When we have bought our home, it is our pride and joy. We have toiled and sweated over every last detail, and once we have finished the last lick of paint we can sit back and take it easy, right? Well, actually, no. There is the small matter of keeping your home secure, as well as keeping on the right side of your home budget. You will have spent a large sum of money getting it just right, so you need to find ways to cut back where you can on your outgoings. Taking sensible approaches to maintaining your home, and to cut back on unnecessary expenditure can be done in many different ways.
Making Sense Of Your Budget
A very suitable place to begin anywhere is by looking at what your budget is and making sure that it is stuck to religiously. The first thing you can look at is your shopping list. Is there even a shopping list? Or do you “buy on the fly?” By planning ahead when it comes to your meals and what you need for each one helps to cut down, not just on your budget, but also your waste!
Another easy tip to plan ahead with meals is to have a batch cooking day once every two weeks. By making huge family favorites and sectioning them up into portions to be frozen and taken out the night before, you are saving so much time because one 8 hour session spent cooking approximately 10 days’ worth of meals (or maybe more) is worth the effort so you don’t have to spend your evening cooking once you get in from work, giving you a chance to put your feet up!
How much are you paying on your utilities? We all can find ways to cut back on our monthly bills, and with items like smart meters showing us how much we spend on our gas, water, and electricity every day, we can plan ahead in a financial sense, or put an extra layer of clothing on if we are strapped for cash! Going through your bill tariffs and seeing if you are overpaying, or if you can get onto a cheaper tariff, are two options to look at. Contact your energy suppliers and see what they can do for you, such as put you onto a cheaper tariff, or one that is on a fixed rate for a certain period of time is a simple approach. Your water supplier is dependent on where you are, but if you are looking to negotiate a payment plan, or install a water meter so you can see how much you are spending, you can obtain water company numbers, like the south west water contact number online, and speak to them directly. The utilities are the biggest expense you have once you have purchased your home, so by shopping around and making sense of how much you can reduce your bill by on a monthly basis, it could add up to a weekend away or some extra cash for Christmas!
Small (But Cheap) Maintenance Tips
There are ways to keep the energy bills down, especially over the winter months where your outgoings could be a bit more than bargained for! Purchasing thicker drapes is a method to stop your home losing heat. The cheaper drapes have thermal linings, but the thicker they are, the better. If you are handy with a sewing kit, you could sew some PVC shower curtains to your drapes. Putting special aluminum foil behind the radiators will stop the heat from escaping, or you can use kitchen foil if you cannot afford the special heat reflective foil, but, generally, it is not as effective. Keeping your thermostat at the same temperature all of the time will save you money on your heating bill. If you are thinking about turning up the heating by 1 degree, it can add around $45 to your heating bill. So, think about that next time it’s “a little bit” cold.
Securing Your Home On The Cheap
If you are as conscious about security as I am, then you may have already thought about ways to secure your home. In addition to the standard approaches, like the burglar alarm setup, there are some things to add peace of mind if you ever go away for a break. A robber spends 7 seconds deciding if they want to break into your property, so giving your home the impression that it is impenetrable is just as effective. If you have lots of valuable jewelry, investing in a combination activated security box or home safe is a cheap way keeping any valuables safe and sound. If you spend a lot of time away from home when it is dark, getting your lights to come on and off using a timer switch will give the impression that someone is in. If you can set one room to switch off at one time while another room lights up, it looks like there is someone going from one room to the next. When you are away for long periods, asking a neighbor to tidy up the mail will help too. Another method that helps is getting some motion sensors for the garden, and these lights require very little maintenance if you are not around much in the evening.
Other approaches that work wonders are simple, yet effective. Having a “beware of the dog” sign around, even if you don’t have a dog, is a handy deterrent. Or if you are looking to get a dog, that is helpful too, as robbers tend to not target homes with pets. Another neat little trick is to keep the garden neat and trimmed, which reduces the likelihood of robbers hiding in bushes, shrubs and corners.
Getting your living quarters up to speed is an essential part of buying a new home. We need to be increasingly security conscious in the modern world, and we need to be able to cut back on unnecessary expenses, so take some notes and get saving.