Financial conversations aren’t very romantic, but they are important. Here are four questions about money to ask before getting married.
1. What is your current financial situation?
Perform a thorough assessment of your combined finances laying out all assets and debts. This is also a good opportunity to check your respective credit reports so you know where things stand going in.
2. What are your goals?
Define your short- and long-term goals. Depending on whether you want to travel, start a family or go back to school, you’ll need to organize your finances differently. It’s important that you and your partner are on the same page about what your goals are and how you’ll achieve them.
3. How will you organize your banking?
Determine which accounts you’ll want to merge and which ones you’ll want to keep separate. You could, for instance, use a joint account for shared expenses but maintain separate accounts for personal expenditures.
4. How will you split assets if you divorce?
While you may not want to think about it, having a plan now means that you won’t need to try to come up with one later on if things end badly. Have a frank discussion about it before the wedding.
Being clear about your financial priorities as a couple will ensure your marital union starts off on the right foot. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to consult a financial planner.
4 backyard shade solutions
If your property doesn’t provide you with enough shade, here are four stylish structures that can give you a break from the sun.
1. An awning
This type of device can be rolled out over a patio or deck when you need shade and is easily retracted when not in use. However, it needs to be secured to an exterior wall first. Although typically controlled by a hand crank, some newer models open and close with the press of a button.
2. A freestanding gazebo
3. An arbor
This classic garden feature is often used to create an entryway. However, since its arches are typically lined with vines and other climbing plants, it can also offer respite from the sun.
4. A folding canopy
This temporary structure can be unfolded and set up within minutes. It’s a practical solution for backyard parties and picnics when you need to accommodate a number of guests.
All of these structures can provide you with ample shade and a comfortable place to lounge in your backyard. This summer, minimize the risk of getting sunburned by installing one or more of these devices.
4 tips for moving in the rain
Does it look like it’s going to rain on moving day? Here are four tips to ensure the move goes well, despite the bad weather.
1. Dress appropriately
Sturdy rain boots and a waterproof jacket will help keep you dry during your move. A pair of work gloves can help you maintain a firm grip on slick furniture. Make sure you keep a few towels and a change of clothes on hand for later.
2. Protect your belongings
3. Cover the floor
Lay down tarps, old towels or cardboard boxes to avoid tracking mud inside the home and to prevent anyone from slipping on a wet floor. Line the bottom of the truck as well to ensure it’s waterproof.
4. Create an assembly line
Assign specific people to ferry items to and from the house while others gather your belongings by the door or pack them in the truck. This will help keep the inside of your home and the truck clean and dry. Only move items as they’re needed to minimize their time in the rain. If possible, hang a tarp over the space between the door and the truck.
Once the truck is unloaded, quickly unpack all wet and damp boxes to avoid water damage. Additionally, make sure the wires for your electronics are completely dry before plugging them in.
Traveling with your pet
With careful planning, traveling with your pet can be easy and fun. Here’s how to prepare for a trip with your cat or dog.
Many hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds welcome pets as long as certain rules are followed. If you’re traveling by air, be sure to contact the airline directly to familiarize yourself with their rules and regulations regarding animal transportation.
Make sure your cat or dog always wears a tag with your contact information on it. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep photos of your pet handy. These will be invaluable if your animal gets lost.
Visit the vet
Make an appointment with a veterinarian. You’ll want your pet to have a clean bill of health and be up to date on their vaccinations before setting out. If you’re traveling internationally, check the other country’s rules for bringing pets over the border. Some require proof of vaccination and/or that the animal is microchipped.
Get your pet ready
If your four-legged companion isn’t used to traveling with you already, bring them on short trips beforehand to prepare for the big one. Make sure your pet has a crate that’s large enough to stand up and turn around in and that they’re comfortable spending time inside of it.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to take your dog for a long walk or play games with your cat before setting out. Being tired may make them less anxious.
Once your trip has begun, keep your cat or dog calm and comfortable. Provide reassurance by petting it and speaking to it in soothing tones. Make sure your pet has enough to drink and eat and let them out for potty breaks as often as you can.
Curved shapes: a 2020 design trend to try
Forget geometric forms and strong lines – 2020 is all about bringing the shapes found in nature into your home. Curves and arcs revitalize interior spaces and rounded shapes lend energy and inspiration. Here’s how to in¬corporate this trend into your home.
Be on the lookout for C-shaped sofas, round dining tables, and chairs with curved backs and arms. In the bedroom, consider updating your bed frame for one that features a circular headboard or placing an oval bench under your window.
This year’s hottest home decorating trend is easy to try. Best of all, it can work in practically any room, regardless of space’s style and features.
3 benefits of opting for a custom-designed pool
Are you thinking about installing an in-ground pool? If so, here are three benefits of opting for a custom-designed model rather one that’s a standard size and shape.
1. A durable product
Custom-designed pools are particularly durable and water-tight. This is because they’re usually built from a single piece of concrete or similar material. These types of pools are constructed in a way that minimizes the risk of cracks and leaks.
2. A perfect fit
3. An eco-friendly option
A custom-designed pool can be environmentally friendly, provided you choose the appropriate building materials, sanitation method, and power source. For example, you can choose a structure made of clay or gravel, a natural filtration system, and a solar-powered water heater.
Additionally, if you opt to install a custom-designed pool, you get a feature that blends seamlessly with the rest of your landscape. Indeed, this type of pool will be uniquely suited to your property.
How to update French doors
French doors are a great way to separate two interior spaces that are visually connected. They’re also ideal for enhancing your view of the outdoors and letting natural light shine into a room. However, they can sometimes look dated. Here are a few ways to give them an upgrade.
Change the look
French doors are typically made of wood. If you’re not a fan of yours, why not paint them? White is a timeless choice, but you can also turn your doors into a focal point by painting them a color that contrasts with the rest of the room. Alternatively, replace the whole setup with doors that each feature one large pane of glass or have a modern steel frame.
Adopt a new style
Finally, if you love the look of French doors but lack the space for them to swing open, consider sliding or folding options.