Making Your Home a Paradise

Do you have fantasies about where you’d like to live someday? Maybe it’s a beautiful little seaside town in the south of France or a log home in the mountains of Denver. Fortunately, you can have a bit of your dream right now, where you live today, without uprooting your life!

Although it’s important to strive toward making your dreams a reality, you’ll live a happier existence in the meantime if you work to create your own paradise wherever you live.

Try some of these tips to ensure you’re living your best life in the here-and-now:

  1. Accept where you’re living. Whether you’re in a one-bedroom apartment or your great aunt’s condo downtown, for now, you’re calling it home. This is your own bit of paradise for today. Tell yourself that you’re okay living where you live because it’s simply a stepping stone that will lead you to the place you want to eventually be.
  2. Set the mood. Do you wish to lift your spirits and energy level when you walk in the door? If so, decorate with brighter colored textiles in furniture, upholstery, and curtains. Have splashes of vivid art on the walls.
    • If you prefer to set a calm and tranquil tone in your own little heaven, use calmer colors like sage greens, beige, and mocha to present a more serene picture when you enter the room.
    • No matter where you live, you can set the mood you want most by painting your walls and using evocative colors.
  3. Consider options for your comfort. Do you want different furniture pieces to make your space fit you better or be more comfortable? Maybe you need a more efficient desk to sit at when you’re working at home. Perhaps different lighting fixtures would help.
    • The key to creating your sanctuary is to set up each room exactly how you want it. This can be done on a budget, too. You don’t have to invest a fortune to create the look and feel that you desire. Consignment shops and thrift stores can be great sources for inexpensive items for your new look.
  4. Learn to love the home you have. Find specific aspects of your space that bring you joy and contentment. Maybe it’s the way the sun streams in the east window of the kitchen in the mornings. Or perhaps you enjoy the open layout between the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. Notice and take full advantage of what you do like about your home.
  5. Check out design websites, apps, and books for décor ideas. Look for inspiration such as furniture arrangement, carefully placed treasures, wall colors, and use of textiles to obtain the look and feel you want. Recognize that regardless of the size and location of your home, there are countless ways to alter it to suit your tastes and introduce the qualities you want.

Show some love to yourself and your home by creating a sanctuary right where you live now. With just a few simple changes and a fresh perspective, you can have your own paradise no matter where you live!

Easing the Financial Burden of Becoming a One-Income Household

While the modern household has two streams of income supporting the family, there are some situations where it doesn’t make sense to send both parents out into the workforce, namely, when daycare costs exceed or essentially match the salary of one parent.

If you’re hoping to become a stay at home mom (or dad), you can ease the financial burden of becoming a one-income household by implementing the following tips.

Relocate

If you’re currently a renter, relocating is a viable option for your family. Consider moving to a less expensive side of town, or the outskirts of your town, where the breadwinner of the family will still be able to commute to work, but the cost-of-living may be less.

Moving to a new state altogether may even be feasible, if what you’re now paying for rent for a small two bedroom townhouse could more than pay for a similarly sized townhouse, your electric bill and your groceries for the month.

Of course, with moving out-of-state, the one caveat is finding a new job for the breadwinner. If possible, ask your spouse’s current employer whether a transfer to a new location would be possible.

Work from Home

If your schedule allows, consider working at home by freelancing your expertise or taking on a home-based job, such as transcribing, virtual assisting or a customer service position. Some companies offer benefits. However, this is not common practice as you’ll likely be hired on as an independent contractor.

If you’re a well-versed writer, you may be able to land a position as a freelance writer working for online content companies. These online companies hire freelance writers:

  • Demandstudios.com pays $15 to $20 per article.
  • Need-an-article.com pays $5 per article.
  • Textbroker.com pays a varying wage per article.
  • Breakstudios.com pays $8 per article.

Even if working fulltime from home isn’t a viable option, you may still be able to earn several hundred dollars by working from home in your spare time. And every little bit helps when surviving on just one income.

Entertain for Less

Chances are your family spends more on entertainment than you think you do: eating out, going to the theater, ordering pizza when you don’t feel like cooking, concerts, and more. Every dollar you spend on entertainment adds up at the end of the month.

By doing things yourself, you can save a considerable amount of money without feeling deprived. Test your cooking skills and make a pizza from scratch rather than ordering one for $20. Pizzas made from scratch often cost less than $5 to make.

Instead of ordering a movie, peruse the television schedule at the beginning of the week and pick a movie or two that’s showing on TV for free. Yes, you may have to put up with commercials, but it’s a small price to pay in comparison to spending $7 to $12 per ticket for a movie in the theater.

If becoming a one-income family is the right choice for your family’s current needs, it’s time to take the plunge.

You may have to make certain sacrifices, such as downsizing your home or doing inexpensive things at home rather than heading to Main Street. But in the end, even all of these sacrifices won’t take away from your increased quality of life, as you’ll be able to spend more precious time with your family.