Rapid advances in technology have radically changed our lives in more ways than we can begin to contemplate. It is no surprise that integrating technology into one of the home’s most functional rooms is one of the hottest trends in interior design. From aromatherapy showers to self-flushing toilets, the most used room in the home is getting an opulent, hi-tech makeover with bathroom upgrades that won’t sacrifice style.

The latest design trends in residential bathroom appliances, gadgets, and gizmos incorporate features once restricted to luxury spas and upmarket gyms. Today, it is easy and affordable to turn a bland and boring home bathroom into a spa-like retreat with high-high tech innovations that add functionality and elegance. Whether you are building or remodeling, consider these ways to tech up your bathroom.

Surround Yourself With Sound
There is no need to blast the television from an adjoining room so you can listen to music, catch-up on the weather report or latest traffic conditions as you shave or apply make-up. With appliances especially designed for a moist environment, you can watch television integrated into a two-way mirrored cabinet. When the television is off, it’s invisible.

Listen to music through moisture proof in-ceiling speakers or magnetic wireless speakers that can be moved to bedroom or patio.

Eco-Friendly Hi-Tech Features Save Water And Electricity
If your bathroom appliances and fixtures are outdated, they may be costing you money. Digital showering systems save water with the push of a button, controlling flow and temperature. The digital interface eliminates bulky manual valves, giving the shower stall a smooth, uncluttered appearance. Conservation features, such as a pause setting or a shower timer, save money without sacrificing performance.

Conserve water by installing a new high-efficiency dual flush combination toilet and bidet that sends less water down the drain, shaving dollars off your utility bill. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises, “Older toilets, manufactured before 1992 when the Energy Policy Act mandated water efficient toilets, use up to 3.5 gallons per flush. Replacing these toilets with WaterSense labeled toilets could save nearly 2 billion gallons per day across the country. Switching to high-efficiency toilets can save a family of four, on average, $2,000 in water bills over the lifetime of the toilets.”

Water heating is reported as the third highest energy expense in the home. Provide a continuous supply of hot water with an energy-efficient, cost-effective, space saving hi-tech tankless water heater, solar water system or heat pump controlled with an app on your I-Pad.

The EPA reports that bath faucets account for more than 15 percent of indoor water use. Reduce consumption by installing high-tech faucets that shut off with just a wave of your hand. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to 3,000 gallons of water per year, making a water-conserving faucet a prudent investment.

Protect your family from cold and flu germs with a self-sanitizing door handle equipped with an ultra-violet light that kills bacteria on contact.

Forget having to remind family members to shut off the bathroom light. Brighten bathrooms with motion activated energy-efficient LED colored mood lighting that turns off when you exit the room.

Pamper Yourself In Privacy
High-tech steam showers, personal saunas, and soaking tubs provide the ultimate upscale personalized spa experience. Look for fixtures that include underwater pressure jets, aromatherapy, in-tub water heaters, massage programs, mood lighting and built in sound speakers.

Saving money is never an easy task. And saving money for a down payment on a home is especially difficult. Between trying to pay down debt, whether it is student loan or credit card debt, a car loan, insurance, rent, spending money and trying to save for retirement and your emergency fund, how does that leave any money left to save for a down payment? Let’s take a look at a few smart ways to save for a down payment.

First things first: how much you are able to spend? This will determine how much you need to save— 20% of the total home cost. Once you have that figured out you can begin to plan what it will take to save that amount. It should be your goal to save 20% or more, although there are ways around that number.

Cut expenses: Cutting expenses is one of the ways to start saving more money. First, take a look at the things that you spend money on each month that you don’t necessarily need. Do you buy groceries and then go out to eat 3 or 4 times week? Cutting down to only going out once a week will save you some big bucks at the end of the year. Can you cut down on any of your utilities such as cable and Internet? What about your rent? Could you get roommates to alleviate the cost of rent or move to a lower cost apartment?

Invest: Investing your money, smartly, is the quickest way to increase your money and build your down payment amount. Investing, in general, will not make you crazy amounts of money really quickly (unless you’re one of the lucky few) but it does add up faster than money sitting in your savings account or under your bed. Consider opening up a CD, an IRA account (there are restrictions), or investing in the stock market. It will take a couple of years for this to really build, but the returns will be worth the wait. Be sure to read up on the best option for you and keep an eye on the market if you are planning on investing in an IRA account or stocks.

Automate Savings: If you have the funds but just aren’t the best saver then the easiest way to save more money is to automate it, either through your work or bank. Automating your savings will make it seem like that money was never there, therefore making it easier to forget about it and keep it in savings. You’d be surprised how quickly your money can add up.

Additional Income: If you really want to speed up reaching your savings goal then you may want to consider adding another source of income. There are so many ways to earn more money such as selling your crafts online, blogging, a second job, etc. Saving all of the money you earn will expedite your savings. There are also other sources of income such as a bonus, or tax return that are not a part of your regular income. These types of income should also be saved towards your down payment to reach your goal sooner.

If purchasing a home is of utmost importance to you, but you are lacking the down payment then it is extremely important to make saving a priority. As detailed above, there are many ways in which you can accelerate the process of earning and saving more money.

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On August 9, 2016 By
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