D. Brandon Feco

NMLS#: 01883349

April Newsletter

KNB Capital, Inc.

30721 Russell Ranch Rd Suite 140
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Your Home

Your home
If you have been at home more often than usual over the past year, you are not alone. For many people, spending so much time in their house or apartment has made spring cleaning more important than ever before.  Now that winter has come to an end, you may be on the lookout for effective approaches to thoroughly clean and declutter your home. Below, we ...

If you have been at home more often than usual over the past year, you are not alone. For many people, spending so much time in their house or apartment has made spring cleaning more important than ever before.

 Now that winter has come to an end, you may be on the lookout for effective approaches to thoroughly clean and declutter your home. Below, we will discuss some useful ways to start spring cleaning and organizing.

Remove Items and Furniture Before Cleaning a Space

Effectively cleaning a space in your home requires some forethought. Before you jump in and begin dusting and vacuuming, remove as many objects from the space as possible.

Moving furniture will allow you to access the places that you might miss when you are cleaning on a regular basis. Moving items around will also help you to identify clutter or junk that you do not need to keep. Decluttering is an important part of a thorough cleaning.

Get the Right Cleaning Products

Once you have moved furniture and disposed of items that you do not plan to keep, it is time to clean! As you’re cleaning, it is important to have the right products on hand.

Consider the type of cleaning you will be doing and then collect any of the following items that you need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • Empty spray bottle

Each of these ingredients can be a versatile cleaning product. Rather than spending lots of money on specific synthetic chemical cleaners, consider using these less abrasive cleaning products.

Order of Operations

When you want to do some spring cleaning, having a plan is essential. Some people will begin to clean at random, attacking whichever cleaning task catches their eye. Don’t fall into this trap!

Some cleaning tasks should be done in order to save on effort and time. You do not want to put in hours of work, only to discover that you have made more cleaning jobs to do!

For example, be sure to dust before you vacuum. When you wipe dust from surfaces, some pieces will float into the air and settle on the floor. You do not want dust to settle on a carpet that you have already spent time vacuuming.

Before you begin to clean carpets and wood floors, ensure that all the elevated surfaces have been cleaned. This will include things like shelves, counters, tables, windows, and ceiling fans.   

HELPFUL TIP: Clean from the top down. Also decide to either clean clockwise or counterclockwise from the entrance door. This helps in not cleaning places twice, and/or, forgetting to clean some places.

Prepare for Summer

Get ready for that sunny weather! Use this opportunity to pull out any furniture or equipment that you will be using during the summer months.

 Some examples include:

  • A grill
  • A lawnmower and other yard equipment
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Warm-weather sports equipment

To use the space in your home efficiently, you should also put cold-weather items and equipment into storage.

These items include:

  • Cold-weather boots and jackets
  • Snowblowers
  • Snow shovels

Another important part of preparing for summer is switching out your seasonal clothing. Store any heavy coats, jackets, and gloves. Bring shorts, sandals, and other summer items out of storage for the season.

When you approach your spring cleaning with these useful tips, you can start the season with a sparkling clean and clutter-free home.

24 Good Financial Habits

Finances
Below we’ll examine 24 good financial habits that can make the best of your financial situation. 1. Budget Make a thorough list of your needs and goals. Determine how much you are spending and how much you need to spend. After developing your budget, begin decreasing your non-essential spending. 2. Create Emergency Funds A good rule of thumb is to ...
This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Below we’ll examine 24 good financial habits that can make the best of your financial situation.

1. Budget

Make a thorough list of your needs and goals. Determine how much you are spending and how much you need to spend. After developing your budget, begin decreasing your non-essential spending.

2. Create Emergency Funds

A good rule of thumb is to have at least three months’ worth of funds available in case of an emergency. If this seems impossible, start small. Even saving $10 from each paycheck is better than not saving anything!

3. Spend Less Than You Make

This is simple math. Find a way to make more than you spend. There are two ways to do this:  You can try to achieve it through cutting down on your spending or by finding additional work.

4. Pay Ahead

Paying your bills ahead of time will save you money on late fees.

5. Pay Cash

Spending cash is a great way to ensure that you can pay for the things that you buy. When you spend physical dollars, your brain processes it differently than it would if you used a card. Use this to your advantage to really notice what you spend on any given purchase.  

HELPFUL TIP: Try using the “Envelope System” whereby envelopes are labeled for specific items (i.e., Food, Gas, Entertainment, etc.). Then, place the allotted cash in each envelope. Once the cash is gone, that’s it, no more spending in that area.

6. Make More Than the Minimum Payments

Pay more than the minimum requirement on any of your credit card debts. This will help you with the next financial habit that we’ll discuss!  

HELPFUL TIP:  If possible, always have enough in your bank account “before” using your credit card—that way, you can pay the whole bill with no extra fees.

7. Pay Down Debt

Paying down your debt is one of the best things you can do for your financial security. Use credit cards only in cases of emergency. Best of all, if you have an emergency fund in place, you may not need to use a credit card at all!

 8. Pay Yourself

Automatically transfer a certain amount to your savings account every time you get paid. It can be as little as $10.

9. Know Your Credit Score

Tracking your credit score can help you to know your situation and see your progress over time.

10. Improve Your Credit Score

Paying bills on time and decreasing your debt will help to increase your credit rating.

11. Essentials First

Pay for the most important things first. Food, water, and shelter are essential. Only pay toward debts after you have taken care of these necessities.

12. Turn Off the TV

Advertisements can lure us into spending more money than we should. Avoid or ignore any advertisements that you can. You already know the things you need.

13. Learn

Avoid get-rich-quick advice. But do spend some time learning about financial maintenance strategies.

14. Talk with Your Kids about Finances

If you have children, be sure that they understand the effort it takes to gain money and help them to develop good habits for managing it from a young age!

15. Weekly Budget Review

Each week spend at least 30 minutes reviewing your budget, and make adjustments as necessary. This is a great way to keep everyone in your household on the same page!

16. Follow a Useful Blog

There are plenty of blogs that offer valuable financial advice and tips. Subscribe to one and use the knowledge that you gain.

17. Savings Goals

Set specific savings goals for one year, five years, or ten years into the future.

18. Track Every Dollar

You should know where every single dollar that you make goes. Many people lose large sums by spending small amounts thoughtlessly over time.

19. Manage Subscriptions

Review any recurring payments and cut costs where you can.

20. Negotiate Bill Payments

Phone providers, ISPs, and cable companies will often negotiate prices to ensure that customers return. Use this to your advantage.

21. Meal Planning

Buying quality meal ingredients is always a better idea than purchasing pre-packaged individual meals or snacks.

22. Keep Housing Costs Stable

If your income increases, fight the urge to upgrade your home. Keep costs stable, even if you begin to make more money.

23. Avoid New Cars

Do not be lured in by tempting credit-based or unnecessary vehicle purchases.

24. Accountability

Building habits will take time. Ask a parent, friend, or mentor to help you stay on track.

No one can single-handedly shape their financial destiny, but these good habits will help you to make your financial future as secure as possible.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Top Tips for Relaxing at Home

Personal Interest
It is important to find ways to unwind, even if you just take ten minutes a day to do it. When you’re able to relax, your mind and body will be better equipped to tackle any challenge that life may bring! When you notice that you are feeling tense, try one or more of the following methods for quick relaxation: Change Your Environment Your environmen...

It is important to find ways to unwind, even if you just take ten minutes a day to do it. When you’re able to relax, your mind and body will be better equipped to tackle any challenge that life may bring!

When you notice that you are feeling tense, try one or more of the following methods for quick relaxation:

Change Your Environment

Your environment has an enormous effect on the way that your body feels. When you are feeling tense, engage in a pleasurable activity, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Try something like:

  • Reading
  • Watching a quick show on TV
  • Playing a game
  • Taking a shower

If you are at work, it’s still a great idea to pause every now and then. Step outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. Even taking a moment to appreciate the smell of the fresh air can be helpful for relaxing your body and mind.

Breathing Exercises

Paying attention to your breathing is one of the most reliable methods for relaxation. Take a few minutes and focus on the sensations of your breathing. Feel the air coming in and going out. Pause and hold your breath briefly, then let it out to a count of ten. You may notice that your muscles naturally relax, thus letting out tension you may not have known was there!

Meditation

Anyone can meditate. Meditating is about finding mental exercises that can help you to quiet your internal monologue.

Sit in a quiet place and focus on the sensations of each moment. Do your best to let go of any anxious thoughts that arise. Instead of reacting to your thoughts or worries, just notice them.

Many people experience stress because they spend time thinking about the future or the past. Meditation is a way to practice letting go of these anxious thoughts and focusing on where you are in the present.

Use your senses. What colors do you see in the room? What scents tickle your nostrils? What quiet sounds do you hear? What can you reach out and touch?

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

The body stores our mental tension and anxiety, even when we are unaware that it is doing so. One effective way to relax is to purposefully engage and release each muscle group in your body, one at a time.

Start with the muscles in your feet and move upwards. Tighten each muscle group for several seconds and then release the tension. Reducing the tension in your muscles will naturally make you feel better and more relaxed.

Walk or Jog

Physical exercise is an excellent remedy for tension. Consider going for a quick walk or jog, even if it’s just for a few minutes on your lunch break. Not only will the fresh air feel good, but your body will release endorphins. These physical chemicals naturally relieve physiological tension. Physical exercise can also improve your psychological state, providing you with a more positive mindset.

Be Creative

Finding a creative endeavor can be a pleasing way to relax. Taking on a low-stakes task that you can complete in a short session is an excellent way to unwind.

Express Your Emotions

Articulating your feelings is a reliable way to decompress. Consider the following methods to express your emotions:

  •  Journaling
  •  Drawing or doodling
  • Talking with a trusted friend

No matter how you do it, expressing your feelings is an important part of mental health.

Cultivate a healthy body and state of mind by taking time out to relax. You’ll be glad that you did!

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