Friday, March 29, 2024

The Primary Benefits of Owning a Home Versus Renting

As a relatively new homeowner, who thought I'd never be able to buy a home, it was never even a question of whether it was a good idea to buy a home, but rather if I'd be able to. Locally prices are constantly increasing for rental apartments- our first apartment's rent more than doubled in price in the 5 years we were living there, so if you stay in one place you just pay more and more and eventually get priced out and need to pay to move. And landlords are individual people that often do terrible jobs and you suffer because of that. But now I'm a home owner and a landlord and I see that being a home owner does come with extra costs that you don't originally realize. However, I'd still take being a home owner vs renter any day.

Homeownership has long been a pillar of the American Dream. Around the country, millions of individuals, couples, and families strive to buy their first home so they can experience the privacy it offers and put their money toward something that will benefit them in the future.

The decision between buying and renting is not an easy one. Renting is much more flexible because you are likely locked into a lease only for the next year as opposed to a 30-year mortgage. Additionally, you do not have as much of a burden to take care of the property, as repairs and major improvements can be handled by the landlord or property manager.

Buying the home so that you become the owner comes with a much different list of responsibilities. However, many would argue that the benefits outweigh the costs. Let’s talk about those benefits and why they are so convincing for those who want to own a home.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

10 Tips and Strategies That Will Help You Secure the Best Deal Possible at a Car Dealership

When buying a car, you can either buy a second hand car from a private seller or buy new or used from a car dealership. If you aren't careful, you may end up paying far too much for a car. Here are some tips to make sure you get the post possible deal when you go the dealership route.

To be a licensed driver, a person must put in the time and effort. Anything less would mean getting stuck without a license and taking and retaking their written and driving exams, which is frustrating. The next step for most people after becoming a licensed driver is usually buying a car. First-time car buyers should put in the same determination they did when preparing for their license exams to get the best deal possible at the car dealership. For car buyers wondering how to do this, here are ten tips and strategies they can use.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Figuring Out a Solution for my PTSD Triggering Problem with Luroy Slats for my Ikea Malm Bed

I freaking hate PTSD, especially Complex PTSD, which is caused from long term trauma (often the result of abuse or war), because it makes my life infinitely harder. (What does this have to do with my bed? Read on.)

When people think of PTSD flashbacks they tend to think of the stereotypical ones where you relive the traumatic event, often with your senses involved, such as visual, auditory, or more. But sometimes there are flashbacks that you don't realize are flashbacks; it took me many years to learn that what I was experiencing was PTSD flashbacks. Emotional flashbacks are intense emotional responses triggered by situations, because your brain gets triggered and thinks that you are back in that traumatic situation, which makes you relive those emotions that you had then. I never understood why I'd react in ways that were "overblown" compared to what actually happened, and felt so stupid about reacting that way, but knowing that it is a PTSD response helps me be just a bit more forgiving to myself. 

When I separated from my ex, I built myself a single bed using some wood I already had from the bed we'd had while married, and some reclaimed wood. A little later I was having back issues and my physical therapist told me that I needed to get a better mattress (mine was at least 20 years old) because the sagging mattress was bad for my back. So I spent money on getting the best and firmest Ikea spring mattress I could afford, because I knew my back was worth the money.

However... all was not good.

Once I had my newer mattress, the flaws in my homemade bed were clear. I must not have sanded down the slats on the bed enough, because the bottom of my brand new mattress was ripped up along the slats. Whenever I needed to pick up the mattress to put on sheets or whatever, I would get so triggered and start having emotional flashbacks. I'd hear the voice of my abuser degrading me, saying things like I'm so irresponsible, I don't think things out, I destroy things, I cause money to be wasted... and I knew I couldn't continue to have that bed. The bed was triggering me a lot. So when I got approved for disability, I used some of the money I got to buy myself a new bed. A bed that wouldn't trigger me the same way.

Or so I thought.

Monday, March 25, 2024

At What Age Does Child Support End in California

As a divorce woman whose kids are slowly nearing adulthood (my oldest graduates high school this June!) the concept of child support and when it ends is something I think about. When does it end? When should it end? If a kid is still living at home and their parents are still paying their expenses, does it make sense that suddenly all child support ends at 18? What is fair? What happens in reality? Well, the answer for that is it depends where you're talking about. This is the story in California.

California has set up some clear rules for child support to make sure kids get the financial support they need from both parents. The origins of California's child support program go back to 1872, when California first adopted the Penal Code, which made failure to pay child support a misdemeanor, later increased to a felony.

But when does child support end in California? And what are the consequences if you fail to pay it? In California, determining the age at which child support obligations come to an end is based on several factors that protect the child's financial well-being. While the usual rule is that child support ends at the age of 18, there are exceptions, such as high school graduation and the presence of disabilities.

In this discussion, we will explore the various factors that can affect the duration of child support and the potential consequences of failing to fulfill this financial responsibility, highlighting the factors and considerations for parents at this significant milestone in family dynamics.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Navigating Divorce: Understanding California's Divorce Laws

Life throws curveballs, and sometimes those curves lead to relationship changes. Whether you're navigating your own divorce or supporting someone close to you, understanding divorce laws can be eye opening. Every location has its own rules, and this post about California's divorce rules is helpful for anyone who lives in California, or may consider moving there, when their marriage is rocky.  Some of these rules are relevant to all 50 states and some are different. For example, California is one of only 9 states where all marital debts and assets are divided exactly 50/50, regardless of circumstances.

As of 2023, the divorce rate in California is estimated to be 35-50% for first marriages and 60% to 70% for second marriages. California is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning you don't need to prove wrongdoing by either spouse to obtain a divorce.

The most common ground for divorce is "irreconcilable differences," where the marriage is deemed to have broken down, but keep in mind that every situation is different, and if you're considering getting a divorce, before making any decisions, it's important to familiarize yourself with the divorce rules in California. While you may already know some basic information, a few things may surprise you.

In this article, we will look into five major aspects of California divorce laws that you may need to be aware of. From property division to spousal support, child custody, residency requirements, and alternative dispute resolution options, we will share valuable insights to help you confidently understand the divorce process.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

How to Repurpose Leftover and/Or Imperfect Rice

In general I'm not a picky eater. I am willing to eat most foods, no matter how weird... but one of those few foods I'm actually picky about is rice. It needs to be made perfectly or I really can't tolerate eating it. Of course, rice happens to be one of those foods that even many good cooks can't cook properly. And even though I know how to cook rice just fine, from time to time I get a batch that just flops for whatever reason.

I hate to waste food. So if rice flops, I try to see if there are ways to salvage it and use it in a dish that will mask the imperfections. Here are some ways I've found to repurpose botched rice.

How to Repurpose Leftover and/Or Imperfect Rice

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Is Buying Hearing Aids Online a Good Idea?

I like shopping online since it allows me to price compare and get things cheaper than I can usually get them in person, or sometimes find things that I can't even buy locally. Even some medical items I get online, such as ankle and wrist braces for my wonky joints. But I've learned that not every medical device should be ordered online, even if you can. For example, progressive lenses are finicky enough that buying them in person is important. Hearing aids are similar- here's why you should buy hearing aids in person.

Image by vecstock on Freepik

The convenience of online shopping has revolutionized the way we purchase everything from groceries to gadgets, and now, even medical devices like hearing aids. With a few clicks, you can explore a wide array of options, compare prices, and read reviews before making a purchase.

However, when it comes to exploring the best hearing aid solutions, buying online isn’t a straightforward decision.

Let’s explore the important considerations involved in purchasing hearing aids and why, ultimately, scheduling an appointment for a personal fitting might be the better choice.

Monday, March 18, 2024

10 Commonly Spread Myths About Addiction

Growing up, despite not hanging out with the "best crowd", I was nonetheless sheltered enough from the world of addiction that I never personally witnessed drug use, and was extremely shocked when I found out 3 years ago that some schoolmates of mine from high school were busted for running a drug smuggling and money laundering scheme in my hometown. Then I heard from my kids recently about the drug and alcohol problems that some of their classmates and social circles have, and it gets very concerning. Even if you think addition isn't something you need to know about, it is. People get much wrong about addiction, and it is important to be educated about it to keep you and your loved ones safe. Here are 10 myths about addiction that you might have heard.

There are many myths about addiction. Some contain a grain of truth, but others are fabrications. We’ll discuss some of these myths right now.

Addiction and Dependence Are the Same Thing

If you’re talking about drug or alcohol dependence vs. an addiction, you should know they’re similar, but they’re not the same thing. If you’re dependent on a drug or alcohol, you’ll have a hard time functioning without it. If you’re addicted to something, though, you will go into physical withdrawal if you are deprived of it.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Why I Make and Drink Lots of My Homemade Sports Drinks And My Calculating Savings

Last July, I went to the EDS (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) expert in my country. I still plan on writing up about that visit because I found it very enlightening, but for now, I want to share one of the changes I have made to my life since then. 

Through this doctor it was confirmed that I have POTS, a type of dysautonomia, and the treatment of that, among other things, is to stay very well hydrated as well as making sure to have enough salt. Though she wrote on my paperwork that I should drink 2-3 liters a day, I've discovered through trial and error that I really do best with ideally 4, but at least 3 liters per day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Sleepover Sensations: Elevating Kids' Rooms with Versatile Bed Options

Living with a family of 5 in a 900 or so square foot home means that bed space is at a premium, and as it is we need space saving measures to have enough room for the beds for the kids and we've used different configurations over the years, from loft beds to bunk beds to trundle beds, and more. Right now if the kids want a sleep over, we pull out the mattresses that are under their beds and use them. But if you aren't already using space saving bed configurations, here are some ways that you can make more room for your kids to be able to host friends when they have a sleepover.

Sleepovers are a cherished childhood tradition, offering kids the opportunity to bond with friends, make memories, and experience a sense of independence. When it comes to creating the ultimate sleepover setup, having versatile bed options is key to accommodating guests comfortably. In this guide, we'll explore a range of bed options designed specifically for sleepovers, ensuring that kids' rooms are equipped for hosting memorable and enjoyable slumber parties.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Quick Tips To Organise Your Home After A Long Vacation

I love going on trips. But coming back from a trip can be wonderful too. But the unpacking part is probably the hardest thing for me and I'm sure others as well. The fact that things can be up in the air and rushing last minute before you leave means that... you come home sometimes to what can feel like a disaster and not a welcoming place. (I understand why my ex always wanted to clean the house before we left on a trip, but it doesn't work for me... but it has its perks.) Then on top of that, dealing with all the laundry, etc... It took me a bit more than a few days, to be honest, to get my house back in order after our recent trip to Cyprus. So, if anyone would appreciate these tips, its me. I hope you find these post vacation home organization tips useful!

Alright, globetrotter! You've just returned from an epic vacation filled with adventure, relaxation, and perhaps a few too many souvenirs. Now, reality hits hard as you face the chaos of unpacking and organizing your home. Fear not, intrepid traveler, for I've got the ultimate guide to turn your post-vacation chaos into domestic bliss.