With the cost of living rising sharply in the last few months, making savings around your home is more important than ever. Maximizing your money should be at the top of your priority list if you have bills to pay and a family to feed. However, it can be difficult to know where to cut costs effectively. Fear not, we’ve put together a list of tips and ideas that you can follow to try and keep your home costs low and keep as much money in your bank as possible. Check them out below.
Create A Monthly Home Budget – And Stick To It
Make a list of all of the essentials that you need to run your home. Think about utilities such as gas and electricity bills, food costs, rent or mortgage payments, and gas for your car. Then figure out your monthly income across your household and make a budget plan accordingly. Try and create a savings pot for emergencies and if you have some leftovers you can start a rainy day fund for big purchases for fun things like vacations.
You can also use this budget as a diagnostic tool to see where you’re spending the most. These higher spend areas will be the ones you need to focus on trying to cut down.
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Add Solar Panels
While solar panels can be a costly initial outlay, they can save you a huge amount of money on your bills in the long run, particularly if you have the luxury of living in a sunny state. You can save a whopping $1500 on average by using solar panels in your home. If you’re worried about the initial price to get you up and running, you can check if you’re eligible for federal solar incentives. This is an incentive tax credit program run by the government to help offset the costs of your solar system which allows you to claim back 26% of your total installation on your taxes. This can be a huge help in the beginning and get you on your way to using cleaner, cheaper energy!
Make A Meal Plan
One of the easiest ways to waste money is by overshopping or not shopping with a meal plan in mind. Before you hit the grocery store, make a meal plan for each day of the week. Try and make your plan as cohesive as possible, for example, if you’re making tacos for dinner, plan a pasta bake for the next evening to use up leftover salsa. Try and incorporate store cupboard ingredients that you already have in your pantry like bread crumbs, passata, and rice. You can even incorporate leftovers into lunches for extra savings. The more organized you are, the less likely you are to toss random food into your cart that you don’t need. Start buying generic or store-own brands for staple foods such as cheese, butter, and eggs. The extra pennies you save will soon add up!
Use Your Appliances Wisely
If you regularly put the dishwasher on when it’s only half full, or waste energy and water with a half load of laundry then you’re throwing your hard-earned money away. It’s far more economical to do a couple of big loads of laundry every few days than to wash the odd few items here and then. Switching up the temperature of your wash can also save you energy and therefore money. Change your wash to 30 degrees and you’ll still have fresh clean clothes with a smaller bill.
There are a ton of things you can DIY around your home that will save you money on professional services. Rather than employ the services of a plumber to fix that leaky tap, learn how to do it yourself but following YouTube videos or asking a handy relative to show you how. Even cleaning products can be DIY’d by mixing together vinegar and baking soda – it will give all of your stainless steel an incredible shine!
Learning to sew is an incredibly useful skill that could save you hundreds of dollars a year by repairing what you already won and skipping the need for professionals.
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Your utility bills may be bleeding your wallet dry, so do some shopping around for better deals. Plenty of companies allow you to switch for free, so if you’re not in a ‘locked in’ contract then look at other providers who may be able to offer you a better deal on your bills. You can make huge savings with sign-up offers without interrupting your service. Nothing is stopping you from switching annually so keep an eye out for new deals and make the move accordingly.
Cut Back On Water Usage
While you should definitely be drinking plenty of water, wasting it on long showers and baths is a big no-no if you want to save money. If your yard is your pride and joy it’s time to cut back on sprinklers and usage of your hose. You only need to water your lawn a couple of times a week to keep it looking healthy. Using a sprinkler for one hour equates to using about 1000 gallons of water. The average cost of 1000 gallons is between $1.50 and $10, depending on your state, so if you’re using your sprinkler daily you could be wasting between $550 and $3650 a year.
Unplug When Not In Use
This can seem like a big deal for little reward, but unplugging all of your devices when they’re not in use can make small savings that add up to a bigger bulk. If you’re not charging your phone, unplug the charger, turn off the microwave when it’s not in use and turn your TV off using the button, rather than leaving it on standby.
Walk Where Possible
Try and walk wherever possible to cut down on your gas usage. With prices rising higher and higher, who knows when it will stop? get your daily recommended steps in and walk to the grocery store or to work wherever you can.