These Are the Toilets You Should Choose for Living Well

If you’re thinking of sprucing up or remodeling a bathroom, choosing the best toilet to match your decor and lifestyle could be a more involved process than you think.  There are so many models available today that choosing the right one will take some research and an understanding of what makes one model different from another besides the obvious cosmetic features.


The first thing to note is that there are two main types of tank-style toilets:  gravity and pressure assisted.  Gravity-based flushing toilets are the most common.  Water is stored in a tank and released when we flush.  This water removes waste and refills the bowl.  Pressure-assisted toilets keep water in a tank under pressure.  The combination of gravity and this air pressure results in a more powerful flush that uses less water, but can be noisier.  With both types of toilets, you can now find single- and dual-flush versions.  Dual-flush models allow you to choose between a full flush for solid waste or a water-saving half flush for liquid waste.  

In addition to the models with tanks, you can also find tankless models that attach directly to your home’s main water supply.  These models usually take up less space than tanked models (especially in terms of height, of course), but some homeowners will find that their water simply doesn’t flow with enough pressure to make a tankless model viable.  Make sure you know what your water pressure is in relation to the minimum requirements for any tankless models you consider.

Once you’ve decided which style works for you in terms of function, you can focus on form.  You have a number of options here, in addition to color, and it really is worth spending time finding the model that will be most comfortable given the fact that the toilet is one of the most-used seats in the house.

Elongated seats are significantly more popular than round ones as they seem to be more universally comfortable.  The round seats maintain enough popularity that all major brands still carry them, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one if that’s your preference.

The next thing to consider is the height of the toilet.  Historically, lower-sitting models were most common, but chair-height versions are becoming more popular and are easily found.  Taller folks or those who have knee or back issues might find a higher seat a great deal easier to use than a lower model.  You also have an option of a hard or padded seat.  While not all models are available with a padded seat as an option, most are universal enough that you can easily swap out the included hard seat for a padded one.  In addition to cushioning, padded seats tend to stay a bit warmer, which can be a very good thing.  Keep in mind, though, that padded seats can be harder to keep clean and likely will crack over time, and nobody wants a cracked toilet seat pinching sensitive skin!

Once you’ve decided on the basics, you can explore the increasing number of convenience options available, though “fancier” models tend to come with matching price tags, so be careful to know your budget before getting carried away.  Tired of the menfolk leaving the seat up?  There are models out there that will automatically lower the seat upon flushing.  You can find soft-close models that keep the seat from slamming down noisily.  You can even find toilets with built-in nightlights to help you see, well, where you’re “going” without turning on the bathroom light.  Another feature that sounds great for the guys, right?  How about a toilet that cleans itself?  There are models that offer quick- and deep-clean features that you activate with the press of a button.  Speaking of cleaning, there are now toilets that offer personal cleansing, too.  Some of these toilet-plus-bidet models even offer a warm-air drying option.  In the interest of germ control, there are now an increasing number of manufacturers offering completely hands-free models.

All in all, the busiest seat in the house can now combine elevated function and form in ways that can enhance your bathroom in ways you never imagined. For more information on toilet types, brands, designs, or models, visit Home Worthy List, or for more information, go to this page:


How to Live Well on a Budget

These days, finding ways to make our money last longer is critical.  Prices seem to keep going up at a pace that our paychecks can’t match.  Saving money can be difficult, but it can be done, and it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing as much as you might think.  Below, you’ll find a few ways to stretch your budget without cramping your lifestyle.

Establish a budget and stick to it

budget calculation

The first step in managing your money is to allocate and track it.  Start with the non-negotiables like rent or mortgage payment, insurance premiums, utilities, and any other fixed payments you absolutely have to make every month.  Whatever is left is all you have to spend on food, clothing, recreation, etc.  Period.  Learning to live within your means is the first key to living well on a budget.

Eat for less

You may be wondering why food isn’t on the list of non-negotiables.  After all, we can’t live without it, right?  That’s true, but food represents one of the easiest areas to save money.  Eating at home more often than in restaurants is one of the best ways to reduce your food bill.  For the cost of one casual-dining meal, you can eat for a couple of days or more if you opt to stay in, especially if you do more cooking from scratch than heating up prepared meals in the microwave.  Looking for sales and using coupons (either from the Sunday paper or via one of the many free apps now available) can save more than enough money to make it worth the time it takes to do the homework.

Shopping at farmer’s markets is another great way to save money on fresh produce, especially if you wait until near the end of the day to go shopping.  Quite often, vendors are willing to negotiate lower prices rather than have to pack everything up and take it home.

Going online and researching meal plans for people on a budget can be another great resource.  You can find recipe plans that allow you to make the most of your purchases by reducing waste and by giving you ideas for using cheaper proteins like eggs and beans in place of more costly cuts of meat.

Look for free activities

NO REPRO FEES 24th July, 2016.An Post MEATH Heritage Tour that departed from Trim, County Meath.Pictured are cyclists during the 160k at Cormeen near Moynalty.Photo:Barry Cronin/ 087-9598549 - Wilkinstown, Navan, County Meath, Ireland.

Instead of paying a monthly gym membership, look for walking, hiking, or biking trails in your area.  You might also be able to find yoga or pilates groups that like to meet in a local park, giving you a chance to get some exercise and meet new people without spending anything.

When it comes to recreational activities, a quick web search could well return a number of free community events in your area.  You can find anything from simple meet and greets to wine tastings, book clubs, and pretty much any other hobby-based group you can imagine.

Reconsider your wardrobe

For many, clothing represents a huge expense.  Living on a budget might mean that you can’t always run out and buy the latest seasonal items, but it doesn’t mean you have to dress like a pauper, either.  Thrift stores, consignment shops, and clothing swaps can all be great ways to get great outfits or accessories for a fraction of what you’d pay in a retail shop.  You might also consider going with a more basic wardrobe that’s highlighted and extended by accessories.  The right accessories and maybe fresh makeup and quick hairstyle change can take a basic dress from daytime to evening in a flash.

Following these tips can be a great start to living within your means and staying within your budget without feeling like you’re being robbed of living the good life.