10 Professional Services That You Can DIY to Save Money

Professional Services That You Can DIY to Save Money

When it comes to household repairs, there are certain things you should always trust to an expert. However, there are easier jobs you can learn to do for yourself. Next time you face these projects, a quick YouTube tutorial or help from a friend could save you hundreds of dollars. Here are 10 professional services that you can DIY to save money and your budget.

10 Professional Services That You Can DIY to Save Money

Household Projects

1. Take care of your own yard work.

Before we moved into our home, I had always rented. So, you can imagine my surprise to learn how much time and money it took to maintain the yard. However, you can save hundreds of dollars each month by mowing, landscaping, or cleaning up your own yard waste.

Professional service fees vary depending on where you live and the size of your lot. Mowing starts from $25-$65, and you will pay more for additional services. Unfortunately, if you are paying for these services weekly or biweekly, they can quickly add up. Although you will have to invest in lawn care equipment upfront, the savings will cover the expense in time.

2. handle simple repairs yourself.

Nowadays, you can find a tutorial for any task on YouTube. With step-by-step videos from professionals, you can learn how to tackle simple repairs and skip labor fees.

For example, there are dozens of free videos that will show you how to prepare your home for seasonal changes. You can learn how to add insulation, seal doors and windows to lower heating costs, or seal your driveway to withstand the elements.

There are also instructional videos if you want to attempt easy plumbing problems. A quick search will produce dozens of people willing to show you how to install your own hardware/faucets, fix leaky toilets, or snake the drains to remove blockages.

Even if you don’t have the equipment, renting it from a home improvement store is still cheaper than paying for professional services.

3. Do your own painting.

Over time, home decor and color schemes show their age. So, painting can breathe new life into a space. But hiring professional painters is another of these professional services that you can DIY to save money.

Professional painters usually charge $20-$50 an hour. An average room will run you a few hundred dollars. But, this figure increases to the thousands when you are painting the exterior of your home.

If you decide to paint it yourself, you will only need to cover the cost of the materials for the job. Although it will take more time, you can get it done for a fraction of the cost.

4. Cancel the Cleaning Services.

My mom ran her own cleaning business for years. And it never ceased to amaze me how much people are willing to pay for these services. While you may hate doing chores, canceling your cleaning services can save you more than $200 a month.

And if you need to cut the budget even further, you can make your own cleaning products for pennies on the dollar. Most cleaning solutions use the same, low-cost ingredients that you can get in any grocery store. Not only will it save you money, but they are also more environmentally friendly than harsh, chemical cleaners.

Vehicle Maintenance

5. Skip the car wash.

I won’t lie to you, I appreciate having a monthly membership to the local car wash, especially during the winter months. But, this is one reoccurring charge that I could eliminate to save more money each month.

During the summer, I will happily wash my own car. However, regular washes become more important in the winter months when salt and other corrosives cling to the paint. If you need to trim the budget, skip the car wash. You can do it at home for free, or head to a self-service car wash to help you save cash.

6. Learn how to do basic vehicle maintenance.

When we first started driving, my dad required all my siblings to learn basic vehicle maintenance. Thanks to him, I have saved thousands of dollars over the years by maintaining my cars and knowing how they work. It has also helped me identify issues before they developed into expensive problems.

To this day, I regularly check the fluids, tires, and air filters to ensure that my car is running at maximum efficiency. These are professional services and simple replacements that you can DIY to save a ton on the cost of labor.

Health and Beauty Services

7. Save on groceries by preparing meals at home.

This DIY service is one of the most common budgeting hacks out there. Yet, people still spend a disproportionate amount of money at restaurants or for delivery services. Sure, it’s easy. But when you have a limited budget, every cent matters.

Preparing meals at home will save you a ton of money each month. And, you can save even more on groceries if you use coupons or join a discount buying club. Not only will this improve your financial health, but it is also an opportunity to focus on your physical health as well.

8. Revamp your beauty routine at home.

Most of us can’t afford regular visits to the spa. Even when you look for services at smaller salons, you are still going to pay around $30-$50 for manicures, pedicures, and skin treatments. And if you are adding hair treatments, these prices will double.

Although these services aren’t necessities, that doesn’t mean you have to stop pampering yourself. Instead, you can learn how to do some of these treatments at home. Not only does it save hundreds of dollars, but it can extend the time between professional services.

If you decide to start doing more of your beauty routine at home, make sure you choose quality products. Or, learn how to make natural treatments that are budget friendly and still give you that same glow.

Financial Services

9. Do your own taxes.

As tax season approaches, many companies and financial institutions have already sent out their documents. Although I have kept meticulous records and collected all the necessary paperwork, I still hate filing my taxes. So, I usually hire someone to prepare them for me.

But if this isn’t in the budget, there is free tax software that can help. You can find the forms online and complete your tax return without the added fees.

10. Save on Management fees with a roboadvisor.

If you take an active role in investing, a roboadvisor could save you a decent chunk of change in management fees. Many brokerages now offer automated roboadvisors to assist you with your investment strategy, sometimes free of charge.

Robo-advisors use complicated algorithms to determine which investments best suit your goals and portfolio. Some of these are fully automated while others utilized human guidance from investment managers. Either way, it provides a lower-cost option to help you save money on service fees.

What are some professional services that you can DIY when living on a budget? Share your thoughts below!

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Grocery Shopping on a Budget

You just scheduled your move with Black Tie Moving, and now it’s time to head to the grocery store. As you have just spent a considerable amount of money on your new home, you’re wondering how you can cut back spending in other areas of your life.

 Cutting back your spending on groceries can save you a ton of money in the long run. Here are some tips if you’re grocery shopping on a budget.

 Create a Budget

 We’ve all left the grocery store shocked at just how much money we spent. It’s easy to overspend on groceries when we don’t show up to the store prepared. If you’re wanting to cut back on your food spending, it’s important that you first set up a budget.

 Creating a grocery store budget doesn’t have to be complicated. You should start with saving receipts from your grocery hauls for a few weeks to keep track of how much you’re spending and on what. After you’ve analyzed where your money is going, it will be much easier to create a budget for your weekly trips to the store.

 Plan Ahead

 Grocery lists are underrated. You don’t often see people pulling out a piece of paper and checking things off their list as they walk down through the produce section. However, creating a list is key when you’re shopping on a budget. Whether you want to keep the list on your phone or write it down, find what works best for you.

 In order to create your grocery list, you’re going to need to plan your meals out ahead of time. You want to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snack items that you like to have on hand. Try and pick meals where you can make them in bulk – like chicken and vegetables!

 Start Couponing

 Coupons are a necessity when it comes to saving money at the grocery store. You may be used to receiving grocery store flyers in the mail and tossing them in the recycling. Not anymore! You’d be surprised with just how much money you could save by using coupons at the checkout.

 You’ll also find coupons in places you wouldn’t expect like local doctor’s offices or on the back of restaurant receipts. You want to use coupons to your advantage. After all, it’s saving you money on products you’d be purchasing anyway. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to cut them out and scan them at the store.

 Shopping Apps

 Did you know that there are some mobile apps that give you money back on grocery items? That’s right, there are currently hundreds of apps that pay you to shop for your food. Some apps are more user-friendly than others, but most of them are simple to navigate once you get the hang of it.

Upside is a popular app that’s designed for both grocery shopping and fueling up your vehicle. It’s incredibly easy to use for the consumer. All you have to do is open the app, check in where you are, select your method of payment, and the app does the rest. You can get up to 14% cash back on your entire grocery bill. The top users make around five-hundred dollars a year by checking in on Upside.

 

 

5 Items That Are Much More Expensive to Repair Than Purchase

5 Items That Are Much More Expensive To Repair Than Purchase

Over time, most things that you own will require repairs or replacement. Sometimes it will be more cost-effective to handle the repairs yourself. But in other instances, the time and labor aren’t worth the effort. You may discover that it would actually be cheaper to buy something new. So if you are looking at a difficult DIY project and debating costs, you should know that these 5 items are often more expensive to repair than purchase.

5 Items That Are Much More Expensive to Repair Than Purchase

In the past, it seemed like there were local repair shops that could fix any household appliance at a reasonable cost. While there are still many experienced technicians and repair shops around, the scope and costs of their services have drastically changed since the late 90s.

Not only have parts become more expensive, but manufacturers have made it harder to find replacement parts for cheaper items. Other industry roadblocks, such as trademarking components and only allowing repairs through authorized dealers, have made it more expensive to fix damaged goods. Furthermore, the influx of cheap products from China has also changed consumers’ mentality and influenced the decision to replace things instead of repairing them. All of these factors have led us further down the path toward a disposable society.

But, the budget is an important factor. If you don’t have the skills to repair things yourself, it may leave you with few options. And as many people are finding out, these 5 items can be much more expensive to repair than purchase new.

1. Smartphones

With the increased dependence on the internet and technology, smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives.  Today’s devices have incredible capabilities and provide an impressive leap in technology, but it also comes at a price.

Long gone are the days when the owner could switch out batteries and replace individual parts on their own. Nowadays, it requires special tools and knowledge to perform simple repairs. And since many of the high-tech components are encased in glass, it makes them extremely fragile and more prone to breaking.

However, the biggest issue is how quickly they devalue. After a few years, the operating systems become slow and the model obsolete. And when Apple limits you to authorized service dealers and doesn’t make parts available to the general public, it drives up the cost of repairs. While repairs make sense for new models, it would be a waste of money on outdated technology. Until more is done to make smartphones more durable and repairable, they will probably be cheaper to replace than fix.

2. Small Appliances

Small appliances like toasters, microwaves, food processors, and vacuum cleaners have made life much more convenient. They save you a significant amount of time by handling mundane chores. However, they can present a huge headache if you need to get them repaired.

Although the parts may be relatively cheap and the repairs simple, the service bill will probably be more than you originally paid for the item. And, the manufacturers don’t always make parts available since they earn more profit when you purchase a new one. Luckily, sites like iFixit.com are working to give consumers more options. It provides schematics for all types of appliances if you want to try to troubleshoot and repair the items yourself before ditching them for something new.

3. Large Appliances

Large appliances have seen many impressive advancements in construction and design over the last 50 years. Many are now fully digital, so they no longer rely on timers and switches. Other changes have made them more eco-friendly so they use water and electricity more efficiently. And, high-end appliances even offer internet-connected touchscreens and integration with your smart home apps.

However, these conveniences come with a trade-off in reliability and durability. Older models were easier to repair since it was simpler to replace mechanical parts than the more modern plastic or nylon pieces. Modern appliances also have expensive electronic parts on the circuit boards which are sensitive to moisture and shock. When they malfunction, it could cost you hundreds of dollars to replace these components.

When you invest in large appliances, you expect them to last for years to come. And, they often do. But, it’s a good idea to look at the warranties and extended service contracts before you buy. However, if you are already experiencing issues at the 5-6 year mark, it may be more worthwhile to purchase new appliances.

4. Cars

Due to the lack of infrastructure and public transport in several major cities, cars are a necessity for many American workers. Fortunately, modern cars offer more comfort and conveniences, but they also come with more costly repairs.

Like large appliances, many components are reliant on computers and electrical systems. Therefore, they have more opportunities for issues to occur. And since each vehicle comes with dealer-specific software, it may prevent those who are mechanically minded from fixing it themselves.

With the increasing inflation, supply chain issues, and lack of available cars, many car owners are finding that repairs on older vehicles may exceed the car’s value. If you are having problems with the engine or transmission, it can easily put you in this predicament. And, it will become even more expensive when the problems compound and several systems need maintenance. At this point, you have to decide if it is better to continue investing in repairs, trade it in, or scrap it altogether and buy a different vehicle.

5. Lawn Care Equipment

Having a large yard is one benefit that new homeowners look forward to. However, few understand the expense of buying and maintaining the equipment required for the job. While many city ordinances require regular upkeep, it can become a major expense.

For those who can’t afford to pay for these services, it will be up to you to do the work. And this means you’ll need to have the right tools for the job. While most gas-powered equipment will be fairly reliable, skimping out on quality may cost you more in the long run, especially when you are facing expensive repairs. Rather than paying to fix low-budget equipment, it will probably be more worthwhile to invest in better quality equipment that will withstand the test of time.

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7 Things to Consider as Newlyweds Purchasing a Home

Bride and groom are sitting inside the retro car

As a newlywed couple, purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make together. In the U.S. and other Western countries, over 90% of people get married before age 50, which means that many newlyweds will be in the market for a new home. However, the process of buying a home can be overwhelming, especially for first-time homebuyers. Here are some things to consider as you navigate the world of homeownership as a newlywed couple, from money to location to house size.

1. Location

The location of your home is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a property. Think about your lifestyle and what you need in terms of proximity to work, schools, and amenities. Do you want to live in a bustling city or a quiet suburban area? Are you looking for a home with a big yard or something with a small patio? Consider what you are looking for in a neighborhood and what you are willing to compromise on.

2. Size

The size of the home is also an important consideration. As a newlywed couple, you may be starting a family soon and will want to make sure that you have enough space for your growing family. On the other hand, you may be more interested in a smaller, more manageable home that is easy to maintain. Consider how much space you need and how much you can afford.

3. Age and Condition

When purchasing a home, it’s also important to consider the age and condition of the property. An older home may have more character, but it may also come with more repairs and maintenance issues. A newer home may be in better condition but may also be more expensive. Consider what you are willing to deal with in terms of repairs and maintenance and choose a home that best fits your needs.

4. Roof

The roof is one of the most important parts of a home, and it’s important to consider the condition of the roof when purchasing a property.  90% of asphalt roofs are installed with fiberglass shingles, which have a lifespan of 20-30 years. If the home you are interested in has an older roof, you may need to budget for a new one soon. Be sure to have a professional inspect the roof before you close on the home.

5. Kitchen

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home and is one of the most important rooms to consider when purchasing a property. Kitchen remodeling has increased by 23% in the last year, which means that many homeowners are investing in their kitchens. Consider the layout and condition of the kitchen and think about how you would like to use the space. If the kitchen needs a lot of work, you may need to budget for a remodel.

6. Potential for Future Expansions

As a newlywed couple, you may be starting a family soon and will want to make sure that you have enough space for your growing family. Consider the potential for future expansions when purchasing a home. Look for a home that has a lot of potential for expansion such as a large lot or a home that is built on a crawl space or a basement.

7. Finances

Finances are one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a home. Be sure to have a budget in place and make sure that you can afford the home that you are interested in. Be sure to factor in things like property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. It’s also important to consider the long-term financial implications of purchasing a home, such as the potential for appreciation in value over time.

In conclusion, purchasing a home as a newlywed couple is a big decision that requires careful thinking. Be sure to weigh all your options before you finalize your purchase. Use these tips to help you pick the best home for you!

6 Expenses New Homeowners Should Prepare For

It’s important for new homeowners to save money and plan ahead for unexpected expenses. Before buying a home, you should make sure you are financially prepared to cover the costs associated with homeownership. Below are some common expenses that new homeowners should be prepared for.

1. Property Taxes

Property taxes are one of the most important expenses that new homeowners will face. Your property tax bill will depend on the property’s value, location, and local tax rate. Property taxes are typically paid annually or semi-annually, so it’s important to budget for this expense. Most closing costs will be paid at the time of purchase, but some may be rolled into your loan or deferred to a later date. Be sure to ask your lender if you will have any closing costs due and when they are due. Some of these closing costs might also roll property taxes into the overall costs.

2. Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance provides financial protection in the event of damage or loss due to fire, theft, or other disasters. It also protects you from liability if someone is injured on your property. Homeowners insurance premiums vary depending on the size of the home and its location. For instance, homes in coastal areas typically have higher premiums due to the increased risk of hurricane damage. It’s important to budget for homeowners insurance when purchasing a home. Not having homeowners insurance can put you at financial risk if something unexpected happens.

3. Plumbing Maintenance Costs

Every home needs some level of upkeep and maintenance, including plumbing costs. In 2018 alone, the plumbing industry made more than $107 billion in revenue, with plumbing repair and maintenance driving a large portion of that revenue. It’s important to plan for basic plumbing needs such as repairs, water heater replacements, and drain cleaning. You may also need to budget for more expensive projects such as sewer line replacement or leaky pipe repair. In addition, if your home is older, you may need to plan for more frequent plumbing maintenance.

4. Septic Tank Repairs & Replacements

Most home septic tanks must be cleaned every three to five years. This is an essential maintenance task to keep your septic system functioning properly. If you don’t clean or empty the tank, it can cause backups and damage to both the septic system and your home. Septic tank repairs or replacements can be costly, so it’s important to budget for them when purchasing a home. If you’re unsure how often the tank has been serviced, it’s best to stay on the side of caution and budget for a septic tank cleaning.

5. HVAC Maintenance Costs

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential for keeping your home comfortable and efficient. However, HVAC systems require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to run properly. Regular maintenance can help you save money on energy bills and prevent costly repairs in the future. Be sure to budget for regular HVAC inspections and tune-ups. If your system is older or hasn’t been maintained in a while, you may also want to plan for repairs or even system replacement costs.

6. Costs to Repair Doors and Windows

Over 68 million homes in the United States have double-pane windows, and most of these homes will need to replace their windows at some point. Doors can also be prone to wear and tear and may need repair or replacement after years of use. When purchasing a home, be sure to budget for potential costs associated with repairs or replacements for doors and windows. Both of these items are essential for keeping your home secure and comfortable.

These are just some of the expenses new homeowners should be aware of. It’s important to take the time to research and budget for all potential costs associated with your new home before you sign on the dotted line. This will help ensure that you’re financially prepared and have enough money for any unexpected expenses down the road.

How to Strengthen Your Four Walls of Budgeting

How to Strengthen Your Four Walls of Budgeting

When you are in debt, it may feel like you are digging yourself deeper with every dollar you spend. And as the bills start mounting and collection agencies are pressuring you to pay, it’s easy to panic and forget your priorities. However, knowing the four walls of budgeting can help remind you what is most important in your budget. So if you are having a hard time making ends meet, here are a few ways you can strengthen your four walls of budgeting and get closer to your financial goals.

What Are the Four Walls of Budgeting?

Dave Ramsay describes the four walls of budgeting as the essential things in your budget that you need to survive. Like the four walls of your home, these four categories represent the things you need to sustain the bare minimum standards of living.

But, the amount you spend and the definition of each wall will vary from person to person. So you have to identify them within your own budget. However, here is a basic guideline of what each wall represents.

1. Food

Humans are animals, and our bodies need fuel to function. This category should include all the food with the essential nutrition that your body needs. When tallying these expenses, you should include all your expenses for food.

2. Shelter

The second wall of budgeting deals with our basic need for shelter. This category covers all the expenses to keep the roof over your head and the lights on. For most of us, this will incorporate the largest portion of the budget.

The general guideline suggests that 30% of your income pays for housing. In addition to your monthly mortgage or rent payment, there are also property taxes, utilities, maintenance, and repairs and repair costs to consider as well.

3. Clothing

The third wall represents the basic clothing items you need in your daily life. This should account for formal and business attire at work, footwear, winter apparel, undergarments, and any other clothing items you wear from day to day.

4. Transportation

The final wall of budgeting has a great deal of variation depending on where you live. Transportation covers the amount you need to get from Point A to Point B. In some places, there is no other option than to own a vehicle. However, this comes with significant costs such as registration, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and gas.

Those who live in urban areas with modern public transit have the luxury of more options to fit the budget. Most cities have buses, trains,  or subway systems that offer monthly passes for minimal fees. Some people may even be able to ride a bike or walk to save even more.

How Do You Strengthen Your Four Walls of Budgeting?

If you want to strengthen your four walls of budgeting, you have two options: earn more income or decrease your spending. While the answer is cut-and-dried, the way to achieve it is more fluid.

Bring in More Income

The easiest way to strengthen your four walls of budgeting is by bringing in more income. These are the easiest ways to make that happen.

    • Ask for a raise. If you had a good performance this year, then asking for a raise may be well received. Try to time your request after a big win or the completion of a successful project. And, you will probably have a better chance to get it if you do it before they determine the annual budget.
    • Go for a promotion. Another option is to go for a higher-paying position. So, if you are willing to take on more responsibility, then why not get paid to do it? Start looking for positions within your company to advance your career and your savings goals.
    • Look for a second job or side hustle. Many people look for ways to bring in extra cash around the holidays You could bring in more income with seasonal work, a second job, or starting a side hustle in your spare time.
    • Find ways to generate passive income. My personal choice is to put your money to work for you. Look for investments that generate passive income to support your budget.

Reduce Your Expenses

For those who have no way of earning more money, the only option is to reduce your spending. If trimming the budget is the only way to strengthen your walls, here are a few ways that have worked for me, even on a bare-bones budget.

    • Food – The best way to reduce your food bill is to stop dining out and prepare you food at home. You can also use coupons, buy off-brand items, buy in bulk, and save more with discount shopping clubs.
    • Shelter – If the timing is right, refinancing your mortgage could save you on interest. However, you can also save money by finding cheaper accommodations or downsizing. Another idea is to look for a roommate or renter to split expenses if space allows.
    • Clothing – Since I live in athletic wear, my clothing costs are minimal. I avoid designer brands and prefer to items second-hand to save money.
    • Transportation – Choosing to sell a car or trade it in for one with a lower monthly payment is a tough decision. There are tons of ways to save on gas and car insurance, but it is a major expense. If you have to eliminate it completely public transportation, riding a bike, or walking when possible could save your budget.

Beyond the Four Walls

The four walls are a great starting point for anyone learning to live on a limited budget. However, there are other essential costs that you will need to tailor to your situation. For example, those of us who work from home must have reliable internet and cell phone service. Those with children will need childcare. And, all of us will require healthcare services at some point. Although you may be able to live without them temporarily, it’s not a long-term solution.

There is no single answer for strengthening your four walls of budgeting. Ultimately, it comes down to whatever method will help you stick to your budget. You may have to try several different approached before you find one that sticks. But, if you have determination and self-discipline, you can strengthen your walls and build a solid foundation for your future.

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5 Tips for Budgeting for Your Medical Expenses

Money and health care are always hot topics. Each one can greatly affect the other. Budgeting for health care costs is one of the best ways to ensure you manage your money well. Here are five tips for setting up a healthcare budget.

1. Get Real About What Health Care Costs

To budget effectively for health care costs, you must look at the big picture. Healthcare costs don’t just include premiums, co-pays, and cost shares. When setting up your budget, you have to include other money you are spending on staying healthy. For example, prescriptions, gym membership, and how much money you pay for your vitamins and supplements.

Include all money spent to improve your health, prevent illness, or treat current conditions in your healthcare budget. You must take a realistic approach to the costs to implement an accurate budget. According to the experts, your healthcare costs should reflect about 5% of your take-home salary.

2. Don’t Forget To Include Dental and Vision Care

We often think of health care as strictly seeing a medical doctor. However, dental and vision care is just as important. There are 4 million brace wearers in the United States. Orthodontic, preventive dental, vision, and other professional health care should all be within your budget.

Let’s say your teen needs braces, and they heard that 47% of teens that wear Invisalign say it boosts their self-esteem, compared to 22% of teens that have traditional metal braces. Now your teen wants Invisalign, do you have it in your budget to make monthly payments? Luckily with most orthodontic treatments or dental treatments, you do not have to come out of pocket with the money at one time, you can make monthly payments, but you need to plan for those payments.

3. Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best

Making sure you are managing your money well, and budgeting for your medical expenses should include opting in for disability insurance. What would happen if you stayed in the hospital for a few days? Would you be able to pay your bills? Temporary disability insurance is a financial safety net for such circumstances as hospitalization. 8,000 to 18,000 Americans are hospitalized annually for Legionnaires disease. Many sudden-onset illnesses or injuries can land you in the hospital. Spend some of your health care budget on temporary disability insurance.

4. Start a Health Savings Account

One of the best ways to budget for medical expenses is to have the money saved and ready to spend when needed. If you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible, you may be eligible for an HSA. A health savings account is non-taxable savings that you can use for medical expenses. It can be one of the easiest ways to be prepared for health care costs. Ask your employer if they have an HSA program. Some employers have a matching program to help their employees keep healthcare costs in check.

5. Get Expenses Under Control

Call your health insurance company and get some details about your health coverage. Ask about other plans and costs. Do the research to learn about other available options that can save you money. Become familiar with your health insurance plan because there may be ways to save money. For example, many health insurance plans will cover the cost of a gym membership, preventive care, and discounts for participating in health programs.

Budgeting for health care is not easy with today’s skyrocketing costs, but it is an essential part of money management. Start making your budget today. Reach out to a professional if you need help.

5 Budgeting Tips for Your Post-Wedding Life

 

While your wedding is an extremely major event, it’s important to note that there’s a whole life to live afterward. This means that you need to take care when making decisions for the future with your significant other. These include setting realistic budgets for expenditures like your honeymoon and making the right call as far as saving goes. Here are five budgeting tips that you can use to make sure that your post-wedding life is as blissful as you dream it will be.

1. Come Up With a Savings Plan

The first and most important step for you to take is to come up with a savings plan for your future as a couple. While between 40% and 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, it’s important to stay optimistic and make plans for a favorable outcome. This is something that can help you to avoid ending up in an unsavory situation whereby you need money to make an investment such as buying a home but you have none. That said, come up with a budget that has a savings plan which you’re comfortable with. You’ll be happy that you did so in the future.

2. Set a Budget for Your Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t need to drain your bank account for it to be an amazing one. With this in mind, it’s important to save for your honeymoon and set a budget that you’ll do your best to stick to. For instance, you may skip activities like taking helicopter rides if your honeymoon budget doesn’t quite cover them. This may be an attractive activity for a number of couples, with the United States having the largest fleet of helicopters. Sticking to your honeymoon budget will be an amazing way for you to start practicing a responsible future with your significant other.

3. Get Creative With Thank-You Cards

It’s a great gesture to send out thank-you gifts or cards to your wedding guests. This is because they took the time to grace your special day with their presence and helped you to have an amazing one. That said, you should get quality but avoid splurging, especially if you intend to pair the cards with something else. Keep in mind that you could use 1.5 mil film which equals 0.0015 inches for your cards. This is extremely thin and ideal for items printed on heavy cardstock like thank-you cards tend to be.

4. Talk About Money

Right from the start, it’s important that you start talking about money. This is going to give you an idea of where each other’s priorities lie when it comes to money and savings. Discuss debt if either or both of you have it and come up with ways of paying it off. This is one of the most important talks that you can have with your significant other, so it’s a good idea for you to get comfortable with it from the beginning.

5. Leverage Cash Gifts

Finally, you may have come across a windfall in the form of cash gifts that you received on your wedding day. These should come in handy, not as additional money to enjoy, but as extra cash to bolster your financial future. Take time to think of how you’re going to put this money to good use after the wedding passes or simply keep it in your savings account. Doing this is going to provide you with an additional safety net for the future that could bail you out of trouble, even if in a small way.

Use these five budgeting tips for your post-wedding life to secure your finances. When you have some money for a rainy day in your accounts, you can be sure that you’ll have a better chance of enjoying marital bliss.

The Importance of Budgeting for Health Reasons

Research shows that there is a direct correlation between stress levels and finances. People who are worried about their finances have significantly higher stress levels compared to people who are comfortable with their financial situation. While some forms of stress are good, financial issues can have an adverse impact on your health. Research shows that increased stress can boost your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. If your financial situation is starting to overwhelm you, here are a few reasons why you should consider implementing a budget to protect your health.

Creating a Budget

More people are creating a budget seemingly every year. However, sticking to a budget often becomes complicated. Budgeting is designed to take some pressure off and allow you to live life more comfortably. It’s recommended that you avoid setting a strict budget initially, as that can cause even more stress. You may start to experience negative thoughts if you aren’t reaching your financial goals. It’s important to settle on a budget that aligns with your financial situation. Many financial analysts believe that the best way to budget is by giving every aspect of your finances a role. This helps you stay in charge of your money, which minimizes potential stress.

Budgeting Can Improve Your Immune System

Setting a budget reduces stress and strain on your immune system. When you start feeling anxious, your body naturally goes into a defensive mode. Your body’s energy becomes overpowering. As a result, your immune system slows down. This may leave your body open to catching a cold or other serious ailments. When your stress levels fall back down, your body leaves its defensive mode, and you’ll start to feel healthier. Avoiding sickness is especially important if you are uninsured. A recent study showed that over 8% of adults over 18 fail to obtain health insurance due to rising costs.

Budgeting Helps Keep Your Body Strong

Setting a budget helps minimize the physical toll of stress on your body. You help take back control of your finances and reduce the amount of anxiety throughout your body. Your body will avoid common stress triggers, and you can avoid physical issues like muscle aches, stomach pains, and migraines.

You Avoid Being Overwhelmed

Establishing a budget allows you to set up a plan for how you want to spend your money. This helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Once you start feeling overwhelmed, you expose yourself to potential physical and emotional pain. Your body may shut down. Creating a budget can help you look toward the future. By having a clear long-term objective, you can relax, and your body will feel refreshed every time you reach a new goal.

Setting a Budget Can Help You Find Better Health Coverage

Thousands of people have been adversely impacted because of rising healthcare costs. On top of that, thousands of Americans die every year because of avoidable medical mistakes. This horrible stat is primarily due to many people having to settle for low-quality health care or none at all. Setting a budget can help you save money to live a healthy lifestyle. You can receive regular healthcare visits, enjoy regular massages, and practice healthy eating habits. Things are especially complicated if your doctor prescribes medication. Paying for medication, deductibles, and co-pays really makes it hard for people to afford health insurance. Creating a budget can help you cope with unpredictable health insurance costs. Consider opening a healthcare spending account.

With around 47% of adults over 30 having some form of periodontal disease, having the right healthcare is crucial. Setting a budget may improve your health because it allows you to take control. You’ll feel happier and more excited about what the future entails. Now that you know these tips, you can create a budget for better health in the future.

5 Tips for Caring for Your Dog on a Budget

Your pet is just as much a member of your family as everyone else, so it’s important for you to take good care of them. You may be thinking that it will cost you a lot of money to do, but it’s possible to take care of your dog on a budget. Doing this will help you ensure that they’re in great health and you can enjoy spending time together all the more. Read on to see the ways in which you can take care of your dog on a budget and enjoy the benefits of doing so.

1. Feed Them Quality Food

While you may feel as though buying quality food for your dog is an expensive affair, this will be the better thing for you to do. This is because low-quality food may not cater to your dog’s health well enough to make it worth it. Quality food may help you keep your dog away from the vet as it will give them all the nutrients that they need. Depending on the feeding schedule that you have for your dog, you may split the amount of food that you give them between two to three meals. This may keep them full for longer and help them to stay fit.

2. Consider Getting Pet Insurance

It’s also a good idea to think about the benefits of getting health insurance for your dog. Good health insurance can help you to avoid paying a hefty amount out of pocket in case something goes wrong. Since different companies have different policies and details, it’s important for you to shop around for one that you feel will sufficiently fit your budget and also cover your dog’s needs.

3. Don’t Impulse-Buy Pet Items

Having a dog may see you doing your best to keep them happy, and this includes buying toys and other pet items for them. Rather than buy these items on impulse without a plan that’s well-thought-through, you should plan to make the purchases over time. This will enable you to shop for deals and make savings as you may come across stores that are holding sales. This may make it easier for you to keep your expenses in order, keeping the fact in mind that 95% of taxpayers in America receive at least one of over 30 pieces of information returns that allow the government to know exactly how much they earn. These returns give the government all the information that it needs in order to fill out the returns of most taxpayers. When you keep your tax information organized, you’re likely to get a larger return that will allow you to buy more items.

4. Keep Them Fit

To maintain your dog’s health and happiness, you should also make sure that they stay fit. Do this by making sure that they stay active enough. When you have a moment to spare, take them for a walk or go to spend time at the local park with them. There, they can play with other dogs and enjoy being outdoors. Make sure you spend time at different parks and areas so your dog doesn’t get confused if you move like the nearly three million Americans who move interstate every year.

5. Learn to Groom Them at Home

Last but not least, you should learn how to groom your dog at home by yourself. This will help you to keep them clean and presentable without spending a fortune at a professional dog groomer. While you may take them to one every now and then, it’s going to be beneficial for you to groom them a majority of the time. This may even present an opportunity for you to bond.

With these five tips, you can take care of your dog without ruining your budget. This will help them feel like a truly valued member of your family, so it’s worth taking the time to do so.