Home addition ideas for budgets of all sizes


Are you moving into a new home? Or do you want to improve the current one? If you are reading this, it's time to make a change and add some of the new features to your beloved home. However, renovations can be both budget-friendly and expensive. Which way they will go will depend on you and your budget. Make sure you decide how much you can spend on this project, and we’ll offer some home addition ideas for budgets of all sizes. Here are the best projects to consider to give your home a new look

Planning the renovations budget

Before you start browsing and getting inspiration for some new projects, make sure you set the limit on your budget. Don't forget to add some 15-20% for unexpected costs that are pretty common. Even though it's essential to know the details of your renovation budget, it isn't possible to plan every dollar. Sometimes, projects last longer and cost more than expected, so it's best to be ready and avoid headaches. Finally, don’t forget to include the costs of a storage unit you might need during the renovation if you want to make the process easier. Renting storage comes with additional charges but protects your items from dust and damage. Moreover, it enables the works to go more smoothly since your workers won't jump over your belongings. 

Bring your meals outside 

With the current events in the world related to the global pandemic, people are spending more time in their homes. That’s why everyone is focused on spending more time in nature. So why don’t you do that in your backyard? Building an outdoor kitchen is not an affordable project, yet it can benefit the whole family. If you live in a place with many sunny days, preparing meals outside your home can be your new daily routine. You’ll need to create a cooking area, but choose its components based on your budget and needs. You can make a barbeque island with a good-quality grill, get full-size appliances, etc., but also go for a mini-fridge just for snacks and cold drinks. 

You can renovate your kitchen, but you can also consider an outdoor kitchen as a great home addition idea!

Home office

Another home addition that has become popular in the last two years is creating a home office. Many people have started working from their homes during the pandemic, and many will continue that working style. To maximize productivity, you’ll need a space dedicated just to your work. This can be merely a nook in a bigger room or a whole room you didn't use for anything special before. Invest in a spacious desk and a good quality chair first. Then, add some storage or shelves for all the electronics or tools you use for work. Finally, don’t’ forget some décor items. Even though it’s an office, the space should be comfortable and welcoming!

Mudroom for a cleaner home 

For those living in places that have all four seasons and wet, muddy falls and winters, a new mudroom can be just the home addition you need. This is doesn’t need to be an expensive project, but it can save you a lot of time you spend cleaning the entrance area of your home. Consider the things you need in your mudroom, select the best place for it and start your project. The good thing about mudrooms is that they can be built in the tiniest space possible – you can include just the basics and still make it very practical. The main things you’ll need are some seating, clothes hooks, a place for umbrellas, and shoes/boots storage. If you have younger kids, make this space organized – color-label their hooks and slots for shoes to help them get dressed in the morning. 

Probably the best one of the home addition ideas for budgets of all sizes is creating a mudroom. Start with the entrance to your home and create a practical mudroom to protect your home from dirt and water. alt.tag: outside home remodeling

Guest room…or a guest suite?

Creating a space for your beloved guests is a great thing. You will ensure they have a comfortable stay and add value to your home if you decide to sell it. In this case, you can go for a more affordable option and adapt a room to make a guest room. A comfortable bed, nightstands, and a wardrobe are the basics. However, you can go one step further and create a suite to ensure your guests have a fantastic stay. This will cost a lot more, but it will add a lot of value to the house if you decide to sell it. It can include not only a bedroom and a bathroom but also a living room and a kitchenette. It’s like building a small apartment within your home!

Make sure your guests have an unforgettable stay. alt.tag: a new guest room as one of the home addition ideas for budgets of all sizes

Tips for a smooth home renovation 

If you get inspiration from these home addition ideas and decide to renovate, you will disrupt your home quite a bit until you begin seeing the results. However, certain things can make the renovation process simpler and help you minimize stress. So, when renovating your home, make sure you:

  • Expect mishaps – it's normal for things to go wrong during renovation. If you pick a more complicated or costly project, expect that some things might not go according to a plan and possible additional costs. However, if you're well-prepared, you can minimize the risk of that happening. 

  • Trust skilled experts – unless you're entirely sure you can do this yourself, it's best to hire professionals to help you out. Choose experienced local experts that have all the skills and tools to do the job you need. 

  • Get storage – moving or home renovation are the moments when people need PortaBox storage. Get additional portable storage to protect your furniture or other items from inevitable dirt or other damage while you finish your project. 

Finally, once you explore our home addition ideas for budgets of all sizes, arm yourself with patience. It would be great if home projects could be done with a snap of a finger. However, that's not the case, and more extensive home renovation projects take time. That's why you should prepare financially and mentally and have patience for the work ahead of you. 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bedroom-door-entrance-guest-room-271639/

https://unsplash.com/photos/UqNEbyRQ660

https://unsplash.com/photos/A1g0oeX29ec

https://www.pexels.com/photo/home-renovation-4567374/


10 Top Tips for Single Parents Starting a Business

10 Top Tips for Single Parents Starting a Business


Starting your own business as a single parent is a huge endeavour, however, it’s by no means impossible. You might have to work a tad harder to balance all your responsibilities, but the advice and experience of other entrepreneurs who are in the same situation as you can be extremely helpful in getting you started. Here are 10 tips that every ambitious single parent should know before opening their own business.

Pick the right job

Single parents often opt for starting their own business so that they have a little more flexibility when it comes to their family. For this reason, businesses that can be operated from one’s home are usually preferred. Logically, some business ideas are more suitable than others if you are to juggle entrepreneurship and parenthood at the same time. Blogging, tutoring, offering consultation services, starting a food delivery business, and opening an online store are just some of the examples.

Get involved

Starting a business all by yourself is certainly intimidating. However, you should remember that you’re really not on your own. There are thousands of others with the same struggles as you and connecting with them can give you guidance and even valuable connections. So, before you start your business venture, try reaching out to relevant groups and associations. Check if there is a single parents’ business association where you live. Online resources are also always there, and you can even consider workshops and other industry-related events where you can meet people in your shoes.

Find people you can trust

Business relations that can possibly be beneficial in the future are important, but they are not everything. As a mompreneur, having a trusted partner (i.e. co-founder) will make all the difference. Find someone that makes up for what you lack and you will have a perfect balance. Someone who has knowledge and experience in the business world is a bonus. Additionally, the people around you will also play a major role in your endeavour and can influence you positively as well as negatively. Banish toxic people from your life who tell you that you will not make it and instead, focus on those who support you.

Define your work hours

It is often said that entrepreneurship does not have work hours. While it is true that sometimes, you will have to make compromises, you should still try hard to define your work hours and not let work take over your entire life. Work hours can easily get blurry when you’re working from home, however, waking up and going to bed with your work tasks on your mind will be exhausting and sooner or later, it will show its effects on your health. Stick to a routine so that your body can get used to it and don’t forget to take time to relax.

Think about child care

You might think that you can handle taking care of your child or children while getting work done, but you will find that it’s extremely easy to get distracted. However, calling a nanny over will just mean one more person in the house to disturb your work. This is why it’s recommended that you organize child care outside of your home, at least a couple of days a week. You’ll be able to focus on important tasks without anyone interrupting your workflow.

Focus on the positives

Starting a business is stressful as it is, not to mention being a parent at the same time. It’s easy to get tired and start envying those who have more time or more resources. However, this kind of comparison will not lead you anywhere and will just kill your motivation. Instead of comparing yourself to others who are in more advantageous positions, focus on what you have and what you can do. Rest assured those people have their own struggles, too.

Live with opportunities

No one says you have to do things the hard way. You should use opportunities meant to give you a boost by all means. For instance, in some places, single parents may have access to grants that are created to help them start their own businesses. In addition, there are countless grants that are intended to help out women with entrepreneurial ambitions. Regardless of how you are planning to fund your business venture, you will lose nothing by trying.

Outsource what you can

No one can do everything by themselves. Just like you will benefit greatly from organizing out-of-the-home child care at least some days of the week, outsourcing some work tasks to people who can do it faster, cheaper and better will make your life easier, too. As we already said, there’s no reason why you should make things hard for yourself, so reach out to professionals to free up your hands. Let a designer create the perfect packaging for your product or a dropshipping company manage your order fulfilment. Australian-based businesses can look up professional web design in Perth, too.

Keep it local

The next tip you should consider as a single parent entrepreneur-to-be is keeping most of your business relations local. There are a couple of reasons why this might be a good idea. For instance, working with international partners will often mean odd working hours due to time-zone differences. While this might not seem like a notable problem at first glance, when an issue needs to be sorted out promptly, it can indeed be problematic. Working with local suppliers will also boost the local economy and give back to your community.

Stay flexible

Finally, you can plan and schedule as much as you want, when things get into motion, you will find that reality is sometimes different. Reaching a perfect work-life balance is impossible, and you might need to redefine your very idea of this notion. There will be times when you need to sacrifice your free time for your work, but there will also be times when your kids take priority. Staying flexible and not losing your mind the first moment something doesn’t go as planned is paramount.

As a single parent, you will need an extra dose of drive and discipline. However, if you believe in your idea, you will be able to make space for it in your life. Don’t forget the abovementioned tips along the way. 

Ensure That Your Car Is in Peak Condition by Taking Car Service Options

If you want to ensure that your car is in peak condition and remain efficient for a long time, you should opt for car service at regular intervals. A motor vehicle service is a set of maintenance methods, which are implemented for maintaining the standard functions and features of an automobile for ensuring peak performance and efficiency. These steps are taken at specific time gaps or after the car have traversed specific distances. The service intervals are specified by the vehicle manufacturer during a service time. In some modern cars the expiration date for the next service is shown in the instrument panel. Completed services are usually recorded in a service book that is sealed with rubber by the service center upon completion of each service, the receipt is given. Now, we all have known that the regular servicing of vehicle is important but at the same time, it is also important to know that the servicing is done by a professional. Car manufacturers recommend taking vehicle for service at the following situations.

Car Service
  • Number of trips and distance traveled per trip per day.
  • Extreme conditions of heat or cold.
  • Mountainous, dusty or thawed roads.
  • Weighing the high-and-forward against the long distance recorded.
  • Towing a vehicle or other heavy load.

Experienced car service advisors at dealerships and garages recommend programming intervals, which are often between the ideal or extreme service hours. They are based on driving conditions and the behavior of the car owner or driver.

Common Maintenance Tasks:

The maintenance tasks that are commonly performed during a car service include:

  • Changing engine oil
  • Replacing oil filter
  • Replacing air filter
  • Replacing fuel filter
  • Replacing cabin filter
  • Replacing spark plugs
  • Engine tuning
  • Checking the level and filling of the brake fluid and the clutch fluid.
  • Check brake pads or linings, brake discs or drums and replacing them if needed.
  • Checking the level and fill with the power steering fluid
  • Checking the level and filling the automatic or manual transmission fluid
  • Lubrication of the components
  • Inspection and replacement of the timing belt or distribution chain if necessary.
  • Checking the condition of the tires.
  • Checking the correct functioning of all lights, windshield wipers, etc.
  • Check if there are error codes in the ECU and take corrective action.
  • Cleaning of the vehicle and the interiors.

The mechanical parts that can make the car stop transmitting or being tested dangerous for the road are also noticed and advised.

What All Tasks Are Included in Car Service

  • Disassembly and assembly of components and assemblies of the car
  • Diagnosing a car and its components using diagnostic equipment.
  • Full and timely maintenance of the car
  • Repair of units and units of the car
  • Adjustment of mechanisms and parts
  • Wheel adjustment or replacement

History of Car Servicing:

With the development of road transport, the number of people owning cars has also increased.  The sharp increase in the number of cars in the 30s of the 20th century in connection with the invention of the conveyor belt by Henry Ford led to the demand for specialists in repairing them. In the 50s of the XX century, the complexity of the design of the car and the emergence of complex diagnostic equipment led to the specialization of car mechanics: mechanic, car electrician, painter, vulcanizer, etc. There is still a need for specialists of a wide profile who can coordinate the work of other auto mechanics. In many countries, car mechanics are trained in vocational schools and training workshops. Today, it is one of the most popular and highly paid working professions. Today, you can find highly trained and experienced car service professionals.

It can be suggested that you should look for car service professionals who have a good reputation and are known to be highly efficient.

How to Decide Whether or Not to Get Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult


As an adult on the journey of frugal living, you may be wondering about whether it's important or not to get certain treatments. One of these is orthodontic treatment, and the following are five considerations you should make when thinking about booking some sessions. Have a look at them and make an informed decision.

The Available Options

After consulting with your dentist and finding out what oral work you need to do, it's important to find out what options can help you achieve what you want. The results of good research will be an affordable and effective solution that gives you the smile you've always wanted. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, about four million Americans are currently wearing braces. Out of this number, you can be sure that the vast majority settled on the option of braces after advice from their orthodontist. Therefore, if you're advised to take the same course of treatment by more than one professional, you'll be better off settling for it.

The Total Cost

Your budget may have a role to play in the course of treatment you take, especially if you're serious about frugal living. While doing research on the right treatment option, make sure you know the cost of each. However, don't let cost influence you to get a treatment option that won't help you remedy your issues. You can work with your orthodontist to come up with a payment plan that works for both of you so that everyone is happy in the end. Saving up over a period of time so you can pay cash and negotiate a better cost is a popular route that many people take to offset dental expenses.

What You Wish to Achieve

When seeking orthodontic treatment, it's important to know exactly what it is you wish to achieve. If you don't like a gap you have, a tooth that seems out of line when you smile, and more, pinpoint this to your orthodontist. This will help you achieve what you want after the treatment, and you will feel satisfied with the money you spent. This is important because it may be a minor thing to other people's eyes, but it is an eyesore to you. One out of every five orthodontic patients is older than eighteen years of age, showing that braces are not just for children.

The Orthodontist You're Working With

As mentioned, you should not be so focused on saving money that you compromise on quality. Get recommendations from family and friends, and research good professionals who have good records. This way, you will be sure that you have a great chance of getting good results. It's good to take as long as you need to find a good orthodontist rather than rushing into it and regretting getting bad service or mediocre results.

Your Oral Care Habits

Orthodontic treatment often comes with a set of new oral care practices that need to be maintained in order to make the treatment successful. From braces to dentures and crowns, you need to be sure you know the right aftercare routines in order not to compromise the treatment. Find this out from your orthodontist and use your best judgment to get good long-term results. It's generally recommended to have a dental check-up after every six months to prevent dental problems like cavities.

Successful frugal living can be achieved while taking good care of your health, mental, physical, and oral. For this reason, don't neglect seeking the services of a professional when you need them. This will save you a lot of money and pain as it will make sure that problems are discovered and remedied before they get out of hand.

Safety Tips to Help You Complete Your Weekend Renovation Projects


Accidents can occur during the renovation process, especially when you opt to do the renovation tasks DIY style. The following are some safety tips that can help you when undertaking a renovation project.

Be Cautious When Using Ladders

When using ladders during a renovation project, it is crucial to exercise caution since a ladder accident can cause serious injuries. Therefore, you should avoid making mistakes such as selecting the wrong ladder for the activity, using a broken ladder, misusing a ladder, and placing the ladder in an inappropriate area. A ladder should always be placed carefully, particularly if you are using the extension type. Some of the basic rules to follow when using a ladder include:

  • Placing its base one foot from the surface or wall for every four feet, it escalates above the ground.
  • Finding the right angle to work comfortably.
  • Tying the top of the ladder to increase its firmness.

Furthermore, you can also consider finding another person to hold it for you. Since ladders increase fall risks, you should use them cautiously.

Use Power Tools Carefully

Power tools can also cause severe home-renovation injuries, especially when misused. Therefore, maintaining safety requires the user to exercise caution such as:

  • Wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), such as a dust mask and eye protection.
  • Ensuring that you power off before powering it
  • Conducting a visual evaluation to ensure all guards are positioned
  • Avoid rushing or overreaching to finish a project
  • Ensuring the tool in use is in sound condition
  • Using the appropriate tool for the task

Although power tools simplify renovation projects, it is crucial to use them appropriately to enhance safety during the project.

Check and Recheck Electrical Work

There are several electrical hazards, especially when undertaking a home renovation project. Although taking precautionary measures such as replacing a burned-out switch or outlet may seem simple, ignoring them can cause serious damage and risks. Besides, it would help if you considered seeking help from an electrician to handle electrical matters since this is a sensitive area. Notably, a static electricity spark can measure up to 3,000 volts. Besides, homeowners renovate over 14.2 million bathrooms and 10.2 million kitchens annually. If you possess some electrical skills and you intend to undertake some electrical work yourself, you should consider the following safety measures:

  • Switch off the primary breaker and ensure everyone knows that it should remain off.
  • Use a voltage meter to confirm that no current is running.
  • Use insulated apparatus designed particularly for electrical tasks.
  • Do not use steel or aluminum ladders when dealing with electricity.
  • Wear goggles and rubber gloves.

Follow Instructions

If you intend to undertake a home renovation project, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the activities you are planning to do before commencing the project. Creating an orderly schedule for how to handle a task can save you from many problems. For instance, if you intend to replace your cabinets, ensure you understand and have everything you require before starting the project. This entails having the appropriate tools and materials. If a project has instructions to follow, it is crucial to go over them and ensure you understand each step. It is also recommended to take various measures, such as cleaning surfaces, to protect your home from various risks such as pathogens.

Furthermore, an average desk can host approximately 10 million bacteria. You can use online resources if you have any questions or if you need additional information. Additionally, it would help if you also considered consulting another person who has experience in the activities you intend to undertake.

As a family, you can consider undertaking some home improvements. However, it would help if you always adopted safety measures to protect yourself and others.

4 Back-to-School DIYs for the Mom On a Budget

 It's no secret that Back to School season can get expensive, especially if you have more than one child heading back to class. Fortunately, there are a few key ways you can save money on supplies while still keeping your kids' school supplies cute and fun. Here are some cool Back-to-School DIYs to consider for the mom on a budget.

Washi Tape Organizer

This fun tape can be used to decorate a variety of different items including organizers, pencils, and much more. They come in a wide range of patterns from Zebra stripes to Minecraft block patterns, a game that's sold over 200 million copies. Consider using washi tape to make your child's organizer more personalized or colorful.

Comfortable Cotton Lanyard

Do your kids have keys or student ID cards they need to take to school every day? A fun and colorful lanyard may be a great DIY choice. To create a lanyard, take a length of cotton material and loop it around on itself. Add a simple hook or attaching device at the end of the loop.

Your child can use this to hold things like keys, cards, and much more. Let them choose the decorative elements of the lanyard to make it more fun such as charms.

Rainbow Watercolor Backpack

All children need a backpack to haul their gear. However, some may find it hard to find an option that works for them. Why not create a rainbow watercolor backpack together? Start with a white backpack and then search through Pinterest to find cool watercolor designs or tye-dye ideas. Approximately 51% of smartphone users discovered a new product or company by searching online. Once you know what colors and patterns you want to make, fill squirt bottles with fabric-safe dye and set up your workspace. If you're dying the backpack on a table, be sure to put a garbage bag or something else down underneath to keep the dye from staining the table. Add color to the backpack from top to bottom and then keep it covered overnight before putting it in the wash.

Patterned Storage Containers

Your kids need places to put things like pencils and erasers. You can work together to create fun storage containers out of plastic, cardboard, or even old tins. Use ribbon, washi tape, or fun-patterned duct tape to make the container kid-friendly.

Magnetic Locker Shelf

Lastly, you can use some old fridge magnets and some simple materials to produce a magnetic locker shelf. These items help to keep your teen's books and other things in place. To make the shelf, you can either use steel, which is recycled at a rate of 90%, or wood. If you're using wood, measure and cut the shelf you're creating to the specifications of your child's locker. Use hot glue to glue magnets onto the sides of the shelf. This allows your child to place light to medium-weight items in their locker.

Back-to-School season can be tricky when you're a parent on a budget. Fortunately, with some of the DIYs above, you can make sure your child goes back to school with all the things they need without breaking the bank.


What to Consider As You Start a Job Hunt

Job hunting is a part of a vast majority of people's lives, as it determines their future and enables them to take control of their finances, especially those focused on frugal living. For this reason, it's important to consider a few key things as you embark on your search for a job. If you'd like to know some of them, have a look at the five outlined below.

Work Hours

Different companies have different working hours, some longer than others. Make sure that you know how many hours you are okay working in a week depending on your situation. If you don't like having to be on call over the weekend and while out of the office during your free time, it's important that you don't seek out positions that will expect this of you. Recruiters take an average of 42 days to fill a position, and so it's important to take your time before handing in your applications, but don't take too long. This may see the position you were eyeing filled because people are continuously applying for it.

Childcare Options

If you have a child or children, it's important to figure out how you will handle caring for them alongside working your job once you get it. Ideally, you should look for a job that allows you to have a life outside of work. This way, even if you hire a nanny or babysitter to watch your young ones, you'll still manage to spend some time with them, which is something that parents generally appreciate.

Job Benefits

Health insurance and a retirement savings plan are two examples of benefits that would go a long way in making your life better. When looking for a job, make sure that you know about the benefits they offer so you know whether you will be well-placed working with them. Sick days and vacation times are something else you need to know about, as this will enable you to have a reasonable work-life balance. Discounts for employees on company merchandise are something else, and an especially attractive perk if the job is in a lucrative industry, such as jewelry. The market size for this industry will reach $7.6 billion in 2021 in America, showing just how popular these items are becoming. With a job in this sector, you'll be able to save money on buying products.

Your Paycheck

This is probably the most common consideration, seeing as many people are becoming interested in frugal living to try and stretch their salaries. Make sure that you know the salary range for the position you want to apply for so you're able to negotiate a good one. Also, come up with a budget so that you know how much you need to earn in order to comfortably offset your bills and save some money. A good job should allow for this, so give it some good thought and come up with a minimum salary you're not willing to go under.

Company and Personal Growth

Finally, seek out jobs with companies that offer you the opportunity for personal growth. This is important especially if you're starting out in your career because, after a good paycheck, relevant experience is important. The best job is one that will help you with professional development, enabling you to move toward your career goals. Aim to get a job with a company that's also growing, as it will also propel you to grow. For instance, the brand value for Mercedes Benz in 2019 was $23.36 billion, a value that will probably keep growing. This will be great for your career and professional life in general, so give it good thought.

When looking for a job, it's important to stay true to your values as a person. Don't compromise beyond what's reasonable all for a paycheck, as you can always practice frugal living and make every dollar count.

Can Getting Rid of Your Car Save Your Family Money?

When it comes time to cut back on spending, we usually think of traditional options inside the house. Choosing long-lasting, low-maintenance household items such as aluminum blinds is one way to cut costs in the long run, but there are other ways you can severely cut costs for your family today. Want to know how you can increase your family's savings? Consider getting rid of your car. While having one is important to help you get around, getting rid of it will help you with saving money in a big way. For five practical benefits of getting rid of your car, read on.

Safer to Go Without a Car

A whopping 20 to 50 million people suffer injuries every year thanks to traffic collisions, with some getting permanent disabilities. Going car-free may help you avoid some serious accidents, mostly because you will use other means to commute. These include walking or riding a bicycle. While these still have some risks associated with them, the decreased speed means less serious injuries even if an accident were to occur on the pedestrian or bicycle lane. Moving a bit slower may also help you evaluate risk more accurately and avoid getting yourself into a dangerous situation.

Great Option for The Environment

When you get rid of your car, you will have gone an extra step in helping to conserve the environment. One less person using a car means less emissions, a definite plus. You will also use less fossil fuel and this leaves you consuming natural resources at a lower rate. Although there are electric cars and eco-friendly options being produced every so often, they still aren't as green as having no car would be. If you're thinking of going car-free, this may be the reason that helps tip the scales in the environment's favor.

Tangible Savings

Going car-free will save you a lot of money in different areas. No car means no insurance payments, no money spent on gas, and no money spent fixing it and maintaining it. You will also reduce your debt if you would have leased your car rather than buying it, and with the money you save, there's plenty more you can do. In a survey, 41% of people regretted a purchase they made despite thinking they wouldn't. 30% were neutral before buying but regretted the decision after buying. With this statistic in mind, you may want to put a hold on your plans for buying a car if you don't already have one. Give it a reasonable amount of thought to make sure you absolutely need a car because once you spend the money, going back will equal a loss for you.

You Get More Exercise

Needless to say, ditching the car will see you improve your health and fitness. Apart from saving money that you would have spent on the car, you can also save money you would have paid for a gym membership because you will walk. Riding a bicycle is also a healthier alternative to driving, making the options available to you healthier ones. Taking public transport will also see you walking a longer distance than you would have walked to your parked car, so if you want to get fit, think about getting rid of your car.

Less Stress

This final benefit is hard to ignore. The stress that you get navigating traffic and sitting in traffic jams will dissipate when you ditch it. Public transport will have you relaxing as you're ferried to your destination, while walking is in itself a means of stress relief. If you're up for improving your mental health, think of getting rid of your car.

Saving money may be the main reason many people get rid of their cars, but it's clearly not the only benefit they get. If the pros outlined above will help convince you to let go of your car, do so, and you will be glad you made the choice!

Mistakes people make when trying to save money

 


Saving money indeed takes some skill and organization. However, sometimes people try too hard, and that results in wasting even more money. Creating and maintaining your budget is pretty easy – if you avoid certain mistakes. These are pretty common, as people hurt their budget without even knowing it. This guide will help you do this right – learn what mistakes people make when trying to save money, so you can avoid them and stash a lot more than you thought was possible. 

Saving without a specific goal 

If you save money just for the sake of saving, the lack of purpose will likely discourage you. You’ll end up unmotivated, and you might even waste your savings after you get tired of it all. Instead, consider the saving process as a road trip. You have point A and point B - your goal is to reach the destination. This can be a small or big amount. You can save on all sorts of things such as clothes, a new car, a bike, or a house. You’ll be able to achieve certain things in two months and some of them in a couple of years – just have a goal and stick to it. 

Having no financial plan

If you think that making a budget is unnecessary – this is where you’re wrong. Not devising a budget is certainly one of the mistakes people make when trying to save money. Following a specific plan will help you avoid reckless and unnecessary spending and thus reach some of your goals faster. There are several ways you do this, so be sure to research some budgeting methods so you can choose the one that’s best for you. 

Caption: If you have a savings plan, you can reach your goal much faster.

Alt-tag: A person putting a coin in a piggy bank

Not preparing for big events

There are several events in our lives we need to be mentally but also financially prepared for. Home renovations, weddings, births, and relocations are some of them. For each of these, be sure to organize your schedule, as well as your budget months in advance. The experience of the TB Moving and Storage team shows it’s necessary to start moving preparations at least eight weeks in advance. This means you should start saving for the move a couple of months before the big day.

Expecting a magical shortcut 

Saving is a process. People who think this can be done quickly – are mistaken. Saving takes time and requires some lifestyle changes and new habits. There’s no quick fix when it comes to spending less. Revising your spending habits and introducing some new ones is what you need to do. Committing to these changes will give you better results in the long run. 

Mistaking saving and being cheap 

You’ll indeed have to spend less to save, but don’t mistake it for being cheap. One of the mistakes people make when trying to save money is reducing the quality of their lives to reach their financial goals faster. This is not effective for various reasons. Here are some examples:

  • Buying cheap food is not the way to healthy living. Even though you can cut down on restaurant visits, never buy low-quality ingredients just because of their price. It’s better to stock up on high-quality items you find on sale.

  • Cheap clothes and seasonal sales might be tempting, but these clothes will not last long. You’ll end up spending more as you will need to buy new ones soon. It’s better to revise your wardrobe and pick items you need. This way, you’ll be able to buy more high-quality pieces, wear them longer and never look cheap.

  • Nothing says you’re a cheapskate like a bad, cheap gift. Giving cheap gifts to your friends doesn’t need to be an option, even if you’re trying to save. Get creative with handmade gifts or some unique gestures that show you care.

  • Trying to DIY everything can lead to damage and injuries – DIY gifts and projects are fine but don’t try to do everything yourself. For example, it’s always better to hire a pro to help you with home renovation. Sometimes, supplies and the time you need to do the work are simply not worth it. Also, when it comes to moving, never choose a DIY solution. Never move alone because skilled pros should handle your belongings. If you want to avoid injuries and damage, that is.

Caption: Sales are tempting, but be careful with what you buy. 

Skipping regular maintenance 

Many items in our homes, including ourselves, need regular maintenance to stay in good condition. Therefore, skipping regular maintenance of things such as your car, your teeth, or anything similar will only lead to additional costs in the future. Maintenance serves to avoid damage and higher expenses, so it shouldn’t be something to save on. Don’t risk having unpleasant surprises in the future if you can prevent them today.

Not using a good savings account 

Saving money and letting it sit around is not helpful and will not lead you to your goals. It’s better to pick a high yield savings account and slowly start making money while saving. 

Caption: Not letting the money grow is also one of the mistakes people make when trying to save money. 

Underestimating the emergency fund 

Having a separate account with easy access to your savings is essential when you need cash for something unexpected. Things happen – car repairs, house maintenance, etc. You need to have some money for unforeseen expenses.  Build your emergency fund over time – start with smaller goals, automate your savings and let that fund grow.

Not enjoying life 

One of the most significant mistakes people make when trying to save money is they stop enjoying their lives. It’s true that saving includes cutting down some costs and introducing good spending habits. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up on everything you enjoy because it’s not a bare necessity. Wise saving methods will ensure you spend money on what you care about and need and avoid unnecessary costs. We only live once, so when you try to save – don’t overdo it!


Photos used:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/summer-up-to-70-sale-text-1051744/ 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-putting-coin-in-a-piggy-bank-3943716/ 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-man-counting-dollar-banknotes-4386431/ 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/1-1-3-text-on-black-chalkboard-374918/ 



How to Save Money on Your Heating and Cooling Bills

Saving money on heating and cooling is a great way to start or improve your efforts at frugal living. As a plus, you will also leave a smaller carbon footprint by doing this. Have a look at these five effective ways in which you can spend less on heating and cooling.

Change Your Filters Regularly

Dirty filters mean that your system has to work harder to perform the same way. Changing your filters is easy enough to do on your own, but if you want to combine doing so with something else for improved efficiency, you can give your HVAC technician a call to help you out. It's advisable to check your filter once every month, especially for months in winter and summer during which it will be in heavy use. Change it if it looks dirty, and never go longer than three months without changing it. These steps will save energy as the system works more efficiently.

Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks will have you heating or cooling a lot more air than you need as it's constantly leaking out of the house and getting replaced by the air outside. Check your doors and windows and make sure that there are no visible leaks, sealing them with caulk if they are there. Also check to see that your crawl space and attic are well insulated, with the vents closed in extreme weather. Keep basement doors closed to maximize the heat circulating in the house's usable space.

Get High-Efficiency Systems Installed

If your house still has outdated heating and cooling systems, you can improve your frugal living by replacing them with modern units. Doing this can reduce the energy used for air conditioning by an impressive 20% to 50%. Consult with your HVAC company to find out the best and most efficient system for the size of your house and your budget. This may have a significant initial cost but will save you a lot in the long term.

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System

Regular maintenance of your heating and cooling unit will enable it to function at its most optimal levels for a long time to come. You will also catch any issues that may be starting up before they get out of hand. Fixing these before they get worse will be cheaper and faster than working on them when the damage is far gone. Every six months, you should have the system maintained to make sure it's in the best state possible.

Rely on Nature to Use Less Energy

Leverage nature to save on energy bills by opening the blinds in cooler months so the warm air can get into the house. Close them in hot seasons to keep the heat of the sun out when it's at its peak. You could also alternate between opening the blinds on the cooler side of the house and closing them on the warmer side for natural cooling in summer and vice versa in winter. More than 50% of a home's energy is typically used for cooling and heating the living space, according to the Department of Energy. A further 6% is used for lighting while 18% is used for heating water. Taking these costs down will accumulate into great savings.

Frugal living is a journey comprised of cumulative efforts on different fronts. Have a professional help you make your house more energy-efficient, either by fixing things or simply advising you on what to change. Over the period of a year, after you start to practice efficient energy use, you will start to see savings.

Home addition ideas for budgets of all sizes

Are you moving into a new home? Or do you want to improve the current one? If you are reading this, it's time to make a change and add s...