Regardless of whether your home is two months or twenty years old, reducing your household expenses is always a great way to pad your savings account or save for a vacation. Even with the low-maintenance, quality and energy efficiency of new home builds, which are a great cost saver, there are several other little, less obvious expenses that can really add up over time. This is especially true for older homes.
To lessen the consequences of these sneaky, recurring expenses, you should try to find ways to reduce them that are practical and not overly stringent. Listed below are several ways you can save cash that aren't too much trouble to implement, yet can potentially save you huge chunks of money in the long run.
1. Make Gifts Instead
During birthdays and holidays, instead of splurging on costly gifts for friends and loved ones, minimize costs by making your own gifts and cards. Your good intentions will be remembered, and you'll save a ton of money while having fun exploring your creative side.
2. Swap Out Your Phone Plan
Unless you truly need unlimited minutes and other calling extras, chances are likely that there is a cheaper phone plan out there that won't break your bank account. Research the plans and prices of other phone providers on the market.
3. Reevaluate Your Internet
Have you researched to find a more affordable internet plan from a different service provider? In some situations, you might even be able to share a web connection with someone near you who you know and trust.
4. Cut Your Cable
See if there is a less expensive way for you to enjoy your favourite TV shows. You might be able to downgrade your account from premium to basic, or perhaps you can even get rid of your cable bill completely by using Hulu or Netflix. Cutting back on cable expenses and viewing less TV will also reduce your electricity costs for a savings bonus.
5. Pull the Plug
Do you have any electronic gadgets around your home that you don't use much but keep plugged in? Many electrical devices continuously use a tiny bit of electricity while plugged in. This can accumulate pretty fast once you think about the number of gadgets and minor appliances in your home. To reduce these phantom electricity charges, keep any products or surge protectors you don't use unplugged.
6. Lower the Temperature
And we’re not just talking about your thermostat! Older hot water heaters consume a lot of power in many houses, making up around 14% of electricity costs. Many times, the water temperature is set much higher than what is necessary, and the heat that's produced is continually wasted on the ambient air, so you must keep consuming more and more electricity to keep your water so warm.
Fix both issues by setting your water heater's temperature down to around 60°C, and consider adding a blanket of insulation to your heater's exterior to keep the heat sealed in.
Alternatively, thanks to updated and amended home construction standards, new homes are better than ever. New home water heaters are extremely energy efficient, cost effective and require far less maintenance than their older counterparts.
7. Prepare Meals In Bulk
Reserve a little time each Sunday to cook and freeze bulk meals that will carry you through the rest of the week. Storing them in your freezer means you'll be less likely to buy fast food or prepackaged meals in the middle of the week.
8. Install an Automatic Thermostat
Speaking of thermostats, programmable is the way to go. If you’re a new home owner, you already know your new thermostat can be made to routinely modify the cooling and heating of your house while you’re away or in bed - saving you a considerable amount on your energy costs. However, if you’re living in an older home with an older device, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer model to take advantage of some of these great cost-saving benefits.
9. Reduce Your Banking Fees
Enroll in other banking services in order to waive certain fees. Having your cheques direct deposited, banking online, and receiving virtual statements might make your savings and/or chequing account cost-free. You can also sit down with an advisor regarding your current banking needs and make sure your current plan is working for you.
Banking online can also help you save up to $25 per month on maintenance charges that a brick-and-mortar bank might assess. Additionally, you can settle payments easily at any time during your monthly cycle and closely monitor each and every purchase, so you won't have to worry about overdue or overdraft charges.
10. Switch to LEDs
If you haven't upgraded the light bulbs in your house, give some thought to using LED bulbs instead. LEDs are approximately 300% percent more cost effective than standard incandescent light bulbs and survive much longer. Remember to check the number of lumens rather than wattages when comparing bulbs, as lumens show the specific amount of light the bulb emits.
Everybody wants to save money, especially on their bills. These tips are quick and easy to do, and don't force you to sacrifice your comfort or enjoyment of your home. They can save you substantial amounts of money over time, which you can then allocate to other pursuits or simply build up into a sizeable nest egg.