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4 Ways to Help to Elderly Parents without Draining Yourself and Your Budget

4 Ways to Help to Elderly Parents without Draining Yourself and Your Budget

by Guest Blogger, Caitlin E.

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Your parents took care of you when you were a kid. They paid for your education and food. They raised you to be a good person. And while they didn’t do that expecting you to return the favor, there might come a day when they’ll need you to step in.

Of course, if that day comes, it will mean that you have to make some changes in your lifestyle, regarding your career, personal life, and finances. No one expects you to give up on your life to care for your parents. But you will need to learn to balance your responsibilities in a way that enables you to continue making an income, caring for your family, and giving your parents all the attention they need.

Because you should not be in this alone, here are a few tips that will help you get through this situation.

See if They Need Help and How Much Help They Need

It’s always hard to admit that our parents, who we considered to be our superheroes, are ill and powerless. Facing the facts early on will help you give them the best care they need. The best thing you can do is to talk to your parents first because they need to be involved in every decision that concerns them.

Then, search for the signs they need help:

  • They’re struggling with household chores.
  • Their personal hygiene is not as it used to be.
  • They’re not eating regularly.
  • They struggle to move around the house and neighborhood.
  • They’re losing hand-eye coordination, which prevents them from driving safely, using tools, and other necessities.
  • They’re losing track of their medication.

Once you determine the condition of your parents, you will know the degree of care they require. For example, they might only need you to help with paying the bills or doing household chores. In more severe cases, they will require assistance with getting dressed and moving around.

Talk to Your Employer

Trying to juggle work and the new responsibilities might be the first to come to mind when you find yourself in a situation like this. However, in most cases, this feat results in dropping one juggling ball. Your productivity will definitely suffer, and your boss will notice it. It’s better for you to tell him/her before this happens.

Be honest. Try to point out your value to the company and explain that you will still do your best to contribute. You can ask to work from home for some time or take family days. Your company might even offer some benefits you can use.

Examine the Financial Situation and Make Plans

The financial aspect of being a caregiver is not to be neglected, as it can take quite a toll on both your and your parents’ budget.

First, you need to asses your current financial situation and see if there is room for savings. As a family caregiver, you might have a chance for a tax deduction, so check that out as well.

Later, you should do the same with your parents’ retirement income, but this is a touch topic. You’ll need to assure your parents that you have their best interest at heart. If they haven’t applied for social security yet, help them do it, and look for any tax and other reliefs that can help. For example, being a member of The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides various services, such as insurance coverage and discounts for certain medical equipment.

Consider downsizing their living arrangements as a way of cutting unnecessary expenses and adding to their savings. Of course, it is imperative to plan for the long term and create a budget that will cover the costs of future care.

Don’t Do Everything on Your Own

Taking on all the responsibilities alone can only cause you to burn out faster and damage your own health, which will result in a decreased ability to take care of your parents.

There’s no shame in asking a sibling or a relative for help when it comes to taking your parents to the doctor’s or cleaning the house. If your kids are teenagers or older, they can also help around the house or just be good company to their grandparents. Ask the neighbors to check up on your parents every once in a while and let you know about their condition. This way, the burden will feel lighter, and you’ll be able to balance your life more successfully.

Finally, don’t neglect your health and personal needs. You are of no use to your parents if you’re miserable or sick. Try to find the time to rest, sleep, and socialize, and when you come to their house with a smile on your face, they will feel much better too.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
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When The Home Strikes Back, Cut Costs On Your Property

When The Home Strikes Back, Cut Costs On Your Property

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Buying a home sounds like a dream doesn’t it? Until you realize that what you’re actually taking on is a whole lot of extra bills and costs that you might not have been prepared for. If you’ve been renting for a long time, the costs that come with owning a home and not just purchasing it can be overwhelming. It’s important that you understand how to deal with these costs effectively without ending up in more trouble. Many people do find themselves pushed into debt as they struggle with higher costs than they initially expected. So, before we get into how to deal with them, let’s think about some of the costs that you might need to handle.

First, there’s maintenance and if you’ve been renting you’ll be used to your landlord coughing up the bill. Maintenance and repairs can be quite expensive too. Just look at your boiler. If that breaks down a repair could take thousands out of your pocket. Thousands that you, might not have readily available to spend. Issues with maintenance can be due to age or even weather. We’re in the middle of winter right now, and you can bet there are at least a few storms around the corner to deal with. You could have problems with flooding, roof damage, and even garden destruction. All these issues are going to be expensive to fix, and they’re not the only problem.

You might also find that your home bills grow out of control. Again, it’s easy to keep these costs under your thumb in a one bedroom apartment. But when you move to a four bedroom home things are a little different. The heating bill, the water, the electric all quickly rise and leave you with very little money to spend at the end of the month.

Finally, there’s the mortgage. Most people buy to escape dead money. While a mortgage isn’t dead money it can certainly feel like it. Particularly when more is coming out of your account, then it did when you were living in a rented property. You might have been paying five hundred in rent and now you’re paying close to a thousand in monthly mortgage repayments. Now, you are paying off the house that you own, but it can still feel rather unsettling. Particularly, when it’s put pressure on your finances. So, how can you cope with these issues?

Save For A Rainy Day

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Copyright Free – Stock Free images. Public Domain image dedication. CC0 1.0 Universal Licence – http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

Stock Free Photo

When you buy a home, it’s important that you live on a budget and don’t overspend in silly areas. You never know when you might need your savings. So, don’t spend it all on an expensive holiday if it means you’re going to have nothing left for emergencies. You might think well, I only need that if something goes wrong. I promise you, as soon as you think that it well. It’s best to keep this money in a high-interest account too. That way, you can make sure it builds up to a level where you’ll always have a little cash you can rely on.

Don’t Rule Out Borrowing

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you reach the end of the month and your bills are too much to bare it is worth looking into borrowing. By borrowing, you can keep things simple and protect your credit score as well as keeping those mortgage repayments up to date. This is worth doing because it will save you any hassle further down the line. Don’t forget, your mortgage company can make things difficult if you fall behind on your payment schedule.

However, there are a few things you need to know before using short term funds. First, you need to think about the interest rate. Make sure that you can pay any money you borrow back on time without any issues. Then there’s the company that you borrow from. They need to be reputable and make sure that there are no hidden bills. You’d be amazed how many companies manage to slip these into their lending contracts. Finally, if you think the interest rate or amount you’ve been charged is too high, you do have rights. Though, if you choose a good, trustworthy business, should never need to go down that road.

Bite Back At Your Bills

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If your bills are looking quite expensive, it’s time to think about how you can cut them down. One of the ways to do this is by looking at your water usage. If you love long showers or running a bath each day, think about how much this is costing you. Remember, a few little changes to your bathroom will work a treat. You can get a low-pressure pump for your shower. This will limit how much water is released when you have a shower. Don’t worry, there’ll still be enough to get clean but not enough that it feels too pleasant. You’ll be in and out in ten minutes flat and save a fortune on your water bill. There are other silly ways people waste water too like running the tap while brushing your teeth. This water isn’t doing anything so don’t make that mistake.

For electricity it’s all about your tech and appliances. You need to make sure you are using green tech in the home. By doing this, you’ll soon see your electric bill drain away. You can even think about making larger changes such as solar energy. But honestly, you’ll see the impact even if you just change the bulbs in your home to LEDs.

For heating, you need to try and keep warm without burning up your thermostat. The best way to do that is to wear extra layers and trap heat as much as possible. Close the doors and shut the curtains, you’ll be amazed by the difference it makes. You won’t have to turn the heating up because it will be warm enough already.

Remember, unless you’re over sixty there’s no reason to have the heating on at all. Except in the coldest weeks of winter.

I hope this advice helps you deal with those expensive home costs. Use it, and you won’t be looking at your bank balance in despair at the end of each month.

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Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Escape From The Homebuying Money Pit

Escape From The Homebuying Money Pit

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If you’re buying a home this year, I’d like to welcome you to the money pit. You might think that it’s easy to keep the costs of purchasing a home under control. Or, that you know exactly how much it’s going to cost and what you’ll need to pay, but boy are you wrong. There are hidden expenses, extra payments and unseen issues that you are blissfully unaware of right now. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I can help you climb out the pit so you can appreciating the buying dream.

Get The Price To The Floor

First things first, let’s make sure that you’re not paying more for the house that you want then you need to. You should be aiming for buying at the floor price. If you don’t know what this is it’s the absolutely minimum and owner will be willing to sell their property at. Bare in mind, most owners start the asking price nowhere near the floor. For instance, you might have a seller with a home that is being marketed at four hundred grand. What they won’t tell you is that they’d be willing to sell at three-fifty if you can cut out the hassle. There are multiple ways to get that floor asking price. One of the best ways is to go low and offer a great setup for the sale. For instance, cash up front is always something that sellers love to hear. Particularly, if they are trying to buy a new home fast.

Price Check Everything

You’re going to be purchasing a lot of different services when buying your new home. Moving teams are the classic examples because prices can vary dramatically. One company might charge you two thousand while another might offer the same service for nine hundred. You might think that a lower price means a poor service. But with local movers that’s not usually true. It all depends on their business model and how much they are able to save.

Careful Committing To Improvements

Once you buy the home, the fun really begins. A lot of owners find out that there’s more problems with the property than they thought. Usually, this is going to be true if you’re buying an older home. That’s why you should always get a thorough inspection. These days, homeowners tend to dodge inspections for two reasons. First, it gives time for another buyer to jump in and steal the property with a higher offer. Second, it’s an unnecessary expense if you can trust the seller. The big secret? You can never trust the seller. They will always be hiding something that would knock the property value down a peg or two so be cautious. The last thing you want is to buy a home only to find out the big bills have only just begun.

Take this advice and you won’t just be able to climb out of the money pit. Instead, you can avoid falling into it completely!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Should You Take Out A Secured Loan To Improve Your Home?

Should You Take Out A Secured Loan To Improve Your Home?

5220538184_514c4376aa_zFlickr At: Jennifer C

One of the quickest ways to get money for home improvements such as an extension, new conservatory or new roof is to take out a loan. Providing your finances are in a healthy state, you have a good credit score, and the project isn’t too big there shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you don’t want to increase the amount on your mortgage, not every lender will pay out, is it worth looking at a secured loan in order to get that dream family kitchen, extra bedroom or a new bathroom?

Will It Increase The Property’s Value?

This will be the number one question on a lender’s lips as depending on how much money you put into the property; you could increase the value of your house by a good few thousand dollars. Many buyers prefer to put their own stamp on a new home but if you choose to build an outdoor patio, infinity pool or even a wet room they’ll jump at the chance of owning something with a unique, modern feature. However, if you’re only looking to update the décor, it may be worth finding the money from elsewhere as it’ll be ripped down to make way for the new owner’s tastes, style, and ideas when they move in. Before you begin to make changes, or indeed before you apply for a secured loan itself it may be worth having a local real estate agent come to the property to value it in its current state.

5720482811_efa10affd0_zFlickr At: andrewarchy

Do You Need The Money ASAP?

If you’re eligible for a secured loan the lender will release the funds, per the usual checks, in a timely manner which leaves you free to get on with your project. Some second charged secured loans have fees attached which are payable from the moment you take one out while other fees are simply added to your monthly payments. Make sure you carefully check the terms and conditions of your loan as a secured loan uses your home as collateral, and you’ll want to ensure that the money is always available for payments. Secured personal loans are seen as the better option, especially for home improvements, as it means that the lender sees the loan as a low-risk option because of the property, or another significant asset that’s been used against it.

7610230676_7ab8b53a75_zFlickr At: Granit Chartered Architects

Are You Looking To Sell Soon?

Some people like to do their home up when they are trying to sell the property which can either help or hinder when looking for offers. Consider undertaking only superficial decorating projects, unless you plan on living in the property for a long time to come. Decide how much money you want to spend on indoor and outdoor projects or if it’s a building project look over the budget before you start. Costs can spiral quickly, and the last thing you want is to run out of money early, or have to return to the lender and ask for a larger amount. This could delay the entire build as well change the terms and conditions of the new loan, not too mention push the monthly repayments even higher.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

First Home Fever: Exciting, New And Shiny, But Don’t Forget the Essentials!

First Home Fever: Exciting, New And Shiny, But Don’t Forget the Essentials!
photo-1426122402199-be02db90eb90Picture source: Unsplash

Moving into your first home as a buyer or a renter is an exhilarating time because you’re finally independent! But with independence comes great responsibility. And that means buying the boring stuff, cooking your own meals, remembering to pay the bills and ensuring your property is safe. We don’t want a put a downer on this exciting period, but here’s a quick checklist of all the adult things you need to do, so you don’t get caught short!

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In The Kitchen

Yay! You can buy your own groceries, eat what you want, cook up a feast or take a snack at midnight. And no one is going to know! But to do all those things you have to remember you’re going to have to buy all the utensils and appliances you need. No borrowing from the bank of Mom and Dad now! The basic things you’re going to need are pots and pans, a roasting dish, a cheese grater and a can opener. You’ll also want a corkscrew, wine glasses, a food processor and an oven glove. And if you are strapped for cash and your home doesn’t come with white goods you may want to consider making use of rent to own appliance websites. These enable you to get your kitchen set up with a fridge, freezer, cooker and more with rentals starting at just $12 a week. Perfect if you are on a budget.

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In The Living Room

Your biggest buys here are going to be the sofa, the coffee table, and the TV. Think carefully about how you want your interior to look before blowing the budget. Are you going industrial or beachy? Or maybe cozy cottage or perhaps sleek and contemporary? It’s worth holding off for a couple of weeks before making big purchases, until you decide on your style. Start first by choosing your paint color and the window dressings. And if you are putting in new carpet or floorboards, do this before investing in any new furniture. Smaller items you’ll need to think about include side lamps, bookcases, and a console table. Oh, and of course the TV. Are you going big or small? Flush to the wall or on a TV cabinet? When everything else is finally in place, you can think about dressing the room with art and finishing touches.

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In The Bedroom

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so take the time and effort to make it the most relaxing space in your new home. We spend a third of our lives sleeping so it’s certainly worth investing in the best bed frame and mattress you can afford. And the same goes for sheets. If you can afford Egyptian cotton, go for it. They last longer, are super luxurious and will give a boutique hotel feel to your room. Think carefully about your windows too. Do you want blackout blinds, plantation style shutters or opulent curtains? Other additions to the bedroom include a main light, side lamps, and a full-length mirror. And if you’ve got the space, don’t forget a dressing table too!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.