Wednesday, January 13, 2021

How to add value to your home - 5 Tips



When the time comes to sell your property, you’ll want to get a great return on your investment. Before you put your house on the market, there are plenty of renovations that you can make, to add value, and increase your earnings. To give you a few starting ideas consider these five renovations.

1. Consider a solar roof

Modern homeowners prioritize eco-friendly fixtures and fittings, which is why a solar roof is a great way to add value to your property. When you invest in solar roofing panels, you could stand to increase value by around 4%. Solar panels are made with photovoltaic cells, these cells draw energy from the sun, and convert it into electricity. Choosing solar energy for your home is a great way to reduce your energy bills.

2. Choose triple glazing 

There are many advantages to choosing triple glazed windows for your home. With triple glazed windows, you’ll enhance security, save energy, and retain heat. Triple glazed windows are also useful for noise reduction when compared to other types of windows. Investing in these types of windows can help you to boost your home’s value by around 10%. 

3. Renovate your kitchen

Kitchens are no longer just a functional space for cooking, we increasingly use these spaces to entertain and socialize. When you’re tackling a kitchen renovation there are plenty of trendy features that will help you to increase the value. Try kitchen islands, farmhouse sinks, or bi-fold doors that look out over your garden. Modern kitchens are usually minimal, with plenty of compact spaces for storage. There are plenty of ways you can update your home and add value at the same time.

4 . Build a conservatory 

Building a conservatory is a great way to add value to your property while creating a new space for relaxation and leisure. There are several different types of conservatories that you can choose from, including Victorian, Edwardian, or a Mediterranean Sun-Room. According to research by Seh Bac, ‘a well-built conservatory could increase your home’s value by at least 5%.’

5. Add a garden office 

With an increasing number of people working from home, garden offices are becoming more desirable. These are small stand-alone buildings that are constructed in your garden. Garden buildings share similarities with summer houses, though they are purpose-built as an office space. Whether it’s a loft conversion or utilizing your basement, anyway that you can extend your living space can help you to add value to your property.

Adding value to your home is a long-term project which can help you to see a higher ROI when you sell. Before you put your house on the market it’s important to discuss the value of your home with a good realtor. A professional realtor can help you to find out what exactly it will go for, and then set the price accordingly.

When you are making new renovations to your home, it’s advisable to keep the color schemes and the decor neutral. Minimal decor can help potential buyers to imagine themselves and their possessions in the space.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Why Might You Need To Hire A Lawyer


Image credit.

Hiring a lawyer is something that nobody wants to do, but many people face. Although lawyers sometimes have a bad reputation in our society, their job is to represent us fairly within the justice system. If you face accusations or claims, or you want to make one, a high-quality lawyer is the best asset you can possibly have by your side. If you run a business, you may already be familiar with working with legal representatives.

Here are some reasons why you might need to hire a lawyer, and how to go about it. 

  1. A Corporate Lawyer

Most businesses will work with corporate lawyers at some point in their lives. This could be for a number of reasons, including:

  • Corporate finance issues. If there is an issue with your corporate finance, a corporate lawyer can assess what needs to be done and represent you if need be.

  • Expanding your business internationally. Corporate law operates differently around the world. If your business is expanding internationally, you should meet with lawyers to discuss any changes that must be made in order to accommodate corporate law on an international level.

  • Decision making within the company. If you are planning to change, expand or renew the services you provide as a company, consulting lawyers is vital. They can aid your decision making from a legal standpoint, assessing potential risks. 

  1. Personal Injury

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is not a fun task, but should be considered in the following circumstances:

  • In the event of a car accident or similar transport accident. If you are in a car accident, other drivers may make a claim against you or vice versa. This will require careful procedure and expert precision as you enter your claim. Without a premier personal injury law firm on your side, you may not become entitled to compensation.

  • An accident at work. Whether you run the business or are an employee there, following a workplace accident, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. A PI lawyer can comb through your case and present it in the best light possible before a judge if needed.

Lawyers can help you navigate high-risk situations. While you might want to avoid splurging on lawyers’ fees, lawyers are worth their salt when you are in a sticky situation.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

What is Wrongful Death and How Might it Affect You?


Image credit.

The definition of wrongful death is a death that is caused by negligence or the legal responsibility of a person or company. While it isn’t a nice thought to imagine this happening to you or a loved one, hundreds of thousands of people die from wrongful death every year in the USA. As a business owner or just an individual person, it is important to know how wrongful death can occur and how it may affect you. 

Read on to find out more about the effects of wrongful death, legal aid and other issues surrounding this.

What are the main causes of wrongful death?

The cause of wrongful death is negligence, but in what area of society does this usually happen? According to studies, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America. Shocking figures suggesting that medical negligence causes over 200,000 deaths per year. 

Other seriously high causes of wrongful death include:

  • Car accidents or other vehicle collisions

  • Falls

  • Accidental poisoning

How and why might wrongful death affect you?

Firstly, if you run a business, knowing the meaning and highest causes of wrongful death is very important. This is because if your business is not operated safely or within the bounds of the law, an accident in your workplace could lead to wrongful death in extreme circumstances. This could devastate your company, not least emotionally but also financially and when it comes to your reputation

Even if you do everything right, wrongful death could still fall at your company’s door; company vehicles could crash, or a person might make a mistake which leads to the death of another. While this is an unthinkable situation that is not fun to dwell on, it is a crucial consideration to make when you run a business.

Are you prepared for the worst?

If your business or you as a person are accused of wrongful death, it can be very frightening. Once again, this is a very rare situation, but it is important to be prepared.

Preventing wrongful death claims is most effectively done simply by following health and safety regulations to the letter, keeping company vehicles maintained and hiring trustworthy people to maintain the integrity of the company.

However, if a wrongful death suit does come your way, or indeed if you wish to sue another person or company for wrongful death, you must hire a wrongful death lawyer. In order to get the settlement you deserve from your wrongful death claim, or defend against one, it is important that you hire a top-quality wrongful death attorney. 

Even if the case comes to nothing in the end, having an attorney walk you through the process is invaluable. Plus, if the case does go to trial or in a hearing before a judge, an attorney can present your case in the best way possible using all the evidence. 

Final Thoughts

While these cases seem extreme, it can never hurt to be prepared for the worst. Use this helpful guide to learn more about wrongful death.

Out of Work? Ways To Earn Money Right Away


Pixabay - CC0 License

The task of finding extra income is not always easy. When you are out of work either while you are looking for a job or you've just been made unemployed, trying to find the right ways to earn money quickly is easier said than done. It all depends on your unique situation. If you are out of work for a medical reason, you can find out your options are greatly reduced. But we are going to show you how you can earn money while you are out of work. Some are straight-forward, but some might require a bit of pre-planning.

Leveraging Your Car

If you had recently been on the receiving end of an accident and had dealt with a car accident lawyer, the experience might have been traumatic enough for you to rethink driving. But regardless of your situation if you are with a car and you are unemployed at the moment, the best approach is to reduce using it. You could either list it on one of the many websites where people can borrow it, or you can bite the bullet and actually sell it. When you are unemployed, a car can be a financial drain so you may be better off without it.

Completing Micro Tasks

The great benefit of completing microtasks where they are tasks so small all that you can add up so many tasks to fill in a certain amount of time in your day. This is always beneficial if you're looking to earn extra money but don't have much time. There are websites like Appen that pay people to record voice commands on their phones. This is done for the purpose of improving voice recognition. But there are also other websites that provide opportunities for micro-tasking. It is a very big market, and if you are stuck at home, this is the perfect opportunity to earn extra money. You can do it by completing surveys or you can go one step up and complete bigger tasks.

Cleaning Out Your Closet

With the spare time you have, you could turn unwanted items of clothes and shoes into a goldmine. There are platforms like Mercari that make it easy to sell your clothes from your own home. The benefit of being able to clean out your clothes could mean that there are so many items that you haven't worn for so long that you could very easily pay a utility bill.

Freelancing as a Transcriber

If you are able to type more than 60 words per minute, you could qualify as a transcriber. Many websites are looking for transcribers. Transcribing can be a diverse and interesting job. You could be transcribing market research or law cases. Just make sure you have high-quality listening software and a good pair of headphones.

Being out of work is hard on the finances. But there are ways for you to earn money to keep you ticking over. You don't necessarily have to get a part-time job. The application process can take so long that you may find yourself starting another job anyway. These shortfall methods are the best way to go.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Tall Women's Clothing -- Great buys from Amazon!

  There's a great roundup of Tall Women's Clothing from Amazon. It has everything from tall women's dresses to sweaters, tops, and shirts for long torsos.

How to find the best (cheap!) TALL women’s clothing from Amazon

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Date Night--Have one weekly! (Plus Ideas for Cheap Dates)

My husband's co-workers can't get over the fact that we go on a date EVERY week (alternating between at-home and going-out date nights). He gets comments like, "What do you DO week after week?"
Honestly, I understand their confusion because a couple years ago, I would've said the same thing. But since date night has morphed into this new and amazing thing--so different from what our date nights used to be--I don't know how we used to live without it.
My husband and I on a date
My husband and I had a few important realizations that led to making weekly date night a priority:
1. Our spouse is the most important human on the planet. Our relationship with them will affect every other aspect of our happiness, including our children and family as a whole. Our relationship thrives when we set aside time to communicate with each other.
2. We both need to unplug and get stress-free time away from our work, routines, technology, etc.
3. It's too easy to get caught in the thick of thin things and never take time out to evaluate our lives, goals, and dreams. What better time to discuss our "big-picture" plans than with our most trusted friend and advisor?

Why We Go Out

First of all, if doing date night at home is effective (or more affordable) for you, I FULLY support that. Own it. Discuss with your spouse how to make at-home date nights most meaningful.
Personally, I find that my mind and body are able to relax and rejuvenate more effectively when I leave my job site, which happens to be my home.


You know I'm a budgeter. Hard-core. But budgeting is NOT about spending as little as possible on everything, it's about putting your money towards whatever is most important to you and letting other things go. Date Night is a priority for me, so I am willing to give up other things (clothes, home decor, vacations, etc.).

Date Night Ideas

For cheap dates, we use gift cards and/or deal websites. Here's a few of our dates:

Hiking--my personal fav

Bowling (way more fun as a double-date)

Cheesy Arcade

Rock Climbing

For me, the most enjoyable dates are the ones that allow us plenty of time to talk while trying fun, new things together.

Finding a Babysitter

We do babysitting swaps sometimes, but we usually hire a babysitter. If you're new to a major metropolitan area and don't know any babysitters, check out UrbanSitter. Hiring a babysitter online seemed sketchy to me, but we used UrbanSitter last week and had a good experience with both the site and the babysitter. Here's what I liked most:
(1) These babysitters are background-checked AND vetted by other families. You can read reviews about them and/or link your social media accounts to see which babysitters your friends recommend.
(2) You can scroll through a list of babysitters and check out their profiles, including a video of them. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.
(3) You can schedule online.
(4) YOU CAN PAY BY CREDIT CARD. As someone who lives for my 2% cash back, this was awesome.
If you're interested in trying out UrbanSitter, they're hooking up our MHM readers with a free month of membership--use the code FORFREETRIAL.

And that, my friends, is why I love date night. 

What's your idea of a perfect date night?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Choosing the Right Healthcare Plan--Let This Tool Do the Thinking For You

My friend Beth (who also wrote a post about making money as a stay-at-home-mom) has offered to share another brilliant idea with our awesome MHM readers. She, like many of us, was once struggling with health care enrollment season. What kind of coverage did she need? And which plan should she choose? No one can predict what the future holds, but even if you know about how much health care coverage you need, it's hard to tell which plan is the best value for you. Luckily for us, Beth is no ordinary woman--she's a spreadsheet pro. She created a tool for pricing out plans with the same coverage (for comparing apples to apples) and also included some advice about what questions to ask when researching different plans with different coverage (for comparing apples to oranges). I know I'll be coming back to this post whenever I'm choosing a health plan, so feel free to pin this post for later.       - Lisa



How it works:

You enter information into the pink boxes ONLY. The rest of the spreadsheet will populate from the information you enter there. Notice the spreadsheet has two tabs: (1) a blank tab and (2) an "example" tab with hypothetical inputs so you can get an idea of how to use the tool.

Once you've entered the information in the pink boxes, the result is a variety of possible medical cost scenarios in a year, from very low cost (a handful of doctor's visits in a year) to higher costs (like the need for some X-rays or something) to much higher, like pregnancy or surgery. You can play around with these assumptions if you want to. 

This spreadsheet is useful for comparing plans that differ SOLELY in terms of costs (monthly premiums, copayments, deductibles, etc.). If plans differ in terms of conditions covered then this won't help you choose between them, but the good news is that plans now seem to be required to cover pretty much the same stuff. People should have a good idea of what they personally need covered so before they buy a plan I would advise everyone make sure to get a detailed plan summary and look for the type of care they need and see what it covers.

The beauty of this thing is that when you're comparing plans that are substantially equal except in terms of cost, you can just plug in the pink box numbers and boom, you know which health plan is actually cheapest. I spent several hours making the spreadsheet earlier this year but my decision process took like 5 minutes.

Also, in my experience, the middle of the road plan is usually the best value. That's the one with the middle premiums and the middle deductibles. It seems to end up being cheaper overall because the low premium plans have higher deductibles (and the amount you save on premiums doesn't often make up for the higher deductible unless you know that you're going to go to the doctor just like once or twice a year) and the high premium plans with the low deductibles are usually so much more a year in premium payments that the lower deductible doesn't do you as much good as you think it might. But it's always good to run all the numbers to be sure.



The spreadsheet is only useful for comparing the cost of plans that are similar in regards to services covered. To determine if plans are comparable, you also need to:

(1) Request details of what the plan covers and what it does not cover. The company may not give you all of this information up-front, but when you read more details you may see that a plan that claims to have a $30 copay for a regular doctor's visit actually has a higher copay for certain other services. Or you may see that the emergency room copay is different or that there is a separate deductible for maternity. Or that the plan covers chiropractic services at the regular $30 copay but limits you to 12 visits a year. Each family should already have some idea of what services are going to be relevant to them, but some things to think about would be the coverage for emergency room, maternity, autism or other child development services, mental health, chiropractic, and prescription services. 

(2) If you take certain prescription drugs regularly (or anticipate needing to take certain drugs in the future, such as if you get pregnant), ask whether the plan covers those specific drugs. It doesn't do much good to buy a plan where prescriptions only cost you $10 if none of the drugs you take are included.

(3) If you are attached to the doctors you currently see, call their offices and ask if they accept an insurance plan you are thinking about buying. When I did that last December I found out that none of our regular doctors were going to accept any of the Marketplace ("Obamacare") plans.

Good luck!

Any questions? Post them in the comments!
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