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Link Love 8/29/14

Happy Friday.

I hope you had a good week and have an even better weekend. Just in case you’re in need of some weekend reading here are some of my favorite posts from around the web!

Have a good weekend :)

5 Unusual Ways to Save Money

unusual ways to save moneyYou’ve tightened your budget. You’re spending less money on groceries, have lowered your utility and cell phone bills but you still want to save more.

Now what?

You need some creative ideas to get more out of your money. Luckily, I can help.

Here are five unusual ways you can save more money.

Raise Your Own Chickens

Call me weird but my one of my dreams is to buy a mini farm where I can raise my own chickens. Why, you might ask? Because my kids eat eggs like they’re going out of style and you can’t compare the taste of farm fresh eggs.

According to this article from MSN money it costs only .90 per dozen for your own farm fresh eggs verses $2.00 a dozen for store bought eggs.

Over time that $1.10 per dozen adds up. (Plus you’ll have the comfort of knowing where your food came from.)

Make Your Own Cleaners

You might be surprised to find out that baking soda and vinegar can replace almost every cleaner in your cabinet. And if you’re currently buying expensive cleaners you stand to save a ton of money.

For instance baking soda cleans, deodorizes, and softens water. It’s great for cleaning sinks and toilets. Vinegar is also a great deodorizer and cleaner but also works wonders on grease and wax – perfect for cleaning up cooking messes.

There are many other natural, cost effective cleaning solutions can you whip up.

Make Your Own Greeting Cards

Do you send out a lot of Christmas cards? How about birthday cards?

Ranging anywhere from $2 – $6 a pop greeting cards are one of those sneaky expenses that creep up on you. Instead of purchasing store bought cards make your own.

Buy some card stock (you can find a 50 pack for around $5.) Then use a free site, like PicMonkey, to create beautiful, personalized cards. These will not only save you money but they’ll be far nicer than what you purchase in stores.

Sell or Swap Your Old Items

Do you find yourself purchasing books, CD’s, or DVD’s far too often? Instead of purchasing just swap them out.

You can join a site like Paperback swap that allows you to swap books with other members. As far as your CD’s and movies go find a friend or family member to swap with.

When you’re completely finished with these items sell them on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Yard Sales.

Become a Procrastinator

Usually procrastination is a bad word, but in this instance it’s really not. When you get the urge to spend money on something you don’t necessarily need, just wait.

Wait at least twenty fours before making the purchase.

If after twenty four hours you’re still unsure then wait longer. Just keep putting off the purchase until you decide that you can’t live without it or don’t need it.

Conclusion

Saving money doesn’t have to be so boring. There are plenty of unique ways to save money that align perfectly with your personality.

Just take inventory of what you spend the most money on and weigh your options.

What unique ways do you save money?

How to Stop Payday Loans

Are you feeling trapped by payday loans? This feeling can be one of a loss of control over your finances. If this is happening to you then you may have no idea what options you have to move forward. People across Canada look for ways to get out of their payday debt trap and stop the cycle of taking out payday loans. However, the good news is that this means that you are not alone in your fight to stop using payday loans. Here are some options that you have in order to get yourself out of stressful payday situations.

Ask For Help

It can be very difficult to ask for help when you need it, but once you do it is almost guaranteed that you will feel better. There are many payday loan counseling centers in Canada whose sole purpose is to help you know what your options are when it comes to paying back your payday loan. You can contact one of these counseling centers via email, phone and sometimes even an anonymous online chat. This way you can ask expert advisors there any questions that you may have about getting rid of your payday loan debt, as well as any other pertinent information when it comes to dealing with this specific kind of debt. You can even choose to make an appointment with an accredited debt counselor to help you with your situation.

Ways to Deal with Your Debt

A few options that are worth considering when it comes to getting rid of your debt include a debt management program. Another option is to create a manageable budget for your finances, which can in fact allow you to qualify for a consolidation loan. As a last result you can also look at the debt relief options that you have from the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Create a Plan

Look into the options you have in order to consolidate your Canadian payday debts and loans into a single monthly payment that is more affordable and will allow you to get out of debt quicker. This may allow you to avoid bankruptcy and save thousands of dollars in interest. A majority of payday lenders have the option of setting up a payment plan after you’ve re-loaned several times. It is a good idea to find out the exact requirements of your specific payday lender for setting up a plan. Know exactly how long the plan will take in order to pay off the loan and how long the payment plan will cost over your loan’s life.

Defending Payday Loans

Despite all of this, payday loans aren’t all bad. In fact, there’s a time and a place where payday loans can be of great benefit. For instance, taking out a payday loan can be cheaper than dealing with overdraft protection and bounced check fees, and it can be the easiest and quickest way for people to obtain money when they are in need. If you are in a financial pinch then a payday loan can get you through it, as long as you are extremely careful. For instance, if your car breaks down and you have no way to pay to fix it then taking out a payday loan for an expense that’s between $100 and $1000 can cover the costs of repair before your next paycheck.

5 Smart Ways to Keep a Renovation Budget Down

renovation budgetAfter waiting on a contractor for months my boyfriend is finally renovating his bathroom.

He lives in a nice, older suburb right outside of town. While his 1950’s brick ranch is in good condition for the most part, the bathroom was not. Aside from the ugly blue tile, toilet, bathtub, and sink there was really one major problem: mold.

A problem with the vent in the bathroom had led to mold starting to grow on the ceiling. The whole bathroom needed to be gutted.

Over the past week the bathroom has been ripped down to the studs and is slowly being built back up. A complete gut job like this isn’t cheap. Luckily for him he has me on his side.

Here’s how we were able to keep the renovation costs at a reasonable level.

# 1- Set a Budget

If you don’t set a renovation budget you’re going to spend way more money than you intended to.

When you set yourself up a budget you’ll be able to map out where you can splurge and where you should save.

Set a budget before starting on any renovation project.

# 2 – Know When to Hire Help

Since he doesn’t plan on living in this home for the rest of his life we kept resale in mind. That meant things needed to be done right.

There were two things we felt we couldn’t handle ourselves: drywall and plumbing.

A contractor friend of a friend came in and replaced all the old plumbing and put new drywall up. He spent 25 hours total working on the bathroom at $25 an hour.

So while we could have attempted to do the plumbing and drywall ourselves, it was better to have it done correctly the first time around.

It often makes more sense to hire out the work you don’t feel capable of doing. It will costs you less money in the long run.

# 3 – Know When to Do it Yourself

There were plenty of other things we were more than willing to do. Things like painting, installing tile, and hooking up the vanity and toilet were within our skillset.

By tackling these items ourselves we saved hundreds of dollars.

# 4 – Shop Around

I live in a small town. The only home improvement store around is Lowes.

After making a trip to Lowes to look for vanities there was nothing that we wanted that was in the designated price range.

We ended up making the haul to other home improvement stores in the city. We checked out several vanities before finally finding a quality one at a reasonable price.

We wanted to make the bathroom timeless but quality. If he decides to sell his house in the near future new buyers need to like the bathroom.

Don’t settle. If one store doesn’t have what you want for the price you need to check around. Be patient. You’ll eventually find what you’re looking for.

# 5 – Give Yourself Wiggle Room

When it comes to renovations the one thing you can bet on is that something will go wrong. Make sure to give yourself a little wiggle room in your budget so that you can cover the unexpected.

What other tips do you have for renovating on a budget?

Link Love 8/22/14

Good morning and happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a good week and just in case you’re in need of some weekend reading I’ve rounded up some of my favorite posts for ya.

Enjoy.

Have an amazing weekend!