Buying A Home In Spring

Buying a good home is everyone’s dream and if you have been dreaming of buying your favorite, spring season is the best time for you. For this reason, successfully buying a home in spring centers on one thing – planning.

Hire a local real estate agent

If you’re going to beat other buyers and nab the home of your dreams, you will need to seek help from someone who understands the local terrain well. A local real estate agent will help with that. They will know who is selling and who plans to list their home even before the sign is up on their front yard. An agent will therefore give you serious headway. They will also tip you on prices and the real estate trend in the area.

Know what you want

To avoid getting outbid, know what kind of property you want. Only show interest in houses that suit your needs and concentrate on them. If you get a house that you really like, jump on it and make an offer. While you’re at it, maintain a good rapport with the seller. Remember that even first impressions count highly for home sellers.

Get your financing ready

One of the strongest determinants in closing a home purchase deal is affording it. If you don’t have your financing ready, sellers might not take you seriously. Talk to a lender and find out what you can afford. Your goal should be pre-approval even before you start prospecting. If you make a bid and inform your seller that you are pre-approved for a mortgage, they will rank you higher up their ‘buyer list’.

Be prepared for the sale when your bid gets accepted

Lastly, be prepared to buy the house. Don’t concentrate too much on finding your dream home that you forget the conveyancing process. Shop around for a home inspector and have them on standby. Do the same for a conveyancer or lawyer. If you start scrambling around last minute, you will be giving other well-prepared buyers an opportunity to outbid you. Be ready to kickstart the buying process as soon as the seller gives you a nod.

10 Office Hacks That Will Make Your Boss Think You Are a Genius

Do you sometimes wake up dreading to go back to your office because of some issues like job fulfillment and feeling like everything around your office is out to get you, from your disarranged desk to your tiny office. Well, you are not alone, most people have similar feelings due to varying reasons.

To ease you up and make your office life a little easier, below are some 10 office hacks that will make your boss think you are a genius.

1). Using a small or medium sized spice holder to hold your office supplies like pins and staples. This clears off your desk making it appear tidy and organized.

2). Hang a small basket underneath your desk so as to keep extra paperwork off your working station on your office desk.

3). If your office requires key card access, you can always keep your card under your phone case ensuring you always have it.

4). If you have an old cassette case, you can invert it inside out and use it as a stand for your mobile device or even iPod.

5). Organize how your codes appear in your workspace by color coding them.

6). At the office you can use google as a timer clock by simply typing ‘set a timer for……’.

7). During late night working hours, you can illuminate your computer keyboard using LED rope lights.

8). When you have been working over long periods of time and you are having a sour neck, You can insert a soaked sponge inside a sealable paper bag to act as an ice pack.

9). Place strong magnets under you desk so as to act as a holder for magnetic materials like scissors or pins.

10). Whenever you are having an office lunch and you have a drink that needs to be opened, you can use the side of a Mac book charger to open it.

Great Valentine’s Day Tips For Men

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and couples worldwide are anxiously awaiting this day. However, this day has, over the years, been a disaster for many. This is because many fail to make their other half feel special enough.

An enormous amount of effort should go towards making this day special. A few romantic ideas, when well executed, could go a long way in making the day truly magical. So, how can you make your loved one feel special this Valentine’s day? Here are a few tips:

  • Write Her A Love Letter

    Get a pen and paper and write down a nice letter telling her how much she means to you. To make it even more special, write it poetically. Mention everything you are grateful for. Also, remind her of all the memories you’ve had together and the many more you plan to have with her in the future.
  • Plan A Romantic Dinner

    Take her out for a romantic dinner. A candle-lit dinner works wonders on Valentine’s Day. Make sure the dinner is free of all distractions, especially from smartphones.
  • Take A Walk Together

    Take a walk together, holding hands, reminiscing about all the wonderful memories you’ve had together. To make it even more memorable, take a scenic route.
  • Run Her A Bath

    Just before bedtime, it is a great idea to run her a bath. Sprinkle rose petals in the tub and light some candles. This is a nice way for her to relax.

    Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate love. It pays to work extra hard to ensure the day is special to the both of you. These simple but helpful tips can transform this Valentine’s day into the best you’ve ever had.

How to Tell Your Mom You Want to Plan Your Own Wedding

Given that your mother has had many ideas about your big day more than you have, it is likely she will be very fast to take charge and start the wedding planning process. Even though you may be considering telling her to step back, it is essential to be aware that your marriage ceremony is not only special for you and your spouse, but to your mother as well. When she is paying for the wedding, you will have to cooperate more than if you were footing the wedding bills by yourself. Instead of getting defensive on who plans which part of the wedding ceremony, here are some key strategies you can make use of to help maintain the peace and avoid unnecessarily hurting your mother’s feelings.

Recognize She Is Being Genuine

It is best to attend to the issues as soon as you see the start signs of your mother wanting to run your wedding plan process. To ensure you mention it without causing a squabble, begin with acknowledging her well-meant intentions and talking about how she made plans for her wedding. But if her mum took charge of the wedding plans for her wedding, she will more likely think it’s her “right” to take charge of planning your wedding. In such a situation, you will need to gently but firmly explain to her that you want her to take a more supporting role rather than the planning the entire wedding. Explain gently to your mother about the research you have done and outline to her the good ideas regarding the style you would like for your wedding day. Then, go ahead and discuss the details with your mother.

Be tactfully honest

Be very careful with the words you use, but at the same time be honest. You do not want to say something to hurt your mother’s feelings or utter words that you will regret later. However, it is necessary that you establish the ground rule. The first rule is: you are in control of the plans.

Bring to her attention your different perspectives in aesthetics

In having a chat with your mother about your dissimilar choices in style, you will have to be in charge of the aesthetics of your big day. Your mother may like an all-white type of wedding while you would prefer something rather traditional. Instead of telling her you do not like her style choice; get her to see things your way by showing her wedding photos that have inspired you. Take time to patiently explain to her reasons as to why you want the particular style for your wedding day. One thing is certain; she will listen to you since you are including her in a collaborative and respectful manner.

Give room for her strengths to stand out

If your mother enjoys being the hostess, she will more likely know a lot about setting up a wedding day menu fit for your guests. Given that she would rather tend to a garden, she will enjoy getting involved in selecting the flowers. Select something that your mother is really good at and assign it to her to take care of that part of your wedding plans. In giving her roles that she is really good at and can manage, you will be giving her a chance to help in the planning process and at the same time, she will feel involved without her taking over the entire planning.

Practice patience

Treat the wedding planning process as a shared experience for both you and your mother. A wedding planning process is not an end-it-all type of thing, listen to the suggestions she may have before you dismissively say no.


Your mother has probably had ideas for your wedding day longer than you have. It is important to recognize that she has best of intentions for your big day. Right from the start, gently but firmly establish some ground rules; the first rule is you are in charge. When talking to your mother, be very careful of your word choice to avoid saying regrettable things and hurting her feelings. Assign to your mum roles that she is really good at and enjoys doing, this way she will feel involved, her strengths will stand out, and she won’t need to take over the entire wedding planning. Above all remember your big day is equally special to your mother as it is to you and your spouse, therefore, work at keeping the peace and enjoy your wedding day.

Managing personal finances

Pay day, that time of the month when everyone is practically rich. You get paid and imediately embark on a spending spree; buying all items on offer and dining in expensive restaurants. A few days or weeks later, you decide to check your bank balances only to realize that three quarters of the salary is spent; and the worse part is, you cannot account for any of the cash spent. Well, here are some of the strategies to help you avoid such situations every other month.

Live below your means

Maintaining expenses at levels lower than your salary is a way of achieving financial security. However, living below your means does not mean leading a Spartan life; you can still enjoy life while living small. Just avoid meaningless experiences such as regularly eating outside, paying for unnecessary memberships or subscribing to boring cable channels. Getting rid of such expenses that are less important frees money for other essential things.

Always have an emergency fund

Assuming your car breaks down right now, do you have the money to have it fixed at that particular time? Having extra cash for emergencies is an essential part of financial planning. Financial experts recommend that an emergency fund should cover expenses for a minimum of three months. There are many banking options to consider; pick one that best suits you and begins saving at least 10% of your monthly salary. When choosing a savings plan, always avoid saving in stock markets because of the risks involved; instead, maintain the cash as a liquid investment for easy retrieving during an emergency.

Draft a budget

Just because you have a few bucks does not means that you can purchase every item on offer. Most people fail at managing their money because of the desire to own everything. Therefore, having a budget will help in planning on the amount to spend, and save. A budget is essential in tracking spending; hence, if you do not have it, this is the right time to create one.

Start early

Developing a saving habit early in life is vital in ensuring financial security during retirement. Starting an early saving plan guarantees high interest. Saving for retirement needs to begin as soon as one gets a job, thus, if you have not begun your journey to retirement, now is the time. It is never too late to begin; however, as soon the journey starts, concentrate on increasing the savings as much as possible.

How To Make The Most Of Your Vacation

If there is one thing most of us never seem to get enough of, it is vacation time. It’s like it ends before our bags are fully unpacked. However, these strategies can help you make the most of your time.

  1. Keep The Anticipation At Bay
    The thought of taking your vacation gets your adrenaline rushing. The numerous trips to choose from gets us all excited. Surprisingly, for some people, this excitement wears off soon after reaching the destination. To counter these drops in energy, it is advisable to plan the trip in advance so as to have ample time for anticipation.
  2. Make A Plan To Suit Your Budget
    Once you know exactly how much you are willing to spend, you should come up with a plan on how to properly spend that money to make it worth your while. Of course we all go overboard sometimes and spend more than we had actually planned for. Still, if you can, stick to your budget to avoid unnecessary financial problems when you get back home.
  3. Prepare Well In Advance
    It is advisable to prepare yourself for the trip in advance. Do not let things like packing, plane tickets, visas or even vaccinations if required, wait until the last minute. Have a list of everything you should do before your trip and make the time to do it.
  4. Keep A Sensible Schedule
    With a new environment and all, it is tempting to want to stretch ourselves to do as much as we can. This can actually be very stressing. Choose ample time to enjoy each activity as much as you can and leave the remainder for the next vacation.
  5. Relax.
    However tempting the idea of carrying your work with you may be, remember this is a vacation. This is your time to rest. It is good to inform your work associates of your trip in advance to avoid unnecessary communication during the trip.

    With the above pointers, we hope that in your next vacation and all thereafter, you will be able to make the most of it.

How to Financially Survive the Holiday Season and Keep Saving

Holidays are fun, and to celebrate the rare moments of entertainment, traveling and fun moments, we need to spend our hard earned money. The holiday spending will affect your savings if you do not plan ahead. This guide gives you several tips for planning your budget and spending wisely during the holidays so that it does not affect your savings.

Set a limit. Before you head to the malls, it is important to take some time and plan a holiday budget. Unplanned spending can hurt your pocket and leave you with heavy debts. You can use free online planning calculators to estimate your spending and keep track on your spending.

Plan ahead. Budgeting is not the end of the road while trying to spend wisely during the holidays. You have to plan ahead so that you can maximize on savings when shopping online or in physical stores. Here are some tips you can use to plan ahead:

Use online, in-store or newspaper coupons.

Never miss out on the free shipping advantage while shopping online.

Minimize costs by buying gifts throughout the year instead of just shopping during the holidays.

Manage your list. You can choose to trim your list so that it can fit in with your budget. You do not have to buy a gift for every member of the family; you can purchase a group gift for everyone. Remember, you don’t have to buy all gifts; you can make a nice family dessert or even offer service to a needy family member.

Shop wisely. Ideally, shopping wisely means shopping in inexpensive stores. Spare some time to research the cheap stores that offer gifts. You can go for consignment stores when purchasing kid’s gifts. You might be amazed by the great deals your local store can provide you.

In conclusion, the holiday seasons are special times to enjoy the company of friends and family. Financial strain can be stressful, and it can keep you away from enjoying this precious time. If you take the time to plan ahead, then you have no reason to be stressed. To keep saving, start planning now.

Fun activities to do during Christmas holiday

Merry Christmas Holidays Merry Christmas

Season’s Greetings, Christmas is here with us! Christmas gives us time to slow down the hassles and bustles tempo and get down to a serious celebration. Apart from writing cards and wrapping presents, one has to think of fun ideas to do, and make the season memorable. Unfortunately, many people are either spoilt for choice in determining the ultimate fun ideas or are utmost clueless on the best fun activities. Here are just a few to consider this Christmas season.

Stage a Talent Show
A talent show knows no age; both kids and grownups can participate. Your family can show off its talents to your visitors, or better still dancing to their favorite songs. If you want the show to be elaborate, you can settle on sets, originals scripts, costumes and even a live band. It can as well be as casual, and as simple as possible. Only find out what works best for you and get the non-performers enjoy doing what fascinates them the most.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt outing
A successful Christmas scavenger hunt starts with first having a list of the things you intend to go in search of. You should consider finding a polar bear, three wise men, penguins, Santa on the sleigh, a native scene, a reindeer, etc. Scavenger hunting is a perfect activity especially if there is a prize for the winner.

Christmas camping
How about camping in front of your Christmas tree while reading holiday stories to your family? Christmas treats such as Christmas caramel popcorn, chocolate Christmas treats and more should be a must-have.

Winter Sports Check!
If you live near a winter recreation area, participating in some winter sports such as skiing, ice skating, snow tubing and sledding would probably be both easy and affordable. If you stay miles away, it would be exciting to take a drive to such areas to try out this Christmas fun activity.

How to Organize a Halloween Costume Swap

Does Halloween cost too much, and leave behind a mountain of garbage? Organizing a costume swap is a fun way to encourage a cheaper and cleaner holiday. You may wind up with a fabulous costume for free, and some new friends to eat your candy with.

Check your local library. Depending on where you live, your library may already be doing all the work for you. Many libraries across the country sponsor events in the fall where all you have to do is drop off the costumes you and your children wore last year, and show up for the swap event if you want to shop for replacements. Check the website, and ask your librarian if your community would be interested in joining the trend. Of course, it helps if you’re willing to volunteer.

Put on your own event. Organizing your own costume swap may be easier than you think. Decide if you can afford a paid venue or if you need free space. Good options may include local schools, churches, shopping malls, and community centers. On a smaller scale, you could even use your own garage or backyard. Gather the essential resources you’ll need including volunteers, clothing racks, tables, and chairs.

Cover the details. To encourage traffic, you’ll need some publicity and signage. Put up flyers and post notices on social media and community bulletin boards. Consider having additional activities to keep children amused like bobbing for apples or face painting booths. Announce any rules like requiring costumes to be in new or excellent used condition, and setting limits on how much each individual can take. You may also want to collect donations for a worthy charity, and donate any leftover costumes to local schools or amateur theaters.

Celebrate this Halloween with an economical and eco-friendly costume swap. A local Game of Thrones fan may love the homage to Hodor that you wore last year, and you’ll both feel good about creating less post-holiday waste.