Savvy Ways To Save On Home Repairs

Everyone loves a bargain, there’s no mistaking that. But if your bargain hunting is causing your house to fall apart because you’re doing patch jobs instead of getting in some real help to fix structural issues, you could end up spending extortionate amounts of money instead of saving it.

Before you even begin on any kind of home repairs, you need to make sure you have the time. If home repairs cost money, they also cost you minutes in the day and if you don’t have those minutes to spare, you should have a rethink on the repairs you need to do. There’s no point in starting a job if you are going to end up living on a building site. Interior design is always regarded as something that will cost a lot of money, but if you’re smart about where you make your savings, you can make sure your home looks beautiful.

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  • Create Your Budget: Sit down and make a list of the repairs you need to do on the house. By doing this first, you can work out how much money you can spend on each room. Always plan the structural issues as a priority and the interior design as the afterthought. It’s nice to make a kitchen look pretty but it’s no good to you if the winter has caused frozen water pipes and is springing a leak. Fix the broken parts first with the budget you have set, and you can then have the money that is left on the cosmetic fixes.
  • Shop Savvy: Sales are your friend. You can make a lot of savings on paint, wood, flooring and lighting if you check out the sales through the year and only shop when the things you need for the house are on offer. Take the time to compare the brand names for the store names and you will often find that the store version is just as good as the branded item.
  • Second Hand Winning: Buying used materials for home projects is always going to make some turn their nose up, but if you can see the value in the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) you’ll always find value in salvaged materials.
  • Negotiate: If you are hiring in contractors to help with the jobs that are a little beyond your reach, make your savings by negotiating prices. Get quotes to cover three or four different companies or independent contractors and always get references from previous customers. You don’t want to go too low with what you pay for, as a cheap contractor’s work often needs fixing by another contractor – not a good way to make savings.

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Working on your house can be a pleasure but if you’re maxing out your credit cards and spending more than you plan, it will end up causing a lot of unnecessary stresses. Take your time to plan your renovations carefully and make a point of planning a savings timeline so you can get the maximum out of your budget and for your home.

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You Might Have More Money Than You Know

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Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough money to get by? Maybe, you’ve had a lot of expensive bills this month and as such your funds are looking a little thin. If that’s the case, it can be quite disheartening because you might have to crack open your savings. But what if you had more money than you realized. There might be funds lurking all over the place that right now you’re completely unaware of. And we’re not talking about the couple of dollars that is undoubtedly down the side of the sofa cushions. No, there are multiple, real financial funds that you are probably unaware of.

In The Wardrobe, In The Attic

You might find that you have piles of cash in your wardrobe, in your attic and all over your home. It’s not cash yet. Instead, it’s items of clothing that you haven’t worn in years or games that your kids grew out of. It might even be the antiques that were passed down from relative to relative. All of these could add up to a lot of money and eBay is your friend here. You can sell these types of products on eBay easily with absolutely no trouble at all. If you take this advice, you can find out how to save money by keeping your home organized. Or even, make some money by just knowing what you need and what you can sell.

In The Walls Of Your Home

Perhaps, you’re not thinking about the money to pay for bills this month. Instead, you’re worried about the money that you have for the future. We’re thinking about retirement and the days when your fixed income runs out. If that’s the case, you do need to look at investments, but it’s possible that you’re already sitting on a gold mine. Yes, we’re still talking about your home. Only this time it’s not what’s inside it but the property itself. With a little renovation work, you might be able to ensure that it’s worth a lot more. All it takes is some elbow grease and investing cash in the right places. For instance, you definitely want to consider upgrading the kitchen and the bathrooms.

Money In Your Accounts

If you’re young, you might be looking at saving money to buy a home shortly. If you know the options available to you, you could have a lot more money than you realize. There are government supported savings accounts that will add as much as twenty-five percent to any money that you raise for a home. Therefore, by using these accounts, you could have a lot more money in the future. You might even find that there are interest ratings on certain savings accounts that you had no idea existed.

Cool Ideas

Or finally, you could be sitting on a business idea that has the potential to be a brilliant second income. For instance, you might have skills baking. If people love buying your cakes, why not turn it into a full career? Make the cakes, sell them and you will have become a business entrepreneur. Who knows where this business idea might lead you once you journey down this road. One thing is for sure, though, you’ll certainly earn extra money.

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2 Free Highlights Magazines + $8 from Swagbucks

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Swagbucks is running a great deal where you get 800 SB (equivalent of $8) when you get two free Puzzle Buzz books for your kids from Highlights! You pay $2.98 in shipping and handling, meaning that you walk away with a $5 gift card of your choice. This deal is running through the rest of March and is perfect for the little readers in your life. Even the youngest child learns to tackle activities independently — and puzzle-solving skills grow.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Click here to get to the deal and create your Swagbucks account if you don’t have one. You’ll be my referral!

2. Click “Continue” and complete the offer. Your SB will be credited almost instantly!

3. If you’re signing up as my referral, you’ll get an additional 300 SB bonus for completing this offer, meaning that you’ll net $8:

Complete offer: $8
Bonus: $3
Shipping and Handling: -$2.98
Net bonus: $8.02

If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, it’s a rewards site where you earn points called SB for discovering deals (like this one), online shopping, taking surveys, watching videos, and even searching the web. Then you can turn those points into gift cards from places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, PayPal, and more!

Swagbucks is running a great deal where you get 800 SB (equivalent of $8) when you get two free Puzzle Buzz books for your kids from Highlights! You pay $2.98 in shipping and handling, meaning that you walk away with a $5 gift card of your choice. This deal is running through the rest of March and is perfect for the little readers in your life. Even the youngest child learns to tackle activities independently — and puzzle-solving skills grow.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Click here to get to the deal and create your Swagbucks account if you don’t have one. You’ll be my referral!

2. Click “Continue” and complete the offer. Your SB will be credited almost instantly!

3. If you’re signing up as my referral, you’ll get an additional 300 SB bonus for completing this offer, meaning that you’ll net $8:

Complete offer: $8
Bonus: $3
Shipping and Handling: -$2.98
Net bonus: $8.02

If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, it’s a rewards site where you earn points called SB for discovering deals (like this one), online shopping, taking surveys, watching videos, and even searching the web. Then you can turn those points into gift cards from places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, PayPal, and more!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full Disclosure Policy

Should You Get A Pet if You’re On A Budget?

If you’re on a budget, getting by every day can be a little tough. However, this doesn’t always mean you can’t extend your family by introducing a pet. Although you shouldn’t be broke – that wouldn’t be fair on your new pet. You can definitely keep a pet when you’re on a budget. Here are some suggestions you can use:

Choose A Pet That Doesn’t Cost Too Much On Average

You might have your heart set on a certain type of pet, or even a certain type of breed. However, you need to think of your budget before you go ahead. By choosing a pet that doesn’t cost too much on average, you can make life much easier for yourself. In general, mixed breed dogs tend to be cheaper than purebred dogs. Purebred dogs are more expensive initially, and actually tend to have more health problems than mixed breed. You could even adopt a grown dog from a shelter. Puppies cost a lot of money in their first stages, as they need vaccinations and regular check ups. By adopting a fully grown dog, you’ll save money on vet bills and initial costs, not to mention you’ll give a dog a happy, forever home!

Keep Your Pet Out Of Trouble

Do your best to keep your pet out of trouble, and you can save money. Don’t leave your gate open, and make sure it’s secured so that they can’t escape. Another way to keep your pets out of trouble is to spend lots of time training them so they know how to act around other animals.

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Groom Your Pet Regularly

Grooming your pet regularly could save money on grooming and even vet costs in the long run. By brushing your pet, cleaning their teeth, and even carefully clipping their nails, you can save money and keep them healthy in the long run. Bathing them often will keep their skin healthy too.

Buy Value For Money Food

Make sure the food you buy is quality, but value for money. You may be able to find huge reduced bags if you look carefully. You can also make your own pet treats, and even feed them some foods that you eat. Dogs for example, can eat things like sweet potato, pasta, eggs, and things like that. Just make sure you know what they shouldn’t be eating; things like human chocolate, nuts, and fruits!

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Put Money Aside Each Week/Month For Your Pet

If you can, put a small amount of money aside each week/month in a dedicated pet fund. By putting what you can in here, you’ll be better prepared for medical emergencies.

Find The Best Place To Get Your Pet Meds

Make sure you find a good place to get your pet meds too, like Capstar and other essentials. Do your research on quality sites and compare prices.

Devote Time To Your Pet

Time doesn’t cost a thing, and it’s going to mean more to your pet than toys and fancy pet clothes. Play with them and help them to develop by spending time with them.

Don’t let a budget stop you from getting a pet. Just make sure you’re smart!

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From Home To Away

How many times have we all considered upping and leaving? Nothing beats those everyday blues like the dream of moving somewhere no one knows your name. For the most part, the vision fades with the mood, and we get back on with life. If that idea keeps cropping up for you, though, it might be time to give it a crack. That’s right; we’re talking long distance house moves! The majority of us have some experience of moving, but few of us take the leap to move a long way. Are you dreaming of moving to another state? Or, do you want to move to another country altogether? Whichever it is, there’s a lot to consider. Here’s are a few of the main things you’ll need to think about.

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THE PRACTICAL

Let’s not pretend moving house is easy. It’s not. And, moving long distance is harder. Not only are you uprooting your home, but your life, too! If you have kids, you’ll need to think about school. You’ll also need to consider what you plan to do about your job! But, aside from those life changing choices, you also have to deal with the process of moving! A process that’s going to be a lot harder depending on the distance you’re going. If you’re moving to a new country, you need to get to grips with how house moves work there. Every country has different standards and different rules. Do you need to apply for a visa before you buy? Do you need to learn a new language? You’ll also need to think about finding a moving company that can go the whole stretch with you. This will be easier if you’re moving across states. If you’re moving country, you’ll have whole oceans to navigate! It’s also important to remember that living abroad is very different to visiting a resort for one week. It may be worth paying a visit to your chosen area and trying to get an idea of what actually living there would be like!

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THE PERSONAL

Practical stuff aside, think about the personal impact of leaving everything you know. Whatever your choice, you’re going to be moving away from the friends and family who surround you. You may think you’ll be okay with the lonely life, but it’s easy to say that before you get there! Yes, you’ll have your immediate family. But, you won’t have anyone to turn to if you need a babysitter. You won’t have any family of your own to keep you sane when things get too much. And, it’s not only you that will be affected by the move. Your children will also be leaving behind everyone and everything they know. Worse, it wasn’t their choice to do so. Spend a long time considering whether your kids will thank you for it in the long run. If you’re struggling, it might help to remember why you’ve chosen the move in the first place. Are you taking them to a better life?

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2 Free Movie Tickets for Blood Donation at Waterford Lakes

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If you are able, please stop by the Big Red Bus at Waterford Lakes and donate blood. All successful donors will receive TWO FREE Fandango movie tickets!

The Big Red Bus will be at Waterford Lakes on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (March 10th thru 13th) from 11am to 9pm.

You can make an appointment HERE

Other locations giving 2 movie tickets are as follows…

Altamonte Mall – AMC Theatres • 451 Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs

The Loop Regal Stadium 16 • 3232 N. John Young Parkway, Kissimmee

Winter Garden Village • 3251 Daniels Road, Winter Garden

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Money Savvy Moving: The Potential Pitfalls

You’re savvy with money. You coupon; you look for discounts; you use cashback sites. Your finances are a finely tuned machine, and you’re proud of that. In a world with staggering personal debt levels, you’re not falling into the consumerism trap.

Then, the train hits.

Well, the house does anyway – and it threatens to flatten you beneath it, Wizard of Oz style. Not to say that you’re a Wicked Witch of course – but you might feel like it when you have to move house and realize it’s going to cost money. Money that you can’t avoid; your usual parsimonious habits are going to have to take a break. And it hurts.

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Financial savviness becomes ingrained and when you realize you’re going to have to abandon it to get something done, it’s not an easy change to make. There are just too many costs involved that you can’t avoid when buying a home… right?

Sorry: this isn’t the point where we turn the intro on its head and argue otherwise. It’s a tough one to swallow, but the simple fact is… buying a house is expensive. Moving is expensive. And if you try to cut corners just for the sake of keeping your costs down, then you’re going to land yourself in a world of trouble. These things cost money because they have to.

The Repercussions Of Scrimping On A House Move

There are ways and means to lessen the costs of a house move, but they tend to have a nasty side effect.

Let’s say you make the choice to be responsible for your own move without the help of a removal company. That’s got to be the smart choice, right? On a purely financial level, yes, it’s probably the right choice. But think of the practicalities.

We all know moving home is a turbulent time, and what you’ve done by scrimping a step too far is make it even worse. You’re paying for the lower cost with a detrimental impact on your mental health. Not only do you have to organize the practicalities of a move, you have to do all the physical work as well.

It’s counter-productive too; exhausting yourself with the physical packing and moving could mean you make rash, expensive decisions just to get them done.

The Legal Side

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Okay, so you’ve accepted hiring in a removal company might be a good idea despite the initial impression. So what about the legal side? The fees, the mortgage, the relocation advisor, the solicitors – surely there’s something you can do about those costs?

Of course, there are options. You should always compare quotes, never accepting a first offer and spending time to look for best deal without compromising efficacy. You can consult a mortgage advice service for industry-insider deals you might otherwise miss, lowering your monthly payments and saving you a lot of money down the road.

The key point above, however, is this: “without compromising efficacy”. It’s a slippery slope, and if you find a solicitor or a mortgage broker who is vastly cheaper than the rest – be smart. Is it a good deal for a legitimate reason? Or are they cutting corners, leaving you financially vulnerable?

House moves are expensive. It’s better to accept that as an inevitably than cut corners and DIY the whole process – because that will ultimately end up costing you more.

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Kellogg’s Family Rewards Codes

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I hadn’t entered Kellogg’s family reward codes in awhile and all these gave me points…

EARNGREATREWARDS – 20 points
HOWITWORKS20PNTS – 20 points
EARNSWEETREWARDS – 50 points
SPRI-NGFO-RWAR-DDAY – 25 points (expires 3/25)
SKIS-LEDS-KATE-4PTS – 100 points (expires 3/12)

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Sign up to Swagbucks in March

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March is here, and it’s bringing you the chance to get a $5 bonus from Swagbucks! Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $5 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 4/1/17. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you’ll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you’ll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but you’ll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)!

That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real.
*You must receive your shopping SB before May 1st

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