Monday, December 28, 2020

Spoil Yourself This Holiday Season

It was a simple and yet meaning holiday for us this year. But for moms like me, I still work during the holidays at home. Nevertheless,  I still find myself lucky that I still have a job despite the pandemic and I was able to buy my family some gifts. How about you, moms? Did you get yourself a gift this year? Pandemic or not, we really should love ourselves more because if we’re not healthy, our families also suffer. I remember the time when I got a fever, my husband got tired of looking after the kids and as a result, he gets grumpy until he doesn’t have energy to play with them anymore. The kids were also constantly worried about my condition.  They would go to the bedroom every now and then asking if I was feeling better.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Can I Afford to Buy a House?

Can I afford to buy a house?
Not really my ideal house, but it's close enough. Picture from Pixabay

Yes, yes, I know. It's Christmas and buying a house is probably the last thing our minds right now. But I'm actually thinking in advance for next year or the next. I am middle-aged woman of 39 and yet I still don’t have a home on my own. I’m actually still living with my relatives and that’s quite normal in my country. But still, having a husband and kids of my own, I still yearn for a home that I can call our own home. It’s still different when you’re free to do what you want and there’s no eyes looking at you.

Sometimes I would look at houses in our area and I get inspired to get homes like theirs because theirs are so beautiful and they look cozy. But having the salary that I currently have right now which is way below minimum compared to US rates, I don’t think I can own a home any time soon. So I thought of having a job offering a higher salary. There was a time in life and probably even now, I still wonder what kind of job does it take for me to afford something like a house or a car. I initially thought maybe only high income jobs like doctors or only laywers can afford good houses.  

So I looked in the internet on the keywords, “can I afford to buy a house.” I wound up at Investopia’s article about being ready to buy ahouse. There were two questions raised there; one is am I ready to buy a house and second is how much can I afford. The second question is the tricky and hard one. My answer to the first question is yes, but the second one is something I have to solve first.

So I searched again on tools on how to buy a house in my current salary. I came across an online mortgage calculator and I was fascinated by its simple features. There I placed the price of the dream house I wanted which is priced at $127,000.  I pressed “calculate” and then voila! To be able to buy my dream house, I need to have a job that gives me an annual salary of $29,638, which is, sad to say, an executive position already in our country. 

After giving it much thought, it’s either I  educate myself again and get certified to get a high-paying job or stay in my current job and get a side job like blogging, writing, or sell some goods (e.g. buy and sell). According to an article from Bloomberg, we really need to set a strategy when buying a home.  Aside from the selling price of the house, expect additional costs to be paid and location is also important because it will really affect our daily lifestyle including our daily costs, more specifically transportation costs.   That’s something I’d have to discuss with my husband and probably he’d give me some insights to help me decide on what direction I should go to. Maybe if we combine our salaries, that could work also.

So are we ready? Yes. How much are we willing to pay for it? Definitely less than my ideal home, but it's still under discussion. The pandemic has really hit us hard financially and I know it's not the right time to find a home, or is it? Hopefully, I could post a future article that discusses on the step by step process we would undertake on buying a house so I can share with our experience. 

Comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments below. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Benefits of Retractable Window Screens

If you’ve been thinking about adding window screens to your home, you’re already headed in the right direction. These provide a handful of excellent benefits and will decrease the amount of heat that enters your home, thus helping cut down on your monthly energy bill! Have you ever heard of or seen retractable window screens? These are similar to traditional outdoor screens but are installed on the interior of the window. When you want to take advantage of open windows, simply pull these screens down. When you’re finished, slide them back up into the housing. Here are a few other benefits of retractable window screens that might be exactly what you’ve been looking for!

1. Cuts Down on Daytime Glare

Do you have windows that receive an uncomfortable amount of sunlight during the day? It can make rooms incredibly warm and difficult to be in for extended amounts of time. Maybe your living room heats up mid-afternoon, causing you to run your air conditioning all day long just to keep your home comfortable. This can get expensive! With retractable window screens, you can use them as needed to minimize both glare and unwanted heat. When the sun sets on your home, you can pull your window screens down to block out a large percentage of the heat. You’ll be able to enjoy rooms in a whole new way without the need to crank down your air conditioning. Once installed, you’ll notice a stark difference on your monthly energy bill!

2. Enhanced Indoor Privacy

Retractable window screens will allow you to have privacy whenever you’d like. Instead of outdoor window screens constantly blocking your view, you can enjoy a fully clear view when you’re in the room and then use your retractable screens to ward off outsiders looking in. They’re perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and virtually any other room in your home that strangers or curious neighbors could peer into. You will have visibility looking out, but those outside will be unable to see in.

3. Insect Prevention

If you’re constantly dealing with mosquitos, flies, gnats, and other pests, having open windows may seem like it’s simply not possible. Retractable window screens can make that possibility a reality! They do a great job of blocking out insects so you can enjoy the fresh air, sounds, and sights of your back or front yard. Essentially, these window screens help you take back control of how you use your windows!

4. Full, Clear View When Desired

Traditional outdoor screens are notorious for obscuring the view when looking out. You’ve probably looked out of a window and been met with unsightly screen blocking your full view. Luckily, there is a better choice! When you want a full and clear view of your backyard pool, garden, the kids playing, or whatever else, retractable window screens are very ideal. Slide them up and you’ll have a crystal clear view with no screen wire in the way. You get the best of both worlds with retractable window screens! 

5. Long-Lasting in Comparison to Outdoor Screens

Because they aren’t designed for 24/7 use, retractable window screens will have a longer lifespan than traditional outdoor screens. They won’t be susceptible to the elements and are kept safe in the screen housing when not in use. Often times outdoor screens wear down after years of rain, wind, UV rays from the sun, and insect damage. You will end up replacing these much earlier than retractable screens. While they may seem more expensive up front, the convenience and longevity of retractable window screens makes them worthwhile! 

If view, lifespan, convenience, and privacy are important must-haves in your search for window screens, retractable screens will be the right fit for you. Generally, they can be customized to complement your home and are easy to install without the need of a professional. Since these can be used all throughout your home, they can really make a huge difference in the comfort level, so everyone feels good (not hot and uncomfortable). If you’ve only had traditional outdoor window screens or never had them at all, retractable screens will be a total game changer! There when you need them, out of sight when you don’t. What’s not to love? Retractable window screens are worth the investment!

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