Life amongst the trees can be beneficial. You get plenty of shade, ample privacy, and can use some of the wood for heating, cooking, or camp fires with the kids. However, living in the woods can also present a few challenges that many aren’t prepared for when purchasing a home in a heavily wooded area.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on how to survive and thrive on a heavily wooded plot of land so that you can make the most of the trees you’ll grow to love.

Branch management

While all of those trees in your yard may be beautiful, they can be dangerous to you, your home, and your vehicles if you’re not careful. Storms, especially in colder climates where ice is likely to form, can bring down large branches and cause a lot of damage.

They can also be a minor annoyance when you have to move branches before you back out of your driveway in the morning.

The best way to avoid potential danger is to take inventory of the branches that are within striking distance of your home, garage, vehicles, and driveway. Healthy branches on younger trees might not pose a hazard. But, if you notice dying or large, heavy branches that could fall somewhere dangerous, it might be better to remove them now than pay for the damage they cause later.

This brings us to one of the most important tools you can have living in the woods: a chainsaw.

Since you have a wooded property, it’s most likely best to buy a gas-powered or battery-powered chainsaw to avoid having to use several extension cords throughout the woods.

When it comes to the high sitting branches, you can buy a pole saw in the $150 range that will handle small branches.

One of the benefits of cleaning out some trees is that you get free fuel for your fireplace (if you have one). However, you’ll need a dry place to season your wood before you burn it. Ideally, wait at least a year for your wood to dry out before using it in your wood stove.

Embracing nature — the good and the bad

To get the most out of your tree-covered yard, you’ll have to learn to accept some of the things that come with it. If you’re the type of person who picks up every stick on their lawn, you’ll come to realize that it’s best just to pick them up before you mow.

When it comes to mosquitos and other insects, you’ll learn the times when they come out to feed and learn to avoid exposure at those times. However, when you live in the woods, bugs and critters are a part of life. So, it helps to learn about them. You might find that the spiders you hate help keep your home free of other undesirable insects.

When you get fed up with the sticks you have to pick up and the insects you have to avoid, just remember that you have privacy from passersby, that it’s more calm and quiet from the trees blocking the sounds of the road, and that the shade will give you a cool place to sit outside and save you some on your air conditioning bill in the summer.

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The age-old problem of trying to stretch your household budget is a challenge nearly everyone grapples with at one time or another. If you’re confounded by the fact that your paycheck(s) seem to disappear within days of depositing them, it may be time to examine your spending habits.

Creating a written budget is often an eye-opening experience, especially if you haven’t taken the time to do that recently — or ever! Itemizing all your monthly and periodic expenses can not only help you realize where the money’s going, but it can also give you a greater feeling of control over your life. As an added bonus, reviewing your household budget a couple times a year will also increase your awareness of your debts, your income, and your spending habits. Once you know how tight your budget is and whether you need to reduce expenses or increase income, you’ll be in a stronger position to effectively manage your family’s finances.

  • Creating a budget: Whether you prefer to use spreadsheets, software, or just a simple income-versus-expenses chart, setting up a budget will help put you in the driver’s seat of your cash flow situation. While there are many distinctions between running a business and managing a household, there are probably more similarities than differences!
  • Identifying “money leaks”: If your family’s budget seems tighter than you’d like it to be, one possible reason is that you’re spending more than you need to on some expenses. The perfect examples are homeowners’ and automobile insurance. You’ve probably seen and heard countless ads for well-known insurance companies that say they can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your insurance policies. If you’ve been dismissing those claims as mere hype, consider the possibility that you may actually be paying more on your insurance premiums than necessary. It may be worth your while to have your insurance agent review your policy with you to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you need and the discounts to which your entitled. The best way to remove any doubt is to get two or three quotes from other reputable insurance companies. You can often do this through email or online, so you shouldn’t have to go to time-consuming office appointments just to get a few insurance quotes. To compare “apples to apples,” make sure to use identical coverage amounts and deductibles for each estimate your seeking; hopefully the agents you deal with will remind you of that. It’s also possible to save hundreds more dollars a year by contacting your cable TV company, Internet service provider, and cell phone service (It might be one company) to discuss ways your bill can be lowered. The first step would be to examine your latest invoice and determine whether you’re paying for services you don’t use or need. If you see charges that are excessive or confusing, don’t hesitant to get on the phone and have those issues clarified. If inconsistent utility bills are a problem, then switching over to a monthly budget plan will make your expenses more predictable and manageable.

While there are many strategies for reducing your expenses and regaining control of your household budget, information and a healthy sense of skepticism can often be your most valuable resources.

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