The costs of homeownership can seem daunting. But there are many ways to save money, including learning how to do DIY projects, handling your own lawn maintenance, saving energy to lower bills, joining a carpool and not trying to do every big project right away.
Following just those tips can save you hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of dollars each year. Here’s a closer look at these money-saving ideas.
DIY Home Projects
We live an age where millions of videos on YouTube are just a click or two away. About half of them seem to be on DIY home projects (the other half are about cats). You can find great videos to teach you everything from installing appliances and fixing common plumbing issues to properly painting a house or hanging draperies. It’s a great place to start learning to do it yourself and save some major bucks by not hiring the work out.
DIY Lawn Maintenance
Lawn and landscaping services are a big deal because they handle a job many people simply do not want to face. However, making a commitment to maintaining your own lawn can really save money. You’ll have to invest in equipment. You’ll have to recognize also that maintaining a lawn includes watering plants, pruning bushes and trimming trees (at least the smaller ones, you’ll likely need a service for large trees). But the money saved is worth it, as is the pride you’ll take in what you accomplish.
There are many tips to saving on utility bills, many of them detailed here. However, other steps you can take include:
- Hanging your laundry outside rather than running it through the dryer
- Using the microwave or grilling outside in the hot months to save on heating up the house with an oven or stove (which the AC then needs to cool down)
- Change those air filters every three months, or at least every six months
- Take quick showers, especially in the summer, to prevent pumping more heat into the house
Many homeowners – especially new ones – want to do every project they have on their list, one after another. They’ll go from painting the entire exterior to redoing the kitchen to repaving the back patio – and often find themselves in a very deep financial hole (not to mention being completely exhausted!). The key is to relax, slow down and not do everything at once. You plan on living in your house for a long time. Realize that some things will just have to wait and enjoy what you already have. There’s plenty of time to get to new projects down the road.
What does this have to do with a house? Well, most homeowners continue to live far from where they work, judging by U.S. Census numbers that show commutes are getting longer. The average commute is now around 16 miles each way. Save yourself a ton of money spent on gas and find people in your neighborhood that you can ride with – then take that extra money and put it back into your house. That cash could fund your next DIY project!
Keep these tips in mind and you can save money every year you live in your home. Much of it involves rolling up your sleeves and taking ownership of your home. That, in itself, is very rewarding. Just plan things out so you also have some money in your pocket as you live there.