Financial planners recommend building an emergency fund that can pay for major repairs and also cover necessary bills, such as rent, should you become unemployed or suffer an emergency. A good rule of thumb is to have an emergency fund that covers living expenses for at least six months.
Unfortunately, some folks lack such a fund and instead rely on credit lines. Even if you have the credit lines to pay for six months, relying on them as an emergency fund tempts fate.
For one, credit is not money in hand, and your creditors could reduce how much they’re willing to lend. Soon, that $10,000 credit line might be reduced to, say, $5,000.
Even if you can access the cash, however, you’ll have to pay a lot in interest. Credit cards and personal loans, among other types of credit, typically charge high-interest rates. The average credit card interest rate right now tops 16 percent. And if you’re seen as high risk, rates can quickly surge.
It’s also worth noting that not all businesses accept credit cards, and even if they do, you may have to reach certain spending thresholds. If you try popping into a gas station to pick up a quart of oil, they may reject a credit card payment.
On top of all that, spending on credit now may cause more financial headaches later. If you’re out of a job and living on credit, you’d better find employment quickly. Otherwise, when creditors come knocking, you may find yourself in dire financial straits, perhaps joining the more than half-million people who declare bankruptcy each year.
4 edging materials for your garden
Borders help define the different parts of your landscape and simplify maintenance. Here are four edging materials to make your yard look great.
1. Aluminum edging is sleek, durable, and flexible. Moreover, it can withstand the changing of the seasons without warping.
2. Concrete edging is available in a variety of styles and sizes. You can also choose from several shades to perfectly match your landscape. Although durable, concrete borders are semi-permanent, making it difficult to change the shape of your flowerbeds on a whim.
3. Plastic edging is affordable and can be made into virtually any shape. However, it’s not as durable as other edging options and may need to be readjusted from one season to another. Additionally, some plastic borders can’t survive the winter and must be replaced every year.
4. Wood edging is timeless and easy to install. If you want to change the look of your landscape without moving anything, you can easily repaint wood borders.
Don’t hesitate to contact a landscaping professional for expert advice and installation.
How to prepare for a family camping trip
Whether your family rents a serviced campsite for the weekend or prefers a few nights under the stars in the great outdoors, proper preparation will ensure you have a great time. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Choose the right equipment
When sleeping out, getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important. Although a night spent shivering because of an inadequately warm sleeping bag or leaky tent is good for a story or two, you risk souring the camping experience forever.
Before investing in camping equipment, consult an online guide to help you choose what you’ll need. Make your choices based on the location of your campsite, the weight of what you’ll be carrying, the elements you’ll be facing, and the size of your family.
Bring appropriate clothing
Don’t rely too heavily on the weather report. It’s better to be over-prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pack what you’ll need based on the activities you’ll be doing. For example, plan outfits that’ll allow you to adapt to changes in temperature and precipitation quickly. Also, choose clothing that dries quickly and wicks away moisture.
Prepare a checklist
Make a checklist of everything you need to bring, and don’t leave the house until you’ve carefully reviewed each item. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the forest without the pump to inflate your air mattress. At the very least, your list should include the following must-have items:
• Tent, sleeping bags, and pillows
• Matches, lighter, or fire starter
• Knife and multi-tool
• Mosquito repellent and sun protection
• Kitchen equipment
• Hygiene products and accessories
• First-aid kit
• Water and food supplies
Prevent unexpected situations
If you’re planning to leave the comforts of civilization, make sure to tell someone close to you. They’ll need to know where you’re going and when you’ll be back so that they can contact emergency services if you don’t return on time. You may also want to consider taking a forest-survival course with your family. On top of being an unforgettable experience, you’ll learn new skills that will prepare you for your next adventure.
Decor trend: white faucets
For years, black has occupied a prominent place in interior decor. However, white is now carving out a choice spot. Particularly in the bathroom. Therefore, you may want to consider installing matte white faucets to update your bathroom.
Why matte white?
White is a timeless color that’s elegant yet contemporary. It adds charm and character to the bathroom. The soft matte finish also complements minimalist decor.
How to arrange it?
You can integrate white faucets with simple lines and unique, delicate ceramic tiles into a vanity unit. Additionally, opt for a glazed or open shower stall to make the best use of light.
Moreover, you can coordinate white faucets with a pop of color. For example, play with contrast by combining white taps with black accents to create a chic, retro atmosphere. Gold accents create a refined luster appearance, while all-white finishes create a harmonious look. If you think all-white finishes will make your bathroom feel cold, warm up the space with wood or rattan accessories and furniture.
Visit your local home improvement stores to pick up a new white faucet with all the trimmings.
How to choose greener toys
Do you worry about your environmental impact when buying gifts for your children? Fortunately, finding eco-friendly toys is easier than you think. In fact, green toys contain fewer harmful materials and can raise awareness in your children of the importance of caring for the environment. Here are some tips to help you select “greener” toys.
Choose natural or renewable materials
Buy toys made of untreated and unvarnished raw wood or painted with natural substances. On top of being full of character, these toys are durable and can be handed down to future generations.
Natural rubber is excellent for soft toys, whereas their plastic counterparts often get their softness from the addition of harmful substances. It also makes sense to look for natural and organic fabrics and materials, such as cotton, hemp, and linen.
Go for reclaimed materials
Look for eco-conscious brands and logos specifying that the materials used in the manufacturing process come from reclamation. Buying guides specializing in environmentally-friendly products can help you find the most conscientious brands.
Avoid plastics and perfumes
As much as possible, limit the number of plastic toys your child is exposed to. This precaution is crucial for children under three who tend to put things in their mouths. Some plastics, such as PVC, are particularly problematic. Scented toys are also not advisable.
Don’t hesitate to ask the merchant or manufacturer for more information about a toy that interests you.
4 good reasons to install a natural pool
Natural pools are gaining in popularity. Here are four good reasons to install one on your property.
1. Environmentally friendly
Natural pools don’t contain harsh chemicals and often feature beneficial aquatic plants like water lilies, pond sedges, and perennial grasses. This attracts more flora and fauna, like birds, butterflies, and small marine creatures.
2. Low maintenance
The aquatic plants in natural pools help clean, oxygenate and regenerate the water naturally. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with intense maintenance. Only the central swimming area requires a filter and skimmer.
The cost of designing and building a natural pool is equivalent to that of an in-ground concrete pool. However, natural pools are much cheaper to use and maintain than traditional pools.
4. Easy to care for
Natural pools don’t require much effort. Simply clear away fallen leaves and debris, prune the aquatic plants in the fall and add phosphorite or bacteria to prevent algae. Moreover, you must empty the filtration pipes before the first snowfall so that they won’t crack. That’s it!
Consult a professional landscaper if you want to create a beautiful natural pool in your backyard.
What to bring for a day of cycling
There’s more to a successful bike ride than just your bike. Here’s a checklist of essentials to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality.
• Clothing. Choose light and bright clothing appropriate for riding, like bike shorts that protect your thighs and prevent chafing. Stay away from loose-fitting clothing that can get caught in the bike chain. Don’t wear cotton socks, as they retain moisture, or footwear like beach sandals that don’t provide adequate support. Also, be ready for any weather by bringing a windbreaker or raincoat.
• Water and food. Make sure you have enough water for the duration of your ride. Additionally, pack nutritious snacks like energy bars, crackers, cheese, and fresh or dried fruit, which keep well in different temperatures.
• Repair tools. Pack a few hex keys, a small wrench, a puncture repair kit, and a spare inner tube to ensure you don’t get stranded on the side of the road.
• First aid. It’s a good idea to carry a few first-aid items like adhesive bandages, gauze, disinfectant pads, latex gloves, and round-tipped scissors to treat minor injuries.
• Protection. Always wear a helmet and frequently apply sunblock. Moreover, the right pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the bright sun, wind, dust, and insects.
Have a great ride!