3 Top Tips For Regaining Control Of Your Finances

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If you are someone who dreads looking at the online banking balance or your bank statement, then chances are it is largely due to the fact that you don’t feel as though you have the tightest control over money.

You’re probably not alone though, because many people also worry about their income and outgoings constantly, and often it seems that cash flow is always moving in the wrong direction.

There are simple ways that you can fix your financial situation, and very often, with a bit of work you can start to see the back of nagging money worries. If you have debts too, eventually, you may also see the light at the end of the tunnel for these by putting some simple practices in place. 

Go Through Your Finances

Often, when we ignore our finances we end out paying for things that we don’t even need. Because we are not paying attention to our money, we don’t notice regular bills going up, and we miss out on cancelling services we no longer need.

Go through your bank statement on online banking with a fine-tooth comb. Work out what you have to pay out, and look for things that are not essential. 

Some services such as insurance products, or energy and phone bills may be cheaper elsewhere if you switch to a different provider. Start looking at contracts for services that you are using, and see if there is anything that can be cancelled.

Often, by switching to a new supplier on everything that you possibly can, you will free up quite a bit of money. 

Consolidate Your Debts

If you have multiple loans and credit cards you may find that your debt never really goes down. Sometimes payments will only cover the interest, and the overall balance never drops. 

By consolidating your debts into one loan, you will only have one set of interest to pay and one loan. This will make things easier to manage, save you money, and set a definite end date for you to have cleared your debt by. 

If you have a poor financial history you may want to look at guarantor loans for bad credit as a way of managing your debt.

Be Strict On Spending

By creating a budget based on what you have to spend each month after bills, rent, mortgage, and loan repayments have all gone will mean that you can be stricter with yourself in terms of spending money. 

Work out a budget for important areas such as food and transport first. Try and keep your weekly food shop within that budget. Avoid expensive branded foods and eating takeout, and focus on homecooked meals that are more cost-effective. 

If you have any additional money left each month, make sure that you only spend within this limit. If you cannot afford to buy something, be strict with yourself and save up for it. Avoid impulse buys that push you back into unmanageable financial situations.


What Are The Least Sustainable Parts Of Your Home?

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There are few problems in the world which unify people quite like climate change. Everyone is impacted when the weather begins to change, whether they live in the coldest or hottest part of the world, and this makes it crucial that people work together. 

Of course, though, it isn’t always easy to know what you need to do to do your part. You can recycle, drive less, and try to cut down on the plastics you use, and this is all great, but there is still plenty you can do. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring your home, highlighting some of the most environmentally unfriendly parts of it.

The Boiler

Most modern homes have some sort of boiler. These machines heat up the water in your place, providing you with heat and pleasant baths, and they can last for a very long time. Like any mechanical devices, though, they won’t be able to work at their peak unless they’re kept in the right condition.

This can lead to it taking more energy to keep your water hot, making your home less efficient and increasing the cost of your bills. Having your boiler serviced on a regular basis will help with this, ensuring that it is running at its full potential. Modern boilers are also a lot more efficient than older ones.

The Radiators

Alongside your boiler, your radiators can often be causing your home to use a lot more power than it needs to. Over time, air can get into these large metal vessels, forcing you to turn them up and using more power. You can bleed your radiator yourself, though it can be a messy procedure, and it’s often worth talking to a professional plumber to help you with this.

The Windows & Doors

Windows let light into your home, and doors make it possible to get inside without compromising your security. Both of these parts of the building you live in can let heat out of the place. Modern glass usually consists of two panes which have gas between them. This gas is a better insulator than air, and this means that it will keep heat inside your home more effectively.

This gas can leak, though, often resulting in windows losing their insulative properties, and a lot of secure doors have small windows on them. A window replacement company will be able to help you out with this, providing you with everything you need to make your windows and doors better at keeping the heat in.

The Lights

This next area is nice and easy to change. Old filament light bulbs use huge amounts of power compared to their LED counterparts. LED bulbs also last longer, cost less to run, and come with loads more features. You can even find ones which can cycle through different colors. This is something which most people can change for themselves, making it a worthy home upgrade.

The Refrigerator/Freezer

Cooling things down can take a huge amount of energy. It’s quite amazing that refrigerators and freezers have been around for such a long time, and just as remarkable that they can do their job so well in the first place. These devices can be less efficient when they have less in them, making them use more power. It’s always worth keeping these appliances stocked up, with the dense items inside them holding the chill much more effectively than air.

The Cooker

When thinking about ways to make cooking greener, a lot of people will find themselves at a loss. There aren’t many ways to approach something like this, though this appliance can use a huge amount of power, and this makes it worth looking for ways to make it better for the planet. Thankfully, there are a couple of easy options to choose from.

Cooking on the hob can be easier. When you’re using pans with hot liquids in them, lids will help them to heat up much faster, as they will lose less heat when they are covered. Making food smaller can help its cooking speed in the oven, too. Smaller pieces of meat and vegetables will cook much faster than they would if they were whole.

Keeping your home running efficiently can be a very difficult task. Many people struggle with this, but want to make positive changes in their lives. It will be far from impossible to do this in your kitchen and other rooms, and many people already have some of the tools they’ll need to get started.


How You Can Quickly Improve Your Appearance

There are many great feelings in life, but are there any better than stepping out of the home knowing that you just look fantastic? Not in our book. Alas, while sometimes the stars do some to align and everything works, the bulk of the time, we’re just posting those average numbers. But what if there was a way to improve your looks, and not just as part of a broader long-term goal, but quickly? It can be done. We take a look at five actions below that’ll push you in the right direction. 

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Improve Your Lifestyle

If you want to quickly improve your looks, then take a look at your lifestyle. If you’re not getting as much rest as you should, or you’ve had a few heavy nights on the town, then you can’t be all that surprised if you’re not looking as fresh as possible. It doesn’t take long for the body to recover and for things to improve. If you have a few days of TLC, during which you look after yourself, eat well, and get plenty of beauty sleep, then you’ll find that you’re overall looking much better.

Working Up a Sweat

Shock horror, we’ve included working out on the list. But hear us out. For various reasons, people seem to think that you have to commit long-term before anything good will come from visiting the gym. Yet, while it’s true that you’ll have to go pretty hard for a couple of months if you want a six-pack, it’s not as if everything just clicks into place once you reach week six. If you work out for a week, you’ll see an improvement in your skin and energy, and your confidence too, and that always makes people look more attractive.

Handle Flaws

We all have our flaws or insecurities, yet while there are some things that you can’t do anything about, much of your appearance is actually under your control. For example, if your hair is looking a mess, then you can visit a salon and have it professionally looked after. If you’re not happy with your smile, then you can get same-day dental crowns, or get your teeth whitened. These things can seem like big issues since they’re a part of us (as opposed to the clothes we were), but they’re actually relatively easy to resolve. 

Throw Out Old Clothes

Just like visiting a salon, it’s amazing what hitting the shops and engaging in a spot of retail therapy can do for your looks and happiness. If you’ve been wearing the same old clothes for too long, then buy some new outfits. Clothes that fit properly can have a huge impact.

Change Your Posture

Finally, take a look at your posture. Are you standing correctly? Are you walking with your head held high? This is something that you can change in a matter of seconds, yet it can make you appear more attractive in the eyes of other people. Just like that, you’ll look a little better. 


Protecting Your World With The Right Insurance

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One thing that you can predict in life is that you never quite know what is around the next corner. We all like to think that the worst would never happen to us, but unfortunately, it has to happen to someone and it sometimes that may mean it happens to you. 

Of course, these things may not happen to us, and they may not happen to anyone that we know. But, you do need to ensure that you are prepared and that your world is protected. 

The financial implications of having an accident may be big, and that can really add to the emotional problems that you may feel as a result. Having the right insurance is vital to give you the peace of mind that you can get help when something bad happens. 

The Right Home Insurance

Natural disasters are not something that you can plan to avoid. Of course, if you know that your home is in a place that is liable to flood or you live in an area that is prone to a certain weather condition, there are steps that you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your property. 

And, if the worst does happen, there are disaster restoration companies that can help you address the problems in your home. But all of this costs money. So, getting the right home insurance is vital here.

When purchasing an insurance policy, we often look at the price that we’re paying for the premium or the monthly payments. We maybe fail to pay close attention to what exactly is covered. 

You want an insurance policy that will help you with everything. From dealing with operations and medical bills should you get injured, through to covering all of the repairs on your home, whatever the circumstances. 

You should also look at what excess has been applied to the policy. This will be the amount that you will need to pay out before the insurance company pays the rest. 

Car Insurance

Again, motor insurance can be an area that many people rush when they are buying. You may only be legally required to have enough insurance coverage to cover the damage to the other vehicle in the event of a crash that is your fault. But if an accident does happen, that may mean that you are either left with expensive repairs to your own vehicle, or the need to pay for a completely new car. 

You should also look at what additional services the policy includes. Having a courtesy car while your car is off the road can save you a considerable sum of money. And, having your legal fees covered will also be vital, as some accidents end up costing owners a lot in legal fees. Often, these can be included in your insurance policy for very little. 

It is always worth investing more in your insurance products and taking the time to understand specifically what you are covered for. Hopefully, you will never need to claim, but the policy is there for you if you do.


Worried About An Upcoming Operation? Here’s How To Prepare

The weeks and months before you get an operation are almost always a troubling time. While the vast majority of procedures are incredibly safe, you can still feel a sense of trepidation. Having somebody rooting around inside your body is never a pleasant prospect. 

Are you worried about an upcoming operation? If so, take a look at these tips for how to prepare. Remember, once you receive sedation or anaesthetic, all your worry and fear will vanish. 

Tip #1: Pack Everything You Need

While some doctors discharge patients the same day, many people must stay in hospital for a while following an operation, just to ensure that there are no complications. You should, therefore, pack just as you would if you were staying in a hotel. Take a suitcase with a change of clothes, all your toiletries, and anything else you need to keep you entertained, like a good book. 

Tip #2: Don’t Eat Or Drink Unless Your Doctor Tells You To

Before any operation, your doctor will give you a list of instructions that you must obey. Often, this list contains clauses that ask you not to eat or drink anything before your operation. 

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Fasting beforehand is essential for several reasons, including making sure that the sedatives and anaesthetics work as they should. Not eating also ensures that there’s nothing in your body that might interact with the drugs you receive. Remember, some foods have powerful medicinal effects. 

Tip #3: Make Sure You Get There On Time

Most hospitals and dental practices have a strict schedule which allows them to see as many patients as possible. If you turn up late, you could miss your slot. If you don’t want your operation, extraction, or vasectomy cost to be any higher than it needs to be, so being prompt is essential. 

Remember, once you’ve had an operation, you won’t be able to drive. Thus, it would help if you had someone with you who will give you transport to and from the facility. Arrange for somebody to go with you today so that you’re not left having to book a taxi once the day finally arrives. 

Tip #4: Clean Up 

There’s a risk of infection during and after surgery, so you must clean up before your operation. Have a shower and scrub your skin to reduce the number of bacteria on the surface. Remove any piercings or nail polish, and get rid of makeup. 

Tip #5: If You’re Anxious, Tell Someone

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious before an operation. As such, it is something that most clinics have a lot of experience dealing with. If you feel uneasy about your procedure, then speak up. Many practices will do everything that they can to allay your fears, such as allowing you to meet the team and inspect the facilities. Many also provide counselling support. 

Tip #6: Let Your Friends And Family Know About Hospital Opening Hours

It can get a little boring lying in a bed for hour after hour after an operation, so tell your family about the clinic’s visiting hours.


Garden and Lawn Care for Non-Gardeners

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If you’ve got a backyard, you likely try to spend as much time in it as possible. You might even have had an array of plans about what to do with it when you first moved in. However, you also may have no idea where to start with gardening, and any early attempts to cultivate a beautiful lawn and garden failed miserably.

It’s enough to discourage anyone, but it doesn’t need to. It’s possible that you tried something too complicated too soon. Just like you wouldn’t try playing Stairway to Heaven the first day you bought a guitar or try running a marathon the day after purchasing running shoes, you need to take it slowly. So here are some tips for garden and lawn care for non-gardeners. 

Ask an Expert

There’s no shame in asking for help from those who know what they’re doing, so getting in touch with an experienced garden landscaper can give you the boost of information and confidence you need to get started. They can offer advice over the best mulch delivery to help grow green, lush grass, they can guide you to which are the best plants to start with, and they can answer any questions you might have. 

If you’ve got any green-fingered friends, their knowledge will be invaluable. If you don’t, there are plenty of online communities that will be willing to help you get planting and guide you through what you need to know. Unlike landscapers, this advice is often free, too. 

Choose Something Simple

You surely had big plans for your garden, but you might have started with plants that require a lot of care and attention, and this is something you couldn’t commit to. 

Instead, do some research about which plants are the easiest to grow, and once you’ve managed this – that is, managed to keep them alive all season – you can start focusing on more ambitious plants and flowers to tend to. As long as you’re patient, you shouldn’t have any problems. 

Plan Ahead

Any hobby requires planning. You wouldn’t write a story without knowing the beginning middle and end, even if you only have notes for now, and the same is true of gardening. 

Depending on where you live, you can plan out what you are going to plant at different times of the year so you can help them reach their growth potential. The more you plan, the more you’ll learn, and you’ll also be able to anticipate any problems you encounter before they become huge issues. It’s also smart to keep a gardening diary, so you know where you’re at and what to do in the future. 

Green Fingers

Gardening is a great way to get creative and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes it can be mindless, which helps you switch off and relax for a few hours, giving you a break from the stress of work and life in general. If you want to get started on this brand new hobby, make sure you don’t dive into the deep end, but instead wade in slowly to get the most from it.


How to Make Your Home a Healthier Place to Live

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A home is a place of sanctuary, somewhere that you should be able to completely relax and feel safe and secure. The house is the hub of family life; it’s the place where you raise your kids, make memories, and deal with life’s ups and downs. However, not all homes are healthy places to live. Many issues can arise within a house, that can have an impact on the health of the occupants. Some of these are hidden nasties that you may not even realize are there.

Every parent wants to raise their kids to be happy and healthy, so your home must help to facilitate this. Here are some of the issues that householders face within their homes, that can impact on both the health and wellbeing of the occupants:

Know the Dangers of Radon

Radon is a naturally-occurring, odorless gas that is given off by rock or soil and can seep into your home. It is essential to get radon levels in your home tested; otherwise, you will have no idea if your home contains harmful levels of the gas. In the United States, radon is the most common cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the US occur as a result of radon exposure. 

If elevated radon levels are found in your home after testing, a radon mitigation system can be installed. You may be shocked by the results, which may leave you wondering How Much Does a Radon Mitigation Company Cost? The cost is dependent on several variables. Such as how large your house is, and the mitigation system that you choose. For the sake of yours and your family’s health, it is far better to invest in the system than to live with elevated radon levels in your home.

Manage Mold Issues

Mold is a common issue in homes and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. These are the most likely places for mold to develop due to the high moisture levels and steam caused by running water, showers, and cooking. However, mold can occur in other parts of the home too. Food or drink spillages that haven’t been properly cleaned can cause mold to grow, as can condensation on walls, or areas that have received water damage after a leak. Mold can appear in even the cleanest of homes without the owners even realizing, as the spores can be invisible.

Many people try to eliminate mold from their homes as it looks unsightly, but did you know that it can make you sick too? 

Some people are more sensitive to mold spores and can suffer a range of health complaints when exposed to mold. Common conditions related to mold spores include asthma and other respiratory problems, throat irritation, watery eyes, and sinus infections.

To prevent mold and mildew, keep your home well-ventilated, and when you do spot mold, ensure that you safely and effectively clean it with a bleach solution.


Easy and Convenient ways for you to Boost your Home’s Curb Appeal

Think about it, could your home do with some extra curb appeal? You have to remember that the outside of your home is like a book cover. It sets the stage for whatever is inside, so take your time and make sure that you are boosting the value of your home as much as possible.

Go Green

One impactful way for you to boost your home’s curb appeal would be for you to add some flowers and greenery. Don’t worry at all if you don’t have the budget to add a garden, because you can get a very similar impact by adding planters or even some window boxes. Plants can accentuate and even frame key visual points, such as window boxes or even entryways. If you don’t have the room for a standing planter then why not think about having a hanging basket instead? This will really improve your home’s exterior and it will boost the appearance overall.

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Take Care of your Lawn

It’s important to know that taking care of your lawn is a huge part of your overall curb appeal. You have to make sure that you mow the grass, rake any leaves and that you pull weeds too. If you want to stop brown spots, then keeping it well-watered is key. As long as you keep up with this as much as you can, you will never have a problem with your lawn.

Focus on Light

There’s nothing more unwelcoming than a dark entranceway. If you have a hanging pendant light by your front door then think about replacing it with something much more fun and fresh. Now is the time for you to clear away any cobwebs and for you to also clean your outdoor light fixtures. This will instantly make your space appear way brighter and cleaner too. If you need some additional lighting, then put up some string lights or some solar-powered lanterns. This will make your home feel way more luxurious and it will also improve your curb appeal.


Symmetrical patterns will help you to create a focal point and it will also make your home look instantly more put together. If you want to achieve this look then you need to put matching lanterns on either side of your front door. If you don’t have room at the entryway, then you can do the same but at the garage door. Now would also be the best time for you to look into garage door repair.


Consider swapping out your dated mailbox with something way more stylish. This is actually a very easy project for you to take on and it can save you a small fortune in terms of your home’s curb appeal. When choosing your mailbox, it helps to make sure that you choose one that is suited to the style of your home. If you don’t then you may find that you end up spending way more at a later date trying to correct the issue.

Clean your Gutters

Clean your gutters on the inside and on the outside. You also need to try and clear any debris and scrub the outside until they look absolutely good as new. You would be surprised at what a little elbow grease can do, and this is especially the case when you really take your time over it.

Front Door Décor

Wreaths are not just for Christmas. If you want to really make your home look better then why not invest in one? You can easily find ones that are made out of preserved greens or even dried florals. If you can, try and avoid seasonal elements as these can make your home look out of place and you may even find that they are much more expensive too.

House Numbers

You can really modernise the look of your home and even your house numbers by replacing them with something that has way more oomph. If you want to help yourself then you need to choose fonts that actually align with the architecture of your home. You also need something that is distinctive enough so that it really grabs the eye. If you’re not super handy then you have nothing to worry about because replacing the numbers on your property can easily be done in well under half an hour.

Power Wash

Believe it or not, power washing is a fantastic way for you to really bring out the true beauty of your home. When you power wash your yard, you will soon find that you don’t even need to repaint most of the time.



What to Do After Your Child Bumps Their Head

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Children are, by design, little walking danger magnets. With them still unsure of what and what does not cause harm, their curious nature compels them to do whatever they want just to find out what happens. Sometimes, this leads to an injury, and while it’s good for the learning curve, it’s never pleasant. 

One of the big problems that can affect your children is a bump on the head. Regardless of the severity, these can cause huge damage to your child, and if left untreated, they could manifest into something worse. It’s vital, then, that you understand what to do after your child bumps their head. 

Don’t Panic

Your first instinct is to panic, but avoid making a scene as this will only worry your child and anyone else in the area. Instead, approach your child calmly and assess the situation. This will stop your child from panicking and prevent unnecessary escalation. 

Look for The Symptoms

There are several key symptoms to look out for following a head injury, and these include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision. Typically, these are only signs of a mild head injury. Your child may also have a bruise, bump, or scratch that can make the injury easier to identify. 

More serious symptoms can include unconsciousness, vomiting, memory loss, seizures, or blood coming out of the nose or ears. When this occurs, you must get your child to the hospital immediately if you have not done so already. 

Carry Out First Aid or Seek Help

You can treat head injuries yourself if they do not seem too severe, like if your kid bumped their head on a wall, by giving them child paracetamol and giving them an ice pack to soothe the problem area. You should also ensure they get plenty of rest and avoid anything too vigorous for a few days. 

However, if the issue is more serious, it’s vital to take them to the hospital to get them checked out by a medical professional. You should do this if you notice the above symptoms but also if your child suffered a bad injury like a fall from the monkey bars or clattering heads with a friend while playing. 

Prevent It Happening Again

Following a head injury, speak to your child about the dangers of rough or careless play to help them understand the risks. If they are younger, they might not yet realize the harm they put themselves in, and if your child is older, they can make better decisions on how to play with their friends that won’t end in an injury. 

You can also look into services such as BIL, which can help you understand the insurance side and also discover who or what was at fault for the injury. Not only will this make dealing with medical bills more accessible, but it also helps ensure that no other kids will suffer similar injuries in the future. 

Things That Go Bump On the Head

Often, accidents and injuries are avoidable, but sometimes they are not. Instead of panicking and worrying about what is going to happen, you must act fast to ensure that there is no lasting damage so that your child gets healthy and happy quickly