Tag Archives: saving

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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Tree Of Life Serum Haul

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Tree Of Life Serum Haul

Hello! Amazon has stopped selling my beloved Eclat Vitamin C serum so I had to try something new. I knew I wasn’t going to find as good of a price as the Eclat at a mere seven dollars and didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for a new serum. After looking through all of the different options on Amazon, I decided to go with the Tree Of Life Vitamin C serum as it was still fairly cheap at ten dollars and got good reviews.

I like the Tree Of Life serum well enough and needed to restock my supply. This is when I found an amazing deal on Amazon that I wanted to share with you. I got a set of three full sized serums for twenty dollars which made for a buy two get one free sale. It was such a great price that I had to get two sets! Check it out:

When I opened my boxes of serum, I was surprised to see a Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid serum as well as a Vitamin C one. I thought I was getting three Vitamin Cs in the set! This is okay, though, because I am always up for trying new products and a little Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid never hurt anyone. Besides, you just can’t beat the price.

As I mentioned in my September 2021 Finishes post, the Tree Of Life serum is good in its own way. It is thicker in texture but still absorbs quickly and my skin does look more radiant. My major qualm with the product isn’t the product itself but the dropper! It is so short that once you have used almost two thirds of the bottle, you have to start pouring it out into your hands. This is pretty inconvenient but what do you expect from a ten dollar serum?

I am looking forward to trying out my new serums by Tree Of Life and if I like both the Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, I think I found my go to purchase on Amazon when I need more!

Where do you get the best deals on skin care? What is your favorite Vitamin C serum? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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!

Sephora Haul

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Sephora Haul

Hi! During my birth month of June, I love taking advantage of all of the free birthday gifts from the various rewards programs that I am signed up for. Between mine and Johnny’s double birthdays and our wedding this past month, I had all but forgotten about getting my freebie on until it was almost too late. While I missed out on the day of my birthday freebies, I placed an order with Sephora just in time to receive my gift from them.

I was in desperate need of more Better Than Sex mascara and I also bought two eyeshadow palettes to play around with. The palettes are absolutely fabulous so be on the look out for swatches soon! Equally as fabulous, is the fact that I also got five free items with this order. 😀 Check out my Sephora Haul:

The Haul:

  • 2 Better Than Sex mascaras by Too Faced
  • Le Macaron palette by Violet Voss
  • Rare Beauty palette by Selena Gomez
  • LANEIGE birthday gift set (FREE!)
  • Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask (FREE!)
  • GlamGlow BrightMud exfoliating treatment (FREE!)
  • Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum sample (FREE!)
  • Korres Pomegranate Resurfacing Mask sample (FREE!)

It took me a while to get hip to Sephora and I could never justify buying anything from there while shopping in store because they never have any promotions. Online shopping, however, is a totally different story! Sephora offers free shipping with purchases over fifty dollars, two free samples per order, and promotional freebies with purchases over twenty-five dollars. I don’t order with Sephora very often but I make the most of it whenever I do, as you can see!

Multiple free items per order make me feel like I am getting way more bang for my buck and I cannot wait to pamper myself with all of my new face masks. I am also very excited to test out my new palettes. After getting my makeup done professionally for my wedding, it inspired me to be more adventurous with my makeup. It will be fun to try colors that are way different than the three that I alternate between (lol) and I know my sister will be proud because she always makes fun of me for that. 😀

Tomorrow, we are going to take a closer look at the LANEIGE birthday gift with three test size products. Then, it will be onto Face Mask Festivities and eyeshadow swatches galore! Keep it posted. ❤

Which store offers the best online promotions or rewards programs? What are your thoughts on any of the products above if you have used them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

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TJMaxx Skin Care Haul

Hellooo! Today we are going to finish up my TJMaxx Haul by discussing some skin care that I couldn’t pass up. I know, I know – I literally just got a bunch of skin care from Amazon but when in Rome… Or in TJMaxx! Despite an overflowing beauty stock pile, I have no issue buying products that I know for a fact I am going to use. So, I ended up purchasing the following old favorites and new to me face washes:

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love face scrubs and it has been a long while since I used one. I was tickled to find St. Ives scrubs for only three dollars at TJs and I considered it a steal as they are usually around five bucks at full price stores. The Apricot scrub by St. Ives was one of the first skin care products that I can remember trying as a teenager and it always hits right in the nostalgia whenever I use it. The Apricot and Coconut & Coffee scrubs will be great in the summer while the Oatmeal one will be soothing for dry winter skin. You can’t beat three scrubs for under ten dollars!

Pre-pandemic, I was using SkinLab products purchased from TJMaxx exclusively. I have always been highly impressed with their skin care and was paying seven dollars or so for the moisturizers and eye gels. During the pandemic, I didn’t do any in store shopping that wasn’t grocery related and turned to Amazon for my skin care needs. I was so disappointed to see that my SkinLab products were priced at twenty dollars and once I used up the SkinLab brand items I had, I never bought them again.

While TJs didn’t have my favorite SkinLab moisturizers, they did have gel cleansers in the Lift & Firm and Revitalize & Hydrate formulas. This was the first time I saw SkinLab cleansers at TJMaxx and, obviously, I had to give them both a shot since I’m writing about it now! I haven’t tried a new to me product in so long and am eager to test out these cleansers. I have a feeling that they are going to be incredibly refreshing in the morning and I think the colors are so pretty too! 😀

Every TJMaxx trip with my mom is my favorite but the one from this haul is very high in the ranks. We had the best time shopping together and I can’t wait to do it again! ❤

What is your favorite skin care brand? Do you remember the first skin care product you tried? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale Haul

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Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale Haul

Hello! The Bath & Body Works semi annual sale is like a siren call and, whether I need new bath and body care goodies or not, I always end up doing a little shopping. This past weekend, I met my friend Danielle at Summit Mall for an outing and I showed up early enough to run into B&BW beforehand to make some purchases. I got eleven items for under thirty bucks with a total savings of one hundred and two dollars. Talk about a steal! Check it out:

The Haul:

  • 2 Champagne Apple & Honey shower gels
  • 2 Pearberry shower gels
  • 2 Pretty As A Peach shower gels
  • 1 Raspberry Tangerine body spray
  • 1 Pretty As A Peach body spray
  • 1 Market Peach hand soap
  • 1 Boardwalk Vanilla Cone hand soap
  • 1 travel size Warm Vanilla Sugar shower gel (Free!)

I know what you all are thinking… Sarah, did you really need all of the above? And my answer is YES, yes, a thousand times yes! When it comes to my beauty stock pile, my motto is the more the merrier and why not buy products that I know I am going to use at a fraction of the cost? I exclusively use the shower gel, hand soap, and body spray from B&BW and if I can get a great deal on it, I am going to stock up.

Not only is my bath and body care hoard good for me, it’s especially beneficial during gift giving occasions as well. If I feel like whatever I am gifting needs a little something extra, I am happy to add in a goodie or two from Bath & Body Works to sweeten the pot. After this haul, I am thinking that I will be good for bath and body care products for close to a year…

The only reason I didn’t buy more? I knew the bags were going to be so heavy while shopping with Danielle that I restrained myself and I’m glad I did. Toting around the purchases above for over two hours was a work out!!

Which store has the best sales? What do you have in your beauty stock pile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

How to Easily Brighten Up Your Home On a Budget

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How to Easily Brighten Up Your Home On a Budget

If your home is looking a little dull, what are some of the things you can do to brighten it up without spending much? If you want to get creative with your living space but don’t have a huge budget, there are plenty of ways that you can change the look and feel of your house without breaking the bank. Here are a few suggestions for easy ways to brighten up your home on a budget:

Paint the Walls:

A fresh coat of paint can significantly brighten up space and, when on a budget, you don’t have to work on the entire house but can paint one or two walls in each room. Make sure to choose bright colors that coordinate well with your decor. For a more professional outcome, consult interior painting companies. You’ll make fewer mistakes and end up with satisfactory results. For affordable color schemes, try pastels or choose a single color for the whole space.

Add Plants or Flowers:

Plants add life to any setting and are an affordable option when livening up space. You can also use plants and flowers to hide out-of-place furniture in your living room, hallway, or kitchen. Choose vibrant flowers that will make the space feel fresh, new, and elegant. Flowers and plants also make a room look expensive without spending a fortune. If you have some extra time, try planting some vegetables in containers for decoration inside the house. For the best results, place the plants at strategic locations near the windows and the front door to give your home a more natural look.

Buy New Curtains or Rugs:

One of the easiest ways to change a room is by replacing the curtains with new lighter or brighter ones. Switching your rugs up is another good option too. If you can’t replace all of the curtains or rugs in your house, start with the ones in the living room, then move on to other rooms such as bedrooms and kitchen. The most used rooms should come first.

White and Off-White Décor:

Just about any color scheme looks good with white or off-white décor, so it’s a great way to create a new look without spending much money. To get the most out of your investment, buy furniture, wallpaper, and artwork in coordinating but bright colors. This will make your home feel more spacious and radiant.

Lighting:

Think about the colors of light bulbs you use. Warm-colored light will create a cozy atmosphere that can make any room feel more inviting. This type of lighting is better in rooms for relaxation like the living room and bedroom. Brighter white lighting is good for rooms with high activity like the kitchen. You may also want to consider adding decorative lighting like table lamps or wall sconces for an even softer glow.

Refresh Carpets:

Vacuum and shampoo carpets, then add a deodorizer to keep smells at bay and refresh the color so they don’t look dull. If you’ve had the carpets for a while, replacing them eventually would be a worthwhile investment.

As you will realize, these suggestions don’t require much money and most of them are easy DIY projects – no local professional required!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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