Ch. 04: Saving Money at Home

Ch. 04:
Saving Money at Home

Your home can be a real money waster without you even knowing about it. Doing a few simple things can minimize energy costs. Make sure your home is properly insulated, and you could save hundreds of dollars per year on your electric bill. Make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed. The attic and basement or crawl spaces are also all very important areas to monitor.

If your home is not properly insulated, cold air can get in and you will raise the temperature on the thermostat. This can cause heating bills to skyrocket. The same goes for the warmer months. Hot air comes in and cold air-conditioned air escapes, making the temperature inside uncomfortable. This prompts you to crank the AC down, resulting in your unit has to work harder, which in turn costs more to operate.

If you decide to invest in new home appliances, be sure they are ENERGY STAR compliant. These new devices are made to ensure you get the most usage while still using the least amount of energy. Change out the air filter in your home monthly. Air filters can be purchased for around $4-$6 each. This easy and simple thing can prevent wear and tear on your home’s air conditioner and home heater, and could possibly save you thousands of dollars in potential damage and repair.

A digital, programmable thermostat is another great way to save on energy. Using one of these can help you keep the central cooling and heating unit from operating until it reaches a certain desired temperature. You can also program it to turn on a few minutes before you get home each day and off again when you leave. This way, it is only operating when you are home. Turn off the lights whenever you are not in a room, and unplug the TV and computer when they are not in use.

Water usage is another thing you can save money on. Take showers instead of baths and you can save hundreds of gallons per month. Do not run the water in the sink while you are brushing your teeth. Only run the dishwasher and laundry when you have a full load. Water the lawn or plants at dusk, so less water evaporates. This will also help you water less frequently. Check your home for leaks under the sink and at every faucet. You can also create your own compost pile out back for plants if you are into gardening. Using scraps from the kitchen as well as pet waste, you can create your own fertilizer for your garden. Growing your own vegetables at home is also an excellent way to save money and it can be a lot of fun.

There are also some great ways you can make extra money to help with expenses. Go through your home and find items you no longer want or use, and schedule a garage sale for a nice Saturday morning. Not only does having a garage sale makes a great way to earn extra money, but shopping at them yourself can also save you a ton. You can also sell gently used clothing, books, and video games on online auction websites like eBay. These sites are a great way to make some extra cash. If you just want to remove clutter, you can donate items you no longer need to local women’s shelters or other organizations. The money related plus? You can claim these donations on your annual tax return as a deduction.