Blinds On A Budget: How Can You Compromise?

Below is a guest post.  Blinds can be expensive, so anytime you can save money on them you can use it for other purposes!

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They can save us significant amounts of money, but get your buying choices wrong and blinds can cost a fortune to start with. Fortunately, compromises can be made and this is the direction this article is going to head in.

We’re by no means suggesting that you should go out and buy the cheapest set of blinds. While that particular product might serve a purpose for some homes, you should still look to get as much as you can from your money by shopping around for the features that suit you. Therefore, we’ve quashed the article into three ways which you can compromise by spending less on your blinds, but still getting plenty of functionality in the process.

Readymade v Made-to-Measure

This will depend on the retailer you opt to purchase for, but a lot are now swaying to the made-to-measure route. This means exactly as the name suggests; with blinds arriving in the dimensions that you set on the buying page. Ultimately, it’s much less hassle for you and chances are, the finish will look much better as it’s done by the professionals.

Of course, this extra burden on the retailer means that the increased costs are often passed onto the consumer. Cutting blinds to size certainly isn’t a hard task – for example, to shrink a set of the typical vertical blinds you’ll only need to be armed with a pair of scissors. Therefore, ask yourself if you really need someone else to carry out this step – or if you can bag the savings by doing it yourself.

The faux alternatives

We’d all love to be basking in a house that is comprised of blinds made from natural materials. Wood is usually the material of choice yet unfortunately, this costs a small fortune to install. For a lot of years this was the only option, yet faux materials have now come to the rescue.

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Faux wood blinds, for example, look almost identical to the real material itself. They also hold similar properties; with many believing that they’re actually more durable. The big difference is the price, with these blinds arriving at a fraction of the cost. As such, opting for a faux material is one of the quickest ways to slash the overall cost of installing blinds through your home.

Do you really need the new technologies?

There is an awful lot of commotion regarding the new products that have been released in the blinds industry at the moment. This is for good reason; there have been studies that have shown you can save considerable amounts of money by opting for certain types – with insulated shades and solar blinds generally being those products in question.

However, if you are operating on a budget, the question you need to ask is if you really require such inventions. Yes, they can make your life cheaper and easier, but they do cost a lot more than the standard blind.

For example, if you are looking to improve your home’s thermal efficiency, a traditional roller or blackout blind will still improve your plight albeit on a much smaller scale. You could combine these cheaper alternatives with drapes to enhance the effect, and still experience some benefits. In other words, you can make the most of some of the cheaper products if you shop shrewdly.

Stand Up for Independence!

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The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Continue reading

Mutual Funds Capital Gains Distributions – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

How would you like to get a December bonus of ten or 20 thousand dollars? It can happen. It happened to us.

When you get your December broker statement showing the end of year dividends and capital gains – after years of saving and investing – it can be a real treat. Typically, the amount generated from the same funds or stocks year to year is fairly consistent, but there can be exceptional years. This year was one of those years.

Big capital gains payouts can be a good thing, a bad thing or an ugly thing. But first, lets level the playing field and explain a bit about mutual fund cap gain distributions. Continue reading

Holiday Time Splits Made Easier

Once you marry, you are blessed with exponential numbers of extended family members – all wanting your time and attention at holiday time.

Keeping your family’s well being and wealth depends in part on family members getting along with each other.  Trying to split time between family units at holiday time can be a major disruptor of your family’s well being.  No one wants to disappoint their Mom or Grandma at Thanksgiving, yet it is bound to happen occasionally. You just can’t be in two or more places at once.

Here are some of the dumber and funnier things that have happened to us when we or our family members tried to deal with holiday family time. Continue reading

Grandma Rie’s 2013 Money Camp – Part One

Grandma Rie's Money CampTeaching the next generation to successfully handle money and personal finances is normally a family responsibility. Although parents bear much of the burden to teach, train and model good personal finance, extended family members can also contribute.

Although my grown children do very well in the personal finance arena, they learned from us by osmosis, without any special or formal training by my spouse or I. When they presented me with grandchildren, I vowed that I would take an active part in teaching financial literacy to them.

As a result, I started a one week ‘Grandma Rie’s Money Camp‘ in 2011 and held our third annual one this year. Continue reading