Gift Certificates – a Good or a Bad Gift?

January 20, 2017

gift cardsMany of us have probably received a gift certificate when we had a birthday with the explanation: “- So, you can choose what you want ..”.

Is the gift a good gift or not? Is it a not so personal, unimaginative and boring gift, or is it a good idea because the recipient can then choose herself what she wants?

These are issues which I think is highly individual.

For those of you who decided to buy gift certificates to your loved ones – here are a few things you should consider:

Here are some questions and stuff you might want to ask yourself when purchasing a gift card:

1. Fees – Make sure it is not in any way a fee for use of the gift card. Or if you have not used the gift card within a certain time – or if the gift card will decline in value after a certain time. It will only result in disappointment and frustration when confronted with these problems.

2. Bankruptcy – Find out what happens to the gift card if the company goes bankrupt! Is there any chance you may get any money in return? This may sound extremely far-fetched, but once it happens it may have been good to have found out about it beforehand.

3. What stores will it work in? – Does the gift card work only in the shop you bought it in, or in any of the stores in the chain? Is it possible to use it in various department stores around the country or just at the company you bought the card from? Click here to see.

4. The expiration date! – Very important to know. A gift card does not work just like regular money. It is absolutely not the same thing. Check if it says somewhere on the gift card when it expires, for example, six months after you bought it, inform the person you give it away to so that he or she can use the gift card in time.

As mentioned earlier, gift certificates are not the same as regular money! By knowing these points, you can avoid embarrassment, disappointment and frustration.

Four Tips on How to Save Yourself From Early Bankruptcy

January 15, 2017

money and credit cardsHere are some tips on how to stop foreclosure or even save yourself from early bankruptcy.

Did you know that money is one of the top stress inducers in the world?

Most people worry more about money than their own relationships, health and careers.

And because of this, the rest of your life suffers.

We find it hard to save money for a ton of reasons like simply never being taught money management skills. Or not controlling our own emotions.

Say no to impulse buying

So what if a sale falls on a payday? Malls will never run out of things to put on sale. Stick to your priorities first. Don’t buy anything that’s not on your list, even if the item is too good to pass up on.

But if you lose sleep and cant take it off your mind for the next 24 hours, then save up for it and buy if next time.

Chances are, you won’t even get it. Because it was just that, an impulse buy that after the impulse passes, so does your “imaginary” need for that new gizmo.

Give your credit card a rest

Paying with plastic is the most convenient way of shopping-enjoy it now, pay for it later lie there is on the planet. But it’s hard to keep track of your expenses this way and harder to keep yourself away from the malls.

Give your babies a rest once in a while and shop the old fashion way-with crisp, fresh-from-the-ATM bills.

If you start paying in cash, you’ll seriously notice just how fast you’re spending. And that’s the idea with credit cards, they want paying to be easy, very easy! So that you just go further and further into debt.

Lessen the gourmet coffee indulgence

If you spend an average of $4.00 for gourmet coffee in a day, that’s $28.00 in a week’s time.

You can buy a good pair of jeans with that amount of money if you put a halt to your expensive caffeine habit for a week.

Why not invest o a small coffeemaker and brew your own coffee once in a while? You’ll not only get to savor the coffee, but also the idea that you brewed it yourself.

You can even get fancy and buy whole roasted beans and a small grinder and grind your own coffee.

Even buying the beans, grinder and maker are way cheaper than going to Starbuck’s everyday!

Open savings account

Having a savings account will give you a sense of security knowing that you have money safely tucked away. And watching your balance grow will inspire you to try and save even more. You can learn more about other ways to save money here.

15 Questions to Ask for the Perfect Kitchen

January 15, 2017

kitchen interior designThe kitchen has been the heart of the home for centuries. Not only is it a place where food is prepared and meals enjoyed, it is also a gathering place where people build and renew relationships around the family hearth.

Kitchen plans for redecorating or remodeling are a time to take a good look at how the kitchen is used by everyone in the household.

While residents may seem to have many things in common for kitchen use (especially eating!), some members of the household may have special considerations such as food preparation and storage.

Many of today’s TV home makeover programs have emphasized turning a kitchen into a living space, rather than merely the place where meals are made. Such a transformation involves a lot of space, thought and planning to make happen, and lots of kitchens aren’t designed for that purpose. In virtually all cases, the function of a kitchen will continue to focus on food preparation and cooking.

Following is a list of question to help homeowners think about the design of their kitchen projects. The best way to use this list is to print out this page. Then have everyone in the household start answering the questions, and write their answers down.

Soon it will become apparent that some compromises are going to have to be made, whether to match available space, to avoid unnecessary duplication or to stay within a budget (especially the last). Try to think about how the household needs the kitchen to function, and build a project plan from that perspective.

1. As the kitchen now exists, what characteristics should be kept and what should be removed or renovated?

2. How many people in the household will use the kitchen? What activities will they perform?

3. Does eating as well as food preparation occur in the kitchen?

4. When you entertain, do you and your guests end up in the kitchen?

5. Do you feed your pets in the kitchen?

6. Will the kitchen be part of a building extension?

7. Is there any structural work needed, such as fixing roof leaks, replacing windows, fixing leaky faucets or using Water Damage Doctor in Houston, etc?

8. Will a boiler remain in the kitchen or be removed?

9. Check off which of the following major activities happen in the kitchen. (Remember, each additional activity requires more space and organization).

  • Cooking
  • Laundry
  • Homework / Office work
  • Entertaining
  • Eating
  • Other (List)

10. What decorating style should the new kitchen be? Will it coordinate or contrast with the decorating style of the rest of the home?

11. What type of flooring and wall coverings (paint, tiles, wallpaper) do you want in the kitchen?

12. How much storage do you need for food, utensils and equipment? Do you prefer open shelving or closed cupboards?

13. Will you use gas or electric for cooking?

14. How many electrical appliances will you have in the kitchen? Do you have enough room and enough electrical connections for them?

15. Do you want a dishwasher?

Thinking about questions such as these often sparks even more questions in the minds of homeowners. Write down everything you think over, and then start making comparisons and figuring budgets for your new dream kitchen.

Scarlet is definitely an expert household designer who’s written extensively about kitchen plans. Her content articles contain valuable help and advice about hundreds of different kitchen projects.

Basic Household Money Saving Ideas

January 14, 2017

save money dry clothes outsideEveryone wants to save money.

Especially when you have an entire family to feed and clothe.

But budgeting takes practice.

But if you’re patient and persevere you will find it becomes easier.

Here are a few tips to help you along that I learned about.

Cleaning: Buy cleaning products at a discount store rather than a grocery store where they often cost more.

Try inexpensive products such as baking soda, ammonia, and vinegar that can clean a lot for less.

You also may want to experiment with adding water to concentrated dishwashing liquids and shampoos to make them last longer. Before you endlessly run water or use any cleaning solution, think about what amount you’ll really need to do the job.

Utilities: Try to keep your air conditioning/heat set to a certain temperature (one in winter and one in summer). Experiment to see what temperature you can comfortably tolerate. Utilize ceiling and room fans in warm weather and keep window shades closed.

In cold weather, close off windows and doors for drafts. Replace air filters as needed. Also check with your local utilities company for suggestions to decrease your house’s energy consumption.

Laundry: Try skipping dryer sheets and fabric softeners to see if you really need them. Static cling is most problematic in colder months, so you may find you don’t need them during warmer weather. Also, use cold water whenever possible.

Save warm and hot water to wash whites and very dirty items. Try to wait until you have a full load of laundry before washing. Doing half loads uses more water, electricity, and detergent.

Storage: Regularly check your kitchen pantry and refrigerator to see what may be hidden in the back. Make a mental note so you won’t but ingredients you already have.

Keep your pantry and closets organized and your clothing stored neatly so you can see everything and avoid buying unneeded food, clothing, shoes, linen, cleaning products and other products. If you can’t see it, you may forget you have it.