Congratulations! You’ve taken the big step to becoming an official homeowner. However, if you’re like most people, your savings account consists of less than $4,000. Hobbies like motorcycling and boating might be out of the picture for a little while. So does that mean you can’t spruce up your home? Not at all! There are many simple ways to save money around the house while upgrading it and making it into a dream residence.
As you read through the following simple ways to save money around the house, you’ll notice that most of them involve spending a little upfront. Don’t be too worried about that though. What you’ll spend upfront you’ll make up at some point, giving you a healthy return on your investment.
Ready to start learning some of the simple ways to save money around the house, even if you’re being super-frugal at the moment?
Keep up With Yearly HVAC Inspections
Your HVAC equipment acts like the cardio and respiratory systems for your house. For instance, your furnace sends heat throughout the property, reducing chills and keeping insulated pipes from freezing. In the warmer months, your air conditioning unit sends out cooler air. And in both cases, the air that you’re breathing should be of the highest quality possible.
Hiring an HVAC specialist to clean and inspect your furnace and air conditioning equipment reduces the likelihood that you’ll suddenly be without heat or a cool breeze. Plus, HVAC technicians can let you know about other services they offer, like duct cleaning or even air conditioning installation using split systems that don’t require ductwork.
Why is maintaining your HVAC one of those simple ways to save money around the house? The answer to that question is as close as a Google search. Paying to replace your HVAC equipment can be quite costly. It’s much wiser to maintain the equipment you already have than to be forced to pay for new units before you should. (As a side note, you can expect your furnace to last 10-15 years and your air conditioning unit about the same amount of time depending on how hard you use your equipment.)
Look Into Solar Options
At first glance, you might think that you couldn’t possibly pay to install solar panels on your home. After all, solar panels aren’t cheap. They cost money upfront to purchase, and you’ll pay for the labor to put them on your roof. If you want them out on the lawn, you may need to invest in lidar services to ensure the topography will be ideal for their placement. Nevertheless, they can be considered long-term simple ways to save money around the house.
The basic premise is that while solar panels won’t pay you back right away, they’ll pay you back eventually. That is, the money you spend right now on them will come back to you down the road. If you plan to live in your home for at least seven to 10 more years, you should start to reap the financial benefits of being able to partially run your house on solar. Depending upon how many panels you buy, how much sun exposure they get, how much electricity you normally use as a family, and how large of a roof you have, you could practically get off the grid. Again, a lot does depend on your circumstances and situation. Still, solar power isn’t a bad way to avoid overpaying to the electrical company.
Not sure that you’ll be able to stretch your dollars enough to afford solar? Many solar providers offer long-term financing through private third-party companies. Additionally, they should help you find out about any tax credits you might be entitled to receive if you make the move toward solar.
Make Sure Everything You Purchase Has a Purpose
You just spent a pretty penny to move. But you don’t have enough furniture for all your rooms because your house is much bigger than the apartment you used to live in. Should you just go all-out and buy a houseful of furniture?
As you might guess, the answer is “no”. It’s not that having new furnishings isn’t lovely or appealing. It’s that the furniture depreciates as soon as you take it out of the store. Even if you spent $800 on a luxurious recliner, you’d never be able to resell it for nearly as much. Consequently, you have to start thinking more practically.
Do you really need to fill your guest bedrooms right now, for instance? Or could you make do with a cozy air mattress for the time being? Would friends and relatives care? Similarly, is it essential that you buy a loveseat, sectional, and armchair suite? Could you get away with fewer pieces of furniture for the same room?
Ask yourself these and other tough questions before making any decorator-style purchases for your new home. Sometimes, the answer is going to be, “Absolutely. We need a couch that’s not sagging in the middle. Otherwise, we’ll be uncomfortable when we’re hanging out together.” And that’s reasonable. Still, you’ll probably discover that you often change your mind when you realize that a potential purchase just isn’t a good investment right away.
Check the Plumbing
Again, this recommendation is one of those simple ways to save money around the house that far too few homeowners do. Instead, they only worry about plumbing when they have an emergency. But if you want to be wiser than all the rest, you should take a pragmatic, preventive approach to all your plumbing needs.
For instance, let’s say that your home makes use of a septic system. Obviously, you’ll have a septic tank. Septic tanks don’t last forever. Yet you don’t want to have to purchase and install one last-minute because you’ll probably spend top-dollar. Rather, have a provider come to your home and give you a quote for septic tank replacement. Though you won’t need to replace your tank for a while, hopefully, you’ll have the quote ready. And that’ll be helpful when you start to negotiate around the time it’s time for a replacement.
What other plumbing issues should you tackle head-on? If you smell mustiness, get a plumber’s advice. You could have a pipe leak that’s causing a build-up of moisture that’s leading to mold growth. On the other hand, if you notice that your water pressure isn’t up to par, you may have a problem with your plumbing system.
The bottom line is that you should always take signs of potential plumbing concerns seriously. Many times, the fix isn’t as terrible as you imagined, money-wise.
Make Minor Renovations First
Did you buy your new home with the intention of fixing it up in a big way? If so, you may have even rolled extra money into your home loan to give you a little cushion to pay for remodeling. Although it could be tempting to use up the money all at once on a big project, resist the desire to call your favorite home builder immediately.
What’s the issue? Well, if you have a chunk of money earmarked for renovations, you probably could get more mileage by making smaller renovations instead of a huge one. That way, you can do more with the dollars that you’ve already lined up. (Think of it like buying 100 penny candies instead of one big chocolate bar.)
For example, let’s say that you wanted to build a relatively small addition onto the first floor of your house. The addition is going to cost you upwards of $30,000, though. Before signing a contract for demolition to begin, ask yourself if you have other, more pressing, projects. For instance, are your kitchen appliances on their last legs? Does your bathroom look dated and smell a little funky? Are the carpets throughout your house threadbare and not-so-fresh smelling?
Parceling out your $30,000 to take care of tinier projects may make more a dent in the way you feel about your home than adding another room. In fact, you might decide after everything that you don’t want the extra room after all!
Repair Roofing Issues
Your roof protects your house. It keeps rain from seeping into your upper stories, and it helps insulate your spaces from harsh sunlight. Although roofs last for a long time, they don’t last forever.
If you sense that your roof is older than 20 years, or you’ve noticed some signs of damage, call your local roofers. Not sure what roof damage looks like? Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious, as in the case of shingles that have blown off or barely are hanging on. Other times, you may notice that your roof has some balding patches where the tread has worn off of the shingles over the years. Or, you might see that your roof is slightly caving in along certain places.
Any signs of an unhealthy roof should be taken seriously. When you’re investigating simple ways to save money around the house, you must always factor in your roof repair costs. Again, the basic reason for this is that a strong, dependable roof will serve you well. And you’ll avoid costlier problems like major leaks.
Invest in Pest Control
You don’t want critters, insects, or other pests to take up residence in your home, right? Unfortunately, they might not realize that you haven’t set out the welcome mat. That’s why pest control and rodent removal providers can and should become your friends.
Though it’s a bit icky to think that creatures like millipedes and spiders are running around your home freely, you do have some recourse. Just call a pest control technician and have him or her evaluate the problem. From there, you can choose an affordable solution that will leave you without your uninvited guests.
Of course, you could argue that having pests isn’t too much of an issue. You can always just brush them out of the house or try to live alongside them, right? Not exactly. A pest infestation can cause serious damage on your home. For instance, squirrels and even mice will chew up word work. And termites can destroy the integrity of your foundation, walls, ceilings or floors. It’s better to evict nasty tenants than to try to save money by ignoring their presence.
Repair Serious Damage Right Away
Did you buy your home knowing that it had some serious damage? Fix it now, even if that might not seem like it’s part of the simple ways to save money around the house. Fixing major damage makes perfect sense. Hey, you want the integrity of your residence to be as high as possible.
What does major or serious damage look like? Consider that smallish fire you had in your family room. You were able to put out the fire with the help of the local fire fighting company, but now the walls are covered with soot and the floor’s soppy wet. If you don’t contact a fire damage restoration service, you’re going to have a huge mess on your hands. Plus, your overall property value could take a noticeable dip. That’s important if you ever try to refinance or resell your home.
Expand Your Outdoor Living Space
Want to know some simple ways to save money around the house that are truly impactful without being expensive? A trick to keep more of your dollars in-house is to make your outside as irresistible as the inside of your home.
As an example, you might want to create an inviting patio. Lay down some pavers, buy some inexpensive outdoor furniture, and create a cozy oasis. Add a tent or large umbrella and it’s a place you can even enjoy during light rain showers in spring, summer, and fall.
Why does expanding your outdoor living areas keep money in your pocket? You end up going out less. Also, your home feels bigger and more expansive. Usually, you can rely on your outdoor space to offer you a peaceful place to read, play, or even watch TV on your device. Who would ever want to leave that kind of paradise?
At the end of the day, you want to know that you’ve always made the best choices as a homeowner. And that means learning simple ways to save money around the house so you can feel like you’re living lavishly without splurging extravagantly.