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Renovation: top tips

Make Budgeting For Your Home Renovation Easy

Make Budgeting For Your Home Renovation Easy

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When many people think of a home renovation, they envision the end result. They’ll focus on what things will be like once things are done.

As natural as that is, it doesn’t mean overlooking the process itself. There’s often some stress associated with this.

Most of that revolves around finances. You’ll need to make sure that you have the money set aside from everything.

Few people know how to budget for a home renovation without going through a lot of stress, however. There are quite a few things you can do to minimize this.

How To Budget For A Home Renovation Without The Stress

Start With The High Level Costs

When you’re budgeting for a home renovation, you’ll have multiple things to factor into it. You should start with the high-level costs associated with the project.

Some of the more notable include architect plans and builder estimates. These should be some of the first things you consider when developing your budget.

In many cases, you’ll need inspections to be done as part of this. While that could involve paying a cost now, it’ll let you plan things out much better.

Make sure you consider VAT and similar costs if these aren’t included in the estimates that you get. Though seemingly minor, it can have a significant impact on your overall budget.

Don’t Forget The Little Things

If you’re doing a home renovation yourself, you’ll still need to budget for quite a few things. The only place you’ll be saving is with labor.

You’ll still need to buy all of the supplies needed for the project. As obvious as that is, it’s easy to overlook quite a few things.

That can range from concrete screws to equipment and any required vehicles. Overlooking these only to remember them later on could throw off your budget completely.

Make sure that you’ve included everything in it.

Get Plenty Of Quotes

When you’re planning a home renovation, you should get recommendations for plenty of contractors. You should get quotes from each of them.

As you do, you should make sure that they have everything they need to give you an accurate quote. That could include structural drawings, among other documents.

Once you’ve gotten these quotes, you can budget for your home renovations more easily. It’s also worth double-checking what’s included in the estimate.

You could find that one builder may not have included the cost of supplies while another did. That could explain a significant difference in quotes.

How To Budget For A Home Renovation: Wrapping Up

If you don’t know how to budget for a home renovation, you could get overly-stressed. You could end up giving up on the project before it’s even started.

You shouldn’t have to do that. Taking advantage of the above home renovation tips will remove much of that.

There’s a wealth of other things you can do on top of this. Planning it out early and taking your time is recommended.

It’ll let you take a breather while ensuring that everything’s taken care of. Once it’s done, your renovations will be more than worth it.

budget travel

How To Save For Your Next Holiday

How to Save for Your Next Holiday

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Travelling is one of life’s great experiences. Seeing new cultures, amazing landscapes, and revelling in other countries’ rich histories. It’s unparalleled.

The only catch is that these experiences are often expensive. First, there is the abroad travel, whether you go by car, boat, or plane. Then there’s the cost of staying somewhere, the cost of food, plus the cost of any experiences you have, like entry to a museum or a ticket to see a show. Then, on top of this, there are all the nitty-gritty costs you forget about.

It can feel overwhelming, looking at how much it will cost you to go on holiday – especially when you have a big family to pay for.

But it doesn’t need to overwhelm you. By starting early and using these easy saving tips, you don’t need the cost to stop you from having a great holiday.

Start saving early

Last minute holidays are really tricky to save for because you have to come up with the money in no time at all. Instead, book your holidays well in advance. Not only will they be cheaper this way, but you’ll also have more time to save. Once you’ve got a date in mind, start saving immediately. The earlier you start, the less financial burden you’ll feel.

Make saving part of your routine

Saving always feels easier when it’s just a part of everyday life. In the same way you budget so much money towards your food budget, you should also budget a certain amount to be saved each month. It doesn’t have to be loads – look at the date you’d like to go on holiday, and divide the amount by your amount of time. This terrifyingly big number should divide into something much more manageable and less scary looking.  

Put your savings somewhere smart

It can be tempting to use your savings. Maybe something comes up, like a car maintenance issue, or you’ve got a wedding and need a new outfit. In these moments, you might think to yourself: “It can’t hurt to just dip into the holiday savings.”

The problem is that, once you’ve dipped in once, it’s easy to dip in again. Before you know it, you don’t have enough savings to afford your holiday.

For this reason, you should think carefully about where to store your savings. Putting them in a savings account means it’s harder to access them immediately, so your impulse control is mostly done for you.

Another perk of a savings account is that you can earn interest on them, adding to your savings. The interest level will depend from bank to bank, so shop around for your best option.

If you want to risk making even more money, you could put your savings into an investment in the hopes that, when you need them, you can sell it off and make even money. This could be an investment in stocks or even currencies like Terra (LUNA). Make sure you do your research first to ensure you aren’t taking an unnecessary risk.

DIY tips

Home Remodelling Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Home Remodelling Mistakes You Need To Avoid

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Setting up the perfect living space comes with so many decisions you need to make right. From your choice of furniture to the colour themes you opt for, every decision you take can help make or break your interior decor efforts. The wrong decisions will also end up costing you money. So, are you planning a home decor project? Do you want to create a living space you’ll love? Then you might want to avoid making these home decor mistakes. 

Not knowing where your ability ends

Today, the internet has countless sources offering various DIY tips and tutorials on sprucing your home. Although you may do a few home decor projects, you need to know where your ability ends and where you need professional assistance. For example, purchasing the right furniture, installing wallpaper, painting your walls are pretty easy to handle. But it is best to have experienced hands take care of bathroom installations, roof replacements, and so on. You may try to save costs by managing some projects on your own, but the results of your mistake could cost you more than the services of a professional.

Not giving yourself enough time to plan and budget

Any home renovation project requires enough time to plan before you hit the ground. Although an average renovation may take four to eight months, how much time you’ll need will depend on the nature of the project. But the last thing you want to do is rush into it on impulse because of a design you saw somewhere. First, ask yourself why you want to remodel or renovate. Next, you should find out how much it will cost you in detail. Giving yourself enough time to think through it will keep you from regret. 

Going cheap to save cost

There is always the temptation to cut costs as much as possible for any home remodelling project. Although you can go for cheaper artworks and decorative pieces to give a room a new look, it is not advisable to do the same for flooring types, rugs, furniture, etc. The cheaper your fittings and fixtures are, the shorter they’ll last. That means you’ll have to replace them sooner than you want, which will cost more money.

Trying to do too many things at the same time

If you’re planning on carrying out an extensive remodelling project, it is advisable to create a plan that allows you to complete one task at a time. For example, if you must renovate more than one room, go about it one room at a time. You might think that trying to remodel everything at once will reduce costs, but you’ll find it less expensive to go one room or space after the other. 

Ignoring your home’s natural style

No matter the design theme you opt for, you want to make sure that it blends with the design of your home while reflecting your personality. Find ways to incorporate your favourite design elements into your home’s natural style in a seamless manner. 

Top tips

Finding A New Nest: Tips For A Successful Property Search

Finding A New Nest: Tips For A Successful Property Search

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Finding a new house is an exciting prospect but it’s not always plain sailing. Many prospective homeowners experience a rollercoaster ride and it can be difficult to find the perfect home. If you’re looking for a new nest, here are some top tips for a successful property search

Set a budget

One of the most important tasks to cross off your list is to set a budget. Analyse your finances, figure out how much you can afford to pay as a deposit and explore mortgage offers. It’s wise to go into a search with a maximum price in mind and to filter results accordingly. If you set your budget too high before you’ve looked into mortgages properly, there’s a risk of falling head over heels for a house you can’t afford. Once you have an accurate figure, you can set your search criteria and let agents know how much you can spend. 

Explore a diverse range of options

Many of us conjure up images of attending viewings, putting an offer in and moving into a new home a couple of months later when we think about buying property. In reality, there is an ever-growing range of options available to buyers and prospective homeowners. If you’re open to ideas, you could consider buying a plot of land and building a house, taking on a fixer-upper or getting advice about purchasing a new development from a buying off the plan guide. You may find that you can make your money stretch further and that there is less competition if you choose to explore these avenues rather than a more conventional transaction. If you are planning to do work on a house or even build a property, it’s essential to calculate costs in advance and make sure the project is financially viable. 

Create a wish-list

Every buyer is unique and one person may have a very different wish-list from another. When you’re looking through listings and determining search criteria, think about what matters most to you. Is location the top priority or does your new home need to have a large garden or stunning views? Are you desperate for four bedrooms or do you dream of having an open-plan kitchen-diner? Try to be realistic when making your list. If you have a tight budget or there are very few houses on the market in your chosen location, you may need to compromise. 

Arrange second viewings

During a first viewing, it’s natural to get carried away if you get that warm and fuzzy feeling when you walk through the door and you leave thinking that you’ve found ‘the one.’ No matter how much you think you love a house, always go back for another look. Use your second viewing to inspect every room closely and think about whether the property will work for you. If you still think it’s perfect after a second or third visit, this is a brilliant sign. 

Are you on the hunt for a new nest? If you’re looking for the perfect home, take these tips on board. 

Design, Interior Design, Top tips

Here’s How To Modernise Your Interior Design

Here's How To Modernise Your Interior Design
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Are you looking for ways to improve your home? If so, then you might be interested in ensuring that it looks more modern. This is a step that a lot of people will often take before selling their property. Why? A modern home is always going to be more attractive to buyers. Even if they are not getting the pieces that fit together to create the completed decor, they still want to see the dream. They want to know what this home could be and that’s why you should never leave a home empty and bare if you’re planning on selling. 

Invest In The Right Furniture

First, you should consider investing in new furniture for your property. There are numerous choices here but you should pay particular attention to the shape and even the materials of the furniture in question before you purchase items to modernise your home. Different shapes and materials look more modern such as a high gloss dining table. Under the right lighting, this is going to glisten and could become the centerpiece of any room. 

Get The Lighting Perfect

Since we mentioned lighting, it’s worth exploring how this could fit into a modern design. Beautiful lighting will ensure that the furniture and materials you choose glisten beautifully. The right lighting can create an incredible effect. There are many options for modern lighting however one of the best choices could be spotlights. Spotlights that are sunken in are perfect because they will light the room equally, ensuring that there are no areas that are left concealed in shadow. 

Consider The Flooring 

Next, you should think about selecting the right flooring for your property. Consider whether it is time to remove the old and outdated carpet from your home. Carpet is no longer considered a stylish choice for a property. Instead, you should opt for laminate flooring if you’re working with quite a tight budget or hardwood flooring if you have more wiggle room with how much you can spend. The good news about laminate is that it comes in a wide range of styles to help modernise your home. So, you will be able to find the perfect choice for your property and even a specific room. 

Go Minimal

Finally, if you are aiming for a modern look for your home, then you really do need to embrace a minimal design. You should explore options that leave a lot of open space in the rooms around your property and provide an effect that makes your home look like a showroom. The trick here is to think about furniture in terms of what you need in a room. If you do this, then you’re never going to have an issue with overcrowding an area. Your home will have that contemporary design that many people adore and definitely want to see. 

We hope this helps you understand the key ways that you can modernise your home design and why this could be the right choice. Ultimately, with these steps, you can guarantee that your property looks more presentable and attractive regardless of your reasoning. 


How to Manage a Short-Term Shortfall in Your Budget

How to Manage a Short-Term Shortfall in Your Budget

A temporary decrease in your cash flow can create major problems for you. It may be difficult for you to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are ways that you can manage a shortfall in your budget.

Cut Out Unnecessary Things

If you want to know how to manage a shortfall, then you will need to start by reviewing your budget. You will free up more of your income if you get rid of the things that you do not need. For example, you can stop buying coffee every day. You can also pack your lunch instead of buying it.

The advantage of doing this is that you may be able to resolve your financial problems without borrowing money. The disadvantage of doing this is that you may have to make major sacrifices.

Responsibly Use Credit Cards and Loans

You can use your credit card or find an installment loan to cover your expenses in a short-term pinch. Make sure you only borrow what you need and can afford to pay back on time. This is one of the keys to borrowing money responsibly. One of the benefits of using a credit card or loan is that you do not have to pay the full balance off immediately.

You can make small payments every month. However, you will likely have to pay interest on a loan or credit card. The amount that you eventually pay back will be more than what you borrowed. Additionally, all lenders have requirements that have to be met.

Pawn an Item

If you have a valuable item, then you can pawn it to get money. Jewelry, electronics, and video consoles are examples of some the things that you can pawn. You will be able to quickly get cash if you pawn an item. You can also get the item back after you pay the pawn shop back.

However, you will lose the item if you cannot pay the pawn shop back. There is also a possibility that the pawn shop will not give you what the item is truly worth.

Pick up Extra Hours or Get a Second Job

You can get out of a bad financial situation by earning extra money. You can ask your employer if you can pick up extra hours. Working a few extra hours per week can help you bring in a lot more money. You may also want to pick up a second job or side source of income if possible.

Working extra hours can be a better option than borrowing money. You can make extra money that you will not have to worry about paying back. However, if you get a second job or work extra hours, then your life may be more stressful. You may find yourself getting burnt out. You will also have less time to spend with your friends and family.

You do not have to let a temporary shortfall ruin you financially. You can correct this problem by sticking to a budget and cutting out things you do not need. You can also borrow money or pawn an item. Additionally, you can work longer hours or pick up a second job. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before you choose one.

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Renovation: top tips

Saving Money (And Your Sanity)

Saving Money (And Your Sanity)

Preparing Your Family For A Big Home Renovation

The topic of renovating our homes throws up so many concerns. But if we are to get through this, not just in the way that ensures your bank balance doesn’t take a major hit, but also so your emotions are intact, preparation is vital. But what if you’ve got a family and children that rely on you to do so much that you have to get the house done and completely finished under a tight timescale and also keep track of every other aspect of your family life?

Saving Money (And Your Sanity)

Getting Organised

Organisation is essential when you’ve got family anyway, but now that you’ve got to overhaul your home, it’s time to step it up a gear. As every spare moment will be spent dealing with professionals, working through the budget, and taking on a lot of the tasks yourself, you have to ensure that it doesn’t completely overwhelm you, nor take over your life. A good working relationship with professionals is essential in this instance. Whether you’re working with contemporary architects, standard builders, or on the phone endlessly to the council, developing your relationship so that when issues arise, they can be dealt with swiftly without causing much stress, can take some time to achieve. But this is where you have to get yourself organised. If you’re not a naturally organised sort of person, planning ahead, making lists, but also structuring your life, won’t just benefit the job, but the family too.

Keep An Eye On Every Outgoing

A natural offshoot of being organised is keeping track of every single financial component. Your outgoings will be stretched to the very limit. The very important parts at the outset include preparing a budget, but also understanding things can go over budget, and when you’re making financial plans, operating with a financial buffer will help. You can apply for loans to help, but you have to be aware have this could impact your credit score.

Understand The Scope Of The Renovation

We usually operate with the idea of what the house will look like, rather than think about the hardship we have to go through to get to that end product. Understanding the scope, in conjunction with the budget, you need to figure out what you would like to see completed in a short-term time scale, as well as over the next 12 to 18 months. This links directly to your goals, and if you are looking to gut your house out completely, this can result in the budget spiralling out of control. Compromise can help, and if it gets to the point where the project is going on far too long, then you will have to lower your expectations.

We have to consider the impact on our family as well as our financial situation. If our children have limited access to the kitchen and the living room over the space of a year, they can feel somewhat hemmed in. And when life is so busy as it is, adding the task of total renovation can make for a stressful environment. Preparation is vital, not just for your family, but for your own sanity.

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Debt, Top tips

Do you know how to handle debt?

Do you know how to handle debt?

Do you know how to handle debt?

There isn’t a person alive who isn’t in some way concerned about their finances. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, your financial situation is always going to present certain limitations on your life and the way in which you can live it. You may not be able to spend as much money as you would like on luxuries or perhaps you simply aren’t in a position to save money. Of course, for some, it’s much more serious than that. Some people are in a position where their financial situation means that they’re constantly in danger of not being able to afford their energy bills, food, or even to live in their homes. These kinds of issues are incredibly serious, and many people don’t how to help themselves avoid them.

However, there are some things that people can do to avoid this, potentially catastrophic situation. Unfortunately, since you can almost never get something for nothing, many people find that the solutions to their finances problems often involve debt. Whether it’s a loan from the bank, remortgaging, short-term cash loans, or credit cards, many of the ways in which people are able to pay off any large financial obligations can land them in pretty significant amounts of debt.

Of course, debt isn’t always bad. In fact, it can be pretty positive at times. After all, many people find that a small monthly payment is far more manageable that a single large payment. Not only that but paying off your debts can even help improve your credit rating. Of course, that doesn’t mean that debt is always good. In fact, too much debt can leave many people financially crippled and completely unable to pull themselves out of it. To help make sure that doesn’t happen to you, here are some ways that you can manage borrowed money and hopefully avoid falling into a bottomless pit on every increasing debt.

Only borrow what you can afford to pay back

 Do You Know How To Handle Debt?

This might sound a little odd to some people. After all, why would you need to borrow money if you could already afford it? But this isn’t really how debt works. After all, most of the time people end up borrowing money not because they can’t afford something overall, but because they can’t afford it at that particular moment in time. This is why payday loans exist. They are designed to tide you over for a week or two until you get paid and can then pay off what you owe.  Or, at least that’s how it should be in theory. Far too many people end up miscalculating how much they can actually afford to borrow instead of thinking carefully about what their monthly income can stretch to. This leads to them being unable to pay off their debts and slowly building up more and more interest over time, not only costing themselves money but also destroying their credit score in the process. Think carefully about how much you’re borrowing, how long you’ll be paying it back for, and how much the payments are. Then, balance that against your monthly income and how much you can afford to remove from that amount. Only then can you truly figure out how much to borrow.

Never buy luxuries on borrowed money

One of the biggest issues that are facing modern households is that much of their household debt has been accrued through the purchase of luxury and non-essential items. This is part of the reason that so many people were left financially crippled following the financial disaster of 2008. There are plenty of experts who fear that the amount of spending on credit that people are doing in recent years is leading them down the same path. One of the most dangerous things that you can do is to think of credit cards or loans as free money to use on luxuries. Not only is this incredibly short sighted but it also causes you to massively overestimate what you can afford. It’s all fun and games until the end of the month when a huge credit card bill appears on your doorstep, and you’re in no position to actually pay it back.

Keep a clear budget

Do You Know How To Handle Debt?

If you want to be able to pay off your debts, then you simply can’t afford to be in a position where you’re not keeping close track of your money. Far too many people seem to think that their money will handle itself and that they don’t need to track it carefully. Having a budget is one of the most important things that anyone can do on a financial level, but for those in debt, it’s even more important. You need to be able to look carefully at whether or not you’re in a position to pay certain things off or not. It will help you know whether you can borrow money and how much, not only that but you’ll be able to more closely manage your spending so that you’re not spending money that you need in order to pay back debts on something frivolous. Your budget should be as detailed as possible. Any regular payment, no matter how small, should be included so that you can keep the clearest possible track of where your money’s going and when.

Only borrow from trusted sources

It’s a sad fact of life that there are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to take advantage of desperate, frightened, and vulnerable people in order to make money. Because of that, you should exercise as much caution as possible when you’re trying to find somewhere to borrow money from. This is especially important in the internet age where it is far easier than ever for criminals with ulterior motives to manipulate and trick unsuspecting people into getting into bad debt. Make sure that you do as much research as possible on any organization that is lending money. If you can’t find multiple sources of verification that they’re legitimate, steer clear. Stick to things like banks and other established organizations. Sure, there are risks when it comes to borrowing from banks too, but they are certainly far less significant than borrowing from random companies. Remember: if someone is offering you a deal and it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Never cover the debt with more debt!

 Do You Know How To Handle Debt?

One of the most tempting things that a lot of people do is to panic and use more borrowing to cover the payments of existing debts. While this might seem like a good idea in the moment, it’s the worst thing that you can do. All you’re doing there is digging yourself further and further into a hole where there is nothing but more and more debt. As hard as it might seem, you’ll be better off with things like saving bit by bit or working extra hours for a little more spare cash. Adding more debt onto what you already have is going to make life much, much harder. Of course, this is not the same as consolidating your debts. There are plenty of situations where you’ll be able to combine your various debts into a single monthly payment. Not only does this make a huge amount difference to your mindset, since you no longer feel like you’re drowning in debt, but you may also be able to reduce your monthly payments overall. You may end up paying your debts for slightly longer, but for those who are worried that they wouldn’t be able to make the payments at all, that’s a pretty fair trade.

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