Tuesday, June 29, 2021

5 Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Year

 Living with all the comforts of a household run by technology is only great until you receive your energy bill.


Those bills should be a wake-up call, especially since almost a third of the energy you are paying for isn’t even being used.


That’s right, 35% of household energy is just wasted energy.

The Average Household Energy Use

Imagine how much you could save each year by being more efficient in your energy use!


The average household spends $115 a month on energy bills


If they were able to cut out the 35% waste, that means the bill would only be $75 a month – saving the average household $40 a month or $480 a year.


Here is a breakdown of energy use in the average household.

Screenshot: The Biggest Sources of Residential Energy Consumption - an infographic by Uma Campbell from Connect4Climate.


5 Ways to Cut Down Your Energy Costs This Year

Here are 5 ways you can cut your energy waste down and save on your next bill.

1. Don’t Leave Unused Devices Plugged In

You could save almost $50 a year by unplugging devices that aren’t being used.


If your device is warm, it means it is using power.


Some common electronics that should be unplugged when not in use are:

  • Phones

  • Laptops

  • Wifi

  • Televisions


Having a nightly routine of unplugging devices that are not in use is one great way of saving a few dollars a month.

2. Set Thermostats and Hot Water Heaters on Timers

Two other culprits of constant power leakage are your hot water heater and your thermos. 


Your hot water heater is draining power, even when you aren’t using it. Save energy by setting a timer on your hot water heater so that it begins to heat water only when you need it – like for your morning shower.


Lowering thermostats can save you close to 10% of your energy costs – even just lowering them about 7 degrees for 8 hours a day.


Again, having a timer would be useful.


There are points in the day that are hotter and other times that are cooler. Set your thermostat to match the natural pattern of weather to save on energy costs instead of keeping your thermostat the same temperature all day.

3. Redo Your Home Insulation

If your home is poorly insulated, you will lose more than the average household energy waste.


Redoing your home insulation may cost a higher amount upfront, but can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run from savings on your energy bills.

Start by redoing your exterior wall insulation to hold in more heat and cool during the day. This renovation can cut your heating loss up to 40%!

4. Keep Windows and Doors Closed Properly

Energy loss also happens because of poorly sealed windows and doors.


Closing doors and windows, while the thermostat is running, will keep cool or hot inside the home. You don’t want to pay to heat the entire neighborhood, only your house.


Even within your house, close doors to areas that are not being used so your thermostat only needs to heat one or two rooms at a time.

5. Cut Down on Your Hot Water Use

The average shower lasts 8 minutes and uses 16 gallons of water.


Cutting back on how long you shower can save you money on your water bill and heating bill.


Also consider other areas where you use hot water, like

  • Washing hands

  • Running the dishwasher

  • Doing laundry


Each of these appliances has energy-saving alternatives that will cut down on your overall bill.

Image by 849356 from Pixabay 

Start Saving Energy – And Money – Today

If you are trying to streamline your financial decisions, one great place to start is streamlining your energy use. 


Try finding more energy-efficient alternatives for your household appliances, lightbulbs, water heater, and electronic devices.


Also, join the FREE Money Fit Challenge to start making better financial decisions in all areas of your life.


Important Reasons Why You Need Life Insurance

 

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When you think for the future, it's not often first on your mind to consider the prospect of early death or what would happen to your family if you died. While it may be unpleasant to prepare ahead, doing so may help to guarantee that a tragedy isn’t more complicated than it has to be. 

For example, your family may be financially secure right now, but what if you were to lose your job, or die? Would they be able to pay off the remainder of your mortgage and keep your household afloat? What about the expenses of your funeral? This is when a life insurance policy comes in handy.

Reasons Life Insurance is Important

Life insurance provides financial security to your family in the case of your death. It is a contract with an insurance company that offers a payout, says Serah, an insurance agent at Primerica, known as a death benefit, to one or more of your designated beneficiaries after you die. 

This coverage is essential in circumstances where you have financial dependents, such as a spouse, parent, or children. 

Besides, if your death might put your beloved in financial jeopardy, you should get a life insurance policy to safeguard them. 

The following are reasons why life insurance is so essential and how the death benefit goes about.

Takes Care of the Children

Even if your spouse is working, your death may leave them with inadequate funds to pay for things like daycare. Suppose you are paying for college. In that case, your spouse may find it challenging to achieve that objective on their own, particularly if you pass away before any college funds accumulate.

Cover Funeral Expenses

The national median cost of a funeral service that includes a viewing and burial is roughly $7,640. However, if you need a vault, it may be considerably more expensive. 

Furthermore, this price does not cover the cost of the cemetery or the preparations for the ceremony. If you pass away suddenly, the last thing you want your bereaved family to worry about is handling your funeral expenses..

Pays of Debts

If the person who inherits your house cannot pay the mortgage without your income, they will have to sell it or risk losing it to foreclosure. The lender may repossess a vehicle with arrears on payment if you leave it to your spouse and can't make the payments. 

Also, your credit card debt may extend to your spouse, inconveniencing them. 

Having a life insurance policy in place is an intelligent method to reimburse your family if you don't want to leave them with unmanageable expenses.

Protects Your Business

You may also want to consider purchasing Key Person Insurance, which is often known as company life insurance. If your firm's operations would crumble without you, designating your company as a beneficiary may assist your company to remain afloat while your surviving partners search for a successor.

Conclusion

If you die suddenly, your family may have to carry the weight of your debts and live without your financial support. A life insurance policy is an excellent method to guarantee that they will be financially cared for when you pass away. 

The amount of insurance you acquire is usually equivalent to your budget, financial objectives, the quality of life you desire for your beneficiaries, and your dependents' requirements.




Monday, June 28, 2021

Streamlining Your Financial Decisions As A Family

 

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You don’t have to be destitute to feel encouraged to make the most of your home finances. Running a family well is expensive, even if you’re being relatively frugal and considerate as to how you spend your money. Moreover, your family deserves to enjoy the best quality of life possible, and so that means sometimes knowing where to spend is more important than knowing what to spend on.


Streamlining your financial decisions as a family, then, can be healthy from time to time. This not only helps you ensure you discipline your spending as necessary but that you’re getting the most value out of knowing where to spend. Eating supermarket own-brand cereal for a year might be helpful, for instance, if it allows you to save up for all of your indulgent meals while at vacation. Collecting redemption points from shopping at contributing stores may help you redeem free food when enjoying your holiday celebrations at the end of the year.


But how can you more readily streamline your healthy financial decisions, instead of spending hours a day calculating it all? Let’s explore that together, below:


Multi-Purpose Decisions


It’s important to make financial decisions that positively affect all members of your family at once, or at least, orient yourself towards that goal. For instance, it might be that you’re considering moving house from a rural environment to a more suburban area. House prices might be good in a certain area, but how might the commute be for your children hoping to get a job in the area one day? What will fuel costs be like to and from certain areas? Is it worth purchasing a new car in tandem, perhaps from a service like andersonofhuntvalley.com? What’s the noise pollution like as you try to raise your newborn in the most peaceful manner? As you can see, sometimes financial value is defined by how many positives you’re claiming at once.


Saving Money On That You Already Own


It can be tempted to renew and replace old items, but if you have a family, you can give one another items that may have lasted before, or make the most of assets you already have. For instance, it might be worth placing a television in your teenager’s room at the same time you plan for a living room upgrade, just so you don’t have to spend extra money. You might also decide to split a large master bedroom in your house in two so that you can ensure your growing children have more independence between themselves, which saves money and the need to move house or build an extension.


Knowing How To Spend


Knowing how to spend money will help you more than saving money at all costs. It might be that saving up for a family vacation and going in the off-peak periods can help you enjoy a better, cheaper time and make the most of it. Meal prep Sunday efforts can help you save the need to eat takeout food in the week when you’re tired of cooking. Investing in higher quality clothes now can remove the need for repairs and replacements in the future. This effort really does make a difference.


With this advice, we’re sure you’ll feel more confident in streamlining your financial decisions as a family.


Improve The Appearance Of Your Office With These Five Ideas

 

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Never underestimate the importance of your office space. If your office is drab and neglected, it’s unlikely that your staff will thrive. To help you create an inviting and functional office space, try these five ideas.


1 . Paint the walls


When you’re decorating an office space, you should consider color psychology. It’s the idea that colors have meanings and connotations which can inspire certain feelings and behaviors.


Light blue is often a popular color for an office space. According to Ergonomic Trends, this color, ‘soothes the mind, encourages clear thoughts and reduces mental strain.’ Light blue is a helpful color to boost productivity. Yellow is another great choice for the office, it’s associated with both creativity and positivity.


2 . Use artwork


According to a study by the National Arts Program, ‘art in the workplace helps businesses address key challenges such as reducing stress, increasing creativity and encouraging expression of opinions.’


To decorate your office, choose a few statement art pieces. Go for artwork that’s bright, inspirational, quirky or fun. To help you find artwork, you can try shopping on apps like Vango, Society 6, or Picture That AR. These tools can help you to find unique artwork at a great price.


3. New furniture


Is your furniture looking a little dull and worn out? If so, it might be time for an update. When you’re choosing new furniture, choose furniture with a modern and minimal look. At the same time, ensure that you choose ergonomic furniture. Desks should be set up ergonomically, to keep staff healthy and safe. Before you shop for furniture, check out reviews, and compare a few different companies. You’d be surprised what a huge difference these small adjustments can make.


4. Unique workspaces


Not everyone is suited to working from a traditional desk space, to boost productivity, think about creating a few different workspaces. You might set up a few standing desks? Alternatively, you might set up pods for staff who prefer to work alone? Some companies design spaces with a ‘coffee-shop’ layout, using comfy chairs and focusing on collaboration. Unique work spaces can add a touch of elegance to your office, while helping you to boost productivity.


5. Don’t forget the exterior


Once you’ve improved the interior of your office, don’t forget about the exterior. The outside of your building creates the first impression, if you want to impress clients, you need to make sure that it’s well kept. Consider working with a commercial landscaping company to design the perfect outdoor space. Keep the outside of your building clean, consider updating your signage, and carry out regular maintenance work.


Before you start improving your office, remove the clutter and have a clean up. Once you’ve got rid of unwanted items, you’ll have more space to work with. Set yourself a budget to help you monitor your expenses. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money to improve the appearance of your office.




How To Financially Thrive And Prosper, Even If You Have Kids

 We typically think of having kids and being financially sound as two separate objectives. If you want one, you can’t have the other


But, strictly speaking, is that true? 


Well, maybe not. A lot of parents are discovering that you can have kids and be financially secure at the same time. It’s just a question of knowing how. Let’s take a look. 


Reduce Snacks


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Believe it or not, snacks are one of the major contributors to high childcare costs. The more that you have to buy, the higher the cost of a weekly trip to the supermarket gets. 


Here’s an idea: adopt the French model of family eating. Here, kids are only allowed to eat at mealtimes, leaving it up to them how much food they take in. This way, you can save money by preparing big pasta dishes for the whole family, while avoiding all those costly little extras, like chocolate bars. 


Choose Your Toys Wisely


Kids need toys for their growth and development. But, as a parent, you need to pick them wisely. 


The best toys are those that serve both you and your kids. For instance, you could get your child a ride on board attachment for the buggy. This lets them experience the sensation of rolling along effortlessly, without actually needing a separate scooter. 


You can also get them safe kitchen prep implements that allow them to make their own food. Mashers, for instance, can be a great item for encouraging productive play. 


Don’t Buy A Big House


You don’t need a big house immediately if you have children. Instead, you can get a small apartment for at least the first three years of your kid’s life. You can then use this time to save and invest to build up your capital before buying a home. 


Big houses cost a lot of money to maintain. So smart families always leave buying them to the last minute. 


Get Your Kids Outdoors More


The outdoors is made for kids. But thanks to modern gadgets, only a small minority of them are actually making good use of it. Getting your kids outdoors is the first hurdle. After that, they will usually do the rest for you, coming up with all sorts of fun and games to keep them entertained. Eventually, they’ll learn to love exploring nature and being in the environment with you. 


Use Your Local Library


If you think that you have to buy kids books, DVDs and other media, then think again. Most libraries have a massive stock of entertainment and reading for children, negating the need to actually purchase these items outright. Over the course of several years, you could wind up saving a small fortune this way. 


Save On Diapers And Formula


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The best way to save on diapers and formula is to go au naturel. But if this option isn’t available to you, you might also want to try a subscription service. These allow you to subscribe and save, cutting your monthly costs by as much as 30 percent. 


Thursday, June 24, 2021

7 Great Alternatives To A Loan

 

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When you can’t afford to pay for something outright, it can be very tempting to pay for it with a loan. Loans are convenient in that they allow you to pay in smaller chunks, however they often come with interest fees - which can result in you paying more in the future. Relying on loans all the time can also cause you to build up debt, which may grow faster than you can pay it back. This can cause people a lot of financial stress.

Loans are rarely ever the only option. Often there are other ways to raise funds without paying interest or even having to owe back money. Below are just a few alternatives to a loan.

Zero-interest instalments

There are some instances where you may be able to pay for expenses in instalments without having to pay interest. Furniture stores, car repair centers and travel agents are just some of the companies that sometimes offer interest-free installment plans - always enquire about these plans. You’ll usually have to pay the cost off over a reduced time period in larger installments than you would with a loan, but at least it will be cheaper (plus you get to pay it off quicker). 

Selling clutter

Could you raise funds by selling unwanted possessions in your home? This could be a great alternative to a loan. You could try selling stuff online, or if you want it sold quickly you could take it to a second-hand store (although you may get less for it by using this approach). 

Employer salary advance

If you’re on good terms with your employer, you could consider asking them for a salary advance. This involves being given some of your future wages early. You’ll have to pay this money back or it will have to be deducted from your next wage, which is something to take into account. Most employers won’t charge interest though, which makes it better than a loan. 

Grants

For some expenses, you may be eligible for a state or federal grant. Many people looking to start a business often overlook state business grants - you could be eligible for thousands of dollars and you won’t have to pay any of it back. Look online to see what your state offers (individual cities may have grants to offer too). 

Crowdfunding

If you don’t need money immediately and it’s for a noble cause such as medical treatment, storm repairs or starting a business, you may be able to raise funds through crowdfunding. This is when people donate money to your cause. In the case of a business, this could be in return for shares, however this is still a better approach to funding than a business loan.

Legal compensation

If you’ve recently been in a serious car accident such as a head on collision or you’ve been a victim of botched medical surgery, it’s possible that you may be able to claim a lot of money in legal compensation. It’s important to know your rights and claim compensation when you deserve it. Be wary that lawyers all have their own fees and that some are more likely to win your case than others. 

Savings

If you’re looking to fund a vacation, a new car or a wedding, consider whether you can start saving up for it. Paying for things with your own savings can be much more rewarding than taking out a loan. You can even pay for emergencies with savings by setting aside an emergency fund.




Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Living The Life You Want Without Messing Up Your Finances

 A lot of people want to try and live a life that they cannot afford. The problem with this is that they live as if they can afford it, and get themselves in more trouble. What they don’t realize is that there are ways and means to live the life that you want without messing up your finances entirely. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the ways that you can do this, so keep reading down below if you would like to find out more.


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Only Spend What You Can Afford To Pay


The first piece of advice that we are going to give you is that you should only spend what you can afford to pay. If you know that you don’t have the money right now, but you know that you will have it in a few days spare, then you can always look at a credit card. The only piece of advice that we will give is that you should not let a huge bill rack up on this as you will massively hurt your finances this way. You can save money with a 0% purchase credit card, but just make sure that the allure doesn’t pull you in too strongly.


We do recommend paying off your debt as soon as you can anyway. For example, you shouldn’t use your credit card if you know that you aren’t going to be able to pay it. If you want to buy something that is just out of your budget right now, but it won’t be next week, then you can make the purchase on your credit card and pay it off when you get paid.


Work More Hours To Accumulate More Money


The next thing that you can do is work more hours to accumulate more money if this is possible. We know that some bosses don’t give you this opportunity, but if you can do this, then you certainly should. It might not be the life that you want through the day, but it gives you the ability to enjoy yourself on your days off and evenings. This way, you don’t have to spend any money that you don’t have, and you get the opportunity to push your career forward at the same time. Seems like a win-win.


Learn To Find Deals And Offers


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Finally, if you want to live the life you want, but you don’t want to mess up your finances, you are going to have to learn to find offers and deals. These are the best ways to get the things that you want, without having to spend a massive fortune on these things. 


We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do if you want to live the life you want without messing up your finances. A lot of people might think that this isn’t possible, but we assure you that it is. Now that you know what we have to say, take the advice above and you will be able to lead the life that you want, without causing problems with your finances. Enjoy.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Creating Online Dominance For Your Website

 Creating Online Dominance For Your Website

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You cannot deny the intense competition out there in the digital world. Considering that there are 4,208,571,287 web users globally, it makes the terrain even more daunting for business owners. Thankfully, there are credible interventions to clinch online dominance for your business. In the meantime, can you conclude whether your business website dominates the online space? If not, please read further to find out which of these tips will be helpful to your cause.

 

Your website must have an instant appeal

Averagely, web users spend no more than 20 seconds on a website’s landing page. Within 10 seconds, however, they expect to see what your business is all about at first glance. To captivate their attention in those record seconds, you need a blend of visual elements capable of keeping them on your site for longer. Your colors, font type and size, headline(s), and clarity of content must all create a pleasant fusion that piques the interest of every web visitor.

 

Your website is the face of your business, and therefore, you have only one chance to create a lasting impression. Sometimes, you can have the best brand name because your product is loved and used by many. However, a weak and unappealing website can impact business in the long run. Furthermore, other factors you should be looking out for your website appeal are the following:

 

  • User-friendly platform or interface.

  • Designed to create web traffic conversions

  • Fast loading time


As a tip, always look for the latest web builder to design your website. If you must pull it down for a few days or weeks to work on your website, do so for the sake of long-term benefits.


Master SEO

Search Engine Optimization helps businesses manage their online presence. More people are looking up companies on the internet (primarily via search engines such as Google) before transacting business because you must take SEO seriously.


Indeed, the overall objective of setting up a business is to provide a need to the customer and make revenue off it. Sometimes, the only choice you have is to seek expert help from an SEO Agency to oversee your website’s proper optimization.


Aim for a mobile-friendly website

Have you ever wondered why a lot of websites can be accessed easily on a smartphone? Worldwide, the global smartphone penetration rate stands at 78.05%. This means that more people will find it convenient to access the web on their mobile devices instead of using desktop computers.


Moreover, it explains why businesses that have failed to optimize their pages for mobile devices continue to record a drastic decline in web traffic. Fortunately, those with mobile-friendly interfaces stand a chance to have a shot at online dominance in their respective sectors.

 

As you work towards online dominance, you should also strive to maintain quality and consistency when you attain the height you desire. Never rest on your oars because several other businesses compete for the same position you find yourself in.  

  


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