5 Personal Finance Apps You Must Have For Better Money Management

If you are cautious about your money and want to keep track of where you spend without going over the budget then you need a finance app. Most people check their phone more than 50 times a day because it is the hub of all information where you get whether updates to news on stocks. If you want to manage your money, stick to a budget and even handle investment decisions all the smart way, there are many professional finance apps for you in the app store but not every app out there is useful.

We have compiled a list of 5 Personal Finance Apps You Must Have for Better Money Management that will help you make better decisions about your money and put it to good use.

Mint

Mint is hands down the best app for managing your money. You can create a budget on Mint and track your spending and get a better idea where all your money is going when you see all you’re spending on the screen. You can then make an informed decision about where you want to actually spend your money.

You can connect all your bank and credit card accounts with the Mint app and your monthly bills so you do not have to log in to multiple sites to see your expenses. You can see all the money flow on the single screen on Mint. It informs you when the bills are due, what you owe and what you have to pay. You will even get payment reminders through notifications and mails so you can avoid the late fees.

You Need a Budget

You need to use the You Need a Budget app is you want to get out of debt. If you are tired of spending on thing you do not necessarily need then you need an app that reminds that you are going over the predetermined budget. If you are already in debt, you really need this app. If you do not want to keep living paycheck to paycheck then you need to get smart about your spending.

You Need a Budget makes a budget based on your current income and how much debt you have so you can pay it off. This app is really effective as the average user of this app pays off $500 on the first month of using this app to manage his finances.

Wally

Wally is a great app for tracking all your expenses. If you wonder where all your money went at the end of each month then you need to track your expenses. Nobody has the time to remember or write down each spending in today’s lifestyle so Wally does it for you. You just have to take a photo of the receipt and Wally will fill out all the details automatically and add them to your spending. Wally is absolutely free and very useful finance app.  You can see all your spending at one place which will help you manage your cash flow.

Acorns

Acorns will help you save your money so you can put it to good use. Won’t you love another 100$, 500$ or even a 1000$ in your bank account at the end of each year? Acorns will make you money automatically and the process is very simple. Every time you pay electronically with your credit or debit card, Acorns rounds it off to the next dollar and invests the difference into portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which you can select based on your risk preference.

Level Money

Level Money will help you determine what your ideal monthly, weekly and daily spending should be. Once you connect Level Money with your bank accounts, it will analyze your income and your recurring bills and make your budget so you can spend smart and save whenever you can. Level Money will also come up with an amount that you need to be saving every month and deducts it from your monthly income. You can track the money flow easily using this app continently on your smartphone.

You can download these apps on TutuApp & Appvn app store. So these were the 5 Personal Finance Apps You Must Have For Better Money Management which will help you get smart with your money.  

Frugal Wanderlust: How To See The World On A Budget

Frugal Wanderlust: How To See The World On A Budget
With summer on its way, you only have so many weeks left to save up for your holiday in the sun. If your last check-in with your savings revealed you’re far from your goal, don’t despair. Saving up all of your extra cash until your piggy bank is bursting with Benjamins isn’t the only way you’ll see the world this summer. By using the right tools at the right time, you can keep your costs low. Keep reading and find out the best ways to save on your next trip, so your unchecked desire to travel won’t put your finances at risk.

Don’t Pay Full Price For Your Flights

You can find a return flight from LaGuardia to Miami for under $100, but flights this cheap aren’t always available once you leave the good old US of A. If you plan on taking your trip overseas, the cost of air travel will eat up most of your budget. You can make sure it only takes a modest bite out of your fun money by using the travel app Hopper.

We’ve all heard the rumor that there’s a specific time when it’s best to buy your tickets. Rather than rely on hearsay passed down from your second cousin twice removed, Hopper sends you reliable notifications when the cheapest price is available for your preferred destination. It won a Google Play Award in 2016 for its ability to shave off up to 40% off of flights, so you know it’s legitimate.

Consider Taking The Couch

Next to flights, accommodations are one of the most expensive elements of any trip. You can eliminate this cost altogether if you’re willing to be a little brave and create a profile on Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is an online travel community that lets you connect with locals who are willing to offer you their couch or spare bedroom for free! It’s also a great way to make new friends with people who can give you a local’s look at your destination.

Use An App To Find Your Accommodations

Couchsurfing isn’t for everyone. It takes an extroverted personality who’s willing to take a chance on a stranger. If you’d rather have your own place without relying on a stranger’s good will, turn to your phone again to find the best prices on hotels, bed and breakfasts, or AirBnBs.

With AirBnB on your iPhone, you can rent an apartment in downtown Barcelona or a loft overlooking the canals in Amsterdam. The cost of these private apartments is usually much lower than the average hotel, and it’s like you’re actually living like a local with all of the privacy and convenience of your own home.

Though AirBnB is a secure and reliable way of finding a place to stay, there have been mix ups in the past that left travellers stranded and hosts furious. Hotel Tonight can save you if you ever find yourself in a position where you aren’t sure where to lay your head at night. Should your flight get delayed and you miss your reservation or your hostel ends up being above a bar without any noise insulation, tap open the Hotel Tonight app and it will connect you with a clean, quiet room in under 10 seconds. You also get a deal on these accommodations, since Hotel Tonight partners with local hotels that are willing to drop their prices in order to fill their remaining empty rooms.

Consider An Installment Loan

At the risk of sounding alarmist, problems with your accommodations aren’t the only things that can go wrong while on vacation. Though it’s the last thing you want to think about, it’s a good idea to consider some contingency plans. It’s why you signed up for traveller’s insurance, and why you should consider an installment loan to cover other emergencies that you didn’t budget for.

You could get slapped with a speeding ticket during your drive along the French countryside, or you could scrape the side of your rental car as you attempt to parallel park along narrow European streets — only after you declined the accidental damage insurance. Your AirBnB can fall through and you end up spending more on accommodations than you budgeted, even with the help of Hotel Tonight. There are a lot of reasons why your trip may get expensive. A personal cash advance can help you cover these unexpected hiccoughs.

While traditional lenders will require in-person meetings and lengthy review processes before they lend you the cash you need, CABs (or Credit Access Businesses) like MoneyKey require a simple online application that involves basic contact and financial information. Should you qualify and be approved, you can receive the money you need in as little as one business day. Their online installment loans also come with extended terms that won’t interrupt your fun abroad, as you can make payments over several weeks once you return home.

Don’t Exchange Money At The Airport Or Your Hotel

The US may have a strong dollar within the international context, but that doesn’t mean you should get lazy. If you hope to rely primarily on cash while you’re abroad, don’t exchange your USD to Euros with organizations that apply the highest fees for their services. We’re talking about the airport, foreign currency websites (yes, these services deliver your cash to your door), or mall kiosks. Most banks will offer a fair exchange with minimal fees, while ATMs both at home and at your destination offer a good alternative if you can’t make it to your branch before your flight.

Eat In As Much As Possible

The best part of travelling can be sampling the local cuisines, but eating out for every meal is a fast way to burn through your budget. Don’t waste your money on an overpriced sandwich or bowl of soup at the art gallery. Limit your gastronomic globetrotting to special meals at the restaurants you really want to visit. For everything else, hit up the local grocery and pack snacks for your sightseeing tour around the city.

A vacation abroad can be expensive at any time of the year, but summer is in its own category as the travel and tourism industry kicks into its busy season. If you expect to leave on a jet plane this summer, keep your costs low by using these cost-cutting tips. Let us know of any tricks you like to use, and share your favorite way to come under budget.

How do you buy stocks?

So you’re looking to get into the world of investing are you? Great. The stock market has long been a mystifying place for most, but it’s quite simple really. With the proper education and practice you can be well on your way to investing for retirement. Let’s start out with learning exactly what a stock is first.

So what exactly is a stock?

First of all stocks are different from other investments because they are pieces of an actual company.  Unlike mutual funds which are investments that are comprised of any number of companies and are repackaged and sold to an end user.  Additionally there is more than one type of stock, for examples stocks can be purchased based on the class of shares, different classes offer different privileges.  But for this article we will assume that common stock is being purchased.

A common stock is simply a type of security that involves ownership in a business and represents a claim on a portion of the companies assets and earnings.

 

To buy or sell any stock you need to get in contact with a broker.  A broker is a licensed individual or corporation that will purchase and sell shares on the market on your behalf.  Brokers are trained in the legal requirements that need to be followed in order to make these transactions, ie.  registering trades with the appropriate governing authorities.

 

 Should I go with a discount brokerage or a full service brokerage?

The most basic decision an investor must make is the type of brokerage house they want representing them.  As of today there are essentially two options, discount brokerage or full service brokerage.  This decision is far from easy to make.  A discount broker will not offer guidance as to which purchases you make.

 

Discount brokerages are online entities like Interactive Brokers, or Questrade. More often than not these companies will provide a research platform to view fundamental data for companies trading on exchanges that you are investing in.

 

However, if you are reading this article on how to buy stocks chances are good that you don’t know how to choose them either.   Conversely at a full service broker you will be provided with research based on your investing style and risk tolerance.

 

Essentially you will have a guide to help you navigate through different investments.  A full service brokerage will provide you with an account manager that will be there to answer questions that may arise about your future or current investments.

Should I keep stocks inside my RRSP?

In addition to the differences listed above between full service and discount brokerages there is another important consideration to keep in mind and that is whether you want to keep stocks inside your RRSP or not.  There is plenty of information on  RRSPs on www.stocktrades.ca.  Before you make any decisions it is important to keep in mind the tax saving benefits of RRSPs and TFSAs as opposed to holding stocks outside of a plan which will then be subject to full taxation.

 

We hope this article gave you an idea of what a stock is and how you can go about purchasing them. It’s imperative that you read, read, read, and read some more when learning about investing. It takes years to learn the intricacies of the stock market. In fact, most investors are in a constant cycle of learning, as the markets always change.

 

 

All That Glitters: Investing in Gold

Gold is a safe-haven investment that is the perfect hedge against stock-market volatility. On Wednesday, 14 June 2017, gold was trading at $1,276.83 per ounce, up $11 on the day. The precious metal has generated returns of 9.43% over the past 6 months, or $109.10 per ounce since January. This is on par with the performance of the S&P 500 index, and the Dow Jones for the year to date. As a safe-haven commodity, gold tends to rally when investors adopt a risk-off approach to equities markets. We have seen gold briefly surging towards the $1,300 per ounce level in 2017, only to retreat towards its current levels as calm returns to the markets.

It is interesting to point out that the USD average annual percentage returns in gold have been volatile since 2012. At that point, gold averaged 7%, followed by a 28.3% decline in 2013, a 1.5% decline in 2014 and a 10.4% decline in 2015. During that stage, Wall Street was exceptionally bullish and traders were not interested in safe-haven investments such as gold. The tide started to turn in 2016 as the Wall Street rally lost momentum and continued at a modest pace. Last year, gold averaged 8.5% returns in USD, and for the year to date it is already up 10.1%. Gold has performed strongest when measured in Indian rupees (INR) with a total return since 2002 of 506.7%.

Recent Trends with Gold

Gold tends to gain favor with investors and traders when geopolitical uncertainty is rampant. For gold bugs, there has been plenty of this uncertainty with the French presidential elections and more recently the UK general election. In the run-up to the UK election, there was tremendous uncertainty in markets. Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead was initially 20 percentage points, but that dried up dramatically as election day neared. The outcome of the general election was certainly not positive for the Prime Minister, and she saw her lead shrink with a hung parliament after the June 8 election. Traders wasted no time and there was a huge spike in gold trading volumes.

However, they were not purchasing gold – they were selling gold.

This surprise trend had more to do with the anticipated consequences of a shock election result on the GBP than it did with the safe-haven asset. In other words, the rush to gold took place to benefit off the depreciation of the cable (GBP/USD pair) after the general election. Indeed, the sterling weakened from around 1.30 to under 1.27 after the election and traders made a packet by selling the dollar-denominated commodity on the markets. Consider that gold was priced at around £993 before the election and approximately £1007 in the aftermath. A stronger USD can be exchanged for significantly more GBP.

Where to Next with Gold?

Saxon Trade specialist, Montgomery Clayton Esq. had this to say about gold prospects: ‘Interest rate hikes have a pronounced effect on the gold price. Typically, these decisions are priced into markets well ahead of time. The Fed has embarked upon a policy of gradual tightening, with multiple rate hikes since the global recession in 2009. The June Fed decision is an important one in that it gives clarity to the future direction of Fed policy. Gradually increasing interest rates indicate that the Fed is moving towards a federal funds rate of around 3%.’ As the interest rate increases, so the demand for the USD increases accordingly. Understanding how gold is priced is crucial to trading it. Since gold is a dollar-denominated asset, it typically moves in the opposite direction to rate hikes. Foreign buyers of gold can afford less when the price is relatively more expensive, and demand decreases.

The Importance of a Financial Backup Plan

Financial setbacks and emergencies can derail even the most carefully planned budgets. Creating a financial backup plan can rescue you in those circumstances, and you may need more than one option.

How Does a Financial Backup Plan Help You?

Image via Flickr by ccPixs.com

You may live within your means, set aside money for savings, and take part in a 401(k) plan. Still, unexpected life events could drain your financial reserves, in which case you need a financial backup plan.

Several emergencies can arise without warning, from a broken-down vehicle to a serious injury or illness. You won’t use your backup plan unless you’re in a serious emergency, but you’ll feel confident because you know you have one when you need it.

Explore the following three financial backup plans you can set up for your peace of mind.

Borrow From Your Retirement Account

As Sonya Stinson pointed out in her Bankrate article about good reasons to borrow from your 401(k) account, you may need to use your retirement fund if you have no other recourse. For example, if you can’t pay the rent, make your mortgage payment, satisfy your car loan, or buy groceries for your family, a 401(k) loan can help you get back on your feet.

If you decide to borrow from your 401(k) account, calculate exactly how much money you need. If you borrow too much, you could put yourself in a worse financial predicament, especially if you can’t afford the monthly payments.

Ask Family and Friends

The people you love may have the extra funds necessary to help you out of a financial bind. You may call a parent, sibling, or other close family member or friend to explain your financial emergency. Let your friend or relative know exactly how much money you need and when you could pay back the loan.

Borrowing from friends and family can prove dangerous if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain. Relationships can get ruined because of money, so force yourself to approach the situation strategically. For example, if you can’t afford to repay $500 per month, don’t agree to do so.

Take Out a Line of Credit

Lines of credit work similarly to credit cards. They offer money when you need it, and you can continue borrowing from a line of credit until you reach your credit limit. Many lines of credit offer lower interest rates than credit cards, which can make them attractive alternatives.

You can also use a line of credit from an online lender such as Kabbage for your small business. If you need help buying inventory, paying suppliers, or hiring new employees, a line of credit may give you the financial boost you need to keep your business afloat.

As long as you qualify, you can keep a line of credit open indefinitely. This line of credit can help your personal or business credit rating, especially if you borrow less than the credit limit since the credit line adds to the credit amount available to you.

A financial emergency can strike at any moment, so don’t wait until something goes wrong to create a strategic solution. If you already have a backup plan in place, you can tackle the problem immediately and avoid putting unnecessary financial stress on your family or business

Money Saving Tips for All the Parts of Your Life

When it comes to saving money, you want to do as absolutely much as is possible. And that means saving money in all of the various aspects of your life. If you save money in one part of your life, but are not so frugal in another, then you’re not going to see the same type of savings that you would if you manage to spread out all of your focus.

So, some money-saving tips for all-around your life include saving on your small business pursuits, saving on your subscriptions, using apps to save with investments, saving on interest rates for various loans, and saving when it comes to utilizing your credit card.

Small Business Savings

If you own a small business, or are involved in small business ownership somehow, then you know that there are money-saving tips all over the place for you to follow. Many of these have to deal with understanding the intricacies of small business management, so before you start cutting corners on things, it’s better to understand how to make things more efficient first. Then follow those tips to the letter.

Subscription Savings

Chances are fairly likely that you have a lot of subscriptions that you’re paying for every month. These can be things like music subscriptions, cloud service subscriptions, or TV and entertainment subscription services. If you want to save money, figure out which subscription you use the least, and simply cancel it. You will hardly know the difference, and over the long-term, you can save a ton of money not having these monthly costs that will bog you down eventually with respect to your budget.

Investment Savings

There are money-saving apps you can install as well that are quite interesting. Some of these ask to send money directly to your bank account, whereas others will put them in some sort of investment fund. The best part of these is you don’t even feel it happening. Most of them are set up to discreetly put small amounts of money in accounts every day or every week, so you don’t notice the missing, but all that money shows up in greater form later in your bank.

Interest Rate Savings

In order to save money on interest rates, the only real way for you to pursue this is by paying more on your principal. If you have an old loan from school, or perhaps for a car purchase or home loan, then you want to put as much money as possible on those every month. The sooner you pay off principle, the more money you save. This is a direct equation.

Credit Card Savings

And finally, there are a few different ways to save money on credit cards. If you have an outstanding balance somewhere, you can typically move that entire amount onto a new interest-free card for a one-year period; this sort of movement among credit cards can be a great way for you save money, as long as you intend on paying them back as soon as possible in each case.

Refinancing may still be an option

To no one’s surprise The Bank of Canada has left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.5%. After reading the latest Monetary Report, it doesn’t sound like it will raise its policy rate any time soon. Inflation is flat, as is wage and export growth, and there is still uncertainty in the US and globally.

Despite record low interest rates, some new home buyers are finding it challenging to qualify for a mortgage due to a new round of rule changes announced late last year. These changes have also affected existing mortgage holders who may want to refinance to get a lower rate.

While low interest rates and robust regional housing, markets continue to be the norm, Canadians are still burdened with record-high debt loads. The ratio of debt to disposable income rose to 167.3% by the end of 2016. That means Canadians owe $1.67 for every dollar of disposable income, up from $1.66 the year prior.

If you’re sitting with equity in your home yet can’t seem to manage your debt payments, refinancing could still be an option. With credit card interest rates often pushing the 20% range and unsecured lines of credit in the 7% and higher range paying off high-interest debts can make sense.

Let’s review a refinance. Specifically, you are increasing the amount of your mortgage to pay off debt. Your actual mortgage payment may or may not increase, depending on a number of factors, and you may incur a penalty to break your existing mortgage if you are refinancing midterm, but your overall monthly payments should decrease. You could be paying off the refinanced debt at a much lower interest rate, which could save you thousands of dollars in interest in the long run.

Here are some reasons to consider a refinance:

Decrease your overall monthly debt payments by using your equity to pay off those high-interest credit cards or unsecured loans, which can help you better manage your budget.
You can refinance to purchase another property. Using the existing equity in your home can be a great way to buy a rental property which, if done right, can also make the interest you pay tax deductible.
You could also take out some of the equity for investment purposes.
Or you may want to refinance to renovate.

As you can see there are many factors to consider before deciding to refinance. Each individual’s financial situation is different. Call me and we can discuss the options available to you.

Guy Ward is a Mortgage Broker in Calgary, Alberta with TMG (The Mortgage Group Alberta) and can be contacted at www.guythemortgageguy.com

5 Best tips to invest in the stock market

People are obsessed with finding easy ways to earn a ton of money without putting in effort proportional to their aims. Business and dealings associated with risks such as lottery tickets and binary options have worked out for some people to increase the ownership of their liquid assets, however these are not reliable sources and there are plenty of problems other than risk associated with them. Investing in the stock market can make you increase your ownership enough to surprise you. Here are a few good tips to help you start up your journey as an investor.

 

  • Know your purpose

 

A stock market takes a lot of time to start bearing considerably beneficial returns unless you are extremely lucky. If you expect your money back with some profits in the next few years to pursue some prospects such as your child’s education, then the stock market isn’t the right place to invest, insurances and government securities are. Like any other risk associated businesses, there is not guarantee that the money will flow back with profits. If you are keen in investing in the stock market make sure you save a considerable portion of your annual earning to invest and capitalize on your building profits.

 

  • Holding your ground

 

A stock market can also be explained as a battle of emotions. In the short term, if the prices of the company whose shares you possess start falling because of a loss of customer confidence or simply a rumor against them, thousands of questions form in your mind which question your investment. You need to keep your wits about you and not let these price shocks impact you, and for that purpose you need to have a strategy before purchasing the share. Have an exit strategy through which you will recognize when you will buy or sell stocks and work using that strategy without letting emotions cloud your vision.

 

  • Versatility in investment

 

If you are new to investing, it is always wiser to hold socks of different companies than to invest in the same country or industry hoping to gain benefits from its short term rising influence in the market. This is important because a price shock in one industry will not impact your generated profits elsewhere and in the best case, can help you cover up for any sale you make that goes in a loss. Moneybanker is a good transparent service if you want loans to start up your investment in multiple dimensions.

 

  • Limit leverage

 

Using borrowed money to invest in the stock market can sound appealing for beginners because in their ideal world, their profits can easily be used to pay back what they borrowed with interest and still have enough to live off in ease. That is not the case in real life, because as stock prices go up, the percentage of earning you are obliged to pay to your broker/loaner increases and ultimately your return is less. Worse off, if the stock prices go down, you have to sell the stock to pay the loaning authority and you are left with nothing, so if you are new to the stock market, start by investing with your own money.

 

  • Know your tolerance level

 

Investments in the start tend to make investors anxious, because there is no guarantee whether the graph will go up or down from there, and this anxiety is bad for mental health. Be honest with yourself and make investments that do not make you feel too nervous about your money, because this nervousness gives rise to emotion based decisions which decrease your performance in the stock market.

How Does the Office Space Market in Canada Compare to the One in the US?

Image Source: Hi-Level Mezzanines

At present, both the United States and Canada share a fairly healthy office market being shaped by broadly similar trends. As large trading partners of similar economies, this is unsurprising. Yet despite sharing many characteristics, there are differences in how they are being shaped by these trends and broader differences as well.

Similarities Between the US and Canadian Markets

Growing Demand for Class A Space

Class A commercial space is in high demand across North America as firms demand greater efficiency and technology while relocating or renting for the first time. JLL reports that Class A rents have increased by 21.5 percent since 2010, which is nearly 2.7 times faster than Class B rent growth. Much of this stock is being created or converted in urban centers.

Companies are flocking to central business districts and areas linked to them via transit hubs for the value offered there. With greater focus on efficiency, many companies are not as concerned with space as they once were and take opportunities for hot-desking and remote work seriously. While rents are surging for Class A properties, this has left Class B property owners with pressure to offer greater incentives in their lease such as lower premiums and larger packages.

Tech and Finance Drive Commercial Rents

The largest driver of rents for both the US and Canada continues to be tech companies. In the United States, 24.2% of leasing volume in Q1 of 2017 was attributed to the tech sector. The creative and finance sectors are also capturing sizeable shares of lease volume. The digital pressures of all are one of the factors pushing the market toward Class A office space.

Cautious but Optimistic

Both the US and Canada have been troubled by the surprise events of 2016. Britain’s unexpected vote to leave the European Union and America’s selection of Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election have created uncertainty in Western economies, sparking fears of a slow down and lower demand for real estate. For the markets in the two countries, construction is expected to slow and softening of the market to occur as new spaces come online. Developers in both countries also complain of too much regulation.

Differences Between the US and Canadian Markets

Stage in the Real Estate Cycle

According to JLL and its Office Clock system, plotting cities on the market cycle into falling, bottoming, rising, and peaking phases, the United States cities are further along the property cycle than their Canadian counterparts. Leading US cities like New York and Los Angeles (with their hitherto hot market increases) are reaching their peak with the office market in San Francisco seemingly already done so. Many smaller, regional hubs across the US like Indianapolis and Phoenix are further behind and set to see market rises.

Canada, as a national market, seems to be one phase behind the US market in the property cycle. Vancouver and Toronto especially, unlike major US cities, seem set for a much longer rise in the office market and escalating rents as both continue to grow at fast pace toward becoming major metropolises on par with New York, London, or Paris.

Regional Irregularities

Other Canadian cities are not seeing such rapid growth however, as studied by pwc and the Urban Land Institute. Montreal is growing but at a lesser rate. Ottawa, after decreases in government spending, now has a vacancy rate of near 25%. And cities in Alberta like Calgary and Edmonton are having to weather the loss of profits from a collapsing oil industry as well as what some consider an over-supply of commercial property from the last decade.

In the United States 10 cities lead the growth of the market, mainly in the eastern seaboard states and the southwest. Gateway markets and some leading metro-areas have actually seen a cool down. Most dramatic is that in the seemingly unstoppable Bay Area where both San Francisco and Silicon Valley have seen negative net absorption and rent declines on a quarterly basis.

 

3 Ways to Save Money By Caring For Your Home Plumbing

The plumbing within your home is often something that doesn’t get a lot of thought put into it on a daily basis. However, if your home starts experiencing problems with its pipes, drainage, or sewage, these issues can cause a lot of upheaval in your life. Not only this, but getting these problems professionally fixed can cost a lot of money. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent major problems from happening or to quickly spot them if they do happen. To show you how, here are three ways to save money by caring for your home plumbing.

Stay Away From Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clogged drains are one of the most common problems that people have with their plumbing. These issues can come about for any number of reasons and can show up in any room that has plumbing going to it. And while you can purchase products that will use chemicals to get rid of these blockages, HouseLogic.com recommends not using these products. Although they can help get rid of your blockages for a while, they often cause damage to your pipes, which can present even bigger plumbing problems in your future. So rather than trying this method, consider purchasing a drain snake and removing the clogs yourself to save money.

Look For Signs of Leaks

Leaking pipes are another common plumbing problem that can happen to anyone at any time. And even though a leak may appear small in the beginning, it can quickly become a water issue that gets out of control and costs you a lot of time and money to repair. Knowing this, it’s good to educate yourself on what signs could mean you have a leak. Ben Sanford, a contributor to Homes.com, shares that if you ever seen a puddle of water, smell a musty smell, or see mold growing, you likely have a leak somewhere. Don’t ignore these signs! Investigate to see if you can find where the leak is coming from so you can fix it fast.

Know Where Key Plumbing Parts Are

While there are small plumbing problems that can happen on occasion, there are also larger plumbing problems that can quickly cause a lot of damage and be hard to control without outside help. With this in mind, HGTV suggests always knowing where your water shutoff valve is and locating your sewer valve as well. If you have a major water leakage, you’re going to want to get that water shut off as soon as possible, and having to look around for the shutoff valve will waste valuable time. So before a problem even occurs, familiarize yourself with these two switches.

By doing some basic maintenance and knowing how to spot a problem, you can save yourself a lot of money on both home renovations and plumbing services. Use the tips mentioned above to help you be prepared the next time your plumbing has an issue.