Archive for November 2017

3 Reasons Why More Money Won?t Make You Happier

3 Reasons Why More Money Won?t Make You Happier

3 Reasons Why More Money Won?t Make You HappierWhen you are a little short on funds, it is easy to think that money is all you need to be happy. After all, you won?t have to sit around and stress about your bills when you have more money, so that will make you happier, right?

Not necessarily. While having plenty of money to meet all of your needs is a great thing, simply having money is not going to ensure happiness moving forward.

To highlight this point, we have identified three reasons why simply having more money is not automatically going to lead to happiness.

Possessions Don?t Lead to Happiness

Despite the cultural focus on possessions in the modern world, those items simply will not make you happy.

Sure, you might get a short-term rush out of buying a new product, but that will quickly wear off as you look for the next thing. Even if you can buy high-end products like luxury cars and expensive jewelry, the satisfaction that comes from those purchases is fleeting at best. People who try to buy their happiness through consumerism almost always end up feeling empty and unsatisfied.

One way in which spending money may be able to contribute to your happiness is by paying for experiences rather than things. For instance, going on a family vacation could allow you to make memories which will last for years. Such an experience is far more valuable to most people than an item.

Your Focus Becomes Making Even More Money

It is easy to fall into the trap of always wanting to make more and more money. Once you have a taste of success, you may want to push even harder, working even more hours, all in pursuit of a bigger payday. Many people have gone into a downward spiral due to this kind of thinking.

Sure, it is great to make a lot of money, but at what cost? If you are unhappy personally and have a lousy work-life balance, it would be safe to say that the money is not working to your advantage.

It takes a mature person to understand that there is a danger in trying to make too much money. If you can keep your life in perspective and settle in at a place where you make enough and also have time for yourself and your family, that is likely to be best.

You Can Lose Track of Satisfaction

Imagine a world where you had an unlimited supply of money. That sounds amazing, right? Maybe not. If you could buy anything you wanted at any given time, you would quickly lose track of what it feels like to be satisfied. You would get used to things like fancy hotels and gourmet meals, so they would no longer be a treat.

The things that are exciting in life are exciting because they are a rare indulgence rather than an everyday occurrence. With enough money, you could manage to quickly take the fun out of what used to be special occasions.


What do you think? Do you think more money can make you happier? Where do you draw the line?


Photo courtesy of: anemone123

6 Things to Know Before You Home Swap

6 Things to Know Before You Home Swap

6 Things to Know Before You Home SwapWith the holidays coming up, a lot of people and families start to think about holiday travel. Some families even go on vacation during these times to experience a new country or location. One way to save on the costs of vacationing is to do a home swap.

A home swap is where you switch homes with another family during the same time. Basically it?s ?free? lodging with a complete kitchen so you can cook and save on meals. If you are considering this for your holiday vacation, here are six things to know before you home swap.

Determine the Type of Home Swap You are Doing

There are three general types of house swaps.

The first is where you both switch at the same time and are gone the same amount of time.

The second is where you still exchange houses but your vacation dates are different.

The last is hosting an exchange, so you are there when your guests and vice versa when it?s your turn to stay. Some families or couples chose to host their first time doing a home swap. This option can be a great way to meet potential new friends from around the world.

Plan Ahead, Especially for International Swaps

You need to start planning sooner than later. Not everyone, especially if you have children, can pack up and go in a week. There are a lot more logistics to plan out.

Plus, if you have specific places you want to go, they may not have an available date the same as you. If you have found an exchange household, you?ll want to spend some time getting to know them first.

If you are going to travel and do an international swap, you’ll want to plan ahead even further as there are more logistics to work out for international travel.

Sign Up for a Home Swap Service

There are several home swap websites you can use, such as Love Home Swap or HomeExchange.

Though switching homes is free, some of these services do charge a yearly or monthly membership. This can make potential guests feel better knowing that both parties have skin in the game and won?t turn out to be horrible guests. These services help you find a house swap partner and help you go through the whole process.

List Your Expectations

Write down what you expect to have of your host house and what you expect of them when staying at your home. List everything they can use or do and things that are off limits.

If you are expecting to stay in a mansion with room service and you don?t mention that, you?ll be sorely disappointed when you get to a large house with no room service. The more open you are about what your needs will be, the better experience you’ll have.

Lock Valuables or Store in a Safe Place

If you do have some priceless heirlooms or some things you are worried about being damaged, you can always remove them from the premise or lock them up in a room that your guests can?t get into.

The people staying in your home are expecting you to treat their home how they treat it. That is to say they?re just as worried as you are about belongings being cared for properly.

Consider Liability Insurance

Some home swappers also trade vehicles. If you decide to do this, make sure your insurance is up-to-date and that your swap family has vehicle insurance too.

Also, check your home owner?s insurance to see if it is up-to-date and if you need to increase the amount for a short time while the other family is staying in your home.

Place the numbers of your insurance agent along with your emergency contact numbers in a convenient location. Most likely nothing will happen, but it?s better to be safe than sorry.

Most home swaps are done to great success. Once you’ve home swapped once, you’ll likely become a regular. It’s a great way to save money and get to see places all over the world.


Have you ever tried a home swap? Would you ever consider it?


Photo courtesy of: sharonang

Should You Tip Extra During the Holidays?

Should You Tip Extra During the Holidays?

Should You Tip Extra During the Holidays?The holidays are an exciting time for the whole family. Your kids are naturally excited about receiving presents, and they enjoy being away from school for a little while.

As an adult, you probably get satisfaction from seeing your kids so excited, and you might even be able to take a little time away from the office yourself.

One of the great things about the holidays is seeing people decide to do nice things for others. You will frequently see stories on the news about strangers buying gifts for those who are less-fortunate, or people serving meals to the homeless. Whatever the act happens to be, it is great to see society coming together to help one another.

Getting into the Spirit

Of course, you naturally want to get in on the action and do your part. One thing you might consider when trying to be generous around the holidays is tipping extra after a meal out.

Those who work in restaurants often don?t make a ton of money, so even a few extra dollars can help. That is especially true if a number of other diners decide to do the same thing.

So, is this a good idea? Well, that all depends. For starters, there is no doubt that it is a nice act. Everyone appreciates extra money, and tacking a few bucks onto the bill is an easy way to have a positive impact on another person?s holiday season. With that said, this method of giving is not for everyone.

Respect Your Budget

Even at the holidays, you still need to pay attention to your budget. Giving away extra money to a stranger is only a nice act if you can afford to do so. If providing an extra tip to the wait staff is going to put the squeeze on your own budget, it might not be worth it in the long run.

If you are going to take this step, build it into your budget ? or at least consult your budget to make sure it will work out okay. As an alternative, you could choose to alter your order to save money, only to then tack that extra money onto the tip.

For instance, if a family of four skipped the soft drinks and just had water with the meal, that change could save a total of $10. By adding the $10 back onto the total at the end, you will be providing a nice tip without spending any extra money at all.

Other Giving Options

While it is nice to tip extra, you may want to consider the fact that those working at the restaurant already have a job. If you are going to do some giving at the holidays, consider donating to causes who help those who are struggling to get by each day. Homeless shelters and food banks are a great place to start.

In the end, tipping extra will always be seen as a nice thing to do during the holidays. But, it might not be the best use of your charitable funds. Think carefully about how you want your money to be put to use, and then take the appropriate action.


Do you tip extra during the holidays? How else do you give during the holiday season?


Photo courtesy of: thinkingmancreative

How to Make Extra Money Decorating Homes for the Holidays

How to Make Extra Money Decorating Homes for the Holidays

How to Make Extra Money Decorating Homes for the HolidaysAs the leaves start to change and the air gets cooler, one can?t help to think about the upcoming holidays. There are only a few days until Thanksgiving and only a few weeks until Christmas!

That means it’s time to start thinking about your holiday budget and who you’ll be buying gifts for, if you haven’t started this planning already.

If your gift list is longer than your budget, you may need to make some extra money to avoid going into debt this year. One creative way to take advantage of the holiday season and make some money is by decorating homes for the holidays.

Here’s how you can get started with this seasonal side hustle.

Make Custom Wreaths and Garlands

If you don?t want to mess with full-scale decorating but have a crafty side, making custom wreaths and garlands is a way to make extra money.

Depending on the type of materials you use, these can have fairly low production costs and a quick turn time.

Set up Outside Lights

Depending on the amount of lights, this might be a daunting task for yourself. But, grab a buddy and you can make some money by hanging other people?s outdoor lights.

This might be a little more costly. You may need to have extra insurance as you?ll most likely be up on a ladder or roof.

Decorate Residences

If red ribbon and holly swags are your calling, decorating homes for the holidays can be your ticket to balancing your gift budget.

Many people see decorating the holidays as something tedious and not at all fun, especially when you put it up only to have to take it back down in a few weeks.

To make more money, you can charge to put up the owner?s own decorations, or you can charge extra to buy them totally new decorations and decorate with a theme. After Christmas, you can also charge to help take down and put away decorations too.

It might take a little bit to generate clients, but once you get started the options are endless.

Decorate Businesses

Every office needs some cheer, whether it?s for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Approach a few local businesses to find your first client. You can start with one and grow the number of offices you decorate as other’s see the results. You can decorate inside only, or decorate both inside and outside of business offices.

Once again, you can use decorations they have or buy new ones. Plus, you can also charge to take down and pack away decorations for next year too.

Consult and Design

Some people may like decorating but don?t know what to do with the decorations they have. By being a consultant or designer, you can map out the place and suggest where they place things and what to get to put their holiday decorations over the top.

With this option, they do the decorating after you design it for them. It shouldn?t take you as much time as actually doing the decorating.

These are only a few ways you can make money decorating homes for the holidays. There are plenty more if you put your head to it.

The good thing is that holiday decorating is seasonal and you can do it every year. Plus, you can do as much or as little as you want and you get to set the prices. Who knows, this could blossom in a new business and career path.


Do you have a seasonal side hustle? Have you ever thought about trying to make extra money by decorating homes for the holidays?


Photo courtesy of: StockSnap

4 Reasons Why Seasonal Budgeting May Work for You

4 Reasons Why Seasonal Budgeting May Work for You

4 Reasons Why Seasonal Budgeting May Work for YouWhen you think about crafting a budget for your household, you probably think first about doing so on a monthly basis. That makes a lot of sense, of course. After all, most of your bills come in on a monthly schedule, so it makes sense to track your spending using this unit of time.

However, there are some drawbacks to monthly budgeting. If you allow yourself to spend the same amount of money each month, you won?t be accounting for the fact that your spending may vary from season to season.

As the year goes by, there may be changing demands on your money, which could make it hard to hit your budget targets.

Before you nail down your budget for the coming year, it would be wise to at least consider planning on a seasonal basis. If one or more of the four points below applies to you, seasonal budgeting might be the right way to go.

You Have Kids

With kids ? especially school age kids ? seasonal budgeting is a smart choice.

During the summer months, you are almost certainly going to spend more, as you will be active with the kids. Whether it is taking a family vacation, going to local attractions, or just eating out a little more often, the summer can be expensive.

While it is important to continue to monitor your spending in the summer, you should allow yourself a little bit of leeway in order to have a great time with your children. Tweak your budget by allowing for more spending in the summer months as compared to the winter so you can more accurately match your lifestyle.

Your Utilities Fluctuate

Those who live in a particularly cold climate will be familiar with the rising utility costs that come along with running a furnace for several months at a time. On the other side of the coin, those who live in a hot area know that the summer can be tough with regard to heating bills since the air conditioner will be working hard.

If you have utilities which vary greatly between the summer and winter months, take that fact into account while building your budget.

You Work Seasonally

Some jobs demand far more out of their workers in one season as compared to the rest.

A great example of this is a tax accountant. While this is a year-round job, most tax accountants work extremely hard in the weeks and leading up to the tax filing deadline in April.

Someone in that position probably doesn?t spend much money during February and March, for instance, because they are always at work. The budget could be reduced in those months, while being expanded slightly during months where the office isn?t so busy and there is more time to do other things.

You Have One Specific Hobby

If you are someone who is passionate about one specific hobby, and that hobby only takes place during a certain part of the year, you will want to consider that hobby in your budgeting.

One example that perfectly highlights this concept is skiing. As a skier, you are going to take part in your hobby during the winter months, of course. That might mean taking a bit of time away from work, and it will mean spending money on things like lift tickets, equipment, and more.

Build these activities into your budget and plan on cutting back when skiing is out of season.


Have you ever tried seasonal budgeting? Did it work for you?


Photo courtesy of: Pexels