How To Budget Without Giving Up What You Love

flying-639522_640No two budgets are alike, nor are any two people. We all are different and have our own budget needs. As you get ready to set your new budget for the month, here are a few tips on saving some money without sacrificing what you love.

Entertainment. If you and your spouse love movies, but don’t want to drop a ton of cash (especially on popcorn); set aside a night to put the kids to bed, pop some popcorn, and curl up to a perfectly wonderful movie you can stream. Just think, no one kicking the back of your chair while during the film.

Gyms. Staying healthy is important but you don’t want to break the bank while you are trying to stay healthy. Instead of paying those high prices at the gym, consider an online streaming service (free or paid) where you can still stay fit and save some money at the same time.

Travel. It is important to get away everyone now and again. As you are planning your next trip, research areas that are great local dives that are off the beaten path and don’t have the inflated tourist prices. Also, Groupon is another excellent place to find great deals at a reasonable price.

Be creative in the your ways to save money and not sacrifice on the things you love to do.

Winterize Your Home (And Yard) With These 3 Tips

Winter is almost here and before the snow starts falling, take this time to start winterizing your home and yard for those cold months. As you start making your list of everything that needs to get done, be sure to add these 3 things:leaves-591191_640

  1. Winterize your lawn. Fertilize your lawn to ensure it has the nutrients to keep it healthy until spring. This is also an excellent time to aerate your grass to help get those nutrients into the soil. Run a rake over the lawn to clear it of any debris that might suffocate the lawn and cause serious damage.
  1. Run the heating system in your home. This one can get overlooked, especially when it isn’t that cold, but run the system now to ensure everything is running correctly and efficiently. Now is the best time to know if there are some problems instead of during the freezing cold months.
  1. Clean your chimney. Who doesn’t love a crackling fire during the cold winter months? Make sure your chimney is ready for the winter by taking the time now to clean out any debris or rodents who may have moved in. Also verify the smoke is drifting up by lighting some newspaper and ensuring there are no obstructions in the chimney.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

3 Tips for Adding to Your Home’s Appeal

When was the last time you lost yourself in a home design magazine, website, or everyone’s favorite, Pinterest? We all want to make our homes look their best, adding a more luxury feel, and cozy. Help make your home more comfortable with these 3 tips:couch-881125_1280

Declutter. Knickknacks, piles, and clutter can really drain your spirit when at home. Give your home a refreshing feel by taking time to throw out stuff you no longer want, or love, and what doesn’t mesh your home decor or style.

Lighting. Light can add an ambiance to your home in a great way that helps make the rooms in your home bigger. Proper lighting can also make your more inviting and adds to your home’s appeal for potential buyers.

Repaint. Giving your walls, trims, and even front door a fresh coat of paint can really help to make your home look as good as new.

There are many great ideas you can do to enhance your home’s appeal. Allow your creativity to go wild and have fun as you make your house a home.

Save Thousands on Your Car With These 3 Tips

If you are like the most of us, you are looking for ways to save a few pennies on your car. After a home, cars are the second largest purchase people make. While you are finding ways to save money at the pump, here are a few other tips to help you save money:coins-912719_640

Stop idling. If you are parked and waiting for a while, turn off the engine. Research from the Argonne National Laboratory showed that you can waste up to a quarter of a half gallon of fuel per hour by idling (plus it is bad for the environment). Also, restarting your car only uses up about 10 seconds of fuel.

Ask for a mileage discount. If you work from home or take your bike to work, talk to your car insurance company about a possible discount.

Check the apps on your phone. A personal favorite of mine is GasBuddy which can help you find the lowest gas prices around you. Note, it is not worth your time (or money) to drive out of your way to find cheaper gas.

Learn more about saving money on your car, here.

Do Your Windows Need an Update?

SMflowerpots-house-window-2539Updating your windows will not only make your home look better, but will add to your home’s value. To better decide which window best fits your style, here are the various styles to choose from:

1. Double-hung. This is the most popular style. The top and bottom sashes move up and down independently, letting in more air. They’re a great option with young children or pets, since you can keep the bottom closed for safety, but open the top for ventilation. Most models have sashes that tilt in or come out for cleaning.

2. Single-hung. This very basic window opens only from the bottom. The top sash doesn’t move. They’re less expensive than double-hung, but can be hard to clean from the inside.

3. Casement. These are hinged on the side with a crank at the bottom that opens them. Older homeowners prefer casements to double-hung windows you push up and pull down. The crank also makes for easy opening in hard to reach locations, such as over a kitchen sink.

4. Sliders. This design uses panels that slide on a track. It sometimes includes a fixed middle panel, with two sliding side windows. It’s another good option for older homeowners because there’s no lifting. This style also provides great ventilation and big views.

5. Picture. This is simply a large, fixed window that gives an unobstructed picture of the view it provides. It is often combined with double-hung or casement windows on each side.

6. Bay. This style uses three windows at 35° or 45° angles. They can be fixed picture windows, casement, or double-hung. Bay windows are great in living rooms and master bedrooms, especially with a window seat. Their angled surfaces let in lots of light.

7. Bow. This is a rounded bay window. The shape is created by putting three, five, seven, or nine narrow casement, double-hung, or fixed windows at 10° angles to each other.

8. Awning. This window is hinged across the top and opens outward from the bottom. The design is good for high locations, above a door or another window.

9. Basement hopper. This is the opposite of an awning, hinged at the bottom and opening in from the top. It’s usually used to let light and air into basements.

10. Geometric. These are fixed units that come in a variety of shapes. They’re used alone as an accent, or above a large window or door. Geometrics add style and can bring light into large foyers and hallways.

Each state provide various benefits for those who update their homes for better green energy. To find out what subsidies your state offers, check out this website.

This information was provided by Danene Strand of Veritas Funding.