From Chaos to Clean: How to Organize a Closet

It’s time to combat clutter for once and for all. Start by organizing your closets. It will make getting ready faster and more enjoyable. Plus, it’s finally time to swap sweaters for t-shirts.

Use these tips to organize your closets:

  1. Completely declutter: Before you start coming up with new ways to organize, get yourself situated. Donate clothes that you don’t wear. (If you haven’t worn something in over a year, it may be time to let it go.) The Salvation Army or Red Cross are options for donating clothes, and check local charities too. Most cities have clothing donation bins, and many shelters, churches, synagogues, and sometimes schools accept appropriate donations.
  1. Use shelves and cubbies: If your closet isn’t as big as you’d like, find unique ways to expand space. Add shelving, cubbies, and hanging organizers to store items that cannot be hung on the rod.
  1. Store accordingly: Develop an organization system. Store your most used items at eye level, less used items on the bottom, and your least used items up high. Some people have a designated space for each category of clothing, and some people separate their closet by use. If you separate by use, you could have work clothes and formal clothes in one section, and less formal clothes in another.
  1. Add lights: Some closets are so dark and dreary — we can understand why “monsters” like to reside there. To fix this problem, install lights to illuminate the space and make it easier to find the perfect outfit.
  1. Color coordinate: Shop your closet the same way you’d shop in a store. Color coordinate items within each category. Organize your colors from light to dark or dark to light.

Turn on some music and get started! You may be amazed at all the outfit ideas you’ll come up with when everything is neat and tidy.

Source: century21.com

How to Unclog Shower Drains

A clogged shower or bath drain is one of the most common bathroom issues that homeowners across the country face.

Whether it’s hair, soap or anything that’s been dropped while bathing, a clogged drain can be a real pain to fix. Luckily, we have provided several different methods that you can employ to get the water draining properly again.

First, try boiling water

Boiling water doesn’t always work to unclog drains, but it’s the simplest way to resolve minor clogs. In fact, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Doyle James, advises pouring boiling water down the drain at least once a week to prevent clogging. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might be in a ‘hairier’ situation.

How to unclog a shower drain

1. Remove the drain cover

Take a screwdriver and remove the screws holding the shower drain cover in place.

dirty shower draindirty shower drain

2. Snake the drain

Use a wire hanger, plunger or even a drain snake to get all the hair, organic matter and other debris out of the way.

shower drain snakeshower drain snake

3. Flush with boiling water

Pour boiling water into the drain, and if the draining rate still seems slow, you have more digging to do.

boiling waterboiling water

4. Repeat steps 2-3 until the drain rate is quick and normal

If the drain rate doesn’t improve after snaking and flushing several times, try an organic drain bomb.

clean shower drainclean shower drain

How to unclog a bath drain

This will take a bit more effort, but anyone with a screwdriver can do this in five minutes.

  1. If you have a trip-lever drain stopper (looks like a classic light switch), undo the screws that hold it in place
  2. Gently pull out the trip waste mechanism and remove all the hairs that have clung to it that caused the clog. Clean the lever mechanism, as well as the train and overflow pipe with boiling water before putting the trip lever and plug back in place.
  3. If the drain rate is normal without the trip lever and plug but slows when you put them back in, Popular Mechanic suggests the problem could be that the trip waste linkage is too long, and is blocking the overflow pipe. Shorten it by around 1/4th inch by loosening the nut on the linkage’s threaded brass arm and then threading the arm into the bracket, which should improve the drain rate. If it’s still slow, shorten the linkage a bit more.
  4. As for the bath drain itself, follow the above process for unclogging the shower drain. And if the clog is still present or the drain rate remains slow, it’s time to call in an airstrike.

Try an organic drain bomb

If boiling water won’t budge the clog, it leaves you no other choice but to go with the organic drain bomb. In a HomeServe Living guide to unblocking bath or shower drains, they advise using a combination of 15 tablespoons of baking soda and 100 ml of vinegar to do the job.

  1. Spoon or pour 15 tablespoons of baking soda into your drain
  2. Pour all 100 ml of the vinegar into the drain
  3. After the fizzing is over, flush out the drain with boiling water

Apart from being a cheap and effective way of dealing with any such blockages, another great thing about this concoction is that unlike certain industrial drain cleaners, it doesn’t damage your pipes at all. Baking soda and vinegar also won’t damage your septic tank, making it an ideal way to also unclog your toilet in the absence of a plunger.

If your drains are still clogged, you might need to resort to industrial drain cleaning solutions or call a plumber. After unclogging everything, make it a habit to pour boiling water down your bathroom drains once a week.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

The Budget Mom’s Secret: Managing Money Her Own Way

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in June 2019.

Kumiko Love is known online by the moniker The Budget Mom, but money management didn’t always come naturally to her.

Having a finance degree didn’t make her immune to money issues. Not long after graduating college in 2011, Love was staring down a mountain of over $100,000 of debt — a combination of student loans, credit card debt and medical bills. She had poor spending habits and couldn’t stick to a budget.

“I got really depressed over my finances,” says Love, a divorced mom of one. “Here I was a financial professional and I couldn’t even figure out how to manage my own income. And for me, that was not only embarrassing but it was really frustrating. I wanted to excel in my field and I felt like if I couldn’t do it with my own finances, how was I going to help other people?”

A Budgeting Journey Begins

Love’s money management struggles didn’t come from lack of trying. She experimented with a bunch of budgeting methods but continuously found herself giving up on each one.

Love felt disconnected from her money when she recorded transactions electronically with an Excel spreadsheet. Budgeting for an entire month at a time didn’t translate well to getting paid twice a month. Using cash envelopes for everything, including bills, was too much of a headache. Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey wanted her to save just $1,000 for emergencies and then funnel money toward debt, but that didn’t feel like enough of a safety net.

“Every single time, I felt like I was failing because I wasn’t reaching my financial goals the way I thought I should be,” Love says. “In fact, I got so frustrated and stressed out I just gave up.”

For about a year, she didn’t attempt to budget her money. Though she paid her bills on time, she wasn’t saving money or tackling debt.

Love eventually hit an “aha” moment when she learned about the psychology and emotions behind spending and money management while studying to earn her Accredited Financial Counselor designation.

“It really sparked a new positivity in me,” she says.

Instead of viewing her struggles as failures, Love flipped her perspective and started examining the ways she found small successes with each budgeting method she tried. She picked apart each strategy, focusing on which elements worked for her. From there, she was on her way.

Creating a Budgeting System on Her Terms

Love combined key elements of three budgeting methods — calendar budgeting, paycheck budgeting and the cash envelope system — to come up with a custom method she dubbed the budget-by-paycheck method.

She uses a calendar to stay on track of expected expenses and bills throughout the month and creates a budget each time she gets paid. The cash envelopes come in handy for variable expenses — categories like “food,” “fun” and “beauty.” Using cash makes her budget tangible and prevents her from overspending. Love also has envelopes set up as sinking funds to save for future expenses like travel, holidays and her son’s birthday.

Throughout the month, Love tracks her spending and saving, and she closes out her budget at the end of the month to analyze her progress.

As for that mountain of debt?

“I paid off all my debt, which is a huge, huge thing for me,” says Love, who quit her job in 2019 to work full-time on The Budget Mom. “I am now able to save for the things that I want.”

How Becoming ‘The Budget Mom’ Changed Her Life

Love came up with the budget-by-paycheck method in 2015. By 2016, she decided to share her story, blogging as The Budget Mom.

She started The Budget Mom because she felt like she never got the whole picture when she was looking for budgeting help online.

“I was getting thrown examples and step-by-step instructions, but the burning questions that I felt could really help me weren’t being discussed,” Love says. “When someone gave me an example about budgeting, the first question I always had [was], ‘Why?’”

Love not only strives to share the reasons behind her spending and saving strategies, but she’s very transparent about her finances on her blog, in YouTube videos and in Instagram posts.

“I didn’t want to just tell people how to budget,” she says. “I wanted to show them what it really looked like for a real person to use a real budget in their real life. I wanted them to not only see my numbers but be able to explain to them: I’m feeling this way, this is what I’m thinking, and this is why I’m making this financial decision.”

Love says she wants her audience to feel confidence, hope and inspiration when connecting with her platform.

I didn’t want to just tell people how to budget. I wanted to show them what it really looked like for a real person to use a real budget in their real life.

These days, Love’s life is very different from when she was a recently divorced mom trying to raise her little boy alone.

“I was struggling to even figure out how was I going to make my monthly payments to now running a successful 7-figure business, being debt free,” she says.

Love’s son, James, is the inspiration behind what she does. He’s the reason she won’t give up on budgeting again.

“When my son was born, something happened to me,” she says. “I discovered a love that I didn’t know existed … but on top of that I felt a whole bunch of pressure. Here I was, a struggling mom and now I have this itty bitty human that’s completely dependent on me and my decisions.”

James has had a front seat to his mom’s budgeting journey and has naturally picked up important lessons about money along the way — shaping him into a conscious spender.

“We went out to get ice cream and we went to the park and before we left the house he said, ‘Mom, how much money do we have in our fun envelope?’” Love recalls. “He knows that whether or not we go and get ice cream depends on how much is in mom’s fun envelope.”

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

How To Cut Those Scary Halloween Costs

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While Halloween is nowhere near as expensive as Christmas it can still be an expensive holiday especially if you have children or are planning to have a Halloween party.

If you reduce your spending at Halloween, you will have more money for the holidays.

If your funds are tight, or you simply want to save money, here are some ideas for cutting those scary Halloween costs. These homemade projects are also a great way to spend time with your family.

cut halloween costs

cut halloween costs

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Candy Corn Recipe

  • Cookies – cookies are easy to make, and you can make Halloween themed cookies. You can even make small cookies and bag them up for children who are trick-or-treating.
  • Toys – you can also hand out inexpensive Halloween themed toys, like spider rings or whistles. You can often buy these in bulk from party stores, and it is often cheaper and healthier than giving out candy.
  • Inexpensive Halloween Party Decorations

    Having a costume party can be great fun, but it can be expensive to decorate your house. Instead of rushing out to buy expensive decorations, you can use inexpensive items and some things that you already own in order to decorate your home.

    • Black trash bags – you probably already have these in your home, and they make great decorations. For example, you can cut out cats and bats and hang them around your home. You can also cover tables with these bags in order to give your house a spookier ambiance. This is a great option for food tables, and it makes clean up easy.
    • Fake spider webs and spiders – these spider webs are often inexpensive, and you can find them at party stores. You can also buy a roll of white string and make your own web that way. Hang this handmade web with pipe cleaner spiders, and you are ready to go. Here’s some instructions on making your own pipe cleaner spiders: Pipe Cleaner Spiders
    • A black light – you might have a black light, and if not, they are inexpensive, especially if you buy a black light bulb. Replace your normal light bulb with a black light bulb (make sure it fits before you buy it). White and light colored cloth will glow under this kind of light. You can also buy some black light paint and decorate with it, and it will glow under black light. For example, you can cut shapes like cats, pumpkins, gravestones, etc, out of cardboard or foam board and paint it with black light paint.

    These are just a few ideas to make your Halloween more fun and affordable.

    Do you have any ideas for making inexpensive Halloween costumes, treats or decorations? Let us know!

    This is an article by Dominique Brown from yourfinancessimplified.com. If you want relevant, witty and easy to follow finance guidance subscribe to his newsletter by clicking here!

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    Source: biblemoneymatters.com

    How to Find Private Money for Real Estate Investments

    private money lendersI have completed a lot of house flips and bought many rental properties. Over the years, I have established many private-money relationships. Some of the people who work with me are amazed at how much money people are willing to lend me! I was able to attract private-money lenders by being trustworthy, being transparent, and putting myself out in the public eye. I don’t have a fancy presentation or a secret list of lenders. I am myself and honest about everything I do. It is not easy to attract private money, especially when just starting out, but it can be a game changer if you are a real estate investor.

    What is private money?

    The first thing I want to talk about is what private money is. There is a lot of confusion about hard money and private money. The biggest problem is that hard-money lenders started calling themselves private-money lenders in order to get more business.

    A hard-money lender is a company that lends money to real estate investors. They usually lend from 8 to 15%, and the terms are less than one year. The loans are meant for house flipping but can be used for rental properties that are refinanced quickly as well. Hard-money lenders usually require an appraisal, have loan fees, underwriting, and a loan approval process. Hard-money loans can be a pain. They have a lot of fees, and the lenders can change their minds at any time with no real repercussions.

    Private money comes from a person who lends money to another person. When I borrow private money, it is not from a company that specializes in lending money—it is from someone I know. I have at least 6 people I borrow money from. Some are friends, some are family, some are investors I know, and some are strangers who found me online. Private-money lenders often have no fees, require no underwriting, and most likely do not need an appraisal or valuation.

    When I get a private-money loan, I send a text or an email to my lender and ask them if they want to do this loan. With some of the lenders, I give the address and a few basic numbers like the purchase price, the repairs needed, and the ARV (after repaired value). With other lenders, I say, “Hey, you want to do a loan?”

    I love private money because it is so easy to use and I know there will not be any issues once my lender says I can do the loan. I have had many problems with many different hard-money lenders.

    Do not confuse hard money with private money!

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    Avoid private-money scams!

    You may want to get into the heart of how to find private-money lenders, but first a word of warning: do not fall for private-money scams! I personally can’t believe people fall for them, but it happens all the time.

    How does the scam work?

    Someone posts something on social media about having private-money loans from $50,000 to $5,000,000 at a 5% interest rate and no points, no credit needed, and no income verification. It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that is because it is too good to be true!

    The scammer will charge a small fee to get the application process started, and once they have that, you will never hear from them again. Private-money lenders are not looking to loan their money at rock bottom rates to strangers they find online. Don’t fall for it!

    How did I find my private lenders?

    When I was flipping houses in the beginning, I did not use private money. I worked with my father, and almost all the money we used was from the bank. This was also before the housing crash when it was much easier to get money from banks for flipping houses. We had a large credit line that we could use for whatever property we wanted.

    After the housing crash happened, those lines of credit dried up, and we had to find new financing. We found banks who would lend to us, but we had to put 25% down and finance all of the repairs. We could handle that because we had been in the business for a long time and had a lot of working capital.

    Over time, I took over the business and was flipping houses on my own. I was still using bank money, but a couple of people approached me about lending me private money. One was an investor who used to be one of our main competitors in the house flipping business. He had stopped flipping houses but was interested in lending me money when I flipped houses.

    I was not sure what to make of the offer since the interest rate he wanted was much higher than the bank’s interest rate. He was also offering to finance 100% of the purchase price. That was intriguing to me because it meant I could flip many more houses. I wouldn’t have to come up with nearly as much cash for each deal. I did one deal with him and then another, and then he became my main source of financing.

    I have also borrowed money from family members who saw what I was doing and knew that I could give them decent returns that were safer than other high-risk investments.

    Another investor saw my YouTube videos and my blog and wanted to become an investor! I am at a point now where there is no way I can use all the money I have available to me. At the same time, the lenders are not dependent on me to make them money, so there is no pressure to use the private money all the time.

    loans for house flips

    How are my private-money deals set up?

    I very rarely partner with anyone. I almost always set up my loans as a pure interest rate deal. The private-money lender gives me money, and I pay them interest and points. Points are like an origination fee and are based on a percentage of the loan. If I pay 2 points on a $100k loan, I pay $2,000. My lenders charge from 1 to 2 points on the loans. Hard-money lenders charge from 1 to 5 points on loans.

    Some investors will share the equity with the lenders, or as I like to call it partners if it is an equity share. They will do all the work, find the deal, and sell the property, while the lender will put up all of the money. Often, the two partners will split the profit 50/50. I hate giving up equity, and I also hate paying people based on the profit I make. There can be a lot of doubt and suspicion about the actual profits, the actual costs, and how the money is being handled on those deals. When I borrow money based on the interest rate, there is no confusion, and it gives me a sense of urgency to get things done so it doesn’t cost me as much money!

    When I borrow money for a house flip, I will create a Deed of Trust and a Note for the lender. I sign both documents that describe the interest rate, payments, late fees, etc. and record the Deed of Trust and return the note to the lender. If I can’t repay the loan for any reason, the lenders have the property as collateral. It is not an easy process, but they could foreclose on the property and take the house back if they wanted to after I stop making payments or violate any of the terms of the loan.

    I also have some deals set up with family where I borrow money all year round, not on a per-deal basis. These loans also have Deeds of Trusts on rental properties I own. The lender has collateral and a way to get their money back if things go south. Their investment is secured by a real asset.

    Why do my lenders trust me?

    One thing that surprises many people that work with me (I have no idea why) is how many people want to lend me money! The other day, I mentioned on Instagram that I was starting an opportunity fund. I was starting this fund with my own money, and I was not looking for any investor money. I had multiple people ask how they could invest in my fund. I had no idea who these people were!

    I have people ask to invest with me all the time, and the reason is they trust me. Why do they trust me? I think it is because I am very open about what I do, I show the numbers on my deals, I show videos of my properties, and they can verify everything I say. I have also done well for myself and have a few nice cars like my Lamborghini.

    Over the years, I have created a blog (what you are reading now), a YouTube channel, an Instagram page, a Facebook page, etc. I have not been afraid to talk about what I do and share what I do. This transparency has been a huge reason why people trust me and want to invest with me.

    Not only do I talk about my successes, but I talk about my failures as well. I do not make money on every single deal I do. I think being honest and admitting my mistakes also plays a big part in why people trust me. I think it also helps that I have a credit score over 800, and I have never missed a payment in my life.

    How can you find private money?

    I have talked about how I was able to find private money, but that might not relate well to people who are just starting out or do not have a public presence. How can the average real estate investor find those private lenders?

    The first thing I tell everyone is you cannot be afraid to ask! Many people say they are afraid to ask their family for one because they do not want to lose it. Does that mean it is okay to lose a stranger’s money? Do you intend to lose this money? If you are not confident in your investing and 100% sure you will be able to pay back the money you are borrowing, you may not be ready to borrow it. Sure things happen, but if you are looking to borrow private money simply because you are not prepared enough to get bank money, you may need to do more prep work.

    Your family is the first place to state, and it should be mutually beneficial. You are providing them with a superior return, and you are making money using their money in the real estate business. You should not be begging for a favor but providing them with an opportunity.

    You can do the same thing with friends, co-workers, or any other contact you have. Remember, that it is an opportunity for them to make a high return with an asset-backed investment.

    If you know no one with money, which is very rare (most people know people with money, they are just afraid to ask them), you can start searching for people with money.

    • Look up public records to see who is buying houses without loans. Those are investors with cash, and they may want to lend money as well as invest.
    • Immerse yourself in the real estate world and find the investors who have money but don’t have the desire to hustle as hard anymore.
    • Put yourself out in the public eye. Write a blog, post on social media, start a YouTube channel. No one will find you if you don’t make it easy for them!
    • Attend real estate investor clubs. These clubs often have a lot of newbies, but there can be some experiences investors there as well.

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    Conclusion

    Private money can be a wonderful tool to help your real estate investing business. However, you must be prepared and know what you are doing if you think private investors will give you money. You have to show how their investment is safe, and you must show that you are trustworthy. If you try to BS people into giving you money, it will be a long and hard battle that will not end well.

    Source: investfourmore.com

    Natural Disasters: How to Prepare for the Unthinkable

    While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have a weekend getaway to the beach. The downside is that when it’s hurricane season, we have to be on the lookout because those storms can wreak havoc even as inland as here. 

     A few years ago with Hurricane Matthew, we lost power including to our sump pumps.  We actually had some friends over that week so those extra pairs of hands were especially needed when our basement flooded. Along with the rain, we also have to keep an eye out for wind. Those strong tropical storm level gusts can bring down trees in our area. This can be a big concern since Raleigh is the ‘City of Oaks’.  Those trees can not only block roads, but we’ve had power outages. The last few storms have affected many with that massive headache. 

    Last year, when Florence was moving up the Atlantic Ocean, one possible projected path had it hitting Raleigh directly.  With two little ones, we seriously considered evacuating. It turned though, so we stayed put.  

    Just recently, Dorian came by, but thankfully our area was minimally affected. Still, these are reminders for us of how important it is to be prepared for emergencies.  

    How to Prepare for an Emergency  

    As parents, we want to take care of our family and that includes getting things ready should an emergency come up. Getting prepared now means that should you lose power, are waiting for help to arrive, or need to evacuate the area, you have what you need to ride things out for a bit.  

    I know how challenging it can be to set things up, so I want to share some critical tips on how you can give yourself a leg up with an easy emergency prep guide! 

    Essential Emergency Kit Checklist 

    There’s no way you can prepare for every possible event, but there are some key things you need to have. One of those is an emergency kit.

    While you’ll need to tailor it for your specific needs (like diapers if you have babies), here are the essentials to include in your kit: 

    • Water: Believe it or not, you’ll need one gallon a day per person for at least three days. If you’re a family of four, that means having twelve gallons ready.  
    • Food: Try to have a three day supply on hand. You’ll also want to include any pet supplies for your furry family members. Eating utensils, matches, and can openers are also great to have.  
    • Flashlights and batteries: Keep a pack of spare batteries handy and ready to go. We also double-check that our phone chargers are topped off.  
    • Radio: Pick up a battery or crank-powered one along with some spare batteries. 
    • First-aid kit: Many kits in-store or online come up with all the essentials you need at a low price. You should also grab a whistle to signal for help. If you use medication, please keep it in a waterproof container.  
    • Blankets: Stay warm by grabbing a few blankets for your kit.  
    • Warm clothes and shoes: Pack a change of clothes and get some sturdy shoes on.  
    • Toiletries: Stash away toothbrushes, soap, towels, diapers, garbage bags, and toilet paper. 
    • Contacts: If your phone loses power, make sure you have a contact list handy.  
    • Money: Tucking away a bit of cash and a credit card can be handy, especially if you need to evacuate and get a hotel room.  

    It may seem like a lot, but you can get everything you need to set up. Just take it bit by bit, starting with the absolute essentials and work your way down. If you haven’t already, spend this weekend or next with assembling your kit.  

    You can grab supplies individually from the stores or go for a pre-made kit that has everything ready in a bag so you can snatch it if needed.  

    Keep Your Emergency Kit Ready 

    Once your kit and supplies are good to go, keep them that way by properly storing your items. You don’t want to undo the hard work you’ve put in. If you have canned food, have it in a dry, cool place. Use containers for your boxed food. Check yearly to make sure none of your supplies have expired.  

    We have a dedicated space in the basement for our bags and supplies. If we need to grab and go, it’s all in one place, on a few shelves near the staircase. Make it easily accessible –  when things get hectic and should you need to quickly leave, having everything in its place is one less thing to stress over.  

    Speaking of having to grab and go, please stay on top of your car maintenance and make sure your gas tank isn’t low. I’d hate for you to be slowed down with your evacuation plan because you have to wait in line for gasoline.   

    Have an Emergency Plan 

    Preparing your kits is definitely a smart move, but it shouldn’t be your only one. Since some emergencies may happen when you are not together, you should have a plan to get in contact and meet up with each other.  

    Another thing to go over, do you have a plan for your pets in case you need to leave the area? Having those supplies packed and ready saves you time.  

    You also need to talk and practice through a few more common scenarios that may happen in your area. Review the plan with your kids and go through it a few times. This can help them not be as stressed should something come up since they have already prepared.  

    Besides your family, consider your neighbors. Maybe some of them will need extra help to evacuate. Depending on your city and state, there may also be a registry they can get on now so they can get the support that they need.  

    Financial Steps to Take In an Emergency

    Even if your budget is rock solid, sometimes life has another plan and you have to adapt to a new money reality. Whether it’s assessing where you are financially, navigating home insurance coverage, or figuring out which bills to pay first, we wanted to provide a financial resources to turn to when the unthinkable happens.

    When Disaster Hits: Assess Where You Are Financially

    You may have already thought about what you would take with you and who would be responsible for getting the pets and valuables to safety. But what about your finances? Even if you knew where you stood financially before, it doesn’t hurt to double check as some unexpected expenses could have popped up with your new situation. Once you are safe and have access to a phone or the internet, check in on these things:

    • Get a handle on current monthly income and expenses – are there any bills or services (i.e. gym membership or streaming subscriptions) you can pause until things settle down?
    • Notify your mortgage company or landlord of the disaster and provide them with your contact information if it has changed.
    • If you won’t be able to manage finances during the immediate aftermath, call creditors and explain that you were involved in a natural disaster. Inquire if you can modify your payments until you’re back on your feet financially.
    • Contact your insurance companies – identify any costs associated with damage or repairs from the event.

    Understand Insurance Coverage For Your Home

    In the aftermath of a storm, know that there are resources available to help you cover the costs of damage. Start by carefully assessing your situation. Filing a claim can feel daunting, but reliable insurers can help make the process of getting back to everyday life is easier.

    When you’re ready to take the next steps on finding the coverage that’s right for you, consider these steps:

    • Refrain from signing anything from an insurer indicating a final interaction or payment, because disaster damages can surface over a period of weeks or months.
    • If you’re temporarily relocated, provide change of address information to the post office so you won’t miss any important mail.
    • Save all receipts for expenses incurred due to the disaster. This is important for insurance, taxes, and assistance programs.

    Renter’s insurance, doesn’t cover the structure of your place (the landlord’s policy should take care of that) — but it does cover all your contents and protects you from liability if someone hurts themselves in your apartment and decides to sue.

    Decide Which Bills To Pay First

    When you’re trying to prioritize which bills are most important, it’s helpful to know the differences between your debt. Ask yourself these questions (and read on for more info if you’re weighing your options).

    • Which bills impact the family’s health and security? Usually, mortgage or rent, utilities, food, transportation, and health insurance are most important.
    • What’s at risk if bills aren’t paid? Are you at risk of your car or home being repossessed? Know which debt is secured by possessions and prioritize these expenses.
    • How high an interest rate am I paying? If you’re paying off big credit card bills with high interest rates, it’s time to lock the credit cards away until your bills are back under control. Pay as much as you can beyond the minimum each month.

    Your Take on Emergency Prep 

    No one enjoys thinking about bad things happening, but it is a necessity. 

    I hope you never have to use this information, but being ready can give you some peace of mind. I shared a bit of how we’ve prepared for emergencies, I’d love to get your take on it.  

    How have you prepped at your home? What supplies did you include on your kit? Have you ever had to use it for an emergency?  

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    Source: mint.intuit.com