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9 Tips to Protect Your Home This Winter

Winter is a tough time of the year when the weather can be difficult, and we have to protect ourselves every time we step outside.  We also need to protect our homes in various ways to make sure they stay safe and warm through the season.

Protect your home

Before the worst of the freezing temperatures come along, it is worth checking the water in your home.  You should know where the water mains are in your home and how to shut them off if there is a problem.  Check all visible pipes for signs of leaks – even a tiny leak can lead to a burst pipe in the colder months.

Another protect to ensure is that you have the right home insurance in place, just in case anything does go wrong.  Chill .ie lets you check the cover you have and make sure you are getting the best price.  Look for things like the excess on an escape of water claim to make sure you won’t be left with a bigger than average bill if something bad happens.

Make sure all the safety devices in the home are working and have batteries such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as your house alarm if you have one.  Check your locks are working well as ice can freeze up mechanisms if you don’t use a certain door very often.

Keeping it warm

Your home’s heating system is one of the most important things during winter and it can be advisable to have a service on your boiler and heating system before the weather gets to its worst.  The colder it gets, the more pressure is put on the system and the greater the chance that something goes wrong, leaving you without heating and hot water.

If you have air conditioning systems in your home, this is another system to have checked during early winter.  Because these units have outdoor elements, they can be prone to freezing and can lead to a breakdown or other problems.

Ideally, set your home temperature between 18-20 degrees (64-68 Fahrenheit) when you are in and a little cooler when you are out at work.  That way you reduce the risk of pipes freezing and bursting.  Even in unused rooms, keep a low-temperature setting for this reason.

Outside safety

There are some steps to take around the outside of your home to help protect it in winter as well.  For example, trim back any trees or dead branches that are overhanging paths or the main footpath – these could fall and cause injury.

Make sure the gutters are free from leaves and that the drain for the main downpipe isn’t blocked.  Blocked drains can cause a range of problems from the ice on paths to burst pipes in the house and even penetrating damp.

If there is a good fall of snow, then use a brush or rake to clear paths within your property boundaries to make it safe and scatter some salt or grit to make it easier to get around.

3 Simple Ways to Customize the Look of Your New Home

Buying a new home is both an exciting yet daunting experience for many new and even experienced homeowners. The checklist of what to do is endless with plenty of inspections and other odds and ends. It’s a lengthy process due to inexperience between the buyer and seller. But mostly because of how many people are involved to close on the home. This includes contractors, inspectors, attorneys, real estate agents, local government, and others. Finding the ideal mailbox or purchasing a new area rug for the living room unfortunately does not come until much later than most imagine.

Buying a New Mailbox

Let us assume you have closed on your new home and it is the right time to begin making it your own. It may seem odd to think about buying a new mailbox when you get your new house. However, mailboxes can influence the look of your house because it is pretty much the first part that most will see. When shopping for the ideal mailbox you can check out specialty stores online, like MailboxWorks.com, for a great selection of mailboxes that come in all different styles and materials.  Some new homeowners can feel nervous about digging a hole in his or her yard to set up the mailbox. These services can also do the dirty work for you. It is common to have a company representative come out to do this. In the case of Mailbox Works, a customer can dial 811 and the company can put you in touch your new utility company to send someone out to mark all of the utilities.

Get Some New Lighting

If the lighting in your new home has not been updated for a while it may be the right time to brighten the new home. Finding new lighting is actually easy and cheap to purchase and install in each room. Modern lighting has an interesting affect by making a home feel larger and warmer.  It’s as easy as spray=painting the home’s fixtures and installing high quality lights. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that for your own safety it may be a good idea to hire an electrician to install the fixtures properly.

Renovate Your Entrance

Front entrances can be boring if not done right. It’s an idea that only the wealthy can have entrances with sculptures and extravagant walkways. Those can be expensive for sure; however, there are other ways to liven up a front entrance.

Believe it or not, hardware stores sell economical outdoor lights to use for a walkway. The most important upgrade is well placed potted plants that can complete the home by filling up space with nature

Between finding a new mailbox, making a walkway, and placing some plants should feel proud the exterior of the house. There are too many simple ideas to consider when it comes to upgrading your new house. Of course the granite counters are tempting but just take it one step at a time.

Growing Old: The Financial Rollercoaster Nobody Mentions

It’s something that nobody wants to talk about but like it or not, you will get older.

On the plus side, today isn’t the day that we’re about to remind you about the bulging belly and grey hairs that are often associated with aging (although these by no means happen to everyone – the former is a common myth in fact).

Instead, today is all about finances. It might be a seemingly boring topic, but in relation to aging it can also prove to be quite popular. As you’ll soon find out, as you age you will meet your fair share of financial surprises but contrary to popular belief, they’re not all bad.

Surprise #1 – You might earn more

Today isn’t the day that we’re going to bang on about pensions. Instead, it’s about how much MORE you could earn when you get older.

Sure, your pension might aid in this process, but this surprise is probably going to apply to those of you who are still working. This is because studies have found that 90% of over 50s are actually classed as “happy” in their job role. This is mainly due to the fact they have reached their career goals and are regarded as an expert.

As we all know, a happy worker tends to be a motivated one. The domino effect of this is that pay rises and promotions are still on the table – with many people also taking on extra freelance work to supplement the coppers some more.

Surprise #2 – You will probably have to provide for your children even after they fly the nest

We all know the cost of raising children – it spans into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

This figure is seemingly on the rise though. More and more parents are helping out with a house deposit for their kids, for the simple fact that it’s otherwise unaffordable.

It doesn’t stop at bricks and mortar though – it can stretch as far as funerals and elderly care. In relation to the former, many people feel as though it’s better to pay “today’s rate” with a pre-paid funeral plan, to ensure that the family doesn’t have a huge bill. Then, with elderly care, it’s been all over the news over recent times how expensive this is – and it’s not getting any cheaper.

Surprise #3 – You might have more financial flexibility

The final surprise is another pleasant one; you’ll probably have slightly more financial flexibility than you once thought. We’re mainly referring to refinancing and if you need a quick boost of cash, mortgaging is most definitely possible. In fact, it’s something that’s come on leaps and bounds over recent years and while banks may have once been reluctant to loan to the elderly, this is no longer the case. Of course, there are limits, but these are higher than they once were which just carves a few more avenues to those of you who might want to make that luxury purchase.

How To Not Go Crazy as a New Mommy

There is no doubt about it; your life has changed permanently, and it has changed for the better.

However, that doesn’t mean you have arrived in paradise. Being a new mommy presents several of its own unique and difficult challenges to be overcome, and one of the main ones is adjusting to that stir crazy stay at home lifestyle you will probably be living in the first months of baby’s life.

Keep Working

The first advice, look for side hustles from home. Today’s world has the advantage of being super interconnected. Take advantage of this. You will be busy with baby, no doubt, but you will also have lots of downtime where you are staring at the walls or some TV screen, frustrated. Getting a flexible side hustle of some sort (there are so many literally), will keep your brain from rotting and keep you on an even mental keel, as well as bringing in some always welcome extra funds for baby’s needs and other necessities and luxuries of the world.

Take Baby Out Frequently

By frequently, we mean at least once a day, if possible. Don’t be overly worried about the weather either; just dress baby appropriately for the occasion and you will be fine. The fresh air and the change of environment will do both of you worlds of good.

Walking is also an essential physical activity for all human beings. No matter if one is an Olympic athlete or an office worker, all of us need a certain amount of time walking. It’s impossible to be healthy without that. The sooner you get back into this routine, the better. Of course, if the birth was unusually difficult, you may want to consult your doctor first, but let him or her know you really want to get back into things as soon as possible.

Keep The Home Well Stocked

Whatever you need, make sure you have tons of it, and a constant fresh supply. This of course goes for diapers, formula (if needed), baby food, laundry detergent (you will be doing a LOT of laundry, and the detergent of course has to be infant suitable), bottles, anything else you can think of. Babies have tons of material needs, and running out is not a good outcome! If you don’t have a membership at something like a Costco or BJ’s or Sam’s Club, now would be a great time to take one out, as you will be buying in bulk like never before with baby!