A Dragon's Tale Quilt

Monday, July 30, 2018

Made from a pattern called 'Dragon's Tale' by Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert, our daughter Ria has been visiting us this Summer, and had been busy with creating this lovely pieced quilt.

August Is Back To School Month

Back to School Month in August gears up parents and kids with going back to school .
With shorter days, it’s time to dust off those backpacks,( or maybe get a new one?) fill them up and plan for a new school year. Preparing for the new school year includes everything from checkups, planning schedules and making new friends, but also school

-With “play for a purpose” being a popular buzz phrase within the toy industry, more toy companies are developing games that are engaging and educational, while still being fun. Hoyle is helping drive this trend through their two new card games, Super Me! and Monkey May I?, which help promote emotional intelligence, self-awareness and empathy in children ages 4-6. With simple instructions and fun themes, these games are the perfect back to school activity. The games are available now, giving parents or teachers plenty of time to pick up a few sets before the start of the school year!

*Watch for more Back To School ideas coming soon!

Review: My Hoa Kai Blanket

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Whenever I am sitting on the couch- whether reading or watching tv, I like to be covered up with a blanket. It just feels more comfortable. Now that it's summer and warmer though, my heated throw, even without it being plugged in, is just too warm.

I have a wonderful new blanket though that's perfect for the warmer weather. 

It's a Turkish blanket made in Southeast Turkey from 100% Turkish Cotton. This blanket is so soft and lightweight and stays cool against your body when your warm but equally it can keep you warm, when you double it up. It can be used at the beach, in the camper, for picnics too. Not just for covering up with it on the couch. ( But my favorite choice!)

The Hoa Kai site as well, also sells 100% Turkish Cotton towels, and kids ponchos. They are a brand new Kaua'i based business supporting weaving families in South East Turkey importing and distributing. Shipping is FREE within the USA for all orders over $75 and they offer great rates for worldwide shipping. 

If your looking for a great quality Turkish blanket/ towel that's not mass produced and helps families, Hoa Kai is your go to business.

The Benefits of Opening An Account Online

Friday, July 27, 2018

The internet has made life so much simpler. We can shop and play online and now we can also bank online. From opening the account to tracking our finances, the introduction of online banking has helped millions of people’s lives easier by enabling us to stay connected digitally to our accounts and our funds. 

Doing your research

Before opening an account, you need to know which product suits your needs. The bank’s website should be the first stop for all the information necessary to help make your decision. From the terms and conditions to the main features and benefits of the account, banks such as BBT have a wealth of information on their website that enables you to compare a variety of products. Once you have chosen the right product for you and confirmed that you are eligible, it’s simply a case of clicking apply and starting your new bank account application.

What information will I need to provide?

When opening an account online, the bank is required to carry out some standard checks when reviewing your application. As the process is usually automated, a decision can be provided within minutes but in some cases can take a couple of working days to be processed.  A form of photographic identification will be required, such as a passport or driving licence to verify your identity. Proof of your current address will also be requested, such as a utility bill or credit card statement as well some basic information about yourself and your income. 

What makes this a good way to open an account?

Banking online can be a much more efficient and inclusive way to apply for an account than simply making an appointment to visit a branch. With the vast majority of people leading busy lives, finding the time to get to the branch when it is open can often be challenging. Having the ability to apply online and upload any documents required from the office or at home can be a real time saver. Not only can you apply from a computer but you can upload documents using a tablet or mobile device enabling you to storeyour personal documents securely but also have them on hand wherever you are should you need them.

Managing the new account online

Once you have opened the account, managing it online can be a great option for those who want to stay informed about their finances and track their spending on the go. Online banking details can be used on the bank’s website, on their app through your mobile device and even through the phone should you ever have to call them. These multi-channel credentials make contacting the bank easier and gives you more choice when choosing how to interact with your account. Usually, you will be asked to create a memorablepassword and security number that verifies you as the account holder, keeping logging in simple and secure which is incredibly important when transacting online.

Enhancing Online Shopping

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Most of the times, watching an advertisement in so many places on different products leads us to search out big offers and deals with them. These ads attract us and we try to go shopping online. This is more in trend day by day. People find it convenient to shop online but somewhere we have lots of doubts regarding online shopping and grabbing the alluring deals.

The offers and deals along with the product purchasing and shopping avails for more deals for us. But we are afraid of shopping online cause of its lack of quality, duplicity, fraud, and theft. Big brands and companies offer the best payback and exchange offers, and other benefits to the customer in the different mode to make them trust on shopping sites and maintain the consistency and good feedback on their sites.

Frequent Shopping Ethics for Online Shopping:

Whenever you shop on the sites check thoroughly all the deals and offers attached to it. This is will help you find the best mode to gain discounts to save your money. There are some authenticated websites which maintain their quality and accuracy and are caring for their customer's comfort.  You must carefully search for coupons, tickets, and extra cashback offers. This will help taking advantage of deals online. There some reliable E-com Payment system which also provides additional points, discounts, memberships, and cashback.

Enhancing Online Shopping:

Shopping online enhances public sharing advertisement from mouth to mouth which highly trusted mode in societies.  Big banks, E-com payment systems, and other few agencies of travel tourism, food tourism, Multiplexes have made tie-ups with these websites to give customers more flexibility in booking and shopping.

Needful heads-up:

    Make a list of the products you want to shop for.
    Compare prices and deals on them.
  Check your coupons, points, membership, discounts, and other benefits carefully.
    Always read customer feedbacks and reviews.
•    And don’t forget to ensure the free shipping or shipping charges too.

Save Money on Custom Writing: 5 Unusual Ways Students Can Protect their Pockets

Saturday, July 21, 2018

This is a pretty common practice for students to use writing companies. These resources seem to be the real salvation for many people. They offer outstanding services and provide with multiple conveniences. Their assistance cannot be measured with words. Nonetheless, everything has its price. The matter of money is very important and sometimes, painful for students. They are forced to save money.

Most students have restricted funds. They have to count every penny and try to spend their earnings on the things that really matter. At times, they have no other choice but to buy assistance of writing websites. They may lack time, have some personal complications or don’t have the writer’s talent. The reasons are various. Most of them make helpless students seek alternatives that cost some money.

Nevertheless, this is not the catastrophe. Even if you can resolve your academic issues only with the help of writing companies, you may freely save part of your earnings. We know several prompts on how to save money on customer writing. We will be happy to share with you this information.

Therefore, make allowances for the following vital points: 
1. Order only certain parts.
2. Monetary compensation. 
3. Student discounts. 
4. Order from the same custom writing company. 
5. Collaborate with your writing company. 

You’re not obliged to order the entire academic assignment. Many students struggle with only some parts of the research paper. For instance, many folks cannot create an impressive introduction; the others are not able to pick up an effective topic or cannot craft a strong thesis statement. It is quite possible that you have only a small problem. Accordingly, you do not spend much money. Order an outline, reference list, conclusion and/or ask to edit. These things don’t require much money if they are ordered in parts. 

 Another point is not the direct saving of your earnings. It’s rather a dependable measure to ensure that your investments will not just disappear. You should secure the matter of monetary compensation. Check the reputation of the agency you wish to collaborate with. After your conditions are accepted, it is supposed to fulfill each term precisely as you wish. Under the condition, something was completed inappropriately or after the time ran out, demand refunding. Discuss this moment to secure your funds. 

Writing agencies are client-oriented. They study the market to know their anticipated clients expect from them. It goes beyond all doubts they realize that students are their main targeted audience. Therefore, look for those, which offer discounts. Students experience difficulties with money and writing agencies know about that. 

Make sure your writing agency is able to offer you flexible and reasonable discounts. There may be discounts for the most loyal clients, the newcomers, and those who place orders for big sums. Some websites likewise offer discounts when you advertise them to other people. Bring your friends with you and save more money. 

The next tip is to deal with the same writing company. In the occasion, you have found a trustworthy resource with reasonable and beneficial conditions stick to it. Do not change it. Such resources strongly value the loyalty of their clients. Those people who remain with them for the durable period of time always receive some great discounts. Therefore, don’t leave the resource, which helps you a lot. 

Another good possibility to save is to collaborate with the website. It is no secret that writing agencies require new writers. Freelancing and essay writing professions are of great popularity for the last years. There are millions of students from every corner of the globe. Accordingly, there are numerous orders from them. Undoubtedly, a professional writing website requires a huge staff of writers. They frequently employ students.

Ask whether your writing agency needs new authors. This is a huge advantage. It’s a 2-in-1 offer, which satisfies both sides. Become the part of the writing staff and you will count on discounts. Of course, we mean that you might require assistance with papers that are too complicated for you. When it comes to your writing competence, you may begin with the easiest essays that are not difficult. Let the more professional and experienced authors write in your stead. 

It is likewise possible that you may fulfill some other duties. For instance, you may help to promote a writing agency. In order to compensate your assistance, ask to craft your assignments.

Take these recommendations into your consideration. They are pretty effective. They show that you should not fear to buy essays from a cheap custom writing service available online. Use them wisely and you will manage to acquire the necessary assistance at an affordable and cheap cost. 

Some Other Things to Consider 
After we have discussed the possibilities to save your money with a writing company, we would like to shed more light on other ways to save money. 

These are: • Plan a reasonable budget; • Buy only really important products and services • Forget about unimportant thing • Seek students’ discount at every store • Seek stores with affordable prices • Find a part-time work to earn some money

Try these prompts as well. They help to avoid unneeded wasting of your funds. Of course, you are welcome to look for some additional alternatives. There are many variants for going cheap. You can survive if you know the keys to success. Try different methods and use those, which work for you.

Pitmaster Big Moe Cason’s Tips to Host an Ultimate Summer Smoking’ BBQ PLUS a Great Contest!

Friday, July 20, 2018

1.    Make It Simple
Don’t over complicate it.  Barbecuing doesn’t need to be  intimidating.  

2.    Use Your Weber Grill As A Smoker 
Create a “Dual Zone” by placing the charcoal to one side of the grill and the meat to the opposite side so there are no flare ups.

Smoke Pork For Maximum FlavorTry Pork Belly!  “Bacon demands tend to peak during the summer” which is why pork bellies are now available in superstores such as Sam’s Club and Costco not only butcher shops.

Pork Ribs cook for about 3 ½ - 4 hours at 250 degrees. Once they are done, use a probe from WalmartTarget, etc. to see when the ribs raise up to ½- ¾ of an inch. Another way to tell when they are done is to pick up the ribs with tongs and if they feel like they are about to crack or break in half, they’re ready.  Be sure to remove the membrane on the back of the rib before cooking so the back can absorb the flavors of the rub

Pork Loins cook for about 1- 1 ½ hours at 250 degrees. Once the meat reaches 143 degrees take the meat out and let it rest so it does not overcook and dry out.

    Pork Steaks cook for about 2 hours at 250 degrees to cook and should be         flipped over when there are 30 minutes left.

3.   Pair BBQ With A Big Red Soda 
Big Red is the nation’s most popular red soda and has always been a favorite pairing with the bold flavor of BBQ.

4.  Make Big Moe’s Simple Rub
Making your own rub is easy with Moe’s simple rub of salt, sugar, garlic powder, and black pepper. Moe also suggests the “8:5:2” ratio for a basic Texas rub. Eight parts of coarse ground black pepper, five parts of sea salt and seasoned salt and two parts of garlic salt. Put the rub on approximately 1 hour before smoking or grilling. 

Big Red, America’s original and best-selling red soda is kicking off the summer BBQ season with its “Get Grillin’ with Big Moe and Big Red” promotion.  From June 25 – August 17, consumers have the chance to win a Big Red BBQ party, hosted by Pitmaster Big Moe Cason, and other BBQ related prizes.  Contest details are available at  

Big Moe Cason is a self-taught BBQ pit master. The Iowa native has participated in 260+ BBQ contests and was a season two finalist on TLC’s “Barbeque Pitmasters.” He was also a judge for Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters” in 2014 and “SMOKED” in 2013. For more information visit his Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Big Red Inc. is one of the top 10 beverage companies in North America with a history dating back to 1937. Along with Big Red®, recognized as the number-one selling red soda, Big Red Inc. also markets beverage brands Big Red Zero®, Big Blue®, Big Peach®, Big Pineapple®, NuGrape®, and Nesbitt’s® products. Distributed widely throughout the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Independent Bottlers and Pepsi Beverages Company, consumers across the country enjoy Big Red Inc.’s beverages.  For more information, please

FreeYumm Foods Review

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review by: Gerry, Monique and Ria

With food sensitivites and as well just wanting to snack happy and healthy, I am always on the look out for tasty snacks and treats.

I found FreeYumm Foods online and had to give them a try!

FreeYumm Foods dedicates itself to producing yummy foods. Most food producers pay no attention to food sensitivities. So they ignore up to 20% of the population. When 1 in 5 people can't eat what you are serving it makes sharing a bit tricky and I know this as a fact. But as well I like to buy something that not only I will like but that can be tasty for Gerry as well. And with a daughter visiting for most of the summer, and another on her way in August, and all of us loving healthier alternatives, FreeYumm caught our eye to try their snacks bars.
At FreeYumm, they elminate the Top 9 priority allergens, and they have chosen to make delicious food that is potentially accessible to over 99% of the population.

We tried the FreeYumm Blueberry Oat Bars, Raspberry Chia Bars, and Double Chocolate Cookies. Loved all of them- the Double Chocolate cookies melted in our mouths and were super chocolatey, the Raspberry Chia Bars offered a robust flavour and the Blueberry Oat Bars were just like a tasty summer treat. (Blueberries grow wild in our area too). The snacks also came individually wrapped!

If you live in Canada, FreeYumm is offering a 20% discount savings on your first FreeYumm order with Promo Code: FreeYumm20.
Find FreeYumm as well on Facebook @freeyumm
Instagram@ freeyummfoods

Happy snackin!

Would You Travel The World If It Cost Less - A Lot Less?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

There are a handful of questions we all ask ourselves on a bi-weekly basis. What is the meaning of life? Where do I want to be in five years time? Should I do more volunteering? How do I ask my boss for a raise without it backfiring? And, at the top of the pile, how can I save money on travel?

Now, we’re not going to pretend we’re some wise old woman from the Himalayas that has all the answers to all these things. Not a chance. We don’t. But when it comes to heading overseas and staying on budget without sacrificing any of the fun, well, we’re the voice of reason. Searching for money-saving tricks has almost become an unhealthy obsession of ours, which is partly because travel has shot up on our priority list over the past few years (much like it has for every other human on planet earth).

It’s that feeling of escaping the humdrum of everyday life and the stress of the wake, work, sleep, repeat routine, and switching it out for moments of exploration, joy, happiness and the chance to create super-precious memories. The problem has always been the lack of money trees growing in our backyard.

It’s not so bad if you're going away in a group of people where you can all chip in to cover the cover the cost of this and that. But if you’re going for a solo adventure, there’s unwritten need to swallow the uneconomical pressures of car rental, accommodation costs, getting about in cabs and all that sort of stuff. That’s why we’ve come up with this extensive list.

So, without further ado, here are our top tips, tricks and bits of advice to help you turn your trip for one into an incredible money-saving journey.

1. Sign-Up To Sweet Email Alerts
The one we’re a member of is Jack’s Flight Club, but there are so many to pick from - Opodo, Airfarewatchdog and Liligo to name but a few. And the way they work is so, so simple. Every week, you get numerous emails straight to your inbox with a list of cheap as chips flights to some far-flung destinations. Yup. these companies trawl the internet to find seriously cheap offers that are utterly perfect for those with a) a love for spontaneous trips and b) a bucket list that they are desperately trying to work their way through. Oh, and we’re not just talking about a saving a few bucks here and there. No way. We’re talking about saving hundreds and hundreds of bucks - at least - without having to do anything but check your inbox every so often.

2. Flexibility Is Your Best Friend
There are two ways flexibility can save you big bucks and the first is all to do with your destination. If you’re up for being flexible on your destination then the world really does become your oyster. You’re travelling alone and that means you can go wherever you want without consulting anyone, so Use search tools like Kayak, Skyscanner, or Adioso, or an app like GTFO, all of which allow you to search flights to “anywhere.” Then set yourself a flight budget and see what you can snag within that figure. Trust us: you’ll be shocked at how far you go. The other thing you should be flexible on is your dates. Even swapping an afternoon flight for an early morning one can save you a large chunk of change, so just imagine what you could keep in your pocket if you flew on a Wednesday morning instead of Friday evening. Flexibility is your bestie.

3. Pinch A Penny With Points
With the rise of Airbnb and all the choice that comes with it, the most costly part of going on a vacation is the flights. Hands down. That’s why we’ve focused on it in the first two points. But there’s another way you can reduce the cost of flying from here to there and it’s called points. Yup. Good old points, especially if you have something that’s geared towards this sort of saving, such as Chase credit cards for travelers. It’s arguably the best transferable points program on the market. It’s a rewards program that comes with a sign-up bonus (meaning a quick points boost) and it earns double points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases. But it’s not just airline purchases you get rewarded for. It’s hotels, Airbnb, taxis, Uber, and a whole lot more. Yummy.

4. From Rome 2 Rio
We know this may sound like a pretty niche travel route, and you’d be right, but it’s not actually a travel route at all. It’s a search engine and probably the best transport search engine in the world, in our opinion. The way it works is super-simple: you put in your departure spot and it will tell you how to get to your destination by all different transport methods, telling you straight up which option is the cheapest. It’s incredible. It’s nothing shy of incredible. It doesn’t matter where you’re going from or how far you are travelling, you get some idea of the best options out there.

5. Look Out For Freebies
Every city in the world is a hub or culture in some way or another, boasting a plethora of museums that could blow your mind in ways you never knew possible. The problem is, most museumgoers have to stump up a sometimes-not-so-reasonable fee. For example, the Louvre costs over $21 and the Museum of Chicago costs $36 for the do-everything pass. But not all museums are so steep. In fact, many of them are free. It’s just about knowing where to look and where to head in order to breeze in and out of an incredible museum without shelling out anything. Head to Washington D.C and there are 19 free museums and the National Zoo to visit for nothing, head to London and you can see everything from the National History Museum to the Tate Modern for zero expense. If you know, you know.

6. No How To Be Accommodated For Less
Backpacking in some hostel that rivals the one from The Beach in terms of uncleanliness is no longer the done thing, even for those travellers on a stricter than strict budget. Instead, there is a new trend of upmarket hostels that have all the comforts and chic touches of a boutique hotel for a fraction of the price. These are places that buzz with a community vibe as well as dance with some serious luxuries. Take the Tattva Design Hostel in Porto. It has a rooftop terrace complete with BBQ grills, and a DIY crepe station at the breakfast buffet and the cost for a bed is as little as $14.20. Of course, if sharing a space isn’t your cup of English tea, then there is the king of disruptive brands, Airbnb, which allows you to book a room in someone’s home or an entire place, giving you the chance to explore somewhere from a truly local base for a slice of what it would cost in a hotel.

7. Hand-Luggage Only
One of the best ways to save yourself a sack of cents and pennies is to pack light. No unnecessary pairs of extra shoes, no jumpers and no more than one pair of jeans. Why? Because you want to avoid those horrid baggage fees by travelling with a carry-on bag and nothing more. Seriously. The fewer bags you have, the less money you will have to fork out on airline fares and the easier you will be able to hop on and off public transportation when you arrive at your destination, with walking about made a million times easier too. Flip the coin over and you’ll find your cheap $47.60 flight to Rio becomes $110 and it’s all because of your big suitcase full of clothes you won’t wear.

8. Look For Enjoyable Exchange Rates
One of the secrets to having an amazing vacation for a fraction of the price is looking for currency exchange rates that will see your dollar stretch as far as it possibly can. In fact, we can’t stress this enough. Finding locations with the best exchange rate to cost-of-living ratio can add up to huge savings. It’s about taking your pretty decent US dollars and taking them to some favourable destination, whether that be travelling around the UK, Europe, Mexico, South America, South East Asia or wherever. Having a good exchange rate fall in your favour will see somewhere as beautiful as Portugal become impossibly cheap - food, lodging, travel, taxis, drinks, everything. Coming from the US, your mind will be blown, we promise.

Travel is that dream we all have. We all want to be more worldly and hold a host of amazing experiences in our storybook. The problem has always been the cost attached to it. But that belief is quickly fading and a new era of cheap adventures is sprouting up. It’s just a matter of knowing how to pinch pennies in everything you plan.

Make The Most Of Summer: ATVs vs Motorcycles

Looking to get out and enjoy the sun while it's shining at full force? The summer season is a time to explore and bring out your adventurous side. Whether you want to hit the road on your own motorcycle or climb the trials with an ATV, both options offer you the potential to go out and about and see new places.

If you're torn between an ATV and a motorcycle, take the time to compare them side-by-side and determine what's the best choice for you.


Whether you choose a street cruiser, a dual purpose, or a trail bike, motorcycles are able to offer you added agility and versatility that simply can't compare to a car or other ride. Not only will a street legal motorcycle add extra fun to your daily commute, it also opens up the doors to day trips, weekend getaways, and even a long-haul summer road trip so you can explore all the sights and attractions around you.

Plus, with a larger cruiser, you can even bring a friend along for the ride! Some high-end cruisers feature radios, air conditioners, windshields, and yes: even self-balancing and reverse add-ons, making your ride a true luxury one. Motorcycle jackets for women and men are an absolute must if you'll be riding on the road! Not only do they look great, they also add an extra layer of rash protection in case of a fall.

If you would rather get off the road, though, you might be looking more along the lines of a trail bike, which will give you the freedom to explore all the trails in your area like never before. When considering a trail bike, keep in mind that you'll need a way to get it to and from the trails. There are some integrated transport systems that can mount in a truck bed, in your hitch, or even pull behind your vehicle for easy towing.

But, what if you want the best of both worlds? A dual purpose bike might be the way to go. Allowing you the power to go on the trails with the potential to ride on the road, a dual purpose bike literally allows for a seamless transition from your local highway onto your favorite off-road trail! Take on dirt, pavement, or anything in between without missing a beat.

When it comes to looking at a motorcycle from an investment standpoint, the exact make and model of your bike is going to determine its resell value. Determining which type of bike is the best investment for you will depend on your own personal preference and what sort of adventure you're after.


Dirt bikes and dual purpose bikes have their place in the world of off-roading, but if you're serious about getting out there and exploring, an  ATV might be the best option.

Although not quite as slim or agile as a motorcycle, an ATV does allow you more stability and it can power through terrain that a bike simply couldn't. An ATV is also going to give you room enough to bring along 1 or even 2 passengers on your next trail, and you can usually find under-the-seat storage options so you can take along the essentials.

As if that wasn't enough, a brief look at discount ATV parts will reveal that you can make all sorts of upgrades and add-ons for your ATV, from adding saddle bags for more storage to upgrading the stock lights or even putting on new safety features.

Now, with any off-road recreational vehicle, you are probably going to end up taking a tumble or scraping something up at some point or another. Luckily, OEM ATV parts are easy to come by, which means that you can get everything replaced and get yourself back on the road with minimal fuss or downtime.

Making Your Decision

Like a motorcycle, the amount of value an ATV holds is going to depend on the make and model you choose. The cost of an ATV can range anywhere from $4k to $10k. How much you pay for a motorcycle will depend on you if you choose street, trail, dual purpose, or a racing/dirt bike. Generally, a street cruiser begins at around $5k. Smaller trail bikes come in at around $3k. A dual purpose will generally cost you $5k to $10k or more, depending on what sort of features you're looking for.

When making up your mind, it might be best to just get out there and take one for a test ride so you can see for yourself just how much fun it can be.

Recycled! Dump Find!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Recycled tin from dump to add a protective covering over the unprotected wood on the shed!

Dos and Don’ts for New Homeowners

Congratulations— after a long search, negotiations with the owners, and finance process with a bank, you’ve received the keys to your home and are ready to move in. Before you unpack those moving boxes, however, there are some tips that you may find helpful as you venture into your journey as a new homeowner.

Don’t Overspend

Sure, settling into your new home is an exciting time and you probably want to decorate so you can show your beautiful new place off to friends and family. However, before you run up your credit card with trips to the home decor and furniture stores, think twice. You’ve likely just spent a significant amount of your savings on the down payment and closing costs for your new home, so it may not be wise to get in the red to furnish your new place. Instead of decking it out right away, take advantage of cheaper alternatives such as used items from second-hand shops or even yard sales. You may find items with personality that you wouldn’t find at your local big box store that fit in great in your new home.

Do Get Insurance

In your rush to close your new home, you may not have had the time to spend to really dig in into the different types of homeowners insurance available. Now that you’re getting settled in, shop around to see what different companies can offer your home. It is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, after all, so it only makes sense that you’d want to protect it with quality insurance that will cover you in the event of an emergency.

Don’t Ignore Maintenance

If you’re used to renting, then you may not know what goes into owning a home. As a homeowner, you should take time to make routine maintenance and repairs around your home to keep it in good shape. The first thing you should do is make a home maintenance checklist so you know exactly what you’re doing and you don’t overlook anything. Taking time once or twice a year to inspect your home for any issues can help prevent costly maintenance down the road.

Do Look for Incentives

Often, the federal government and other businesses such as your energy provider will offer tax incentives for homeowners who complete certain improvements that offer energy savings. Check with your government representatives and energy bill provider to see if there are any incentives you can take advantage of. Completing projects such as upgrading your HVAC system or installing energy-efficient windows can get you a rebate and added tax savings— just be sure to keep all your receipts so you have proof of your project.

Don’t Jump into Remodeling

You’ve just spent a significant amount of money on your home, so unless you’re planning on fixing up and flipping the house for a profit, it may not be wise to jump into home improvement projects right away. Instead, spend some time living in and getting used to your home. Once you have a good feel for what types of projects may need to be completed, you can prioritize them in order of importance and tackle them one at a time or as money allows.

Do Hire Professionals

If you do decide that you need to make a major home repair or renovation, leave the hard work up to the pros. Unless you’re a licensed contractor, you could end up doing damage to your home or harming yourself by taking on a large-scale project on your own. It’s beneficial to hire professionals because they come with experience and a licensure to handle the project. Chances are they’ll also have extra help with the job, so they can complete it faster than if you tried it on your own.

If you have a little help and some guidance, being a homeowner can be a rewarding experience. Using these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of being a new homeowner without the added headache.

How the Internet Can Help You Manage Your Money

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The internet can be really useful if you're trying to manage your money well. On top of helping you to be more organized with your money, it can save you time and make everything more convenient. There are several great ways you can use the internet to make managing your money easier. You might already be using some of them, but you can always learn more about how to manage your money. Take a look at the following advice for how to use the internet for money management and you could have much better control over your finances.

Use Online Banking

Not everyone uses online banking, but there are some really great benefits to using it. Getting set up with your bank's online system doesn't take long, and many banks now do it automatically when you open an account. Online banking allows you to do anything you would do using phone banking or even when visiting a branch. You can check your balance, transfer money, pay bills, examine your incomings and outgoings, order foreign currencies, and lots more. It's all secure and so much quicker than calling someone on the phone or visiting a branch to get your banking done.

Make Applications for Financial Products

Another great thing you can do online is apply for various financial products. You can often start opening a bank account online, although you might have to go into a branch to complete the application. There are online cash loans that you can secure without having to talk to anyone in person or speak on the phone. You can also make applications for credit cards and loans from your bank or other lenders. Some applications can be completed entirely online, while others might require some other checks.

Use Online Budgeting Tools

There are some great online tools that you can use to manage your budget. You can use applications on your browser or install budgeting tools on your mobile devices. Some of the budgeting tools you might like to use include BudgetPulse, Mint or CalendarBudget. There are lots of different tools that perform similar functions, but some are free and some you have to pay for. You might also prefer the look and feel of one of them compared to others. Functionality can vary too, and you can even connect some to your bank account. Try some out and see what you like.

Shop Online for Better Deals

Most people know by now that shopping online can save them a lot of money. However, you might not be doing it in the right way or you could be missing out on some great deals. Firstly, make sure you're being a savvy shopper. Don't buy things you weren't already intending on buying because you spot what looks like a good deal. Ask yourself whether something looks too good to be true before buying, and always use secure sites. Secondly, don't just use online stores - find great deals for everything from insurance to energy suppliers.

The internet can help you save a lot of money. Make sure you get a good deal on your internet connection too.
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