The following is a contribution from another author.
Owning a home and getting on the property ladder can be a dream for many. It means that you are able to use the home you have as your own, as well as use the home as an investment. The money that you pay for it each month of a mortgage are going towards the cost of a home, rather than just wasted in the rental market. So at the end of the day, if you needed to, you could just sell up and use the cash. However, once you have a home and become homeowners, that isn’t it; you don’t just sit in your home and not spend any more money on it. From decorating it, furnishing it, and repairing it, the costs can add up (not to mention just the general costs of living there).
Being a homeowner is not a cheap thing at all, which is why there are plenty of homeowners that are on the lookout for ways to cut the cost of running their homes. Your mortgage payments are inevitable, but how much you spend living there can be your choice. So with that in mind, here are some of the ways that you can cut the costs of running your home without having to sacrifice quality of lifestyle. It would be great to hear what you think.
The majority of people are going to have a mortgage on their home, unless they were an outright cash buyer. So that expense isn’t going to come as a surprise. But after an initial term, or if you are looking for a mortgage as a first time buyer, you should be looking at the home loan interest rates to make sure that you are getting the best one for you. They can vary, and you can change provider over time. So it is something to keep an eye on and change where possible. Even better if you can get a fixed-rate mortgage for a long period of time, as interest rates can change and rise higher, so a fixed-rate means you know what you are paying for a set amount of time.
One of the next biggest expenses that you can have as a homeowner is the cost of your energy bills; they can have a massive impact on your household spend. But the good news is, like a mortgage, you can shop around for your energy bills. As long as you are not in a set contract with a provider, then switching your energy bills can be a good way to go, and can be something that you can do as often as you want to (again, as long as there is no contract). Like a mortgage, looking for a fixed rate payment, especially before coming up to winter when you will use your heating so much more, can be a good idea. Then you know what you are paying for a set amount of time, and you can budget accordingly.
Smart Home Gadgets
With the technology that we have nowadays, using some smart technology in your home can be a good way to save. Take energy bills as above, for example. They can be pretty high if you aren’t aware of your spending. But things like Hive or meter trackers, can be used to keep track of what you are using and how much it is costing you. If your daily budget has gone over, then you can turn things off, for example. Apps like Hive allow you to switch off your heating when you’re away from home. So if it was left on by accident, then it can help to save you money as you can switch it off, rather than leaving it running.
For most people, the water bill is one of the lowest that you will have. But it can still all add up. Which is why it can be a good idea to get a water meter installed. This allows you to track what you are using so you won’t get an unexpected bills. If your current water bill is worked out on the size of your home, then you could easily pay less with a water meter. Plus, if you live in a family home, but it is just you and your partner there now that the kids have grown, they will still be charging you based on four or five people living there, for example. So in cases like that, it is an especially good idea to get a water meter installed as you will use a lot less than predicted.
If you are a homeowner, then having home insurance is a must. You don’t want a disaster to happen and then you have to pay for the repairs. But as insurers know that it is a big deal, they can hike their prices up accordingly. Which is why it is a good idea to look for ways to cut the cost of a home insurance premium. If you don’t have fire alarms installed or a burglar alarm, for example, they will increase the cost of your premium. But for a small once off price, you could get those alarms installed, but cut your premium by quite a bit. The same goes for outside lighting or joining neighborhood watch schemes to help reduce your premiums. Being sensible when you go away is a good idea too, to reduce the chance of potential theft.
The cost of keeping your home running can be around $100 a year, and even more if you have quite an old home. Which is why it is a good idea to keep on top of the condition of your house, so that things can be dealt with as and when it comes up. Plus, it can be best if you or someone you know are able to do the repairs yourselves. Simply because the cost of home repairs is going to be heavily weighted on the labor costs. If you can repair yourself, then it will reduce the costs for sure. Then spend a weekend once a month doing things for the home if needed.
When you have a home, you need to keep it clean. And over a year, you can spend a lot of unnecessary money on cleaning products that can be bad for your wallet, as well as the environment. If you can, make your own cleaning solutions. A spray bottle with white vinegar and essential oils in can work just as well as chemicals, but be much cheaper than buying store products. Cleaning wipes can cost a lot of money too, and they are such waste for the environment, so you could just stop buying them right from the start. Washable cloths or tissue can be better items for cleaning the home, as they can be reused or are more easily recycled.
While these are only a few things that you can do to cut the cost of your home, they can be some pretty significant savings. It is worth looking into them and giving them a go. The cost of living is rising and rising and wages aren’t always going to rise alongside of it. Looking to make savings where you can is always going to be a good idea, isn’t it? Is there anything else that you would add to the list? It would be great to hear what you think, and what you think is worth investing in for your home too.