life. From sanding and painting to upholstering and adding on to the existing piece, there are lots of possibilities based on your skill level. You will end up with a one of a kind table or chairs that no one else in the world will have.

Landscaping:

If you have a green thumb, landscaping projects could be the DIY for you. Hiring a landscaping company to do it for you is easy but doing it yourself will be so much more rewarding! You could build your own raised planters, make a fountain out of terracotta pots, or simply lay down that mulch that you have been meaning to do for forever. Spending time outdoors is so good for your mental health and is even better when you are with friends. Garden party, anyone?

While your DIY skills may not be HGTV worthy, it never hurts to try something new. Who knows, you might just end up finding your new favorite hobby!

Budget Friendly Shopping For Your Home

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Budget Friendly Shopping For Your Home

Shopping for furniture, accessories, and appliances for your home or apartment can be so costly that it almost seems easier to leave things as is rather than updating or upgrading. Believe you me, I get it! However, I also know how effective budget shopping can be because I furnished my entire apartment on secondhand items. Today, we are going to explore a few different budget friendly options for your next home makeover:

Secondhand Stores:

The most effective eco and budget friendly option for making upgrades in your home is, hands down, second hand shopping. Buying secondhand is amazing because you are repurposing old things and preventing them from being dumped into a landfill. Your local Goodwill could be a treasure trove of unique furniture and accessories that you didn’t know you needed. This is also an ideal option for people who don’t want their homes to look like everyone else’s because of all of the cool accessories and knick knacks you can find. My art wall in my apartment is completely made from old pieces of art that I bought at the Goodwill.

Facebook Marketplace:

Another great option, similar to secondhand stores, is the Buy, Sell, Trade marketplaces on Facebook. This could be perfect if you are looking for used appliances for sale, furniture, or other odds and ends. The beauty of the Facebook Marketplace is that once you find the replacement for something in your house, you can list the no longer needed item and make some extra cash too. 😀

Always remember if you are purchasing from someone selling on a marketplace type website that your safety is paramount. It is best practice to meet up in a public location like the parking lot of a busy grocery store or coffee shop. You can never be too careful.

Apps:

The OfferUp app is a virtual garage sale where you can both post items for sale and make purchases. I haven’t used this app in a while but I have had a lot of luck in the past selling things on it. I have seen everything on OfferUp from cars, appliances, outdoor equipment, and clothing. The nice part about this app is that it categorizes all of the items on there which will really help narrow down your searches for something specific. You definitely don’t get this luxury at a local thrift store.

Yard Sales:

Summer is the best season for people to host yard sales due to the promise of good weather so now is a great time to do some browsing in your local neighborhoods. It might be a mixed bag but it is another option to save some money while making purchases for your home. You all know the old saying of one man’s trash!

Making updates to your home doesn’t have to break your bank. Get started with the ideas above and see how much you can save today!

How To Spend Less On Your Family’s Essentials

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How To Spend Less On Your Family’s Essentials

There are some things that we all need to pay for and costs we need to cover. And, thankfully, there are lots of ways in which you can spend on these essentials and manage the costs associated with them. If you want to learn how to spend less and keep the costs low, read on now:

Raise Your Insurance Deductibles:

Insurance is one of the things that we all need to have in place. And for most of us, there are lots of different types of insurance that are needed. In order to keep yourself and your family safe going forward, you’ll need to find the right deals and put the right coverage in place. But you can, nonetheless, raise the deductibles in order to get a better monthly rate on those policies.

Cook Your Own Meals:

If you’re someone who eats out a lot or orders takeout food a little too often, you’ll know how costly that kind of stuff can be. Cooking your own meals can take a huge amount of that financial burden away. You can cook and prepare meals very cheaply when you buy fresh ingredients and put the effort into cooking. It’s not as hard or as daunting as you might think!

Create a Debt Repayment Strategy:

Lots of people struggle with debt and get dragged down each month by the repayments they need to make. You can create a good debt repayment strategy if you want to, and doing so is almost always advisable. When you have a strategy and plan in place to pay the debt off faster, you’ll start saving money because you won’t be getting constantly hit by the interest.

Start Using Coupons Routinely:

If you’re not doing so already, you should definitely think about how you can start using coupons and discounts to your advantage. If you’re a pet owner you can use a Canada Pet Care coupon code for your pet food needs. And there are plenty of discounts, offers, and coupon codes that will help you with your regular shopping, including grocery store purchases.

When doing online shopping, there are lots of websites that you can utilize to find coupon codes for free shipping or percentages off of your purchases (Retail Me Not, Honey, Raise). If your family is in need of new clothes, you can find some great offers at https://www.raise.com/coupons/macys for a one stop shopping experience at Macy’s.

Cut Your Travel Expenses:

When you’re always traveling by car or public transport, it can get costly. There are many ways to cut your regular travel expenses, such as by doing more walking and cycling. Or you can try carpooling to work with colleagues so you can all spend less on gas. Traveling less and doing more activities closer to home might also be a good idea if you really want to cut those costs as well as be friendly to the environment.

Spending less on your family’s basics and essentials isn’t that difficult and it never needs to be. When you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve and how far your money can stretch.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Save Money & Stress When Moving

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How To Save Money & Stress When Moving

We all know the cliche about moving house being one of the most stressful and expensive things you can ever do. But those negatives aren’t necessarily as inevitable as you might think they are. There are so many ways in which you can reduce the costs associated with moving, while also making the process as minimally stressful as it can be. And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Read on and benefit from these tips:

Plan Your Move Around Your Work Schedule:

If you can schedule the day of the move for a time when you’re not going to be working or when you can book paid leave from your job, that’s the right thing to do from a financial standpoint. People often think about the fees and costs of moving to a new home, but the money you lose by being forced to take unpaid time away from work is something that also shouldn’t be ignored.

Declutter Before the Move:

Your move will be a lot less stressful for you if you can take the time to declutter your property beforehand. Spending time, energy, and money moving things that you don’t even want or need is pointless from an efficiency and financial point of view. By clearing out your property today and simply getting rid of the things that you really don’t need anymore, you’ll be able to avoid that level of wasted resources.

Try to Move Off-Season if Possible:

The costs associated with moving differ depending on the time of year. If you want to move in summer when everyone else is also trying to move house, you’re going to face higher demand and competition for people looking to secure the services of good movers and solicitors. The process will also be longer as well as more expensive because of the delays caused by that high demand for the necessary professional services.

See if You’re Entitled to Any Discounts:

When looking to secure the help of moving professionals, you should take the time to see if you’re entitled to any discounts often offered by those kinds of services. For example, people over a certain age level, students, and people who have served in the military or government agencies are very often entitled to discounted services. It’s a great way to save money, so don’t miss out if you’re entitled.

Work with Reliable Professionals:

Working with reliable moving professionals who are going to be able to make the move as smooth for you as it can be will make your life a lot less stressful. The right moving professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary, which will help alleviate some of your worries. Try to find people who are skilled and trusted in their niche – that applies to movers, solicitors, and everyone else in between.

Source Free Packing Materials:

Sourcing packing materials is one of the best ways out there to save money. If you’re paying for boxes and tape and all of the other wrapping and protective materials you need, you’ll be wasting money. All of that stuff is out there and you can usually get your hands on it very cheaply. Ask around because everyone has boxes that they no longer need after their own house move. Better still, find a moving company that offers this stuff at no extra cost to you.

Saving yourself stress and time when moving house is essential to making the experience a more positive one. Get started with the tips above so you can focus your attention on the more pressing matters of your move.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Why You Should Plan For Retirement Early

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Why You Should Plan For Retirement Early

Despite how important retirement is, a lot of us leave planning to the last minute. You might plan to get around to it soon, but ‘soon’ can easily become ‘next year’, and then it’s too late. Most people don’t know how much cash they will need to retire securely, and many don’t have a pension at all. It’s never too early to plan for retirement so get started with the tips below:

When Do You Want To Retire? When Can You?

Think about your ideal retirement and look at your finances to start planning from tomorrow. This will help you to work out if there is a distance between when you want to retire and when you actually will be able to. Are you hoping for mortgage-free living in retirement or will you live in a retirement community? Do you want to enjoy your retirement with travel and restaurants? Try to work out how much you expect to spend each month.

By working out these things early, if you find you can’t reach your ideal retirement with your current finances and the rate you’re saving at, you can work out how much more you will need to set aside each month in order to actually reach your retirement goal. If you don’t get prepared, you could end up with a lot less saved up than you expected. Your goal of retiring at 60 could easily get pushed back to 65, and then 70.

Delaying Could Cost You Thousands:

If you start saving for your retirement at 30, you can save less money each year than if you start saving at 50, and still end up with the same amount in your retirement fund. Every year that you put off planning for your pension means that you will have more catching up to do later on, which is when you will likely have more outgoings, thanks to a growing family or a bigger mortgage. In the future, you won’t thank your present self for a lack of planning for your retirement.

Retiring Isn’t Always A Choice:

You might think of retirement as a milestone for later in life, but sometimes the choice of when you retire is not up to you. You might have to retire earlier than you wanted to due to poor health, a change in family circumstances, or a redundancy. There are lots of reasons that you might find yourself having to stop working earlier than you had planned to. If you don’t plan for changes of circumstances like this, there can be a lot of problems. Trying to support your family or pay your mortgage on a smaller pension than you had planned for would be a big issue.

Planning early is important when it comes to your retirement, so get started ASAP!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Saving Energy: 3 Steps To A More Efficient Home

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Saving Energy: 3 Steps To A More Efficient Home

Are you looking to cut down on your carbon footprint or do you only want to reduce the amount you are spending on household energy? If you want to increase your home’s energy efficiency, you need to do more than just reducing the amount of energy. You should figure out the areas that use energy, how it is wasted, and ways to use it more effectively and efficiently. It all starts with making simple changes around the house that would significantly impact the environment and your energy bills.

If you are unsure of where to begin, here are some tips that can guide you to make your home an energy-saving haven:

Improve your Home Insulation:

Insulating your home in the right way helps to preserve heat during winter and keep out the heat during summer. It also reduces the amount of fuel you burn to warm the house, reducing CO2 emissions into the air. Insulating your house is a cheaper alternative to using power-hungry air conditioning units.

If your home does not have proper insulation, much of the heat will get lost through the roof, walls, windows, and floors. Not only does it become expensive to heat, but it also becomes challenging to maintain the heat. You don’t have to spend much to improve your home insulation. Small home improvements can have a significant impact on your energy conservation.

For example, you can use spray foam to insulate your walls and prevent them from losing heat too quickly, saving you money while also reducing the energy you use. The correct spray foam insulation temperature should be around 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turn Down your Thermostat:

Reducing your heating is an excellent approach to reducing the amount of energy you spend every month. It may be a hard feat to enact during winter because of the extremely low temperatures. However, you do not have to overdo it. You can save a lot of money by just turning your thermostat to a few degrees lower.

If your house gets cold, throw on a sweater or a robe and invest in thermal curtains that you can use during the winter months. A smart thermostat can also help you save energy more efficiently since it allows you to heat only the rooms you are using and control the temperatures from your smartphone.

Avoid Leaving Appliances on Standby:

Appliances still consume electricity even when on standby, provided they still have a connection to the power source. This includes devices such as microwaves, printers, washing machines, TVs, and laptops. Once you finish using an item, switch it off by unplugging from the power source. It can help you save more than $30 every year on energy.

As you can see, you do not have to spend too much time or money to make your home energy-efficient. You can cut your energy bills by following the above simple steps. Remember, when your home is well insulated and energy-efficient, it will not only help you save on costs, but it will also lead to a cleaner and greener environment for everyone.

Featured Image By: Pixabay