Reduce Your Home Ownership Expenses With These Tips
- Refinance to take advantage of low interest rates
- Cut the time left on your mortgage. Consider taking on a 15-year option. You’ll save on interest over the long term.
- Pay half of your monthly mortgage every two weeks. Doing so will also help you save on interest.
- Reduce your private mortgage insurance. If you made only a small down payment, you may be able to drop some (or all) of the insurance after you pay down your mortgage to about 80% of the principal, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Save On Utilities
- Keep the thermostat level, and make sure it works properly. If your house feels cold but you've jacked up the thermostat, you’ll want to figure out why quickly.
- Set the thermostat no higher than 68 degrees in winter and no lower than 78 in summer.
- Consider high-tech solutions. Some thermostats can be programmed to lower during times when no one is home. Set your lights on timers.
- Close blinds in summer, and weatherproof windows in winter.
- Monitor your fridge—keep your freezer full and clean the appliance’s coils regularly.
- Run loads back-to-back in your clothes dryer so that the dryer will remain warm from the previous cycle.
Save On Water
- Bathroom: Fix any leaking toilets or faucets and install flow-restricting showerheads.
- Kitchen: Run full loads in your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry.
- Laundry: Wash full loads as they use less water than multiple small loads.
Learn To DIY
- Curtains: They’re simple to sew if their design involves straight lines.
- Cabinets: If you aren't looking to replace your cabinets but want a simple update, try refinishing or repainting them yourself.
- Gutters: If your gutters are easy to reach, it takes only a small amount of time to clear them of debris. Do this regularly, and you could spare yourself a significant headache down the road.