Save Money on Home Renovations by Using These Smart Decor Tricks Instead

Renovations are no doubt expensive, time-consuming and a lot of work–especially if you do it yourself! However, we believe that instead of getting a full renovation, you can save a lot of money and get a similar effect by utilising these smart decor tricks instead!

Save Money on Home Renovations by Using These Smart Decor Tricks Instead

Add a stair carpet

If you have a wooden stairwell then placing a simple stair carpet will enhance the look and make it a little less slippery when you go upstairs in your socks.

Move your furniture around

Sometimes all it takes for us to feel like the room is entirely new is a different furniture layout. Breaking up the routine that you’re used to will make your home feel a little different and this is often enough of a makeover for people to be satisfied. Moving furniture around can be time-consuming so make sure you plan a weekend for it and use the opportunity to clean up the areas where your furniture has been sitting.

Don’t leave walls bare

Be it adding a clock, paintings, framed pictures or even a small hanger to place things like your keys and wallet, don’t leave your walls bare because it’s a fantastic source of extra storage and decor space. If you have large unused spaces in your rooms, then we would recommend adding shelves for extra storage space.

Fill your shelves

Just like your walls, empty shelves are a waste of space and they’re a fantastic place to put personalised decor pieces like trinkets, awards and memorabilia. You could fill them with books, music collections, important documents, photographs or even small potted plants. This will make your home look busier and give it a completely different personality.

Focus on your doors

Many people underestimate just how much of a difference door accessories can make to the general feel of a room. For instance, the handles could be improved to give a door a more unique and polished appearance, and replacing rusting and old hinges will add a pleasant yet subtle touch to your home.

Add a kitchen splashback

A kitchen splashback is inexpensive and very easy to install especially if it comes in a single sheet or piece. You can purchase splashbacks with unique designs, patterns or even messages to make your cooking area a little nicer.

Place plants around the home

Potted plants can be added virtually anywhere to the home since they’re relatively small, they come in many shapes and colours, and they’re easy to take care of. You can even use larger potted plants in corners of the room that would otherwise be empty.

Upgrade your lighting

Be it replacing an old lampshade, cleaning dusty bulbs or even swapping them out for inexpensive LED lights, it’s very easy to upgrade your lighting and you’d be surprised at just how big of a difference it makes to the overall feel of your home.

 

Hopefully, these tips have given you some budget ideas for decor changes. You often don’t need to renovate your entire home to get the feeling of a fresh and unique house, so try these little tricks first before you decide that you really need a complete house makeover.

Reasons Why You Should Start Saving Now To Better Your Family’s Future

saving for familys future
Working towards the future, there are all kinds of goals we might have in mind for our family. Invariably, many of these goals will be centered around our finances, because if we don’t have the money in our bank accounts, we might inhibit our future and our family’s future later on.

By setting saving goals early on, you can work towards bettering your family’s future today, for the benefit all of you.

#1: Saving for those nice-to-have things your family wants

You don’t need money to have a good time with your family, but let’s admit it, a bit of cash in our pockets certainly helps. Set goals for something specific then, such as those bucket list travel destinations you have in mind, or on home improvements, such as a games room for you and the kids, and you will all benefit. Memories will be created, fun will be had, and you will create bonding moments that will strengthen your relationships.

#2: Save your money for those important life events that may affect your family

Your daughter’s wedding? Your children’s college fees? Moving your family to a new home? Some of these saving goals may not be set in stone at the moment, but they might be one day. The sooner you start saving your money, the more you will have to support yourself and your children when these life events start becoming a reality.

#3: Save money to support yourself after your retirement

You don’t want to be financially dependent on your children when you are older, so you really do need to consider your retirement, no matter how far away it might be. By doing so, you won’t have to carry on working, you will be able to enjoy your retirement, and if you need extra care as you get older, you will be able to afford care homes such as Porthaven instead of landing yourself on your children’s doorstep.

#4: Save money to pay off your debts

If you are forever burdened by debt, you might not have the means to buy those nice-to-have things for your family, or for those important life events that may happen en route. You won’t have the means to put a lot of money into your retirement fund either, and that will limit your lifestyle later on. Debt can inhibit you in lots of different ways, so to ensure you aren’t beholden to them forever, start to put extra money into your savings to clear your debts, and use the debt advice here to climb out of the debt pit sooner.

#5: Save money for those emergency situations

Ideally, you should have two saving accounts: one account for your expected saving goals, and another for those life events that are unexpected. Your car might break down, for example, or you might lose your job. These events can eat into your regular savings, and that can scupper your family’s short and long-term future. Therefore, set up an emergency fund for those ‘just in case’ moments, and despite the personal setbacks, you might be able to soften the financial blow.

So, have you set up a savings account yet? We hope we have given you sufficient incentive here for you to do so. Shop around your local banks if you haven’t already done so, consider the advice here, and then start putting money away. Your family’s future depends on it!

Top Family Travel Destinations To Add To Your Bucket List

Travelling with your family is something that you want to remember for all of the right reasons. It can be a great time to spend quality time together and to all create some wonderful memories. But because the cost of paying for multiple people can all add up, especially as children get older, there can be such a need to make the trip really worthwhile; you don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted all of that money, right?

The good news is that there are some places that are perfect to take a family to, even if your family likes to do a variety of different things. So if you pick one of the following destinations, it is bound to be a hit with your family; are there any that you have been to before and would recommend? It would be great to hear what you think.

 

Menorca

The smallest of Spain’s Balearic islands makes a great choice as a getaway for families. As the location detects, it is an island, so it means that there are stunning beaches aplenty. It has a relaxed atmosphere for families, compared to counterparts like Ibiza, and it is only a short flight of around two hours away from the UK. So for families with younger children it can be a really good option, with some guaranteed good weather in the summer. There are choices of accommodation too from luxury hotels, budget hotels, villas, and apartments, so there will be something for every budget and for every need.

top family destinations. menorca

Florida

The sunshine state itself is a great choice for families. There are different parts of the US state, so you can choose what to do according to what you all like to do. Naturally, Orlando springs to mind as a destination in Florida, as there are so many things to do there from the Disney and Universal parks, to plenty of water parks. There are great beaches in Florida too, with places like Daytona Beach becoming more family-friendly and less ‘spring break’ friendly, and the west side of the state being a great choice for more relaxed beaches in the Clearwater area of Florida. Miami is a popular choice with tourists too, as well as Tampa, the home of Busch Gardens. Theme parks, beaches, good American food, and good weather are the order of the day in Florida, so it makes for an easy trip for families, where there really is something for everyone.

Portugal

Much like Menorca or Spain, Portugal is only a short flight away from the UK, but there is some great weather to enjoy over in Portugal. If you are looking for the most family-friendly areas, then down in the Algarve, in the south of the country is a great choice. You can get some good value for money and the beaches are sublime.

If you are after something a little different for your family, but still a Portuguese island, then The Azores could be an option. It is a collection of small islands in the mid-Atlantic, that are known for their dramatic landscapes, fishing villages, green pastures and hedgerows of blue hydrangeas. Planning a trip to the Azores for families could even tie in with a trip to the mainland and then getting another flight out there. Madeira is another Portuguese island that can be worth a visit, as you do get a lot of value for money. It has been associated with older people in the past, but it has become more and more popular with families.

top family destinations holidays portugal

Greek Islands

There are so many islands in Greece that it is hard to choose, but pretty much all of them are going to make a great choice for families. The people are very family oriented there so children are very welcome, and it is a little further out from the UK (around four hours), so you can really feel like you’re somewhere exotic. It can get very hot in the summer months, so for taking really little ones, May or September could be the perfect times to visit rather than the heat of July or August. The beaches are amazing and plenty of water sports and boating if something like that takes your fancy.

California

If you have children that are more in the teen or tween age, then California can be a great destination of choice. There are plenty of cities in the US state with a variety of different things to do. There’s the hustle and bustle of LA, with the beach and pier of Santa Monica, alongside the more quirky San Francisco which is actually quite a unique place in the USA. There are some amazing national parks in California too, with Yosemite being the largest and most famous, where you can see huge redwood and sequoia trees. There are some great beaches up and down the state too, as well as theme parks dotted around from Anaheim to LA, to San Diego. So if you fancy a road trip, this could be the best place to visit.

Cruises

OK, so this one isn’t strictly a destination as such, but cruises, believe it or not, are well-equipped for families. There are so many fun things to keep children and teens entertained, from swimming pools and splash pads on board, to cinemas, mini-golf, shows, laser quest, bowling, and much more. Plus you get to dock at certain points along the way, so it makes it a great way to see a variety of different places all in one trip.

Dubai

Dubai might surprise you to see it on the list, but it is a great destination for families. The majority of locals have large families so everything is equipped to cater for them. The beaches are great, the weather is amazing all year round (though maybe a little too hot in the height of summer), and the prices out there are really reasonable. Fuel is so cheap because of the cities location, so getting around in taxis can be so cheap. There are some amazing sights like the largest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, as well as being close to the desert where you can quad bike or take a tour. It is somewhere in the world unlike any other; a bit of a Marmite destination, but lots of fun nonetheless.

top family destinations dubai holidays

London

If you fancy a little trip staying at home and not having to go too far, then London is a great destination of choice. There is so much history in the city, of course, as well as some world class tourist sites. There are many things that you can pay for, but sometimes just wandering around London you can find some unique and quirky things to see. There are free things like museums that you can visit, and there is great shopping and all kinds of food from all around the world. Accommodation can really vary too and be suitable for different budgets, so don’t write London off as a good choice.

Center Parcs

Any kind of UK holiday park is usually a winner with families, as that is who they are set up for. The most famous in the UK is Center Parcs, but there are others like Haven or Bluestone in Wales. There are large swimming pools to enjoy, as well as biking, hiking, walks, lakes, outdoor pursuits, and indoor activities. You usually self-cater too, so you can really stick to a budget.

The Best Sports to Keep You Fit

Keeping fit is something people all over the world are struggling with right now. If you happen to be one of those people, know that you aren’t alone and there’s a solution that will work for you.

For many people, their saving grace has been finding a sport that they enjoy and makes fitness less of a daunting commitment. You may be wondering whether some sports are more effective for fitness than others, but the truth is that they all perform different functions when it comes to keeping your body fit.

If you happen to be a busy parent ready to use sports as a tool to keep fit, see a few you can try below.

Cycling

When thinking about sports that can help you stay fit, cycling should be at the top of your list. Not only will it give you a great workout, but it’s also ideal for any busy parent. Some benefits of cycling are that it helps meet the recommended physical activity guidelines and reduces the risk of illness and disease. Regarding what it does for the body, it improves your muscles and cardiovascular function. To make it something you can do with the kids and to encourage family fitness, consider getting everyone bikes and riding to school if it isn’t too far.

Swimming

For those who have a connection with water and find it soothing, another excellent sport to consider is swimming. It is such a great sport for fitness because it gives you a full body workout increasing the heart rate, helping you maintain a healthy weight and increasing your heart rate. This is also a child-friendly sport, so bring the kids along with you on some days.

If you happen to suffer an injury at the swimming pool that was no fault of your own, you should visit www.the-compensation-experts.co.uk as you may be able to get swimming pool compensation.

Tennis

In addition to the mentioned sports, tennis is another one that is capable of keeping you fit and getting you in shape. You don’t have to be a pro to play, and it’s likely that the more you practice, the better you’ll get anyway. Some health benefits are increased aerobic fitness, strength, speed and muscle toning and weight loss. A couple of reasons for this may be that the average player covers between 3-5 miles during the match and burns up to 500 calories per hour.

Basketball

For the more athletic kind or anyone who is up for a friendly competition, basketball is an ideal sport to try for fitness because not only can it be fun, but it physically works your body out as well. Some benefits of playing basketball are that it can boost your mental development which is something you need as a parent as well as its ability to build your cardiovascular health. You can usually find a basketball court somewhere in your local community and playing with your family on weekends may be fun too.

There are hundreds of different sports out there, so it’s left to you to find one that you enjoy the most. You could also play a range of sports to keep it interesting, so know you aren’t limited to a single one.

A Parents Getaway Guide to London

Parents have a lifetime commitment of raising the children they bring into the world. It isn’t an easy job, but with time, most parents find a way to adapt. One of the ways to make parenting less of a stressful job is to make quality time for yourself a priority. It’s easy to feel guilt-ridden when you take a break, but this shouldn’t be the case as self-care is an essential aspect of parenting too. For some, all they need during their personal time is to let their hair down and do something fun. With that in mind, below is a handy parent’s getaway guide to London for the parent in need of a well-deserved break.

West End Musical

Whether you happen to be into the arts or not, going to watch a musical can be a great escape. It’s a chance for you to be entertained instead of entertaining for once. When it comes to theatre, there are so many genres you can choose from that should cater to your interests. Some of the best plays out there at the moment are Chicago if you’d prefer a musical, or The Tell-Tale Heart if you want something with suspense.

Boat Cruise

Have you ever been on a boat cruise before? If not, this is the perfect getaway for you as a parent! The good thing about such outings is that there’s no room for you to stress or do chores, so you’re forced to live in the moment. An idea for a boat cruise is the London Showboat Dinner Cruise as it’s a great way to experience London at night.

The South Bank

The South Bank is another great place to go as a parent looking for a getaway. This particular spot is activity galore, so you’d have to choose one based on your interest. You could watch a blockbuster at the BFI Imax if you can stay awake long enough or try the Coca-Cola London Eye if you want to view the city from high up. To get into tourist mode, the London Dungeon will give you a recap of London’s past which could be insightful and amusing as well.

Piccadilly Circus

Central London is one of the most vibrant parts of London, so this makes an excellent place to go to if you want to get lost in the magic of the city. You could check into a nice hotel and take a day or two out to rest if you can find a babysitter. This is your chance to be catered to and have room service bring your meals. During the evening, you could go for a stroll and see what the area has to offer. Some trending hotels near Piccadilly Circus are Assembly Hotel London, the Cavendish London, and Arlington House.

Visit the Royal Opera House

If you enjoy opera music, an activity you can do in London is taking a trip down to the Royal Opera House down at Covent Garden. If you check at the right time, you may even be able to find relatively cheap tickets. Opera music could help you feel relaxed which is what every parent needs.

Parenting is a difficult job, but it should also consist of fun and adventure too. Make it your mission to have the time of your life as both a parent and yourself.

Spending Christmas Away With The Children Without Hassle

Christmas is just around the corner, and whether we like it or not it’s time to begin thinking about plans for Christmas. We’re sure that you’re already aware that going anywhere with children is no simple task, so if you’re invited to spend Christmas at a family member or friends home, it’s likely that you’re dreading how you’re going to pull this off without any drama. Luckily, I’ve compiled a little guide on how you can spend Christmas away with the children, without any hassle and still enjoy yourself! 

christmas reading child

Pack the car to the brim

When you’re staying away overnight in a strange place, you can never predict how your children are going to react to their surroundings. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re armed with everything they could ever need to help keep them calm and happy. Packing the car with their favourite teddies, comfort blankets, snacks, drinks, clothes, and anything else that you think could help your children settle easier will make your Christmas run much smoother. You don’t necessarily have to bring everything into your accommodation with you, but knowing that it’s there if you need it will certainly help you rest with ease.

Make nap time easier

If you’ve got young children, the thought of putting them down for naps might be playing on your mind. Perhaps your friends and family don’t have anywhere that you’d like to safely leave your child to have a nap, or maybe you’re worried your child won’t nap with ease? You can buy kids travel systems that can help make sure your baby gets the nap they need without any worry on your behalf! Again, making sure they’ve got their favourite teddy or blanket will make the world of difference!

Keep them busy

There’s nothing worse than bored children, and as you’re probably already aware, when children are bored, the adults will suffer too. Before you even think about travelling, prearrange activities for your children to keep them busy and entertained. Perhaps you could get them a portable DVD player or some board games to keep them occupied? Alternatively, check to see if there are going to be any other children there for them to play with!

Baby proof everything!

Finally, children can get into pretty much anything if they put their mind to it, and when you’re in a strange environment you never know where dangers might be lurking! Ask your family members and friends to baby/child proof their homes so that not only will your children be able to safely roam around, but you will have one less worry on your hands!

Travelling away with children doesn’t have to be as stressful as you may think, so follow these tips and have a wonderful Christmas!

Can You Run A Business Through Ebay?

Long story short: yes you can! But there’s going to be quite a bit of legwork involved, considering the auctioning platform you’re using and the lack of traditional packaging to send your items off in. And those are just a couple of the main worries you’re going to have to think about!

Ebay is a great site for getting rid of your clutter and making a few pounds off of your forgotten old goods, and because of this, it’s incredibly popular amongst the family generation. So if you’re looking to bulk out your income a little, and open up a business via an very well established platform, here’s a few more things to consider.

Can you take plenty of professional photos?

ebay selling taking photos

Your photo’s need to be a good as you possibly can get them so your items stand out int he crowd!

You’ll Need a Permanent Shipping Option

If you’re planning to take your ebay account full term with some business ideas, then you’re going to have to consider just how much money the shipping costs are going to take out of you. They make up a huge portion of your profits margin, as most ebay customers won’t place a bid with you if they’re responsible for the shipping, and there’s no free option!

Remember, there’s quite a few couriers on the market, so trying to find a long term ebay courier can be hard, but it’s not impossible, even as a small business.

Be sure to shop around for the best quotes out there, and make sure you’re always getting the bang for your buck – if you need both big and small delivery, and you need to be able to ship internationally as well, you’re going to need to fork out for bigger contract terms. And you’re going to want some kind of contract with the courier of your choosing, as you’ll be using them a lot in the foreseeable future!

You’re Going to Need Feedback

Even before you start running your account as a business, you’re going to need some feedback from the people you’ve already sold to, as it helps to build a much better sense of trust between you and anyone surfing the ebay search engine. Sellers come from all over the world, have few regulations put upon them, and therefore you have to rely on the word of others.

Ebay puts a huge emphasis on buyer/seller feedback, and both giving and receiving this whenever a transaction occurs is standard practice on the site, so it’s only natural that you’re going to need some good feedback before you even get started. So be sure to use your account as a casual seller before you properly set up shop, and try to get at least 20 positive reviews before you move into making it a proper side hustle.

Running a business through ebay can be a hard option to set up, but if you’ve got the items to sell, as well as the reviews to back you up, you’re well on to a winner here. It’s an approachable business model, so be sure to use it!

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