We should always be looking for ways to lower our costs. Improperly managing home expenses can reduce funds available for other investments, including tax liens or deeds and a higher education. Taking a moment to think about where you can not only cut funds, but also prevent expenditures, is an important exercise you should implement regularly.
Let’s consider something that often flies under the radar…this is your monthly energy bill. An easy and fast way to reduce energy costs is to make sure your home is energy efficient. This includes properly insulating doors and windows, which can make a huge difference, and can also help you save after a small initial investment in their improvements or repairs.
Now let’s discuss ways to make an even bigger dent in your expenses. Begin paying down your 30-year monthly note faster. You don’t necessarily have to take out a 15 or 20-year mortgage, just make your normal payment plus principal for the following months payment. If ever you have a tight month then pay it at its normal rate. This is of course a long-term strategy so you won’t feel any immediate effects.
When it comes to reducing costs, I often bring up the latte example at the 3-day workshops. Think about how often you go out for a fancy coffee. Let’s estimate 4 days out of your workweek you stop by that welcoming coffee shop just down the street from you on your way to work. Each day you spend $3 there (excluding any tip, or pastry). In a month you have spent almost $50 just on coffee! Don’t forget that tasty pastry that you spoil yourself with from time to time. What I hope you see is that everything adds up, so being more conscious as to what you buy where is crucial to reducing monthly costs whether on treats or things around the house.
The key to keeping monthly or yearly costs within reason is to have a plan. To prevent expensive home maintenance needs from sneaking up on you, set up a schedule where you check up on everything from appliances to the gutters. There is no cost to complete these inspections if you do them yourself. By doing preventative work you’ll be eliminating the opportunity for costs to stack up. Getting work done in advance will help you save over time. Another motivating factor for taking care of your home is that all of the work you put in regularly will help maintain or improve its resale value.