• Buying a Home,  Downsizing

    7 Ways Downsizing Saves Money

    Downsizing is hardly a dirty word these days, especially as Baby Boomers begin to question the size of their home, and more Millennials are finally making their way into the world. Home ownership is a good investment at any size, and if you’ve ever wanted to free up some cash for the rest of life’s joys (travel? new hobbies? investing?), downsizing can be a great way to rightsize your budget. Here are seven ways downsizing can foster a little more financial freedom: 1. Utility costs. If your gas and electric bills have been climbing year over year, consider the pleasant surprise of heating and cooling 1,200 sq. ft. instead of…

  • Inspiration

    Adjusting Attitude with Gratitude

    “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” -Aldous Huxley, (1894 – 1963) English writer Do you have a practice for dealing with daily stress? I thought I’d share a simple and surprisingly effective exercise you can do each day that will not only boost your spirits but, lighten the perceived burden of “the daily grind.” No running shoes required! You can do it without breaking a sweat, right from the comfort of your car, your desk, or even the line at Starbucks. It sounds simple, but it’s quite powerful: Each day, think of five things you’re grateful for. They don’t have to be big…

  • Home Maintenance

    Breathing Easier in Your Home

    Maintaining indoor air quality is an extremely important but often overlooked component of a living happily in your home. By and large it’s an invisible problem, but the costs can really add up— from high energy bills to creeping health issues. Many homes have become so energy efficient that they’re also good at trapping dust and other pollutants. Appropriate ventilation is an important aspect of indoor air quality. This includes venting bathrooms, kitchens, and fireplaces directly outside. It’s also vital to try and store industrial chemicals such as pesticides, paints, and harsh cleaners outside of the habitable areas of the home. Alarms are also a useful way to keep an…

  • Home Maintenance

    Dealing with Scratched Hardwood Floors

    Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes. Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like…

  • Home Maintenance

    5 Secret Weapons for DIY Success

    Is there a home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store? There are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean. Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just…