Owning a home typically involves a mortgage, along with several monthly utility payments and maintenance costs. When your home is costing you too much money each month, it’s important to cut back in the home on some non-essential expenses. While there are several opportunities for easy downsizing, there’s also expenses you should never try to reduce.
Where you should and should not cut back in the home
What should I leave alone, and not cut back on?
Cutting your home’s expenses may help you financially, but there are some purchases you shouldn’t skimp on. For example, never neglect your safety at home. Installing an ADT security system provides protection and peace of mind. It’s important to have peach of mind whether you’re relaxing at home, or you’re away for work or vacation.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide safety
Don’t cut costs by removing or neglecting to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide exposure puts your family at serious risk before you’ve had time to act. Make sure detection systems remain in good condition and have working batteries at all times.
Heating and cooling systems
Be sure to keep your home’s heating and cooling systems in good working order. Regular maintenance is essential for the performance of these systems. If they fail, you will not only be uncomfortable, but will also end up spending money on repairs. Even worse, even more money to replace them! It costs less to maintain them, rather than replace them. Your systems should come with instructions about the proper ways and time of year to perform maintenance checks, which you can do yourself or with the help of a service professional.
Where can I cut back?
Internet, cable and phone
Some of the most expensive bills homeowners pay are Internet, cable, and phone services. However, if you move all of your accounts to the same provider, you may be able to bundle these services together and save money each month. You can also reduce these bills by canceling home phone service and relying on your cell phone to make and receive calls. You can cancel your cable service and subscribe to a cheaper entertainment provider, such as Netflix. At the very least, consider removing some luxury services from your phone or cable package, such as caller ID, call waiting, or high-definition television.
Another great way to cut back on home expenses is to trim down your electric bill. You can lower your costs by turning down your thermostat in the winter or turning it up in the summer. You can also unplug appliances when they are not in use and reduce the temperature of your hot water heater. Make sure that lights are off in rooms you are not occupying, and wash your laundry in cold water as often as possible.
Another popular strategy for reducing the bills is refinancing your home loan. Refinancing your mortgage for a lower interest rate can save you hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the value of your current rate. In some cases, you may also be able to consolidate other loans, such as personal and auto loans, to obtain a lower payment each month.
Cutting back and looking out for your well-being does not mean suffering. Simply follow these guidelines to make sure your home is safe, comfortable, and affordable throughout the year.
Author bio: Holly is a full-time student and TA studying towards her doctorate in literature and writing. She blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands but also loves making waffles and drawing a smiley face on her burger with ketchup.