Budgeting as a side effect of lockdown.

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When the year 2020 came in, a lot of positive stuff came with it. Everyone was hopeful. People have kept their faith that everything would fall into place that year, with luck being on our side. January 2020 was good, February even better. Then, came March…

A super typhoon wreaked havoc in several parts of the country through flooding. A volcano erupted after it. The eruption left so many families without their livelihoods, destroying crops, tourism, and so much more. Then, this corona virus claiming so many lives and causing massive lockdowns around the world!

One side effect of the lockdown due to the virus is retrenchment. A number of people lost their jobs because companies had to let go of some of their employees in order to stay afloat. Can you imagine losing your steady source of income? It is scary. But I’d like to think that this virus also brought about some positive changes in our lives. One such positive outcome is budgeting. Majority of individuals, especially parents, learned how to budget properly.

money-organizer These days, instead of immediately buying a brand new appliance when the one at home gets broken, an appliance repair brampton specialist gets called instead. Practical, cheaper. Economical.

When a double-income household becomes a single-income household, you learn to tighten the belt, fix this and that, to make ends meet. You learn to budget properly. You learn how to keep track of your family cash flow in order to make sure all the needs are met and some spare can be saved.

If you are having a hard time budgeting, here is a suggestion, an easy way to budget your income. Get a money organizer, label it with the expenses you need to pay off and spend on for the next fifteen days (this is particularly for salaried income earners), and start putting cash in every pocket until you have enough for every item of expense you have there. Mommies have been swearing on the effectiveness of this method of budgeting. One way of being able to properly budget through the money organizer is by sticking to the plan. Writing down what is truly needed for the next fifteen days, sticking to the list, doing meal planning… it is a big part of a successful budget.

Not everything brought on by this virus lockdown had negative effect on our lives. The lockdown taught us hard lessons. Save up for emergencies. Create and stick to a budget. Learn to tighten the belt when the household income drops. Get to know the needs of every member of the family living under one roof in order to avoid clashes. Be sensitive to the needs and quirks of everyone around you. The lockdown is probably a way of the world to teach us to look beyond what is in front of us, to improvise again like we used to, to become better versions of ourselves.

I would like to believe that we will come out of this virus period stronger and better.

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The importance of spare keys.

Home rentals can be tricky at times. After getting the master keys from the owner, what should be the first thing you must do? Call an emergency locksmith and change all the locks! Or at the very least, the lock of the gate and the front door.

front-door You are not sure if the keys you hold are the only keys leading into your home. The owner could be an unscrupulous fellow who can get in and out of your home when you are not around. You do not want that to happen.

There was a news in the past about a landlord who went inside his rentals, went through his renters’ things, then pretended that he didn’t know what happened. Good thing there was a CCTV in one of the rentals so he was caught in the act. From then on, changing locks became a habit.

But here’s one of the tricky parts of changing locks: you need to make sure that you have spare keys for emergencies. Yes, you can call a locksmith when you need one but what if it’s in the middle of the night and you accidentally lock yourself out of your house or room? Here is a suggestion: find a good hiding place. Not under the welcome mat at the front door or even under the plant pot near the stairs. Too obvious! Find somewhere you can hide it properly. It can be an alcove, a dent on the fence, a figurine with a hole in it. Hide your spare key there. You need to have a master key and a set of spare keys inside your house, of course. The spare key hidden outside is for emergencies only.

The same goes for your car. A set of spare keys in a secure place is also very much necessary. It is a must! A co-worker has a spare key for her car in the office. She once lost her car keys somewhere and when it was time for her to go home, she was panicking because she could not find her keys. Good thing someone remembered her emergency spare key inside the office so she went back to get it. To this day, she was not able to find her lost car keys. She promptly brought her car to an automotive locksmith to get her locks changed.

Spare keys are very important to have. Hide it somewhere secure. Lock it inside a cabinet you have access to anytime. Do not make the mistake of locking the keys inside a room which when locked, you would need the keys to get it unlocked. Someone made that mistake in the past and it cost her a pricey doorknob and a chunk of the wood surrounding the knob.

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Adding a passive income.

I am in the process of establishing a business which will give me a steady passive income. Checking out poly plastic bags has brought back so many memories of the past year. Memories, lessons, plans…

The past year has taught me a very important lesson: I need to save up. 2020 came with a loud bang! Everyone, including myself, had been expecting last year to be abundant in all aspects of our lives. Indeed, the year ushered in great income potential not only professionally but personally as well. We couldn’t ask for a better first month of the year. Who would have thought that it would go down the hill faster than you could expect it to be?!?

One disaster came after another. A volcano erupted causing massive disruption in the economy. When the effects of the eruption was fading away and people were going back to the normalcy of their lives, a super typhoon hit the country destroying billions worth of crops, produces, and so livelihood.

Then the virus hit.

It was a Monday, I was at work. We were immediately told to bring whatever we needed to begin working from home until further notice. I had to pack a lot of documents and brought home all of it including binders, printers, rims of paper. It was a manic Monday, literally.

Months that we were in limbo, our jobs were on the line because businesses were closing. With no income flowing in, almost every company I knew declared bankruptcy. The company I was working for was so close to shutting down. I was silently panicking because I had no savings to speak of. Where would I get the money to pay for my bills?

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That’s where the idea of setting up a permanent source of passive income came from. One idea is a business with my sister of producing candles meant to be given away on special occasions. The big ones. The packaging is something I am very particular about because I want it to be extra special. Maybe, International Plastics can provide it. I still have to check again.

Save up. Have an emergency fund. Have a steady source of passive income. It won’t hurt to have something to tap on should a big disaster hit the world again.

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2021 loading…

I am pretty sure I am not the only one waiting for this year, 2020, to end. I am done with this year that started off with a volcano erupting and causing havoc to so many parts of the country. Livelihood, properties, health. And then came this Covid-19 virus that took away so much from every one of us. Then came a typhoon that took so many lives…

My Dad passed away this year, too. March 10th, to be exact.

So, you can just imagine how painful this year is to me, to my whole family. Doubly painful because of my Dad’s passing.

But 2020 is about to end in a few hours!

2021 new year

Let me greet you now a very happy new year!!!

I am praying fervently that this coming year will be filled with blessings in health, finances, relationships, and careers.

Cheers!

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Leading A More Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle

With global warming and climate change causing devastation around the natural world, leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is something that many people are trying to achieve. There are a wealth of changes that you can make each and every day which will reduce your carbon footprint and the impact that you have on the natural world, and it truly couldn’t be easier to start your journey today. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of now!

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Rethink Your Diet

One of the most harmful aspects of your lifestyle that you may not have even considered is your diet. The foods that you eat can either help the planet or hurt it, so it’s important that you can address your diet in an attempt to make a few positive changes. Eating meat is one of the worst things that you can do for the planet, as dramatic mass deforestation takes place in order to create enough space for livestock to meet ever increasing demand. To add to this, the methane gas that is created by livestock and used in feed fertilisation processes contributes more greenhouse gases that all modes of transport combined. The practice of rearing livestock can also increase the risk of mass extinctions in other species, as well as polluting natural waterways at the same time. Making the decision to cut down the amount of meat that you consume will have a huge impact on your carbon footprint (and your health), and the rise in plant based foods is making this step easier and easier. You can start off slow by taking part in a weekly meat free Monday, or throw yourself in at the deep end and go vegan to experience the full range of benefits.

Go Plastic Free

In recent years plastic pollution has risen to the top of many people’s agenda, as the effects of the near indestructible material have slowly but surely left an irreparable mark on the planet. Oceans are filled to the brim with food packaging, discarded fishing nets, micro plastics and so much more, all of which is likely to be eaten by the sea creatures who encounter it. Coral reefs are littered with plastics, and many endangered sea animals wash up on beaches suffocated by needless plastic dumped into the water. The only way to stop this from continuing on is to find alternative natural materials that do not have a half life of a hundred years; which can biodegrade in a safe and healthy way with as little effect on the environment as possible. One idea that mind just put an end to the problem of plastic is hemp, as hemp products can easily form a suitable replacement. Glass is another reliable alternative, especially when considering replacing plastics used in food storage.

Leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above!

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Why Experts Are A Must For Piano Removal

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Piano removals happen every day, and for every successful move, there is one that ends in disaster. Why? Because the piano owner decided that they didn’t want or need expert movers to move their piano. Don’t learn the hard way; read on to discover why you should always use an expert piano removal firm.

One of the main reasons why piano removals should always be undertaken by specialist movers is the weight of the instrument. If you slip while carrying a heavy box, you may break the contents and possibly breaking or bruise your foot if it lands on it. However, a piano is a great deal heavier, and should it fall during moving it could cause serious injuries to those involved.

As well as the health and safety of the individuals involved, there is the piano itself to consider. If it is damaged during the move, it is not just the external look of the instrument that will be affected. Even a slight knock could affect the intricate internal workings; breaking strings and damaging hammers, and that’s just the parts you would be able to see.

The other concern when it comes to moving a grand piano is whether it should be taken apart to be moved. While removing the legs may seem like a great idea, if you get it wrong, your piano may never sound the same again.

If this isn’t enough to convince you, then consider your insurance; the easiest way to invalidate any insurance is to do the work yourself. A piano’s insurance is no different, and may even stipulate the need for a specialist removal company.

Cost Is Just One Consideration When Choosing A Service

The cost is, of course, going to feature in any final decision you make about how best to move your piano to its new home. However, the price cannot be the only determining factor in your decision as to who your trust your piano removals to. Follow this guide to hiring the right specialist piano removals service.

When you bought your piano, you would have had it delivered by professional movers. The reason for this was to ensure that it arrived at your home in the same condition that it left the store. If the business you purchased your piano from arranged or controlled the delivery, then this is the best place to start looking for a professional mover for your piano. Even if they cannot complete the move, they may be able to recommend another excellent specialist in moving pianos at a reasonable cost, such as North American Van Lines. If you go down this route, then ensure that you check recommendations and references carefully. You want to check that the company has the experience, not only with your grand or upright piano, but also your building type. Check that the company has the equipment and the number of people needed to complete the removal safely.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about any aspect of your piano’s move, including whether the company you are looking to use has insurance, and what exactly this insurance will cover. It’s no good finding out after the move that the insurance didn’t cover accidents while the piano was being transported in their vehicle.

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3 Financial Tips For First-Time Car Owners

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When beginning to drive for the first time, no matter if that’s when you’re eighteen years old or fifty, it’s easy to feel worried about the financial cost of operating a vehicle. Of course, you have nothing to fear (not really). Vehicles do require maintenance and sometimes they do break down, but if you are willing to look after the pennies, it’s possible to run a car without having to pay over the odds for the privilege.

That being said, financial wisdom applies to all areas of life, and running a vehicle is no different. For those who wish to save as much as they can, or rather spend in the areas that are most important, it’s worthwhile to know what your options are. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn these tips through trial and error, instead, you can come to rational conclusions based on worthwhile tips and tricks you deserve to know.

So – what do you deserve to know? That’s a great question in itself. Let’s move forward and share all we know about financial guidance for first-time car owners:

Consider Financed Options Or Loans

Financed options or loans can help you achieve a vehicle that is more reliable, more affordable in the long run, and more worthwhile. New Roads Auto Loans can help you secure a car you’re looking for, because ultimately if you purchase a sustainable vehicle (or one that can operate well without proprietary repairs), you are saving money in the long run. No matter if you buy a gas-guzzler or a tiny hatchback, the same principles apply. This way, you’re more likely to benefit.

Understand The Basics Of Maintenance

If you’re able to change a tire, check and change your oil, and understand the basics of maintenance, you can avoid having to call someone out for the privilege each time a difficulty springs up. Something as simple as checking tyre pressure before a journey or replacing brake fluid can help you avoid nasty callout charges. At the very least, invest in great insurance so that you are covered even if there’s something you can’t fix. This will help you avoid issues (and financial holes) in the long run.

Buy Fuel On A Credit Card

Buying fuel on a credit card is useful. It helps you pay for your gas wherever you need it, without having to overly worry about the exact penny cost to your limited debit account funds. This can also grant you the means of paying off your expenses later on, building your credit score, and ultimately helping you secure a better option (or better insurance) next time. When you know you can afford fuel no matter what and pay it back at a later date, you will have peace of mind on the roads, and feel very comfortable as a result. That’s a greata place to start.

With this advice, you’re sure to manage the 3 best financial tips for first-time car owners.

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Spending More Time At Home? The Changes To Make When You’re Sick Of The Same Four Walls!

We’re all spending a bit more time at home at the moment, and if you’re new to remote working, or having to use a home office, you’re probably getting a bit sick of seeing the same four walls over and over again! Don’t worry, you’re not alone; we’re all going a bit crazy with cabin fever, and it’s time to do something about this.

You’re going to want to make some changes to the interior design of your home, as well as the way it works. You’ve probably never noticed these kinds of little issues before, like how those wallpapers clash or how there’s not enough room on that bookshelf, simply because you haven’t been exposed to your own home this much before!

So, without further ado, let’s make sure you know what to change in your home, and how to go about making a change for the better. It’s all about giving yourself a bit more to work with, a bit more to look at, and making yourself feel a bit more comfortable when you’re stuck inside your own house.

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Switch Out Harsh Lighting

The lighting in your home is there for a reason, of course. It’s there to ensure it never gets too dark, and you can enjoy your alone or family time with enough light to eat, drink, and be a bit merry.

But the thing is, the lighting in your home might be a bit too harsh, especially if you’re a fan of overhead lamps. If you walk into a room and just flip the light switch on without really thinking about it, there’s a good chance you’re not doing your eyes or your mood any favors. And seeing as you’ve spent a lot more time at home recently, there’s a good chance you’re starting to become a bit over sensitive to the bulb that’s hanging over your head!

Which means it’s time to switch those harsh light tones and overhead lamps with something a little more soft and intimate, especially in your bedroom. Something that won’t hurt your eyes, and will just give your surroundings a soft glow, but still with strong enough light to read or work by.

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Getting the Best out of a Moving Company

Moving is a hassle for everybody; it’s just a fact of life. Packing up an entire home or office space full of furniture and belongings, making sure everything is safe and secure, transporting it to a new location, unloading, then beginning the process of unpacking and arranging everything…it’s time consuming, stressful and sometimes even risky if you’re moving items that are fragile, old or very heavy. There’s a reason that moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.

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For many of us, hiring a moving company or service is one way to eliminate some of that stress and make the entire process smoother. While it’s always going to be an anxiety-inducing experience – moving your life from one space to another – hiring an experienced and professional team to handle the hard stuff is definitely going to make it go easier. Hiring an experienced moving company is definitely a good investment, especially when you can easily compare removal services, and one that will ensure your move goes off without a hitch (pun intended), that your prized belongings are kept safe, and that everything is done on your schedule.

When hiring movers, there are some things you want to look for. For starters, you want a great point of contact who sits down with you and collects detailed information about your move – everything from when you need it done by, to your budget, to a detailed item-by-item list of your belongings, furniture and other important pieces. They’ll go through your house with you room by room, detailing everything you need moved and making note if you’ll also require packing assistance and/or materials. At the end of your consultation they’ll provide you with an estimated time frame and a quote, so you can make a decision if you’d like to hire the company. You have a right to know if the company you’re hiring can take care of your moving needs quickly, efficiently and affordably, so make sure they go over all these details with you and give you a specific time frame before you hire them.

Many moving companies like Two Men and a Truck also provide you with moving materials, packing materials and more, to make the entire process easier and keep you from having to hunt down and purchase costly moving supplies. They’ll also provide their own equipment, safety gear and the trucks needed to haul your items, big or small. Some moving companies even help you pack as an extra service, for those who are pressed for time or aren’t able to do it all on their own. Be sure to inquire about extra or additional services offered when you call your moving company.

Hiring movers is a worthy investment and one that will ensure that your move goes much easier than if you tried to do it on your own. Paying a group of friends in pizza is a cool way to save some cash, but it’s not exacty a safe or stress-free way to move. Spend the extra money on a moving company and you’ll be glad you did.

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Tips for Moving to Another State

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People move around all the time, that’s a constant in life. Even more, there are many reasons why they choose to relocate. It could be because of a new job, to be closer to family, or simply a lifestyle upgrade. Regardless of the reason, moving can leave you feeling stressed and not to mention, it can be expensive too. Nevertheless, there a few things movers can do to ease the stress associated with the entire process, and below are some tips to help them out.

1. Research Your New State

The idea of moving to a new state is obviously quite exciting, with the possibility of something new and better in sight. Despite this, don’t allow yourself to be caught unaware because with new things come uncertainties and new hurdles to jump.

It is advisable to find out how much taxes you will be paying, the schools in your new state and their costs, among many other things. Once you’re armed with this information, you’ll be able to plan your budget accordingly. Even more, if you have the time, try and make at least one trip to this new city so you can have a true feel of your new neighborhood and get a head start on learning the lay of the land.

2. Find a Place to Live

Now that you’ve decided that moving to a new city is the best choice for you, it is time to find a new home. Your choice will most likely be determined by your current status. If your family is growing and you need more space, then you should be looking to secure a bigger house. It’s even better if they can match what you’re paying in your current city or go lower. Also, make sure the home you choose favors every aspect of your life. Don’t get a place that’s two hours away from your new office or eons away from your kid’s school.

If you are already a homeowner in your current city and are looking to sell your house off, then you should consider using a company that will buy homes for cash. This takes away the hassle of getting a buyer within a short period of time and you can equally use the cash to make plans towards getting your new home immediately. In fact, try your best not to move until you have paid for your new home.

3. Decide on What to Take

This has to be one of the toughest parts for many people – deciding on what to take and what to leave. Especially if you’re leaving a childhood home or a place you’ve lived in for years, everything seems so sentimental and important. An easy way to get through this stage is to see this as an opportunity to purge.

Get rid of things you have never gotten around to using, like that weight bench which will end up taking up space, or an old couch that needs to be replaced. To make it a lot easier, you can organize a yard sale to sell these items off and replace some with better options once you relocate.

When you’ve made the decision on what to move, you can hire a reliable moving company. If you’re moving out of state, you should also consider forwarding your mail and updating your new address with your postal service company. Also, inform the important people in your life. You probably won’t see some of your friends again so, let them know that you are moving so you can have a little send-off party.

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