Home Insurance Costs?

Espresso Book Machines: Just What the Bookworm Ordered

While these days, newspapers are mostly online, some enterprising book stores are still managing to hang on. In a recent CITYLAB article, Eillie Anzilotti, writes: “An old shop in Paris is holding onto its place in the city by embracing new technology.” As strange as it sounds, that shop is a book store without books.

A new wave of book stores are banking on technology to keep them relevant; the so-called Espresso Book Machine is a print-on-demand device that lets buyers choose from potentially millions of books and sip coffee while waiting for their selection to be printed. The process takes minutes.

According to Anzilotti’s article, can On-Demand Printing Bolster Bookstores? The first Espresso Book Machine dates back to 2007, when one was installed in the New York Public Library. “Since then, the printers have cropped up in a handful of libraries and stores in cities throughout the world,” Anzilotti notes.

Book stores have been struggling to remain profitable over the last decade. Initially, big box book stores squeezed out many of the independents. Then it was competition from e-commerce. The latest fear is that people simply don’t read any more.

And, in fact, many book stores of note have failed despite adding coffee shops, stationery departments and e-readers to their offerings.

For those individuals who still enjoy reading on paper, the Espresso Book Machine may be just what the bookworm ordered. It’s a future-forward solution that enables book stores and libraries to stay relevant in a high-tech world. Readers rejoice!

Three Easy Ways to Cut Household Expenses

For many of us, it can be shocking to see how quickly our household expenses add up; it may feel like our entire paycheck goes toward paying bills!

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to cut back on our monthly expenses to relieve those financial burdens.


With the emergence of so many available streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV, there are few reasons to have intense cable packages. Reduce your bill by downgrading to basic cable, or cut out your cable service entirely. Not only will you save money on your cable bill, but in reducing your TV viewing, you’ll cut costs on your electric bill. Win-win!


It can be a major investment in time and energy, but it will pay you to renegotiate your home and car insurance. According to a Forbes article, “you could be missing out on a lower rate if you don’t shop around for new insurance at least once a year.” Insurance rates are always fluctuating, and it’s a very competitive industry. So it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re paying the lowest possible rates (while at the same time ensuring your insurance policies give you the coverage you need.)


Although it’s easier to pick up cleaning supplies at your local store, you’ll save money by getting rid of these expensive products altogether. As writer, Clare Hudson, points out in a Lifehack article entitled 30 Ways to Cut Your Monthly Expenses, you can easily make your own cleaning products with household staples like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. And they’re just as effective (and usually less damaging to your family’s health) than the expensive stuff.

It will take a concerted effort on your part, but there are ways to cut back on your monthly expenses.

Give it a try: the savings just might surprise you.

Home Insurance Costs
What’s on your “must-have” list for a new home? As you search for the perfect location, great schools, and plenty of storage space, don’t forget another important consideration. Insurance. With so many other items on your “wants-and-needs list,” you might overlook this particular need. It may be a costly mistake. Avoid buyer’s remorse, keep the following in mind as you choose your dream home:

  • Location:¬†For inland locations – is it in a floodplain? This requires separate flood insurance.
  • Age: Older homes are often quite charming. However, they can cost more to insure. Plaster walls and outdated electrical systems can be expensive to replace. Check to see what has been updated and research how these antique features may affect your insurance rates.
  • Roof: What is the condition of the roof? What type of roof does it have? If it’s been recently replaced with high-quality materials, your insurance will be much simpler and cheaper.
  • High-risk features: The gorgeously appointed swimming pool may look inviting, but it will require additional liability insurance. If the home has a pool, hot tub, or other special feature, keep this cost in mind as you consider making an offer.
  • Building codes: Not every home is built to meet current engineering standards. For both safety and insurability concerns, make sure your home-to-be complies with current codes. (Note: Your real estate agent may help here.)
  • Minimize unpleasant surprises: As you shop the market for your new home, consult with your insurance agent. He or she can help you assess any issues that may exist in the properties you are considering. And it will save you from any insurance surprises after you close the deal.