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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Paying For A Top Family Holiday - You Can Do It!

As lots of people struggle with money at the moment, many families will miss their annual vacations next year. That is a sad situation because it means the children won’t get a break where they can explore a new landscape. Still, there are endless ways in which adults could improve their situations and find some extra cash. Just use some of the suggestions below. 

Consider your vehicle

Many people spend too much on their vehicle every month. There are two options available, and so you need to work out which is the cheapest for you. If you’re leasing your car at the moment, you might throw money down the drain. Take a look at the infographic to ensure you’re walking the right path. 

Consider your energy usage

Is it possible to reduce your energy bills every month? Yes, it is! You could use a comparison site to find the best deals, or you could install some solar panels and provide the electricity in an eco-friendly manner. 

Consider your unused subscriptions 

Most folks have unused subscriptions that drain their bank accounts every month. Maybe you haven’t used Netflix in a while, but you still pay for it? Perhaps you thought joining a gym was a good idea, but you’ve never set foot on a treadmill? 

Those were just three simple ideas, but there are lots of other ways in which you could pay for a family holiday next year. So, just create your plan and set the wheels in motion as soon as possible. 


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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Finding Treasure at Thrift Shops

Going on a thrift shop is fun because you can find really nice things for  cheap prices.  Here are just some of the  pretty things that I find  at the thrift store.  
 This big  vase with flowers was only $3.  I thought it's so darn cute.  I bought it because I wanted to add some color in our entrance hallway corner. 
 I don't really need this vase but since it was only $3, I bought it too.
 The tall vase  was also $3.  I bought it to put my  glass flowers. 
 The first two  decorative things on top  are both $4 each.  The one in the bottom was given to me by  my son's godmom so when I saw the two decor, I thought it would go great together of what we already have. 
Thrift shopping is fun if you are willing to really look for  some hidden treasures.  Sometimes, prices  at  a thrift store doesn't make sense, there are products that worth a lot but they sell it for cheap then there are some also that doesn't worth anything but they price it high. Again, it all  comes down to looking through the stuff they have and paying attention to their pricing.

How about you, do you shop at a thrift store?  What is your recent find if there's any?

What Are Your Options When Financial Strains Are Getting Too Much?

In today’s economic climate, only a small percentage of people are lucky enough to go through life without facing financial troubles. For many, those issues tend to be temporary problems. But what about when those strains become long-term?
 
Financial problems may be encountered for a whole host of reasons. In truth, though, the source isn’t overly crucial. The important thing here is that you find a way to overcome those obstacles to get back on the track to financial freedom. Here are some of the options at your disposal.

Headache, Head Ache, Pain, Head, Ache, Stress, Tired
 
Borrow Money
 
In many cases, those financial troubles surface from unforeseen issues rather than a lack of responsibility. Perhaps your work hours have been cut, or the home has become damaged. When this happens, the need for quick cash is hugely stressful. Moreover, the repercussions can allow things to escalate out of control.
 
Borrowing money enables you to pay off those debts before creditors start charging excessive fees. Moreover, it provides the breathing space that will give you time to find a more stable future. When taking this option, though, you must choose the best option. Learn more about the different avenues at banking.loans. This will prevent future problems from surfacing too.
 
If bank loans aren’t viable, there could be a chance to borrow from friends. However, this can be a very dangerous environment, so you must be sure that you’re making the right decision.
 
Relinquish Assets
 
You might not have cold hard cash at your disposal, but you probably have some assets. If your life has become unsustainable, it's worth taking one step backward to encourage future steps forward.   
 
Homeowners will usually find that their properties are the greatest resource. Whether it’s downsizing or relocating to a cost-efficient solution such as steel homes doesn’t matter. Those moves can gain access to capital while lowering ongoing costs. In turn, this is sure to work wonders for the family’s bank balance.   
 
Vehicles are another solution. Alternatively, selling unwanted items on eBay or at a garage sale can generate a quick boost of funds. While the last solution is only a one-time idea, its influence can be vital when you’re in a hole.
 
Earn More   
 
Gaining access to increased capital on a short-term basis is great. Still, if financial problems have become an ongoing problem, you need a long-term solution. While cutting your monthly bills down to size will help, improving your income level should be top of the agenda.
 
This can be achieved in several ways. Visit forbes.com to discover the best ways of asking your boss for a raise. Alternatively, you could start a side business from home or offer your services on a freelance basis. Either way, increased income will help reduce the strain for far greater happiness.
 
Whether you have family responsibilities or not, gaining that financial freedom is one of the most liberating feelings of all. Let’s face it; you’ve probably felt trapped throughout those recent ordeals. With a little good fortune, this won't become an issue ever again.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What to Do When When Shopping Becomes a Problem

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Shopping is great fun, and it can really help to relieve stress if it’s your thing, but if you aren’t a particularly frugal shopper, or if you’ve started relying too heavily on shopping to the detriment of your bank balance and the glee, it might be time to start getting your shopping problem under control.

Here are some simple things you can do to kick your shopping addiction to the curb and get back to more reasonable levels of spending:

Take Inventory

Going through your closet and your cupboard, depending on what exactly it is you like to buy, and taking stock of what you already have is a great way to curb your spending because, it can help you to think more before you buy, and only buy the things you really need.

Give Yourself an Allowance

Setting yourself a monthly shopping ‘allowance’ is another great way to make you at least pause and think before you go on a wild credit card spree at the mall, especially if you give yourself incentives to stick to the budget, such as saving for a vacation or boosting your retirement fund with the cash you save.

Carry a Shopping List
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Whenever you’re heading out to the store, first write a shopping list of items you need and how much you are willing to spend on them, This is a simple way to curb the spending impulse.

Have a 30 Day List

The 30-day list is a great technique, devised by Leo Babauta at Zenhabits.com to help break a spending addiction. Basically, when you see something you want to buy, instead of purchasing it then and there, you write it down on a list. If you still want it after 30 days, you give yourself permission to buy it. Surprisingly often, you’ll find that you don’t actually want that thing you just had to have at the time, anymore.

Fix Your Finances

If you start taking control of your financial situation, perhaps by fixing your credit score at creditrepair.co, or by making real efforts to pay down your debts, even consolidating them so they’re more manageable, not only will it feel great, but that feeling you have of taking control will start to influence your spending habits, making you much less likely to pay with plastic  for stuff you really don’t need. When you’ve worked so hard to improve your circumstances, undoing it all in a few minutes on Amazon really isn’t so appealing.

Don’t Get Sucked in By Sales
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The prospect of saving 30 percent at your favorite dress store or $100 off that new couch you’ve been eyeing might seem appealing, but unless you really need it, it is money wasted, and anyway, sales are hardly difficult to come by these days - it’s almost certain that when you really do need to make a purchase, you will be able to do so at a discount.

Breaking your shopping habit will take time, and you’re likely to experience a few setbacks along the way, but if you’re determined and you do some of the things above, you will break free from the shackles of shopping, and when you do decide to shop, you’ll find it much more enjoyable as a result!

Best Ways To Fund Your Next Family Vacation



Vacations are a great way to de-stress and have some fun, especially when you bring your children along. Unfortunately, though, vacations can also get incredibly expensive. Even if you stay in the same country, you still have to pay for travel, food, and accommodation, as well as days out and things to do. If you’re planning to visit somewhere abroad for more of a “once in a lifetime” type holiday, such as Singapore or Australia, this can cost you a whole lot more. You certainly don’t want to be worrying about money when you’re supposed to be having a good time on holiday, so here are the best ways to fund your next family holiday.


Have A Savings Account

It’s always the most sensible idea to fund your holidays yourself, using money from your own savings.This avoids you having to pay any interest on your getaway, and means that you won't be putting yourself in debt for a few weeks in the sun. It can be tricky to save when you have so much to pay for, so you need to start budgeting. Write down all of you expenses for the month, including all of your bills, how much you spend on food, and anything else. Identify non-essential expenses, such as cinema trips or meals out, and cut those out. Any money left over can be put into your savings account for your holiday. Visit bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com for more information on how to save.


Use A Credit Card

Just because using your savings is the most practical way to pay for your holiday, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. If you’re strapped for cash, you may want to apply for a low-interest credit card. This could be doubly beneficial, as some credit cards give you points or rewards when you use them. Just be sure to check the terms and conditions of individual credit cards before you apply for them, to ensure you’re getting a good deal. It might be a smart idea to pay for your holiday with a credit card, even if you have the money in a savings account so that your money is protected if your travel company goes bust. Once the holiday was paid for, you’d just have to pay off the credit card in full, before any interest occurs.


Apply For A Loan
A personal loan shouldn’t ever be your first option for funding your holiday, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely off the table. As long as you shop around and find a loan with low-interest rates, then there’s no reason for you not to consider applying for one. Personalloan.co  has advice on applying for loans, to help you through the process. You won’t be able to secure a loan with a low-interest rate if you don’t have a good credit rating, so you may want to consider ways of increasing your credit rating, before negatively impacting it with loan applications.


Whichever funding method you choose has the potential to impact your finances in the future, so make sure you think through your circumstances before making any payments. Other than that, I hope you enjoy your vacation.


Monday, October 2, 2017

10 Reasons Singapore Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

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So as the summer months wrap up and the shorter days draw in, there is no wonder some of us are suffering from the post-summer blues. We find however, that the best ways to feel more positive about the colder months is to start planning for our next holiday. Planning holidays in advance can not only save up a lot of money but it can also make us feel much happier to boldly stride into the autumn and winter months, safe in the knowledge that we have our next exciting trip booked and all to look forward to.

One place that we have always wanted to visit. That is right up there at the top of our travel bucket list is Singapore. Hearing so many fantastic things, we wanted to share the top 10 reasons that a visit to Singapore should be on the top of your travel bucket list too.

Local Cuisine

One of the first things that people think about when they think of Singapore, is food. Singapore offers a little bit of everything to keep all types of travellers happy. From cheap, cheerful and extremely tasty street food, all the way through to an impressively wide range of michelin starred restaurants. Observe the locals and do as they do. Join the hawker queues in order to sample some of the best and most authentic food available. Wander around the markets and treat yourself to interesting spices to pop in your suitcase, to take home and enjoy the vast array of different dishes that put Singapore firmly on the international gastronomy map.

The International Culture

Singapore is also famous for being a real melting pot of different cultures. If you are lucky enough to visit in January then you will be able to join in with their colourful and vibrant Chinese New year celebrations. If you decide to visit in the summer, then you will be able to get involved in the religious holiday, known as the ‘Hari Raya Puasa, where locals enjoy an immense time of banquets and celebrations after a month of fasting.

Singapore is also an extremely popular destinations for expats and you will notice that English speaking visitors and inhabitants are very well catered for, which means that you will be made to feel very welcome and communication is much easier than in some other areas of Asia.

Singapore's Shopping

For you shopaholics out there, Singapore will not disappoint. As the local Singaporean people love to shop so they much they have created a place that really goes all out when it comes to loosening those purse strings. One of the most interesting and diverse places to check out the local designs is at the Dover Street Market where the hip and trendy locals go to peruse the finest new fashions.

The Orchard Road is a popular high street where visitors can join the locals in the supersized stores in the hunt for a high street fashion bargain. Haji Lane is an interesting place to visit for those looking for a slightly more unusual and unique shopping experience in more independant boutiques. For those with a tight budget a good place to check out would be Bugis Street, where good old fashioned bargain galore is well within reach.

Calling All Art Lovers

Art perhaps isn’t one of the first things that springs to mind when people think of reasons to visit Singapore. However it actually is proudly developing its art culture and there is a real focus on the increasing modernity of the city. Locals and visitors alike can now enjoy festivals such as Art Week and the Singapore Writers Festival. The Singapore Art Museum is the best option for die-hard contemporary art lovers as this museum houses some of the finest example of Singaporean modern art. Anyone interested in the history of Singapore can visit the National Museum of Singapore. And those travelling with children can take them to the ‘Mint Museum of Toys’ for a very child friendly museum tour.

Interesting Variety of Neighbourhoods

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of Singapore's city centre can get a little tiring and that is when the neighbouring areas can offer a little respite. Exploring the fashionable Dempsey Hill will offer a more relaxed atmosphere with its quaint buildings and relaxed, yet trendy bars and restaurants. For those those looking for some of the best food in town, Chinatown is fantastic and again the neighbourhood is completely distinctive from the rest of the city.

Tiong Bahru is also worth a visit and the locals sometimes refer to it as ‘Singapore's Coolest Neighbourhood that Tourists Forgot’. So it is a little off the tourist path for those wanting to explore a really interesting local area that is much quieter than many other neighbourhoods.

Its Distinctive Architecture

One of the most special things about Singapore is its ability to have modernity and tradition living side by side. The skyline is iconic with such building as the Marina bay Sands and the Esplanade. Traditional Asian buildings merge in with the towering skyscrapers which creates a striking contrast and gives the city its distinctive edge.

Anyone particularly interested in learning about the history of Singapore architecture can chose to get involved in The National Gallery Singapore's Building History Tour, to find out more about how to buildings in the city have evolved over time.

Fabulous Places to Stay

Much like the food of Singapore, the accommodation options are very varied and offer something to cater to all tastes and budgets. Singapore offers indulgence and luxury at its very finest at their wide range of 5* hotels. There are also smaller boutique hotels in quirky areas, all the way through to travellers hostels or cheap and cheerful guest houses that offer a cost-effective place to rest weary heads after a long day of sightseeing.

If you are looking to stay longer than a week or two then renting a flat is a good option in Singapore. A hdb rental in the city centre would offer a great central point from which to enjoy and explore the city whilst having a home-from-home style accommodation to come back to each evening. There are also a great number of serviced apartments, large and small flats around the city that allow visitors to go self-catered if that is the preference.

A Family Friendly Destination

We know that travelling to a city with children can be a bit of a balancing act. Keeping the kids happy, whilst getting the most out of a city break is not always easy, so finding things that the kids can enjoy is essential. One firm favourite with children is the Night Safari, where children can go and see nocturnal animals. There is also a river safari and water park to keep children amused and the Jurong bird park is also a great place to take children to show them the stunning array of exotic birds.

For children and teenagers the Universal Studios is well worth a visit as a theme park with many exciting rides and rollercoasters. The Wild Wild Wet is also a great option for letting children burn off some steam whilst keeping cool in the wave pool, water slides and even in the ‘lazy river’. The Haw Par Villa is also worth checking out for children with an adventurous side.

Buzzing Nightlife

We can’t talk about Singapore without mentioning the amazing nightlife. For those looking to party then the bustling district of the Clarke Quay is where you will want to head to to experience the many pubs, clubs and bars in this vibrant area. In addition to the endless restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs of the city, Singapore is also famous for its annual beach parties. The ZoukOut and the Siloso Beach Party are two of its most famous and anyone travelling whilst these beach parties are happening are definitely recommended to head on down and get stuck in.

Healthy Lifestyle

If you are not so into the partying, or perhaps want to balance all that partying out with some healthy pursuits then Singapore is a great place that will tick those health conscious boxes. Perhaps you fancy getting involved in the cities ‘Sundown Marathon’ or perhaps you are keen for more scenic routes, then the Park Rainforest Tour, would be perfect as the walking trails will offer some of the best views over the city.

There is a huge amount of Yoga available for those interested in focusing on mind, body and soul. There is now a huge trend of healthy eating, so those that want to stick to healthy eating regimes will be able to do so easily in this health conscious city.

As you can see there really is something for all types of travellers in Singapore. With fantastic food, welcoming people, interesting culture and architecture and with so many things to do and see, there is never a dull moment in this vibrant city. So for those that are considering travelling to this beautiful place, there has never been a better time to explore this distinctive and unique Asian gem.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kitchen Table and More

This post has been sitting in the draft section  for a long time and I have never got the chance to post it.  I just  saw it again today.  I wish I still have the  strong desire to post  a blog post a day.  It was like that when I was  just starting but over the years, I  lag behind ugh.  I thought that when my kids started going to school, I will have a luxury of time to really sit down and   write down my thoughts but I was wrong lol.  There is so much to do around the house that by the time I  am ready to sit down and  write, it is time to get the kids from school then  it's time to cook dinner.  
But anyway, we bought this old kitchen table  when we moved in to our first home ten years ago.  I think we got this for $750 at Roomful Express, the said store is now closed.    It's a really good  kitchen table set.  My glass top is suppose to be unbreakable but when my daughter accidentally dropped  a glass at the very tip, it made a small chip on it.  It wasn't bad though, we glued it back.
When we  moved in to our new home, the eat-in kitchen is  small so we thought of  getting a new and  narrow kind of table.  We  found this at Bob's Furniture in Robinson.  It is tall and I like the shelf on one side, it is perfect for  condiments and stuff.  I also love the tall chairs.
We paid $598.12 for this set which isn't bad.  I also purchased a  small rug to put underneath it.
The bathroom in this house really need some  remodeling.  For now, we painted it to freshen up the look but we plan to have it  remodeled in the future.  I found the wall decor  at Goodwill and thought it is cute. 
We bought this new  living room set at Macy's.  My daughter and  husband  is obsessed with grey.  I bought the  rug at Home Depot.  I thought the  red in it  added a pop of color.  
At of this moment, the look of the living room has changed.  I changed the rug and I added an accent chair .  Decorating is such a challenging  job for me.  I am not  a pro so I don't really know if my design  make sense to those who are professional at this.  My main thing when decorating  our home is comfort and that's what matters.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How a Steel Home Can Be a Great Choice For Your Family

If you have a family then you’ll want to make sure that they’re raised in the right environment. You’ll need to know that they’re happy, healthy and insulated from the dangers of the outside world. If you’re in the fortunate position of building your own home then you have complete control over your ability to do this right down to the materials you build with. You can build a perfect home that’s specifically matched to the needs of your family.

While self building is often considered the preserve of the very wealthy, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that a huge amount of ordinary Americans self build. If the idea of building a home that’s just for your family then you may be interested to know the numerous safety, environmental, ethical, and (of course) financial benefits of building with steel.

Steel is great for keeping your family safe

Ever wonder why Superman is referred to as the Man of Steel? Steel is extremely resilient and can handle extremes of heat, cold, and weather conditions. It’s durability means that it is designed to survive for decades without maintenance unlike wood, stone or brick. The high grade steel that is used in construction is proven to have these qualities that will keep your family safe and secure:

  • Steel buildings can easily withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour, making it perfect defense from storms, gales and tornadoes.
  • Steel cannot be inhabited by pests such as termites, rats or squirrels.
  • Steel is water resistant so it cannot be compromised by damage from rain, floods, mildew and mold.
  • Steel buildings can remain standing through earthquakes.
  • Steel shells and cladding are naturally flame retardant.

Steel is cost effective

Because steel homes are quick and easy to build, this saves on expensive labor costs. Steel building projects can be erected by low-skilled laborers in a fraction of the time it takes to build a home from wood or brick. Steel frame building costs per square foot can vary depending on fluctuations in steel prices, but on average a steel home costs around $50-$65 per square foot. around 30% cheaper than homes made with most other materials.

  • Steel construction products are treated extremely durable paints and coatings with a service life of decades (in most cases at least 40 years).
  • Steel requires no ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Steel buildings naturally conduct heat so will save on your heating and cooling costs.
  • Steel buildings may be subject to tax benefits.
  • As steel buildings are immune to many extreme weather effects they tend to be cheaper to insure.


Steel is environmentally friendly

Steel can be multicycled. This means that it can be melted down and reused over and over again without any detrimental effect whatsoever on its strength or durability. When steel made buildings are demolished, their components can be reused or melted down to create brand new components. In fact, 50% of new steel production all over the world is made from recycled steel. This makes for enormous savings on environmentally harmful mining. Building a steel home is a wonderful way to save money while doing your bit to make sure that your children grow up in a healthier planet.





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Victorious Smile!

She won an international smile contest for the month of October 2009. This contest was sponsored by Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada.

God bless y'all!