Caring From Afar

As soon as our parents start to reach a certain age, it’s all too easy to worry about their ailing health and fragility. So, there is no wonder that most people do all that they can to care for their elderly parents. However, if you do not live close to your parents, you might find that you start worrying about not being there for them. The distance could make it very difficult for you to help and support your parents, and you might struggle to get to them if there is ever an emergency. However, there are some things you can do to care for your parents from afar. Here are some tips.

Mommy Bernice.

Discuss The Situation With Your Siblings
If some of your siblings still live close to your parents, you should have a meeting with them to discuss the situation. One of your siblings might agree to take charge of your parents’ care schedule. As long as you know that your siblings have a good handle on things, you will be able to have more peace of mind while you are living away.

Arrange For In-Home Care
If your parents are still well enough to look after themselves in their own home, you might still want to arrange for some at home care agencies to call in to see them from time to time. That way, you know that there is always someone going into their home on a regular basis to ensure that they are OK. This also means that you parents will have a regular companion who they can chat with, which is especially important if one of your parents lives on their own.

Collect Important Contact Information
Even though you don’t live close to your parents, you should still make the effort to collect all of the usual important contact details for people who can help them. This should include phone numbers for their regular doctor, caregiver, and insurance company. It’s also a good idea to have the number for a neighbor or nearby friend who can quickly check in on your parents if you ever have reason to be worried.

Keep In Touch
Just because you can’t visit your parents regularly, there is no reason not to keep in contact! Calling them every other day gives them something to look forward to, and it will also calm your mind as you will be able to hear that they are well. It’s also worth using Skype and Facetime to keep in touch so that you can see as well as hear them!

Have An Emergency Plan
You always need to have an emergency plan in case anything goes wrong. This should include the quickest way for you to travel to your parents. You might also want to start saving for an emergency fund so that you can cover expensive airfare or train travel.

As you can see, caring for your elderly parents from afar doesn’t have to be too difficult. Keep these tips handy so that you always know your best options!

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

How To Make Your Family Funds Go Further

It’s not easy, or cheap, providing for a big family; they eat enough food to feed a small army, all the kids have different extracurricular activities you need to pay for, and you always try to set aside enough money so you can all enjoy a nice summer vacation together. While there is a lot of advice out there to help you improve your family’s finances, there are also a few things you can do to make your money go further. Some tips do involve a few budget cuts here and there, but overall they are just ways of spending your money wisely. If you impart a few of these money-saving tips to your children, you’ll also teach them to be financially responsible when they grow up.

Cut back on unnecessary luxuries
There are two different kinds of luxuries; there’s the necessary kind, which helps you to relax after work, provides you with an outlet for your stress, and which doesn’t cost too much money so cutting it out won’t make too much of a difference to your budget. Then there’s the unnecessary kind, which costs a lot of money, you barely use, and you might not even miss if you stopped doing it. For example, you might pay around $25 a month for your gym membership because you got a great deal, you wanted to get into shape, and it’s the only thing encouraging you to exercise. Unfortunately, if you don’t go to the gym at least three times a week, you’re usually not getting your money’s worth out of the membership. This is especially true when there are so many way to work out for free in the comfort of your home. Magazine subscriptions are another drain on your savings. Try cancelling all your subscriptions and only renew the ones you actually find yourself missing, or just buy the occasional issue when you see it in the stores.

Workout at home to save extra money

Look for bargains
Don’t assume that the first price you see is the best price you’re going to get. There are plenty of websites such as Groupon that will give you excellent discounts on family days out, occasional treats for yourself, or even bulk household items. Believe it or not, if you want to get free stuff there are websites that can make that happen. You can legally get free things on Amazon, such as music, Kindle eBooks, and even a way to get cash back. Finally, there are always thrift stores, Craigslist, or eBay, where you can find hundreds of items at a fraction of the retail price.

Shop smart
Buying groceries on a budget is a struggle for a lot of people for various reasons. The best thing you can do to keep your food bills low is to find ways to reduce the amount of waste you throw away each week. Fortunately, there are several more ways to reduce your food bill each week, including shopping for cheaper store brands, buying non-perishables items in bulk, or sticking to a shopping list. You can also save money on food by avoiding takeaways, packing a lunch to take to work, or freezing your leftovers to eat them later.

Shop wisely

Cut down your energy bills
If your energy bills are the biggest expense in your household, the easiest way to start saving on this is to make your home environmentally friendly.  Start by switching to energy efficient LED bulbs, unplugging all appliances you’re not using, and insulating your home so you don’t need to turn up your thermostat as much. Doing these small things can reduce your energy consumption, saving you money on your bills each month and helping the environment. If you want to do a little more to help your energy bills, you can improve the insulation in your building, and upgrade to double-glazed windows; doing this will reduce the amount of heat that escapes your house by at least 25 percent, which will cut down on your use of the thermostat each winter. Finally, if you have enough in your budget for new appliances, you could shop around for an energy-efficient fridge. Refrigerator technology has made dramatic strides since the 1970s, so you’re actually wasting more money by not buying a new fridge. Any other eco-friendly appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, may seem expensive initially, but it is estimated that you will use a significantly less amount of energy with a green appliance than you will with its predecessor.

Learn to repair clothes

There was a time when people knew how fix tears in dresses, holes in socks, and prolong the life of pantyhose. Clothes nowadays are made from very cheap material, therefore are more prone to tearing and wearing out. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to fix these clothes, so they end up throwing them out and buying new items merely two months after they just went clothes shopping. Save your wallet the hassle of another shopping spree by learning how to repair the holes in your jeans; the cost of a sewing machine will certainly pay for itself with the money you save on new dresses. Once you’ve learned how to sew up the rips in your clothes, you can put off clothes shopping with a few more tricks. If you dresses are a little shorter than you would like, or your shirts pinch a little too much around the waist, you can lengthen them using lace, or use fabric inserts to add some length to shirts and sweaters. Oversized dresses can be hemmed slightly, or turned into a comfortable, baggy shirt.

DIY
Sometimes the best way to save money is by doing little things by yourself. When things break around the house, try doing your own home repairs instead of calling a professional (as long as it’s nothing too serious). Blocked pipes can be easily sorted with a solution of baking soda and vinegar, and then using a plunger to push out the blockage.

DIY is not just limited to fixing things that are broken. There are plenty of home remedies online for face masks, or hair products, which only require things you’d put on your grocery list. You could even set aside a Saturday and do a spa day in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price.

Caffeine lovers can save dollars every week by brewing their own coffee at home instead of getting a takeaway from a cafe. A really good coffee machine will soon pay for itself with the savings you make from skipping the visit to your local Starbucks. If you also go to cafes for the delicious pastries, then learn to bake your own treats at home.

Transportation
With the price of gas constantly changing, your car is an unpredictable money pit, and that’s before you even factor in the monthly payments, insurance, and unexpected repairs. You can save money and still keep your car by only using it for long trips, such as family vacations. In the meantime, there are plenty of public transport options to suit your lifestyle. Monthly bus passes are more than worth their value if you take the bus to work every day. Carpooling with a colleague splits the cost of gas, and can reduce traffic if enough people get in on the scheme. Finally, if you’re going out for the night and don’t have a volunteer for designated driver, Uber can save you the trouble of standing out in the cold to call a cab.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Daffodils in February!

Hello Lovely People,

Hope your day has been an awesome one!
February has come to end and the weather has been crazy to say the least. Temperatures have peaked out in the 70s in the middle of winter. Not just a day here and there. Most of the month has been abnormally above normal with regular high temperatures in the 60s and 70s. With temperatures like this, it leads to finds like this.

Yes, the daffodils are blooming the backyard. These springtime flowers are common in late March and early April, about the time of Easter Sunday. But the warm weather has caused a premature blooming season, even before the Easter (and Lenten) season even has begun. Hopefully this is not a sign of how spring and summer will be. I, for one, would like to see some snow. Our family, the doggies included, enjoy playing out in the snow, making snowmen and throwing snowballs. It is our hope that we will get at least one good snow fall before Spring actually arrives.

What are the Rarest Collectible Coins?

There is a reason why many people always look at the coins a cashier hands them when they make change. There are certain rare coins that are worth a fortune. While it isn’t probable, you will receive a million-dollar coin at the check-out, knowing some of the rarest coins and their value could be beneficial when you go to estate or yard sales or are cleaning out a grandparents’ home.

Coin collecting is one of the oldest hobbies on record. Besides, collecting coins can be rewardable. Not only do many coins gain value, but if you decide that collecting is not for you after trying it, you will likely get all of your investment back, a rare occurrence when it comes to most investments.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of <http://www.infinitycoins.net>

Most of the highest-rated coins are from the 1800s up to around 1920. Values decrease dramatically after that time. There are basically three reasons a coin is highly valuable:

  1. The number of coins in existence. A low number of known coins will make any coin more valuable.
  1. The content of the coin. The type of metal used for the coin, whether it’s gold, silver or copper, make it more costly. Most coins today don’t contain the same amount of such metals.
  1. Historical value of the coin. Some coins are expensive because of who owned them or how they are recovered.

There are some coins worth millions while some are worth several thousand. Below is a list of some of the most collectible coins in the world.

The 1849 Double Eagle
By far, this is the most valuable coin known as it is valued at $20 million. It has the trifecta of valuable attributes as it is made of gold at the beginning of the California gold rush and is incredibly rare. The value has jumped in recent years because it was valued at $15 million just two years ago.

Saint Gaudens Coins
These coins garner a lot of cash depending upon the mint year. The 1907 Saint Gaudens is valued at $8.5 million and is so rare that the best are located at the Smithsonian Museum. This book is an interest for collectors by its own. Here the 1927 D Saint Gaudens Double Eagle is valued at $1.2 million while the 1933 Double Eagle is valued at $7.59 million.

The 1933 Double Eagle
The 1933 Double Eagle is highly distinguished because 1933 was the last year of production. This coin was never circulated and all were melted because the government discontinued the gold standard in 1933. Other Saint Gaudens coins also hold value. The 1921 St. Gaudens Double East is valued at $130,000. There is a 1930 version that also holds good value at $120,000.

1794 Silver Dollar
This coin, the first silver dollar produced by the U.S. Mint, is different from later coins in that the hair of the head flows, earning it the nickname of the “Flowing Hair Dollar.” Worth 7.85 million, this coin is one of the most rare and one of the most expensive in a private collector’s hands. It also has a national historical aspect to it, making it a special coin to own. Don’t miss a chance to deep into revolutionary world of 17th-18th centuries coinage.

1822 Half Eagle
This $6 million coin has a bit of mystery because of the 17,796 coins minted, there remains only three left. Two of those are in the Smithsonian Museum, leaving the world to speculate where the third coin remains. These coins were released in $5 denominations, are gold and feature a Liberty head of the front and a flying eagle on the back.

Liberty Coins
Much like the Saint Gaudens coins, there are several in this series that are worth a fortune. Topping the list is the 1913 Liberty Head, valued at $4.5 million. This was a 5-cent coin and has the distinction of being produced without approval from the U.S. Mint.

The 1913 coin was the first to bust the million-dollar cost ceiling when one sold in 1996 for $1.485 million. The 1870 Liberty Seated dollar is valued at $1.9 million and the 1881 Liberty Head Double Eagle coin is valued at $180,000. Some of the less rare coins are the 1873 CC Liberty Seated quarter, worth $90,000 and the 1887 Liberty Head Double Eagle, valued at $89,000.

No, you may not have a million-dollar coin in your purse, but there could be a chance you may have some of the less rare coins in an old coin collection book or box in the attic. It doesn’t hurt to check because you could find your own treasure, stowed away, waiting to be discovered!

Bio –
This contribution post was made by Infinity Coins, specializing in bullion, jewelry and other collectibles. Infinity Coins has become the Pinedale coin dealers and Driggs coin dealers that locals have come to trust.

How To Get Value For Money When Hiring a Tradesmen

If you need some handy work done around the home a tradesman is someone you may want to consider hiring. With this being said, you want to know you are hiring the best and are getting the most value for your money as well. So, how do you go about attaining such goals? These are a few things to keep in mind when trying to hire the right people and trying to get the most bang for your buck when hiring them.

Comparison sites
Using a comparison website prior to hiring a tradesman will prove extremely beneficial. You can compare credentials, the work they do, the quality of services, reviews, and how former clients feel about their workmanship. All of these factors will help you in hiring the tradesman who is not only qualified to do the work you want to hire them to perform, but also ensure you are hiring someone who is fully capable, is licensed, and has all required experience for the tasks you wish to hire them to perform. You can find a tradesman through comparison sites very easily. Most comparison sites offer videos or a step by step guide on how to hire a tradesmen though their site.

Qualifications are critical
Check for credentials. Make sure they have all required licenses, are fully certified, and have been servicing different tasks you wish to hire them to perform for years. The more qualified they are, and the more credentials you can see, the more likely it is that you are hiring the best for different trade tasks and jobs.

Pricing up front
Make sure you know what you are paying up front. From the cost of labour, to the price of parts, services, and any small jobs they are going to perform, make sure you know what things will cost prior to hiring a tradesman. Not only so you find the most affordable prices, but also to get the most for your money and to ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of.

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Inspired Home Giveaway

Hi Beautiful People,

After the holidays the house may seem a little bare; but don’t despair. Creative ideas can start to flourish and inspire in many different ways.  I like to change a style of bed linens, add a afghan to a chair or new curtains to add a spice of flair to a room. I also enjoy designing my bedroom with lots of pillows because I think it provides an elegant and warm look. Before you know it, that little bare space will be a sweet haven of tranquility.

I’m joining Katherines Corner for her newest giveaway.
This month’s giveaway is sponsored by Katherines Corner, Simple Nature Decor
and some sweet bloggy friends.

One winner will receive a copy of the book The Inspired Room and $200 Cash ( via Paypal)

inspired Home Giveaway main image

The cash prize is provided by Katherine, Maria and some wonderful bloggy friends

inspired home giveaway hostesses

Katherine – Katherines Corner

Maria – Simple Nature Decor

Laura – Not A Trophy Wife

Angel – Sew Crafty Angel

Nina – Vintage Mamas Cottage

Olivia – Reinvented Collection

Kat – Inspiration Can Be Found Everywhere

Megan – VMG206

Christine – I Dig Pinterest

Diane – Mamal Diane Keeping Life Simple

Tamaki – Bubbling With Elegance and Grace

Angie – Gods Growing Garden

Darren – Oh My Heartsie Girl

Marilyn – Marilyns Treats

Vanessa – DIY180

Just log into the entry form using your email address or Facebook and get started.

Enter one, or all of the entries. The Giveaway ENDS March 6th!

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