Tiffany Pesonen - RE/MAX Regal | San Ardo, CA Real Estate


If your household budget seems a little tight, lately, there may be several ways to ease it.

It's amazing how many people do not keep track of where their money goes, which is often the reason it disappears so quickly!

Another piece of the puzzle is the fact that we're all creatures of habit. With few exceptions, most of us go through the motions of our lives on auto-pilot. In some ways, that works to our advantage, but in other ways, it can hinder our progress.

Saving Money Begins With Awareness

One approach to reducing stress and improving the quality of life is to save money and curb expenses, whenever possible. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to deprive yourself or your family of anything you need or want. What it does mean is eliminating spending that is wasteful, unnecessary, or redundant.

The first step involves sitting down and creating a household budget on your computer. There's no need to purchase and learn any fancy software. Many people are comfortable with creating budgets and other documents on Excel spreadsheets or Quicken, while others prefer setting up simple tables on a word processing program like MS Word. The interesting thing about creating a document with your monthly expenses and income on it is that it provides a visual depiction of your cash flow. In other words, it shows where, when, and how your money is coming and going!

Analyze and Take Action

After you've identified areas in which you can cut back without causing any hardship, the next step is to actually implement those changes. If you weren't able to identify any sources of wasteful, unnecessary, or excessive spending from creating a budget, then take a look at your monthly invoices for items like credit cards, cable TV, cell phones, and other services.

By examining the services you're paying for, you may realize you're paying for more than you need or even use. Sometimes by switching your service plan to a more basic option, you can save hundreds of dollars a year. In the case of credit cards, if you've been paying your bills on time and not making a habit of maxing out your account, you may be able to request and receive a lower interest rate. This is yet another way to reduce your expenses and keep more of what your earn. Comparing insurance plans and switching to a more economical plan or provider is another strategy for reducing costs and easing budgetary strains.

There are also free worksheets, budget calculators, and other resources online that can help you take charge of your spending and saving habits. Setting financial goals, establishing priorities, controlling impulse buying, saving a portion of your income (especially bonuses, tax refunds, and raises) and keeping track of your spending on a daily basis are also key parts of an effective money management plan. As a side note: If you need to consult with a reliable credit counselor for help, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission provides helpful information.


For home sellers, you won't necessarily need a bold, beautiful bathroom to improve your chances of a quick sale. However, you should try to improve the quality of your bathroom as much as possible before you add your home to the real estate market. In a highly competitive real estate market, homebuyers will look for any reason not to buy your home. On the other hand, home sellers who offer a residence with an exceptional bathroom can reduce the risk of alienating homebuyers. Furthermore, home sellers may be able to transform a subpar bathroom into an outstanding feature if they devote time and resources to make bathroom improvements. You don't need to spend a lot to make significant bathroom improvements, either. In fact, here are three simple, affordable bathroom improvements that every home seller needs to know about: 1. Painting the walls If the paint on your bathroom walls is fading or peeling, it may be time for a new paint job. Fortunately, you usually can pick up low-cost paint supplies at any hardware store quickly and easily. Although hiring professional painters also is an option, you may be able to paint your bathroom walls yourself to save money. Remember, your bathroom likely is smaller than other rooms in your house, which means a new paint job won't necessarily require a significant time and resource investment. 2. Updating bathroom fixtures The little details can make all the difference in the eyes of a homebuyer. And home sellers who update bathroom fixtures can boost their bathroom's chances of making a great impression on homebuyers during a home showing. Drawer pulls, towel racks and other bathroom fixtures often are simple to update in just minutes. In addition, these bathroom improvements require minimal time and money, ensuring you'll be able to complete bathroom fixture improvement projects to enhance your bathroom's appearance without delay. 3. Adding caulk and grout Bathroom caulk and grout details may be overlooked by many home sellers, but those who want their homes to stand out in a competitive marketplace should consider adding straight, clean lines of caulk and grout. Placing new lines of caulk and grout around a bathtub and sink can help these pieces sparkle. Ultimately, caulk and grout improvements are fast and effective too, making them valuable options for home sellers. It is important to note that improving the quality of a home's bathroom rarely, if ever, requires a full-blown overhaul. Instead, focus on making minor improvements over an extended period of time. And, of course, be sure to keep your bathroom looking pristine – that way, if a homebuyer wants to view your residence, your home's bathroom will stand out for all the right reasons. Bathroom improvements offer superb options for home sellers who want to transform a good residence into a must-buy. These improvements typically won't require substantial time and resources, but they can serve as key difference-makers that will help set your home apart from others on the real estate market. Take advantage of bathroom improvements, and you'll be better equipped to improve the overall quality of your residence.

Wait, when was the last time you cleaned that ? And how often are you supposed to wash that? Never have to ask yourself these questions again by creating a monthly chore calendar. Creating a chore calendar may seem like you’re taking your house cleaning duties a little too seriously, but by creating a regular cleaning schedule you will set yourself up for success. And you’ll have a guaranteed cleaner home, and who doesn’t want that? Monthly
  • Scrub grout in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Wash pillow and mattress protectors as well as duvet covers.
  • Discard any food in the freezer that has become freezer burnt or is past its time.
  • Wax any wood floors your home may have.
  • Dust fans you have throughout your home. Don’t forget to do this in the winter when they are not in use to avoid build-up.
  • Wipe down and disinfect light switch plates and door knobs.
  • Wipe down and disinfect your home phones and your family’s cell phones.
  • Flush drains. Try a natural solution by pouring baking soda down drains and allowing to sit overnight to deodorize. In the morning pour hot water down the drain to rinse the baking soda out and flush the drain.
  • Wipe down walls, doors and baseboards.
  • Check the fire alarms throughout your home and replace any batteries when necessary.
Weekly
  • Dust each room in your home.
  • Empty all trash bins throughout your home. Don’t forget smaller, less used baskets like in your child’s room or in the office.
  • Clean sinks, toilets, and bath of any soap scum or buildup.
  • Vacuum and mop the floors throughout your home.
  • Wipe down surfaces like tables and counters.
  • Clean mirrors and windows.
  • Wash sheets and pillowcases.
  • Sort through your mail and email inbox. Pay any upcoming bill and file paperwork as necessary.
  • Clean fridge out of any food that has gone past its expiration.
  • Wipe down appliances in the kitchen such as the microwave, stove, and toaster.
  • Wipe down and deodorize trashcans and recycling bins.
  • Put out fresh towels in your bathrooms and kitchen
Daily
  • Tidy up. Keep on top of clutter by putting items away when they are no longer in use.
  • Make the beds and if your children are old enough encourage them to make theirs.
  • Sort out mail. File and discard as necessary.
  • Clean up as you prepare meals to leave time to relax after dinner time instead of spending another hour in the kitchen.
  • Wipe up any spills as they happen to avoid having to use elbow grease to clean up later.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor and any other high traffic areas.
  • Throw in a load of laundry. If you have a large family make laundry more manageable by doing a load a day.
Keeping your home clean is hard work, there is no doubt about that, especially if you have a family. However, by creating a monthly chore calendar you can create a more manageable workload for yourself. With a little planning up front you can have a neat and tidy home you can sit back and truly enjoy!

If you walk down the kitchen aisle of any department store you'll see dozens of kitchen tools--some you've maybe never even heard of. As long as people keep buying gimmicky kitchen tools and utensils, companies will keep making them. The temptation might be there, when walking through Target, to buy that chicken-shaped egg yolk separator, but do you really need it? In this article, we'll cover the essential list of kitchen utensils. Once your drawer has these items, you won't need anything else. You'll free up space in your kitchen and avoid money-wasting gimmicks that often don't even work, allowing you to buy better versions of the tools that really count. Note: We won't be talking about the basic silverware and dishes (forks, spoons, plates, cups, etc.) since we can assume you already have those.
  1. The chef's knife. A chef's knife is arguably the most important item in any kitchen. A good chef's knife is made from steel, has balanced weight, and is comfortable to hold. Be sure to keep it sharp and there's nothing you can't cut with it.
  2. Two spatulas. One metal for flipping items on your baking sheets and meat on the grill, one plastic for your frying pans. Thin, heat-resistant, and durable are what you're looking for here.
  3. Three spoons. One wooden (for stirring), one plastic with holes and one plastic without holes.
  4. A strainer. You don't need four sizes of strainer; one big one will do. Be sure to pick one with handles, sturdy handles, for draining big pots of pasta.
  5. Shears. Whether it's for de-stringing a Thanksgiving turkey or opening up a bag of frozen peas, they'll save you a headache trying to use a knife.
  6. Serrated bread knife. Unless you like to ruin a fresh loaf of bread by crushing it while cutting it, you'll need a serrated edge.
  7. Measuring cups and spoons. Clean your measuring spoons by hand so they don't get tossed around in your dishwasher and melted.
  8. Can opener. Skip the huge electric can openers and buy a good handheld one that will last years.
  9. Cutting board. A quality large wooden cutting board will make your life a lot easier, and it won't dull your blades.
  10. Peeler. Y-shaped peelers are much easier to use than their knife-shaped counterparts.
  11. Mixing bowl. You could benefit from multiple mixing bowls if you do a lot of baking, but oftentimes you only need one large bowl for most recipes and can use your smaller soup bowls for other ingredients.

Avoiding the gimmicks

It seems like every day there's a new infomercial for a lemon juice squeezer or a banana slicer. You'll notice that they tend to follow certain trends and offer the same promises. Here are the ones to avoid:
  • Fruit and vegetable slicers. If you have a knife, there's no need for tools that claim to slice certain types of vegetables better than others.
  • Single-use tools. Shears designed just for cutting and serving pizza? Yes, they exist. Avoid items that will just take up space in your cabinets and opt for those that serve multiple purposes.
  • Things you've never heard of. If it's an object that you've never seen or heard of before, odds are you don't need it in your kitchen cabinets. The most time-tested tools are all it takes to make great meals in your kitchen.

Curb appeal, aka the overall attractiveness of your house to prospective homebuyers, often plays an important role in the home selling process. For instance, a house with a neat, clean front lawn likely has greater curb appeal than a residence surrounded by an overgrown front lawn, and for good reason. As a home seller, you want your residence to sell as quickly as possible. And in order to accomplish this goal, you'll need to spend some time boosting your house's curb appeal to make your residence attractive to prospective homebuyers. Fortunately, there are many quick, simple ways to boost your home's curb appeal, including: 1. Focus on the Roof Is your roof missing shingles? If so, you'll want to repair or replace defective shingles immediately, because failure to do so may lead homebuyers to consider alternatives. Also, don't forget to clean your roof if its shingles look dreary and streaked, as this can help you enhance your home's curb appeal instantly. 2. Spruce Up the Front Porch Setting up a few plants on your front porch can help give your home a warm, inviting feel. Thus, when homebuyers pass by, plants may help draw attention to your house over others. Typically, colorful flowers are great for a front porch. These flowers are easy to set up in a porch container or window box and will enable you to add a splash of color to your home's front porch. 3. Open the Curtains Give homebuyers a glimpse into your home's interior by keeping the curtains, shades or blinds open. By doing so, you'll be able to let light shine through your home during the day, and ultimately, boost your home's appearance to homebuyers as they pass by your residence. Of course, try to be consistent with your window treatments. And if you open the curtains for one window, be sure to open the curtains for all of them to give your home a uniform appearance. 4. Install Light Fixtures Around Your Lawn Increasing your house's curb appeal during the day is great, but how can you ensure that homebuyers can get a better idea about the quality of your house at night? That's easy – install light fixtures around your lawn, and homebuyers should have no trouble viewing your home at any time. Lawn light fixtures usually can be installed in just minutes and are simple to use. Plus, these light fixtures allow you to showcase your house's landscaping, walking paths and other excellent attributes. 5. Consider the Homebuyer's Point of View If you were a homebuyer, what would you say about your house's exterior? Considering the homebuyer's point of view is valuable and can help you better understand your home's strengths and weaknesses. Working with a real estate agent may enable you to identify and address homebuyers' needs as well. This professional will collaborate with you throughout the home selling process and can provide plenty of outstanding insights that you can use to improve your home's appearance without delay. Dedicate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, and you should have no trouble generating interest in your residence as soon as it hits the real estate market.



Loading