Everyone who owns a home can find practical ways to reduce home expenses. Without going to extremes, it’s easy to slice off a considerable chunk of monthly costs related to living in a house, like repairs, lawn maintenance, and more. Cost reduction can best be achieved in three categories: energy bills, insurance and space utilization.
Start with the Utilities
Cutting energy costs is one of the most common, and easiest, ways for homeowners to save money on their monthly expenses. A good place to begin is with the thermostat. Make sure you have a smart thermostat that keeps temperatures consistent year-round. Some models cost less than $50 and are easy to install. Many are surprised at how much they can cut their electric bills by letting a smart thermostat prevent waste. It’s also wise to be proactive by making certain to only have lights on in rooms that are occupied, to keep an eye on your hot water use, and to unplug appliances that are not being used.
Choose the Best Insurance Policy
Most homeowners have insurance that covers the dwelling, its contents and helps cover costs in the event of a fire or flood. Unfortunately, most people don’t ever read the fine print on homeowners’ policies, most of which are inked at the time they make the purchase. After that, policies tend to get stuck away in a file cabinet and forgotten until something bad happens, like a fire, a tornado, or a flood.
The upside is this: most homeowners’ policies are outdated and can be rewritten to the homeowner’s advantage. The best route to save money on your insurance is to have an experienced agent review your homeowners’ policy. Chances are, the agent can find a few areas of coverage that are unneeded or redundant, while at the same time being able to write you a new, more tailor-made policy that offers adequate coverage for less.
Making Efficient Use of Space
Renting out an extra room is an often-overlooked way for homeowners to make money on the side. As long as local ordinances permit short-term rentals, you can sock away a decent amount of money each month from rental income. Finding the right renter is rather simple as long as you use an agency. Additionally, it pays to take your time finding a person you think can act responsibly, follow the “house rules,” and won’t interfere with your or your family’s life. You don’t need to turn your home into a full-fledged bed-and-breakfast or mini-hotel to earn extra income from that spare bedroom or extra-large basement. People have been renting out surplus home space for centuries, so there’s no reason to approach the idea as if it’s new or unusual.
Of course, most homeowners can probably find a few more ways to save money, but utilities, insurance and efficient use of the space you already have are the three most common areas to target. Done properly, a bit of commonsense expense-cutting can have a major effect on your annual budget. So, start planning your own cost-reduction plan by identifying areas where you know you can save some serious cash. The best time to begin is now!