Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thoughts on Being a Landlord, Five Years Later

After renting apartments for 11 years, about 5 years ago my family moved into a home that we bought. It was a one family apartment, but we split it into two apartments, one to rent out and one to live in. When we purchased our home, it was still in the building stages, so we were able to design it in a way that it would need as little construction possible to turn it into a two family house. Officially when we were given it by the builders it could only be one house, and only after divide it into two, but we could do many of the preparations beforehand.

The things we did to make it a rental unit already by the builders while under construction were as follows. We turned our kitchen into a bedroom (so we'd have a three bedroom apartment) and the dining room/living room into a kitchen/living room/dining room, and we made a place for the washing machine and dryer. The upstairs that was supposed to be 4 bedrooms was changed the most- we made 3 of the bedrooms smaller so that we could drastically increase the side of the other one and get rid of dividing walls to turn it into a living room/dining room/kitchen to the extent that it is bigger than the living room/dining room/kitchen in the apartment I live in. We got rid of the laundry room to make the main room bigger. And we put a water and drainage line into the area where the kitchen would be. Another thing we made sure to do was to separate the electricity and water lines so that we could put a water and electric meter separate in the apartment, as well as allow the tenants to heat up their own hot water and not share a tank with us.

Once we moved into our apartment, we hired a contractor to finish up the work. He put in a wall at the top of the stairs to separate the apartments, broke a hole in the wall for the door that led to the outdoor stairs, and added a hot water tank for the apartment. Then my son and I built and installed an Ikea kitchen, then had the gas company add a gas line into the apartment for the kitchen.

It was a large investment at first, but it has paid off. I'm able to keep the rent in the apartment relatively cheap, around the same or even less than the apartments of similar sizes where I live. In the 5.5 years that I've been a landlord, I've kept the price the same, even as prices here go up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

7 Tips for Raising Children While Pregnant

I remember being pregnant with my second kid, being incredibly nauseous and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch, but I had a little toddler that needed to be taken care of. So different than my first pregnancy that I was able to just basically lie in bed for 9 months straight. The next two pregnancies weren't any easier. When pregnant for the first time, it is a completely different experience than when pregnant and needing to manage that while also taking care of children. Here are some tips on how to help with that challenging time.

Raising children while pregnant can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be impossible. With the right tips and advice, any expectant mother can successfully raise her children while managing her pregnancy. Thankfully, provides seven essential tips for raising children while pregnant, which will make the process smoother and easier for you. So if you're currently expecting a child and need guidance on taking care of your children while pregnant, read on!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

3 Excellent Reasons for Children to Learn Playing a Musical Instrument

I am a big fan of kids learning to play music. Growing up, I had lessons in piano, recorder, and harmonica. For my kids I purchased and taught them how to play those (keyboard instead of piano) as well as using apps that taught. Recently my daughter has asked for a ukelele so is in the beginning stages of learning how to play that. Here are some great reasons to have your kid learn to play an instrument.

Children, at a very young age, are naturally drawn to music. Like adults who turn to listen to their favorite tunes when they feel happy, angry, or sad, music has a way of keeping a child’s emotions in check. The love for music probably begins while a child is in their mother’s womb. Many mothers may sing to their babies while pregnant, noticing responses to the melodies they hum or the soft music they play in the background.

During their growing years, children also develop their favorite music to listen to. They may be watching a children’s show on TV and start singing along to its theme song. They quickly memorize tunes they like as children absorb what they see and hear. Apart from reading bedtime stories, any child falls asleep quickly when a parent sings to them. And when they are around a group of friends, they all share a love for popular bands or singers, singing and dancing along to familiar songs they enjoy.

More than listening to music, children can especially benefit from learning how to play a musical instrument. Actively participating and developing their musical skills can be very helpful in a child's development. Parents can encourage their kids to pursue their passion for an instrument of their choice by providing them with the tools to learn, enrolling them in a music school, and involving themselves in their child's musical activities. If their child shows an inclination to play the guitar, for instance, it would be best for them to get the best guitar books for kids to help them learn more about their instrument and how to play it simply and enjoyably.

Here are some ways children benefit from learning to play a musical instrument.

Our First Car!!!

We welcomed a new member into our family today. This is going to be like one of those posts when I first gave birth and I just shared a picture and a few words, with more details to follow. I'm too exhausted now to write up a whole thing, but I couldn't not share the news.

Today I bought my first car. 

Yes, at 35 years old -- today is my birthday!-- I now am a first time owner of a car. Best birthday present ever!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Top Hacks for Saving Money as a New Parent

Are you a new parent? Looking to make things a little easier financially for yourself? Here are some methods that may work for you in your new stage of life.

Having a big family is something you always dreamed about and now that your baby is here it's time to start thinking about your finances. Raising even one child costs plenty, especially when you factor in the cost of inflation on just about everything today. That said, you need to find ways to cut corners and save money, particularly if you plan on having more than one child. Saving money can be difficult when children are thrown into the mix, but does that mean it's impossible? Absolutely not and this is nothing a few hacks can't fix. In this article, we'll be giving you a few of the best hacks for new parents to save money.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sticking to a Budget While Shopping for Seasonal Fashion

If you like dressing nicely, but also care about your pocketbook, you might find it a challenge to balance the two. Here are some ways you can find a middle ground and shop for fashionable clothing on a budget.

For sartorial individuals, staying abreast of the latest fashion trends is one of life’s greatest joys, but it may be hard to do so in 2023. As reported by McKinsey, after experiencing vertiginous growth in early 2021 and mid 2022, the fashion industry began experiencing a slump, as hyperinflation seriously slashed the budgets of even the most spendthrift fashionistas. Sticking to your budget as a fashion-loving parent is therefore more important now than it has been in many years. The following strategies will ensure you and your kids are “on point” without breaking the bank.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Our Fancy Frugal Weekend Getaway

My family has been through a lot lately, and some of it affected my kids extra strongly, and they expressed to me how hard of a time they were having. In talking to a good friend of mine, she suggested I help them out by taking them away for the weekend, to get away from our home and do something fun, getting out of the location where the stress has been happening. I thought it sounded like a great idea, just what the doctor ordered.

I knew that I'd be going to an Airbnb because that is a much cheaper option than going to a hotel, and it also allows me to get a place with a kitchen to save the cost of eating out. I didn't have a specific place planned, as long as it was not in the city near my house, because then what would be the point. I tried to think of what the maximum distance I would be willing to drive each day and decided that four hours would be the most I'd feel comfortable doing each way. 

My kids and I went through Airbnb options together that looked luxurious and with amenities we wanted that were within the price range of $250 for the five of us that I set for us. I didn't want a place that wasn't fancy; it was supposed to feel like a nice vacation and not like we were just going to go to any old house that looked like a friend's house. My kids and I made an Airbnb wishlist of possible places that fit those criteria.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

6 Ways To Elevate The Taste Of Your Food

I'm a foodie. I like food. I like good food. I would consider myself a pretty decent cook. And there are some things I do to make my food taste great. I use most of the ideas listed below- look no further than my recent batter fried fish and bananas recipe for my experimentation or how many spices I have on my spice rack. If you want to make your food taste even better, here are some things you might want to try.

If you're looking to take your cooking skills up a notch and make your meals more exciting, then this blog post is for you. Whether you're a novice or an experienced cook, there are some simple tips and tricks that can take the taste of your food to the next level. From understanding flavor profiles to selecting fresh ingredients, here are some ways to help you enhance your dishes' flavor.