Blackout curtains help to keep light out, making them useful if you have a lot of light pollution at night or need to sleep during the day. But do blackout curtains help with heat? Do blackout curtains save energy? And how much?
Blackout curtains can have an R value of up to 5, depending on how you use them. Considering most windows have an R value between 1 and 5, and your walls have an R value of at least 13, blackout curtains do help with heat, and can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Books are expensive, but some books are crazy expensive. There are generally three reasons for that. I don’t think I’m giving away any deep, dark secrets, so I’ll explain why some books are so expensive on Amazon. Like, $800 expensive, sometimes. Better yet, I’ll also explain how to know if the book you’re looking at is overpriced, or if it typically does sell for those high prices.
Some books legitimately are extremely valuable and expensive. But sometimes low-demand books get caught up in price wars that drive prices up due to short supply.
My coworker asked me for my honest opinion whether his house is a money pit. It’s actually a less complicated question than it might sound. Any house can become a money pit, but most houses won’t, if we don’t let them. Here’s how to keep house money pit issues under control.
In my experience, homes usually become money pits due to a combination of neglect and taking on too many projects at once. Both of these issues are manageable over the long term.
Years ago, I was having lunch with a friend. “You probably don’t save much money by building a PC. I know when I build a mountain bike, I end up spending more.” His logic makes sense. But it’s worth exploring. Is it cheaper to build a PC? Read more
Programmable thermostats used to be really expensive. But today, you can get one for as little as $25, about the same price as a non-programmable digital thermostat. But should you get one? Do programmable thermostats save money? Do they save energy?
If you have a conventional forced-air furnace and air conditioner, a programmable thermostat can save you $25 a month or more, especially in the summer and winter.But not if you have a heat pump. If you have a heat pump, you probably know it.
When you’re enrolling in your employer’s 401(K) plan, one of the most difficult questions is your 401(K) asset allocation. They’re limited in what advice they can give you, so I’ll share what’s worked for me.
The key to 401(K) asset allocation is to get a good mix of stocks of large companies, medium-sized companies, growth stocks, international stocks, and bonds. This helps you to do well over the long term, even when the market has bad years.
My employer started offering a Roth 401(K) option this year. I was pretty excited about it, but it confused most of my coworkers. I walked them through the Roth 401(K) vs traditional 401(K), and my explanation helped them enough that some of them opted to take that route. Let’s look at the differences so you can decide which is right for you.
A traditional 401(K) is tax-deferred, which means you get a tax deduction this year for contributing, and you pay taxes on it in the future when you withdraw it. A Roth 401(K) offers no tax deduction this year, but you owe no taxes when you withdraw it, no matter how much it grows.
I know several people using geothermal heating and cooling. My neighbor really wanted me to switch to it. But what is geothermal heating and cooling? What does it cost? it didn’t make sense to me to replace a highly efficient furnace and AC that were working properly. Now that my furnace needs a costly repair, I’m looking at geothermal heating and cooling pros and cons. Here’s what I found out.
Geothermal heating and cooling is very environmentally friendly, and under the right circumstances, saves you a large sum of money every month. It’s not for everyone, but the people who like it like it a lot.
Are home warranty plans worth it? Do you need a home warranty? As a longtime home owner and landlord, I have experience with home warranties. Here’s when I’ve found they’re worth it, and how I decide when to go without.
Offering a home warranty certainly makes your home more marketable when you’re selling. But when it comes to buying one myself, I don’t bother anymore. Here’s why.
Goodwill operates thrift stores all over the country, but most major cities have one Goodwill Outlet as well. These stores, nicknamed Goodwill by the pound, sell merchandise by weight. It’s the last stop for merchandise before being recycled.
Goodwill by the pound offers tremendous opportunity for bargain hunters with a sense of adventure. If you’re willing to dig, and fix up what you find, you can save a ton of money at these stores.