Should We Add A Deck To Our “Door To Nowhere?”

When we toured our house, we were given the tour by the actual owners. They were selling their house themselves. We love 90% of the house. We went up to the FROG (family room over garage) and it was huge. There was also another bedroom attached to the family room. Then we noticed “the door”

adding a deck to our house

There’s an exterior door in the family room. We realized it doesn’t really go anyway. It faces a neighboring house that I like to call “the bad juju house” because the owners told us 3 people have died in that house next door. It’s been abandoned since the last owner’s, untimely death.

We can see straight to the bad juju house. There was absolutely nothing out there. Except an overgrown staghorn sumac tree grove. Which, by the way, if anyone has a good way to get rid of sumac trees, like a lot of them, please let me know. They keep sprouting up and spreading like weeds! But literally nothing else. No deck, no sidewalk, no garden, no play area. To be fair, it’s on a hill so it’s gonna take some serious leveling.

What I’m thinking is putting up some privacy hedges along the property line so we don’t have to stare at the bad juju house. We’re talking about putting in a deck. We want a fairly big deck that we can have cookouts or parties on. We also want to put a hot tub out there eventually. Oddly this entire side of the house, which is a pretty broad side, has no outdoor electric outlets or water outlets. We finally installed a water spout last summer because I put a vegetable garden out there. We were actually carrying buckets and watering cans of water up to the garden via either the front door and climbing the hill or carrying them through the house to the FROG and out the door to nowhere to water the garden. Severa trips! It was too much!

Here’s the things we’re not sure about.

  • Do you go regular deck lumber or do we use that fake lumber stuff? I don’t even know what it’s called.
  • The area get a lot of sun (hence the vegetable garden). Do we do an awning for a big deck, pergola, or build an actual porch-style roof? I kinda like the idea of the pergola for the look and to not block out the sun completely. I also think they’re versatile in that it’s easy to grow vines, string lights, or hand decorations on.
  • What would look nice for privacy to block out the bad juju house? Do we do shrubs or privacy fence? Other ideas?
  • Can we put the hot tub on the deck or is it smarter to do a step-down area onto a concrete patio to prevent water damage?

I’d love to hear your ideas. When we decide to pull the trigger on this project we want to do it right. I’m open for any other suggestions you have. And, again please, if you know how to get rid of spreading sumac trees I’d love to hear that too.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Bloggers. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Hosting a Board Game Night At Your Bar

Hosting a board game night at your bar can be a fun way to draw in a crowd, particularly if you have nights that are typically slow business nights. If your game nights are special events, be sure to advertise them well so people know to come. Here are a few other tips for using board games to boost your bar business.

Choose Great Games

When you offer games for your bar patrons to play, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, choose games that can be completed fairly quickly. Monopoly is probably not a game people would choose to play when going out for the evening. Second, choose a wide variety of games. Some people like classic games like cribbage or backgammon. Others are into fantasy or strategy games. Having plenty of choices means everyone is likely to find something they can enjoy. Also, be sure to have some games that can be played by only two players, and some that can be enjoyed by a large group.

Offer Special Drinks

Once your bar has its liquor license Houston TX in place, you can start planning fun drink offerings. Creating a specialty, game-themed drink for the evening can get everyone in the board game mood. If one of your games is Clue, why not offer a bloody mary, or a specialty cocktail featuring blood orange? A rousing game of Apples to Apples would certainly be improved by an appletini or two. Offering special drink pricing at the beginning of the evening can encourage patrons to arrive early and get settled in.

Host a Competition

Some board games work quite well for a bracket-style tournament. You can plan a quick, one-night competition, or a multi-week series of tournament game nights, culminating in a final victory round. Think of games such as Scrabble or Parcheesi that can be learned easily by most people and require some amount of strategy, rather than just luck. Offering prizes is a sure way to bring in more competitors. Some venues choose to charge an entry fee, and others just count on increased sales for the evening. You can also choose to have teams register in advance, or let people join in at the last minute. Offering team-matching services can help include patrons who don’t already have a team to play with.

Offering your bar customers an evening of board game fun is a great way to increase patronage on an otherwise slow business night. A good selection of games and drinks will keep people coming back for more of both.

Exploring Options for Debt Consolidation

Are you struggling to pay off your debts, such as student loans? Are your credit cards maxed out and can you no longer qualify for a 0% credit card balance transfer offer? In general, you want to choose a debt consolidation loan plan that simplifies your financial life or reduces the cost of your debt, or, ideally, both. There are some debt consolidation loans Canada offers and these are available from lenders that can simplify your payment but do not significantly reduce the cost of your debt. You don’t want to choose those.

Explore Your Options

You need to explore your options. This is why it is so important to research your debt consolidation loan providers before making the decision. One of the biggest obstacles to debt consolidation is the risk you run in incurring new debt before paying off the consolidated debt. Therefore, close all old accounts or cut them off. You may have heard that closing multiple accounts can hurt your credit. Initially, your score may take a small hit, but this is nothing compared to the hit your credit score will take when you keep adding more debt to your bad debt.

Learn how debt consolidation affects your credit

If you got into debt due to unexpected circumstances, such as a medical bill or job loss, rather than a recurring cycle of making poor purchasing decisions, it is probably better to keep your accounts open and just cut up your cards so your credit score remains intact. How debt consolidation affects your credit will depend on the options you choose. Every time you apply for a loan, this is considered new credit, which means that a thorough investigation of your credit will be done. As a result, your score will drop. Some lenders allow you to apply for a debt consolidation loan without affecting your credit score, giving you an interest rate without having to do rigorous research.

The Lenders

With some lenders, those with the best credit will get the lowest rates. Many lenders also don’t charge fees for paying off your loan early; however, they could charge upfront fees of up to five percent on your loan. Some may send money directly to your creditors to increase your chances of successful debt consolidation. Your credit score will depend in part on your credit utilization, how much debt you have compared to the total amount of available debt. When all your credit cards are maxed out and you open a new one, this increases your available debt and lowers your utilization rate, which can actually help your score. However, your score will suffer whenever you have a high balance on any card. Transferring multiple balances to one card will cause your score to suffer, even if you have paid off all of your other cards.


Using debt consolidation loans Canada offers to pay off credit cards lowers your utilization rate and increases your score. Many debt consolidation companies will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf for lower balances and lower interest rates. Look for those who will get a written agreement from each of your creditors that outlines the terms of the agreement.

Enter To Win $40K Towards Yours or Your Child’s Education

If you follow me on social media you’ll know that one of my favorite hobbies is entering sweepstakes. I don’t win too often and rarely ever the big prizes. But I go by the saying “You can’t win if you don’t enter”. It’s statistics right? If you enter so many your bound to win a few here and there.

This one I could not pass up. My oldest son is a freshman in college. Just started college about a month ago. While he was lucky to get a scholarship that covers some and a couple small loans, the rest we’re paying out of pocket. It would be so nice to to win this and just pay off his education.

Scootchy app is offering an amazing sweepstakes. Scootchy College Savings and Debt Repayment Sweepstakes. The winner gets $40,000 that can be used towards yours or your child’s education. That is amazing! I know I’m not the only one who would be interested in this so here is the link so enter for yourself. This could be a big help for one lucky winner, especially in these times.

Scootchy College Savings and Debt Repayment Sweepstakes

The sweepstakes is open until October 27, 2020. Open to legal residents of the USA excluding Florida and New York. No purchase or payment necessary. Purchase will not increase odds of winning. See sweepstakes rules on their page for more info.

Would you like to see more posts like this on Luv Saving Money? Let me know in the comments below.

3 Money Management Tips

Many people can find themselves in a financial situation they did not expect to face. Dealing with personal finances can be intimidating for people, especially if they were not taught good money management skills while they were growing up. That does not mean that it is impossible for people to take control of their finances. By taking an honest look at their finances, creating a monthly budget, establishing goals and taking actions to reduce expenses, people may be able to improve their situation.

1. Budget

One of the best ways to take control of a financial situation is to create a budget. Calculate all of the monthly, quarterly and yearly expenses to figure out how much money needs to be paid or put aside each month for bills. Do not forget to include things like oil changes, holiday expenses or yearly subscription fees. Write out all of the expenses that will happen each month and compare it to the household income.

2. Reduce Expenses

Look over the expenses and wean out anything that is not necessary. Cancel subscriptions or look for bargains for needed purchases. Call up credit card companies and ask about interest rate reductions. Consolidate debt if possible, check out payday loans in Ontario to pay for something that the cash is not yet in hand for. Make sure to pay off any loans quickly to avoid fees and high interest rates. Get quotes on lower insurance rates and better cell phone and internet deals.

3. Evaluate Income Options

Sometimes people can reduce their expenses as much as possible and still not have as much money left over at the end of the month to suit their needs. Consider the available options to increase income. Perhaps asking for a raise or seeking out a promotion at a current job is a solution. Taking on a second job or picking up small gigs can be helpful in filling any income gaps. Investigate passive income streams like investing, blogging and affiliate marketing. They will take some initial investment to begin, but once started they can be a great source of extra money.

Having a messy financial situation can be stressful. Making a plan and taking active control over all aspects of the financial plan can reduce stress in a person’s life.  Take control and try to account for all of the expenses that come up during the year to be ready for them. Talk to a professional financial advisor if needed in order to ensure the best results.