Tips For Saving Money On Home Renovations

Home renovations can be a costly expense. From knocking out walls to installing brand new flooring (read more here), there are some home renovation costs that cannot be avoided. Nonetheless, there are still ways to save money. It just takes a little creativity. If you have a costly home renovation coming up or you are wanting to do some updates around the house on a budget, here are some tips.

Tips For Saving Money On Home Renovations - home blueprint image

Make A Budget And Stick To It

Creating a budget and sticking to that budget is one of the most crucial steps when it comes to saving money on your home renovations. Keep in mind that when you are on a budget, that does not mean that you are only doing what is cheap. You can still pay for quality, you just may have to pick and choose what you want to pay for. Think about how much money you are willing to spend and compare that with how much money you have coming in. From there you can start creating a budget that works with your income. It is also recommended that you add an additional 10 percent to your total amount for incidentals.

Pay In Cash

Pay your renovations in cash or with a debit card if possible. You do not want to take out a loan to pay for the updates. Loans are typically accompanied by high interest rates. It might make sense to borrow money to do some home updates if you intend on selling your home. You will likely get a return on your investment, but if you are only doing them just for the sake of updating the house, it is best that you pay in cash.

Pace Yourself

You do not want to rush any job, especially one that involves how your home will look. Pace your home renovations. Avoid rushing the process. Sometimes you do not have a choice but to pace yourself since you are gathering all the necessary capital needed to make the renovations happen. On the other hand, if you have all the money you may feel the urge to get all the renovations done at one time. Do not do this. Your home will look like a dusty mess in between the renovations.

Do Them Yourself

There are some home improvement jobs you can do yourself. Give it a try! Doing some renovations yourself will save you thousands of dollars. If you are not comfortable doing handy work and you insist on paying someone, there are things you can do to prepare for their arrival. Remember, you are paying them per hour. By setting up your home for their arrival, you will be saving money.

Use What You Have

Instead of gutting the entire room, consider using what you already have and repurpose them. For instance, if you are updating the kitchen consider repurposing the doors instead of swapping them out for new ones. You will be surprised what a good sanding and a fresh coat of paint can do to update a space.

How to Save Money on Dog Ownership

Dogs are an important part of our lives. They give us so much love in terms of companionship, love and affection but, often times, new owners can forget how expensive they can be. There are many costs to be mindful of when it comes to adopting and having a dog at home.

A new survey suggests that pet ownership in the UK is soaring – and is set to continue to grow.

In the wake of lockdown and as the Government encourages us to increase our physical activity overall, 80% of dog owners say their dog keeps them physically active. Around 40% of all owners also say that, as lockdown restrictions are lifted, they will take their dogs for more frequent and longer walks.

But it’s not all good news, the RSPCA is bracing itself for a surge of abandoned dogs – according to a June 2020 Kennel Club survey of 2,622 dog owners, 15% of the people who bought puppies during lockdown admitted that they weren’t ready.

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According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, the cost of pet maintenance is number four of the top ten reasons someone gives up their dog. Each year, people around the world spend billions on pets, including their food, supplies, medication, veterinary care, and other services.

These figures aren’t meant to discourage people from adopting pets. They’re simply useful information to be aware of so we can make sure we aren’t breaking the bank while trying to provide everything our beloved dogs need.

So, with that being said, here are eight money saving tips for dog parents.

1. Consider Adoption

You can start saving money from the very beginning by choosing to adopt a dog instead of buying one from a breeder.

Buying a dog from a breeder will usually cost upwards of £1,000 at the very least, with prices rocketing during 2020. Choosing to adopt a dog will likely cost considerably less.

Shelters often run discount events, and some animals get sponsorships that cover the cost of adoption, too. Check your local shelter such as the Dog’s Trust to find out when discounted adoptions come up.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also change the life of a dog in a shelter looking for a home.

2. Choose The Right Vet

When it comes to choosing a vet to oversee our pet’s health, we often like to go to the one closest to us. But it might be best to research and see which vets are available nearby who are also affordable for you.

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Fees can vary widely, even if they’re located near each other.

Make sure to also research their payment and insurance policies, if available, that can help you bring down the cost.

3. Create A Budget For Your Pup

Even if you are on a tight budget, you know you need to track your spending and make sure you don’t overspend every month. Well the same can be done for your pup, as well.

Creating a monthly budget plan for your pet can help you and your wallet by tracking expenses and ultimately save money on dog ownership. That way, you’ll know when you can splurge on new toys and when you need to save up.

4. Groom Your Dog Yourself

It’s always important to make sure our dog is well groomed and clean. But deciding to go to a professional groomer can cost a lot.

The trip to the groomer’s can also add up depending how often you have to take your dog to them.

It might help to bathe and groom your dog yourself, between professional groomer visits. Not only is this cost effective for you as a pet parent, but you’ll also be able to bond with your dog while giving them a bath.

You can check out some cool grooming products here.

5. Keep Up With Dental Cleaning At Home

Just as brushing your teeth is important for your health, brushing your dog’s teeth is important for their health, too.

The best way to avoid a costly vet visit for dental care is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and maintain good oral hygiene.

This will cut down on the need for a professional and also give a break to your bank account.

6. Stay Up to Date On Vaccinations And Parasite Prevention

It’s always a good idea to deal with things now that can potentially cause problems later. One of those things is making sure your dog is up to date with their vaccinations and parasite prevention.

These will help prevent diseases and infestations from the fleas, ticks, worms, and other parasites that carry them. If you would prefer to avoid nasty chemicals, WiserPet has a range of natural products for flea and tick prevention.

Prevention is better than cure and it’s usually cheaper in the long run than having to deal with a major disease or heartworms that will cost even more down the road.

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7. Be A Savvy Shopper

Whenever we bring a new dog home, we know they’re going to need dog gear, such as collars, leashes, beds, and so forth. Sometimes we’ll just head to the nearest pet shop and collect all of it, which quickly adds up.

But before you spend all your hard-earned money, make sure you do your due diligence and look at the best deals. You can also price match and check other pet stores for cheaper options or sales.

It might be more time consuming, but it will help you save money.

8. Train Your Dog

Training your dog is essential for them but taking them to a dog training school can cost a lot of money. Thankfully there are many ways to save and still teach your dog obedience and some cool tricks along the way.

Investing in dog training books and online programmes can save you more money than taking them to an obedience school. Your dog may still need some professional training, but you’ll be ahead of the game and might not need to spend as much cash if your pooch has a head start at home.

This is also an excellent way to bond with your pet and build lasting trust with them.

Do you spend a lot of money on your pet? Got any other tips to save money on dog ownership? Let us know in the comments below!

Diversify Your Investment Portfolio

One of the most sensible long-term steps you can take is to invest your money in something that has a good chance of being lucrative. If you already have one or two investments, that’s a great start. But there is a problem with only having a single investment, which is that it is much higher risk than having more than one. You should ideally have a range of investments active at any one time, so that even if one or two of them fail, you have others to fall back on. So how do you go about diversifying your investment portfolio?

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

What Is Diversification?

So what exactly is diversification, and why should you make sure you are doing it? Put simply, diversification is when you add more streams to your investment portfolio. If you already have investments in gold, for instance, you might choose to add to that crypto or real estate. Any financial planner worth their salt will tell you that diversification ensures a stronger, safer economical standing, with much less risk on the whole.

Essentially, what you are doing here is blending different investments into a whole. As well as negating risk, it is also generally true that having a variety of investments yields a higher return on average.

Understanding Risk Types

When you go to diversify your portfolio, one of the best tactics is to ensure you have a balance of investments with different risk levels associated with them. It should be obvious that any kind of investment is either low risk, medium risk, high risk – or risk free. The aim is to increase your chances of landing a lucrative return with a good amount of high-risk investments – but back up those investments with a number of lower-risk and medium-risk investments too.

Exactly what balance you strike is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to have slightly less than half of your investments in a high-risk strategy, and the remaining amount divided up between low, medium and no risk options. In this way, you are simultaneously maximising your profits and minimising your risks.

Let’s look at some of the more common investment options to consider when you want to diversify your portfolio – and discuss what risk level they are.

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In general, stocks are considered medium-risk. A stock represents a portion of ownership of a public company. When you invest in stocks, you are hoping that the future of the company is a bright one – and as they earn more money and become more successful, your investment is going to become much more valuable too. To find good stocks to invest in, you need to think either about a business that is fairly certain – such as grocery stores – or one that looks likely to grow in the future – like AI, drones, or whatever else you might think of. Be aware: this is a medium-risk strategy, and you might lose all value you put into your stocks.


The great thing about bonds is that they are a zero risk strategy – so there is really no reason not to invest in them if you are in a position to do so. They therefore provide a fantastic means of balancing out your higher-risk elements of the portfolio. Bonds are zero risk because they have a guarantee on them, so it’s kind of life a fixed deposit that is tradeable. As such, you are definitely going to make some return on it, even if it is small. Bear in mind that it is only government bonds that are zero risk. Investing in something like Tesla is much higher risk.

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One of the more common forms of investment diversification in recent years is cryptocurrency, and it deserves a mention here as a possible way to make a lot of money. In general, you would probably put crypto in the medium-risk category, so it’s a great one to include if you want to both make your portfolio more potentially lucrative, but also keep relatively safe. The most famous – and still most valuable – cryptocurrency is the first one to have existed, Bitcoin, and investing in it is a simple matter of checking out the Bitcoin market performance, choosing a good time to buy some coin, and allowing it to develop value. You can also trade different cryptos, in a manner reminiscent of Forex.

Analyzing Your Portfolio

As you invest in different things, it’s important that you try to keep an eye on your portfolio as much as possible. In fact, you are going to have much more luck and chance of success if you make a point of analyzing your portfolio from time to time, and changing it up where necessary. If there is anything that isn’t bringing returns, or seems too risky, then you should think about swapping it for one of the other investments in the portfolio, and so on. Keep on top of it and don’t just let it sit there and forget about it.

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Look Out For New Opportunities

It’s also important to remember to keep your eye out for new opportunities, as ultimately you don’t really know what might be around the corner. The most successful investors in the world are those who managed to find a trend before everyone else knew about it, and capitalised on it at a good time. If you keep an eye out, you are more likely to be able to do that, and to make a lot of money in the process. If you want to make this more likely to work, you might even want to think about getting some help in the form of a professional investment advisor or trader, who can do it all for you while taking a fee for themselves. That is often a good balance to strike.

As you can see, there is plenty to consider as you try to diversify your investment portfolio, but it is absolutely worth your while and could mean that you have a much more lucrative future.

4 Tips For Helping Your Business Thrive

Your business is a significant investment of your time and money. If you’re tired of being viewed as mediocre and performing below your potential, then now is the time to implement changes that will turn your situation around for the better.

The following tips will help your business thrive through the ups and downs and get on a path that’s sustainable and rewarding. Let today be the day you take a good look at your goals and how your business is doing overall and commit to making adjustments to your approach. No longer will you have to sit and stress about succeeding because you’ll be well on your way to making this a reality at your workplace.  

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1. Understand & Organize Your Finances

You can ensure your business thrives by understanding and organizing your finances. It would help if you had a clear picture of what money you have coming in and your expenses. Set and follow strict budgets and review your sales numbers to know where you stand and if you need to implement cost-cutting measures. Separate your business and personal finances and enlist the help of a professional if you need assistance with your taxes or bookkeeping tasks. It’s better to have it done right then to encounter errors and surprises.

2. Offer Better Client Service

One tip that will bring about positive changes if done right is your customer service. Offer better and improved client service, so your customers are satisfied and willing to leave you positive reviews online. You’ll be able to build trust in your brand and, in turn, win over more consumers. Set yourself up for success by offering more ways and outlets for customers to get in touch. Check out the best chat room software for website as one solution you may want to try. Many people want answers quickly and want to use online means to do so. Therefore, be prepared to answer their call by setting up this option for them.

3. Communicate Effectively

Poor and lack of communication can be detrimental to your business and how you operate. You and your employees and even your customers must be all on the same page. Commit to communicating effectively by being clear and concise in your delivery. Understand how to prepare emails professionally and hold in-person meetings that are productive and not a waste of time. Delegate appropriately to take some of the work and to-dos off your plate and keep your employees engaged and challenged at work.

4. Monitor Results

Your business will have a better chance of thriving through good and bad times when you monitor your results. It’s vital you have metrics in place and can closely track how you’re performing in cases of client service and marketing, for example. You want to know that your time is being well spent and you have the right resources in place for achieving your goals. Monitor results, so you understand in what areas you’re excelling and what areas you need to pay more attention to and make changes. 

Top 4 Collecting Hobbies That Make Good Investments

About 95% of British adults spend at least one working day on their hobby, and over the years, collecting special items has remained a popular hobby among many people. If you are into building collections or you would want to start, you are probably on the lookout for exciting and rare items. But did you know that some of the most popular collecting hobbies can be extremely valuable to you and help you make more money? If you have started collecting, it would be best that you hold on to it. Who knows? They might be worth a small fortune in the future. Here are some of the most valuable collecting hobbies out there today.

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Image by Michael Wave from Pixabay

For centuries, many people have found collecting wines as a favourite pastime. Avid wine enthusiasts usually stock certain wines because they know that it might taste better in the future. But it could become a widely profitable venture if you wish; if you are interested in starting a wine collection, you should know that it is a fiercely competitive and often expensive hobby. In fact, purchasing wines to build your collection could set you back a couple of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Wine collection involves a lot of research, so be sure to consult with experts on the best kinds to buy. It might take a few years for your collection to mature, but once it is time to make some money, you can use an auction house or connect with a wine merchant to help you find buyers. 

  1. Comic Books

Collecting comic books might sound like a child’s hobby, but it is not! Many notable adults are avid comic book collectors; it is so serious that there is a body that grades comic books based on their importance. When starting a comic book collection, remember that the older the comic, the rarer it is, and therefore, the more valuable it is. For example, the first-ever Marvel comic book was auctioned off for nearly a million pounds. Thankfully, there are many comic stores to help you get started on your new collection hunt. If you are lucky, you might come across some rare editions. Ensure that you keep your collection in mint condition so that they can sell for much higher prices. 

  1. Stamps

Stamp collection is another one of the world’s most popular hobbies. The first stamp design came from England, and since then, several other countries adopted postage stamps with their unique designs. Some stamps have exciting backstories and histories, and they are great ways to learn about different locations around the world. Unique stamps can be sold for millions of pounds. Of course, like many other collectables, the rarer, the better. Collecting stamps might take a lot of time and involve a lot of travel to find the rarest pieces. But once you build a solid collection, you can have them sold off at stamp auctions for a nice profit. 

  1. Vinyl
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Image by BRRT from Pixabay

Vinyl records are making a huge comeback, especially as turntables are back on the market, and many young people have taken an interest in building a selection. If you already have a couple of them lying around, perhaps it is time to turn them into a profitable collection. Before you put them up for sale, ensure that you check your old vinyl collection condition. For the most profit, your vinyl types would have to be in mint condition, and those can sell for as high as £100,000. 

Building any collection is a fun hobby, but it is not often easy, and usually involves spending relatively large amounts of money. Nonetheless, it can be a money-making venture in the future.