Today’s guest post if from is from Thrifty Homeowner. The blog documents the journey of a novice do-it-yourselfer who is always on the lookout for ways to save and to increase his home’s efficiency.
As the self-proclaimed Thrifty Homeowner, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save money when it comes anything involving my home. I’ve compiled a list of 10 quick and cheap ways you can keep more of your hard-earned money (or learn to spend it more wisely).
- Insulate Hot Water Pipes – Doing this should cost you less than $10, and it will lower your fuel bill and increase the speed at which hot water reaches your faucets.
- Research the Value of Your Improvements – Before undertaking that costly upgrade or renovation, take a look at the estimated percentage of costs that can be recouped. You might be surprised at how much or how little you might get in the end.
- Track Your Home’s Value – Even though I don’t have immediate plans to move, I like to keep track of my house’s market value. Though they are not always accurate, these online tools can also help you decide if you really should do that improvement you were thinking about.
- Refinance Your Mortgage – Rates are at or near record lows. As long as your credit score is above 740 or so and you have 20% equity in your home, you shouldn’t be paying more than 5.50% for your 30 year mortgage.
- Compost Your Waste – To save money on soil additives, begin collecting your yard and food waste in a covered tub outside your house. In a few months nature will take its course and you’ll be able to pull out nutrient-rich matter you can use in your garden or planting beds.
- Replace Your Bulbs with CFLs – Everything you read nowadays stresses that you should change out conventional bulbs for CFLs because of their cost and energy savings. This year, I think most of the CFLs on the market are finally at a point of acceptable cost and quality.
- Use Ceiling Fans in the Winter – Ceiling fans not only help to save energy and costs in the summer, but also when you have your heat on. Set them to spin clockwise and turn them on at a low setting. Hot air rises, so the fans help to push down and circulate that air you paid to have heated.
- Be on the Lookout for Free Stuff – I get my mulch from the town recycling center, trade books at the library, and explore my local Freecycle’s site before I purchase many items.
- Consider Renting Equipment Instead of Buying – Break the habit of automatically buying items that will be used once or seldom. If you can’t get it for free (see above), look into renting it instead.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat – They cost $40-80, yet they can save you money by automatically turning down the heat or AC when you’re out or sleeping.
Visit Thrifty Homeowner for more tips and discussion on how to save money around the home.