Saving money when you have a family can be difficult. There are so many everyday expenses that make it hard to start saving for college, retirement and other looming expenses.

Here are some ways to start planning for your family’s financial future:

Start a college fund: College may seem far away but it is a huge expense that can creep up on you. Start saving now, the sooner the better. Even as little as $100 a month will add up. Open a 529 college savings plan to use specifically for college expenses.

Buy life insurance: Life insurance gives your family a peace of mind. and the ability to afford the expense of final care and burial.  The death benefit will provide financial security for those family members who are left behind.

Have a will: When a person dies without a will, the state decides who gets what, without regard to the deceased wishes or their heirs’ needs. Creating a will that spells out one’s wishes protects their family’s financial future.

Who doesn’t love a fresh smelling carpet? Carpet cleaners can contain lots of unknown chemicals and can really do a job on your wallet.

Here are a few recipes for homemade carpet freshener:

 

Recipe #1

Ingredients:

1 cup crushed dried herbs. Use any herbs you like (rosemary, southernwood, or lavender)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid.

2. Shake well to blend.

3. Sprinkle some of the mixture on your carpet, let it sit for an hour or so, and then

 

Recipe #2

Ingredients:

2 cups baking soda
Essential oil (pick your favorite scent)
2 cups lavender, buds
2 cups rosemary

1. Put 2 cups of baking soda in a glass or ceramic bowl; with the back of a metal spoon get rid of the lumps.

2. Add the essential oil (approximately 20 drops) and mix.

3. Add the lavender and rosemary, mix and then put in a plastic bag or glass container.

4 Let is sit for 2-3 days so the oil will not be wet (the oil can stain the carpet if it is wet).

5. Sprinkle desired amount on the carpet, leave for a few hours then vacuum.

If your credit score could use a boost it isn’t as simple as just changing bad financial behaviors. Increasing your credit score is a process that takes time. The time it takes to improve your credit history can vary.

Late payments can remain on your credit report for seven years, but typically if you clear all past-due debts and pay on time from then on, your score can begin to recover quickly.

One late payment doesn’t hurt you that much but a pattern of bad payments will really hurt you.  If you have a few late payments continue to use credit and pay on time every time. Demonstrate that you are managing your fiances well and your scores will begin to climb.

If you have suffered a bankruptcy the effects can be long-lasting. According to myFico.com, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can linger for seven to more than 10 years on your report. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or total liquidation, can affect your record for 10 years.

It is vital to constantly monitor your credit report and review it for accuracy. You can obtain your report for free once every twelve months from annualcreditreport.com.

Take a drive down any residential road in your town or city, and you’re bound to notice a neglected porch or two. Is your porch giving your home the best face it can have? Could your porch use a little spice? Here’s how to get the most out of your porch, whether it is only a few feet, or a covered area spanning the length of your home.

1. – Replace things when needed. New welcome mats, address numbers, doorknobs and deadbolts can breathe new life into your porch space. All of these experience significant wear-and-tear in only a short time, and replacing them when needed shows passers-by and potential home buyers that you live in a house that is well taken care of…Even down to the last detail.

2. – Don’t be afraid to paint. Often times, painted areas on a porch can be overlooked. If you are in the middle of a deck painting, then don’t hesitate to touch up your porch as a part of your project.

3. – Bring a little life onto your porch. Consider buying a few weather-hardy plants that could complement the color scheme of your home. Tasteful plant window boxes installed on the windows closest to your porch can make your porch appear much bigger than it is, and is an optical effect that will definitely work in your favor. Just be sure to pick plants that don’t run afoul of your home’s outdoor color scheme, and you’ll find that bringing a little plant life onto and around your porch is a very enjoyable investment.

4. – Lighting is not only important for looks, but for safety as well. Make sure that your porch light is always in working order, and be sure to choose quality bulbs that match the wattage of the outlet. Some homes have faulty porch wiring, and sometimes lack proper lighting. If you are in one of these homes, consider making a project out of it. Proper lighting will show off your porch at night in all the right places, and will be a welcome safety addition for your family and visitors.

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