Tag Archives: houses

Tips For Saving Money

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Obviously living alone requires you to be a little more focused on your budget and on what you should & shouldn’t be spending money on. I speak with experience because I sort of got fucked over last year and decided I wanted to live the party-lifestyle only to realize that yes I can sure party hard, but it would’ve been best in my pj’s at home.

Yes I did it all, the weekend getaways, the fancy dinners, the premium alcohol, the bars, etc. but then I got sent back to reality fairly quickly when I realized that my credit card wasn’t going to pay itself off.

My parents often told me this and told me that about budgeting and credit cards, but did I listen? Probably not as well as I should have. Sometimes in life you have to learn from your mistakes. In the meantime, I’m not your mom or your dad but just a friend giving you some advice.

Tip #1 Setup A Budget

This is EXTREMELY important and honestly I should’ve been more strict with myself about this critical step that could’ve saved me from owing Mr. Visa a shit load of money. Don’t skip this step please. It’s very easy, create a budget using Excel, or an online template. It’s very important to take account everything your spending money on. Making a budget can even help you realize why the heck you are spending money on certain things and help you manage your money a lot better.

Tip #2 Eating Out 

I won’t go too much in depth here because I’ve actually written 5 Basic Tips On Surviving: Food Edition and it will encompass how you can save money by modifying a few eating habits and eating out is one of them. Trust me there’s nothing I love more than going to a nice restaurant to eat but then there’s drinks, a bottle of wine, etc. It’s important to pick and choose your nights out and definitely do not go out every weeknight. If you’re like me, young homeowner & living alone, try 1-2 times a month. Make those special nights count.

Tip #3 Shopping

So whether you’re a male or female, shopping can get out of hand for anybody. Car parts, home decor, clothing, etc. it all adds up VERY quickly. It’s important to include a section of your budget allotted to  shopping, i.e. $150 on clothing twice a year or $300 a year on home decor. As for car parts and other larger projects like vacations (I specifically mention car parts because I am currently building a vehicle) you need to create a separate savings account for this, that way you can add a small amount weekly or bi-weekly without it affecting your priorities.

Tip #4 Setup Auto Withdrawals

It can sometimes get overwhelming to have several bills to pay, that’s why auto withdrawal can help you make sure your payments are on time. Late payments can hurt your credit & cost you a lot of money in interest fees. But at least with auto withdrawal you’re safe and this also helps make sure you don’t spend the money on things that are not priority.

Tip #5 Don’t Spend Money You Don’t Have

This ad is quite funny, but it’s extremely realistic. #debt

I cannot stress this enough and yeah my mom told me so many times and I didn’t listen, so maybe you won’t listen to me either but just realize that credit card companies like to target young consumers such as me and you and what they did was they kept sending me letters allowing me to raise my limit. I was always good at paying my bill in full until it got out of hand and I regretted saying yes to that first letter, and then the second and then the third… It’s okay to have a credit card and use it for the benefits that some of them offer but PLEASE don’t see as free easy money, make sure you can pay it off.

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Top 10 Things You Hate Cleaning

Alright so let’s get it out, there are tons of things we all hate cleaning. I can name you a bunch of them off my personal list but I don’t want to decide the general list for all so I reached out to my social network to see what they had to say about this topic. Let’s have some fun!

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1- The Crapper A.K.A The Toilet

Alright so personally the toilet is not one of my favorites, and according to my survey others hate it too. So just the word toilet sucks and makes you think of shit…sorry but it’s true. Not that it’s long to clean but I think we seriously lack motivation to get the job done. It’s awkward and you feel gross cleaning it.

2- The Oven

Okay so this came up a few times as well, and I tend to agree, however I am specifically speaking about the inside of the oven, which quite frankly I don’t clean much (oh shit..shhh). The top is pretty easy unless your oven is from the 90’s and you gotta take apart the stove top, that sucks. Does cleaning the inside mean changing the foil? Tips are appreciated here!

3- Microwave

I cleaned it once and for all and put it in the cupboard lol, decided I didn’t want to deal with a microwave anymore. Although great tricks exist like the classic bowl of vinegar to get leftover sauces out and whatever else always explodes in there. Who else would like to join me on this microwave boycotting? When I crave popcorn I pull it out, use it, and put away again. Don’t judge me, join me. #FUMicrowaves

4- Dusting

I nominate dusting because it’s so long, you have to remove all your picture frames and other crap, then dust, then put everything back and then 2 hours later it’s dusty again. Why do you exist dust, why? And with 2 dogs, it’s even worst. So in this case, don’t put any decorations or picture frames on any flat surfaces, hang all your picture frames, sell your dogs on kijiji (I’m kidding, I would never) and live in a plastic bubble. Some things simply can’t not happen.

Dust

5- Cleaning Cupboards

A friend of mind recently did his and it made me realize how shitty this chore really is. I looked at my cupboards a while back and knew that one day I would have to, but I’m just not ready yet. Although this is long too, and you definitely need to book yourself a full day to do it all, I feel like it’s one of those things that you get so into it that you end up cleaning things in so much depth and BAM there goes your weekend…See you one day cupboards. AHHH just thinking about it…the classic tupperware cupboard LOL…Oh golly I can’t wait!

6- Shower/Bath

This is just f-ing annoying. It’s awkward as fuck and like almost  an acrobatic workout. Again, remove all the shampoos, soaps, razors, etc. Spray the heck out of it and then get on your knees to scrub everywhere. Sounds like fun but its not. Its the thing we tell ourselves we should clean weekly but end up doing it once a month…No judgement here folks. Please feel free to share your bath/shower cleaning tips with us.

7- Vacuuming

This was brought up and I wasn’t sure if I’d include it but then I realized how much of a shit chore this is too. Especially with dogs in the house, they have turned me into an expert vacuum user. I don’t hate this that much except what I hate most about vacuuming is the actual vacuum. Suction is never as good as you think it to be. But then you’re going to tell me buy a more expensive vacuum cleaner…WHO THE FUCK SPENDS $500+ ON A VACUUM? sorry I had to yell it out because I’m bothered, bothered by the fact that good vacuuming exists but for $699. Fuck you.

8- Windows

Windows is a full process as in make sure you aren’t doing anything else this weekend because you’re cleaning windows! Luckily this can get done like 1-2 times a year, thank god. So much windex and paper towel and then the patio door is just always dirty because of the dogs. They don’t care that you just cleaned it…Don’t forget that you have to do the inside and the outside. Ladders & heights oh my! I don’t get freaked out by heights but I would rather have died living a happy life rather than ”died cleaning her windows”. Be safe, practice safe window cleaning. Get a harness or something lol, don’t be stupid.

9- The Fridge

Fridge cleaning is unpleasant because who knows what you will find in there. There’s always something past date that somehow got left behind. There’s like blood stains from thawed meat, something sticky and fucking onion peels. Ya I put my onions in the fridge, let me be. Broccoli crumbs, sauce residue, floppy celery stick, 5 different mustard containers, 3 ketchup containers, pickles, olives, more mustard, etc. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. It’s something you just gotta do, no buts.

10- That Drawer Everyone Has

This is typical and I have seen a lot, don’t lie about it we all have that drawer. Not sure what I’m talking about ? drawer

Is it clearer now? Yeah that’s what I thought. Don’t be ashamed. Just let this be. A drawer like this is part of life, don’t think of it as a mess, think about it as a time capsule. Every few years you’re like ”okay I’m going to clean it now” and then you find all this memorabilia and useless shit you wonder why the heck you kept. So keep your lives exciting, let the drawer stay I say!

 

 

 

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Winterizing Your Home

Winterizing your home is a very important process you need to make time for. It involves a lot of different things, so to make sure you get everything done, remember that making lists are always your best friend and help ensure you don’t forget anything.

I live alone so this is a big process, thankfully my boyfriend was really helpful with this because it would’ve taken many more days had I been alone. (p.s wasn’t always in a relationship and have done it alone in the past…it’s so long)

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I had a leaf blower jet pack…thankfully

I had to get my car shelter up, rake all the leaves (by the way there was like 50 bags of them), close up the pool, pick up a lot of dog poop, put away the outdoor furniture, cut the grass for the last time, etc. You get the point it’s a lot.

Let me tell you though, once it was done, wow did I ever feel great! It’s so fun being a productive homeowner! 🙂

Conclusion: Being a homeowner you will start to take pride in doing things around the house.

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Housework

So based on my title…you’ve guessed it. HOUSEWORK.The dreadful word we don’t like to do, hear or talk about. So let’s get this out of the way.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here but the moment you become a homeowner is the moment you lose your mom whispering in the background ”did you clean your room?”

Ahh that sweet constant reminder you kept hearing oh maybe 4-5 times a week? Until the official ” you’re not leaving this household until you clean up your room!”. So then you finally did it before the weekend so you can have your freedom. 

Maybe it was a good thing to have your mom nagging at you,  but now you have to think about doing it ON YOUR OWN!

Takes adjusting but it’s doable, I promise.

Step 1

Pick a day.

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Pick your day that you will clean the house. If you’re like me and cleaning is not your forte, you’ll most likely be leaving it all to one day. (No judging here, we’re all humans).

I usually alternate with Saturday Morning or a random weeknight. Saturday morning might not happen depending on how messed up you got Friday night. Once again, no judging, we’re young, let’s have fun. Any who, regardless of the day, create an available block of a certain number of hours you can allot to housework. This will vary on the size of your house. Mine takes 2 hours entirely if I remain focused and not watch tv or pick up my phone every 5 minutes.

Step 2

Make a list of what needs cleaning and prioritize.white lined paper on white background (with clipping path)

I recommend making a list because it will help you stay focused and motivated.

Also, certain areas of your own which you use more frequently than others might not require major cleaning, i.e. the kitchen. I use my kitchen all week long so I generally clean it after I use it, that includes a little broom action and quick Swiffer on the floor too. Anyways, you wanna specify certain types of cleaning for certain areas is what I’m saying. Dusting, mopping, vacuum, etc.

Step 3

Just do it.

Try to just get it over with so you can enjoy the rest of your day/night. Who wants to be spending entire days cleaning? Not me and I hope you don’t either.

Now you may consider getting a maid because you really hate cleaning, and trust me I have considered it too, but it’s just too pricey for now. Why pay somebody money for something you can do very easily?

If you put aside your phone, and don’t get hooked on a tv show, you’ll get it done. Put some music on and just do it.

Need motivation? I find that if you have the right tools for cleaning you will feel more motivated. It’s okay to refresh your cleaning tools once in a while, make sure your vacuum is working correctly, that you have a clean mop, fresh rags, etc.

What cleaning tips do you have?

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Neighbors

When you move in to a new place, meeting the neighbors can either be a horrible experience or a pleasant one. Nothing can guarantee the relationship you will have with them and quite frankly who says you’ll want to be friends with them?

It’s always interesting to meet your new neighbors, there’s so many different types of people in the world and your neighbors will consist of these different types!

I’ve got 7 houses surrounding mine, okay we’ll say 6 because the house behind mine has been abandoned forever (so sketch). There’s the lady in the corner with also 2 dogs, her dogs and mine communicate/bark at each other every time they’re outside. Oh let me clarify that her dogs bark at my dogs…just saying. Then there’s some of my best friends/most amazing neighbors in the world, let me explain how this happened. Basically their grandparents owned the house and sold it to their grandchildren who are pretty much my age and we kinda knew each other through other people (because we live in a small town) so anyways no complaints, it’s the best neighbor situation anyone can ask for, the parties, the lending stuff to each other, the helping each other out, the 5 à 7’s, etc. I am thankful everyday for them.

Then there’s crazy cat man on my right (he’s a little too close for comfort), his weeds are completely out of control, and he feeds all the wild cats of the neighborhood and he’s weird and he really needs to get his shit together because his yard is a disaster. Sorry Reggie, but you’re too fucked for me. Then there’s the neighbors across the street, Mrs. Robinson, sweetest old lady, just saying her name brings peace like the Beatles, she’s to kind and loves to garden. Next to her, straight across from me is like a 3 apartment house. There’s the nice Jamaican family (I don’t know how many they are but it looks like there is 20 people living in there), and then random other tenants that always come and go so I don’t bother reaching out every time, quite frankly I just don’t care.

And last but not least there’s ex crazy lady and her family but now were good and their super nice to me. I don’t blame them for hating me for the last 3 1/2 years because I was an out of control young broad and I pissed off neighbors quite frequently, now we have a reasonable relationship and we speak regularly, so it’s good.

If there’s advice I can give you it’s very simple, it’s actually something my mom’s friend

told me just before I moved in and it was;

” You don’t have become friends with your neighbors, just be respectful ”

If you’re nice to your neighbors and respect them, in other words advise them ahead of time when you throw crazy parties, then they will respect you back and not call the cops on you every time something happens at your place.

Just do what Mr Roger’s said Love your Neighbor as yourself

What are your neighbors like?

mr rogers

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5 Tips Young Homeowners Need to Know When Shopping for a House

Ok so most of you can probably relate and others hang on, because it’s probably heading your way eventually. Becoming a homeowner at a young age has its perks, but can also bring you many surprises too. ‘’Oh shoot I forgot to buy dishwasher soap’’ or ‘’Oh yeah, we need a lawnmower to cut the grass…’’. These are just some of the few examples of random thoughts that may run through your head, but there are many more (trust me way more).

Most people generally move into an apartment first and get the ‘’feel’’ for living on their own, which is great, good for you, but what I’m talking about here, is cold turkey move into a house straight from mom’s, oh and to make it more interesting, you’re 19 years old. How is this possible you may ask? I won’t get into all the financial details but with hard work and dedication in life and of ‘course parental guidance, you can achieve anything you set your mind too. Also, my parents helped out with the legal paper work and all that stuff, because let’s face it, at 19, who knows how to buy a house? Mom, dad, help? K thanks.

I’m writing all this wonderful stuff because I want to share my experiences as a young homeowner to everyone! Friends, family and the world. If you’re young and about to buy your first house I’m sure you have many questions and random things you’re wondering about, so hopefully I can get it covered with my Young Homeowners: The Survival Guide. A series of blogs meant to guide all you young Padawans. Wish I had this when I was first getting my house!

Don’t stress it; we will get through this together!

Tip #1: Visiting Houses

dream garage

Dream Garage

Reality

Reality

When you start visiting houses, you should visit more than one. I visited the garage of my house and was like ‘’K, where do I sign?’’. The car junky in me was happy to live in a garage (also, I had 3 cars, a dirt bike and other garage-needing elements). ‘’There’s a house too…cool, I’m sure it’s fine. This garage though!’’. All my car geeks out there, you can so relate to this. Be wise, visit the entire house.

Tip #2: What can you afford?

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This is actually tip #1, seriously. Don’t be visiting million dollar homes your youngster self can’t afford. So ya, check this out first, because you definitely don’t want to be eating Kraft Dinner for the next 10 years. The main purpose of getting the house was to have an investment that could grow over time, if you’re putting yourself into serious debt, this is not recommended.

Tip #3: Old vs. New

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Also depending on what you can afford, this will determine if your house will be an older house or a newer one. Mine is old, BUT, I like vintage & ‘’cottage-style’’, cozy homes. It comes down to taste too, but renovations are always an option whether you buy old or new. Just get a place you’ll be happy living in for several years, enough time to make a profit.

Tip #4: Make it your own

Horrible wall paint

Tip #4 sort of relates to number 3. This is where I messed up but it was kind of weird how it all happened and also there’s a good chance this will not happen to you. I moved into a house that was entirely furnished. And by entirely furnished I mean EVERYTHING was there, from furniture and appliances to dishwasher soap and cigarette butts in the ashtray. In case you already guessed it, yes someone died (not in the house in case you’re wondering and I did ask) and I bought their house. Creepy, I know. So all that being said, it was difficult for me to do much personalization at first because the house was decorated (super cheesy by the way, we’ll talk more about the house décor later) from top to bottom. This made it hard for a ‘’fresh start’’, but I didn’t care I was getting my own place, finally (sorry mom). Before moving in, your best bet it to clean and repaint and redecorate with things that define you. I felt like an old man for a few months, we’ll eventually talk about the treasures I found in this house though.

Tip #5: Be excited and proud

HAPPY HOMEOWNERS

It’s your first freakin’ house! Get excited about it; lose your marbles a little. People still can’t believe I was so young and they still can’t believe it today. Best question I get asked all the time is ‘’do you still have your house?’’ I always laugh but proudly say yes, yes I do. The first day I got the keys I was so excited I invited all my best friends over (back then when you’re 19 that’s like 12 people); we had Champaign and partied all night. I totally didn’t apply tip #4 and I moved in right away and slept on the living room floor for an entire week!

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Vanessa Barbeau

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Melanie Prada

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