Becoming a homeowner is a dream for many. However, it is one of the biggest investments you will make. Interestingly, the costs don’t end after the purchase as you have to pay for heating, electricity, water, and other unexpected expenses such as replacing your roof. Living in a gated community may also attract HOA fees, and owning large property may come with some yard maintenance costs. Fortunately, there are some ways you can save money despite these hidden costs of owning a home, including the following.
1. Have a financial plan
Designing a financial plan is one of the first things to do if you want to save money at home. You can start by creating an overview of your earnings and expenses, including your savings, investments, debt, pensions, and retirement. Don’t forget your insurance plan. Consider setting some goals like saving for an emergency, purchasing an item you need, paying off your mortgage, buying a car, or travelling. This way, you can effectively figure out what to do to help you achieve your financial goals.
2. Have an active grocery list
Many people spend a lot on food due to bad habits like going to the grocery store hungry and a lack of planning. Keeping an active grocery list is a good way to prevent this as it can determine how often you visit the grocery store. If you have a family, it is helpful to create a shared shopping list that you can update or sync. You can go to the grocery store without worrying about forgetting an item you need or already have. If you are an impulsive buyer, having a shopping list can prevent you from pulling other things you don’t need off the shelf.
3. Avoid bottled water
Bottled water appears to be inexpensive, but it can quickly become costly. It is expensive because of the labour used to fill the bottles. Another factor adding to the overall costs of bottled water is the time taken to check if bottles are correctly filled and sealed. But it is cheaper to drink tap water, especially if you have a water filter pitcher. Avoiding bottled water doesn’t only save you money in the long run but helps your green efforts. A 2021 study showed that a 20-ounce bottle of water costs about $1.50 and about $9.60 each for a gallon.
4. Keep your leftovers
This isn’t so much a suggestion as it is a decision. There is no excuse not to eat your leftovers, so you can keep them instead of throwing them away. Making the most of your leftovers should not be so hard. For example, you can save some pasta-based dinners for your lunchbox the next day. Meatballs can go well on their own, or you can use them for your sandwiches or leftover tomato sauce. However, this doesn’t imply always making more food during dinners to use leftovers for lunch. A study has shown that even though about 8.4 million people in the UK live in food poverty, the nation wastes about 9.5 million tonnes of food yearly. Finding ways to keep and utilise your leftovers can save you money and contribute to preventing food wastage.
5. Roll up your sleeve and get handy
DIY some of your home projects if you have some tools and wouldn’t need to visit the local hardware shop to purchase some. Thanks to the internet and YouTube, there is no shortage of useful and creative things you can do at home. Does your bedroom need some fresh painting, or do you have a leaky tap or blocked drain? These are DIY tasks even beginners can tackle in the home. Performing some of these jobs yourself can help you save money on labour costs. However, ensure to avoid those that are beyond your skillset. Otherwise, you’ll pay more to fix serious blunders and repairs.
If you don’t have any tools, consider renting tools instead of buying them if you are good with your hands. Several DIY jobs like tile removal require tools such as a jackhammer. And since this can be expensive to purchase, it would be best to rent it. There are a few other tools, such as carpet cleaners, pressure washers, and hammer drills, you can rent by day or hour from the local tool rental store. Renting can help you save significantly on things you will use for only a few hours or days.
6. Plant your food
If you have a backyard, you can save money on food by growing your food. All you need is to purchase seeds and prepare a raised bed outside. For less than £20, you can acquire a lot of seeds, which will yield far more than £20 worth of food over a few months. Three or four bucks can get you a bunch of herbs. A small herb garden on your window sill shouldn’t cost more upfront but provide more herbs in a few months.
7. Green energy
Solar energy is one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly options. It is essentially a limitless source of renewable energy that can both heat and power your home. It may cost you more upfront, yet the long-term financial benefits outweigh the initial investment. It is not surprising that many homes consider installing solar panel systems to cut their energy bills. Wind turbines, hydroelectric power, and geothermal power are other renewable energy solutions to save money.
8. Make your snacks
Many people depend on snacks to see them through each day. However, a store-bought snack or dessert can be significantly more expensive than making some at home. Snacking on pre-packaged foods isn’t only costly but bad for your health since it’s more likely to be high in calories. While it can cost you around £2.50 or possibly more for a pre-packaged brownie at your local coffee shop, preparing a whole pan at home should cost less. So rather than loading on the high-calorie snacks, consider making your healthy snacks at home for your health and to save money.