Tips for Shopping Online in 2020

Shopping online is fast becoming the option of choice for shoppers all over the world. It will continue to grow in 2016, but the chances of getting burned remain high. Whether it’s buying a bad product or not getting great customer service, it can quickly turn into a nightmare.

Read through these tips for shopping online in 2020.

Beware of Budget

Without the cash directly in your hand, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending. By all means, consider personal and home loans UK if you need some extra spending money for a special occasion, but always be aware of exactly how much you’ve spent.

Thousands have found themselves in financial difficulties because they didn’t track their spending.

Stick with the Big Retailers

The easiest way to protect yourself against scammers and fraudsters is to stick with the big retailers like Amazon. The simple fact is they’re stringent in their desire to protect customers. That alone will keep you safe. Plus, services like order fulfilment and free one-day delivery ensures you get your items in record time.

You may wonder what happens to all the small, independent retailers. But most of them also sell their products via Amazon, so you’re not missing out on quality products.

Be Wary of Unsolicited Offers

Scammers still target your email inbox with the chance to buy this or that. They may pretend like they’re coming from big retailers, but the site that comes up will be a scam-based alternative. There’s no product available and they’ll simply steal your financial details.

In general, stay away from unsolicited offers unless you know the organisation directly.

Comparison Shopping

The pricing war has never been fiercer than it has been in the online arena. Comparison shopping is a great way of getting the best deals. There are lots of online calculators that allow you to compare the same product across multiple retailers.

Smart shoppers use these tools all the time to make huge savings. Even a few coins here and there can add up to big numbers come the end of 2020.

Use Coupons

You’ve probably seen your friends on Facebook sharing various coupons and deals. In the past, you may have skimmed over them or stopped looking at them entirely. But these people will soon become your best friends. They’re getting huge savings on big ticket item simply through entering promotional codes.

It’s big business, and organisations are making a fortune from these deals.

Always look out for promotional codes and hold off on any shopping until periods where there are lots of deals, such as the New Year, Easter, and Black Friday.

Try the Item In-Store

Items like clothing must be tried in person first. You can’t do this online. But a way around it is to try the item in the land-based store and then buy it online. That way you can test out the item, whilst taking advantage of the savings made online.

Who are your favourite online retailers to shop with?

Real Estate

Things to Consider Before Investing in a Rundown Property

Eager investors think about the idea of buying a rundown property and of being a real estate shark who renovates quickly and flips the property for a significant profit. Yet the discipline, knowledge and experience required in the endeavor is more substantial than first-time real estate investors would like to believe.

Make Money on Every Deal

Understanding the numbers behind a deal is crucial. Being vague about any of the aspects of a real estate deal for the purchase of a rundown property is likely to only get the buyer into deep water.

The theory that a cash-flow neutral rental situation is acceptable following the fix-up period of a rundown property (assuming it is rented out after being improved) should be questioned. This kind of thinking leads to real estate investors justifying poor rental yields following improvements by believing that all real estate rises in value significantly faster than inflation during all real estate cycles.

Making money on every deal requires either a significant margin between the purchase, renovation and financing costs, and the likely sale price, or both a healthy property re-valuation and a promising rental yield post-improvements.

What Will the Property Improvements Really Cost?

Rundown properties regularly require extensive renovations, changes to fixtures and fittings, and other improvements that can become more expensive than the initial budget indicated. For this reason, it is a good idea to get more than one estimate for every piece of renovation work to get a more accurate picture of the true costs.

Know the Local Neighborhood

Neighborhoods aren’t all the same. A couple of roads over and the whole area can be entirely different. Neighborhoods can be on-the-rise or on the way out. Unless the purchaser knows the general area or that particular street it is difficult to know whether the neighborhood is a good place to buy.

An attractive property in a bad neighborhood can take forever to sell. And often sells at a significant discount to the targeted resale price in order to get the property off the books. If the rundown property was purchased with financing in place then this additional holding period can eat rapidly into the profits that would have been realized post-sale.

Have the Right Equipment Ready for the Renovation

Usually with a rundown property there is plenty to tear down or weld together. For the smaller builders, they may not have access to stick welders or safety apparel. A company can provide stick welders which use shielded metal welding methods to weld together broken cylinders and other objects that need to be re-sealed, as well as other products that will be useful in the renovation.

Kitchens and Baths

It might surprise you to learn that what can sell a property is the bathroom and the kitchen. Outside of the living room or the den, when back from work most home owners spend a significant amount of their waking hours in either the kitchen or the bathroom. Because of this, buyers pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom to see how modern and well appointed they are.

If the existing design in either the bathroom or kitchen of a rundown property looks a bit dilapidated then the buyer will need to factor in replacement costs in the budget if they want to get top dollar on the re-sale.

It is still possible to get some excellent returns from investing in rundown properties, but it does take careful consideration before taking the plunge to ensure a profitable outcome.


Making Your Home Greener

Out of growing concern for our environment, many members of our society are turning to eco-friendlier lifestyles. If you’re one of them, or you wish to become, you can start by making changes at your own home. Making it greener will have many significant benefits for you and the environment, including a decrease in your monthly bills, air quality improvement, increase in the value of your home, healthier home environment, reduction in harmful environmental impacts, and many others. Additionally, implementing several green upgrades won’t be at the expense of style or comfort, which means that you’ll be able to have a home that’s both trendy and energy-efficient.

Eco-Friendly Lighting Solutions

Instead of sticking to incandescent light bulbs, you should consider replacing them with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These lighting options will lead to a decrease in greenhouse gas emission, and you will save approximately 66% more energy. Additionally, they last longer, and will consequently lead to a reduction in your electricity bills. If you’re reluctant to give up the glow of incandescent bulbs, you should know that there are various types of CFLs that differ in size, colour, shape and brightness, which means that you can easily find a type that meets your needs. Finally, the easiest option when it comes to saving energy is turning off lights when you don’t need them!

Water Conservation

Implementing several simple, but efficient green measures for conserving water will result in a positive impact on our environment and reduction in your water bills. Instead of taking a bath every day, you should leave baths for a special occasion and take a shower instead. Another simple step that you can take is turning off the tap while you’re brushing teeth or soaping the dishes. You shouldn’t leave water running while you’re doing something else. When it comes to flushing toilets, which accounts for 30 percent of indoor water use, you shouldn’t dispose items such as wet wipes down the toilet. Instead, throw them to the trash and evade both blocking the sewage system and wasting water. You can conserve water by installing low-flow showerheads, taps and toilets and fixing leaky taps and pipes.

Improving Air Quality

When you consider the fact that indoor air pollution can lead to serious health issues, including lung cancer, stroke, pneumonia and others, you cannot disregard the importance of improving air quality in your home. The simplest solution is adding indoor plants to your home, or even better, growing them. Since they act as natural air purifiers, they can absorb harmful airborne pollutants and allergens emitted from electronics, furniture, aerosols, and the like. Another efficient solution is taking smoking outside, since cigarettes are fraught with toxic chemicals. The list of other options that you can use to combat indoor air pollution includes opting for eco-friendly scents instead of chemical and synthetic ones, using no or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) such as paints or cleaning products, etc.

Green Materials

Among the most popular eco-friendly materials is bamboo, since it’s world’s fastest growing plant. This makes it the perfect solution for floors, since it’s both stylish and environmentally friendly. Other materials that you should consider using are organic cotton for your sheets, wool blankets instead of polyester ones, and cork for furniture, flooring and wall panels.

What about the Financing?

You might say that making your home energy-efficient might require a sizeable amount of money that you don’t have. However, if you’re willing to contribute to the environment preservation, you’ll be happy to hear that there are loans that you can take to make your house greener. Such financing is meant for energy-efficient improvements and individuals willing to make a change.

By implementing several simple changes and embracing green activities within your home, you can improve your life quality and preserve the environment. All you need is a bit of will and you can start changing the world starting from your home.