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Weston Dean Homes Blog

Tips to Stay on Budget

Categories: Homeowner Tips | Posted: August 12, 2013

budget tips A big part of staying in control of your life is staying in control of your budget. Though it can be intimidating, learning how to manage your finances will only make your life easier. Weston Dean tells you everything you need to know to tackle your budget.

The quintessential piece of having a budget is planning and tracking. Creating an Excel spreadsheet and listing out your expenses and income is a great way to get started, and online programs like Mint.com allow you to set up alerts when you overspend on a portion of your planned monthly expenses.

Tracking your expenses requires some serious dedication to listing everything, so don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you initially planned to make it habit. Planning your budget requires a conscious effort to be forthcoming and to set goals. To get started, include information about your debts, regular expenses, and income. Keep your receipts and be sure to record it all.

Don’t forget to include investments like CD’s, stocks, or bonds and any other special accounts, and, of course, your income.

Another budgeting tip often overlooked by San Antonio homeowners is balancing their checkbook. If spreadsheets and mobile apps are too much of a leap at this point, you can start small by recording amounts paid out and earned in your checkbook register.

After each month, review your spending and analyze where you tend to overspend, adjust your budget, and make goals for areas where you’d like to cut back a bit. Setting goals is essential if you want to make changes to any aspect of your life–your finances included. Common goals for Weston Dean residents could include making a plan to get rid of credit card debt, pay off student loans or a new car, and cutting back on unnecessary and expensive habits like smoking.

To make these goals realistic, be sure to have a plan in place to change things gradually, and have a spouse or friend help keep you accountably with reminders or planning to check in periodically. Goals should be looked at from a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual perspective in order to assess progress and make adjustments.

Another important aspect of getting a good grip on your finances is knowing what you’re worth. This amount includes all of your investments, debts, and physical property possessions like your Weston Dean home, vehicle, and so on. Knowing your worth will help you make decisions regarding larger investments in the future.

What do you do to manage your budget? Leave us a note in the comment section below!

Weston Dean Homes is a San Antonio area custom home builder. For additional information about Weston Dean building your San Antonio new home, please call (210) 408-9107.

Simple Cleaning Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Categories: Homeowner Tips | Posted: July 29, 2013

Cleaning Woman Maid with Duster on WhiteWeston Dean Homes understands the sense a pride you take in maintaining your new place. We’ve collaborated to bring you our list of the best and simplest cleaning tips to make it easy for you to show off your home!

  • Use water! Most stains, streaks, and spots on hard surfaces can be taken care of by simply using water on an old rag. Just like soaking dishes in water overnight to make things easier to scrub the next day, the same principle can be applied to your tubs and tiles. Always read cleaning instructions for furniture and be sure to try a test area first.
  • Along with water, vinegar is a harmless, effective alternative to most cleaning solutions and chemicals. Use it like you would use the original chemical, but dilute it first in some water to increase the lifetime of your bottle o’ vinegar. It won’t stain any materials and is a truly green alternative to chemicals you would rather avoid exposing your family to.
  • If you’re going to dust, do so before running the vacuum. Dusting can stir up a lot of allergens and visible dirt, so it only makes sense to tackle this task before dragging out the vacuum. Since you’ll be knocking some dust bunnies on the floor, it’ll prevent you from going back over areas that featured particularly dusty items.
  • For those seeking some motivation, plan to set a timer for ten minutes each day for a week and follow through, at least for that one week. You’ll be amazed the difference it makes in your home’s cleanliness. Get the kids involved by asking them to pick up toys and make their beds until the time runs out; make it fun by playing upbeat music that everyone can sing along to. After the first week, you’ll be so impressed that you’ll likely take on the timer strategy as a regular habit.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate! Don’t let yourself take on the entire Weston Dean home alone. Whoever spends time tinkering in the garage is the person best suited to clean up the place; kids can take responsibility for their own messes, and parents can divide the rest as they see fit. You’ll be much more effective by choosing to tackle one or two projects at a time, instead of overwhelming yourself with the prospect of cleaning the entire home.
  • Don’t let just grime be the focus of your cleaning intent, be sure to take a look at clutter as well. Spend an hour going through that one junk drawer or cabinet you can’t seem to get rid of. Don’t just take out things you don’t need anymore, but instead also organize the contents you plan to keep with office organizers or even a silverware box.

We hope this list can help you get motivated to keep your Weston Dean looking pristine. What are your best cleaning tips and tricks? Leave us a comment below!

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