Article & Podcast Courtesy of RenovationResults.comAugust 19, 2010If you are a homeowner, you know that with every season comes that time that certain areas around your home need a little facelift or repair.
As a professional builder and renovation specialist, we are contacted every day to help people to develop a plan to remodel, update or renovate their property and offer some simple guidelines to insure a successful remodeling project. Here are a few to you might find helpful:
A good place to start is to develop a list of needs and wants for the areas you plan on remodeling.
Desperate widow never imagined asking for helpAugust 19, 2010Dear W.C.,
I've always tried to do what's right my whole life. I went to school, got a job, got married, raised two fine children, worked hard, saved and always paid my taxes. Now I am a widow trying to get by on social security and Medicare. I believed in America and I thought I would be able to retire comfortable.
My husband had a long battle with cancer right before his Medicare began. It ended up taking his life and all of our savings with it. I had to sell my house and moved into a mobile home, thinking it would be much cheaper. I sold all our belongings to try and get by. I have developed high blood pressure and heart trouble. I thought I could get a part-time job even at my age, but no one will hire me. I have not asked my children for any help because they are not doing so well right now either. One is going through a painful divorce due to always fighting over their financial problems and the other is caring for my terminally ill grandchild. I never knew life had so much pain in store for me. I never thought I would be asking a charity for help at my age. I wouldn't ask if I wasn't desperate. I am behind on my lot rent. Thank you for any consideration.
Recent Community Living
The Time is Now to HelpArea poverty-stricken in desperate needAugust 12, 2010Dear Readers,We are very overwhelmed with requests for help at this time. I have never, in all the years of The Time Is Now to Help, received so many letters of desperation. The pain and anguish of poverty is heavy upon my heart. We are unable to help them until we receive the rest of the funding for the Richard Driehaus Matching Grant. We are over two-thirds of the way to our goal of $30,000. We need about $8,000 more in donations and we will be able to receive our matching funds. We have so many struggling people waiting desperately for this grant. Please consider donating at this time. Your donation can make twice the impact. Every dollar you donate will be matched by another by the Richard Driehaus Matching Grant. God Bless you for Caring and Sharing.
The Time is Now to HelpSingle mom still facing tough timesAugust 05, 2010Dear W.C.,I am a single mom raising my daughter on my own. I escaped an extremely abusive husband in another state and moved to Wisconsin. I had hoped the job market would be better here than where I used to live. It definitely is not. We had talked about me going to college before we got married but as soon as I said I do, his whole personality changed. He decided I needed to start working right away to pay for our rent and utilities. He claimed he could never find a job and was relying on me to support us. When I complained about his sitting around the house all day, drinking and not job hunting, he became abusive. He was careful to always hit me where bruises wouldn’t show. He didn’t want me to miss a day’s work. He would take my paycheck from me and all my tips every night. I started hiding some of my tips when I had a good night. If I didn’t bring home enough in tips he would become angry and tell me I was lazy.
Taking advantage of the poorJuly 29, 2010Dear W.C.,My husband and I are both disabled and receive disability. We are really struggling to pay our rent and utilities. Our disability used to cover all of our expenses. We live very frugally. I am wheelchair bound and cannot work due to the constant pain I am in. My husband is able to work and has a part-time job. Our biggest problem right now is trying to pay off the payday loans we foolishly got ourselves into. We were unable to pay our rent, due to an unexpected car repair, so I thought our only alternative would be a small loan. We do not have any family that could help us. It was only two loans for $500 each and I thought we would get them paid off quickly. I did not understand the confusing fine print because now I am paying 79 percent interest only payments and I have to keep rolling over the principle into the loan with additional fees. You would think this should be illegal. How do they expect someone like me, living on disability, to ever get rid of this debt? I found out that I can’t even pay off the loans, I can only make payments. I can’t believe we got ourselves into this mess. We have always been able to take care of ourselves and never asked for help before. Now we feel even poorer than before the loan.
The Time is Now to HelpFamily struggling, out of foodJuly 22, 2010Dear W.C.,I have a loving family. We are all struggling during this recession. We are trying to move into a rental with my elderly parents, in their late 70s, to help care for them and save money on expenses. We cannot make this move to consolidate because we are short on funds. We have four children from age 9 to 17. Our older children are working part time to help support our family as well.One day when we were eating dinner, my two oldest children noticed I was portioning out our food. They saw me take the smallest portion and were very upset. They both asked if they could get jobs to help out. I could not deny their loving intentions to help share our burden. I remember my own mother telling me how she did the same thing when she was young. This recession seems to have our country going backwards. Both my husband and I work full time but have had to take pay cuts and lost all overtime.
The Time is Now to HelpHelping fellow Americans nowJuly 15, 2010Dear W.C.,I find this very hard, I am writing to see if you can help my wife and I. We are very scared because we are about to become homeless. We are both seniors and have always worked. I lost my job due to the recession and the factory I worked at for years had to downsize. My wife worked for 52 years. She has recently had some health trouble and we have no supplemental insurance. We are renting a small place because we lost our old home. We wanted to sell it but we couldn’t. We never had children. We read The Time Is Now To Help column in the newspaper.
Designing your organization for successJuly 15, 2010A favorite excuse in many offices concerns organization. When things are not going as they should, somebody says, “tomorrow, we have to get organized.”Unfortunately, in the case of organization tomorrow rarely ever comes, although many things may be changed in the name of organization. When a manager finds himself unable to control events, he or she might consider any actions taken to give better control to be attempts at organization.Organization might be considered synonymous with new or improved management control accounting, office procedures, or sales planning and controls, but the introduction of these systems does not constitute organization.
Time Is Now To HelpJuly 08, 2010Dear W.C.,I never thought this recession would go on for so long. I have seen so many of my friends lose their jobs and then their homes. I always counted my blessings and thanked God I had a job and could pay my rent. I have a 9-year-old son that spends half his time with his father and half his time with me. My ex-husband has always paid his child support and been a wonderful father. Then, last year my ex-husband lost his job and he is unable to offer any child support. He is frantically looking for another job. I recently needed emergency surgery and will be out of work for the next two months. I will only be receiving half of what I usually earn and on top of that no child support. I tried applying for assistance at several agencies and was told there is nearly a two year wait.
The Time is Now to HelpSingle mother’s life ‘a mess’July 01, 2010Dear W.C.,I am writing to ask for help with my rent and utilities. My life is a mess and I have lost my job. My ex-husband abducted our two children over a year ago. We were just finished with a very painful divorce and I received primary custody. My ex-husband was very unstable and that was the main reason we got our divorce. He had a girlfriend even while we were still married and she said she wanted the kids. He threatened me during the divorce if I didn’t give them primary custody he would take the kids and I would never find them again. I guess he was right. I have exhausted my search and have not been able to find them. I lost my job due to the amount of time I took off. I have not been able to pay my rent or utilities for two months now. The laws seem to not be able to help me. My children are only two and three so they will not remember where they live or their name if they have changed it. I am at my breaking point and the only thing holding me together is my faith.
The Time is Now to HelpTogether making a differenceJune 24, 2010We just received the wonderful news that the Richard Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust has granted The Time Is Now To Help a $30,000 Matching Grant. This matching grant will begin immediately. There could not have been a better time to announce this generous opportunity due to the overwhelming amount of requests for assistance The Time Is Now To Help is receiving. We are very thankful to be offered this grant and humbled by the amount of assistance it will mean to the many people struggling in poverty in our area. Please consider donating at this time as every dollar you donate will be matched by the Richard Driehaus Matching Grant. Thank you for caring and sharing.
Retail: the solutionJune 17, 2010In the previous column, I discussed a merchant who lost the competitive edge slipping into bad buying habits and discontinuing doing what had worked for them in the past. Whether you’re a brand new owner, or one who hasn’t had a “business physical” for a while, the same principals pertain.n Know Your Expenses — There are two basic expenses: fixed and variable. Purists will say there’s also semi-fixed and semi-variable. This is true but for simplicity purposes lets stay with the two primaries.Fixed are what your accountant defines as your operating expenses, or your overhead. Examples include your lease payment, loans, officers salary, depreciation, etc. Variable expenses run in correlation with your sales volume. Also referred to as controllable expenses, they include inventory purchases, hired hourly labor, delivery costs, etc.