Trying to save money can be a difficult challenge for many people, especially if you have children. According to a recent Bankrate.com survey, one in five American have nothing in savings. There are plenty of strategies you can use to put some extra cash aside. Here are tips for your family to save money on your home.
Lower Homeowners Insurance
The homeowners insurance policy you signed up for when you purchased your family home may not contain the coverage you need currently. You may want to consider reviewing your policy and make sure you’re not paying for more coverage than you need. Bundling your home and auto insurance together could save you money each month. Certain states will significantly lower your monthly insurance payments if you make certain upgrades, such as installing a metal roof or investing in solar panels. In some states, like Texas, a metal roof can even lower your homeowner’s insurance by 35%. Resist the urge to file any insurance claims for repairs that would cost under $1,000 to fix to avoid an increase in your premiums.
Reduce Water Usage
Water usage can spike up your household costs quickly, especially with kids. Find ways to reduce water usage by lowering your water heater temperature, shutting off water when brushing your teeth, and doing laundry during off peak hours. Check plumbing for leaks and grout for cracks that can cause water damage. You can also save money by watering your lawn with an inch of water once per week.
Keep Up on Household Maintenance
Keeping up on regular household maintenance can save you thousands of dollars. It’s important to spot potential problems early and take of them right away. For example, approximately 14,000 people in the U.S. experience a water damage emergency every day while they are at home or at work. Have a home inspection performed every year so you can identify issues that you need to take care of before they become too expensive. Clean your gutters, inspect walls for leaks and caulk in the kitchen, and shower to help prevent water damage from occurring.
Apply for Housing Vouchers
If you’re a low-income family, you may be struggling to make payments to own or rent a home. Within the past decade, the government has invested approximately $35 billion in meaningful use incentives to healthcare providers. The data that’s collected by this program is used to improve assistance programs for those on welfare. Housing vouchers help pay home rental costs and you may even qualify for a housing tax credit to save more money.
Change Your Furnace Filter
Changing your furnace filter regularly can save you up to $60 per year. It will also prolong the lifespan of your furnace, which can save you from expensive repairs or replacement. You can DIY this yourself by replacing the filter each month you use the year or once a year if the filter is also used for air conditioning. Have your furnace and air conditioning units inspected by a professional at least once a year to ensure optimal performance. They can assist with additional cleaning and maintenance tasks to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Maximize Your Home’s Equity
If you’re carrying high interest credit card debt, you can use your family home’s equity to pay it off faster so you can save more money. You can use a cash-out refinance at a much lower interest rate to pay off the credit cards. This will help you consolidate several payments into one per month and potentially boost your credit score.
Get Free Stuff from Utility Providers
Your utility company offers several energy efficient solutions to help you save money on your home. There is plenty of free stuff you can receive from them to lower your monthly costs. Utility providers offer free usage assessments, faucet aerators, energy efficient light bulbs, and water saving showerheads. You can use these items to improve family health and spend less every month on utilities.
Appeal Property Tax Assessment Value
If your family home has recently decreased in value, you may want to check your property assessment value to ensure it’s not higher than market value. This can save you money on the amount of property taxes you pay each year. If you believe your property assessment value isn’t reasonable, you can apply for a reassessment.
Make Extra Mortgage Payments
Paying your mortgage down faster can help you save money quicker in the future. Consider paying half of your mortgage payment b-weekly instead of one payment each month. With 52 weeks in a year, doing it this way will equal 13 full monthly payments. You can make an extra payment without really noticing it and knock years off your mortgage. Be sure to check with your lender first because they might charge a fee for biweekly payments, which would negate your efforts.
If you can’t do biweekly payments, you can get creative with making extra payments to reduce your interest rate. Use any windfalls you receive from bonuses or your birthday to make an extra payment or two. Every little bit can help you pay this debt off faster so you can save more money. Make sure that any extra payments you make are applied to the principal and not the interest.
Stocking up on groceries when they’re on sale can save you up to 25% on your household food bill each year. Skip one of your grocery runs a month and live off the food you’ve stockpiled. Look for coupons and price matching to save money on non-perishable food. Freeze meat and bread to help it last longer. By reducing your grocery bill, you can save hundreds of dollars every year.
Saving money as a family can take some time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. You’ll have peace of mind with a little extra cash in the bank. Saving money can also help keep your family healthy and put less strain on your relationships. Use these tips to start saving money on your home today!