Six Ways Your Home Can Save You Money
Summer has arrived! Whether you've saving for home repairs, wanting to organizing your life, or simply trying to stay busy, here are some ways your home can save you money.
Replace Your Bulbs with LED Bulbs
You've heard this one before: these bulbs can save you hundreds of dollars, and last between 30,000 and 50,000 hours. They are inexpensive and good for the environment. If you have a bit more in your budget for a better long-term investment, companies are now creating "smart" LED bulbs that communicate with the latest technology. Coordinate these bulbs with small motion sensor devices to turn the lights on and off with motion, control each bulb with your mobile device, or program them to communicate with your voice activated home device like Google Home or Alexa. Don't forget you can order these on Amazon or through your favorite online retailer.
Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart home thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat allows you to sync your home devices and save money doing it. These devices immediately save 10 to 15 percent on your energy bills. They are self-learning, and adjust according to your preferences over time. You can also program them from anywhere, keeping your heat or cooling off, and turning it on prior to arriving home. Like your LED bulbs, these devices will also sync with your Google Home or Alexa.
Review Your Cable TV Service
Your cable package will likely allow for some wiggle room. The “fear of missing out” usually nudges us up a tier for most of the products and services we want or need, so the next tier down might be the right fit for you. Not sure? Try it out to evaluate which shows you’re really watching. Cable companies would be happy to upgrade your service again if you aren't happy, and you may even get a promotional offer. Taking it a step further, ask yourself if what you're watching is available on a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. These services cost under $10 a month, saving you hundreds in cable or satellite bills.
Take a Closer Look at All Your Bills
Chances are, you are not saving what you could with your routine bills either. These larger companies offer deals for new accounts, loyalty customers, or for damage control purposes. In other words, they can afford it. Package services like cable and satellite, Internet, or phone service often give you an introductory rate, raising it after six months to a year. These prices are not due to inflation, and can be negotiated. Typically no one does. Call competing companies and then call your internet, cable, or cell phone provider to see what you can save.
Watch Your Energy Usage
If you and your family are staying safe at home, you may notice an increase in your energy bills. Ensure you are keeping the lights off in unoccupied rooms and keeping your heating and cooling "essential". Just because you may be home more, try not to be tempted to do more loads of laundry, take longer showers, or run your dish washer more than normal. Try to stick to your schedule!
Invest in a Water Service
If you’re not using your tap, the easy answer is a Brita filter. You can keep a pitcher in your refrigerator, or attach the filter straight to your faucet. If you prefer the taste of a bottled water company, invest in a water cooler – that’s right, like the one at your office. These coolers are delivered and installed by professionals from your favorite water provider, and can actually be cheaper than buying and wasting countless plastic bottles. You can sign up for a subscription service, and never buy another bottle again.
Open a Pinterest Account
DIY is trending! Start a Pinterest board and discover all the unique and savvy ways you can renovate your home. Use this time to beautify your bathroom with simple tricks, organize your kitchen, create projects for the kids, or get your living room to look like a catalog overnight. You’ll be surprised at how many ideas you can find that are inexpensive and easy. Need a hand? There are YouTube how-to's for just about everything!
To Sum it Up
Whether you are trying to build a garden, need a bathroom makeover, or looking for new ways to keep your life organized, these tasks can be costly. Simple choices can save you money and change your life. If your goals are a bit more advanced than a cleaning and craft party or a few smart electronics, you might be looking at greater home renovation. Check out a Home Equity Line of Credit from BMI Federal Credit Union.