save money at home

Save Money at Home: 19 Easy Ways to Cut Costs

The cost of goods and services is continuing to rise, making it harder to stay on budget. While there are many ways to cut costs as you go about your daily activities, are there specific steps you can take to save money at home?

The answer is a resounding YES! Here are some easy strategies to reduce your costs without leaving the house (and potentially even your couch).

1. Use an Adjustable Thermostat

The highest utility cost in our house is gas. Our central heating system uses natural gas, as most do. Using a programmable thermostat has been one of the biggest ways we’ve been able to save money at home.

Programing your thermostat can also save you money on heat. You only need to keep the house warm if you are home, so shut your heater off if you leave. Or, if you are asleep, put on extra blankets and turn down the temperature a few degrees.

This trick is twofold. First, it saves you a bunch of money. Second, it saves the environment. It’s a win-win situation!

2. Get Your Inbox to Zero

Some long-time readers may remember a series of posts I wrote called “inbox clutter week.” The goal was to wrangle and manage my emails to have an empty inbox. It inspired me to launch a free week-long course! You can sign up using this simple form:

Marketing permission: I give my consent to Personal Profitability to be in touch with me via email using the information I have provided in this form for the purpose of news, updates and marketing.

Missing important emails can cost you serious money. If you miss a notification from your bank or credit card company, you could lose hundreds of dollars due to missed payments and late fees, not to mention the implications this can have on your credit score.

Plus, having tons of marketing emails landing in your inbox can cause you to spend money on things you don’t need. Hit the unsubscribe button, and then delete those unnecessary emails.

Inbox clutter can also suck up a lot of time and cause completely unnecessary stress. Avoid the stress and save money with better inbox management.

3. Watch Your Bills

I was once charged for Comcast cable TV equipment that I had returned, but it wasn’t credited to my account. Fortunately, the Comcast customer service rep on the phone found a record of my return and credited my account.

Another time, I checked my bank statements and saw that I had been charged twice for my monthly bill with Qwest. On a separate occasion, one of my doctors told me once that he had spent months paying for insurance on a car he didn’t own.

The moral of these stories? Sit on your couch and review your statements for a few minutes every month. If something looks wrong, call the company.

It is not rocket science and can save you a ton of money.

4. Hire (or Don’t Hire) a Maid

A clean house is essential to peace of mind, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to clean. As a result, some people wonder whether or not hiring a maid is worthwhile.

In my area, maids charge about $30 per hour. Do you value your time at more than $30 per hour? If you are paid more than that at your job, then the answer is yes. Or, if you can take on side gigs that pay more than that per hour, the answer is also yes.

However, consider if you use every hour productively and ask yourself if you can find two hours to clean your home. You must decide what your time is worth and whether it is better to use your time to clean or your money to have your house cleaned.

If money is super tight, it’s likely best to DIY. But, if you know you can use the time you spend cleaning more productively to increase your wealth, a maid could be worth it by saving you time that you can use to earn more money.

5. Secure Your Online Life

This tip is an unorthodox way to save money at home, but when you are hanging out on the couch after a long day at work, take the time to secure your online life and protect your finances in the process.

Using unique passwords is a critical way to do this. I have custom passwords for almost every website I use. Each one is a randomized alpha-numeric 15-character password. I don’t know them, and they are nearly impossible to guess, so a brute-force attack would be futile.

Remembering these passwords is impossible. There is no way to remember one of them, let alone all of them. So, I use LastPass to manage my passwords. That one password to my Lastpass account is the last one I ever had to remember.

By securing your online life, you can save time and potentially money by making it incredibly difficult for hackers to access your accounts. The last thing you want is someone breaking into your online banking and draining your accounts.

6. Save Money Shaving

I hate shaving. The only thing I hate more is the scratchy, pokey, itchy feeling you get when you don’t shave for a few days. So, I shave, and it can get expensive.

While doing the whole social media thing, I saw multiple friends trying out a company called the “Dollar Shave Club.” Once a month, you get a cartridge with four fresh blades in the mail. You can buy basic blades (plus shipping) or premium blades.

Each month, your new cartridges show up like clockwork. Not only can this save you money, but you also don’t need to think about ordering more razors or leaving the house to pick up another pack at your nearest drugstore.

7. Fix Your Leaky Showerhead

I once had a small plumbing issue that needed attention. People often pay $100 just for a plumber to walk in the door. 

Fortunately, I was able to fix my leaky shower head on my own and save money in the process. Here’s a quick “how to” video I recorded of the repair. Hopefully, it can help you save money at home if you encounter the same problem!

8. Clear Your Pipes

It’s essential to check your radiators regularly and bleed them when necessary. Also, clear your drains and the gutters to prevent blockages that could require an expensive visit from a professional to fix.

One simple and chemical-free method to ensure your drains are clear is to use a homemade baking soda and boiling water solution. Pour one cup of baking soda into the pipe, followed by three cups of boiling water.

Then, you can follow that with a cup of vinegar to create a fizzing action that can dislodge any existing blockages.

9. Refresh Exterior Paintwork

The harsh wind and rain of winter or the blazing summer sun can damage exterior paintwork, so ensure your house’s paint is in optimum condition. Sand down paintwork and give it another coat of hard-wearing exterior paint to increase protection if needed.

Don’t wait for paintwork to start flaking before you act. Prevention is always best, and the last thing that you want is for rot to set in on your window frames, doors, and any other exterior woodwork.

10. Check Your Roof Tiles

High winds, rain, and snow mean that your roof can take a beating. Not only can losing tiles off of your roof cause damage to your home and let water in, but falling roof tiles are also hazardous.

Check your roof tiles and ensure they are all secure before they become a more costly problem.

11. Set Up Online Bill Pay

When I changed banks to online-only banking, I knew I wanted to keep my money organized. You all know how I like to use aggregators to keep everything in one place. Unsurprisingly, online bill pay is exciting for someone like me.

Bill pay is not only a cool tool for paying your bills, but you can even get your bills there. Most credit card, phone, internet, TV, and utility providers work with banks to deliver your bill automatically via bill pay.

Once you are set up, you don’t have to log into one website to pay for your cell phone, a different site for your internet, another for each credit card, and your other bank’s site for your mortgage. You can do those all from one place.

Plus, you can automatically pay your bills, so you never miss a payment. This can help you avoid late fees. So, the next time you are home watching your favorite TV show, set up online bill pay. It’s an easy way to save money at home while sitting on your couch.

save money at home

12. DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If something breaks at your house, you might be able to fix it yourself. I am not an overly handy guy, but I have installed and removed toilets, changed locks, repaired cabinets, and done a handful of other tasks around the house with no problems.

That said, before you do any work on your house, make sure you have the proper skills. For example, if you are working on anything electrical, it is important you don’t injure yourself or burn your house down. If you don’t know how to do electrical, don’t do it. Call a professional instead.

For more cosmetic-based projects, it might be worth trying to DIY since you won’t risk substantial damage to your home. However, the final result might not look as good as hiring a professional.

13. Know When to Buy vs. Rent Tools

If you own your own home, you might like to do upgrades yourself. Chances are you have a standard toolset, but the day will come when you need a more substantial tool for your projects.

For example, let’s say you decide to install your own hardwood floor. Buying a flooring nailer would cost you over $400. If you use it for three projects over ten years, you are looking at over $130 per use. A rental will only run about $50-$60 daily, so renting is the better choice.

Alternately, if you do regular woodworking projects, investing in a portable saw for $200 might make more sense. If you use it once a year for five years, you have easily broken even on buying this over renting it.

When you are on the fence about buying or renting an expensive tool, analyze the cost to rent vs. buy. First, come up with a realistic estimate of how often you would really use it. Don’t overestimate. You know yourself and how often you actually do DIY projects.

Divide the purchase cost by the number of times you will use the tool over a reasonable lifespan. Then, figure out the price to rent it that many times. If the cost to buy is lower, buy away. If not, you are better off renting to save money.

14. Make Money Cleaning Out Your Home

Regardless of when you do it, cleaning out your home from time to time is important. Some people love it, while others hate it. Regardless, it can be a good practice. Not only can you reduce junk in your house, but you may also find ways to make money while doing it. 

When you find items you no longer want that are in good condition, you can try selling them on sites like Craigslist, eBay, OfferUp, Nextdoor, or Facebook Marketplace. This might not necessarily be a way to save money at home, but it’s putting money in your pocket.

You could also donate items you no longer want. While this doesn’t have immediate savings benefits, itemizing your deductions could lead to savings when tax season rolls around.

15. Change Your Light Bulbs

Are you ready for an easy project to save money at home and help the environment? Change your light bulbs!

The cost of an incandescent bulb is cheap compared to the energy it uses. While the bulbs cost about $1.25 each, electricity costs about $300 over the bulb’s lifespan. They might be cheap to put all over the house, but they are not cheap forever.

Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) cost more upfront than their incandescent predecessors. They cost about $4.00 each, which is four times more than an equivalent power incandescent bulb. However, they only use $70 in power over the bulb’s lifespan.

It’s also important to note that the lifetime of the two bulbs is different. The life of 42 incandescent bulbs is the same as five CFLs. Each CFL lasts more than eight times longer than the average incandescent bulb and uses far less power.

While 25 incandescent bulbs cost $8,812 over their lives, the same number of CFLs cost $2,244. The CFLs will save you about $6,570 over their lifetimes.

save money at home

16. Relax at Home

I’m a sucker for a night on the town. I love the lights and sounds of nightclubs. The thumping bass and the pulse of the crowd are a rush! But I don’t like the cost of a round of high-priced drinks that can easily break $50 for me and a few friends.

You can save money at home by simply staying home. Rather than chase the parties, I hang out at home with my beautiful wife and have a great weekend without spending a dime. We enjoy movie nights, puzzles, games, and cooking meals together.

17. Save on Utilities

If you want to save money at home by cutting costs on utilities, it is easier than you might think. You can start by improving your windows and insulation. 

Did you know that 42% of energy costs within a home go to heating and cooling? You can seal your windows and doors with caulk and weather stripping to save money.

To step up your utility-saving game, OhmConnect is a free service that helps you save energy and pays you to do it! It will notify you when the power grid is stressed so you can temporarily reduce your energy usage. If you are successful, the company will pay you! 

If you want to cut your water use, you can get a low-flow toilet and put on a low-flow shower head. Water-efficient toilets can save 25% or more of your annual water consumption. Plus, a low-flow shower head can cut your water use in the shower by 50% to 70%.

18. Reduce Cable and Internet Costs

You don’t need cable to live. It is hard for some people to believe, but unlike food, water, and shelter, you can do just fine without cable or satellite TV. I cut the cord and saved over $100 per month!

If you don’t want to cut the cord, call your cable provider and ask for a discount. Ask to speak to someone else if the customer service representative you are talking to doesn’t want to provide one.

In general, most cable companies have deals they can offer current subscribers as “retention discounts.” Customer acquisition costs are high, so if they can keep a customer with a discount, it is cheaper than losing someone and trying to get them back later.

When it comes to internet service, shop around for the best deals. For example, in my area, you could get service from Spectrum for about $50 per month or opt for Verizon at $35 per month. It pays to do your research.

19. Cut Costs on Appliances

When it is time to buy your next appliances to use around the house, get high-quality, energy-efficient appliances. Cheap appliances don’t last as long (or do as good of a job). Investing in quality means you will have a better result that lasts a long time. 

Appliances are also huge energy users. Refrigerators run 24 hours a day. Washers and dryers have enormous energy needs. While it might be a higher cost upfront, finding low-energy-rated appliances can save you a lot of money in the long haul.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways you can save money at home. Sometimes, they take a little effort. Other times, they can be done from the comfort of your sofa.

If you are having trouble staying on budget, consider using one or more of these strategies to keep more money in your wallet!

Save Money at Home: 19 Easy Ways to Cut Costs
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