Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | By: Marina

Improve your Savings Plan and Reach your Dreams with These Steps

Saving money, whether for emergencies, retirement or mortgage down payment is central to financial freedom which in itself is the cornerstone to happiness. Saving is easier said than done, however, and a lot of people who set out on this path fall by the way side. As 2015 hits full gear, the following steps can help carry you through your savings plan for the year.

Set goals

Decide exactly what you are saving for and how much you need. Then set a realistic timeline for achieving that dream. Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself. As you near the achievement of your savings goal, you get a morale boost which makes it easier to make your monthly saving commitments.

Come up with a budget and avoid impulse buying

A well planned budget is an absolute necessity in any saving plan. A budget will help you keep track of your spending ensuring that you have something left at the end of the month to save. You need to make an estimate of how much money you need to cater for all your needs through the month. Establish a spending limit for each of your major expenses and ensure you don’t exceed it. Impulse buying is a nemesis to your saving plan which you should avoid at all cost.

Pay yourself first

Many successful people cite this as an important strategy in saving. When you receive your paycheck, first set aside the money you are going to save. Instead of viewing your money as a way to pay your bills, you should view it as a way to realize your dreams, which you facilitate by saving. This way, you teach your unconscious mind to be more positive towards saving, making it easier and even fun over time. You can do this by arranging with your employer to have a portion of your pay deposited into your savings account or retirement account.

Buy second hand

New and expensive does not always guarantee quality. Second-hand items are almost always cheaper than new stuff and when selected well they can last for years. The extra dollar can go to your savings account. Sites such as eBay and Amazon have great deals on secondhand stuff. A lot of used stuff such as furniture can easily and cheaply be restored to look as good as new, giving you substantial savings.

Cut back on unnecessary spending

It is okay to spoil yourself once in a while. But unless you are on Bill Gate’s salary, there is no reason you need to sip a 20 dollar cappuccino at Starbucks every day. Luxury spending should be well planned and preferably set aside to celebrate milestones or achievements.

Make use of coupons and promo codes

Take advantage of coupons as they can give you large discounts that will save you significant amounts of money. When shopping online, coupon codes perform the same duty and they are widely available on the Internet or websites such as Discountrue, so look around before you make a purchase. With time even the small discounts can accrue to large amounts of money that can go a long way in boosting your savings.

Try a bit of DIY

You do not have to call a professional to handle even the smallest repairs in your home. Fold your sleeves once in a while and fix that leaking pipe or mow your own lawn. Home-made items such as table cloths, shelves and gifts can also help you to cut your expenditure with the extra bucks going
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 | By: Marina

A Fresh Start for a New, Healthier Year!

The holidays have come to an end and the pounds are packing in—(hey! That rhymed). An old chapter has closed and a new one has just begun. For many people the month of January is the ideal month to press the “reset button” on everything. It is a time for new opportunities, fresh starts, and optimistic attitudes. After all, we have 365 days to alter our lives in extraordinary ways.

Changing your diet, take up a sport, stop smoking or learn how to budget for a prosperous year. Often times, nothing too big happens and that is alright as well. Staying positive never hurts the odds of succeeding throughout the year and beyond. The month of January is the doorway to new beginnings and endless possibilities. 


No More Holiday Feasting


Of course, it will be hard to put down the leftovers – if by some miraculous reason any still exist. It’s time to detoxify that month old turkey fat, put down the sugar cookies, and stop feeding the dog the terrifying fruitcake. Summer is a few short months away and many will want to look their best, but more importantly, many will want to regain a healthier diet. Instead of working doubly hard in the warmer months of spring, starting a dietary change now can be much more beneficial. Spring time is the time when veggies and greens are much more prominent and fresher. As the coldness of winter fades, it’s time to stock up some healthy eating habits, so why not get a head-start on this process at the beginning of the year? By the time spring rolls out, you’ll l be ahead of the curb.


Game on! 


What better way to follow a new diet than with exercise? Everyone knows that winter is the ire of major athletes. It is simply too cold to train outside, plus there is temptation of holiday feasts everywhere you look. As humans, we have a common interest with bears. We love to hibernate in winter – perhaps not in caves, but I digress. Contrary to popular belief, winter does not slow down weight loss. The weight gain is determined by your own willpower to eat more pie. Picking up a physical sport at the beginning of the year could be a personal goal and overall great life choice. Learning to swim shouldn’t be restricted, just because it is winter. Technology has advanced enough that heated pools exist. Amazing!

This is the Year.


Following the previous points to a healthier New Year, here is a very common New Year promise that is immensely difficult to keep, but very significant if it is completed, learning to stop smoking. How many people have claimed the beginning of a New Year as the year that they will finally quit smoking? Only for them to stretch down that goal until it gets warmer, then until summer ends and finally the goal reaches winter again. Quitting cold turkey is very difficult and it never really encourages staying off cigarettes. It just makes the addiction stronger. Gradually easing off smoke addiction can be done in various ways, some of the most effective aid in the last couple of years are electronic cigarettes. E-cigs save up a lot of money—for those that want to save more this year, and if the goal is a year-long process, it seems very practical to consider it. They can last much longer than conventional cigarettes with the added benefit of helping you quit. There is a variety of brands to choose from. The most popular ones are v2 cigs. For more info you can visit ecigsopedia.com. E-cigs are are still qiute new on the market but they have already become the stepping stool to a healthier lifestyle that helps wean off the addiction at your own pace.
Monday, December 29, 2014 | By: Marina

9 Beautiful Fireplaces That Will Lighten Up Your Home

On a cold winter evening, nothing else brings warmth in to your home like a fire in a fireplace. Whether you are with your entire family or just one special person, fire from the fireplace will give you the cozy feeling of home... These are some of the most beautiful.

1. Rustic ambient

Just looking makes me remember winter brakes at my grandparent’s old house. I can almost smell my grandma’s cocoa. So lovely. (picture source: Creative Ambitions)



2. Fireplace for a modern ambient

 Black and white is very popular and modern combination. Here is one example of a black and white fireplace that just fits perfectly. (Picture source: Thrifty Decor Chick)

3. Cozy touch for a living room

Your family time will now be even more beautiful, with mild heat coming from your amazing fireplace… (Picture source: Domaine home)

4. Increase romance in your bedroom

Would you prefer a TV or a fireplace in your bedroom? I choose fireplace, of course! (Picture source: BMA)

5. It's Christmas time!

Don’t forget to leave some cookies and a glass of milk for Santa Claus! (Picture source: My paradissi)

6. Rest for the soul

After a long day, coming home, sitting in a chair and listening to a crackling fire… Now, that means having a rest… (Picture source: Pinterest)

7. Unusual, but, very interesting idea

Soaking in the tub while the heat from the fireplace spreads through the bathroom – sounds good to me! (Picture source: Eldorado Stone)

8. Fireplace like no other

I have never seen a fireplace like this one! This is absolutely amazing idea! (Picture source: Buzznet)

9. Trick or treat?

Use your fireplace as a centerpiece for your Halloween decorations! And, if you lite a fire, it will look even scarier! (Picture source: Little birdie secrets)

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