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25 Home Hacks to Make 2016 Easier, Less Cluttered, and More Productive

25 Home Hacks to Make 2016 Easier, Less Cluttered, and More Productive

Let 2016 be the year you finally become a DIY guru. There are so many easy home hacks you can use to make your life more productive, organized and efficient — and most of them require knowledge and supplies you already have. Here are 25 DIY hacks to solve everything from tangled cords to slow Wi-Fi.

1. Banish Clutter

Keep odds and ends organized in a muffin tin slid into a desk drawer.

2. Color-Code Keys

Nail polish is a cheap and colorful way to make your keys easy to identify.

3. Corral Chargers

Attach a binder clip to the edge of your nightstand, string your phone or tablet charger through the metal loops, and you’ll never fumble to find a charger again.

4. Add Ambiance

Whether you rent or own, it’s easy to set the right mood in any room by installing a dimmer switch.

5. Make It Rain

Swap out your boring shower head for an upgraded one that can give you an in-shower massage or wake you up with a gentle rainfall.

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6. Makeover a Room

A fresh coat of paint or a creative washi tape design can breathe new life into your digs for a minimal investment and just a little bit of elbow grease.

7. Expand Your Space 

Hang mirrors to make a small room seem bigger. Make the illusion even better by strategically placing mirrors to reflect the view from a window.

8. Download an App

You can find an app to streamline nearly every aspect of your life. Whether you want help with home repair, productivity, organization, or how to get out a stain, there’s an app for that.

9. Protect Your Tablet

Transform an old planner or comp book into a clever, stylish case for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.

10. Hide Cords 

Tuck away unsightly cords by hiding your power strip in a bedside table drawer.

11. Keep Keyboards Clean

Before tossing a post-it note in the trash, run the sticky edge along your keyboard to clean up errant dust and other detritus.

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12. Bedazzle Chargers

Never fight over which charger belongs to whom again. Use nail polish or stickers to personalize your family’s chargers.

13. Turn It Up 

Transform your phone into a party speaker by placing it in a cup. Glass, plastic, and paper all do the trick.

14. Super-Charge It

If your phone or tablet is at critically low power, put it on airplane mode before charging. By turning off the things that suck the most energy, your device will charge faster.

15. Wrangle Ear Buds 

Wrap those unruly cords around an empty spool and get to enjoying your tunes or podcast faster.

16. Fix Your Wi-Fi

Before calling an expensive IT guru, try to solve your slow Wi-Fi issues on your own. Test your speed, switch channels, and make sure no walls or solid objects are obstructing the router.

17. Upgrade Your Cookbook 

Mount your tablet onto a kitchen cabinet or wall for easy access (and no worry about spills) while whipping up a delicious feast.

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18. Try Smart Meal Planning 

Use an app like Yummly to find recipes, plan meals, and automatically create a shopping list that includes everything you need.

19. Upcycle Old Corks

Create a stylish bulletin board by gluing corks to an old window frame.

20. Organize Unmentionables 

Add old shoe boxes as dividers for your lingerie drawer to keep everything untangled and easy to find.

21. Get the Message

Use a picture frame instead of a boring whiteboard for family messages and keeping lists.

22. Unclog a Drain

Plop. Plop. Fizz. Fizz. Use Alka Seltzer and vinegar to dissolve grease and hair and get a clog moving.

23. Make Scuffs Disappear

Use an old sneaker or tennis ball affixed to a broom handle to remove unsightly scuff marks from floors.

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24. Repair a Window

Clear nail polish is a quick fix for small cracks in glass and screens.

25. Bookmark It

Find a few DIY websites that you can go to for instant help when you need it, and bookmark them. It will save time and sanity the next time you need a quick solution to an urgent problem.

Go ahead, put on your DIY hat and get started!

Featured photo credit: nemke via istockphoto.com

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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