Showing posts with label Do it yourself. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Do it yourself. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't Overspend: Seven Unexpected Things Americans Spend Too Much Money On In Retirement

One of the best ways to save money is to cut down on unnecessary expenditures. Instead of removing significant items from your family budget, simply cut down on spending in several areas to achieve the same result. Here are seven unexpected things that Americans spend too much money on.

Home Appliances

People have a habit of buying the most expensive thing they see at the store, or the newest model. This often means that they pay over the odds, when a significantly less expensive version of the product would perform the same function. Toasters, fridges, blenders, food processors, juicers and grills are examples of such items.


While it can be tempting to buy clothes that have just come out at the best stores, they will cost a fortune. It is better to wait until items are on sale, buy everything you need, and repeat the process six months later. This will allow you to buy great clothes for yourself and your family at a fraction of their original price. You can also consider shopping at outlets for discounted prices on quality clothing that won't wear as as quickly.

Food Outside of the Home

Americans spend a great deal of money on food away from home on a yearly basis. It was estimated that the average household spent $2,500 a year on food outside of the house in 2009. While there is nothing wrong with eating out, proper food budgeting can save a lot of money. Families should decide how many times they will go out to eat each month and stick to that number. Eating out at work on the weekends can quickly add up. 

DIY Car Repairs

Being handy is usually a matter of pride for most people. However, patchy repairs and incomplete DIY car jobs often cost more money than hiring a professional. Replacing or fixing a transmission, for example, should be left to the experts, say the professionals at Minit-Tune International Corp. It's important to know what you can handle yourself, and when to take it to a mechanic to save on extra parts on repairs.

Credit Card Interest

A recent study showed that an American household owes $15,000 in credit card debt on average. This means that most Americans are paying huge amounts to credit card companies in monthly interest. To avoid this expenditure, it is best to pay off each credit card transaction within 30 days. Don't overspend and make payments on time to avoid extra fees. 

Expedited Shipping

A surge of online retailers, such as Amazon, means that many Americans buy their supplies through the internet. Buying online can often lead to savings on most items, but it also results in unnecessary spending on expedited shipping. There is nothing wrong with ordering one or two day shipping if you need an item urgently, but most people only do it so that they do not have to wait an extra few days. People surprisingly waste a lot of money with this type of shipping, especially around the holidays and birthdays. 

Gift Cards

Remarkably, it is reported that around $40 billion in gift cards was unspent from 2005 to 2012. With Americans spending a lot of money on electronics, home appliances, clothes and gifts, it is staggering to think that so many potential savings are being thrown away.

If you analyze your family's yearly budget, you will probably find that you are overspending on a few of these categories. By making incremental cuts to spending, you can lower your spending and still enjoy a similar standard of living.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How To Save Money When Customizing Your Home

Customizing your home can be a challenge. If you’re on a budget the challenges can seem overwhelming. The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be. You can customize your home with a little creativity and planning. Using a few strategies you can make your overall cost low and your home project less stressful. 

Do It Yourself

Do it yourself or DIY projects can save a lot of money. Many projects are as simple as adding a flower bed to your front yard or changing out your old mailbox to add curb appeal. You can also use inexpensive items to create custom art pieces inside of your home. These little details can make a huge statement without costing a lot. Because you do the work yourself, the only cost to you is materials and time. 

Add Little Details

Updating the outside of your home can make customization seem daunting. But small changes can have a big impact. Adding something new like custom plantation shutters or a new door can make your home seem new for very little. If your budget doesn’t allow for new shutters or a new door, painting can have the same impact. 

Yard Sale Finds

The old saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is true. Yard sales are a great way to find new furniture or art for less money than you would pay anywhere else. A brand new wooden bedroom set could cost thousands of dollars to buy in a retail store. Buying one at a yard sale may cost you less than one hundred dollars. That savings can be used in other parts of your home. 


If you have items that you don’t use they can be made into something new. An old dresser can be turned into a TV stand or a storage cabinet by removing the drawers and adding decorative baskets. An old wardrobe cabinet can be turned into a desk by adding a sliding shelf. These pieces can add a lot of character to your home without costing much. By using an old piece in a new way, it creates a uniqueness to your home’s d├ęcor. 


One of the best ways to have your personality show in your home is through color. Similar to the idea of painting your door or shutters for the outside of your home, you can make the same changes on the inside. Choosing a color that is unique to you can change a room from boring to beautiful. Many paint companies will help you to customize your paint color to better suit your vision. 

Small Changes

Little things inside your home can make customization fun. Items like drawer and cabinet handles can be changed out for newer ones. By changing them out, you can make a statement of your personality. You can use new hardware on your doors to make your home more formal or more casual, depending on your personal choices. Using paint or wallpaper on your light switch panels or outlets can have the same effect. Putting a decorative charm on the chains of ceiling fans can also add a unique touch.

Home customizing doesn't have to break your budget. By doing some planning and a little extra homework, you can help make your vision into a reality. Not being afraid of doing things differently will keep money in your pocket. That extra money can be spent on more customization. Making your home a statement of your personality can be easy, fun and very rewarding. Using your imagination, you can make your home more beautiful than you may have thought possible.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Importance of DIY

In these recession hit times moving house can seem like an impossible and unachievable feat. The property market is stagnating and mortgage payers are taking a massive hit with so many properties now in negative equity. With a backdrop like this it is easy to see why many feel like their housing dreams are going to stay just that, dreams for the foreseeable future.

But it is not all doom and gloom, for the response to such gloomy news has been phenomenal with the rise of the DIY-er, the crafter, the self-designer and the home decorator. It is now make do and mend Britain take two, only this time it is our houses that are getting the make over.

Trending on TV

It is clear that this is not just a little fad, but is a serious and rising phenomenon with a whole host of make do and mend television programmes hitting the airwaves. From Kirstie’s Homemade Home where Kirsty Allsopp is on a mission to create the perfect homemade goods to Sarah Beeney trying to Double Your House With Half The Money there are a wealth of viewing options to get you into the DIY spirit.

Getting Started

Now that you’re in the mood and want to get into the swing of things, just how do you get started then? Well first of all have a look around your house and have a good think about the type of improvements that you want to make. Do you want to create more space, recreate a certain style or just soop up a tired looking room? Be clear about your end goal and try to focus on just one goal at a time to ensure that you stay focused if things get tough! When you have picked your goal, write it down somewhere that you will see it every day to act as a motivator for your project. 

What’s Next?

Do some research to make sure that you understand the processes that you need to go through to reach your goal. Look on internet search engines, in library books and even watch some of those DIY programmes that are trending on TV. Make sure that you have the right tools for the job, suitable clothing and a realistic time frame in which to complete your project. Then when you are all kitted out and have researched and planned it to within an inch of your life, all that is left is to cut the procrastination and get going.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What is PR and How Can it Help a New Business

Every business is crucially dependent on its reputation. It is not only customers that have an impact; so too do suppliers, investors, employees, and the media. Each of these will have an opinion regarding the business and it is this opinion that will determine how they interact with it, for instance whether they purchase from it, invest in it or work for it. 

The aim of PR is to manage that reputation in a positive way so that these stakeholders gain and maintain a viewpoint that is beneficial to all parties and that achieves the corporate aims of the business.
A PR campaign

There are many aspects to a PR campaign. The traditional approach is the press release, which is a succinct news item describing interesting information on a business or product and which is circulated to journalists for publication in the media. In our digital age this is now known as a news release, and it is likely to be published online.

Although news releases are still an important aspect of PR campaigns, over recent years social networks have become increasing important. This is a very different approach than the traditional one of just presenting people with information and hoping that this will elicit a response. It involves two way communications and can be very effective. Today many PR professionals spend much of their time getting involved in conversations within social media and news releases written for the social media are designed to encourage customer engagement, sharing and conversation. 

A PR campaign is often the best way to launch a new business

New businesses need to manage cashflow with care. Sales need to be generated quickly and there may not be sufficient funds for extensive advertising campaigns. In such circumstances PR is a highly cost effective way of getting the business message across; not only is it considerably less expensive than advertising, when it is done correctly it can have a greater impact. Just a simple placement in the media can have a significant positive impact on sales.

PR owes its effectiveness to a number of factors:

  • People tend to respond more positively to a third party endorsement of a product or business than they do to a paid-for advertisement
  • PR increases the general awareness of businesses and brands and increases their credibility
  • Articles and news releases written as part of a PR campaign are found by search engines. Inbound links in these will drive visitors to the business website as well as increasing the rank of the website in search engine results. 
  • People like to share interesting and engaging information with the result that audiences can grow at an exponential rate.

Going about it

There are two approaches to PR: do it yourself (DIY) or hire a professional PR agency. One problem with the DIY approach is that there are so many things to be done in a new business that few entrepreneurs are able to devote sufficient time to developing and pursuing an effective PR campaign, so budgeting for some help from a PR professional should form part of the business plan, you should always check out what an agency has done before too.

Whatever approach is adopted it is important to concentrate initially on the strategy. For instance you need to establish what messages you want to get across, the reasons why you do, and how they will deliver your business goals. Ideally PR will form part of your overall marketing plan, so you need to consider ways in which you can integrate it.

As already indicated social media can be very useful to PR, but it needs time to engage your audience; you (or your PR professional) will need to get involved in conversations and building relationships.

PR is so important to new businesses that it should be included in the overall business strategy. Although it is cost effective, there is a cost, so ensure that you budget for it; you might have only one chance to get it right.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Five Ways To Save Money and Learn New Skills at Home

Earning and saving money while learning new skills or a new trade can seem impossible at times, especially with the rising cost of traditional education. If you are looking for ways to save money while also expanding your knowledge, there are a few different methods available that can be completed from just about anywhere, including your own home. 

Read Free EBooks

Reading free eBooks online is one way to save money while learning new information or skills. There are libraries of thousands of free eBooks on everything from survival in the wilderness and canning food to understanding the mind and even neuroscience.

Browse Official Publications

Browsing official publications and documents that have been released online is another way to learn new skills without having to invest any money to gain the knowledge you are seeking. Be sure to verify the publications or documents you are reading are truly official and from a reputable source when learning a new trade or skill.

Learn With Videos

Learning with do it yourself, or "DIY" videos is another way to save money and learn new skills at home. Watching videos online is a way to avoid enrolling in paid classes while learning and picking up new subjects entirely free and from the comfort of your own home. When you want to get working around the home, there are plenty of DIY videos to get you started. With Garage Door instructional videos it has never been easier to get actively involved with DIY projects around the house.

Get Creative

Get creative and begin designing or working with photo-editing, programming and even web design. Working from home and saving money is possible by picking up computer-related skills, especially if you consider yourself to be somewhat inclined to technology. Find your passion and choose a niche to focus on.

Join New Start-Ups

If you truly want to immerse yourself in an environment from home that allows you to learn new skills, join new start-up businesses or online groups for entrepreneurs and self-learners. Becoming a member of online communities, message boards and social networks is a great way to pick up new skills without being required to attend traditional classes.

Knowing how to get resourceful at home when you want to learn anything new is a great way to save money while still enhancing your knowledge. When you put various resources to use online while you are learning new material it is much easier to find the experience enjoyable and more memorable long-term.

AUTHOR BIO: Tommy Mello owns Garage Door Nation, a website specializing in wholesale garage parts and providing helpful DIY videos. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are You Mr. Handyman? Six Ways to Save Money on DIY Projects

Well-intended DIY home projects provide an excellent way to spend less on awesome upgrades to any home. The trick is to make sure the quality does not suffer and that the end result is the same high quality that a professional would deliver. While saving money is a very important reason for taking on projects yourself, it is also equally important to save money in ways that do not compromise the project results.

Below are six recommended ways to save money.

1. Obtain advice and plan the project before jumping in with both feet.

Getting advice from experts is always a good idea. Consulting with professionals before getting started can definitely save a novice from making costly mistakes. There are many unfortunate stories about projects taking on a life of their own and costing a bundle.

2. Rent expensive tools to get the best quality and to save money.

There are often many rental shops that offer high-quality tools. For example Tool Rental San Francisco loans tools out. The other benefit provided by tool rental stores is that they will also show you how to use their tools and answer questions you have. In addition to renting tools that are of the highest quality and would be unaffordable for purchase, there is free advice available.

3. Do not consider tackling plumbing or electrical issues on your own.

It is illegal and unsafe to take on these projects without a licensed professional. Considering the amount of damage that plumbing and electrical mistakes can create, it is critical that professionals be called upon to handle any related project word in these areas.

4. Get all necessary permits before starting any project.

One of the quickest ways to go over budget on any project is by paying for fines levied by municipalities that require permits for certain projects.

5. When in doubt, put quality as the top priority ahead of cutting costs.

Otherwise you might end up having to redo the project later from using inferior products that wear out prematurely.

6. Select one color of paint for the entire project whenever possible.

In any DIY project, combining a good plan with quality tools and materials will reward you with good results. It is important to avoid the impulse to get started before you are fully prepared. The rewards of a job well done and money saved are worth the effort.

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