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Saving money with your décor can mean more than just finding a good deal on new couches. If you invest in decorative options that increase the efficiency of your home, you extend your savings. Proper insulation goes a long way but still, much of the energy loss in homes happens through the windows and walls. When shopping for decor, search for options that look great but also provide insulating properties for your space. An easy place to begin is with your windows.
Insulating window coverings work to keep your home cool in the warm months and warm during the colder months. They are widely available in a variety of styles and dimensions so you’re sure to find something that compliments your space.
Thermal drapes: The most common and least expensive option is thermal drapes or curtains. Thermal curtains are generally lightweight and the simplest option to install. Hanging them doesn't require the use of a stud-finder or high-end curtain rods, often a simple tension rod will suffice.
Cellular shades: These shades are comprised of honeycomb-shaped cells that trap pockets of air within them, creating an insulating barrier between the outside and inside of your home. The more layers within the shade, the more protective the barrier. Cellular shades can include room darkening or blackout capabilities and are often cordless making them a good choice for households with children or pets.
Roman shades: Rather than the insulating air pockets utilized in cellular shades, roman shades use layers of fabric and other materials to create a thermal barrier. They can be a more decorative option because of the fabric component. You’ll find many DIY options available for creating this style. This is helpful if you want to personalize them with special fabric or if you need to fit them to a window that’s not a standard size.
Money is the root of many people’s stress and anxiety and it’s also the cause of many fights. But it doesn’t have to be for you. You may own a home now, but it doesn’t mean you should stop saving or that saving has to be a difficult undertaking.
Ideally you already have a robust emergency fund—this type of account is suggested by financial experts to have even before paying down ‘good’ debt such as student loans. This account is extremely important as you never know when or if that “rainy day” will come. The suggested amount to have in an emergency fund is six to nine months’ worth of income—and to be on the higher end if you own a home and have children. For instance, if you take home $3,000 a month, you should have $18,000 to $27,000 in your emergency fund. You should also consider whether it’s best to keep these funds in a regular savings account or a money market account.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of an emergency fund,let’s discuss how to keep saving—whether you are saving just to save or saving for a vacation, new car, or that fancy grill you’ve been eyeing.
Automatic deposit from primary income: If you aren’t doing this already then you should be. Automatic deposit is the easiest way to save money. Many places of employment offer this option, and if not your financial institution will. Automatically depositing money into a savings account (separate of the rest of your income) will force you to save. And if your place of employment offers this option then that money will never enter your checking account—out of sight, out of mind. If you must use your financial institution then have the automatic transfer occur on the day you are paid so the money is almost like it was never there for spending. Of course, this will be an adjustment if you are used to living off that money, especially if you just purchased a home. However, you can start small and work your way to a larger amount such as when you receive a raise or have other forms of incoming income.
Automatic transfer from checking to savings: Many financial institutions offer the ability to automatically transfer funds between your checking account and savings account each time you use your debit card. If your bank does not offer this opportunity there are apps for your phone that can easily connect to your online bank accounts and do the work for you. It’s a great way to save a small amount of money each time you swipe your card. And depending on how often you use your debit card, those savings could add up quickly. For example, you spend $25.33 at the grocery store and use your debit card to pay. Your bank (or app) will round that number up to $26.00 and transfer .67 into your account of choice. It’s too easy not to participate!
There are many other ways to be a better saver, but it’s best to start simple and small. Overwhelming yourself with how much you need/want to save and with many ways of saving, might cause the opposite to happen. Remember, you have a house to pay for and all the other expenses that come with it. Be conscious of your financial situation and be diligent with your savings strategy and you’ll be on the road to being a savings master.
Keeping dogs well-groomed is an important part of helping them stay healthy and happy. The amount of grooming your dogs need depends on certain factors, such as the kind of coat they have or whether or not they tend to roll around in dirt or mud. The following grooming tips can help you keep your pups looking and feeling their best.
Brush Your Dogs Regularly
Dogs can end up with tangles or matted fur when it’s not brushed often enough. Brushing also helps distribute oils through their coat, which keeps their fur looking shiny rather than dull. Plan on brushing your dogs every couple of days or more often if they’re shedding. The kind of brush to use depends on their coat:
- Long coats: For dogs with longer fur, a slicker brush can get rid of mats, and an undercoat rake can eliminate dead hair near the skin.
- Short coats: For dogs with short fur, pinhead or slicker brushes remove mats, and bristle brushes remove dirt and dead hair.
- Rough coats: For dogs with rougher or wiry coats, slicker brushes eliminate mats, while stripping combs help prevent tangles from forming.
- Smooth coats: For dogs with smoother coats, rubber brushes pull dirt and debris up from the skin, and bristle brushes help remove it.
Give an Occasional Bath
Dogs don’t need baths as often as people do. In fact, bathing them too often can dry their skin and remove natural oils that keep their coat shiny. You can bathe your dogs every few months or whenever they’re muddy or dirty after playing outside. You should use a shampoo made for dogs, since shampoos for people are too rough on their skin. Before bathing, brush your dogs to remove dead hair and mats.
Keep Nails Trimmed
Long nails make it harder and more uncomfortable for dogs to walk around. They can also get caught on rugs or furniture and tear off. Dog nails should be trimmed when they’re long enough to reach the floor while they walk around. You can use scissors style or guillotine style trimmers, depending on how thick the nails are. Scissors style trimmers tend to work better on thick nails and dewclaws, while guillotine style trimmers work better on thinner nails.
For light nails, stop trimming before reaching the pink area, known as the quick. For dark nails, stop trimming when you see a pinkish or grayish color inside the nail. Keep a styptic pencil with you in case you do cut into the quick accidentally and bleeding occurs. This pencil, which contains silver nitrate, helps stop bleeding form occurring.