The Sky is Falling: A Quick Guide to Emergency Prepping on a Budget

y person who calls themselves a prepper often gets a weird look or a bad name. There are certainly those who have taken the idea to the extreme, but it is always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency. 

Threats to your family can come in many forms; financial problems, natural disasters or even possibly social unrest. 

If you lost your job or financial resources or your area was hit with a flood, tornado or blizzard would you and your family have the necessary supplies to survive? 

You can spend thousands on pre-made kits, but it may not have everything you need or contain many things you would never use. It is a much better idea to create your own prepping list based on the unique needs of your family. 

If you begin small and slowly build the supplies, you can create a stockpile of items needed to keep everyone close to you safe and fed without breaking the bank. 

Let’s take a look at how to start prepping on a budget. 

The Basic Survival Kit

Depending on whom you ask, a doomsday prep kit can consist of material to live off the grid indefinitely and even defend yourself militarily. 

The information provided here is more of a short term (2-3 month) stockpile of basic survival necessities. 

Everyone has a different idea of what they think is needed to survive, but there are some pretty basic supplies recommended for emergency prepping. 

Water

You must have clean drinking water. You may not feel the need to invest in a water purifier, but you should certainly invest in lots of bottled water. It is inexpensive, and there is no expiration date. There should also be a supply of water purification tablets on hand.

For calculation purposes, each person needs about two gallons of water a day. This is for both drinking and sanitary use as well. 

It is a good idea to have at least 30+ of the value packs of water. You should also have a few one-gallon containers. If your budget allows, you could even invest in a 7-gallon water container. You will have less waste pulling from this tank regularly. 

This supply can be built on and you can be assured of having plenty of water as it is used for so many things daily. With no expiration date, it will not be wasted even if no emergency arises.

Food

The food stored for emergency purposes will be mainly canned foods with a long shelf life that can be eaten on their own or mixed with others. 

You can stock up on these items when they go on sale at the grocery store. 

Depending on personal preference get several cans of vegetables, sliced potatoes, beans, tomato sauce, pasta sauce, gravy, ready to eat pasta, mac and cheese, and fruit. You should pick up instant mashed potatoes, peanut butter, rice, and ramen noodles. You can also purchase meat in the form of canned tuna, chicken or roast beef.

Be sure to include energy bars and even vitamins in your food storage. The energy bars can be consumed quickly and provide a boost while the vitamins can supplement the nutrition that may be missing with pre-packaged, quick or canned meals.

While you are stockpiling, it’s ok to throw in some of the goodies you like as well. You should be able to find room for a few bags of candy and a couple of tins of cookies. 

Sanitary Items Needed for Prepping On a Budget

Building an emergency prep kit is more than just food and water. You will also need some sanitary supplies to keep things clean and reduce germs. 

The number one item you will need is toilet paper. It can be purchased fairly cheap, so stock up on it. 

You will also need baby wipes (or wet wipes), tissues, hand sanitizer, and bleach. Depending on your ability to wash dishes, you may need disposable plates and cups. If you plan to wash dishes, you will need liquid washing detergent. 

You will need to store an extra toothbrush and toothpaste along with a sewing kit and soap. If anyone in your group uses tampons, please stock up on them as well. Obviously, if there are babies, always have a stash of extra diapers and wipes.

It is a good idea to have some insect repellant on hand and also sunscreen just in case you are required to spend your time outdoors.

Emergency Items

Some of the items in this heading may not sound like emergency supplies until you need one. They do not all have to be purchased at the same time and you can make a list and buy them as they go on sale. If you enjoy yard sales, you might keep on the lookout for them there.

You will definitely need a manual can opener. If you have a multi-tool gadget, it probably has one, but a full-size version would be better especially with the possibility of many uses.

You should stock up on a supply of BIC lighters. Matches are also good to have, but they can get wet, so having a back up of lighters is a good idea. You can also purchase tea light candles. They don’t have a very long life, but could definitely come in handy. In addition, you should have at least one good flashlight, if not two, and have a separate supply of batteries just for the flashlight.

Speaking of batteries, have a stockpile of multiple sizes.

You should have a lock box for your valuables. This is not foolproof, but you never know if you may be huddled together with a group of other people. Most people band together in a crisis, but it is always a good idea to keep personal treasures or information locked away.

Duct tape is another important supply for your emergency kit. It has so many uses and is relatively inexpensive. You should also have a small hammer and a box of wood nails.

A small tent might be down on your priority list, but if your survival kit is coming along nicely and you want to add more items, a tent is a good option. You should practice putting it together when you are not under stress, and it should be one that folds into a neat and tight bundle in case you need to move.

If you have the room, you should start a firewood pile. Depending on your emergency, that may not be practical, but it is always a good idea to plan for as many scenarios as possible. The more prepared you are for any circumstance, the better you will fare overall.

First Aid Supplies

There is no way that you can create a first aid kit to handle everything you might encounter. The idea here is for basic supplies to treat common illness or accidents. Traumatic injuries or acute sickness will still need to be handled by medical professionals.

You should have a supply of Tylenol and Advil for pain and fever. You should also get some Benadryl or other allergy medicine along with some cold and flu meds.

You can purchase pre-packaged American Red Cross First-Aid kits which has something for almost any type of small injury. In addition, you can purchase extra bandages and antiseptic spray or cream.

A few Mylar thermal blankets are a great addition to your emergency kit.

Your first aid kit should also include all medications specific to the needs of you and your family. It may be difficult to accumulate extra prescription meds, but you should try. You could check to see if you can purchase in a three month supply. That isn’t fail-proof, but it might help.

There is also the option of putting in a refill as soon as the pharmacy fills it. That could provide a few extra doses each month that could be put away for emergency use. It is also a good idea to research natural remedies for problems within your family. It may not completely alleviate the problem, but it could help in the short term until the medicines could be taken again.

Having a stock of labels is also a good idea to help with safety. Anything that has an expiration date or presents any type of hazard should have a label. Most products have them, but if there is little light or in stressful situations, it would help to have an easy-to-read label.

In extreme emergencies, a gas mask may be needed or at least useful. There is also additional survival gear you can stock up on. For more information, shop this site.

Rotate Your Supplies

There will be some supplies in your kit that will last a very long time, but not everything. For those items that will expire or have a short shelf life, you should rotate them out.

If you buy food that your family already enjoys, you can switch that out every few months and replace with fresh. Medicines should also be rotated out to ensure all the active ingredients are still good.

Having an organization system for emergency supplies is also a great idea.

The Bottom Line

It is difficult to prepare for every scenario that can come up in an emergency. However, that is no reason not to put together a kit to use just in case.

Prepping on a budget is a doable project that everyone can get on board with.

The zombies may not be knocking down the door, but emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Having the supplies needed for your family to survive in the short term just makes good sense.

7 Undeniable Signs You Need A New Roof

Being a homeowner can be a hassle.

Very often you find new things you never knew would need fixing.

But a roof is not one of those things.

Your roof is one of the most visible external parts of your home, and it faces constant exposure to the elements. Given these facts, it is just a reality of homeownership that your roof will need replacing eventually.

How do you know when that time has come? Fortunately, there are signs, and we will lay them out for you below.

Keep reading to learn the signs you need a new roof.

7 Signs You Need a New Roof

You do not have to diagnose your roofing problems alone. A trustworthy professional can be invaluable in that process. If you do want that help, make sure you find roofing companies in your area that you trust.

Without further ado, we present the following roof inspection criteria for your inspection.

1. You’ve Got Rot

It can difficult to just look at your roof and say, “That is definitely rot.” That is usually something a professional roofer does. But you can see evidence that rot exists.

One piece of evidence is sagging. If you see spots in your roof that appear to be indented more than the rest of the roof, or you notice a general droopiness to your roof, that is a good sign of the trapped moisture that leads to rot.

2. It’s Got Spots

If your roof starts to look like a leopard, you’ve got problems. When there are spots on your roof that are darker than other areas, those are the spots we’re talking about.

These dark spots come when your shingles start losing granules. These granules protect your shingles from breaking down due to the sun. The spots are a sign your shingles will age quickly and lose their protective qualities.

3. Moisture in the Attic

If you see moisture damage in your attic, that is a good sign your roof is not covering it adequately.

You can notice moisture damage within the attic similarly to the way you notice it on the roof. Are there dark spots or water stains? Those are signs of moisture problems.

4. Too Much Moss

Moss may seem charming enough, and even harmless, in its way. But moss can damage your roof because of its ability to grow under your shingles and raise them up. When this happens, water leaks in.

5. Spiking Energy Bills

One of your roof’s functions is to protect you from precipitation. But it should also protect you from fluctuations in temperature. If you notice your energy bills rising, it might be a sign that your roof is not protecting you or your family properly.

6. Missing Shingles

It should be no surprise that missing shingles are a sign of when to replace a roof. They form a part of your roof!

It is not that you can’t replace the shingles on your roof. You can. But if they are coming off, it is a sign of deeper aging issues with the roof underneath the shingles.

7. Deformed Shingles

Almost as bad as missing shingles are shingles that are cracked or curling up. These are early warning signs that the shingles are about to fall off. You may be at an earlier point in your roof’s life cycle than with some of the other items on this list, but it is still just a matter of time until you need an entire roof replacement.

We’ve Got You Covered

No one wants to find out they need to get their roof replaced. At least these signs you need a new roof can help remove the element of surprise.

Once you accept the reality of a new for a new roof, check out our guide to saving money on home improvements for help.

5 Girls Night Out Ideas You Need To Try

Friends that hang together, stay together.

Girl’s night out is an essential part of any woman’s coming of age. Your sistren revitalize you and remind you of how great you are. They make it so you can leap back into the grind of life with an invigorated mind and spirit.

Keep reading to discover 5 must-do girls night out ideas.

Tea Party (But with Booze)

Okay, so you can leave out the booze. When you wanna hang with your sister from another mister, why not try a good ole fashion tea time. Dress up like someone else and get out the good china.

Make it an Alice in Wonderland girl’s night theme or Pride and Prejudice. Do this at home and have each friend bring some baked goodies to share. To avoid the cleanup after, try a local restaurant venue instead.

A monthly gathering will nurture your relationship for years to come.

Pretend You’re on a Jewel Heist

Or an astronaut on Mars or an escaped prisoner. When you sign up for an escape room, all these themes are possible. Escape games started in Japan in 2007 and caught on like wildfire around the world. 

You and your friends get an hour to figure out how to escape the room using hidden clues. Working together, you move through a series of rooms or break out of one large room. It’s sure to frustrate and tickle you in equal measure.

Make sure you bring the smart one.

Spa Party

A Spa party is the grown-up version of the infamous slumber party. Go out with your friends to a spa and get massages, facials, and mani/pedis. If you are a fan of keeping your money, stay home and do each other’s nails while you listen to music from a decade ago.

Try doing DIY makeovers while watching YouTube. When you’re exhausted from prettying yourselves, pass out on the couch and floor under a blanket fort.

Paint and Sip

Paint and Sip nights are popping up in cities all over the country. Ladies are going out in droves to paint classes where they are served wine. These nights are sure to be full of laughs as you exercise your creative side.

Most classes are family friendly but some are adults-only events. At the adults-only versions, male-strippers hand out wine and drinks in the buff.

Binge Party

There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashion movie marathon to keep things simple. Pop some corn and cuddle up with your bestie while you catch up on the last 5 seasons of your favorite show.

Easily combine binge night with a night of baking cakes and DIY beauty.

The Best Girls Night Out Ideas

Endorphins released during laughter, storytelling, and singing, play a role in strengthening your friend-bond. What does this mean? It means friendship is good for your health.

So if your searching for girls night out ideas, remember that as long as you’re having a good time, you’re doing it right.

Click the link for some natural soap recipes to try with your homies this weekend.

These Are the Top 10 Most Comfortable Shoes for Women

Comfortability doesn’t always have to come at a high price. Looking for comfortable shoes that don’t break the bank? It might not be the easiest task, but we’re here to help.

Having a good pair of comfortable shoes does more for your body than just a nice cushion on your feet. Wearing comfortable shoes keeps other parts of your body from having to overcompensate, which is good for overall health. So spending a little more money is definitely worth it.

But you don’t need to empty your entire wallet to find the best comfort. If you’ve been searching for the most comfortable shoes for women, then look no further. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 most comfortable women’s shoes.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Fila Women’s Kimber Slip Resistant Shoes

A simple pair of flats can go a long way. They’re perfect for a quick slip on when running late to work. Or, pair them with jeans and a tee for a more casual look. 

Flats are pretty versatile. But they’re sometimes uncomfortable. So for a good pair of comfortable flats, check out the Fila Women’s Kimber Slip Resistant flats.

These flats are great on the job shoes as they provide a slip-resistant sole. And they are filled with plenty of cushion on the inside so your feet will be happy even at the end of a long day. All of these qualities are awesome, but what’s the best thing about them?

The price. These flats are available for only $34!

2. Anne Klein AK Sport Women’s Petra Suede Loafer Flat 

If loafers are more your style, then you’ll want to check out Anne Klein’s AK Sport Women’s Petra Suede Loafer flats. For only $62 on Amazon, you get an amazingly comfortable shoe. These shoes are embedded with iFlex technology for added support and comfort.

They’re black suede with a fashionable silver buckle on top. Purchasing these Anne Klein loafer flats means saying goodbye to compromise. You get comfort, function, and style all in one shoe! 

3. Ecco Women’s Soft 5 Mary Jane 

The Ecco Women’s Soft 5 Mary Jane shoe is one of the most comfortable shoes for women. These slip-on shoes have a velcro strap on top and small holes throughout the sides for easy breathing. They’re super lightweight so you’ll forget you’re even wearing them.

You can get them on Amazon for $59. And with all the extra support, comfort, and breathability, these Ecco shoes are worth the buy!

4. Clarks Women’s Kinzie Light Skimmer

For a cute slip-on flat that offers a cushioned OrthoLite footbed and great arch support, look into Clarks Women’s Kinzie Light Skimmer flats. They’re made with leather, suede, or a leather combo. These shoes are super stylish with a cute black buckle on top and textile lining.

For $37 you’ll be styling comfortably. 

And with all the added support, they’re great for flat feet. Learn more on what shoes are best for flat feet! 

5. Crocs Unisex Bistro Pro Clog

Crocs are a great shoe for working in hospitals, kitchens, and more. But they’re also good for everyday wear. And the Bistro Pro Clog Crocs are a comfortable option that can be worn by both men and women. 

For late night cooking at home, throw these shoes on for optimal comfort rather than standing on a hard tile surface. You can purchase these Crocs online on places like Amazon for just $24!

6. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low II Sneaker

Converse isn’t usually known to be one of the most comfortable shoe brands. But that’s all about to change.

Take everything you believe about converse sneakers and toss it out the window, except for how fashionable they are of course! Still stylish, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low II Sneakers have taken comfort to a whole new level. They’re made with much more cushioning than the average converse.

And they have an elastic tongue and better floor gripping soles. They’re a great pair of shoes for a long work day or an enjoyable day out on the town. Pick them up on Amazon starting at only $19!

7. Ugg Sammy Sneaker

These vibrant knit flats are cool, stylish, and have a super chill vibe. Made by Ugg, the Sammy Sneakers aren’t a furry boot, but they are just as cozy. You can find yourself a pair for around $45 on sale. 

The knitted material is great for a day at the beach or a day at the grocery store. And they’re available in a variety of colors.

8. Allbird’s Merino Wool Sneakers

Do you wish it were socially acceptable to hang out in public wearing your slippers all day? Well, now it can be. The Allbird’s Merino Wool Sneakers look like sneakers but feel like your favorite pair of slippers. 

For $95 you can get a slipper and sneaker all in one. The outsole is designed with an “S-Curve” that helps support your weight in a more natural way. And the wool keeps your feet comfy and warm. 

9. Nike Free RN Trainer

When traveling or needing to pack a pair of sneakers in your bag for any reason, you’ll want to choose the Nike Free RN Trainer. They’re super light and easy to carry along with you. You can find them on sale for as low as $67.

They’re cushioned on the inside and even have a cushioned tongue and collar. The colors are endless, so you’ll have no problem choosing the right style for you.

10. OluKai’s Crisscrossed Leather Pair

If you thought that there was no way a cute pair of sandals would be on our list of the most comfortable shoes, prepare to be amazed! The OluKai’s Crisscrossed Leather Pair of Sandals is all you need on your vacation to the tropics or day out on the town. They’re made with a footbed that contorts to your foot’s shape.

So the more you wear them, the more comfortable that they become. They come in plenty of color options so there’s something for everyone. And you can grab yourself a pair for $90.

The Most Comfortable Shoes For Women Don’t Have to Cost You an Arm & a Leg

Some of the most comfortable shoes for women come at an affordable price. So don’t become discouraged when looking for the right pair of comfy shoes for you. Whether you need a cute pair of flats or an all-day sneaker, there’s an option for you. 

Keep this guide in mind when shopping around. And for more great ways on how to budget your money, check out our blog on the top 5 reasons to use an expense tracker. Click here to learn more.  

7 Ways to Cope While Raising Kids and Caring for Elderly Parents

Do you feel caught between a rock and a hard place? Is the rock your children and the hard place your parents? If so, then you might be a member of the sandwich generation. 

The sandwich generation is made up of adults who are raising children and taking care of their aging parents at the same time. And the result can be a bit squashing. The feeling of being squished between both lives is a sure sign that you’re dealing with sandwich-generation stress. 

Although providing for both your children and parents leaves you feeling overwhelmed, there are ways to cope. Continue reading for 7 ways to cope with the stress and start feeling better today.

1. Don’t Forget to Focus on Yourself

Before you can care for someone else, you must first care for yourself. Practicing good self-care should be your number one priority when feeling caught in the middle. When you’re feeling good and happy, others around you can sense it.

And they will feel the same way. To do this, you need to have a healthy work-life balance. Don’t take on more than you can handle. 

Remember to keep in touch with friends. Having a healthy social life is a great way to relieve some of that stress. And don’t forget to prepare for your own retirement. 

Plan ahead so that when it’s your time to retire, you’re not in the same situation.

2. It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Trying to care for both your children and parents is a lot of work. And it won’t come as a surprise to anyone if you need help. 

If you have siblings, consider asking them to share shifts with you. Or, have them step in when you need that extra helping hand. It’s also worth a shot to have open communication with your employer about your situation.

Your employer may be able to work with you by providing family-leave or a more flexible schedule. But for when things get really tough, it’s never a bad idea to hire help. You can bring in a part-time nanny to help watch the kids while you take your parent to the doctors. 

Or, you might consider hiring a senior-care aid to take your parent to the grocery store while you stay at home and help your children with homework. Senior aids are trained and know how to properly help the elderly who may need extra memory care and other senior-related conditions.

3. Get the Children Involved

Just because your children are younger, doesn’t mean they can’t lend a helping hand. Put together a list of chores for each child to do around the house. This can help you out more than you think. 

If your children are older and still live with you, ask them to start contributing financially. If they no longer live with you, you can still ask them for support when they have a free moment. And always keep some form of open-communication with them at any age.

Explaining to your children the situation in an age-appropriate way is a good way to help everyone understand what’s going on and how to help.

4. Get More Sleep 

Always remember to get more sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Not having the proper amount of rest can lead to irritation during the day.

A good amount of sleep is not only important to your physical health but it’s important to your mental health as well. And getting a good night’s sleep ensures that you’ll be refreshed and ready for the obstacles of the new day.

5. Eat Healthier & Exercise

Along with sleep, you also need to practice healthy eating and exercising habits. Foods that are high in bad fats and sugars make you feel more tired throughout the day. Consume foods that are antioxidant and vitamin-rich. 

These types of foods are mostly vegetables and fruits. And they’re great for supporting your immune system. Eat high in fiber foods as well, which will satisfy your hunger. 

And aim to put aside at least 30 minutes each day for exercise. Having a healthy diet and healthy exercise routine keeps your body energized and up for any task.

6. Set Up a Care Plan & Prioritize

It’s crucial to make a list of what things are most important. Be ready to let go of the things that are not. You can’t tackle everything in one day. 

Put off the least important things for a later date. And develop a care plan. But don’t do it alone.

Be sure to involve your parents and other family members living in the house when putting the care plan in place. Everyone’s input is vital to a successful care plan. 

7. Spend Quality Family Time

You don’t want your spouse or children to feel left out. So remember to always make time throughout your week for them. And spending quality time with the whole family, children and parents included, is more than important. 

The stress that you take on every day is for your family. They are what’s most important in your life. Take time to have family-fun days where everyone can relax and enjoy one another’s company. 

To ensure that you don’t forget to set this time aside, preschedule family-date nights. This way you know ahead of time that specific night and time is dedicated to pure family bonding.

Relieve the Stress of Caring for Children and Parents 

Caring for both your children and parents is a lot of weight to carry. But in the end, it’s worth it because your family is what matters most. You might not be able to change the situation that you’re in. 

But you can change how you cope with the stress. Keep these 7 tips in mind and live a less stressful sandwich generation life. And when you’re ready to plan those family nights, you can check out 5 fun decorating ideas for a backyard family party here!

13 Ways to Save Money on Home Improvements

Americans spent roughly $340 billion dollars on home remodeling in 2018, a number expected to grow by more than seven percent in 2019. If you’re planning to join the ranks of the fixer-uppers, it pays to know what you’re getting into.

Renovations can be expensive. In fact, the average price for a kitchen reno is $23,307. A bathroom remodel costs, on average,$10,301. We’ve put together our top home renovation tips and 13 ways to save money on your next project.

1. Set Your Budget

The easiest way to keep your costs from spiraling out of control is to decide up front how much money you can spend. Then when you’re looking for appliances, fixtures or flooring, you’ll know right away if you can afford to do everything you want to.

Here’s a kitchen remodeling budget you can use as a guide for creating your own. 

Tip: pay cash for everything to avoid interest charges on your credit cards. You’ll also be much less likely to impulse buy an expensive light fixture if you have to hand over the cash.

2. Do Your Research

Once you have your budget set, start window shopping for the items you’ll need. Get a sense of the prices by looking both on line and in stores. A lot of people underestimate the price of kitchen cabinets or counter tops. Hint: granite can be expensive! 

Research the prices of the items you really, really want and then see if you can find something nearly identical for less. You might be surprised how many look-a-like faucets there are.

3. Hire a Professional 

This seems counter-intuitive to your goal of saving money, but a contractor can save you money in the long run, especially if this is your first major renovation. Contractors will know what permits you’ll need from your local government, for example. They’ll also be able to tell you if that wall you want to knock down is load-bearing and therefore, an extremely expensive project.

Get bids from three reputable contractors and check their license.

Tip: Hire a contractor and do the work during the off-season. If you live in an area that gets a lot of ice and snow during the winter, contractors don’t get as much work. You might be able to negotiate a lower price, if you hire a contractor during the slow months.

4. Reuse and Recycle

You save a lot of money if you’re willing to re-purpose cabinetry. If you’re renovating your kitchen and bathroom, see if you can use the old kitchen cabinets in the bathroom. They may just need a coat of paint and some new hardware.

Even if you have to cut them down to fit, it will still be much less expensive than buying a whole new set.

If you’re only remodeling your kitchen, you might just need to refinish or repaint the existing cabinets. Fresh paint and new handles can make old cabinets look brand new.  You might also remove some of the old cabinets and replace them with open shelving.

Tip: Cut the center out of an old cabinet door and replace it with a glass pane for an upgrade that only looks expensive.

5. Don’t Pay Full Price

You can save a pile of money by shopping at salvage warehouses, auctions and at resale stores. Habitat For Humanity ReStores are filled with new or nearly new building materials, light fixtures and appliances. Many of the items are donated by builders who simply ordered too many sinks or bathtubs.

Check on those buy/sell/trade websites. It’s not unusual to find a set of bathroom cabinets or a box of hardware listed for a fraction of the cost to buy new.

If you’re looking for specific building materials, ask your contractor exactly what he needs. Then, shop around for the best price and order it yourself. You’ll avoid paying the contractor to shop, along with any additional costs he may add to the product.

6. Pick up Your Supplies

You can save a small fortune by picking everything up, rather than having them delivered. Unless you can negotiate free delivery, you’re going to save money by lugging everything home yourself. Most of the big box stores rent trucks by the hour, which will be much less expensive then paying the store to deliver your items.

7. Don’t Move Plumbing

Moving a sink from one side of the room to another or relocating the bathtub can add thousands of dollars to your project. If possible, preserve the original footprint of the room and avoid having to re-pipe the whole thing.

8. Plan for Standard Sizes

If you’re replacing doors and windows, use stock or standard sizes whenever possible. You’re going to save money if you can simply pop in a new door, rather than have to cut it down or order one custom built.

9. DIY 

The more you can do yourself, the more money you’ll save. It really depends on your experience. Painting is relatively easy to do, even if you’ve never repainted a room before. Wiring and plumbing, however, require a specific skill set and in many cases, a professional license. 

For basic projects, you can find a ton of information and how-to videos on line. If you’ve never replaced a bathroom faucet, you can watch a video that will walk you through it step-by-step.

We even have some great tutorials on our blog. Here’s one that’ll walk you through concrete stamping, if you’re looking to spruce up the outside of your home. 

10. Sell What You’re Getting Rid Of

If you’re replacing light fixtures or cabinets, don’t toss them. Take a few pictures and try to sell them on sites like OfferUp or even Facebook Marketplace. You won’t get full value for them, but you might make enough money to pay for upgraded faucets for your newly remodeled bathroom.

If you don’t want the hassle of selling, donate your old items. Habitat’s ReStores accept donations of materials that are still in working order. You’ll even get a tax deduction for donating to a nonprofit.

11. Do the Prep Work Yourself

The biggest cost in a home remodel is often labor, so why not save some money and do a lot of the prep work yourself? If you’re having your living room repainted, you can prep the walls yourself.

Wipe them down with a lint-free cloth and fill in any nail holes or scratches with a little spackling putty. Then, sand the area where you filled in the holes and wipe it down again to remove the dust. It may take several hours to prep the walls, so you could save hundreds of dollars doing it yourself. 

12. Improve Your Lighting Without Adding Windows

Before you start knocking holes in the walls to let in the light, play around with light fixtures. By adding a few ceiling lights or floor lamps, you can save hundreds of dollars. Even if you need to pay someone to wire your ceiling, it’s still cheaper than having new windows installed.

13. One of Our Best Home Renovation Tips – Focus on Cosmetic Upgrades

If you’re working with a limited budget, you might not have the money for a full renovation. There are plenty of ways to update your space without remodeling it.

Inexpensive lamps can brighten up a bedroom, along with some new curtains and pillows for the bed. While you’re at it, go ahead and replace your bedding. Shop the sales for inexpensive sheets and comforters. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to buy a mattress or get it home. Most places will deliver the new one and take your old away.

Wrapping It Up

We’ve got some other great home renovation tips on our blog, including a few ways to spruce up the inside of your home using design tips from the experts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dental Dollars: 5 Important Factors That Determine the Cost of Oral Surgery

We’re all familiar with the dreaded dental visits. The sound of drilling, the possible pain after a visit, and that gigantic needle filled with novocaine.

Whether it’s an abscessed tooth that needs attention, applying crowns or getting a root canal, the cost of oral surgery can be quite daunting, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover everything.

Before you head to your dentist or oral surgeon, take a look at these five important factors that can play a big role in determining the final cost. 

1. A Tooth Extraction Can Cost You

To sum it up nicely, a tooth extraction simply means your dentist needs to pull your tooth or several teeth. While it seems simple enough, the cost can vary depending on a number of factors.

Most teeth extractions range anywhere from less than $100 to several hundred dollars per tooth. However, if your teeth are impacted, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to several thousand dollars depending on the complexity as well as other factors like your location.

2. Your Dental Insurance Matters

If you have dental insurance, it can cover the cost of a variety of services like cleanings and x-rays, but oral surgery can throw a wrench into the claims process.

Take a close look at your current dental insurance plan to make sure you’re covered for more complex procedures. If you have any questions, call your provider in advance to be clear or what you can expect will be covered.

A lack of dental coverage or a plan that doesn’t offer many benefits for oral surgery can leave you footing a hefty bill.

3. Location Can Affect the Cost of Oral Surgery

Believe it or not, where you live can have an impact on how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for your oral surgery.

People who live in large urban areas might end up paying a lot more than someone who lives in a small rural town. Or, you may find dental costs are higher in less populated regions due to the lack of services available.

4. Complex Problems Equal Rising Costs

While most procedures are fairly cut-and-dry, there are a few factors that could make the cost of oral surgery go higher. Some of these include:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Cracked or fragile teeth that need removal or reinforcement
  • Exposed root tips
  • A dense jaw bone

Your dentist will easily be able to identify any unforeseen problems before the surgery begins. Ask them about potential rises in cost as the procedure progresses. In some cases, you might be able to opt for an alternative treatment other than oral surgery to keep your expenses lower.

5. Aftercare Adds Up

After your oral surgery, there are still a few costs to keep in mind. You’ll most likely get prescription medication for pain and swelling, and that cost will be heavily dependent on what your insurance covers.

If you end up dealing with problems like dry sockets or an infection, you’ll have to return to the dentist which will result in additional bills.

Be Dentally Diligent

By taking good care of your teeth and reading all of your insurance documentation, you’ll be better prepared to know the cost of oral surgery in advance.

For more information about managing your money including tips on saving on healthcare, be sure to visit our blog.