How to slash your household expenses and save $$$s

In this day and age, everyday living is an expensive thing. We all know the feeling... no sooner has your paycheck come in then you're doling out money left right and centre for various bills and expenses: only to find there is barely anything left at the end. So what can you do to help cut down on your everyday expenses and stop them taking over your life?

Many of us waste gas and electricity on a regular basis without really thinking about the impact it will have on our finances at the end of the month. Make sure you always turn light switches and sockets off when you're not using them, and think about how you heat your home. Things like double glazing for windows and effective insulation might seem like luxuries now, but they are investments that will lead to far lower bills further down the line.

How to slash your household expenses and save $$$s

It's also important to think about how much your household spends on food. On average, families end up throwing away around 25% of the food and drink they purchase – just think of all that money going straight in the bin! You can work to avoid similar wastage in your household by planning out your meals every week. If you work out what you're going to cook each night of the week and shop accordingly, you can limit the amount of food you throw away and watch the savings pile up. As an added bonus it's a great way to watch what you eat and stay healthy too!

We also spend a lot of money as households on buying new items, when it's often very simple to mend and reuse what we already have. It may be difficult to persuade kids to forgo the latest video game consoles or mobile phones, but such items drop dramatically in price even just 6 months after their release. Similarly, childrens' old games, consoles and DVDs can be traded in at stores against new purchases, so don't let forgotten toys go to waste! For mums and dads, learning basic DIY and craft skills can save you hundreds of pounds every year, so don't be afraid to pick up a needle or a hammer and fix things before rushing out to buy a replacement. 

Many households also spend more money than they need to on their phone bills every month. Take some time to think about who you and your family are calling and when, and choose a supplier that suits your habits. These days, it is common to find a better deal with a mobile network than a traditional landline provider. Do you and your family often make calls to other countries? Cheap international phone calls  could be a great way to bring your monthly bills down. 

You may not notice the difference at first, but if you follow these tips for cutting down your household expenses on a regular basis you'll soon find that the savings are piling up!

Save money to get rid of foreclosure

Is it possible to use debt consolidation to avoid foreclosure? Yes, this is possible if you have several unsecured debts with high interest rates and if most of your money goes towards making monthly payments on these. If you opt for debt consolidation, it can help you continue with the payments on your mortgage. It becomes important for you to make the home loan payments for if you default on the mortgage, the lender can foreclose your home.

What happens in foreclosure?

When you take out a home loan, you are required to agree to some terms and conditions of the mortgage. If you fail to follow these terms and conditions, the lender can take away your home; sell it off and get back money which you had borrowed from him. This is possible because the word mortgage suggests that the home is kept has been kept as collateral – mortgage against the money which was borrowed by you. You take out this money in the form of loan which you are supposed to pay back within a certain time. However, as it is the lender’s money which you are using to buy the home, the title of the home belongs to the lender (till you are able to pay back the home loan). Thus, if you ever fail to make the payments, the lender in order to recover his money can sell off the home.

Save money to get rid of foreclosure

Foreclosure happens in case you default on the home loan payments. It can also happen if you fail to make even the minimum payments. You may think that you are going on making payments on your home loan but how come the lender can foreclose your home. According to the terms of the loan, if you are not able to make high payments on the loan, you do have the option to make small payments on it based on the loan amount and the interest rate. This is known as the minimum payment. However, if you fail to make the minimum payment; if the amount you are paying each month is lower than the minimum amount agreed upon in the loan contract, the lender can foreclose your home.

Debt consolidation – What is it about?

Debt consolidation is mainly concerning the unsecured debts that you have. With debt consolidation, just as the name suggests; the several debts that you have get consolidated as one debt. This means that in debt consolidation, all of the unsecured debts that you have get consolidated as a single debt. As this happens, the number of payments that you are making now reduces to only one.

Moreover, with debt consolidation, the interest rate on the consolidated debt lowers. Now, how does this happen? In case of consolidation, you are either required to do balance transfer if you have several credit cards, take out a consolidation loan or enroll in a consolidation program. You are either required to take out a consolidation loan with low interest rate or transfer the balance from all of the credit cards with high interest rate to a card with low interest rate.

As this happens, the interest rate on your consolidated debt lowers. Now, the catch is that as you are required to make single payment against the debt with low interest rate, you are able to save a lot. Thus, majority of your money is no more going to get concentrated on unsecured debt payments. This helps you in making payments on the mortgage, thereby helping you save your home from foreclosure.

Thus, you can see that debt consolidation can actually help you save money and save your home from being foreclosed. 

5 Benefits of Blogging for Your Small Business

It is important to get your name out to the public as often as possible when you are a small business owner. The more that people hear about you, the more they are going to want to do business with you. After all, we all want to buy things from companies that we have heard of and feel we can trust. The following are five reasons why you should blog to help promote your small business.

Advertising for Less

Blogging about your business provides you with a cheap way to advertise. You only have to pay to continue to own the domain of the website that you are blogging on. That is far less expensive than most of the advertising that you are probably currently doing. When seen in this light, it is apparent that you should be blogging more and advertising in other ways much less.

Keeps The Creative Juices Flowing

As a small business owner, part of your job is to think in new ways and come up with exciting developments. One way to do this is to write your blogs and keep thinking of new ideas and new ways to write things. When you do this, you are maintaining a certain level of creativity that is great for growing your business and more. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing as a responsible business owner.

5 Benefits of Blogging for Your Small Business

Receive Feedback

When blogging, you will naturally receive feedback from those who stick around and read the blogs. You can get some instant reaction from the public at large about various things that you are doing within the business, or things that you are considering doing. When these factors are all thrown into the pot, you gain more insight into what customers think you should be doing. That feedback in turn can be an effective way to grow your company into the thing that customers want to see it become.

See Potential Future Customers

People who come onto your blog and read it may or may not be current customers. If they are not, you have the chance to get a hold of those people right there on the blog and try to convince them that your company is the one they should be doing business with. You get to take inventory so to speak and see a list of potential future customers that you might decide to do business with in the future. That is something that could prove to be very valuable to you at some point down the line.

Create A Community

By keeping yourself online, you are helping to form a community of people who share at least one thing, a love for the products that you sell. People love when they meet others of similar interests, and this is one that they can all share in. By offering them this, you are helping grow a community based around the products that you sell. That is a beautiful thing.

3 Reasons Why Flood Insurance is a Smart Idea to Have

You live in a flood zone, but you don't have flood insurance. Why not? It seems like something you might need, right? Maybe you think that the premiums are too high. Perhaps you just don't want to fool around with the insurer when you need to make a claim. Maybe you're not even sure who to ask about coverage. Whatever the reason, there's no excuse to wait. Your home might be destroyed, and you'll have no recourse once the water starts rising. 

Every Home Is In A Flood Zone

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, about 20 percent of all flood insurance claims are made by people who don't actually live in areas you would consider to be "flood zones." The truth is that everywhere can be a flood zone. Flash floods are a great example of this. Living near a river or lake could put you at serious risk. 

3 Reasons Why Flood Insurance is a Smart Idea to Have
Even if you don't live "on" a riverbank, flooding can wipe out an entire town. In fact, a very famous example of this is the 1972 flood in central New York. Residents living in a "low-risk" area of New York State experienced massive flooding that destroyed entire towns and cities. Most residents didn't have flood insurance then, because it was thought to be unnecessary and unavailable. 

After all, floods typically don't happen in that area of the country. But it did happen, and it caused massive damage that affected the area for many years. Even if your mortgage company doesn't insist on flood insurance, you should. You can never know when a hurricane from the gulf, or from the ocean, will move in on you and dump enough rain to wash away your hopes and dreams.

No Homeowner's Policy Covers Flooding

Homeowner's insurance typically doesn't cover floods. That's because it represents a special risk and so insurers generally won't include this in the base policy along with bodily injury/liability, medical, and even fire coverage. 

Floods Are Extremely Expensive

Flooding can cause a lot of damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified flooding as the number one natural hazard, even though less than 4 in 5 U.S. adults claim to have done anything to get flood insurance. 

3 Reasons Why Flood Insurance is a Smart Idea to Have

Just a few inches of water can do thousands of dollars of damage, which will need experts from somewhere like Protegrity Restoration to help get your home back in order and safe to live in. Let's say you have a 2,000 sq-ft home. If it's flooded with just two inches of water, it can do at least $21,000 in damage. If you don't have that kind of cash sitting in your bank account - ready to pay for flooding - you're in serious trouble. 

The Coverage Is Affordable

The average flood insurance policy costs just $50 per month through the National Flood Insurance Program. You probably pay more for a weekend out on the town - every week. For preferred policy underwriting (if you live in a low-risk area), you can even get discounted rates. Building coverage of $20,000, and contents coverage of $8,000, will cost you about $129 per year. That's about $0.35 per day or almost $11 a month. 

Even $250,000 of building coverage, with $100,000 of contents coverage costs just $412 - or $34 a month. It's joke not to buy it.