Why Everyone Over 30 Should Start Thinking About Life Insurance

I don’t like to make generalizations too often, but I do feel that everyone over 30 should start thinking about the importance of life insurance. That is, if you’re 30 and over and don’t have any life insurance.

No one likes to think about their demise, but life insurance is an extraordinary product that can be used to reduce the financial burden you could leave behind for loved ones. Plus, different types of life insurance can even help you build wealth and diversify your assets.

Here are 4 important reasons why everyone over 30 should start thinking about life insurance.

The Insurance At Your Job is Probably Not Cutting It

By now you probably realize the life insurance coverage that your job offers is not enough. Some employers include life insurance in their list of benefits which is great, but the coverage amount often doesn’t come close to your insurable need.

Your insurable need represents how much life insurance you should hold depending on factors like your age, liabilities, health conditions, and so on. One common rule of thumb is that your average life insurance coverage amount should be 7 to 10 times your annual income.

So if you’re earning $60,000 per year, you might want to consider a policy of $420,000 to $600,000 depending on your needs. However, the average employee life insurance policy amount is only around $25,000 to $50,000 or one years’ salary. This is not nearly enough.

Plus, when you leave your job, you’ll lose your insurance benefits too. This is why it’s always important to consider having your own life insurance coverage independent of your employer. So many people are switching jobs every 2 to 3 years so you may not want your life insurance benefits to be tied to your employer anyway.

Term life insurance is pretty affordable and you can get a free quote in just a few minutes from Bestow.

Here are 4 important reasons why everyone over 30 should start thinking about life insurance. Click To Tweet

You Want to Protect Loved Ones From a Financial Burden

You don’t have to be married with kids and a house to want to consider life insurance. However, more people in their 30s do focus on settling down and working toward some of these milestones.

If you do have kids, a mortgage, etc. you’ll definitely want to consider how your partner would get by if anything did happen to you. Would the kids still be able to go to college? Would your spouse be able to keep the house? These are important questions that life insurance can help you answer.

Even if you’re single and at the height of your career. More people in their 30s are carrying debt like student loans and personal loans. Did you know that some types of student loan debt can not be forgiven even if you died? You probably don’t want to pass on any financial burdens to your parents or other loved ones who would have to fit the bill.

Life insurance provides a tax-free payment to your beneficiary which can help cover everything from debt payments, loss of household income, funeral arrangements, and more.

RELATED: How Much Life Insurance Do You Really Need

30 Is Still Young Enough to Lock in Affordable Rates For Whole Life Insurance

Let’s say you’re considering the importance of life insurance. Whole life insurance in particular. Whole life insurance is permanent insurance that builds cash value as you continue to pay your premiums.

Other types of insurance, like variable whole life, even allow you to invest some of the cash value and grow the amount faster. You can borrow from your cash value, use it to pay your life insurance premiums, or even withdraw it while you’re still alive and well.

While whole life insurance is cheaper than term life, costs increase around the board as you get older. If you’re considering whole life insurance, the best option is to get a policy while you’re younger. Thirty years old is not too old to still get a decent rate for your life insurance premiums. Plus, it allows you enough time to build cash value that could be put to use in the future.

Get Insured and Protected From Medical Issues

Yes, life insurance is geared toward providing financial relief for your loved ones. Depending on your policy, you may be able to obtain something called ‘living benefits’. Living benefits are an insurance rider (which means it’s an added on feature) that can be added to your term or whole life insurance policy.

Living benefits can allow you to use some of your life insurance coverage amount to pay medical expenses for a serious illness or condition. Of course, this will reduce the benefit provided to your beneficiary, but it can still be a helpful feature to help you cover medical bills that could otherwise be left for your loved ones to deal with anyway.

No one likes to think about getting sick or becoming terminally ill, but planning for the best and worst is just a part of adult life. As you get older, your health tends to decline but if you’re still healthy in your 30s, it’s the perfect time to lock in a life insurance policy and consider adding a living benefits rider.

RELATED: Should You Get Disability Insurance? 4 Ways to Decide

Summary

Life insurance should be apart of everyone’s financial plan. Knowing the importance of life insurance can be life-saving information. If you’re over 30 and still don’t have coverage. Consider all the reasons to get a term or whole life policy. Consider your current future needs and carefully weigh the pros and cons.

Remember, you can get a free no-obligation quote from Bestow in just two minutes.

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

3 of the Best Items to Buy During President’s Day Sales

After the holidays there aren’t nearly as many good deals to be had. However, on top of white sales in January, the next biggest sale of the winter season is usually during President’s Day. In fact, there can be some pretty darn good discounts on some bigger ticket items. And more often than not, shopping for these items during this time of year will get you the deepest discounts. So, you should be ready ahead of time with your budget in order to have the cash on hand for these larger purchases.

Mattresses

While most of us don’t give a second thought to our mattress, we do spend approximately 1/3 of our lives on it. So, a mattress should be one of the most well thought out purchases we make. And, it can also be one of the most expensive purchases we make too. But since they are so important, it can really be worth the money to get a good one that works well for you. Therefore, a mattress is not a place to be frugal.

Of course, you can still get a really good mattress without spending a small fortune though. And during President’s Day sales is one of the best ways to do it. Some of the best places to check out ahead of time for good mattress sales are:

  • Amazon – seems crazy but they do sell mattresses
  • Bed Bath and Beyond – oddly enough, they do sell mattresses on top of everything else, and usually have some pretty good deals
  • Costco – they already give great deals to their members and sell a wide variety of different mattresses
  • Mattress Firm – great selection and really good deals during President’s Day
  • Nest Bedding – carry a wide range of mattresses, including quite a few organic options
  • Overstock – they usually have pretty good deals to begin with
  • Tempur-Pedic – similar to Mattress Firm, just different style of mattresses

The discounts will vary at each store. Some of the typical sale ranges tend to be anywhere from $100 – $300 off a mattress or up to 30% off. Some places will give you a smaller discount but throw in a few other free items, such as mattress toppers or pillows. So, it’s best to take a look ahead of time to narrow down which type of mattress you are interested in and which place will give you the best deal on that style.

Appliances

Whether we like it or not, appliances are part of our everyday life these days. And they don’t always have the life span we wish they would. In fact, depending upon the type of appliance and the make and model, the life span can range between 9-20 years, on average. And when an appliance decides to die, it affects our whole world. So, planning here is key.

When the end of life is nearing for your appliance, it’s always good to try and plan ahead. Especially since appliances can be much higher ticket items than they used to be. I can speak from recent experience because we just had to replace our dishwasher (sooner than we anticipated) and ended up spending a lot more money than I would have liked. We could have potentially waited until the President’s Day sales hit, but that would have left us without a dishwasher for almost 3 months. And with 7 of us, it’s worth it for us to have a dishwasher when it makes my life a lot easier.

Luckily, we had the funds saved up to pay for a new dishwasher when the time came. But it still hurt, nonetheless. First thing first is to have the money saved up in your emergency fund to cover the cost of the replacement appliance. Next, it’s time to shop some of the best appliance sales all year long. And some of the places that have the greatest President’s Day sales on appliances are:

  • Best Buy – they have many different appliances, and great deals to begin with, but even better ones during this sale
  • Costco – similar to their mattresses, they have good deals all year round and a vast selection of appliances
  • Home Depot – they tend to have regular appliance sales but have much deeper discounts during this sale
  • Lowes – same as Home Depot and they aggressively compete with each other for your appliance business
  • Overstock – same deal with the appliances as their mattresses

Similar to the mattress sales, these discounts will vary widely. But, the most common discounts I have found are usually between 30% – 40% off. However, some of the larger stores will also offer 0% interest for 12-24 months on their credit card sometimes. So, if they happen to be running one of those deals at the same time, you can potentially spread the payments out over a longer period of time without having to pay any interest. So this could really be a win-win!

Furniture

Furniture can be another really big-ticket item, especially if we are talking couches and dining tables. And while the life span of furniture can be exponentially longer than appliances (if you take care of them), they do tend to go out of style faster. Or if you have a house full of kids and dogs you’re boarding, that can make the furniture die a much younger death too.

Either way, when it comes time to look for things such as couches, chairs, loveseats, dining tables, coffee tables, etc, President’s Day is a great time to look. Some of the best places that I have found to find rock bottom deals on furniture during President’s Day are:

  • Big Lots – they are already known for their low prices, but they get even lower during this sale
  • Costco – once again, they have pretty much everything!
  • Kohl’s – they have some pretty good deals on their furniture lines for online purchases
  • Overstock – this is another company that seems to have everything and is very competitive on pricing in the furniture genre
  • Target – usually their furniture is more deeply discounted when shopping online than in store

And in typical fashion, these sales have a fairly wide variety of discounts. They seem to vary every year, but on average most sales seem to discount specific items anywhere between 30% – 70%. So this is one category where it is really in your best interest to shop around before you buy anything.

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President’s Day Sales Summary

Ultimately, President’s Day is a great time to find some really good deals on big ticket items. Whether you need a new mattress, new appliances or some new furniture, you may be in luck. This time of year can potentially save you the most amount of money on these items. So prepare ahead of time and make your list. And then get shopping!

What are some of the best deals you have gotten during a President’s Day sale?

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

Best Tips to Help You Find the Best Tax Filing Service

Filing your own taxes no longer has to be a pain thanks to modern technology and programs that use accurate and automated systems. If you have a low tax liability, you don’t want to spend hundreds just on filing. Here’s how to find the best tax filing services. 

When the deadline for tax returns comes around each year, you’ll want to be well prepared to click send on your files and consider another tax year done and dusted.

Tax filing services can be a big help in walking you through the process and making the whole affair a lot easier. But where refunds are concerned, you want to keep the costs to a minimum and be sure that you can trust the service you invest in.

We are here to advise you on how to find the cheapest tax filing service that gets the job done.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tax Filing Service 

Ease of Use

When it comes to the head-scratching confusion of taxes, the most crucial aspect to consider is ease of use.

The last thing you want is to fidget with software that’s difficult to understand while scraping together all your receipts and salary slips. 

Turbotax wins the race when it comes to ease of use. You may also want to make sure that your filing service includes the forms necessary for your type of work. You may, for example, be paying extra to fill out self-employment forms or gain access to the docs for homeowners.

Your filing service might not include this in their free or lower price packages. TaxAct provides some of the cheapest filings for these more specialized forms.

Good News: Lots of Tax Filing Services are Available for Free!

Here’s the thing – to file your taxes, you often don’t have to spend a dime. 

Most market-leading tax software offers a robust free version. This should be enough to handle your tax filing if you’re a standard W2 employee. As mentioned above, some more specific forms may require the paid version of this software.

If your tax situation is relatively straightforward and you earn less than $66,000, you are also entitled to file your taxes free through the IRS Tax alliance.

If you’re not sure what software to invest in, the easiest thing to do is to try the different services for free and pick whatever is easiest to use.

RELATED: 4 Ways to Save on Filing Your Taxes

Cheapest Tax Filing: A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Since 2017, tax cuts have nearly doubled. These days, you can deduct up to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples. This has made filing tax returns a lot easier as it is often unnecessary to itemize each expense.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to keep your files in order and have a stable account of your salaries, paid taxes, and overtime pay. To keep your paperwork in order, software like ThePayStubs online generator can help you record your income.

Don’t forget, handing in your tax return might not be free in your state. In fact, it can cost up to $40. 

Here’s how to find the best tax filing services. Click To Tweet

Ready to File Your Taxes?

Taxes are hardly fun, but if you’re blessed with a simple tax situation, you should be able to file your taxes cheaply if not, for free.

If you have a few more things to account for, you might have to invest some time in the cheapest tax filing service. 

But rest assured that the small upfront savings you might make by using free software don’t always guarantee the best refunds when mistakes creep in.

Make use of the free versions of software to dip your feet into the water. See what suits you best and what your situation requires.

If you want more money-saving tips and helpful reviews, stay updated here.

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

Some of the Most Delicious Edible Options for Valentine’s Day Under $10

It’s crazy to think that Valentine’s Day is almost here again. As much as our world has changed during the current COVID-19 pandemic, time still seems to fly just as fast. Even if we aren’t traveling and socializing as much. But, this pandemic doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to celebrate our love with our partners. In fact, it should give us even more reason to celebrate how much our Valentine’s mean to us. But celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean spending an inordinate amount of money. And it shouldn’t this year due to the current economic state of affairs. So, we have put together a list of some of the most delicious Valentine’s Day treats under $10 to help you celebrate without breaking the bank.

See’s Candy Box

I am not really a big chocolate fan. But, I will make an exception for See’s Candy any day. I’m not sure if it’s because this is the candy I grew up with in California or if it’s just the taste of their chocolate. But there is something about it I can’t deny; it’s deliciously awesome!

Luckily, they have a few different boxed chocolate options all year round to satisfy almost any chocolate lover’s palate. And Valentine’s Day is no different, thankfully. They have a 3.6 oz, 6 piece assorted Valentine’s Day chocolate box for only $8. If you don’t live on the west coast or have a pop up store near you during this time of year, then you can still buy directly from their website.

Godiva Chocolate Box

If See’s Candy isn’t directly up your Valentine’s alley, then there is always Godiva. They seem to be loved by almost all chocolate lovers, so you probably can’t go wrong here. Of course, they normally have a lot of different assorted chocolate boxes to choose from. But, these can definitely become a bit pricey. So, if you are trying to stick to a budget of under $10, they have a great Valentine’s option for you.

During Valentine’s Day, Godiva has a 4 piece assorted chocolate gold favor box for $9.95. You can choose between adding a red or black ribbon to the box to make it even fancier. For no extra charge!

Mason Jar Treats

Almost everybody I know loves Hershey Kisses. They are simple, yet pretty tasty chocolate. And, they usually don’t cost a ton of money either. Plus, these can be found at pretty much any major grocery store, plus a lot of the major retail chains, and online. So they are easy to come by. I found a larger 17.9 oz bag of Hershey Kisses for $5.89 at one of my local big box stores. However, you would probably only need half the bag to fill up a mason jar.

If you don’t have any mason jars lying around currently, it might be wise to invest in a few because they have many uses. This 6-pack of mason jars with airtight lids tends to sell for around $19.99. This makes each jar cost approximately $3.33.

So between the mason jar and the Hershey Kisses, we are looking at a cost of around $6.28 plus tax per jar. If you want to get really fancy with it, you can splurge for a nice velvet ribbon and make a creative label for the front. Even if you add those, this Valentine’s Day sweet treat will still come in well under $10.

Valentine’s Day Movie Night Package

If snuggling up next to a fire and watching a movie with your Valentine is what you have planned, then a movie night package might be just the ticket. Movies are so much cheaper these days, so you can probably find a great one on any number of streaming services, such as Hulu. And if you’re already paying for the service, it won’t cost you any more money. Which lets you focus on the treats to accompany the movie instead.

If you got some of those aforementioned mason jars, then here is another place you can put them to good use. A hot chocolate mason jar is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in front of the fire with a good movie. In the mason jar, pour one cup of hot chocolate mix, chopped up dark chocolate and then top with marshmallows. You can get fancy with the ribbon and creative label again if you wish. The cost of this one will depend upon which ingredients you ultimately go with.

And you can pair this sweet treat with some Valentine’s themed cookies, such as Linzer, Oreo’s or your own homemade peanut butter cookies. I have a fantastic recipe for peanut butter cookies that only have 3 ingredients in them and cost approximately $.16 per cookie. So you really can’t beat that pairing!

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Valentine’s Day Treats Summary

Ultimately, there are a lot of delicious edible treats that can be given on Valentine’s Day for under $10. Whether you choose to give your love an assorted chocolate box, a mason jar or a movie night package you can’t go wrong. And by keeping your treats under $10, you are keeping the Valentine’s Day fun frugal. Who says you can’t have a great time and delicious sweet treats for under $10?

What are some of your favorite delicious edibles to give for Valentine’s Day gifts?

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

13 Budget-Friendly Heart Healthy Foods and Activities

With the New Year comes New Years resolutions for a lot of us. And with everything that has been going on the past year with the pandemic, health is high up on the list of things to change. While COVID has been a real threat recently, heart health is still a top killer here in the U.S. So, this is a great area to focus on when it comes to overall health. Focusing on your heart health doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money and can actually save you money in overall health care costs down the line. So, we have come up with a list of 13 of our favorite budget-friendly heart-healthy foods and activities to get you started.

Heart-Healthy Foods

One of the easiest things to change when it comes to your heart health is your food choices. And eating healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive. So, here is a list of 8 of our favorite heart healthy foods to incorporate into your diet. Plus, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg to purchase either. Bonus!

1. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a fantastic heart healthy food, and a sweet treat at the same time. Dark chocolate is pretty high in both magnesium and fiber, which are great heart healthy nutrients to incorporate into your diet. When looking for dark chocolate, try to find one that is at least 70% cacao whenever possible. And check the ingredients to make sure they haven’t added a bunch of extra preservatives that aren’t really serving the immunity purpose well.

Either way, adding in a square (or two if it’s been a rough day) can be great for your heart health, immunity and mental state. So, grab a few different dark chocolate bars to have on hand for whenever you are feeling a sweet craving. They really come in handy!

2. Beans

Beans are extremely high in both fiber and magnesium also. And depending upon which type of bean you are incorporating, they can also potentially be high in other heart healthy nutrients, such as folate. By adding beans into your diet, you can be naturally reducing your cholesterol while feeling full longer. Both of which are very crucial to overall heart health. Some of my favorite beans and/or legumes to add into our diet regularly are:

  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas

Try adding these into your salads, casseroles, soups, stir fry or even make hummus. We also add them into our breakfast burritos and the kids love them!

3. Whole Grain Rice

Having whole grain rice on hand has been one of our staples for years. And, as an added bonus, it also happens to be a fantastic heart healthy food. Since whole grain rice still has the bran on it (as opposed to white or polished rice where the bran is removed) this is still a fiber rich food. Plus, the bran contains all of the vitamins and minerals of the rice grain, so you get plenty of magnesium to boot.

And on top of those great benefits, rice is super cheap. Both to buy and make. In fact, we keep a huge bag of it on hand in our pantry at all times because we incorporate whole grain rice into our diet regularly. This is one of my favorite budget-friendly foods to stock the pantry with that is also very diverse. Plus, most kids will eat it too, which is great for those of us who have picky eaters.

4. Walnuts

Out of this list of foods, walnuts are probably going to be the most expensive item. Depending upon where you shop and what type of walnuts you get, of course. Walnuts are a naturally good source of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B6. Both of these are crucial to overall heart health. In fact, we like them so much that we usually have a small handful for breakfast every day to help start our day out right.

The best way I have found to purchase them is in halves and pieces as opposed to whole. The whole walnuts seem to cost more money and I am perfectly fine with them being broken. The trick to keeping walnuts fresh is to store them in the refrigerator once you have opened the package though. Since they can oxidize fairly quickly once subjected to oxygen. This will keep them fresh longer and prevent them from going rancid as quickly.

5. Avocado

Avocado is another one of my favorite foods. But growing up in California near the avocado farms might have had a little bit to to do with that. Since they are exceedingly high in Omega 3 fatty acids, they are a natural heart healthy food. While some people aren’t huge fans of the avocado, give it a try if you haven’t recently. Sometimes, the avocado may not be ripe and when that happens, they really aren’t that good. Choosing a ripe avocado is key to a good experience, and also important in order to reap all of the nutritional benefits.

The best way to tell if an avocado is ripe is to palm it and give it a light squeeze. If the skin gives a little bit in your hand then it is ripe and ready to eat. If it is still a bit firm, then give it another day or two on the counter to ripen. But, if it easily squishes in your hand, then you have let it go too long. You can store them in the refrigerator crisper for a few days to prevent further ripening if your avocados are just right or almost there. Which is what we do since we go through so many of them in our house.

6. Berries

Berries are fantastic heart healthy additions to any diet, when you can get your hands on them. Not only are they very low in sugar, for a fruit, but high in a lot of crucial heart healthy nutrients. Some of these include:

  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants
  • Anthocyanins (the berries with any blue hue)
  • Vitamin C

Berries are well known for a lot of their health boosting qualities. But when it comes to heart health, they can help to decrease cholesterol levels and help reduce inflammation in the arteries.

Some of our favorite berries to incorporate into our diet are:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Gooseberries (sometimes called Cape Berries)
  • Acai

No matter which berries you choose to incorporate, these are some of the best (and most delicious) heart healthy foods out there.

7. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are extremely high in magnesium and fiber. Both of these are essential to good heart health. I, personally, love leafy greens and even eat them for breakfast. Due to the higher fiber content, extremely low caloric content and the diversity of vitamins and minerals, they can be very diverse. Most people associate leafy greens with a salad, but they can easily be added to a myriad of other things for more diversity.

I like to add leafy greens to my:

  • Sandwiches
  • Soups
  • Stir fry
  • Casseroles

No matter how you choose to add leafy greens into your diet, they are both delicious and nutritious. And, if you want the best leafy greens, growing your own garden is the best way we’ve found to get them. When the different greens are in season, we can just go out in our backyard with some scissors and cut off what we need for a meal. It simply doesn’t get any better than that!

8. Veggies

While veggies may seem like a broad category, there are quite a few that can directly benefit your heart health. One of my favorites is asparagus. Not only is it delicious if you prepare it correctly (and it’s not too stringy) but the level of Vitamin B6 found in asparagus is pretty darn high. And since there is a direct correlation between Vitamin B6 and cardiovascular disease, this makes it a fantastic heart healthy food.

But, you can also throw bell peppers into the same category as asparagus due to their high levels of folate. Some other great veggies to throw in to the mix that have heart healthy properties are:

  • Broccoli – high in folate and Vitamin C
  • Carrots – high in carotenoids
  • Potatoes – high in potassium
  • Squash (yellow and green) – high in folate, potassium, Vitamin C and magnesium
  • Tomatoes – high in lycopene
  • Garlic – high in immune boosting phytochemicals
  • Onion – high in immune boosting phytochemicals

There are many ways you can cook all of these veggies, but steaming or sauteing are my two favorites. This way a lot of the flavor and nutrients are kept and whatever spices I add are brought out in the final dish. Plus, both ways of cooking are pretty easy to achieve and you don’t need a lot of fancy tools to get the job done.

These are some awesome budget-friendly ways to increase your heart health this year! Click To Tweet

Heart Healthy Activities

Once you have considered incorporating more heart healthy foods, then adding in some easy heart healthy activities is a great way to round it out. All of these activities can be done fairly inexpensively, or completely free. It’s always good to switch it up also, so get creative with your activities.

9. Walk/Run

Walking and/or running is something most of us can do without having to buy any extra equipment. Plus, by walking or running outside you get the extra benefit of fresh air. Where we live, we are lucky enough to have a lot of Greenway’s and trail hiking options. So we also get the added benefit of being out in nature with trees and other plant life. Since plants produce the oxygen we breathe in, this is an awesome way to re-energize and re-oxygenate your body naturally. Plus, walking and running are very well known to be excellent heart healthy activities. Bonus!

10. Jump Rope

When I was a kid, we did jump rope in school all the time. And it could really get your heart pounding, especially while playing double dutch. Now that game will get you moving! However, as adults most of us have forgotten how much fun a jump rope can be. They are fairly inexpensive to come by and extremely easy to use. If you don’t want to pay for a class or an app, just put on some of your favorite heart pounding music and jump to the beat. Or throw on your favorite show and jump rope during commercials, or during the show and take a break during commercials. Whatever you do, just grab a rope and start jumping!

11. Bike

If you don’t own a bike, then this activity could cost you some money. Or, if you live in an area where it’s not really safe to bike, then getting a stationary bike for your home is another option. I, personally, have both. Since I live in the south, some times of year can be extremely hot, so I prefer to ride inside instead. Plus, when I ride my stationary bike, I can listen to a podcast or read a book while I ride. Either way, if you have the opportunity to grab a bike of any sort, adding biking into your mix  is a great way to boost heart health.

12. Swim

Swimming is another great heart healthy activity. Just like the other cardiovascular activities mentioned previously, this one will get your heart moving. You may not sweat as much either, which some of us really like. Plus, if you don’t have your own pool (which can be really expensive to maintain), you can try to find an indoor pool near you to swim laps in. I know that in our area our Parks and Rec system has a lot of indoor pools built for public use. These are great for all year round use and are usually pretty cost effective also.

13. Interval Training

Interval training has been proven to really boost overall heart health, and in some cases, metabolism also. Interval training is fairly simple and straightforward. You engage in an activity full force for a smaller period of time and then reduce your expenditure level. Overall, you are forcing your heart to switch between really hard work and recovery, which helps to strengthen the heart muscle. This is very important for overall heart health. So, take any of the aforementioned activities and partake in them using an interval training method. This can help you get the best overall heart health results.

Heart Healthy Foods and Activities Summary

Overall, there are plenty of ways to help boost your heart health this year. And by adding in some of these great heart healthy foods and activities, you will only help increase your overall health and wellness. So, don’t forget to incorporate the following:

  1. Dark Chocolate
  2. Beans
  3. Whole Grain Rice
  4. Walnuts
  5. Avocado
  6. Berries
  7. Leafy Greens
  8. Vegetables
  9. Walking and Running
  10. Jumping Rope
  11. Biking
  12. Swimming
  13. Interval Training

Even if you choose to only incorporate some of these suggestions, they can only help you in the long run. And by helping increase your overall health, you can directly affect reducing your long term medical care costs. Now that is what I call a health care win!

What are some of your favorite budget-friendly ways to increase your heart health?

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

12 Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home This Year

When my husband and I bought our home over 2 years ago, I’m been slightly obsessed with adding value to our home. We did a lot of work on the house initially but a lot of it was cosmetic changes I wanted to make to improve the look and feel. After a while, we focused on projects that would actually add value since I know we won’t be in this home forever.

When you buy a house, the value of your area may go up but there are also some specific things you can do to add value to your home yourself. You don’t have to be or hire a contractor to do many of these projects either. So consider starting with a few of these simple projects.

Paint the Walls

Painting is one of the first projects you might find yourself doing when you move in. It’s also a great way to boost your home’s value. We spend around $75 or less to paint a room and DIY it with tools from Home Depot. Experts say that painting the interior of your home can easily increase its value by $2,000.

Plus, depending on which colors you use, painting can make the room seem larger and brighter. Talk to employees in the paint section at the store to get advice and tips on which paint type and color to use. You can also review information online or play around with virtual design tools to predict how the room will look when the job is done.

Replace Your Bathroom Vanity

Homeowners can expect to recoup about 50% to 60% of the costs associated with doing a bathroom remodel. But a bathroom remodel can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the size of the room, the scope of the project, and materials.

If you don’t have the budget to remodel your entire bathroom, start with a small fix by replacing your bathroom vanity. You can buy one for a few hundred dollars and install it easily. Also, consider other bathroom projects like reglazing your bathtub or install a backsplash.

12 specific things you can do to add value to your home yourself. Click To Tweet

Change Your Cabinet Hardware

Kitchen cabinets need a facelift? Consider installing new cabinet hardware along with repainting your cabinets. It may not sound like a big deal but replacing the handles and hardware for your kitchen cabinets can change the overall look and feel of this often heavily used area of the house.

It’s no secret that updating your kitchen in any way can add value to your house. Kitchens and bathrooms often sell homes. Amazon has tons of affordable kitchen cabinet hardware options to choose from ranging anywhere from $20 to $60.

Trim Your Trees

I have mixed feelings about trees and homeownership. Personally, I would love for my next home to have fewer trees as it would save us money. It has been expensive removing trees from our yard. Yet, I also understand how trees could be great for shade and curb appeal.

According to Angie’s List, a mature tree can add an appraised value of anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 to your property. Other sources claim that a tree in front of a house increases the home’s sale price by $7,130. That said, if you have a tree or two that is not causing you much trouble, consider trimming it regularly and keeping it healthy.

Energy-Efficient Systems

Buying energy-efficient systems may not be the cheapest way to add value to your home, but it’s well worth it in the long run. Whenever it’s time to replace an appliance or system, aim to buy the most energy-efficient version. Last year, we had to replace our washer so we decided to buy an energy-efficient one that uses less water and runs quieter.

New buyers are often interested in homes with energy-efficient appliances already there. Plus, when you buy some of these items, you can get a rebate and earn some money back on your purchase.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Installing outdoor lighting is an easy project that you can do in just an hour or two. You can also stick to your own budget seeing as how there are many low-end and high-end lighting options. Plastic material won’t last long, but it could still look nice and could run you around $40 to $50.

Outdoor lighting can set your home apart from others and make it appear more welcoming and high value.

Replace Your Entry Doors

A new front door can improve curb appeal and be a smart investment, especially if your home’s current door is showing signs of wear. Replacing your front door often adds an estimated 96% value compared to the cost which is pretty high.

Plus, it will add perceived value which is also important among potential buyers. It’s important to realize that while your appraisal should be reasonably high, buyers also purchase homes based on emotional attachment to some of the finishes and changing out your front door can definitely help you appeal to this.

Change a Light Fixture

Outdated light fixtures can take away from the value of your home. Be sure to update your lightbulbs and replace old fixtures as you see fit. You can even consider installing a light fixture with a ceiling fan in some rooms.

Our old apartment had ceiling fans and I miss if because our new house doesn’t have any so this may be a project that we tackle down the line.

Plant Some Perennials

A well-landscaped home has the potential to sell for much more than a home with no landscaping plan at all. The good news is, you don’t have to rush out and hire a landscaping company or landscape architect just yet. Use sites like YouTube or home design websites to brainstorm some simple ideas for your outdoor landscape.

Also, start planting some perennials as opposed to annuals since they will last longer. Perennial flowers and greenery may cost a little more on average, but you’ll get your money back since they last longer and you won’t have to replant every year.

RELATED: Why Can Starting Your Garden Now Save You More Money?

Refinish the Floors

Many people prefer hardwood floors in their main living area so if you already have them, you’re in luck. Consider refinishing your floors to refresh your entire space and add value to your home.

Home Depot has a great guide to help you refinish your floors. The best part is that you can DIY this project with just a few tools.

Small Bathroom Updates 

In some people’s eyes bathrooms are what can sell a house. If you have any outdated bathroom changes are potential buyers might be turned off. Now it’s understandable if you can’t afford a full remodel but doing things like changing your wallpaper or even your sink or tub faucet can go a long way to adding value to your home.

Power Wash

Power washing your home can add anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 of value to your home should you decide to sell according to the National Association of Realtors. If your home has never been power washed before, now could be a great time to do it.

Just like other surfaces in your home, the exterior of your home needs to be cleaning thoroughly and it’s also the first thing people see. You can try your hand at power washing your home on your own or you can hire someone to do it for $40 to $5o per hour.

Summary 

If you live in an older house and want to add value to your home these tips will be ways to do that. They are all reasonable things that you might even be able to do yourself. Some houses could really use these updates and the change should really make a difference. If you’re thinking about moving consider making some of these small changes that can end up making a big difference.

Have you done any of these updates? Are there any that we missed? 

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

How to Not Overspend On Your Super Bowl Day Fun

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, it’s time to start planning an epic party. This year will probably be more important to have a great party than other years. Courtesy of the pandemic, the chances of anyone being there live is slim to none. This also means you will need to have a smaller party than usual and continue to social distance. This ultimately means you’ll probably spend less money on food, drinks and supplies also. I can’t argue with having a great party and not spending as much money to put it on!

Since we can’t be there, then everything you choose to have at the party should be meant to make you, and your guests feel as much like they are at the Super Bowl as possible. This list will obviously be a bit different for everyone, but there are some general rules we can start with.

Super Bowl Party Food

First and foremost, we need to start with the Super Bowl food. There are a few things seem to be regular fare at any super bowl party. Some of the food items I regularly run across include:

  • Chicken wings
  • Chili
  • Chips and dip (many different dips, to be precise)
  • Cocktail weenies
  • Football shaped cookies
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Meatballs
  • Nachos
  • Potato skins
  • Sliders

Of course, everyone has their signature dish, so don’t forget to include that. And do your best to utilize ingredients in multiple dishes. This not only makes cooking easier but can also help reduce your overall party costs.

On top of the food, having the right serving platters is key to any Super Bowl party. Some of my favorite platters to have on hand are: 

No matter which serving platters you choose, make sure you have enough to effectively serve all of the Super Bowl food. And, whenever possible, try to get serving platters that you can use year round. This will help offset the overall cost.

RELATED: Save Money with These Super Bowl Party Tricks

Super Bowl Beverages

No Super Bowl party is complete without some good beverage options. I usually think of beer when I think about a Super Bowl party, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. There just happen to be some fabulous Super Bowl themed craft cocktails also. And some of them are extremely easy to make, but look and taste awesome! Some great craft cocktail options are:

  • Dilly Dilly  – Vodka, Limeade, Bud Light, Lime
  • Super Bowl Slammer – Apple flavored Whiskey, Dr. Pepper, Grenadine
  • Super Sunday Punch – Bourbon, Apple Brandy, Sweet Tea, Red Grapefruit Juice, Honey, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, Allspice
  • Touchdown Punch – Prosecco, Blue Curacao, Lemon, Sprite
  • Yellow Hammer Slammer – Vodka, Rum, Amaretto, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Maraschino Cherries

It might be a good idea to only have one of these options in addition to beer to help cut the overall costs. But, if some of your guests want to participate in the party planning, you could entreat some of them to choose a drink they might like and bring the ingredients.

Other than having football themed craft cocktails, beer options are simply a must. This doesn’t mean you have to provide all of the beer (we certainly don’t). Since it can get so expensive, I would suggest having a few different choices to please as many guests as possible. Or you could potentially get a pony keg of your favorite option and ask guests to bring some beer they like to share. That way all the guests can get a chance to try a few different beer offerings. 

Once you have decided which beverage offerings to serve, then you have to figure out the cups. Here are a few different options that are also pretty cost effective:

No matter which option you choose, make sure you have enough for people to have multiple drinks, because they will. Or, better yet, use a marker to put their names on the cups so that they can reuse them the whole time. That will save more plastic from being thrown away and keep more money in your pocket so you won’t have to buy as many cups. Which ultimately helps your bottom line, since everything for this Super Bowl party should be coming out of your entertainment budget.

Grill

Having the right grill is an essential part of any super bowl party. In fact, having at least one good grill for regular all year use is a good idea anyway. If you don’t already have a decent grill for regular use, then that is the best place to start.

How much grilling you plan to do throughout the year should determine the size of your grill. But, you also have to decide if you prefer charcoal or propane grills. I grew up as a charcoal grill lover, so that is still where I reside. I just prefer the charcoal flavor on the food over the propane gas flavor any day. But, not everybody feels that way. And charcoal grills tend to make more of a mess and usually take more work to get started. So, propane grills certainly have their place. There are also some hybrid options now that are charcoal grills with propane starters. So, if you want the best of both worlds, that might be the right choice for you.

Either way, here are my three favorite options for each type of grill mentioned:

Once you get the larger grill figured out, it’s time to consider a smaller tabletop grill. These are usually much cheaper, and easier to store when not in use. Plus they heat up pretty quickly so they work exceptionally well for parties when you need a bit more grilling space.

RELATED: Save Money With These BBQ Tips

Grilling Tools

Once you have your grill situation nailed down, grilling tools are next. These can range between pretty darn cheap to fairly darn expensive. So, ultimately, a lot of the cost here will come down to your personal preference and how often you think you will actually use them.

For us, we keep two sets of grilling tools on hand. A much smaller set for kitchen use and a much larger, more elaborate set for our outdoor grilling needs. And the outdoor set has a nice case that everything can be stored in, so that way we can leave the set under our grill. It makes things much easier to find when the time comes for grilling, as well as when the time comes for a party, such as the Super Bowl. 

Therefore, here are a few suggestions for grilling tools that won’t cost you an arm and a leg but will still get the job done:

No matter which grilling set(s) you choose, just make sure that the set has everything you need, for regular use and for party time.

These are some awesome tips to host a great Super Bowl party and not overspend! Click To Tweet

Super Bowl Party Summary

When it comes time for Super Bowl, you can be ready to host one killer party all while not killing your budget. The steps to do so are fairly simple. Just make sure to have great party food, a few beverage choices, a great grill or two, good grilling tools and awesome serving platters and cups. Once you have all that, you’ll be ready for the big game!

What are some ways you plan to enjoy a Super Bowl party and not overspend?

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com