If you’re looking for different ways to save money around your house, you’re in the right place. According to the U.S. Labor Statistics, annual expenditure on consumer units increased by 9% from 2021 to 2022. As fuel prices increase, new home and rent prices soar, and inflation steadily increases, almost everyone wants to scale down on expenses. But generic advice won’t cut it this time.
The usual, swap your coffee shop latte for a homemade one won’t do. You want practical, actionable suggestions to help you save money without compromising your comfort or safety. And no, you don’t have to cut corners. Here are ten effective ways to save money around your home.
Get Timely Roof Repairs
Leaking roofs are far too common due to weather conditions, aging, or accumulated debris. For example, strong winds during storms often carry heavy objects that can break shingles or puncture holes in your roof. You will likely never notice the damage if you don’t do an after-storm inspection.
You’re probably saying, ‘I know I need to repair my roof,’ but how does that help me save money? Here is the deal: If ignored, one broken shingle can be an expensive disaster. It can easily cause water damage to your property. Even worse, it can cause the supporting wood structure to rot, forcing you to replace the whole roof.
Roof replacement is a costly undertaking. According to Forbes, a roofing company can charge anywhere from $6,700 to $80,000, depending on various factors. On average, it costs you about $11,500. In no way does this sound like a frugal way to save money.
Here’s the finance knowledge bomb you need: Preventive roof maintenance costs far less than replacement. Hiring a roof contractor for minor repairs, such as fixing broken shingles, prevents significant damages that require costly replacement. Think of it as an investment. A few hundred dollars on roofing services today could save you thousands tomorrow.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
Another way to save money around your home is by maintaining clean gutters. Typically, your gutter and downspout system diverts rainwater off your roof and away from your house. It works all fine until it gets clogged with debris like leaves and twigs.
A clogged gutter system can be the beginning of a nightmare in terms of financial expenses. For instance, it will create a pool of water on your roof that will spill over the sides and down the walls. This water will eventually seep into the soil around your house, causing cracks and settling into the foundation.
And that’s not all. A clogged gutter will damage your ceiling and walls. The water will flow to the back side of the siding and trim, gradually causing rotting. All these scenarios will lead to expensive repairs and replacements that you could avoid with regular gutter cleaning services.
A gutter cleaning company will, on average, charge $0.80 per linear foot. That means you will pay about $160 for a typical house with 200 feet of gutter system. Forbes estimates anything from $0.40 on the lower end for single-story homes and $2.15 on the higher end for multiple stories. Finance-wise, you would rather pay for gutter cleaning rather than deal with costly water damage.
Keep Up With HVAC Maintenance
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) is the leading single user of electricity in American homes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It accounts for about 26% of your overall energy consumption. While shutting it down is not an option, you can keep it working optimally to save money.
Usually, a malfunctioning HVAC system can significantly increase your power bill. For example, a dirty, clogged filter can cause your HVAC system to work twice as hard. Naturally, this will force it to use more power and inflate your monthly utility bill.
Something like a minor leak in the air ducts can cost you. According to the EPA, an average American household will lose between 20% and 30% of heating/cooling energy through leaks. Broken ducts force your HVAC system to work harder, increasing power consumption. If you never notice, the issue could cost you more than just a few dollars, probably in thousands.
It may come as no surprise that regular heating maintenance by a heating contractor can save you money. A professional can examine your system and identify potential problems you can resolve before they become costly. They can even help you prevent an air conditioning repair that could leave a dent in your pocket.
Avoiding expensive repairs through heating maintenance keeps your finances in check. Regularly servicing your HVAC system ensures that it operates at peak efficiency. It also prolongs its life and minimizes energy consumption.
Fix Plumbing Leaks ASAP
Those few drops from your faucets could easily translate to expensive monthly utility bills. While it might seem like just a few drops, it can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water annually. That is approximately 180 showers, according to the EPA. It not only impacts the environment but also your finances.
That is not the only leak. Your toilet and piping line might also be leaking. Those drips quickly add up and inflate your monthly utility bill. You can only imagine how much you lose in the long run.
To save money around your home, you need to fix these plumbing leaks as soon as possible. According to Forbes, most plumbers typically charge between $45 and $200 an hour. Quick responses can save you from inflated monthly utility costs. You also get to conserve water and help protect the environment.
In case of emergencies such as burst pipes, you may have to seek the services of an emergency plumbing service immediately. It can be costly but necessary when quick action needs to be taken. Remember to have a plumbing company on speed dial.
Check Your Insulation
As much as you have a working HVAC system, it’s not enough to save you money if your home is poorly insulated. Lack of insulation promotes heat, which overworks your heating unit. The conditioned air escapes through the cracks and holes, making it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. As a result, it uses more energy per hour, ultimately increasing your monthly utility bill.
Proper insulation protects against heat loss. It helps keep your indoor space warm during winter and cool during summer. The conditioned air continues to circulate, reducing the load on your heating unit. This reduced load means using less energy and saving more money in the long run. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), insulation can save up to 20% of your cooling and heating costs.
To save on energy costs and improve the comfort of your home, consider checking your insulation. Have an HVAC contractor inspect your current insulation levels and provide recommendations. If it’s old or damaged, replace it with new, energy-efficient insulation.
Invest In Solar
The sun provides free and clean energy that can save you money. Investing in solar photovoltaic (PV) panels lets you capture and utilize the sunlight to power your home. That means reduced reliance on the traditional grid and cutting back on monthly expenses related to electricity usage.
Solar PV can power your lights, appliances, and electronics, significantly reducing monthly electricity bills. According to Forbes, PV panels can save you up to $1,500 annually. While the initial investment can be high, if yours is robust enough, it can eliminate your need for grid electricity.
However, you can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit and other incentives offered by local governments to offset the initial costs. In addition, some states allow homeowners to sell excess energy back to the grid. This opportunity could earn you money through net metering and further reduce your expenses. Additionally, solar PV systems are a long-term investment that helps you save money and increase your home’s value. That means you can see a return on your investment if you sell your house.
Opt for Timeless Designs, Not Trendy
An interior design can significantly impact your finances. While following the latest home decor trends may be tempting, remember that these designs are short-lived. You will have to change them frequently, which will be expensive in the long run.
Yes, trendy designs look fresh and exciting. They will also look great on your Instagram feed. However, they are money-consuming and will only serve you for a few months or years before you have to replace them with something more relevant to time. Instead, opt for timeless designs and pieces with a classic appeal. They can help you save money and provide a beautiful, elegant outlook that withstands the test of time.
Decorate with longevity and quality in mind. For example, invest in a high-quality neutral-colored sofa that will last longer and match future design changes. You can also get a quartz countertop for your kitchen instead of marble.
Moreover, when it comes to furniture, consider investing in quality that will last for years and can be reupholstered or refinished instead of buying cheap items that will not withstand wear and tear. This approach may seem more expensive initially, but it will save you money in the long run.
Refinish Your Hardwood
Hardwood floors are an excellent example of timeless design. They never go out of fashion and can add significant value to your home. They have remained fashionable since the late 19th century with no signs of stopping.
Hence, investing in hardwood floors will keep your finances in check. They can serve your home for close to 100 years with proper maintenance. However, they fade the nice warm color due to wear and tear, especially with high traffic like the living room. Instead of replacing them, you can refinish them.
This process involves sanding off the old finish and applying a new one, making the hardwood floors look new. It is relatively affordable compared to installing fresh hardwood floors, thus saving you money. However, the fading is not too frequent. It can take up to 10 years before you need to refinish yours.
According to Forbes, hiring a professional to refinish your hardwood floors will cost you between $1,150 and $2,500. That’s an average of about $1,850. But if you have the time and expertise, you can do it yourself. In that case, the only cost you will bear is that of the materials from your nearest store. Guess what? You will recoup the investment with some profits. According to the National Association of Realtors, hardwood refinishing has a whopping 147% return on investment.
Switch to Energy Saving Appliances
Energy-efficient appliances are another way to save your finances. These include refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners. You can also change to energy-saving lighting systems such as LED bulbs, which use less energy and last longer.
The switch minimizes your electricity bill, especially during these times. Energy-saving appliances may seem expensive initially, but they will save money on utility bills in the long run. But how do you know which devices are energy-efficient? Look for the Energy Star label.
Energy Star-certified appliances use 20% to 50% less energy than standard models, significantly saving your monthly bills. They are also designed to last longer, meaning you will save on replacement costs. According to the U.S. Energy Star, households can save up to $300 annually by making this switch.
Timely Repair Your Hardscape Features
Hardscape features such as driveways, walkways, and patios add value to your home’s aesthetic appeal and reduce waste of finance. Others, like your swimming pool deck and outdoor kitchen, provide convenience for outdoor living. However, they, too, get damaged by various factors.
For instance, exposure to water and sunlight may cause cracks in your driveway or walkway. On the other hand, harsh weather may damage your patio furniture. The damage may seem insignificant initially but will escalate quickly into a major problem if left unattended. Something that would have cost a few dollars to repair may end up digging a hole in your finance budget.
It is crucial to repair any hardscape features that show signs of damage and avoid hefty expenses that come with replacement. Whether a broken piece of wood on the deck or a crack in the driveway, timely repairs will save you money. Do not ignore the issues until they become problems that will cost you more in the long run.
To save money around your home, be vigilant regarding maintenance and repairs. Pay attention to even the most minor issues, which can quickly escalate into costly problems. By being proactive, you can avoid spending more than necessary and keep your finances in check.