Tag Archives: saving money

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.

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

Don’t Know Which Company To Work For? Read This!

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Don’t Know Which Company To Work For? Read This!

In life, it is often that you’ll find yourself at a crossroad. Going one direction will lead to one set of results, and going another will lead to an entirely different outcome. Unfortunately, you can never clearly see both outcomes. You know that they will be different, but you have no idea how things will work out in the end.

Conundrums like this can come up when looking for an internship or a job at different companies. Before you make a choice, you can go in either direction. But ultimately, you have to make a decision, narrow your focus, pick a path, and run with it. We can’t offer any direct advice on the choice you should make in this article. But what we can do is give you a way of thinking that will make it easier for you to navigate this difficult juncture in your life. Here’s what to do:

Get Comfortable With Making Provisional Choices:

Let’s say that you have a choice between doing an internship at a big bank or a small startup. Which should you choose? Both are going to give you experience, but the kind of things you’ll learn will vary depending on the firm you pick. At the corporate enterprise, you’ll learn how large organizations work and the types of roles that people perform. And at small fledgling brands, you’ll find out about the raw realities of business and how challenging it can be for some entrepreneurs.

When you go into a decision like this, try to see it as provisional. By taking an internship at one place or another, you’re not locking yourself into anything. You don’t even have to remain with the company for the duration of the internship if a better offer comes along. It’s all in a state of flux. If things aren’t working out or you’re failing to make gains from the experience, then it is time to move on.

Choose A General Discipline:

Not sure what sector you should work in? Then study a generic discipline that applies across the business world. Perhaps the best example of a generic skill is marketing. It doesn’t take a long time to learn the basics. And once you’re up to speed with it, you can help practically any company with their content. Find a marketing MBA guide and learn what’s involved and what you have to do. The more you can learn before you begin your career, the more valuable you’ll become when you finally step up to the plate and take a full-time role.

Deal With Life’s Uncertainties:

Dealing with life’s uncertainties is one of the greatest challenges people face. We want to think that our existence will follow a well-defined path and that we will eventually “make it”. But when you look at the world around you, you rarely find that kind of thing happening in practice. That’s not how it works. Instead, people arrive at their destinations via circuitous routes.

We should, ideally, embrace the uncertainty in our lives. If we knew exactly how things were going to play out, there would be no future and no fun in being alive. Everything would be set in stone, never deviating from the course that we set ourselves. That might feel reassuring to begin with, but you’d eventually get bored. You’d want to play the game again: you’d miss it.

When choosing a company to work for, try taking this attitude. It would be dull if you knew how everything was going to work out in the end. Living in a world of chance and probability is much more interesting.

Try Shadowing:

You can usually get a good sense of what it’s like to work for a company by shadowing somebody as they go about their work. Being an observer can reveal things you don’t get when you are doing an internship. Shadowing is usually easy, especially if you’re doing a related educational course. Most companies are keen on the idea because there is no expectation that they should provide you with a job at the end of it. It’s easy to float from one shadow role to another, gathering as much data as you can from the people who work in your organization.

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Keep Your Options Open:

You don’t have to commit to any particular company. In fact, doing so is probably bad for your long-term career prospects. Instead, when choosing between various companies, try to keep your options open. The more choice you have, the less leverage any particular firm has over you.

Keeping your options open requires two things. First, it involves maintaining a network with people in positions of authority who understand that value that you offer. And second, it means having some sort of valuable skill that people find it hard to find elsewhere.

Keeping your options open is actually a lot easier than many people imagine. Often firms will keep your name on “file” if they believe that you have something valuable to offer them. Remember, you can use career choices and internships to build your skills and then include these on your CV to convince future employers that you’re the person they should hire for a role.

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Start Saving:

If you’re still not sure what company you should work for (or even what career path you should pursue), then start saving. It sounds like a strange thing to say, but savings are what provide you with options. You might not know what you want to do right now. But that doesn’t matter. Working in a regular job and saving money, gives you the option to take time off and retrain later on when you finally figure out what direction your life should take.

Remember, you don’t have to know which company you want to work for right from the jump. Use the tips above and make your decision wisely.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Ballin On A Budget

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Ballin On A Budget

Heyyy everyone and happy Tuesday! As a college kid, I’m always looking for ways to save a buck in everything from beauty and clothes to eating out and buying textbooks. In the past few weeks I’ve demonstrated some frugal efforts at its finest in my beauty routines and now I’m here to share them with you! Let’s discuss:

1) Dye your hair at home!!!! – Back in the day, I would get my hair dyed and cut monthly. I was obsessed with keeping my hair as fabulously red as possible (I still am) and would eagerly shell out about seventy bucks per month at the salon to satisfy my needs. Once I started school, I knew that my hair dying habit had to die. I began to search Target and drug stores for the box color that would match the color I would get done at the salon the closest. Lucky for me, I found a perfect if not better match in Vidal Sassoon’s London Luxe collection. Their Runway Red box color is literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me because now I pay a whopping eight dollars per month for salon quality color!

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I went from spending over eight hundred dollars yearly to about ninety dollars thanks to using box color on my luscious locks. Every month I now look forward to my pampering time when I throw on a robe, apply my hair color, and watch the water turn red as I wash it out. There’s nothing better! And the sweet smell of savings and freshly dyed and washed hair ain’t too bad either!

Have makeup free days: In the past month, I’ve spent at least twelve days makeup free. These are the days when I’m working on school work from home, when I’m having girl time with my best friend, or hangouts with my boyfriend (because if he can handle my bad breath in the morning he can handle seeing me makeup free, damnit!). I used to do my makeup every day no matter what but then I realized that it’s kind of silly to do that when no one but your family is going to see you in it. Now I only apply my makeup on days that I know for a cold hard fact I’ll be going out and about running errands, to school, or date nights with my beau.

By not using my makeup every single day, I’ve been stretching out how long the product lasts. My black eyeliner, for example, usually needs replacing after one month but as November comes to a close, I still have a little less than half of it left. This has dwindled down my spending at Target significantly because I no longer have to go to the store to do my monthly stock ups. Yes, I’ll be buying the products eventually but if I decrease the amount of eyeliner I buy per year by three, that’s saving close to twenty dollars! And that doesn’t even include mascara, eye shadows, blushes, and whatever other products you might use! My makeup free days have been stretching my dollar for this month which means more moolah to spend on holiday shopping!

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^^^ Thanks, Ryan. ❤

So there you have it, just a few of the ways that Lil Red is Ballin On A Budget! What are some of your money saving secrets? What box color do you swear by? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah