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Make Sure Your Garage Isn’t Tacking Money On Utility Bills…
As ever-increasing home energy bills continue to plague Americans, homeowners are looking for cost-effective ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs. If your house has not been properly insulated, you may be paying more than you should to heat or cool it.
Nearly all modern homes have insulation throughout the living spaces, but garages commonly get overlooked. Because the garage is the last barrier between your home and the outdoors, it’s important to ensure the insulation is adequate. You can do a few simple things to make sure your garage is insulated properly.
First, it’s important to ensure that the door leading from your home to the garage is sealed properly.
Other areas to consider when checking your garage’s energy efficiency are the ceiling and the garage door threshold. If there is a room above your garage, it may be beneficial to bolster the insulation in the garage’s ceiling to help keep the living space above it comfortable. For the threshold, installing a rubber seal-strip on the floor where the garage door closes helps prevent air leaks, and keeps out insects and rodents.
That said, one of the most important areas to examine is the garage door itself. While installing a pre-insulated garage door can cost up to a thousand dollars or more, and requires a skilled contractor, there is a simple and inexpensive DIY solution to insulate your garage — garage door insulation kits.
Homeowners can easily insulate their existing garage doors with these kits, which are readily available in leading home improvement stores or online. These affordable and easy-to-use kits are made to fit standard garage door sizes and can be cut to fit non-standard sizes. With pre-packaged insulation, do-it-yourselfers can insulate their garage door in less than an hour, at a cost of less than $100. Kits use energy-efficient expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation panels — a rigid white foam that trims easily, is durable, offers excellent long-term insulation, and gives your garage a professionally finished look.
During fall and winter, the insulation helps keep heat inside the garage so that the furnace does not work as hard and use as much energy. In the summer, the insulation helps keep the sun’s heat at bay so the garage can stay cool. Insulating your garage also helps reduce interior noise and can earn federal tax credits as an energy-efficient upgrade (check your local energy guides for more information).
Looking for something to do today with the family? How about the Fall Festival in Highland Village?!
The Fall Festival provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate fall with festivities for all ages. Attendees will spend the day at Highland Village’s Unity Park, where they will enjoy music, food, arts and craft vendors, and various activities for children.
When: Saturday, November 1, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Where: Unity Park (Kids Kastle)
2250 Briarhill Blvd., Highland Village, TX 75077
– See more at: http://familyeguide.com/fall-festival-in-highland-village/#sthash.e7YDdtkE.dpuf
Source: Family eGuide
America’s 50 Best Cities to Live! We always knew that Town of Flower Mound, Texas was a great place. 24/7 Wall St. just confirmed it with #9 ~ Flower Mound, Texas
“Flower Mound is among the smaller cities reviewed, with just over 68,000 residents as of 2012. Demand for homes in the area has grown dramatically in recent years, as evidenced by home prices rising 8.5% between 2010 and 2012, among the largest increases. Violent crimes are also extremely rare in the town. There were just over 30 incidents per 100,000 people in 2013, lower than in all but two other cities reviewed.
Residents are among the wealthiest in America, with a typical household earning $113,683 in 2012. Residents are well educated, and students performed above average on standardized tests. Residents can also enjoy over 2,800 restaurants and 14 museums in Tarrant County, as well as Dallas Cowboys football games in nearby Arlington.”
Read more: America’s 50 Best Cities to Live – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/09/17/americas-50-best-cities-to-live/#ixzz3DxwzWZ1P
Great Starter Or Investment Property For Sale in Lewisville, Texas!
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How To Create A Household Budget!
Step 1: Write down your total take-home monthly income.
This is the easy part! Jot down what you earn. Because many expenses are billed monthly, figuring out how much you have to spend each month is easiest for your plan.
Step 2: Write down your essential expenses. Start with fixed bills like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then factor in other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed expenses.
Step 3: List your essential variable expenses.
You know you’ll have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples are your phones, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medication, public transportation, shoes and clothing. You can assign an estimated amount to each based on past experience, rounding to the closest $10.
Step 4: List reasonable amounts for nonessential expenses.
This includes entertainment, eating out, hobbies and other ways you spend money on a regular basis.
Step 5: Find the extras.
Go to your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you’ve left out. You’ll likely see items for car maintenance and repair, gifts, vacations, Christmas and holidays. For items that do not recur monthly, determine the annual cost, then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate that irregular expense.
Step 6: Figure out your totals.
Add up your expenses, then subtract that amount from your income. With luck you’ll come out in the black, with at least a little money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you’ll see a negative sum. Don’t panic—this is just the start of an ongoing process.
Step 7: See where you can cut .
If you came up short, go back to your projected monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of. Look first to your nonessential expenses. Which items can you remove altogether for a while (eating out seems like a fine target; perhaps hobby expenses too, for a season)? Keep going through the list, making adjustments until your total expenses are less than your income.
Step 8: Follow your spending plan as closely as possible.
Track your spending every day by posting it on a sheet of paper. Take notes and research ways you’ll be able to do even better next month. At month’s end, add up your actual spending and compare it with what you planned. Use this information to create the next month’s spending plan.
Congratulations—you’ve just elevated yourself from being clueless to financially savvy. You should feel very good about this! As difficult as it might be to see in black and white that your income and expenses are not quite in sync, just knowing where you are is going to make all the difference.
Even if you find yourself in a particularly tight financial position right now, take heart. As you pay off debts and find more ways to cut expenses, you’ll begin to sense a significant loosening of financial pressure. Soon you’ll be ready to add new categories to your spending plan for things like saving for a new car, home improvements or going back to college.
The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching financial freedom.