An Outline of Personal and Business Loan Categories and Their Uses

The number of loan products have increased over the past 20 years as economic necessity and a demanding public in need of specialization to solve financial circumstances. From personal loans, educational loans, business loans and even municipal loans to touch on a few required various industries to be creative. The entities that took part in the creation of the various financial products are actuaries, risk management professionals, “information and informatic engineers” and Wall Street amongst others. It was necessary to create, enhance or break down for better or for worse loan services and products to keep money fluid in a diverse marketplace that required funds to address niche demographics.

  • Personal Loans

Signature Loans – A signature loan is just as it sounds. One applies for a loan and gives a signature on a promissory note to repay the loan in a certain amount of time. That amount of time is called a “loan term ” and may be from six months to five years. Signature loans usually require good credit and the criteria for loan approval are mostly based on the borrower’s credit and and to a lesser degree on assets. Not all signature loans have the same parameters for qualifications. Some loans may require the borrower even with good credit to account for assets to show the lending institution for underwriting purposes. The institution may or may not place a lien on the assets but nevertheless wants to have documentation proving that there are indeed financial or physical assets owned by the borrower. Signature loans usually come with lower interest rates than other types of consumer loans like payday loans, credit card advances, title loans and some car loans. More on these topics later. Who are the lenders in signature loans? They range from large subsidiaries of auto manufacturers to banks, savings and loan institutions, finance companies and payday loan companies.

Credit Card Loans – Credit Card loans or cash advances from credit cards are another form of personal loans. These quick loans are more readily available to the general public and does not require a credit check. To obtain the initial card more than likely required a credit check or at least the process of identification for secured credit cards. Credit card loans or advances usually come with higher interest rates and also other fees for having access to the cash. Various entities allow access to the credit card cash advances from bank tellers, check cashing facilities and automated teller machines (ATMs). The fees vary based on source used to access the funds. To lower the fees for cash advances some use check cashing facilities to have the card charged and receive cash back in turn for not having to incur the fees of ATM machines as cards are assessed a fee twice; first by the ATM company and also their bank. The interest rates on credit card loans or advances are usually higher than signature loans. There are some states that have usury laws that have lower interest rates on credit cards. The loan or advance on a credit card is not a “term loan” as with most signature loans. It is more or less a line of credit the borrower has access to when they need it as long as there are funds available on the credit card. Interest on consumer loans are no longer tax deductible as in previous years. They were designed for short term borrowing needs but many have come to use their credit cards as a regular source of funds in tight economic times or between paychecks.

Wedding LoansA relatively new form of loan to carve out a niche for the lending industry and meet the needs of the increasing costs of weddings is the Wedding Loan. Because of the expense of weddings which can range into six figures, it sometimes requires a personal loan or even a business loan of the families involved to provide a proper wedding. Wedding loans can be secured (using assets for collateral) or unsecured (signature loans) to obtain funds for the ever growing need to pay for the escalating wedding costs and all the various services and products that a successful matrimonial ceremony would need. The credit criteria and the term may vary based on the amount needed and financial status of the people involved.

Payday or Cash Advance Loans is a fast growing market because it usually requires the least of credit criteria used for loan approvals. One can have bad credit for a quick and instant loan. Just having proof of income, proof of identity and a checking account is all that is necessary to secure funds. Even today many have checking accounts without checks one can still obtain a cash advance by asking their bank to produce a one time check to give to the payday loan agency. Many payday loan companies and stores can get approval with no faxing of documents as they utilize other means for proof of income. Although payday loans come with very high annualized interest rates they sometimes are the only source of emergency cash loans for those in need.

Automotive, Motorcylce, RV (recreational vehicle) and Boat Loans – These personal consumer loans are usually not signature only loans but asset based loans. In other words a financial lien is placed against the asset to secure a loan to purchase or refinance the car, boat et al. These consumer loans may sometimes require a down payment of five to twenty-five percent to secure enjoyment and use of ownership. Because these are not funds that are already available as with credit cards they come with a “loan term” from one to six years depending on the choices of the consumer, the marketplace and the credit status. The interest rates can range from very low usually offered by manufacturers of cars, motorcycles, RV’s (recreational vehicles) and boats to very high if the borrower uses a credit card, a finance company or a “buy here – pay here” lender – or the car dealer who finances the purchase of the car by giving the borrower a term of months and years to pay the balance of the loan off.

  • Business Loans

SBA (Small Business Administration) Loans are loans that are given to small businesses which are not able to qualify for a loan from a financial institution for various reasons from lack of business history, lack of collateral to “secure” the loan or not having an adequate credit history. The SBA is not a direct lender but acts as an underwriter on behalf of the bank that funds the loan for the business entity. If the borrower defaults on the loan the SBA will pay the bank a percentage of the balance for taking the financial risk to loan the funds to the business. There are various types of SBA loans which will not be covered in this article but a future article will explain in more detail.

Conventional Business Loans are loans that are either unsecured meaning no asset is used to approve the loan or secured and called “asset based loans” where assets from inventory, equipment, accounts receivable or real estate are used for underwriting for loan approval. Conventional business loans are given to business entities that have great banking relationships, established business credit history with trade lines with other businesses they do business with and good standing with various credit reporting entities like Dun & Bradstreet. There are short term loans with interest only payments with the balance due at the end of the loan usually referred to as a “Balloon Loan”. There are also longer term loans that are fully amortized (principal and interest in each payment) paid over one to five years or more.

Equipment Leasing is a financial instrument which technically is not a loan. Meaning based on tax ramifications and who owns the equipment – leasing is just that – leasing an asset owned by another entity. Leases are u
sually from large corporations or a bank. The lease term can vary from one to five years or more and there usually are tax benefits to the business entity in leasing new or used equipment.

Equipment Sale Leaseback is a transaction to use equipment that is already owned by the business or municipal entity to secure funds for the present need for operations. The term can vary from one to five years and the amount of funds can vary based on credit history and a percentage of the fair market value of the equipment. The company then in turn leases the equipment back in usually a monthly payment. The company or the lessee normally has different choices on what they want to do with the equipment at the end of the term. They can roll the lease transaction into newer more updated equipment or software. They can buy the equipment for one dollar or ten percent of the fair market value of the equipment.More and more companies are leasing today as opposed to paying cash or using bank lines or loans.

Merchant Cash Advance is used by businesses that need fast cash and can’t qualify or don’t want to go through the process of getting bank approval for needed funds. A Merchant Cash Advance is also not a loan product but it is the selling of assets or credit card receipts at a discount. In other words the Merchant Cash Advance company buys the credit card receipts and then attaches a fee usually every time the business “batches”, settles or closes the day’s or week’s sales until the funds advanced are paid off. There is no term with merchant cash advances as it is not a loan so there is no set payment amount or period. The paying off of the advanced funds vary based on a the credit and debit card transactions of the day or week.

Factoring Accounts Receivable Invoices enables a business entity that normally has to wait 30 days or longer to be paid by other businesses or governmental entities. Again factoring is not technically a loan but a selling of invoices at a discount for cash now. In a typical transaction the company applies with a Factoring Company and the company looks primarily at the credit of the other business or governmental entity that the company is doing business with. Based on that as long as the client of the company is a solvent business or government agency the invoices are bought and funds are dispensed to the business usually within three days of due diligence on the company they are transacting business with. In other words the funds are dispensed after there is a credit check and processing of the other company. The dollar amount that is advanced can vary from fifty percent of the invoice to eighty or ninety percent depending on various factors such as the size of the invoice to the credit criteria of the other company or governmental entity whether it is a city, county, state or federal agency.

Medical Factoring is a financial transaction that benefits medical entities like hospitals, clinics and various health care professionals that have to wait to receive funds for services performed on patients. Like Factoring and Merchant Cash Advances Medical Factoring is the selling of assets in this case invoices for cash now. In many instances the health care industry receives payment from third party entities like insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare and state entities that provide funds for those in need of medical procedures. The medical facility or professional in turns sells the invoice(s) on a on going basis or one time for cash now. Once there is an interest is selling the receivables then a Factor steps into analyze the billing so that funds can be advanced. This process can vary in length but is usually shorter in length than the process of getting bank financing.

Contract and Purchase Order Funding allows companies to bid on large projects for governmental agencies, hospitals, universities, prison systems and municipalities or also to sell to larger corporations even if the business does not have the credit or bank approval or the wherewithal to service or fulfill a large contract order. Similar to Factoring which works hand in hand with Purchase Order Funding it is not a loan but a simultaneous transaction that involves advancing funds based on the credit of the governmental agency or larger company and the size of the contract. The funds that are advanced are for the cost in completing the order of products or performing services. So the profit that will be gained is not advanced but the costs as in raw and finished material, transportation, production, labor, expertise and any other costs involved in completing the contract. Once the contract is completed or once an invoice is ready to be sent to the client a factoring company which is sometimes owned by the same company buys the invoice at a discount and the funds that would normally be advanced to the company are usually used to settle the amount advanced for the material and other services that were needed to complete the order. Contract and Purchase Order Funding usually requires large transaction amounts as opposed to factoring that can be utilized for invoices as small as one hundred dollars. With the use of Contract and Purchase Order Funding companies that were locked out of the process of bidding on large contract s may become players in multi-million dollar deals.

Commercial Real Estate Sale Leasebacks are similar to Equipment Sale Leasebacks featured in this article. Instead of utilizing owned equipment to secure cash when bank borrowing is not wanted or not available the commercial real estate is used to access funds now. This can vary from office buildings, medical buildings, retail franchises, industrial buildings and manufacturing to large utility plants. This frees up cash “locked” away in real estate. Many entities find that at the present time the business they are in whether it is retail, manufacturing or another field that the holding of commercial real estate is not in their best financial interest for now. They prefer to put to use funds for their industry. So a retailer selling retails goods decides to focus on the retail operations and to lease the space because that real estate when factored into a myriad of calculations does not fit their financial goals during the present time. Yes the ownership of commercial real estate is an asset and can be used as a security for a loan but may also be viewed as a fixed non-performing entity that does not meet the needs of the business, organization, group or individual that owns the building. Commercial Real Estate Sale Leasebacks are another form of getting access to funds and has increased over the years.

Online Shopping for Clothes: Tips and Facts

Nowadays online shopping for fashionable clothes has become very popular all over the world. It seems that online shopping for apparel is much more convenient. Consumers have this great opportunity to browse an international clothing market at the simple click of a button.

Undoubtedly, online stores for clothes have become the new hit. Today you can buy everything from an e-store – from the socks and the underwear, through women and men tops to the sportswear and the coats, including fashion accessories such as hats, bags, you name it. You can shop while drinking your coffee at home, during your break at the office, at any time, at any place. You had a busy day at work and it’s already late in the day, and you have a party approaching – the perfect solution is to lounge on your couch and start browsing for online shop offering clothes that match your style. Also, many e-shops make big season sales and discounts for holidays.

Yet with all the advantages of the online shopping for clothes, there are some flaws. You are not able to try out your clothes to see if they fit you, you can’t feel the fabric either. I am offering you some easy-to-follow tips for a successful online shopping inspired by the many online shopping woes of customers around the world.

  1. Look at the return policy
  2. Before you buy your clothes online, read the return policy. Loyal clothing e-shops offer returns. Mistakes happen and it is always good idea to have a backup plan. Make sure that if it turns out that you need a different size, or you have changed your opinion and you want to buy something else, you can return your purchase to change it.

  3. Chart sizes
  4. Take into consideration that different countries have different sizes. Many customers underestimate this fact. When you are choosing your size, make sure you choose the right one. Most online shops for clothes offer chart size legend where you can see in detail what measures stand for each size number.

  5. Fabric content
  6. Since you cannot feel the materials of the clothes, read the fabric content. All good online clothing shops note the fabric content of each item in detail. Do not rely on an image to buy your clothing online. You are more likely to be unfortunate surprised with your choice.

  7. Research your online clothing store before buying from it
  8. There are clothing e-retailers that are quite disloyal. Often you pay for something that turns out to be different from what you have expected. Sometimes purchases take a lot longer time to arrive etc. You can find a lot of fashion forums, blogs about apparel and social networks where you can search for a loyal clothing e-store like SpiralFashion.com that offers trendy apparel.

Online shopping for clothes saves time and money, but do it the right way. Shop reasonably.

Real Estate Agents Only – New Marketing Tool That Is Causing A Buzz In The Real Estate Industry

Every 10 to 20 years there will be some major advancement in technology that is a game changer. 20 years ago email was the craze with all of us flocking to our computers setting up email accounts and communicating with family, friends and business clients.

Today the same thing is happening again with Text Messaging. It’s been around and most people have heard of text messaging although they may not have actually texted.

Let me put the power of text messaging in perspective for you. We all can agree that in our life time the internet is without a doubt the greatest technological advancement any of us has seen. There are 2 billion computers worldwide…that is truly impressive. Now let me share this fact with you there are over 4 billion mobile phones worldwide that means there are more than twice as many phones as computers. Text Messaging is on the verge of becoming larger than the internet!

On these phones we send over 52,000 text messages a second and our phone has become an extension of our hand (literally). We sleep with our phone, we go to the bathroom with our phone and if we leave the house and forget our phone we’ll turn around and go get it!

Here is the power of text messaging 97% text messages are read, 83% within the first hour. For the real estate agent that mean instant communication can be attained with all your clients interested in a listing immediately.

Face it traditional advertising is not as effective as it once was. TV is expensive and consumers TiVo their favorite shows skipping commercials. Radio is difficult to track, Newspaper readership is down and newspapers are going out of business daily. Direct mail and hard copy print have extremely low response rates something like 1 to 2% and get this 60% of Yellow Page phone books are thrown away before the plastic cover is taken off.

With a mobile media product real estate agents can have a tool that allows them to communicate instantly with their customers and prospects on the item they carry with them 24/7…their mobile phone. For real estate agents – if you are not communicating via mobile, you are not communicating effectively with today’s consumers.

I hope this information has shown the power and benefits of having a mobile media marketing campaign implemented in your advertising model. Many agents across the country have benefited from this outstanding new technology.

What Makes Wellington Boots Such a Very British Item of Footwear?

Looking back through history, it all seems to have started in the eighteenth century when a boot called the Hessian boot, initially used by the military, became widely worn by everybody else. Hessian boots had a low heel, quite a pointed toe (useful for mounted troops for ease of using the stirrups) and were knee high.

This style of boot became popular amongst the British aristocracy in the nineteenth century and it was the first Duke of Wellington that popularised it. The Duke had his own version of the Hessian boot made. There were many alterations and the resulting style is nothing like the wellington boots we know today, but his new boot was dubbed “The Wellington” and the name lives on today.

“The Wellington” was still made of leather and remained very fashionable in Britain until the mid nineteenth century. Then in 1853 a man called Hiram Hutchinson started making them out of rubber and established his company Aigle who are of course still going today in France. The new waterproof rubber wellington was very popular among agricultural workers in France.

Then it was the two World Wars that dramatically inflated a need for waterproof knee high boots, and lots of them! Soldiers were in need of suitable footwear for the flooded trenches and it was the North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot Limited) that came to the rescue. When the wars were over, the Wellington had become very popular among men, women and children as the best footwear for wet weather.

What makes them so British is of course the influence of the weather, they really were and still are essential footwear for outdoor life on a rainy island.

Aside from the two World Wars and the weather, the other big influence was by a member of the aristocracy again. It was the Duke of Wellington in the eighteenth century and the Princess of Wales in the twentieth. When the Princess was photographed wearing Hunter wellies, a brand new welly craze began all over again.

So they really are a very British type of footwear. Waterproof footwear that is expected to be inexpensive, durable (lasting at least twenty years!), comfortable and easy.

British people nowadays buy little canvas houses for their beloved wellies and children positively think they are alive. Every child has at least five books in their collection that feature wellies. Children also love them because they can put them on themselves from a young age and can splash in puddles without being told off for getting their shoes or clothes wet.

Hire the Right Tree Removal Company For the Job

The tree removal company offers services related to trees, including tree removal, tree trimming, stump removal, tree thinning and pruning. The companies provide services to residential as well as commercial properties. They comprise of experienced arborists or trained men who safely trim trees, saw them, remove their stump or prune them for you. They also carry out bush or shrubs clearing or clearing the mess left after a storm. Some of these companies also provide landscaping solutions. You could approach such companies in case of emergencies like storm also. Report sudden tree falls on your property immediately to these companies.

The important point is that companies that offer this kind of services ensure that work completion is safe and effective. Emphasis is on human life and taking care reduces the odds of an injury occurrence to any individual. In case there is a power cable down due to a tree fall, it is not easy to handle the situation. The power cable could be hazardous and it might be quite a task to remove it carefully, without causing a regrettable situation. The professionals working with such companies have intense training to handle situations like these.

The next priority is to save trees. Trees are very important for the environment. The professionals for any tree removal company are able to mitigate the loss of trees after a terrible storm. In case the storm continues, they know what to do to prevent a risky happening once again. It might not be possible for you to assess, which trees you could salvage without endangering the lives of people, animals and properties. You may not know which trees you should discard. Experts who are skilled in such services will advice you on how you can save trees that can grow even after the storm.

The arborists might advice you to support the tree, provide some kind of cabling, or support that would enhance the life of the tree. They try to provide alternatives to tree removal. Weak trees need to protection and intense care. If you provide adequate support, then it is possible to save them. Moreover, if you support the trees perfectly, then it is possible they will withstand a storm. This will save your property, home or cars from in case there is a dangerous storm coming.

The tree removal companies will advice you on how to prune the trees, to beautify them and make them stronger. They know which branches are dead, are broken or have diseases that you should eliminate. This will prevent unwanted growth of fungi on them. Thinning of trees is very essential to improve the landscaping. Trees that grow out of proportion do not fit well in the garden and look tacky. They need thorough trimming from different areas so that they look beautiful in the garden. There also could be situations where branches hanging from trees obstruct driveways or pathways.

You need to have the company remove them for you or to clear the pathways. Then at times, weak branches that are about to break off from the tree might just be hanging loose. This could be dangerous as it could fall on any one walking beneath, causing unfortunate accidents. The experienced companies provide all such services. As you can see, a tree removal company provides a host of services relating to trees. Its skilled manpower knows how to deal with different situations. You must hire company services for a proper and systematic handling of tree-related problems.

Earning a Nursing Degree Online – Advantages & Considerations

Nowadays, going to classes at college is not the only way to earn your nursing degree. Online education is an alternative where you can earn a nursing credential from anywhere you like and at the time when it’s most convenient to you. Earning a nursing degree online has many advantages over the traditional learning setting, but there are a few considerations that you must look into before sign-up an online nursing degree program.

Advantages of Pursuing Nursing Degree Online

1. Choose Your Major Regardless of Location Concern

Nursing degrees come with various specializations, but your preference major may not being offered at the nursing college near to your place. You found the nursing degree program with the specialization that you like to major with, is offered by a college at another state or at the college located far way from your convenient travel distance. But, lucky the college does offer it nursing degree online. You can become their online student to sign the nursing degree with your preference major.

2. Flexible Study Time from Anywhere

You can plan your study schedule and log-on to the classes from anywhere as long as you are at a location that has internet connection. Flexible study time from anywhere is the key advantage that will benefit those working individuals who want to earn a nursing degree without giving up their paycheck. Many people have a desire to enter the nursing field, which is a very rewarding and challenging career field, but they are unable to give up their current job to go back to school due to family & other obligations. Online education with it advantages in term of flexibility learning option will enable them to continue their current life while realizing their nursing career goal. This advantage will also benefit those working individuals who need to travel a lot due to their job assignment; they can log-on to the classes from where they are.

Considerations When Taking Nursing Degree Online

Although you can earn a nursing degree online, there are a few considerations you must take into account before you sign up your degree of choice:

1. The Nursing Program Meets Your State Requirement

Each state has it own requirement for nurses, you must make sure that the online nursing degree program that you are going to enroll is a nursing program that is recognized by your state. This is particularly important for preparing for the NCLEX examination, which is required for state certification before you can start your nursing career after graduation.

2. Clinical / Lab Work Facilities

Most nursing degree programs will require you to complete a certain lab or clinical assignments before you can earn the degree. Some nursing schools will require you to complete the clinical experience at the school while other may have co-operation with other health care facilities which may locate near you place to ease you in completing your clinical experience. If traveling to the school is not convenient to you, then you must consider those schools that offer online nursing degree program which can allow you to complete the clinical experience locally.

3. Be Prepare To Be An Online Student

Online learning is different from classroom-based learning style. Most materials are in text format and you must have good reading and writing comprehension. Self-motivation is another key factor that will determine the success or the failure of an online student. If you choose to earn your nursing degree online, you must prepare yourself to face the challenges in your online study and be a successful online student.

Summary

Earn a nursing degree online has many advantages that can benefit you, but at the same time, you must consider a few important factors to ensure you can successful earn a degree that can help in your nursing career.

Best Over the Counter Age Spot Remover

Over the counter age spot remover is one of the hottest selling products in the anti aging skin care market, because nobody wants to walk around with highly visible indicators of age upon their skin. These marks do not really have anything to do with your physical age however, as they are simply products of extended exposure to the sun. It has been pounded into the psyche they are signs of a person advancing into the latter stages of their life due to the timing of their appearance.

Nobody wants to feel as though they are slipping into decline, and though it embarrasses sufferers to have other see them this way it does more damage so as the way that the person sees themselves. Companies have taken advantage of the psychological implications of the development of this harmless hyperpigmentation by flooding the marked with skin whitening products.

What most over the counter age spot remover contains in order to help you reduce the random overproduction of melanin are compounds that I would not advise you to let anywhere near your skin. While effective in slowly removing the discoloration marking your skin, these compounds are not healthy at all. They could in fact take a serious toll on your health, and lightening your skin is simply not worth that.

One ingredient popular for lightening the skin is hydroquinone, which is banned in Europe and may soon be elsewhere as well. Hydroquinone is suspected to potentially cause an increased rate of tumors, mononuclear cell leukemia, and heptocellular and renal tube cell adenomas. It can also cause a disfiguring disease in which blue-black pigments are deposited in your skin.

Other over the counter age spot remover features mercury (II) chloride and ammoniated mercury as the primary melanin reducers. All forms of mercury are highly toxic to humans, and the accumulation of these compounds in your system due to repeated application of the formula can make you incredibly ill. Let me tell you about the only safe option you have for reducing the melanin content of your skin.

The safest and most effective over the counter age spot remover features Extrapone nutgrass root extract, which is proven to reduce melanin by as much as 40%. This eliminates the spots that you have, prevents new ones from forming, and the all natural ingredients heal your skin and make you look younger. This is the only skin whitening formula that I would consider using.

Thrifty Car Rentals – Tripling Your Savings

Thrifty car rentals are becoming popular as an option for people who hardly drive their car except on extended trips. Then there are those people who would prefer not to use their own car on trips over uncertain roads for fear of the wear and tear in will cause. People also rent cars to upgrade or downgrade on the size of the car that they own. For instance, an architect might own a large SUV which he uses for bringing his materials to his projects. For non-business trips, the car has much more room that he requires and more engine power than he ever needs to avail of. So he visits a thrifty car rental to get a smaller car for his daily use. Again people might want to rent a car because they are interested in buying that exact same model but just want to try it out first for a week before actually making that purchase.

If you are thinking of a renting a car, you should know that they usually cost less than the up-front price. This is because thrifty car rental companies offer discount bonuses on most cars and at most times of the year. Discount bonuses can shave of from 10% to 50% of the amount you need to pay after renting it. Price shave-offs can be availed of if you rent on weekends or during off-peak season. You can also have price reduction on the average cost if you rent for a week or a month. The specifics for extended rental discounts may vary from company to company, but they are always there.

Right now, the going price for high-powered cars, has gone down with the recession. Due to the need to save, people are buying cars with less power and smaller build. The result is that cars like the SUV are rented out instead of sold. Now would be the right time to try out renting a SUV from a thrifty car rental. This car is ideal for outdoor adventures on virgin terrain, like camping in the wild or fishing out in a secluded lake. The SUV is also ideal for visiting friends who live in isolated areas.

Before renting for an extended period, you need to consider the amenities or accessories that are included or excluded for monthly or yearly rental plans. Before settling on a monthly rental plan, be sure to calculate whether renting daily for 28 days will cost more than an outright 30-day plan. There are some thrifty car rental companies whose price structure sets a higher basic rate for monthly plans. If such is the case, there may be amenities or add-ons for monthly rentals that you are not aware of. Ask the personnel about it.

Other than the basic discounts on the rental fees of thrifty car rentals, some offer discount coupons for tourist spots, hotels and restaurants. These discount coupons are issued by the establishments to encourage more visitors to their place. Among these establishments, you have Disneyland, Sea World and even Universal Studios. Holiday Inn and Grand Hyatt are two hotels that offer discount coupons for travelers.

Budget Your Total Bathroom Remodel

Like any responsible homeowner or renter, you plan to budget for your upcoming bathroom remodeling project. But finding the dough to accessorize like a celebrity may prove more than challenging. Whether you’re looking to install high-tech toilets, new faucets and showerheads or simply to afford new rugs, follow these penny-pinching tips; you’ll be on your way to a new total bathroom makeover without cutting back on your family’s food or selling your assets.

Plan in Advance

No matter what size remodeling project you plan to undertake, you can never plan too far in advance. The larger the project, the more long term you should think. But before you either sell you’re car or begin purchasing new bathroom accessories or fixtures, write down your plan. Create a mock blueprint of your ideal bathroom, complete with what fixtures you need or want to replace, as well as the aspects you can repurpose and refurbish for free. Now, conduct simple market research online and estimate the average price for the new features you wish to include in your makeover project. For standard durable pieces, look for trusted brands such as Kohler, Price Pfister and American Standard.

A good rule to follow should be based upon how long you intend to stay in your home. If you’re simply looking at a quick fix and sell home, then opt for simple improvements. If your family will be staying for decades, you may want to consider comfort and ease first, and then think of what will increase the value of the home over time.

Additional costs are accrued when you pay for the labor. So no matter how big or small you plan to remodel, also factor in how much – or how little – the cost of labor will be.

Evaluate the Spending

With your estimated expenses in hand, examine your current weekly and monthly spending habits. Are there any areas where you can afford to trim down? A few dollars here and there spent on gourmet coffee, fast food restaurants and even those extra cents tacked onto gasoline prices paid with debit or credit cards can really add up quickly. Budget-friendly ideas include carpooling, consolidating all errands into one day to eliminate expensive fuel costs as well as opting for stay-at-home dinners which tend to be cheaper and healthier.

Stick to the Plan

If you’ve decided to trade in your Chinese take-out Tuesdays and quick trips to the post office for a home cooked meal and a walk to the local stores, then stick to it. And it will be tough to stick to this plan, but be prepared. It’s easy to find excuses (it’s too cold outside to walk); writing down specific tasks on your calendar will help keep you focused on your goal: remodeling your new bathroom. Also, seeing tasks written in permanent ink will help guilt-trip you into behaving, especially if you’ve slipped once or twice.

Small Budget Makeovers

With the rocky economy and unstable job market, many families simply cannot afford a total bathroom makeover as they’ve dreamed. However, a few small and inexpensive changes can transform your bathroom. Often, just a simple accent wall in a dark, rich paint can change the feel of a bathroom instantly-while only a fraction of the cost of totally repainting your entire bathroom. Check out local yard sales and online listings for freebies and discount giveaways; a wicker basket or antique bedside table can double as an artistic and decorative toilet paper holder.

Total Redesign

Transforming your entire bathroom will require a hefty budget, especially if you’re reinstalling valves, bath tubs and cabinetry (which will most likely require the assistance of a professional). Splurge on the luxury model toilets with heated seats, heated tile floors to keep your toes toasty or the automated sink faucets that eliminate wasted water. Over time, you’ll see more money in your pocket, since these luxury upgrades will most likely replace your frequent trips to day spas.