5 Important Money Saving Tips for Homeowners

Written by on January 15, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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For many, the reality of home ownership is the culmination of a dream. But with today’s sagging economy, finding the money to meet the many expenses associated with home ownership can be very challenging.

Although it would be nice to be able to make extra money, a more practical solution to the problem is to find ways to hold onto more of the money you are currently bringing in. With that goal in mind, here are 5 important money saving tips that homeowners can start using right now.

Shop around for homeowners insurance

Aside from special coverage you may desire or need, most homeowner’s insurance policies provide the same umbrella of coverage. The biggest difference is going to be the cost. Don’t be afraid of a policy with a higher deductible.

These types of policies can save you substantially on your monthly premiums. In addition, bundling other policies such as your auto insurance with your homeowner’s policy could qualify you for additional discounts. Thanks to the Internet, comparison-shopping for homeowner’s insurance is fairly straightforward and won’t take that much time.

Plus your efforts will be well rewarded as shopping around can save you a lot of money. If you are happy with your current coverage, make sure you present any prospective insurance companies with a copy of your current policy to make sure you keep the same coverage.

Become a “do-it-yourselfer”

Aside from electrical work, major plumbing, and heavy construction, there is not much that able-bodied homeowners cannot do for themselves these days. And it’s a good thing because home ownership presents a whole new list of problems—problems you can no longer pass on to the landlord like you did when you were renting.

Armed with information, instructions, and DIY videos easily found on the Internet, it’s easier than ever to learn new skills and successfully tackle new projects. From fixing water heaters to installing new flooring, doing it yourself—the right way and with the right supplies— will save you serious cash.

As you acquire the necessary skills, you’ll be able to renovate much of your home yourself, which will not only save you a ton of money, but also boost the value of your property.

Buy used or “scratch and dent” appliances

When you buy a home or do a DIY upgrade or renovation, buying new appliances can really drain your bank account. Buying used appliances is one alternative that can save you the most money—but this can be risky, as it’s difficult to really know what are buying—even from a source you trust. If possible, it’s best to test a used appliance before you buy it.

An even better alternative that eliminates the risk is to buy new appliances that have scratches or dents. While such blemishes are only cosmetic and do not affect the new appliances performance and reliability, they will often result in deep discounts.

And once the “flawed” appliance occupies its proper place in your home, the scratch or ding may not even show and it will look even better than new as you think of the hundreds of dollars you were able to save.

Find ways to reduce your electric bill

One of the great things about being a homeowner is that you are free to make any money saving changes and improvements you desire. One area where you can change a few things and save a lot of money is electricity. Making your home more energy efficient not only saves you money now, but it can make your home more desirable and valuable should you put it on the market in the future.

You can improve energy savings further by sealing around windows and cracks, installing new insulation, getting a new water heater, or making other upgrades to improve energy efficiency. You can also save on your water bill by switching to low flow faucets and toilets, and other new appliances like HE (high efficiency) washing machines.

Landscape with regional plants

Every homeowner wants a beautifully landscaped yard with lush lawns and plush flowerbeds. And landscaping with regional plants, flowers, and grass gives you the desired results while saving both money and time.

Not only do regional plants, flowers, and lawns cost less than more exotic “out of region” varieties, they flourish in their native climate while requiring far less water, maintenance, and money to maintain.

This is a guest post. David Glenn is a home improvement expert of over 20 years.  He occasionally freelance writes for Budget Direct, an Australian insurance company that focuses on “cutting the cost, not the cover”.  Check out Budget Direct for a great home insurance quote.

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