While we’re enjoying the summer season, playing in our gardens, grilling and chilling, we must also come to the reality that no matter how much we want for it to, summer will not last forever. Now is the perfect time to start on that to-do list we may have been putting off before the cold months sneak up on us.
Caulk doesn’t cost much, but it does an important job: keeping water out of places that it shouldn’t be. Inspect your shower, tub and around all windows and doors on a regular basis for places that need to be re-caulked. Then, get on it right away (fixing water damage costs a lot more).
Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
You probably clean your dryer’s lint trap regularly, but when’s the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? If it’s been more than a year, it’s time to get to it. Too much build up can lead to a fire.
A leaky roof can lead to big problems — structural damage, mold, loss of personal property. It’s nothing to mess with. Address roof leaks as soon as you discover them, and you’ll save yourself a ton of cash:
You can put off a lot of cleaning tasks, but chimney cleaning isn’t one of them. Hire a professional chimney sweep once a year to make sure your chimney is free of creosote, birds nests and other flammables.
Change Your HVAC Filter
Dirty air filters cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should, and run up your utility bills. Extend the life of your HVAC unit (and keep more cash in your pocket) by replacing your filter once a month. Just $3 a month could save you thousands.
Termites, carpenters ants, roaches, rodents — if they’ve taken up residence in your home, the time to deal with them is now. Waiting will only lead to more costly treatments and further damage to your home:
A Plumbing Leak
Big leak, small leak, any type of leak can do big damage to your home. Address all plumbing problems as soon as they arise. Then, learn how to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape, so you have fewer problems going forward.
Fresh paint makes your house look nice, but it serves a more important purpose: keeping your house dry and rot-free. If the paint on your home is peeling off, it’s time to go after it with a scraper and a paint can.
Note: If your home was built before 1978, you need to have your home tested for lead, before you do any scraping.
Clogged gutters, downspouts that don’t direct away from the house, improper grading — there are lots of things that can lead to drainage problems around your house, and all of them put your home’s foundation at risk and invite water indoors. Now (not later) is the time to tackle those rainwater woes.
Losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution. But it is also the most likely to get you ripped off: The Federal Trade Commission says that more people are defrauded through weight-loss scams such as “miracle” supplements, “easy” exercising gizmos and “breakthrough” diets than any other product category it monitors.
Traveling crooks target retiree-rich communities in warm-weather states like Florida and Arizona. Among the most common cons: self-described utility workers or contractors who show up unannounced and ask to enter your home, claiming “the condo association sent me.”
March: Ribbon Rip-Offs
Breast cancer charities raise $6 billion each year on research for a cure. Unfortunately, anyone — scammers included — can use that familiar pink ribbon to brand merchandise or solicit contributions. And some “breast cancer” organizations devote only pennies of every dollar they collect to the cause; four, in fact, were among 50 recently deemed “America’s worst charities.” So before you give, check such websites as Give.org or CharityNavigator.org.
Take a close look at those subscription invoices in your mailbox. Hit with phony renewal notices, consumers nationwide are paying for newspapers and magazines they’ll never receive. The tip-off to the rip-off: an offer to start or renew a subscription at a hard-to-believe rate. If you’re asked to send a payment to a company you don’t recognize, call the publisher to verify the offer is legit.
Looking for a choice vacation rental at below-market rates? Beware: Some of those best-deal condos, mountain retreats or beachfront places may not really exist. Stick with bona fide real estate websites or listing agents. And never, ever make any kind of payment via a wire transfer.
Summer means open windows, vacations and more home burglaries. It’s also prime season for door-to-door scammers whose offer of a “free security inspection” is their way of casing your home for a possible later burglary. Bottom line: Unless you initiate a sales call, don’t let anyone into your house. Scammers may produce forged identification. Many certified installers are listed at alarm.org.
July: Free Money
Surprised by an unexpected check? If the windfall comes with a string attached — you have to forward some portion of the money elsewhere, typically by wire transfer — it’s almost certainly bogus. Be especially suspicious of amounts just shy of $5,000; scammers know that deposits above that amount are subject to longer bank holding periods.
National Dog Day is Aug. 26, and if you’re among those who love man’s best friend, scammers may be out to get you. Amid the legitimate ads for puppies in newspapers and online websites are plenty of solicitations for stolen animals, or for ones that don’t exist. The rule: Make sure the seller is legitimate before you agree to buy (or put down a deposit). Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with a dognapper.
September: Home Repair
Beware of the “woodchuck.” This home improvement huckster usually starts with an offer to trim trees. Soon the woodchuck points out additional problems, returning day after day to take care of never-ending (and often needless) repairs. These fly-by-day fraudsters sometimes request payment in advance to buy materials for such jobs as roof repair or driveway sealing — but then, with your cash in hand, never return. Remember: Most reputable contractors are too busy to seek business by knocking on your door.
You’re looking for year-end tax breaks. And fraud-minded financial “advisers” are looking for you. Beware of unsolicited offers and invitations that aim to steer you into high-commission investment products (be especially suspicious, for example, of the “free lunch” seminar). Assume a scam when investments are touted as “guaranteed,” “risk-free” or “secret.” To make sure that you’re dealing with a legitimate investment adviser, visit FINRA’s BrokerCheck, at https://brokercheck.finra.org.
Scammers target both active-duty personnel (for their steady paychecks) and veterans (for their benefits and nest eggs). Remember: If an unsolicited pitch plays on patriotism or military service, it usually comes with sky-high interest rates and hidden fees. And veterans should steer clear of any offers that promise lump-sum cash advances or settlements in exchange for their future pension payments.
December: Gift Cards
‘Tis the season to give — and receive — gift cards. But scams abound, from substitution schemes to sophisticated scan-and-clone techniques in which stolen cards are scanned by a magnetic reader, which can render other cards in the same set useless. Always make sure that a card’s packaging hasn’t been tampered with and that any peel-off sticker over a code is firmly in place — and get a receipt for the recipient.
Great Informational Post by: Kally (A.K.A Middleme) Reblogging to my blog.
As I was carrying my child, I was pondering about the entitled maternity leave that was offered in Malaysia. I know for a fact that Singapore provides 4 months of paid maternity leave for mothers and 2 weeks for the new dad. As for Malaysia, it is 60 consecutive days for the new mums. Some companies may be relatively generous, I am referring to the minimum amount of benefits require by the law of that country. Even if you are not a mom or a dad, these are interesting facts that some countries do more to encourage their birth rates and our next generations while other countries talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
In general, European countries tend to be extremely generous with their parental allowance like Sweden which offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave on top of 480 days of leave at 80% of their normal pay with…
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How busy are you really? Are you so busy that the quality of your friendships and love relationships are beginning to suffer? Are you so busy you don’t have time to clean or cook or watch cartoons with the children on Saturday morning? Is your life so filled with action and activity that little details like your sister’s anniversary, your daughter’s tea party, a chit chat with your mother, just slipped your mind? Well, if you are that busy, something is definitely out of balance.
The busiest people are usually the most frightened people. They are afraid they won’t be seen. Afraid they won’t be heard. Afraid they won’t do enough to be seen and heard. Being busy is like flying – the more you flap your wings the farther you go, and the more you leave behind. Unfortunately, there are times when what we are flying to is not loving, supportive, or even necessary as what we fly away from. The key is to remember balance.
It is possible to do all the things you want to do while sprinkling it with a few things you need to do.
- Make a list of every important person and activity in your life.
- Make a schedule allowing quality time for everything and everyone on your list.
- Give yourself the time or a day you will spend on each project and with each person.
- The people you cannot see, you can call, not text.
- Those things you can not do, ask others to do them for you.
Quality, not quantity, is important in our lives. A little bit of everything will still mean we are busy, but at least we will be doing all that matters.