Owning a home can get expensive. And buying one in the first place wasn’t exactly cheap. Wanting to keep costs down is a smart thing to do. Well, for all you frugal home owners, here are a few things you can do to help with that.
Seal All Air Leaks
A pretty common way to lower monthly costs is to lower your electricity bill. Look for any cracks in your house’s foundation where air might be seeping out from. And if you find those cracks, don’t hesitate to seal them. You can get the necessary caulking tubes at any store that sells home renovation supplies. And it’s not that hard to perform either. You could save around 100 dollars every month by doing this.
Switch To LED Light Bulbs
Light-emitting diodes, or LED lights, are a bit easier on the eyes when it comes to lighting. Not to mention, they’re better for the environment. Not only that, but they can also save you money. They last 15 to 20 times longer than the usual light bulb after all and use much less energy. The difference might not be noticeable at first, but you’ll be saving two to four dollars every day for each bulb you switch out.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Every year, thousands of gallons of water are wasted by people that haven’t switched to low-flow shower fixtures. Each person in the average household uses 7,250 gallons of water per year. But you can reduce that number by 40 percent with a low-flow shower head. A household could buy a new laptop with the leftover money they’d be saving every year.
Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature
Reducing the amount of water you use is one way to lower costs, but you can save money by reducing the temperature of your house’s water heater too. And it won’t cost you a hot shower or bath either. Water heater’s are set to a base temperature much higher than most people would actually need. Lowering the temperature by just ten degrees will see as much as a five percent drop in your monthly hydro bill.
Keep Your Fridge Full
Before going on a long trip, a lot of people often decide to eat as much of the food in their fridge as possible, to prevent it from spoiling. However, that might not be the best way to save money. An empty fridge actually uses more power to stay chilled than a full one. Even if you don’t have the fridge stocked with food, maybe try filling it with bottles or water or even empty boxes. It might even be more cost effective to unplug it altogether after you’ve eaten all of the perishables. This could save you around 100 dollars every year.
Refinance Your Mortgage
There’s a common misconception that, once you’ve signed a mortgage, it can’t be changed. Well, they can, but the change isn’t always worth the hassle. The mortgage rates in the United States were at an almost historic low by the end of 2021. Refinancing your mortgage now could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Check Your Mortgage PMI
When you sign a mortgage, a lot of the time people will just pay their monthly bills for it until they’ve fully paid it off. However, as houses are the one of the few types of property that can actually appreciate in value over time, you might reach a point where you can stop paying sooner than you expect. And when the loan-t0-value ratio changes, it may eventually fall below the 80% PMI cancellation threshold. Keep checking your home’s PMI and cancel your mortgage as soon as you get the chance.
Get An App For Monthly Bill Reminders
A good way to make sure you keep your bills the same and not having to pay any more is make sure you pay your bills on time. So getting an app to remind you about bill payments is the least you can do. One good app you could get is called Chime. It really helps simplify the confusion that can come when it comes to bill paying.
Clean Crud Off Your Refrigerator Coils
Over time, a large amount of crud can build up on the coils of your refrigerator. Not cleaning that off can at the least make your fridge’s fans work harder for the same effect. And that’ll increase your electricity bill. Worst case scenario, the fridge gets overworked and stops functioning entirely. Pick a day once a month to vacuum out the back of the fridge and wipe down the coils will save you from this fate. And it’ll save you a good couple hundred dollars at the minimum.
Don’t Rinse Dishes
Rinsing off your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher is a common occurrence. But it also wastes water. Around five gallons every two minutes in fact. Previously, dish soaps didn’t do their job when it came to cleaning. But more recently, modern-day detergents are more likely to get all those germs and grime off your dishes. If there’s really something stuck on the dish you think might get baked onto the dish, soak and scrub instead of rinsing.
Recycle What You Can
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Those are three words you probably hear pretty often. Yes, you should always put recyclables in said bin when the day comes. But, there are other things you can do with the other items around your house instead of just throwing them out. Look up some do-it-yourself guides and see what you have lying around. Then you can get at least a little bit of use out of those things before throwing them out for good. It’ll reduce waste and save you at least a little bit of your money.
Clear Your Vents
It doesn’t matter how much you use it, using your home’s central air system will eventually have its vents get blocked up. And that restricts air flow and increases your monthly bills. Clearing out your vents every few months is how you avoid this unfortunate fate. And it also keeps dust out of your home’s air.
Unplug Unused Devices
Did you know that some appliances and plugs continue to siphon energy, even when they’re not turned on. The best way to stop that? Well, just unplug whatever device isn’t in use. Just doing that will decrease your electricity bill by ten percent. When you’re not going to be home for a while, it’s extra important to make sure to unplug everything.
If you’re going to be performing some landscaping or gardening, you might as well make sure everything is in position of your best interests. Just moving around trees can help out with your utility bills. Moving them out of the way of the windows will allow more natural light into your house, so you’ll feel less inclined to turn on the lights during the day. Alternatively, you can put shade-creating trees closer to windows to prevent excess heat coming through them and lower your air conditioning bill.
Turn On Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, great! If you don’t, then it might be a good idea to install some. They’re an incredibly useful tool to have. When it gets warm in your house, your first instinct is often to turn on the AC. However, a ceiling fan can actually give you a similar change in temperature for a fraction of the electricity. You’ll be saving around 100 dollars a month by doing this.
Look Into Tax Breaks
Homeowners have opportunities for tax breaks that non-homeowners might not have. There are quite a few that homeowners can qualify for. You can even get a deduction for the cost of installing solar panels. The interest paid on a mortgage is also tax deductible, which is something many homeowners simply aren’t aware of.
Turn Off Things When You’re Done With Them
Unplugging things when you’re done with them is one thing, but sometimes it might just be necessary to turn them off. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Hit the power button on a laptop or TV remote when you’re down with that. It seems like common sense, but it isn’t common sense to everyone. You can save around $1,000 a year by just turning things off when you’re done with them.
Keep Your Credit Score Good
A good way to ensure lower interest payments is to just pay your bills on time. That’s already been stated before, but it’s the best way to keep your credit score good. And the better your credit is, the easier it is to get a good mortgage. Not to mention, insurance companies will give you better rates.
Close Closet Doors
If you open it, close it. It may be common knowledge to close your doors that lead outside of the house, but what about the ones inside the home? Thermostats regulate the temperature in a home. And by leaving cabinets and closets open that space is expanded. Thus, the central system is forced to work harder than it needs to. And that leads to a higher power bill that could have been easily avoided.
Don’t Waste Boiled Water
When you boil veggies, eggs, pasta, or anything else, don’t just throw out the water. Put it in a separate pot or some other receptacle. Then you can let it cool and use it again later. Most often, this water can be used for watering your garden or other plants. But you can also drink it yourself. But, most importantly, this reduces your water bill.
Use Certain Apps For Cash Back
When it comes to getting cash back, one of the best apps for it is called Slide. It’s a home shopping app that offers users up to six percent cash back on purchases from more than 250 different brands. And preloading money into a Slide account using credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay will help you earn an additional one percent purchase with those funds. A debit card or BitPay can also earn you an additional two percent in cash back. If Slide isn’t your thing though, then you can try other apps to get money back.
Wash Your Clothes In Cold Water
When cleaning your clothes, you may feel as though some loads should always use hot water. Well, if your goal is to save money, you might be better off using cold water. Today’s laundry detergents are strong enough to remove stains and clean clothes without hot water. At least a majority are. And if a stain’s a bit too hard to eliminate, hand washing would probably be a necessity anyway. Cold water’s also less expensive for you to use. It’ll end up saving you around 100 dollars every month.
This may not technically be legal everyone, so make sure to check your local laws before doing it. But recycling rainwater can really save you money on that water bill. It is free water after all. Just capture some rainwater from the gutter using a barrel. A 42-gallon barrel is enough to feed the average American’s garden for a month. And you’ll save a couple hundred dollars from doing it.
Toss A Dry Towel In The Dryer
Dryers are perhaps one of the biggest energy sinks in a household You may not necessarily be able to find an alternative in terms of convenience, but you can lower the amount of time you need to keep a dryer on. Just throw in a dry towel. The towel will absorb water and help with the drying process for your other clothes. This can shave off five minutes from every dryer load you use. And that’s around 120 dollars saved every month.
Split Your Sponges
You’d be surprised by how much money you spend on things like garbage bags, detergents, and sponges. And they’re necessities, so you can’t exactly stop spending money on them. But, at least with sponges, there is a way to try to maximize your use of each sponge you get. Just cut it in half. That’ll double the number of sponges you have. And you don’t normally use the entire area of a sponge when cleaning something anyway. And you’ll have to throw it out when it gets too dirty anyway. This can save you around 100 dollars every year.