Houses can be incredibly expensive and so it’s worth paying attention to the bills that you pay. There’s some small tweaks that you can make around the house that will save you money at home. Every household is different both in the size and complexity of the house and so some tips might work for you better than others.
Rent instead of buy your tools
If you’ve got a DIY project around the house before buying every tool that you need, check if you could rent it instead. Sometimes you’ll only use a tool once and so renting this could make sense.
Before buying any tool try to estimate how many times you’re going to use it and then you can divide that number by the cost. If the price to rent it comes out lower then your per cost usage then it makes sense to rent it instead of buy it.
If you buy a tool for $100 and use it three times it will cost you $33 per usage.
If the same tool costs $10 to rent, and you use it 3 times, it will cost you $30.
Buy used furniture and refurbish it
When moving into a bigger house or when you need to furnish a new room it can be incredibly expensive to buy new furniture. New furniture is also damaging to the environment versus buying old furniture and repurposing it. In many cases old furniture is higher quality than new furniture and so will last longer even if it’s older.
If you take care of it and repurpose it then you’ll have a great piece of furniture at a fraction of the cost. Refurbishing old furniture can make it look new again.
Restore your deck instead of paying someone to do it
A deck is a quick and easy way to increase the value of home and save a few dollars when doing it yourself. All you need is a pressure washer and some paint and can be done in an afternoon. You could rent the pressure washer if you don’t have one and then use hard wearing paint for the rest.
Create your own cleaning spray for use around the house
A good double benefit to making your own cleaners is that you can save money and be kind to the environment. Instead of using a glass cleaner that you buy at the store you can mix a half cup of vinegar and two cups of water to create your own solution. Another great solution for all purpose cleaning is if you mix one quart of warm water with four tablespoons of baking soda in a mixture.
Watch out for your lawn
If you have an expensive gardener and once a week but your lawn is mostly grass then you can do it yourself. Getting a lawn mower and other supplies means you can look after it yourself. Trim it down when it gets long enough and you don’t need a landscaper.
Block out draughts
If you can see a strip of light around or above an exterior door that means air is escaping. It’s quick and easy to replace the weather stripping yourself so grab some foam self-adhesive rubber stripping and seal any older doors that lead outside. You might already have some weather stripping around the doors but it might be worth checking them to make sure they still work.
Paint your own walls
Painting your walls is one of the easiest ways to refurbish a space. Even changing a dark color to a bright one can completely change the atmosphere and vibe of a room. It can also give you a new perspective on what you can do for the space to buy new colors and decorations.
A gallon of paint costs anywhere from $30 to $50. If you purchase a combined primer / paint then you might only need one gallon or less to finish a room of average size. You’ll be looking to spend another $10 to then buy paint brushes, rollers and painters tape. Doing this yourself could save thousands of dollars compared to having a painter decorator come in.
Cut down on the amount you spend on groceries
After most people make a budget they’re shocked at how much they spend on food in a month. If you’re an average American family of four people you could be spending up to $928.
It’s incredibly easy to go around the grocery store without any plan or list. If you do this it makes it much more likely that you’re going to make purchases that you don’t need. You might buy some ice cream and some chips and a pack of gum at the checkout which can easily increase your budget. These are called budget busters.
If you can plan out your meals in advance at the beginning of the month and then just go shopping for what you need you’ll find you’re much more organized and spend less money. Have a look in the pantry before you go shopping to know exactly what you need and what you don’t need.
If you really want to stick to your list then leave the kids at home and make sure not to shop on an empty stomach.
If you really want to restrict how much you can buy then look to order groceries online and have them delivered. Most major grocery stores now do this and can force you to only add what you really want and need to the cart. You also won’t be tempted by the bakery aisle at the grocery store which tempts with the delicious smell of cookies.
Cancel memberships you don’t use
You probably don’t need Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and Disney+ do you? When was the last time you went to the gym? Could your memberships be replaced by just one streaming service and can you buy a yoga mat to do some workouts at home? Could you even replace your gym membership by going for a walk? The good thing about these memberships is they’re typically very flexible. You could cancel one of these streaming services for a month and if you can’t live without it you can use it again in the future.
If you really do want Netflix or Amazon prime then consider sharing it with a family member. You can set up multiple profiles on the same device to keep your interests separate.
Stop buying brand name
So you’ve cut back on your grocery expenditure each month but you’re still not saving the amount of money you want. This could be because you’re still buying brand name goods online or in the store.
A brand name is more expensive because they spend a lot on marketing. That’s where the cost increases.
Many grocery stores have products that are just as good as the brand names but are generic and so are lower cost. You can save a lot if you’re buying generic brands of staple food items like rice or beans, medicine, toilet paper or even cleaning supplies.
Cut your cable bill
Cable is expensive. Just look at how popular the streaming services are to see why people are moving away from cable. As we mentioned above you might have cut a streaming service or two and are down to just one. But you could still be paying over $200 a month for cable. This is $2,400 a year!
If you do decide to get rid of cable you could afford to have two or three streaming services instead. Make sure not to go overboard with your streaming services as the costs of these can add up quickly. However even four streaming services at $10 a month is still cheaper than the $200 cable bill.
Drive at a lower speed to save gas
When driving a new or used car, driving quickly can kill your gas mileage and cause you to spend much more on gas. If you’re driving around a city it can have a minor impact on your mileage but driving on the highway above 55 miles an hour can really impact your mileage. If you increase your speed from 55 to 65 miles an hour while driving on the highway your drag could increase by up to 36% depending on what car you have.
If you drive to work via the highway then reducing your speed down to 55 could save you lots of money. You might get there a couple minutes later but you could save hundreds of dollars per year. Using your cruise control to maintain a steady 55 mph can also help with mileage as accelerating and then braking harshly can impact your mileage. There are other ways to save money on your car including maintenance, gas and repairs.
If you get unexpected money spend it wisely
You could get a bonus at work for a good job, inherit some money or even get a tax refund from the government. Any source of extra money is fun but don’t be tempted to spend it as soon as you get it. When we say spend it wisely we mean save it or put it towards paying down debt.
If you still have debt from student loans, payday loans or any other secured lending then try to pay off the biggest amount with the biggest amount of interest first. This is called the snowball effect.
You could even put it in an emergency fund for a rainy day.
Reduce how much you spend on energy and water
There’s some small changes that you can make to save money on your electricity water bill.
You can reduce your water and heating bill by shortening the amount of time you take showers, fix pipes that are leaking, wash clothes in colder water or even install switches that are dimmable and have LED light bulbs so they last longer.
If you do need to buy a new appliance it is worth looking at a new energy saving model. But beware of buying a new appliance before you need to just because you think it will save water and electricity. In most cases the cost of buying a new appliance is larger to the environment than using your existing one in a better way. If you do want to buy a new appliance then add the money needed to your monthly budget and put that money away each month until you can afford to buy a new one.
Unsubscribe from brands that you love
This one might be tough to do because we love getting a deal or a bargain from our favorite brands. But marketers know what they do and they get paid for doing it well. This is why a newsletter is so tempting and when you receive it you want to see what you can get in the 24-hour sale or that has a limited release.
If you do want to see less of these emails then every time you get one hit unsubscribe at the bottom of the newsletter. Your inbox will be left less cluttered and you’ll be less tempted to spend money that you didn’t plan to.
Check how much you spend on insurance
Did you know that most people save up to $700 when they have an endorsed local provider check the rates they’re paying on their insurance?
You might not save as much as that but it’s worth checking to see just in case you can save some money.
Reduce your cell phone bill
Cell phones are expensive. Especially in the US. You can save money on your service by getting rid of bolt ons that you don’t use. Maybe you don’t use the full amount of data or the voice or messaging each month. Have a look at recent bills to see what you’re using and then get rid of what you don’t. If it comes to the end of your contract then don’t be afraid to negotiate with them to try to get lower deals. eople who work in the renewals section of cell phone providers want to retain you as a customer and are able to give hefty discounts.
DIY whatever you can
Before you pay someone to do any work around the house ask yourself can I do this myself? There are tons of YouTube resources available to do most simple projects around the house. You can definitely change a light bulb, paint a wall or even do more major fitting work. You’ll also learn new skills.
You can ask a neighbor if they have the skills and tools to teach you how to do it or even go to your local builders merchant to rent the tools. Avoid buying all the tools that you need because it might work out cheaper to rent, especially if you’re not going to use it all the time.
Drink coffee at home
Or have it in a to-go cup. You might love picking up a non-fat vanilla skinny mocha on your way to the office but that can add up and impact your monthly budget. It can also impact your waistline. We’re not saying that you should only bring coffee from home but if you regularly make coffee at home then when you do buy it out it’ll be a treat.
Have a look at how much you’re spending on coffee because even $4 a day three times a week works out at $576 a year.
One Coffee a day = $4
Three times per week = $12
That’s 12 Coffees per month = $48
That’s 144 Coffees per Year = $576