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Engineered Wood Flooring – Why You Should Choose It

Engineered Wood FlooringWhen people talk about creating their dream home, wooden flooring is often at the top of the list of things they want. There’s no denying the fact that wooden flooring makes a home look great, but have you ever considered opting for engineered wood instead? Many people make the mistake of thinking that engineered wood is a fancy way of saying “laminate flooring” but it’s actually a really versatile flooring which is a great substitute for solid wood. Here are five reasons for you to consider it:

Same Look, Lower Price

It takes a pretty professional eye to notice the difference between solid wood and engineered wood flooring, which is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that it costs so much less. It also comes in pre-made designs and can look like parquet or other patterned flooring, giving it a unique, expensive appearance. If you have a large area to cover, the avings will really add up.

Easy to Fit

Fitting solid wood flooring is a real art form, especially if you want a parquet style like herringbone or swallowtail. By comparison, fitting an engineered wood floor is an absolute doddle. It’s very flexible in terms that it can be fitted many ways and even floating over the uneven subfloor and underfloor heating system.

It’s Durable

Damaging a hard wood floor can be a very expensive mistake, and many types of flooring also need regular maintenance over the years to keep it looking it’s best. Engineered wood is very daage-resistant and replacing a board or two needn’t be expensive. Many people don’t know that the surface of refinished wood can be sanded and refinished, which means that you can totally change the look if you get bored!

Lots of Choice

With engineered wood, can choose between a wide variety of species, colours, patterns and textures. In general, almost all of the wood species used for manufacturing solid wood floors are also available for engineered wood floors. In addition, engineered wood can also be purchased prefinished and unfinished, which means that you have the freedom to customise your own floor with your very own bespoke colour and texture.

Easy to Clean

Cleaning a hardwood floor isn’t always easy, because using the wrong products can leave it dehydrated and damaged beyond repair. Engineered wood can be cleaned daily by sweeping or even vacuuming the area, and most brands will also be compatible with mopping, although make sure you check your manufacturer’s recommended cleanser.

Do you have an engineered wood floor in your home? What do you love about it? Leave me a comment below!

Travel

Backpacking for beginners

Filling a backpack and leaving a note for your friend on which of your house plants need watering is something that will make you feel like you’re off to stand shoulder to shoulder with the great pioneering adventurers. Move over, Amundsen. Take a backseat, Earhart. Here comes some very decent walking boots and a backpack that cost a little above budget. Let’s do this. 

First, a quick message regarding COVID-19. The overall effects of the pandemic have left the travel and tourism industry with unanswered questions over whether travel restrictions will be in place at the time of travel, meaning your booking could be affected. Keep this in mind when planning your trip, and be sure to check the latest news (also, see this related COVID travel info). Now. let’s get on with backpacking for beginners.

You’ve packed way too much

When I was about 10 years old, I went to play golf for the first time. There was a golf pro on the course that day, carrying only two clubs – one for distance, and one for putting. I, on the other hand, had about 17 clubs, a golf bag on wheels, a thousand spare golf balls, a towel, sandwiches, water, a cap, a raincoat, and an umbrella. 

When it comes to backpacking, you do need certain things such as spare clothes, toiletries, tickets, travel documents, and your phone (and a charger and headphones), but beyond that you are taking things along that you probably won’t find regular use for, meaning you could just buy these things if you needed them. Expert trekkers take only what they need.

Choose hostels where breakfast is included in the price

Hostels come in all shapes and sizes. Some have luxuries that others don’t. For example, some hostels have bars. Some hostels have communal internet café type areas with vending machines and free to use computers. I’ve even been to one hostel with a pool area (although, in fairness, it was poorly maintained). Wherever you choose to stay, there’s one thing that you should look out for at the point of booking – breakfast. Underestimate breakfast at your peril. There is nothing quite as galling as setting off to find an early morning bakery because you forgot to ask about breakfast – starting the day on an empty stomach is no fun. 

Sleep tight…

Hostels do not supply you with sleeping bags (at least, certainly not in my experience – it doesn’t make good hygiene sense). They supply clean sheets (you hope) and a bed and a pillow. If you’re feeling relatively rough and ready, these arrangements may suit you just fine. However, if you think that sleeping under one thin loose sheet might leave you a little exposed (both to thieves and the overnight temperatures), you may want to look into taking along a sleeping bag. 

Not only will you feel more protected in general, but you can use the sleeping bag to store things like your phone and your money while you sleep – any potential thieves would have to have a deft touch to go unnoticed while stealing from the inside of an occupied sleeping bag!

Money

4 Ways To Teach Your Kids About Finances

The decision to impart basic financial lessons to your children is the right step in shaping their attitudes about money and how to spend it. A study by the Personal Finance Education Group revealed that about 98% of children from eleven to seventeen have some money of their own. Ignoring the responsibility of teaching your kids how to be financially-savvy may lead them to make unwise financial decisions with long-term impacts. Here are some ways you can teach your children about finance.

  • Do not engage in impulse buying

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Have you ever gone out shopping with your kids, and they began to hound you to purchase something entirely out of your budget? It is tempting to give in to their puppy-eyed pleas but fight it! Let them understand that you came out to shop with a budget, and anything extra would affect your planned list. Explain how it may be more beneficial to wait it out until another time. You could employ a strategy to deny the kids something else you already planned to get them in exchange for what they are demanding; this would teach them to make the right decisions. 

  • Show them their toys cost money

Are you aware of how your kids may misuse their toys and end up damaging them? Instead of cautioning them verbally, you could consider showing them how much it costs to buy them. For example, if your child has a piggy bank, make them take out a few pounds and go with them to the store to buy another set of toys. Even for a five-year-old, this practical lesson makes them feel first-hand the emotions that come with parting with money. 

  • Make your kids earn commissions; not allowances

Avoid the habit of handing out money to your kids simply because they ask for it. Regardless of how much you love them, this will make them nurture a sense of entitlement, making financial independence difficult in the future. Institute commission earnings and not allowances; when your child completes chores, you can pay them according to a set payment plan, complete with what makes them eligible for pay. However, when you notice they made an extra effort to perform their chores, add a bit more as an incentive or bonus. Doing this teaches your child that money is earned and is worth saving.

  • Use a transparent piggy bank

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It is always a great idea to foster the habit of savings in young children. However, the trick to making your child see their money ‘grow’ is by ensuring that their piggy bank jar is a transparent one; every coin or note you drop in there is a visual indicator of their ‘wealth.’ It’s a wonderful way to build their desire to grow wealth through completing simple chores or being disciplined. You can also use it as an opportunity to teach your kids strong lessons about money and finance. Consider using services such as Debt to Success System BBB and make your lessons practical and easy for your child to comprehend.

It is never too early to begin to impart simple financial lessons to your kids. Money management is a skill worth grasping very early on in life. What you should do is maximize every opportunity to make these lessons fun and practical. Remember that children learn through play.

Uncategorized

4 Healthcare Checks Your Should Perform Regularly

Over the years, doctors have stressed the need for people to have regular medical check-ups to monitor their health. Regular screening by a specialist quarterly, twice, or annually should not be a daunting exercise. On the contrary, these can help an individual detect their risk of potential ailments for early treatments. A report by The Guardian suggests that between 50-80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable with early checks. With that said, these four checks should always feature on your medical to-do list.

  • Breast cancer 

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Medical specialists concur that having regular breast screening is valuable in detecting breast cancer early and offers a better chance of survival. This means you are also less likely to undergo a mastectomy (removing the breast issues to treat cancer). However, chemotherapy will come as the best treatment if the cancer cells are detected early. Studies have shown that breast cancer treatment and the survival rate has improved substantially in the last four decades in the UK; about 600,000 individuals remain alive after early diagnosis, with the figure expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030.

  • Check your heart rate

Your resting pulse before anything else gives a sign of your overall health. The regularity of  your heart rate depends on your age and fitness level. Get familiar with your normal heartbeat by checking every morning for seven days. Thankfully, technological innovations have presented everyday gadgets like smartphone applications, wellness trackers, or pulse screens for this purpose. A difference in 10 beats for every moment (bpm) or more may mean you are run down. Over 100 bpm could mean you are dehydrated, stressed, sick, or excited. Consult a specialist if you need expert advice on the matter.

  • Oral check-up

Frequently visiting the dentist is significant in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. During the dental examination, the specialist will check your general oral health for any areas that may require attention. A clean-up by your dental specialist will eliminate any tartar development and plaque and also clean your teeth thoroughly. In general, you should undergo a dental examination or check-up at least once a year, especially for those at increased risk. You can visit this website for more information on all your oral health-related issues.

  • Blood pressure 

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Persons with high blood pressure are at significant risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure. Most of these health conditions strike with no indications or warnings; therefore, it is essential to have your blood pressure regularly checked. Fortunately, this is an exercise that can be carried out at home without necessarily visiting the hospital. Blood pressure monitors are easy to use. Ensure you are in a calm climate when you do the test. Blood pressure between 90/60 and 120/80 mmHg in adults is regarded as usual. Anything higher means you must engage in activities like cutting back on your alcohol and salt intake while adopting healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

The famous saying “your health is wealth” is a significant indication of how important your health is. Just as you protect your finances, your health deserves such premium treatment to improve your quality of life.

Driving

Cars Are Expensive – How Do You Pay For Them?

Paying for a new car, whether it’s second hand or not, can get quite pricey. Even when you have a budget that you’re working well within the parameters of, you can question if forking out this much money is really worth it! After all, the car in front of you won’t last forever, and who knows if you’ll ever default on the payments?

And with all that in mind, it’s time to think about the ways to pay for a car. They’re expensive, for a variety of reasons, but there are three main financial categories you can choose from in the car world. Let’s go through them below.

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With Your Own Cash

Using your own cash is often the most pricey and financially risky way to go – you never know when you’re going to need your savings, after all, and now you’ve just used them all up. However, it’s also one of the safest ways to ensure you’ve got a car for as long as you need it – there’s no payments to default on, and you’ll never be out of your transportation thanks to the lease being revoked.

As long as you’ve got the savings to do so, you can pay by cash. You could also use your cash to put down an even bigger deposit than is actually required, which will stop you from having to pay too much in financing in the future.

Using a Scheme

There are plenty of car financing schemes out there – you just need to look for them! It all depends on fitting into certain brackets, such as being the right age, or being from the right financial background, and then applying to the right places.

For example, you could make use of the Motability scheme. This allows people who live with disabilities to retain their independence, and have some much needed transport in their lives. And these schemes are available everywhere, and for all car models, such as VW Motability. Next time you go into a dealership, be sure to ask for a specialist to guide you around the application process and what’s currently on offer.

On Finance

And finally, you can always get a car on finance, of which there are many different options to choose from. Depending on the money you have to work with, you’re not going to find a one size fits all financing solution here.

From hire purchase to conditional sales (which is the more traditional form of purchasing a car on finance) to PCP (personal contract purchase), you have quite a few variable rates to choose from here. However, be sure to do some more research into each one of these options before you sign one, as they all have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Paying for a car can be done in a variety of ways, and working out which is best for you is important to do beforehand. So, do your research, and make sure you’re getting the right deal here.