As a homeowner, you will be dealing with constant expenses that are both predictable and unpredictable. While having an emergency fund is important to handle unpredictable expenses, you can also lower your monthly expenses and save money in different ways. Deliberately finding ways to save money will ensure you can live solidly within your means, which will set you up for a comfortable financial future.
Here are six ways to slash your utility bills and save money on everyday expenses.
1. Get your HVAC system maintained annually.
A faulty furnace or air conditioner can cause your utility bills to be higher because they will be running more than they need to in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. Inefficient systems can have a significant impact on monthly utility costs. Additionally, sudden break-downs means you will need emergency repair services, which will cost more than regularly scheduled maintenance checks. While you can’t control electric rates, you can control how much electricity you are using by ensuring your HVAC systems are running as well as possible. By scheduling an annual maintenance check on your HVAC system, you can ensure everything is clean and ready to work. You can also be warned of potential problems before they become costly and frustrating.
2. Ensure you are paying appropriate property taxes.
Property values change over time, which means sometimes they decrease. If your property value has decreased, but your property taxes have not, you need to have your property reevaluated. You can look up your property on county auditor sites to see what your property is valued at, as well as historical value. If you need to know how to find the tax records for properties online, you can start with a simple search of your address on property listings. Tax records are public information, and as the property owner, you should research in case you need to request an assessor come out.
3. Cancel unneeded subscriptions.
There are many subscription-based products and services that people sign up for and then stop utilizing after a couple of weeks or months. However, they keep paying for those subscriptions thinking they’ll use them, or they simply forget they are paying for them. You can save money by canceling all subscriptions that you are not actively using regularly. Carefully watch your bank account and credit cards for charges that may be occurring on a weekly or monthly basis. If you do not remember what they are for, investigate it, and cancel it.
4. Take a serious look at your windows, doors, and insulation.
Old windows and doors, and poor insulation are the most significant energy losses within a home that will make the HVAC units run constantly. This will cause your monthly utility expenses to increase, as well as cause your furnace and air conditioner to wear down faster. Replacing windows and doors will reduce energy bills but encompass a significant investment. Many companies will allow you to set up payment in installments to space out the expense. You can reduce your electric usage by increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
5. Reduce driving when possible.
Increasing gas prices and wear and tear on your vehicle are significant expenses that can be reduced by simply reducing the amount of driving you to do. This may include getting a job that allows you to work from home at least part of the time. You can utilize delivery services for your groceries and pharmacy needs, or you can choose activities with your family and friends at home, as opposed to going out.
6. Utilize mobile money-saving apps.
Several apps offer money-back on products you are already spending money on, such as groceries, clothes, and home goods. The key to really saving money is to avoid the urge to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy simply because there is a discount through the app.