Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Good Will: Making Your Family’s Future As Easy As Possible

person opening photo album displaying grayscale photos

No one likes the idea of the people they care about struggling when they’ve passed away. As one of the heads of your group, it is natural for you to feel a strong responsibility for those who can’t necessarily look after themselves, and a lot of people put a huge amount of time into securing their future. Of course, though, while you might be leaving them with your life’s work, you could also create some challenges along the way. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the road blocks which can come with traditional wills, along with some ways to overcome these issues without changing the end result.

Heavy Taxation
Inheritance tax is widely regarded as unfair. While someone is taking on new wealth or assets, tax has already been paid on them by someone else, and it doesn’t really make sense for a government to take another dip into the pot. When it comes to something like a house, people often can’t afford the tax which comes with them, and will have to sell the assets they’ve recently come in to cover the costs. By giving something like this as a gift before you pass away, you can limit the amount of tax which has to be paid on it, while also preparing your loved ones for the bills they might have to cover.

Transfer Issues
Making sure that a will is honored can be a real challenge, with huge amounts of work which has to go into it. One of the biggest challenges which people face will be transferring high-value property into their own name. In the case of a house, this sort of process can take months or years, with your loved ones being dragged through a painful process as a result. A living trust lawyer can help you out with this, making it possible for you to put your assets into a shared pot which your loved ones will be able to take ownership of when you pass.

Covering The Fees
While it is a difficult time for families to get through, the legal professionals which support families through honoring a will still have to make some money out of it. This can make a will cost a small fortune, especially when the fees haven’t been covered in advance. It’s always worth looking for lawyers who will be willing to let you pay for this before you pass. While there may be smaller fees which still need to be covered, this will ensure that the people you care about won’t be burdened with them, while also ticking all the boxes when you’re organising your legacy.

It’s a shame that it takes so much work and effort to make sure that your loved ones get their hands on the things you’ve worked so hard for in life. People should be able to mourn during times like this, rather than having to jump through legal hoops. Of course, though, this isn’t going to change anytime soon, and this means that you have to work hard to overcome these issues for yourself.






Monday, September 16, 2019

Print Your Photos On Beautiful Wall Art with CanvasDiscount.com

This is a sponsored post with Canvas Discount and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.

What does a house makes a home? For me personal touches are what makes a house a home, and nothing does that quite as well as family pictures display on a wall. A wall art display is an attractive way to infuse any room with style. I actually have a decent size gallery display of memorable photographs of our family upstairs that I admire so much. I enjoy filling our home with family photos. How about you? Do you hang photos on your wall?

I especially love taking photos of my daughters. So since I have an unused wall in between their rooms, I decided to use the blank wall and create a photo display of their photos from birth to current. I added two recent framed photos that were both taken this year: when my eldest turned 13 and when my youngest turned 2. I ordered these sleek framed photo prints at CanvasDiscount.com instead of canvas prints.
Image may contain: 2 people, indoor
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I had a pleasant experience ordering my framed photos on CanvasDiscount.com. I simply uploaded my chosen photos, customized the images according to my preferences, and proceeded to the checkout page. Simple as that! So what is a framed photo print? A Framed Photo Print is a wall decor item fit for a gallery. The oblique cut of the passe-part out and the solid-white card-stock together create a look that rivals any top-end art exhibit. The photo in frame is covered with a flawless Plexiglas sheet which adds to its premium appeal.
Image may contain: one or more people and indoor
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Saving Without Scrimping: Top Tips To Lower Your Outgoings

We all know that we can save money by making sacrifices, but what if you want to boost your bank balance without giving up on every treat or indulgence? If you’re looking for ways to save without scrimping, here are some top tips to lower your outgoings. 



Compare prices
One of the most simple and effective means of saving money is comparing prices. You can do this when buying anything from clothing and toys to household appliances and electronic items, and when looking to renew insurance policies and choose energy providers. If you’re buying a new TV, for example, and you know which model you want, use the Internet to compare prices from different retailers. If you enter a product code or the brand name and model into a search engine, you’ll have a list of retailers and prices within a matter of seconds. Once you have the results in front of you, you can look for the best deal. With insurance, it’s hugely beneficial to use a comparison site to source the best offers. You can filter the results based on your needs, and you can take out a new policy simply by following a link. You might be surprised at the difference between premiums from other providers and the renewal quote from your existing insurance company. 

Sign up for special offers
Many of us love to shop. Even if you don’t buy into the notion of retail therapy, it’s likely that you’ll have to buy products for your home or your kids or pets. To save money, it’s a great idea to take advantage of special offers. Subscribe to your favorite stores and register with discount sites to receive emails with deals and offers. You could save on everything from electrical appliances and school uniforms to toys, games, and home accessories with discounts like a Target promo code. As the festive season and promotional events like Black Friday loom, it’s particularly beneficial to make sure you’re signed up to get news of sales and deals. If you’ve got a list of items you want or need, for example, you could save a substantial amount if you get an email with a 10, 20, or 30 percent discount. 

Shop with a grocery list
Supermarkets are designed to lure us in and make us spend more than we want or need to. Aisles are adorned with giant neon signs and alluring promotional displays, and there are savings advertised around every corner. If you find that the total is higher than anticipated every time you shop, start making a list and stick to it. Design a menu before you go to the store, and only buy promotional items if you actually need them. Another option is to shop online. This gives you a running total, which can be really useful when you’re on a budget. 

If you’re looking to save without scrimping and making sacrifices, it is possible to lower household costs and outgoings without giving up on treats. Sign up for special offers, compare prices, and always go food shopping with a list. Small savings soon add up. 






Thursday, September 12, 2019

Discounts And Earnings That Add Up

There are two types of people in the world, those that save and those that don’t. There’s no right or wrong way to go about life, especially when most of your time is spent looking after the family, working, cooking and cleaning! However having a little more money to spend on the little luxuries can never be a bad thing, so knowing some ways in which to earn some extra cash, and also make sure you’re not overspending on the day to day things is going to benefit everyone. 




Signup gifts/ Discounts
When you visit or sign up to a new service or app, that is linked to a business you will usually find there are incentives, in the way of gift or discounts. Many places actually have incentives, such as fast food outlets which generally offer something along the lines of free fries when you sign up for an app. Also, restaurants will often offer a 10 to 20% discount if you sign up for their apps or email lists. Often companies will give you seasonal or birthday discounts to, for example, a free dessert on your birthday, or a Christmas discount. You may receive more emails, or letters about these discounts then you might like; however, you can take or leave what you like and use it to your advantage.


Bulk buy
Sometimes bulk buy prices can work out to be significantly less and will save you money on your monthly shop. The only problem with this is having the space to put all of your extra items away. But if you have a little extra cupboard space available, and don’t mind carrying extra bags from the car, then you could find yourself saving a significant amount on your shopping. This also saves you time and petrol costs, since you will only be visiting the store once or twice as opposed to every few days/ weekly. And time is money after all.


Online Stores
Always keep an eye open for new customer discounts on websites that you’re chopping on. Sometimes you need to put items in the basket or leave the side to receive either an email or a code on your screen. To always keep a proper lookout to make sure you aren’t missing any discounts or codes before you commit to buy. Many websites such as Amazon, for example, have flash sales as well, if you’re already on a mailing list, you should receive a notification about these, but occasionally you will see a flash sale appear while you’re browsing. If you’re careful about it, you could save yourself a fair amount by shopping online. This, in general, works out cheaper than visiting the store. An alternative way of saving money when searching for items online is via comparison websites and price matching. There are sites specifically designed to help you find the right discounts for your purchases. Isn’t modern technology great?!


Cashback sites
There are many different cashback sites, and each one of these has different conditions, and various companies and shops that they work with. However, getting cashback purely for doing your usual weekly shop is an easy and straightforward way of earning a little bit of money back each week. It doesn’t cost you anything, just a tiny bit of time to set everything up. Recently there are even some new sites that we knew your shopping back together. There is obviously more risk involved with this method; however, mostly they all give you some of your money back for spending money you would typically anyway. It is also possible to earn money via cashback credit cards or bank accounts. So don’t forget to have a look into those options too. Just make sure you pay off the balance at the end of every month if you do take a credit card if you end up paying interest it defeats the object.


Surveys
If you have some spare time while watching TV, or while the children are in school. You might want to look into the different types of survey panels that are available online. A lot of these offer a small fee for each survey that you complete. But if you’re going just to spend time sitting in front of the TV anyway, you might as well earn some money as you go. It all adds up, and eventually, you may even have enough to put towards Christmas. 


Affiliate links
If you recommend something to a friend, or if you have a platform, either a blog or a website or even a social media account. You may be able to earn money through affiliate links. Affiliate links are easy to set up, and all you need to do is refer some friends to an item you would usually recommend anyway, and wait for the money to come back to you if somebody buys. Of course you must let your friends or audience knows that these are affiliate links; however, it’s quite an easy way to get a little bit of cash, with a small amount of effort.


Sell unwanted items
If you look in your garage or in those cupboards where the “junk “goes then you will find something worth money to somebody. There are ways of selling your unwanted items with minimal effort these days, of course, you can do garage sales or car boot sales. But there are options such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay that you can list your items on for a reasonable amount of money, and sell them on. This is a win-win situation because you then end up with more space in your home and some extra cash to play with.


In the end, if you really want to raise some extra money, and you sit down and think it through, you will have resources around you that will help you earn what you need. Maybe you have a hidden talent or skill that could be monetised. Perhaps you could start a new YouTube channel and become the next YouTube sensation, but whatever you do be confident and consistent and it will usually pay off in the end.






Dutch Pancake


⬅️⬅️⬅️ Smoked salmon pancake....nayyyyy, fish on a pancake?! Yep! I was pleasantly surprised how tasty it was. For real...it's the BEST pancake I have ever had!

This Dutch pancake is flat, thin, crèpe-like pancake and the base was already yummy by itself. Amazing combination of smoked salmon, crème fraîche, lemon and chives. Awesome lunch experience at Pancakes Amsterdam Westermarkt.






Sunday, September 8, 2019

Tips To Lead A Greener Lifestyle

With the polar ice caps melting, sea levels are rising, and an increase in temperatures all around the planet, in a bid to reduce environmental harm, more and more people are adopting green lifestyles and looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help save the environment - here are some tips to help you lead a greener lifestyle. 
Image result for Greener Lifestyle

Reduce your energy usage 

Reducing your energy usage is an excellent way to lower your carbon footprint and reduce harmful emissions, while also saving you money on utility bills. Fortunately, there are many ways to conserve energy at home, which includes: 
- Trying to encourage your family to do leisure activities that use little or no energy, i.e. read a book or play a board game instead of watching television. 

- Installing a programmable thermostat to help you manage your home temperature more efficiently and reduce wasted energy.


- Adding extra insulation in your home to prevent heat from escaping. This will help you use less energy to warm your home during winter months. 


- Making sure you switch off all electronics from the wall when not in use. 



- You could even switch to energy-efficient appliances like an eco-friendly refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine. Upgrading your appliances is quick and convenient with the help of a professional installer. Just search for “handyman near me online to find a selection of local experts. 

Switch to renewable energy 

Using some energy is inevitable, but you can significantly reduce environmental harm by switching to renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. Advancements in technology mean that it’s now quick and easy to install solar panels on the roof of your home and generate your own clean energy. Doing this offers a number of fantastic benefits, and with more than 1 million homeowners in America utilizing residential solar panels, now has never been a better time to make the switch. 


Some of the main benefits of solar energy include saving money on energy bills and increasing the value of your property, all while fighting global climate change. What’s more, the average cost of solar panel installation has dropped by a massive 70 percent in the last 10 years, making this an excellent time to invest in renewable energy. 

Choose green modes of travel 

Travel accounts for a large proportion of all greenhouse gas emissions. You can help reduce harmful emissions by choosing green travel methods like taking public transport instead of using your own car or taxis to get around. 


Walking or cycling when possible is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on travel costs, and improve your overall health and fitness. If you need a car, then you should consider eco-friendly vehicles like electric cars which are far greener than conventional petrol and diesel cars. Electric cars offer a number of great benefits that are making them increasingly popular. This includes - cheaper to run than petrol/diesel cars, easy to charge at home, and fewer moving parts meaning less maintenance and mechanical errors. 


Electric cars also have a number of associated health benefits as a result of less carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere. Don’t forget that you should also look for ways to reduce your carbon emissions when traveling further afield or going away on vacation. For instance, keep in mind that traveling by boat or train is far more eco-friendly than traveling by plane. If you do travel by plane, try to choose the most direct route and opt for green airlines. 

Grow your own fruit and vegetables 

Growing fruit and vegetables in your yard is a major step towards leading a greener lifestyle. Many people get a great sense of pride and joy from providing their family with home-grown healthy food. It will save you money on groceries and help improve your family's health. If you don’t have enough room in your garden to grow your own fruit and vegetables, then you should be able to find a nearby allotment with plots available for rent. 


It is becoming apparent that it is more important than ever for everyone to do their part to help save the environment. There are many ways that you can play your part in reducing carbon emissions, and it’s important to remember that even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Try a few of the tips mentioned above and start leading a greener lifestyle today! 







Friday, September 6, 2019

The 5 Essentials To Achieving Superhost Status On Airbnb

Source - Unsplash Hutomo Abrianto

If you're a savvy property owner, you know all too well the money to be made from renting out your space using extremely popular online marketplace Airbnb. With so many new properties being added to the site daily, you have to stand out to beat the competition. The best way to do that? By achieving widely sought after Superhost status. Here are five essentials to achieving Superhost status on Airbnb:

1. Don't Discount Convenience As A Major Asset

Convenience is often overlooked as part of the Airbnb experience. Being able to arrive when you want without having to worry about meeting the property owner, or reaching a key cafe before closing, makes the start of your trip easier. Utilizing technology like Airbnb integrated Bluetooth smart locks to give your guests instant access to your property, gives them the ultimate convenience. It also sets you up for a fantastic plus point for those all important reviews, of which a massive 80% have to be 5 stars as part of your Superhost criteria. 

2. First Impressions Really Do Count

To achieve Airbnb Superhost status you need to have hosted at least 10 trips as part of the minimum criteria. Part of getting those first all-important bookings is ensuring your property is marketed well, especially when it comes to the listed photographs. 

Experts say that when it comes to selling a house, properties with poor photos sometimes don't even get seen. The same rules apply to Airbnb listings, where it pays to have professional photographs of your home taken, otherwise, potential guests could simply swipe on to the next listing.

3. Excellent Communication Is Key

When it comes to achieving your Airbnb Superhost status, you need to have maintained a 90% response rate or higher. This means you must be on the ball with your notifications and messages to ensure you're in the running for this coveted title. You also need to make sure your responses are speedy too, so your potential customers, which is 60% millennials, don't quickly move on to their second favorite option in your area. 

4. Give A Strong Reason To Review

Unfortunately, 5-star Airbnb reviews only count if at least 50% of your guests have left you a review. This means that hosting an 'OK' property is not enough. You need to give your guests a reason to take the time to rave about your place. A really good way to do that is to focus on how to make your property memorable. A personalized welcome basket, good levels of cleanliness and handy items to borrow like bodyboards are all memorable additions that won't cost much time or money to add to your place.

5. Commit To Your Bookings

A major red flag on Airbnb listings is canceled reservations from hosts. Canceled reservations could not only put off potential guests, but just one canceled confirmed reservation on your account means you're also out of the running for Superhost status. If you're serious about gaining that Superhost crown, be 100% sure you can offer accommodation before clicking confirm on those booking requests. 

If you're serious about achieving Airbnb Superhost status, be ready to put the effort in to enjoy the frills that come with such a title. With the tips above and a strong commitment to going the extra mile for guests, you'll be enjoying the widely sought after Airbnb Superhost stamp on your listings in no time.