When you're trying to cut expenses and save money, home is a great place to start. Maintaining a household (inside and out!) affords many opportunities for saving money on everything from lawn care to laundry detergent. Try these tips to keep your home looking great and running like a well-oiled machine while keeping expenses to a minimum.
- Do your own yard work and landscaping. Look online for ideas and guidance.
- Do your own routine maintenance: painting, minor roofing, putting up the TV antenna, etc. You can find instructions for making minor repairs online or in "do it yourself" books at the library.
- Get some of your household needs at garage/lawn/porch/stoop sales.
- Buy good quality paint. You can use less, and it will probably last longer.
- Trade your repair knowledge for your neighbor's. Bartering services and skills saves everybody money.
- Never paint outside (or inside) when the temperature falls below fifty-five degrees. The wood may not be dry, and the paint will crack later.
- Use water with ammonia or white vinegar for cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.
- If you have young children and neighbors who also have kids, you can all save money on child care by working out an arrangement in which you take turns babysitting for one another.
- Save on carpet cleaning by implementing a "no shoes on in the house" rule and by making sure kids eat all food and drinks in the kitchen or outdoors.
- Large, everyday discount stores or resale shops are great places to find high-quality, inexpensive decorative items, rugs, kitchenware and many other household goods.
- Clean out household clutter and make a few bucks at the same time by holding a garage sale once every year or two.
- When you do need professional services such as pest control or carpet cleaning, shop around and use mailer coupons to get the best deal.
As an economical consumer, you'll want to get what you pay for, so if you have experienced an unresolved issue with a company about a financial product or service, submit a complaint on the Consumer Complaint Database at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.