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Top 5 Ways to Cut Household Expenses and Save
Whether you just bought a home or you’re living in an apartment; household expenses like utility bills, cable and internet services, lawn care and home repairs most likely make up the biggest chunk of your monthly budget.
While $50 spent here and there may not seem like much. These household expenses add up and can quickly get out of control if you aren’t careful. Luckily, there are many ways you can reduce the amount of money you spend on your home, without sacrificing fun or comfort. Here are our top 5 tips for cutting back on common household expenses:
Reduce Your Energy Use
If you’re like most people, one of your biggest household expenses (if not the biggest) is your energy bill. Between AC and heating units, appliances, and electronics, we use a LOT of energy daily. Luckily, saving energy doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. By making small changes around the house, you can put more money back in your pocket. Here are a few ways to cut down your energy use:
Cut out vampire energy
Did you know that your TV, gaming consoles and computers still consume energy even when turned off? This is known as vampire energy. According to a study from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans spend an average of $165 on vampire energy loss a year. Reclaim these losses by plugging all your electronics into a single power strip that can be turned on or off with a single flip of a switch.
Monitor your thermostat
Heating and air conditioning systems account for nearly half of all household energy consumption. This is why it’s so important that you don’t adopt a “set it and forget it” mindset when it comes to your thermostat. We recommend investing in a programmable thermostat. This way you don’t have to worry about manually changing your thermostat whenever you leave or enter your home.
A programmable thermostat operates on a schedule set by you. It will automatically increase or decrease the temperature (depending on season) when you leave the house for work. And change it to your preferred temperature when you return home.
Invest in Smart Appliances
Did you know that using energy star appliances can save you up to 30 percent on your electricity bill? This is because energy star appliances are designed with energy efficiency in mind. These appliances undergo strict testing to qualify. When you see the “energy star” label you know you’re getting a reliable energy-saving product.
Stay on Top of Important Home Repairs
Your home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make. It’s so important to care for it by staying on top of small home repairs before they turn into bigger issues. Preventative home maintenance will help you save on expensive home repairs down the road, here are some tips:
Simply Justice states that 40 percent of homeowners claim to have suffered financial loss from water damage to their home. This makes it the second most common home insurance claim filed. The truth is almost all of water damage is preventable So the second you suspect a water damage issue, fix it—don’t wait!
A few times a year you should check your home for any signs of water leaks, clogged gutters or leaks in your attic. And if you have a basement, you should check your sump pump twice per year for any repairs that need to be made. You’ll also want to inspect your water heater for any signs of damage as replacing a water heater can be super expensive.
The best preventative home maintenance is completing a thorough home inspection a couple times a year. On the exterior, look for chipped paint or mold. Ask your lawn care service to report anything they might notice when it comes to the outdoor of your home and landscaping. Check for any cracks in the foundation or problems with windows. Inside, inspect the home for mold, water damage, cracks in the drywall, and other issues. Repair these issues as needed to prevent more costly damage.
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Cut Out Unneeded Services
If you’re trying to cut down your household expenses, take an inventory of all your paid services and determine whether they are still needed. Have a gym membership but haven’t gone in 6 months? Are you paying for cable but spend most of your time watching Netflix? Do you pay for a house cleaning service but think you can do it on your own or with the help of your family? Re-think what services you truly need and which ones you can live without. The extra money in your pocket will totally be worth it.
Negotiate Your Utility Bills
When was the last time you questioned how much you’re paying for your cable, phone or internet service? There’s probably a good chance you are paying way more than you should be, or you could be getting a better deal by switching providers. Take the time to look around and see how much cable and internet providers in your area are charging for their services. If you notice they are advertising cheaper rates than you are currently paying, pick up the phone and call your provider. With increased competition, many providers are willing to offer you a lower rate to keep you from switching to a new service provider.
Do It Yourself Whenever You Can
Whenever you can, do it yourself when it comes to household maintenance! Yes, it can be a pain to deep clean your whole house and yes DIY plumbing sounds scary, but these are all things you can do yourself—and you don’t have to be a professional or handyman to do it! YouTube is a glorious resource, so take advantage of all the knowledge out there whenever you can! Handy-man professionals tend to overcharge for simple services, so you’ll save big bucks when you tackle these tasks on your own.
Thank you, Rob, for this informative article. Rob Caiello is a Vice President of Marketing at Allconnect. Since 1998, Allconnect has simplified and expedited the purchase and setup of home utilities and services (like Internet, TV, and Electricity) for millions of movers relocating across the United States.