Category: advice

January 27th, 2018 by Joe Olujic

If you’re a conscious homemaker or someone who has an eye for having a stylish home, it may seem like furniture have their life cycles. Shelves, couches, cabinets, and tables may appear to be pleasing to the eyes in the beginning, but over time will look drab and lose its magic.

A pleasant-looking interior will always be something coming home to. The wear and tear of furniture and decors may show through over years of use, and this may even go quicker than expected.

You may have those moments where you wish you can redesign your home by changing your furniture, but your budget seems small. According to JMD Furniture, there are some simple things you can do in order to update your home furnishings without having to spend too much.

If you are interested to learn more, read further about 5 useful tips to update the furniture in your home within a budget.

How to Update All The Furniture In Your Home Without Breaking the Bank


1. Changing the finish of your furniture

A simple touch up such as a change of finish can be something to update the look of your furniture at home. This can go well with wooden furnitures such as dining tables, foyer tables, or shelves. If you plan to change themes with your home, you can prefer to turn your furniture into having a different finish. For example, you can turn an old polished maple wood coffee table into a white, distressed shabby-chick table. This can be done by rubbing sandpaper over the surface of the table and applying small dabs of white paint. The only thing you spent to change the whole look of your furniture will be your time and some hardware materials.

2. Painting a different color

Another way to simply change the look of your home furnishings is through changing paint. If your kitchen looks dull with a dark brown color, you can update the look by painting your kitchen cabinets with a light green or orange paint. These colors are very lively and can help improve the overall look of your home. You don’t have to stick to a uniform color throughout your whole house. You can choose to assign a certain color theme per room, and that can be applicable to painting your furniture as well. Acrylic paint with a semigloss finish is ideal for wooden furniture, and enamel paint is good for glass and metal. Additionally, make sure to use paint primers to help the paint adhere well to your furniture.

3. Updating covers and cases

This is applicable to couches, loveseats, and chairs. If you feel like your couch looks old, a simple change of upholstery can be a budget-friendly way to change the look of your furniture. If upholstery seems too much, a simple change of buying new throw pillow or seat covers are also a cheap way to refresh the look of your furniture. Opt for covers that are stain resistant, so it won’t be too quick before you want to change them. A neutral but light colored cover such as light brown or gray is ideal for seat covers. Find textures that don’t easily absorb fluids and fumes so that your covers will remain smelling fresh.

4. Finding discounts and clearance sales in furniture stores

If you feel like your old furniture is already a lost cause, then it may be time to update them by buying new ones. As JMD Furniture suggests, always be on the lookout for discounts offered by furniture stores. You can also go to your local home depots to find clearance sales of items. Usually, clearance sales are found in the center aisles of the stores. Look for pieces worth-buying and inspect for any damages. Usually, some sales are because of minor damages on the items. Make sure that you are aware of these possible damages and you’re fine with purchasing your pieces despite that. Another thing to look into is sales done by personal owners. If you happen to spot a person who is doing a moving out the sale or a garage sale, you can also find quality pieces that are sold for a very low price.

5. Adding simple embellishments

Aside from polishing and painting your old furniture, another nice addition to update your old furniture are through embellishments. An old dresser table can be installed with vanity bulbs, which can also modernize the appearance of the furniture. You can add simple twine, rhinestones or floral stickers to your furniture to customize its look. These simple embellishments can add detail and even impress your visitors.

Updating your home furnishings need not be expensive. All it takes is a little creativity and wise spending to make your home as lovely as it once was.

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January 26th, 2018 by Joe Olujic

Cosmetic procedures are not health concerns, therefore many insurance companies consider them as elective. As a result, these insurance companies do not cover the cost of these beauty procedures. Some patients who want to have surgical or non-surgical procedures such as laser treatments, injectables, breast lifts, fat reduction, and all other procedures that solve physical appearance concerns must usually pay in out-of-pocket means.

These can include personal savings, credit cards, loans and payment plans given by doctors. “It is possible to undergo your desired cosmetic treatment, as long as you have planned the financial aspect beforehand,” says Dr. Usha Rajagopal, a known cosmetic surgeon based in San Francisco.

What are the options available if your medical insurance cannot cover your cosmetic treatment? If you are interested, read further to find out each option, and their possible pros and cons.

5 Options for Affording a Cosmetic Procedure


1. Use of Personal Loans

The use of a personal loan sponsored by your bank or a credit union is the quickest way to get money from a surgical procedure. Personal loans have a wide coverage, and as long as you present proper documentation as well as a good credit score, securing this type of loan is easy to obtain.

The advantage of the personal loan is that the interest rates are fixed. If you have a good credit standing, you can have a low-interest rate for a loan provided by your bank. Another benefit of a personal loan is that it can be discharged if ever your experience any extreme financial loss situation, through a Chapter 7 filing for bankruptcy. However, although interest rates are fixed, it is compounded over time. This can be also difficult to obtain if you have a less than impressive credit score as well.

2. Use of Home Equity Loans

The home equity loan is defined as the line of credit produced by the value of your home. This value is translated into cash, which can be used to pay your cosmetic treatment.

One advantage of home equity loans is that it is possible to have a good interest rate since the value is based on your current monthly payments. This interest rate is also tax deductible which means it will most likely be cheaper than a credit card loan. However, make sure to use the home equity loan option if you are certain that you can pay your dues over time. Losing equity in your home can mean you have to start overpaying your house, and the worst case scenario is you might even have the need to sell your house if you can’t pay for this type of loan.

3. Paying through Personal Credit Card

Credit card loans are charged with usually a high-interest rate. However, you can do research about credits cards that have 0% or low-interest rates. If this is not possible, maximize this option by picking a credit card with a rewards system or a cash back.

This is also one of the easiest ways to obtain a loan for your procedure, as long as you have a good credit standing. Make sure to pay your monthly dues, as having an outstanding loan can also hurt your credit score in the long run.

4. Use of a Medical Credit Card

This is one of the most known ways to finance a cosmetic procedure. If you already have a trusted Medical Credit Card such as CareCredit, you can opt to have it financed in this way, because some of these credit cards have no interest during their promotion time. Some of these promotion times can last from 6 months up to two years.

However, it is important to read the contract agreement before using Medical Credit Cards. Some patients encountered problems because they failed to pay within certain timelines which cancels the promotional rate of zero interest. Always look up the credit card fine print to see if you agree to their terms and conditions.

5. Professional’s Payment Plans

“Some doctors offer payment plans which can also be a good option for clients looking to finance their cosmetic procedure,” says Dr. Usha Rajagopal.

Although this is not the usual case as doctors would usually prefer not to be involved in the financial aspect of the procedure, there are some doctors who offer in-house financing. These are usually affordable with no interest rates because it does not involve middlemen. However, there is some downside to it as doctors may refuse additional treatments for you if you fail to pay your balance in the designated time.

These are some of the payment options you may want to consider if you wish to undergo any cosmetic procedure. Aside from these, you can also set a timeline of when you want to have the procedure, so you can have some amount of savings to accrue before that time. Discuss with your doctor your preferred options and seek advice on how you can finance your treatment.

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December 13th, 2017 by Joe Olujic

When a disaster strike, nothing seems to move the way it should – from communication to supplies, most networks fail. It is therefore imperative to prepare for such eventuality. When referring to disaster preparedness, most people anticipate environmental, fire, water, terror disasters. Rarely do people envisage a financial disaster.

A financial disaster is real and happens all the time. No particular incident can cause it and therefore imperative to prepare for it. It could be an act of terror within your business locality that grinds all business activities to halt, or maybe a withdrawal of a critical business partner due to reputation issues. Let’s us look at five ways your financial preparedness can help.

  1. You have a digital record with you at all times

The first stage of preparedness is securing all valuables. The number one business asset is its records. They include creditors, debtors, assets and other relevant information. Information backup plays a role in improving the way a person or company operates. If you have updated records, you can engage with parties and partners in case of a financial disaster.

If you need to seek a certain service, you will have the necessary information to back it up. Further, with a digital record, you can efficiently use analytics and big-data technologies to understand your financial position to prevent a disaster. The reason why we keep records is predicated on the fact that we need that information in the future; otherwise, we wouldn’t spend on it.

  1. Your valuables are documented for insurance purposes

Assuming your financial disaster came in the way of theft, only a copy of your valuables can help you in stocktaking and assessment of the extent of the loss. Insurance and other financial players rely on documented evidence of such items.

An insurance company might be forced to reimburse you for $5 million when you lost $10 million. In the preparedness process, My Patriot Supply recommends that you stake stock regularly and keep your information protected. They reckon that, even if you lost everything, you have a point where you can begin the recovery exercise.

  1. Enhances continuity and minimizes disruption

In the case of family financial disasters from unmitigated economic challenges, the people that suffer the most are children who may never adapt. When you have a plan, you can enhance the children’s continuity regarding education and access to basic utilities and services, and enable minimum disruption to their lives.

The case is the same for business—they must prepare how they can continue to service regular and dependent client-base even in the times of disaster. At the core of preparedness is the plan on how long a business or family can last before core supply shrinks below critical levels. If it is about food supplies, My Patriot Supply suggests that you keep both cash and food reserves.

  1. Provides mitigation efforts and procedures

The essence of any disaster preparedness effort is to provide mitigating initiatives and processes. You want to keep the effect of the problem to the minimum. In this case, you want to prevent a financial disaster from happening and preventing it from escalating beyond manageable levels. Financial disasters can wipe out a business if allowed. With a plan, you can have strategic financial or stock-based reserves usable in situations of distress, especially when relating to economic sabotage or problems.

  1. Access funding options

If you have not prepared for it, you are likely to end up in the hands of unscrupulous financial sources such as shylocks or quick loans for assets that you may never recover from. With a plan, you have a network of how you will access credit and funding options that will be friendly to your situation.

On the overall, these benefits show that financial preparedness is a core function of any entity that ought to be done right at all times.


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December 1st, 2017 by Joe Olujic

Access to tutoring is one of the greatest resources that can contribute to your child’s success in academics and other life skills. A lot of children succeed with the help of a tutor in particular subjects they have difficulty with. Whether it is academic or extra-curricular, tutors should be highly skilled, patient, and must know how to engage your child.

Having a tutor, however, may incur some expenses that might be larger than expected. Some parents end up teaching their children themselves or children in turn get pressured with less than satisfactory results. Thankfully, there are ways to make a tutoring program more affordable for your family. In this post, we will be talking about 5 tips to make tutoring affordable.

1. Know which subjects your child has difficulty with

It is important to know what specific subject your child is struggling with. You may want to find a specialized tutor or a tutor who is an expert on the subject, for you to save time and maximize results. Getting a general low-skilled tutor may result to your child learning less in a longer period of time.

At Groza Learning Center, there are different areas of expertise to choose from. Whether it is reading, test preparation, or schooling program. What is good about this learning center is that they offer flexible and highly customized program that is best fit for your child.

2. Inquire about packages or special discounts

A lot of learning centers offer special packages or discounts which may be applicable to you. Before jumping into a tutoring service blindly, it may be good to ask several questions about the rates, and explain to them your needs, your preferred schedule and other pertinent information for you to get the best value.

3. Encourage your child to prepare for the tutoring lessons

In any tutoring session, a specific topic will be covered. In order to get the maximum benefit and to avoid being ‘stuck’ on a difficult lesson, encourage your child to prepare before his or her tutoring session.

This include as far as reading the topic to be covered, or as simple as scanning the lessons beforehand. This will reduce the learning curve and will allow your child to grasp the lesson faster, needing lesser repetition of a subject for every tutoring session.

4. Look for local tutors

Whether you are going in a center or looking for a private tutor, most of the time, the local tutors will be charging less for each session. For example, if you live in pacific palisades, you might want to look for a pacific palisades tutor rather than someone who lives in a different neighborhood or even city. Some tutors will be charging for travel costs, or if you plan to go to a faraway center, it will also cost you more time and transportation expenses.

5. Communicate concerns to your child’s tutor

If there is a specific skill you want to target, don’t hesitate to tell your child’s tutor. It is important as an educator to know what are the specific goals that you want your child to achieve. After all, you know them best. Also, it works vice versa, as it would be helpful to ask the tutor some suggestions on how to practice your child’s lessons at home. This way, you will meet your goals at a faster pace, and there is lesser room for miscommunications or dissatisfactions with the service.

Tutoring is a decision that may be a factor to help your child succeed academically. These individuals can help supplement the learning that your child may need in order to meet the goals of his or her school. Make sure to do your research, ask questions about the tutors and the center, and prepare yourself and your child for the possible new routine.

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May 31st, 2016 by Joe Olujic

“Randi Glazer has enjoyed an immensely successful career in her industry, which just so happens to be one of the industries in which office politics can be particularly difficult to navigate for those unfamiliar with an ideal strategic approach. As a result, Ms.”

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