One of the biggest issues people have with renting is they’re throwing money down the drain when they could be building equity. And while this is true, don’t assume that home ownership is an easy ride. As a homeowner, you face several unique expenses. Over time, these can really start to add up.
The good news is that you don’t have to be house poor. If you’re willing to get creative and conjure up a little of that DIY spirit, there are plenty of ways to save more of your hard-earned money.
7 Tips to Help You Save Money
What would you do with an extra $1,987 in your pocket each year? Don’t get too excited just yet, but with the following tips and tricks, you could easily save more than $1,000 per year in home expenses. Check it out:
- Switch to a Smart Thermostat
Traditional thermostats are inefficient and costly. Either they run all day and waste energy, or you return to a home that’s too hot or too cold. By switching to a smart thermostat, you can save money and increase your overall comfort.
Smart thermostats work by learning your behavior and adjusting accordingly. Your thermostat knows when you leave for work, go to bed, or leave town. It then optimizes the temperature according to what’s most cost-effective. Nest, one of the leading smart thermostat providers, claims its customers save up to 10-12 percent on heating and roughly 15 percent on cooling each year.
Potential Savings: $131 to $145 per year
- Block Out the Sun
This is an extremely simple tip that every homeowner can implement at virtually no cost (assuming you already have some sort of window coverings in your home). By blocking out the sun on hot summer days, you reduce the temperature inside your home and your AC system can spend less time running. This is most important with western and southern facing windows that receive a lot of direct sunlight throughout the day.
Potential Savings: $20 to $42 per year
- Turn Down Your Water Heater a Notch
So long as you’re getting hot water when you take a shower, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the temperature of your water heater. However, this is one place where you could potentially save. For every 10 degrees lower you set your hot water heater, you can save between 3 to 5 percent in energy costs. Thus, moving from the standard 140 degrees to 120 degrees could save you 6 to 10 percent.
“Annual energy costs for a hot water heater vary from $100 to $200, so this simple change could save you anywhere from $6 to $20 per year,” personal finance expert Trent Hamm points out. “It also keeps you from getting scalded if you accidentally turn up the hot water too much.”
Potential Savings: $6 to $20 per year
- Switch to LED Lights
Still using incandescent light bulbs? While they’re considerably cheaper, they’re also much more expensive to power. The key is to use LED for the bulbs you use most frequently – such as bedroom lamps, overhead kitchen lights, and living room lights.
By one calculation, an LED bulb can save you $13 per year in electricity. If you install LED bulbs in the five lights you use most frequently, the savings start to add up. Install them in your ten most frequently used lights and you’ll definitely notice the savings.
Potential Savings: $65 to $130 per year
- Insulate Your Attic
While a lot of homeowners spend time sealing air leaks around windows and doors – which is important – the cost savings pale compared to properly insulating your attic. Moving from a basic insulation rating of R-11 to a much superior rating of R-49 costs roughly $1,500 to insulate an 800-square-foot attic. You’ll make that money back in less than three years.
Potential Cost Savings: $600 per year
- Install Two Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliances are systems most homeowners don’t want to think about replacing. When they finally do get replaced, it’s usually because they’ve broken down beyond repair. But what if you were to bite the bullet this year and replace your two most inefficient appliances with Energy Star models?
According to DealNews, there are some major savings awaiting you. For the purposes of this illustration, let’s say you were to replace your old refrigerator with a new energy efficient model. You could save roughly $100 per year. Do the same with an old washing machine and you could save as much as $110 per year.
Potential Savings: $210 per year
- Become a Cord Cutter
Are you still paying for cable? If so, you’re part of a dwindling collection of homeowners that primarily consists of people 40 and older. The majority of millennials are cutting the cord and using streaming services instead.
Considering that the average homeowner pays somewhere around $90 per month for cable – and a streaming service from a provider like Sling costs just $20 per month – you could potentially save $70 or more per month and only lose a few channels.
Potential Cost Savings: $840 per year
Save Money When You Sell With Green Residential
When it comes to selling your home, don’t go the traditional route of choosing a real estate agent who takes a 3 percent cut of the sale price. When you figure out what the buyer’s agent takes, 6 percent of your home is being paid in the form of commissions. On a $400,000 house, that’s a whopping $24,000!
When you work with Green Residential, you don’t have to spend 6 percent. While the buyer’s agent will still take a full 3 percent commission, we operate on a flat fee rate, which would save you roughly $4,000 on a $400,000 home.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can save money when selling your home, please contact Green Residential.