Low-Cost Landscaping Highlights Your Home

Whenever you invest your effort in a home improvement project, you want to see fantastic results. The home improvement project that’s sure to bring these results is low-cost landscaping. The visual appeal of your yard evokes feelings about your house. Ensuring your landscaping is lovely will make a positive impression on all who see your property.

Try these ideas for simple, low-cost landscaping projects to beautify your home:

1. Drive around your neighborhood and observe other yards. What do you like? Jot down the elements of landscaping that appeal to you.

* Maybe you like low bushes with red flowers or a small tree with lavender blooms.

* Do you like the look of flowers growing along the sides of a sidewalk or lush, green grass that contrasts nicely with the light color of the walkway?

* Once you know what you prefer, you’ll have an idea of what you want your yard to look like.

2. Remember that a minimal approach is best. A few bushes, a tree or two, and a well-maintained lawn are that’s necessary for a great looking property. It’s not necessary to plant every flower species to create a beautiful yard.

3. Plan your landscaping budget. How much can you realistically set aside to beautify your yard? Include funds for regular fertilizers for your grass, trees, and bushes as they keep your yard looking lush and well kept.

* You’ll be surprised how much of a positive change you can bring to the property with a small investment of $500.

4. Is your grass healthy and green? All you need for nice looking grass is to mow regularly and occasionally apply fertilizer. A bottle of weed n feed applied in the spring will keep your yard healthy and weed free all season.

* If your yard needs more help, cut out a small sample of the grass, place it in a zippered sandwich bag and set off to your local nursery. A sales associate may have advice about how you can make your grass look healthier.

5. Decide where you’d like to have a planting area. Make your home and yard stand out from the others in the neighborhood.

* A common place is on either side of the sidewalk leading up to your front door way.
* Another well-chosen place to plant bushes or flowers is in the front of your home.
* Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a bundle to make an impact.

6. Introduce some color to your front yard. Use bushes or flowers to liven up your property.

* A nice lilac, hibiscus or bougainvillea bush will bring focus and color to your home’s appearance.

* A flowering tree placed properly in the front yard will look beautiful and really highlight your house.

Bring attention to your home and increase its value with low-cost landscaping that highlights your home’s front yard. Bringing real beauty to your front yard doesn’t have to cost an exorbitant amount of money. Make the decision today to perform a low-cost landscaping project in your front yard to highlight your precious home. You’ll be glad you did!

Paying Cash For A Home

Have you ever considered paying cash for your next home? While paying for a home outright may seem like an insurmountable hurdle, it is an attainable goal if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do so.

You may not be able to purchase the sprawling Tudor you’ve had your eye on for years, but purchasing a ranch style home that needs some TLC or a modular home on a nice lot may fit easily within your range. Once you purchase your home outright, you can fix it up and sell it for a profit, or make the necessary upgrades to turn the house into a home.

Paying cash for a home can save you literally tens of thousands of dollars over the next 10-30 years in interest. Clearly, purchasing a home outright can be beneficial, but is it right for you?

Consider these benefits of purchasing a home outright, rather than financing the purchase through a lender:

1. No mortgage payments. You won’t ever have to make a mortgage payment again! Once you purchase your home, the only expenses incurred are maintenance, home insurance, property taxes, and possibly homeowners’ association dues.

  • Considering that the average monthly payment on a home loan will fall in the range of $1,000 and $2,500 per month, you’ll be able to pocket this amount on a monthly basis.

2. Full profit. If you decide to sell the home, you’ll walk away with a profit due to the equity you build through appreciation and upgrades.

  • When you sell a financed home, you’ll have to pay the bank first. And because the first years of your mortgage payments are designated almost solely to paying interest rather than principal, you’ll be lucky to walk away with even a small profit.

3. Financial freedom. After a few years of nixing a high mortgage payment from your budget, doors which otherwise wouldn’t be open to you are suddenly viable options.

  • You can take a weekend trip to Tahiti on a whim, purchase a new car outright, enable your spouse to stay home with the children on a fulltime basis, and pay for your children’s private schooling without having to pinch pennies.
  • Alternatively, you can continue living frugally in order to retire earlier than expected. After all, you’ll be able to fully invest in your retirement if your monthly expenses are minimal for the next 20 years.

Saving for the Purchase

If you have two incomes coming into the household, you can turn this dream into a reality by learning how to live on just one income. When you do, you’ll be able to set aside one salary strictly for this goal! In order to make this happen, you’ll likely need to trim down your monthly expenses to the bare necessities.

In order to completely eliminate the expense of rent and utilities, you may want to look into the option of moving in with a relative for a few years. Often times, parents are more than willing to welcome you into their homes for a few years, since it allows them to spend more time with you while you achieve a worthwhile goal.

If moving your family into grandma and grandpa’s house isn’t your cup of tea, follow the tips below to help you slim down your expenses and ramp up your savings!

  • Move into a smaller home
  • Rent out one or two bedrooms in your home to a responsible college student or young professional
  • Move to a less expensive part of town where rents are heavily discounted
  • Halve your grocery bill by using coupons
  • Sell your car – use half of the proceeds to purchase an older vehicle outright and apply the other half towards savings
  • Save your tax refund
  • Choose to send your children to public school rather than private
  • Get a second job
  • Eliminate cable television and internet from your monthly expenses
  • Trade your monthly cell phone bill for a prepaid phone
  • Shop at thrift stores for clothing rather than retail stores
  • Sell high-value collectibles
  • Apply your yearly vacation fund towards your savings and visit tourist attractions in your own area
  • When you near your goal, sell the home you currently own to make up the difference in price

While implementing the ideas mentioned above may be a tough pill to swallow, it’ll be worth it in the end. Once you achieve your savings goal, you can purchase a home outright and wave goodbye to high interest loans or empty rental payments.

The Career Mom – How to Balance Your Career and Home Life

In this day and age, it’s becoming more and more difficult to live off of one income. This means that oftentimes moms have few options when it comes to the decision of whether or not to work while raising children.

If you’ve decided to keep up with your career, whether through choice or necessity, you’ll be busy, but you can certainly make it work. You’ll be rewarded in the end because you won’t have to worry about re-entry into the workforce once the kids are older, and you may opt to continue building your own 401K for retirement purposes.

Scheduling and Planning

When you ask most working moms about how they do it, you’ll often hear about their particular scheduling and planning habits. It’s important to work out a set schedule that works for you personally.

Consider the following working mom tips:

1. Plan your mornings. If you’re not a morning person, try completing some of your morning tasks the evening before. Set aside enough time to get the kids up and dressed if they’re not old enough to do it themselves. If you can, enjoy a meal together as a family before the day’s commitments.

2. Schedule events. Schedule your after work activities in a planner. This will ensure that there’s room for everything and that nothing important is forgotten along the way. Play dates, grocery shopping, and other errands can be scheduled as well.

3. Be flexible. Remember that everything won’t always go perfectly. If something doesn’t work out and you need to rearrange your schedule, just plan to do something on a different day. Since you’re juggling many tasks at once, keeping your schedule flexible is a must for keeping your stress levels down.

Staying Involved

One of the top worries of working moms is the fact that they feel like they’re not as involved. However, if you concentrate on spending the time you do have with your little ones in a quality way, you’ll still be heavily involved in their lives. Just because you aren’t there every minute, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t making a big difference in their lives.

When you arrive home from work, do something with your children that you’ll all enjoy. Maybe they’ll want some alone time to play independently, but you can also stay involved by showing that you care. You’ll have quality time with them at meals, and you can always engage them in family games or other activities.

Taking Breaks

It’s vital that you remember to schedule some breaks. If you need a “spa day” every once in awhile, it’s certainly something that you deserve. Sometimes you’ll feel that you spend every waking moment either at work or worrying about the children, so take some time to unwind. Read a book after the kids have gone to bed, work on your relationship with your spouse, or engage in something you find relaxing.

Your Relationships

Spend individual time with each member of your family. Be sure to remember your partner during life’s crazy times and give that relationship some much-needed nourishment as well. Individual attention will help you get to know your kids better, and you’ll have time to truly build upon your lasting relationship.

A career mom is a truly special person. Sure, life can get really hectic at times, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to strike a happy balance between your career and your life at home.