Thursday, September 21, 2017

Adding Some Character To A Humble Home

9/21/2017 09:43:00 PM 0 Comments

Sometimes, a humble home has all the character it already needs. Other times, the downside of your humble home is that it’s an absolute tip, the furnishings are outdated, and there are numerous broken items that have been sitting on your ‘To Fix’ list for months. It’s important that your home remains humble and cozy but having ‘character’ doesn’t have to mean that your household looks old and unappealing. You can retain that atmosphere of a ‘lived-in’ property whilst modernizing, cleaning, and fixing up the place. Here are some ways to add character to your humble home without losing some of its existing character in the process.

Clean up the place.
Think of yourself as an artist. A home renovation project is a creative process and that’s why you need to start with a blank slate, much like a painter with a blank sheet of paper before them. If you start to tidy up the house, bag up possessions that you no longer like or need, and reduce each room down to the bare essentials that you actually love then you might find that you have more of an idea as to what actually needs to be fixed around your home.

Your house will already look a lot better once you’ve decluttered the place and made it more spacious. You’ll want to refresh the walls too so you could look into things such as hanging up mirrors to reflect more light and brighten up the room, as we’ve suggested before. You should repaint the walls a neutral cream or white color to achieve the same effect; natural sunlight can do a lot to change a room. Now that you’ve tidied the place up and you’re seeing the house for what it really is, it’s time to move onto...

The plan.
You have to think about what changes you really want to make to the house. You’ve tidied the place up and now you need to go through each room and list the things you’d really like to change about the place. As explained over at, it’s important to inspect the property before making major decisions. Once you have a list, you should cost up all the individual projects you have in mind. If the project seems to be a little over budget then you could either strip back the project or perhaps even look into borrowing money to help fund it.

Renovation projects cost a fair bit of money, and that’s why many people need financial support. If you’re worried that your credit score might be a little too low for you to get the loan you want then you could check out sites such as for help with improving your rating. The point is that you need to be sure you have the financial means to cover the entire project. Don’t dive into a home renovation without costing it.

The garden.

Whilst you may already have your plan set in place for the things you’d like to do with the interior of your property (new kitchen surfaces, furnishings, and fixing those leaky faucets), there’s a part of your property that you may have neglected: the garden. When it comes to adding character to your humble home, the exterior part of your household can do wonders to make your house more homely. As explained over at, greenery outside the home can really improve the first impressions of your household. The garden plays a huge part in your property’s overall character. Invest in a cozy patio area with couches and perhaps even a gazebo.

How is the Chocolate Consumption Good for the Health of Your Heart?

9/21/2017 07:23:00 PM 0 Comments

It may be often said, “Happiness is all about getting your desired chocolate bar” but it can even prove to be beneficial for your health. Yes, you heard it right, eating chocolates have a positive impact on the health and condition of your heart. This is because the sweet chocolate consists of a variety of helpful compounds and ingredients that can ensure the good health of your heart.

Antioxidants-  The benefits of antioxidants are said to protect the body cells from the damage caused by free radicals that are created normally during the bodily processes like breathing and from other environmental contaminants like cigarette smoking. In order to fight back the oxidation and prevent damage by the free radicals, you need to have enough antioxidants in your body. This oxidation process can cause the formation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is also known as “bad cholesterol” that forms the plaque on the artery walls. To fight these free radicals, you need to look for any confectionary shop to buy dark chocolate online in India.

Flavonoids-  This wonderful compound present in the chocolates is said to protect plants from environmental toxins and helps in repairing the damage. It can be easily found in a variety of fruits and vegetables also. Eating food items rich in flavonoids is said to offer us the amazing benefits of its antioxidant power. It is a good habit to buy chocolates online in India and make them a part of your daily food habits.   

Flavanols- They are the main type of flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate. Apart from the antioxidant qualities, the research shows that flavanols have other amazing benefits on vascular health such as lowering the blood pressure, improvement in the blood flow to the brain and heart, ensuring the less thickness of blood platelets that can help in clotting. This important compound is also found in other food items such as cranberries, apples, peanuts, onions, tea, red wine and others. So, grab a Lindt dark chocolate or try out any other brand in India to ensure the good condition of your heart.

So, eating chocolates is a healthy habit and can reward you with multiple benefits. It is time to adopt them in your daily routine without any delay.   


Best Ways To Fund Your Home Improvements

9/21/2017 06:59:00 PM 0 Comments

Whether you plan on installing a new kitchen, adding an extension, or simply want to decorate your home a little, there’s no avoiding the fact that there are things that you’re going to have to pay for.  Even if you keep to the tightest budget, there’s no guarantee that your salary is going to be able to cover, so rather than stress about how you're going to pay for bills and food use one of these great ways to fund your home improvements.

Your Savings
Whether you intend to redecorate your home, buy a new car, or start up a business, it’s always the most sensible idea to take money from your own savings. This is especially true with home improvements, as not only are you making your home a more pleasant place to live, you are making an investment. Repainting the walls won’t necessarily make your home any more expensive, but adding an extension or installing a new bathroom can add a large percentage of value to your home. Using your own money also means that you won't be putting yourself in debt before you even pick up a paintbrush.

Personal Loan
If you have major plans for your home, such as adding an extension or converting the loft, then you could be looking at spending tens of thousands of pounds. In this case, a personal loan is probably your best options. Unlike with a credit card, you won’t have to wait for a loan to be posted to you, in fact, the money should be deposited into your bank account within 24 hours. You also aren’t usually required to secure a personal loan against assists like your car or your house. However, interest rates for personal loans can get quite, so ensure you do your research to find the best deals.

Credit Card
There are lots of benefits to using credit cards to pay for your home improvements, for example, if your home is left unfinished because the company has gone bankrupt or is faulty in some way then you will be able to claim this money back from your card provider. As well as this, credit cards can provide further benefits, such as refunding you a small percentage of the money you have spent as cashback. Rewards credit cards allow you to earn points when you spend money which are then converted into vouchers, as well as loyalty points for supermarkets. For this reason, you may want to consider applying for a credit card regardless of whether or not you have any money saved. If you do have money saved, you can pay for your home improvements and reap the benefits of the card, and then simply pay off the balance of the card in full before you incur any interest. Different cards have different benefits, so be sure to check out to see reviews of lots of different ones.

Regardless of the kind of work you have completed, ensure you can always make repayments to avoid harming your credit rating or even having court action being brought against you. As well as this, if you do choose to have any renovation work done, be sure to inform your home insurance provider, otherwise, you could risk invalidating your insurance.

Master The Art Of Discovering The Next Property Hotspot

9/21/2017 06:50:00 PM 0 Comments

If you’re an individual who loves nothing more than getting a good deal, the chances are that when you look for your next property, you’ll be keen on finding a pad located in the newest up and coming area. If you find the right spot, you could get settled into a location early before the ripple effect has spread to your area. As cafes and bars pop up and the vicinity becomes redeveloped, property prices will inevitably increase. If you’re looking at bricks and mortar in terms of an investment rather than just your home, mastering the art of discovering the next property hotspot might be just the skill that you are looking for.



Before you even begin your house search, you need to ensure that all of your finances are in order. If you have a lingering credit card debt coupled with a loan, you may find it useful to head over to Here, they explain the process of merging your separate debts into one monthly repayment. This will make paying off the debt quicker and more manageable so you are ready to then apply for a home loan. It goes without saying that you cannot make a late payment or worse still, skip one altogether. This will leave a negative mark on your credit rating and could lead to you being refused finance.

You’ll also need to get saving. Living like a bit of a miser for a few months will enable you to accrue the ideal nest egg to put towards a deposit on a home. Being able to save shows any potential mortgage lender that you are a responsible borrower.


Location, Location, Location

Finding the next up and coming area for property can be tricky. Get it wrong, and you could end up in an area that is forever supposedly on the up. Head to the location and drive around. Look for telltale signs of redevelopment. If people are doing up their houses or building extensions, this is a positive sign. Take a look at people’s gardens. If they look well manicured, it shows that the residents take pride in where they live.

Try and find the hub of the area. Is the high street a dull, depressing place with boarded up commercial premises or is it full of life, bustling with cafes, shops, and independent traders? Think about amenities and transportation links as well as the other property hotspot signs listed at If you can tick every indicator off the list, then it might be time to apply for that home loan.



Take a look on property portals and check out house prices in the area for the last couple of years. Are prices stagnating or are they heading on an upwards trajectory? Increasing house prices mean only one thing: the area is becoming attractive and demand is outweighing supply. You might want to get in quick while the iron is still hot to make a lucrative return on your investment.

Although it can involve a little trial and error, with a bit of luck and after following these tips, you will be able to identify the next up and coming area local to you. Invest in some bricks and mortar, and you could see yourself leaping up the property ladder.

How To Pay For Home Improvements

9/21/2017 06:36:00 PM 0 Comments

You need to do some work on your home but the funds are running dry. What are your options? Do you carry on living in a half-finished home or do you try and raise some money so that you can finish those home improvements? I am not one for dancing around the topic of finance, we need to stop avoiding the issue of money management and come up with a sensible plan for finishing those home renovations.

Make A Plan And Stick To It

Decide what home improvements you really need to do. Are those home improvements going to offer you the best payoff when it comes to resale value? Kitchens and bathrooms are always worth doing because you spend a lot of time in those rooms. However, these updates can be pricey. A kitchen upgrade costs nearly $20,000 on average!  Look at your kitchen and see if there are any areas where you can save money. Could you update the existing cabinets by painting them and adding new doors? Maybe you could get away with just updating your countertops replacing your backsplash. Look for ways of saving money.

What To Do If You Still Need More Money For Renovations

Sometimes all the scrimping and saving still means we are short of what we actually need money wise. Budget realistically how much you need to finish the renovations on your home. Check that the cost of renovations will still offer good resale value. If it doesn’t offer good resale value then you might want to think about moving home. You could use the money you would have spent on renovations towards a new home.

Refinancing Your Mortgage

If you still want to pay for home improvements then you could consider refinancing your mortgage, can help you secure a HELOC with the lowest rate and fees, and with the most flexibility.

Renting Out A Spare Room

If you don’t want to refinance your home then could you rent out a room? If you have a room that you don’t use then this could be the way to raise some extra cash for those home renovations. However, you need to make sure that you check your state laws. You might want to consider putting deadbolts on all of the bedroom doors. You also need to check that all the household appliances work properly. Once you have researched what to charge for your room, you need to make a written rental agreement. Also, make sure you verify tenants with a credit check.

Save And Save Again

If you can then the best option might be to save. Look at your monthly outgoings and see if there is room for improvement. Look at what your biggest expenses are and see if you can cut them down?  Can you reduce your weekly shopping bill? Could you cancel your cable bill? Also, look at what you own. Do you have anything that you no longer use and could sell to raise some money?

Home improvements can be an expensive business but they can make a massive difference to how we feel about a house. Have you renovated your house? How did you find it?

When Is It Ok To Use A Credit Card?

9/21/2017 06:21:00 PM 0 Comments

People are often wary of credit cards, automatically associating them with debt and irresponsible spending. However, when used responsibly, a credit card can actually be a good thing for your finances - helping you to manage your money better and take advantage of the different offers available to you. So when is it ok to use a credit card? Read on for some great advice on when using a credit card could work in your favor.

Image: Pexels

To improve your credit rating

Using a credit card could help you improve your credit score. By spending little and paying it off in full each month, you could help to bring your credit score up. If you’re looking to make a big financial decision in the future, such as buying a house or starting a business - this is a great way to start getting yourself ready. It’s a good idea to check out your current credit score to get a good overview of your financial situation and find ways you can improve it. You might find that your credit score reveals some things about your finances that you weren’t aware of, helping you to rectify any negative elements before you make any significant applications.

When shopping online

Online shopping has really taken off, with nearly 80% of people in the US shopping online. Shopping online offers variety, convenience, and better deals - but it also has its downsides. The risk of identity fraud online is increasing, while there is also the risk of your goods becoming lost or stolen before they even get to you. Credit card companies will not only be on the look-out for fraudulent behavior, but they will also protect your goods. Not everyone realizes that credit card companies often offer extended warranties, so if you’ve bought electronic goods that become defective after the manufacturer’s warranty - you could still be in with a chance of a replacement.

To make larger purchases more manageable

Credit cards allow you to pay for something over time, breaking up large purchases into more manageable monthly amounts. This is great if you’re faced with emergency car repairs or home improvement costs, and could help keep you out of financial difficulty. However, this is only really an advisable option if you have a 0% interest rate on purchases for a certain amount of time. It’s worth taking a look at to see what sort of cards are available before you make any applications. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the balance of your purchase before the 0% interest rate runs out, you might want to consider other options to stop you paying over the odds.

If you’re going to take out a credit card, then it makes sense to set a budget for yourself to help you manage the repayments. Provided you can use your card wisely and keep within a reasonable limit; there’s no reason why it can’t help you improve your financial situation and help you make some wise purchase decisions.

Dancing With Debt: Face Your Fears & Sort Out Your Finances

9/21/2017 06:12:00 PM 0 Comments

When you and your family are facing mountains of debt, it’s easy to feel like your life is out of control. Ultimately, however, things are only going to get worse than they are right now if you run away, put your head in the sand, or fail to start dealing with your debts. You need to tackle your financial problems head-on, and do it positively, too. Here are some simple suggestions that can help you avoid the incredible stresses and challenges of racking up enormous amounts of borrowing.

Face your fears

As we discussed in the intro, hiding from your lenders or the debt collectors won’t do you any favors. It keeps everything very much in the unknown zone, and the chances are you will be fearing the worst. However, a simple phone call to your creditors is often enough to ease your mental burden. Most lenders just want to know you intend to pay them back and see some evidence that you are doing so. Be honest about how much you can afford to pay, discuss your other financial commitments, and start working towards a debt free life sooner rather than later.

Get help

There is a lot of debt help out there. Plenty of nonprofit organizations exist that can give you free financial advice, or charge you a small fee for helping you out with a debt management plan. It can really ease the pressure you are facing from your creditors, as the debt relief agency will act and negotiate on your behalf. Debt settlement is also an option, according to However, your liabilities need to be in a pretty sad state - and have existed for an extended period of time - before a lender or debt collector will accept any reduced offer.


Of course, it’s more than possible to clear your debts by yourself. One option is known as the snowball technique. To do this, make a list of all your debts, draw up a budget, and decide how much you can afford to pay,. Then it’s a case of targeting one debt at a time while making the minimum repayments on all the others. Once your first debt is cleared, you move onto the next one, and so on, Psychologically, it’s an excellent way to ensure you feel you’re making progress.


Another debt repayment technique is called stacking. You do this by listing all your debts in order, with the highest interest rates at the top - it’s these debts that are costing you the most money. Pay as much as you can towards this high-interest debt every month until it’s clear while maintaining your minimum payments on other debts. Once that first debt is cleared, move on to the next highest, and so on. Not only will you save money in the long-term, but you will also find that you start gaining a lot of momentum.

Having bad debts can put a severe strain on your finances, and your mental health. And they won’t go away until you deal with them. It’s vital to face your fears and sort out your finances, and the sooner you get started, the faster you will be debt free. Good luck!

How To Get Lower Interest Rates On Any Personal Loan

9/21/2017 06:06:00 PM 0 Comments

Loans can be a handy way of gaining some credit to finance something expensive. Most people will end up with a loan of some sort during their life. It could be a loan to buy a new family car, a loan to buy a house; you name it!

One of the problems with loans - and part of the reason they sometimes get a bad name - is interest rates. Some loans charge abnormally high-interest rates, which makes it harder to pay them off, and can cause debt.

However, you don’t have to settle for high-interest rates. In fact, there are ways you can lower the interest rates on any loan you apply for.

(Image origin:

Make It A Secured Loan

In the loan world you have two options; a secured loan or an unsecured one. Normally, when interest rates are high, it’s because you’ve got an unsecured loan. This means you’re getting the money and haven’t put anything you own up for security. So, the lender charges a higher rate. As mentioned on, you can get lower interest rates when the loan is secured by something like your property. Securing the loan makes it safer for the lender as they will always have something to fall back on if you don’t pay them back on time. Less risk means they can afford to give you a lower interest rate. Securing a loan is a great idea if you’re confident of paying it back and have no worries that your asset will get seized.

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score plays a huge role in determining your interest rate for a loan. A bad credit score indicates that you’re not a very responsible borrower. You may have made late payments in the past and are in debt. As such, the lender can’t trust you as much as someone with a good credit score. So, they reward the person with a good credit score by giving them a lower interest rate. In essence, all you have to do is improve your credit score before you apply for a loan. This is fairly easy to do, the basic concept is to just be responsible with your money.

Borrow Slightly More Than You Need

Loans are often cheaper when you borrow more. Companies offer lower interest rates when you borrow more and more money. This is mainly to entice people to borrow more, but it works out well for you. By borrowing $50 more than you need, you could save money on the overall costs thanks to a lower rate. Do the calculations beforehand, most lenders have tools on their sites to help you figure out the cost of the loan. If you can get a lower rate by borrowing more, and it costs the same/less, then go for it.

As you can see, there are a few clever tricks you can use to lower the interest rates on any loan you apply for. If you need to borrow money for a big purchase, then keep this advice in mind to make it more affordable.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Don't Dance Around The Topic Of Finance

9/20/2017 10:08:00 PM 0 Comments

Many of us don’t like the topic of finance. No matter how cautious you are with your funds, we’re all prone to incurring debts and other expenses over time. Adult life brings costs such as houses, cars, and raising a family. It’s natural that you’ll start to struggle with your finances at some point, but what happens after those struggles all depends on your money management skills. It’s time to stop avoiding the issue. Let’s talk about finance and how you can start to be a little more sensible with your funds.

Make a budget.
The very first step towards a stronger financial situation has to be a budget, as we’ve discussed before. You need to have an understanding of where your income is going. Keep track of your expenses; that’s the first and most important piece of advice you can possibly take on board. You need to make a list of all the necessary costs you need to cover each month. Note down how much you spend on rent or mortgage payments, energy bills, water bills, petrol costs, and food costs. Once you have a figure for all these necessary costs, you’ll see how much money you have left for luxuries and non-necessities. This is your disposable income, and it’s crucial that you don’t exceed this amount of money if you want to live within your means.

Ignoring your disposable income is the first step towards debt. Of course, there’s a chance that you’ve already found yourself in the borrowing cycle in the past, as a result of this poor management and financial organization. You might want to look into sites such as to get some ideas for potential options in terms of debt relief if you are in that position. The point is that you need to focus your spending on covering the necessities and any money you may have borrowed in the past before you think about buying treats and other non-necessities. Keep updating your budget and referring back to your necessary costs for the month so as to make sure that you’re not spending beyond your absolute limits.

Make a plan.
Of course, organizing your funds and seeing how much money you have available is a great place to start but it’s only the first step towards better control over your finances. You need to think about what you’re going to do with that disposable income. You don’t necessarily have to see that figure as the amount you can spend on meals out at restaurants this month; it can go towards other important aspects of your life.

As suggested over at, you might want to save for a retirement or for your child’s future at college. There are many different reasons for which you might want to save up your money for the future and the one you choose all depends on your personal situation. The point is that you should start to think about other ways in which you might want to use that money in the future; you don’t have to spend it today.