Besides the money that you spend on maintaining yourself—like food, clothing, medicines, etc.—the largest expenditures you’ll likely face will be related to the maintenance of your home. After a while, these costs can really start to add up if you aren’t careful. At the same time, if you are vigilant about keeping home costs down, you can stand to save quite a bit more than you ever thought possible. Here’s how:
- Increase/decrease the temperature in your home when you’re away.Especially if you live in a relatively warm climate, you’d be aghast by how much energy is spent keeping your house cool. When you leave your home to go to work or school, it’s best to raise the temperature about ten to fifteen degrees higher than the temperature you keep when you’re at home. If you live in a very cold climate that requires a heated home, do the opposite—lower the temperature about ten to fifteen degrees. Never completely turn off the A/C, simply because it takes more energy to shut down than to just adjust it a few degrees.
- Don’t get more home insurance than you need.Home insurance is one of those things that you can easily outspend yourself on if an insurance agent tells you that you need this policy and that policy. Of course, get yourself coverage. But skip out on policies that don’t make sense for your situation—like flood insurance, mortgage life insurance, and private mortgage insurance.
- Replace light bulbs and unplug electronics when not in use.Light bulbs have the potential to be very inefficient if you’re using the wrong ones. Replace all your light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) and you’ll enjoy incredibly yearly savings, usually around six hundred dollars or more. Electronics can also be a huge drain on your energy bill. Most people aren’t aware of the fact that even turned off electronics will use energy if they are still plugged in. Before leaving home, unplug your laptop, phone charger, and other miscellaneous electronics we typically keep plugged in.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater.You might not realize that you can even do this, but your water heater in your home is set at a certain temperature that can be changed. Often, the heater is set to a temperature that’s much higher than you actually need. Resetting your temperature to a reasonable 120 degrees Fahrenheit can go a long way in lowering the temperature such that you’ll save quite a bit on water and energy bills.
Of course, these tips are only the beginning in cutting down home-related costs. The most important tip to follow is to learn to live in such a way that you use resources wisely and sparingly.
Best of luck!
Tracy Myers is a freelance writer and former home insurance agent. She enjoys writing about all things related to homes including maintenance, mortgages, insurance, and home improvement. Read more of Tracy’s writing at www.homeinsurance.org. She welcomes your comments below!