Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Money Smart Way to Fix Your Roofing

As a home owner, there can be necessary costly expenses, such as roofing repairs. we have a guest post from a contributor who has some great tips on how to get your roofing done by a professional roofing company with some useful tips on how to save money and choose the right materials for your roof. I hope you find it helpful.

If you're thinking about getting a new roof for your home, you might be wondering how to save money without compromising on quality and aesthetics. Roofing is a major home improvement project that can cost anywhere from $3.50 to $15 per square foot, depending on the materials, labor and disposal fees involved. But there are some ways to reduce your expenses and still get a beautiful and durable roof that will protect your home for years to come. Here are some money smart tips to help you plan your roofing project.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Money Management: How To Live Well On Social Security

As someone with disabilities who got approved for disability recently, I've heard much about the challenges of getting approved for disability, and how complicated it is to live well once you get it. 
Here are some ideas on how to get approved more easily and how to live well once you get it.

Roughly 12% of men and 15% of women rely on their monthly Social Security check for at least 90% or more of their income, CNBC reports. If you’re raising a family with SSI making up all or most of your income, it’s important to make every dollar of your monthly payments count. Fortunately, smart money-management tips can help your payments go further, while also keeping costs low.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Current eCommerce Trends to Consider in 2023

Many parents choose to work over the internet since hours can be much more flexible and family friendly. If you have your own internet based business, here are some things you might want to consider that may help your business thrive.

Current eCommerce trends come and go. Some stay and others fade away like a teardrop in the ocean. This year is no different. There are many to choose from, and they all mostly tie into making your CX and UX much better. So here are some for 2023 you must consider.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Recent Frugal Accomplishments

I used to do this weekly, writing about the frugal accomplishments I had done over the past week. But then life got busy, and life got unfrugal, and I didn't have much to write...

And then I started this up again, a few weeks of frugal activities in one post so I looked more accomplished...

But I decided I want to go back to doing this weekly or bi-weekly, and if I don't have such a long list, that's fine. Why can't I celebrate every frugal thing I did with you, and not just a long list? And of course, now that I'm writing the list, since it was only within the past week, I remember more things to write down!

So here's a list of the frugal things I've done in the past week (or two, I'm not being exact):

Pros and Cons of Universal Life Insurance

In life it is healthiest not to dwell on the woulda, coulda, shouldas... but it is hard not to. One of my biggest regrets financially is that I never got life insurance. We didn't have money to pay for life insurance in the past, and now that I might actually have money for it, no one will insure me because of my disabilities and I'm too fat. (Even though the fatness doesn't cause any medical issues for me other than contributing to my pain level, but hey, that's fatphobia in medicine that rolls over into other things. And my disabilities aren't life threatening, they just cause me lots of pain.) But for those of you who haven't missed the boat, life insurance is a great thing to have, especially if you have children. But what type? Term life insurance? Universal? Do you know the difference even? I must admit I don't. Read on to learn more about universal life insurance.

Are you considering purchasing a life insurance policy? If so, you might wonder if universal life insurance suits you. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of this type of policy.

What is Universal Life Insurance?

Universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance offering a cash value component. Meaning that part of the premium paid goes into an account, accumulating interest over time. This cash value can be used to pay premiums or withdrawn as needed. Universal life insurance also offers the flexibility to adjust the premium payments and death benefits.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Common Phishing Email Subject Lines

Do you know how sucky it feels to get scammed? I once got scammed via a phishing technique using text messaging. Locally when we get a package from abroad and we need to pay tax on it, the local post office sends us a text message with a link to put in our information and pay the fee, and once paid the package gets delivered to you. I fell for a scam pretending to be the post office but with a one letter difference in the website, and after I put in my info to pay I realized my mistake and immediately canceled my credit card. I felt really stupid. 

I try to be really careful now when I get emails or text messages that ask me to put in any personal information that I verify first who it is from. The ones I get the most are from people pretending to be Paypal, with the same layout of the emails and their name appearing as PayPal, but once you click it you see the email address is something completely different. Falling for these phishing scams can cost you a lot of money, or at the very least be extremely inconvenient (like if you catch it right away and need to cancel your card). Here are some ways to be able to tell if someone is trying to phish you.

Have you ever wondered what a phishing email is? It’s an email created by cyberattackers with malicious intent to steal personal information, like passwords and credit card numbers. 

As if dealing with the reality of cyberattacks wasn’t alarming enough, many of these emails have subject lines specifically tailored to entice people into opening them—making them seem legitimate and harmless. 

Phishing emails often sound urgent, so you fall for the scam. Common phrases used for phishing scams include “change of password required immediately” and “suspicious activity detected.” 

While some phishing scams may be easier to spot, others may be more convincing, so it’s essential to be aware of what these common phishing email subject lines are:

Friday, April 14, 2023

Free Food! Yay!

In my town there are a lot of families that aren't well to do financially, in large part because of having many children without a large income, so there doesn't end up being much money per family member. Because of this, we have various charities that distribute food to people, often food that nears its expiration date or is in other ways less desirable. I get things from such distributions, but there are different ones in different areas. 

After the people invited to the distribution take what they want, there sometimes are some items left over which are them free for the taking by anyone who wants, whether or not they have a need, since otherwise it would end in the trash.

I have a friend that, after distributions end, will post in our local giveaway Whatsapp group if there are large quantities of anything left over. And on Thursday night, at 11 pm, just as I was about to start getting ready for bed, she sent out a message that there was so much tofu left over for anyone to take, as well as a lot of milk and different produce. Now that I have a car it wasn't such a big deal for me to just put on shoes and head over (a 2 minute drive) to pick up things.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

4 Hacking Groups Causing Headaches in the InfoSec Community

Internet safety is important especially when you are working online or have online banking or any other important information on the web. Since my son is learning all about cyber security in his advanced level cyber course for high schoolers, I'm learning just how unsafe all our information is. For example, he already has shown me how insecure many different important websites and services are. There have also been terror attacks that have involved hacking. I try to keep up to date on different security issues now that I've been made aware just how widespread hacking is, to remind myself that I need to keep my work related things secure. Read on to learn about some of the big problematic cyber attacks out there.

In recent years, there have been several high-profile cyberattacks that caused severe headaches for companies around the world. 

From ransomware attacks to data breaches, these malicious groups may be on the lookout for opportunities to exploit weaknesses in your security systems. Consider adding malware protection to your practices so you might catch suspicious activity before it becomes a larger issue. 

To help you stay informed and protect yourself and your business from potential threats, here are four of the most notorious hacking groups today:

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Eco-Friendly Family Fun: How To Lead A More Sustainable Lifestyle With Your Children

In today's world, sustainable living has become increasingly important as we strive to protect the environment and create a better future for generations to come. Families play a crucial role in this effort, as they have the power to make sustainable choices that can have a positive impact on the planet. In this blog post, we'll explore some practical and easy-to-implement sustainable living ideas that families can adopt to reduce their environmental footprint and create a more eco-friendly home.

In recent years, many people are beginning to recognize the importance and value of Mother Nature. Without the natural world we simply wouldn’t be able to survive, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect and preserve the earth for as long as possible. With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that environmentally conscious actions are becoming a top priority!

Setting the best example for your children by actively pursuing an eco-friendly lifestyle with your family is a brilliant step to take to promote sustainability, as this way you can influence the next generation to care more about the world around them.

Thankfully, figuring out how you and your family become more sustainable doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might imagine. This handy guide contains some of the best steps that you can follow to reduce your impact on the planet in no time at all, so what are you waiting for? Read on to discover more now!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Details About My First Car -- Why and How I Chose it, and How Much It Cost Me

I posted about getting my first car 2 months ago but I didn't do any follow up posts because I first wanted to get everything right with it and I was afraid to jinx it... And now I'm worried about posting about it because I don't want people to call me negative things such as irresponsible financially or whatever... But I do want to share, I'm just hesitant, and ask you to be nice. (I just am expecting some haters to use this post as proof of something against me...)

So let's start off with this:

I bought a car after a really, really long time without one, after a few years that my physical therapist told me that I really needed a car because of my disabilities. I regularly would get injured taking public transportation, and she'd keep on reminding me that I needed a car. However, I didn't have the money to buy one.

I got a local drivers' license (which was quite a bit of a process since my American one had expired) and once I got that I started renting a car on semi regular occasions, but only "as needed" because I didn't want to waste a lot of money on rentals. This added up to quite a high monthly fee, but I didn' have the funds needed for purchasing one.

I applied for disability for myself, with the hopes that if I got a disability stipend I would have the money to be able to buy a car. Fortunately I got approved, and with it, got a year's back payment, of which I set aside part to be able to buy a used car.

Now before I get into pricing and details, I want to explain that cars locally are ridiculously expensive. Brand new cars have extremely high import taxes, and there are other factors as well, but buying a new car here usually costs at least twice that of a new car in the US. For example, a new Toyota Corolla in the US will cost $22,000 on average, whereas locally the same car will cost $48,000. (Did I mention that the average salary here is a fraction of the average US salary? Because of this, there is a thriving used car market and even used cars are not cheap at all. There's no such thing as a remotely decent used car for a few thousand dollars.

Knowing the used car market here, having checked a bunch online for average pricing, as well as how much I got in disability payments, I decided that I'd give myself a budget of maximum $8,500 for a used car. I figured that I'd be able to get something decent for myself within that range.

I spoke to my friend Michelle who wrote a post on how to frugally buy a car, and she walked me through the steps on how to do this (essentially what she posted here). 

First, we made a list of what my priorities were in a car.

Monday, April 3, 2023

17 Free Or Cheap Things To Do With Your Kids During Lent (Or Any Time)

With Easter just days away, Lent is almost over, and I'm sorry I didn't get this posted sooner. But here are a bunch of low cost or free activities to do with your family if you're observing Lent, and honestly, most of them are also great any time even for people who don't observing Lent.

Are you looking for something to do with your kids during Lent? It can be hard to keep them entertained without breaking the bank. Don't worry - we've got you covered! We've compiled a list of 17 free or cheap things to do with your kids that will provide plenty of fun without spending too much. From outdoor activities, educational projects and even doing meditation for kids, there's an activity for every family in this list.

But, before we go through our recommended activities, what is this season really all about?

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Remodelling your kitchen on a limited budget

A kitchen remodel can be an expensive and daunting task, but it doesn't have to break the bank. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can give your kitchen a fresh new look and feel without spending a fortune. In this post, we'll share some tips and ideas for updating your kitchen while sticking to a budget.

In a perfect world, you could do any remodelling project without having to give a second thought to costs. However, for most families, that’s simply not doable. You have to take into account many things, and when you have children, your spending and saving habits change entirely. You must think not only about the present but increasingly about the future. Saving for your kids’ future education is particularly important, and you must plan ahead to ensure everything works well.

However, these forthcoming expenses shouldn’t have to mean that you must never redecorate your home in any way. Being solely focused on saving and never doing anything fun or new can put a damper on your mood. The good news is that you don’t have to be so spartan about it. In fact, all you need to do is employ a little extra creativity and find ways to mix both.

Renovating your household, however, is one of the endeavours for which you’ll have to pay a substantial amount of money. The kitchen can be particularly challenging because there’s a lot going on behind the cupboards and appliances, like plumbing and wiring. But don’t worry. There’s a way to remodel it without breaking the bank or ending up in debt.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Misir Wot Recipe -- Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew -- Gluten Free, Vegan, and Delicious

I love Ethiopian food. For a small amount of money, you can make yourself a healthy feast that tastes amazing. I went to the market and bought some injera, Ethiopian flatbread (the one part I can't make myself) and cooked up some great toppings which I then ate with my injera (eating it is an art- see here how). As you can see, I made 6 different toppings for my injera. But my favorite was misir wot, Ethiopian red lentil stew, top left. It is so simple, yet so terrific. 

My sons aren't always the biggest lentil fans, but when I made this dish, they gobbled it up. It was also wonderful as leftovers on rice. 

For this dish, you'll need Ethiopian berbere spice mix, which you can buy or make from scratch using my recipe. 

This recipe is frugal, easy, vegan, gluten free, allergy friendly, and just all around a great recipe. Highly recommended.

Misir Wot Recipe -- Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew -- Gluten Free, Vegan, and Delicious