How to Keep Your Family on Budget this Year

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Keeping your family’s budget on track is already a huge challenge on its own. Compound it with a global pandemic and a strong desire to keep everything orderly and organized, the challenge turns into a true uphill climb. Luckily, with a few tried and tested tips, you can get a grip on your family’s finances and continue saving for your future. Whether you’re saving to send your kids to college, to renovate the house, or to buy a much-needed new car, with the right tools at hand, you’ll be ready for anything.

Separate the “Wants” from the “Needs”

If you’re trying to save money and budget wisely, you need to first figure out if you’re over-spending — especially on luxury items your family might not really need. First, is there any spending habit that, if removed, would actually not affect your overall happiness? Could you skip the morning latte, and instead bring coffee from home in a travel mug? Could you live without the name brands at the grocery store and try some of the less expensive generic brands? Do you need streaming subscriptions to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon, and Hulu or could you cut back somewhere?

Only Borrow Money from Transparent Lenders

Everyone needs to borrow money. Lines of Credit can help you renovate your home to increase its value, car loans allow you to buy a car when you need it, with a reasonable interest rate, even payday loans can help with a temporary emergency cost that needs to be covered right away. But it pays to know the terms and conditions of any financial relationship. If you need money quickly, a payday loan gives you the cash you need without the hurdles and hoops that come with personal loans from a bank or traditional lender. But your lender should provide you with the tools and information about borrowing that you need to stay informed. Always know what the
terms of your loan are.

Look to the Experts

There is only so much headway you can make on your own, and if your confidence or determination starts to lag, there are always experts out there who can help you stay on track. Consider one of these gurus of personal finance.

Farnoosh Torabi is a podcaster whose personal anecdotes first-person accounts of financial foibles and feats give you not only inspiration but some entertainment along the way. A Forbes favorite, she always has insights to offer and her guests include other major thinkers like author Seth Godin and self-help legend Tony Robbins.

Canna Campbell is a famous YouTuber who helps viewers adopt a minimalist mindset to help them save. Her ideas, which were eventually catalogued in her e-book, The $1000 Project, give a great perspective on how to pave your way and be proud of what you accomplish.

Cait Flanders is a Twitter star and budgeting pro who loves to share her insights and passion with her followers. You might even want to pick up her book, The Year of Less which documents her twelve-month journey of climbing out of debt by purchasing only groceries, toiletries, and gas for her car. She’s always happy to share ideas on Twitter and keep her followers in the know regarding any new tips she’s come across.

If you want to keep your personal and family finances from running away from you this year, consider these strategies. They’ll motivate and inform you so that you can set realistic goals and achieve them.

3 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Prepare for the Holidays Earlier Than Ever

Think you have all the time in the world to prepare before the holidays arrive? Think again! 2020 is a year that moves fast. Once the malls decorate with candy canes and pump carols over the loudspeakers, it may already be too late. Here’s why you should prepare for the holidays as early as you can manage. 

1. It’s a Regular Expense

A regular expense is a bill you can count on to arrive on a consistent schedule. Housing costs like rent or mortgage payments are your biggest regular expenses, and they’re often the first ones you think of because they’re due every month. 

Monthly due dates are top of mind, but an expense doesn’t have to have this regularity to fit the bill. A regular expense is anything that you can predict.

By this definition, the winter holidays are most definitely a regular expense that you should plan for in advance. 

So, the next time you look at your budget, treat the holidays like a recurring expense and ensure you set aside enough cash to celebrate. The earlier you do this, the less you’ll have to save each month to meet your target. As a general rule, you’ll want to limit your spending to one percent of your income.

2. Your Budget Will Be More Stable

Saving small amounts over the course of the year will make it easier than ever to foot the bill on your own without feeling the crunch. Come the big day, you’ll feel less financial stress because you prepared in advance.

You won’t have to syphon money from other expenses at the last minute to afford the festivities. Neither will you have to take out money to make sure your kids have the best holidays possible. 

While an installment loan may be a reliable safety net in an unexpected emergency, you shouldn’t use them to afford the holidays. Reserve these loans for when disaster strikes, like when your pipes freeze right before your family is due for the feast, and you need to pay holiday premiums to get a plumber out in time to save the day.

If you still aren’t sure what qualifies as an emergency, check here to learn more about when it’s a good idea to borrow cash quickly online with short term loans. 

3. You’ll Pay Lower Prices

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like the natural start to the holiday shopping season. As some of the biggest shopping days of the year, you’ll find some good deals to help you save.

But to save even more, join the 60 percent of people who start their shopping before Thanksgiving weekend. The earlier you begin, the more time you have to shop and think mindfully about your purchases. You also be able to take advantage of seasonal sales throughout the year to find what you need at the lowest price.

The festivities may unfold in what feels like no time at all, but don’t be fooled. They can have a long-lasting impact on your finances if you don’t prepare in advance. And when it comes to the holidays, there’s no such thing as planning too early. Kick-start your plans early this year to save without feeling like a grinch!

Buying Flowers: Top Tips for Choosing and Caring for Your Fresh Bought Blossoms

 

If you’re not a pro-florist, arranging flowers can sure be tricky. From picking beautiful blooms that really tie a room together, or trying to figure out which pre-packaged arrangement looks the least sad if you’re not versed in flower care.

Fear not, here are a few tips to help you pick out a lovely bouquet by yourself, as well as keep your blooms looking their best.

 

Choosing Flowers

♥ Don’t go overboard with the colors — Choose no more than 2-3 colors when arranging your own bouquet. Like most elements of design, keeping things simple when it comes to your flower arrangement will say more than if you try to grab a little bit of everything in the flower shop. Trust us.

♥ Don’t always hit the bargain bin — Look flowers that are on sale are typically there for a reason, and that reason is, their nearing the end of their cut lifespan. If you want your flowers to last up to a week, fresh is always best.

♥ If you are on a budget, think big — Big flowers take up more room in a bouquet than smaller ones, so you may be able to save a bit by purchasing less of them. Fill up the space with some smaller, more affordable flowers, and you’ve got a solid bouquet.

 

What to Do When You Get Them Home

Whether you’ve picked out a variety of blossoms or someone delivered a sweet surprise to your door, for best results, you’ll want to immediately transfer your flowers a vase containing lukewarm water. The reason warm beats cold is, warm water molecules move more quickly than their cold counterparts, meaning they’ll deliver nutrients more quickly to the stems.

You’ll likely need to adjust the height of your stems when you get home, too. For best results, cut away any extra leaves you don’t love, and then move onto the stems. Do an initial cut a bit longer than where you want the final height to be, and once you’ve determined if it’s right, go in for a second snip.

Third, consider using the food offered at the florist, or one of these home remedies for keeping flowers fresh. Plain water is fine, but petals will start to drop after a few days without intervention.

 

Keeping Flowers Fresh for the Long Haul

Once you’ve gotten your flowers situated, the work is far from over. Sure, you could leave them be, but you want your flowers to last as long as possible, right? Here’s a couple tips to stretch out that lifespan.

One thing that should be noted is, you’ll want to change your water often. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, harmful bacteria can take up residence inside dirty vase water. Be sure to empty out your vase, and wash thoroughly with soap and water. The clean water will keep any bugs at bay.

You’ll also want to prune periodically. As the week progresses, your flowers will change. Regularly trim off parts that don’t look so fresh, to keep your bouquet looking its best.

How to Properly Clean Refrigerators

Keeping a refrigerator clean is one way to keep them working properly for years to come. A build-up of spilled food is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.  It also creates permanent unsightly stains.  This is the perfect time to check all components of the refrigerator and freezer to make sure they are in good working order. Read on to know how to properly clean refrigerators.

Image result for refrigerator cleaning

Remove Food Items, Drawers, Racks and Shelves

All food items will need to be removed in order to reach all areas of the refrigerator for cleaning. Remove all of the crisper drawers, shelving and racks and set to the side for a thorough cleaning. Clean the freezer compartment separately so that your frozen items will not overly thaw during the process.

Wash the Interior

Cleaning the interior portion of the refrigerator can be done using a mild detergent mixed in warm water. Use a small sprinkle of baking soda on any stains and stuck-on foods. Rinse the surface with clear warm water. Let the surface air dry as you clean the other parts of the refrigerator that you removed earlier.

Wash All Drawers, Racks and Shelves

The parts removed from the refrigerator might fit in the dishwasher, but do not be tempted to run them through a cycle. The parts can become warped from the heat of the water, or damaged from the jet spray. Clean each piece separately, by hand, using dish washing liquid and warm water. Rinse with warm water and dry each piece with a towel. Make sure they are completely dry before returning them to their position inside the refrigerator.

Use a Vinegar and Warm Water Rinse

Protect the interior from mold and mildew by wiping with warm water and vinegar. Allow the surface to air dry as you prepare to reassemble all parts. Use a stiff cleaning brush to make sure the seals and gaskets are free of dirt and mildew.

Completely Dry Interior and Reassemble

Wipe the interior of the refrigerator with a towel before replacing all racks, shelves and drawers. It is important that the interior and all parts are completely dry to avoid the development of mildew on the surface. Replace all food items once all parts are back ion their proper position.

Contact Sub Zero repair West Palm Beach FL professionals for your total refrigerator maintenance needs.

How to Find the Best Mattress

Most people spend approximately 33 percent of their lives sleeping, making the bed one of the most used piece of furniture in the home. The mattress that you sleep on will determine your quality of sleep and how comfortable you feel during the night. To sleep soundly and feel rested each day, there are a few important tips to find the best mattress to sleep on.

Tranquility + GelRead Reviews

It’s important to read the reviews of different mattresses to determine customers’ experiences with the products. Consider the comfort level, the firmness of the product, and if the mattress maintained its durability.

Test it Out

Although it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by dozens of white mattresses when visiting a store, try to test out three to four mattresses that fit within your budget. This will make it easier to get an idea of what type of mattress is most comfortable without getting confused with the number of options that are available. It’s important to bring your partner along to determine how much you both enjoy certain products and if you have enough room on the bed to stretch out.

Legacy + GelConsider Your Options

Consider testing out a foam mattress or a coil mattress to evaluate how they each differ from one another. If you choose a mattress that has coils, consider an inner-spring mattress or a non-inner-spring mattress. Those who prefer a softer mattress can opt for a mattress that is constructed out of different types of foam.

Many people also have allergic reactions to the type of materials that are used on mattresses, making it important to consider the best natural mattress that is safe to sleep on. Opt for a product that is constructed out of renewable resources like bamboo, aloe, and palm or castor oils.

Review the Warranty

Most mattress companies offer 30-day warranties to ensure that you can return the product if you change your mind after taking it home. Review the warranty to protect your investment and allow yourself to have the freedom to choose another product if you’re unsatisfied with your original choice.

To improve your quality of sleep and enjoy spending time in your bed, it’s important to choose the right mattress that can be used long-term. By narrowing down your options and conducting research, you can feel satisfied with your purchase and avoid waking up throughout the night.

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