Boost your energy efficiency
Start with changes that don't cost money, like closing and opening drapes. Switch off appliances you aren't using. Some TVs use more energy in the off mode than when they're on. Plug a TV into a power strip and turn it off.
-- Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy
Take the drama out of a renovation
Don't walk blindly into a major renovation project. Know why you are remodeling, and define what you really need so you don't just pretty up a space that doesn't work for you.
And before you even contact a contractor or designer, take 25% of your renovation budget and sock it away. That way when your contractor finds water damage, you can fix the problem and move on without fighting about how much it's going to cost -- or what part of your plan you have to scrap to stay on budget.
-- Susan Solakian, consultant and author of The Homeowner's Guide to Managing a Renovation
Top experts and Money readers share their smartest tips for helping you build your nest egg and land a dream job.
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