The price of running a home goes up a great deal when you don’t have control over the cost of your utilities. The price tag on these bills runs the average home dweller $300 or $400 a month. That adds up. The good news is these expenses don’t have to cost as much as they do. If you want to reduce the amount you pay on your monthly utility bills, then consider trying the following three tips.
Make Repairs Around Your House
Keeping your home in good shape helps you to save money on utility bills in the long run. Performing tasks like replacing the filter on your AC unit and sealing the cracks in the windows or doors means that your appliances don’t have to work quite as hard. High Quality Home Maintenance recommends making regular repairs to the exterior of your home because having a durable roof reduces utility costs.
It’s not enough to merely turn off your appliances when you want to save money on your utility bills. It’s best to unplug appliances and electronics when you can. Items like computers, electronic games, and other devices suck up a lot of energy and can cost you an extra $100 or more over the course of the year. Save the $100 by unplugging these items when they’re not in use.
Go Low Tech
It’s tempting to crank up the heat in the winter or the air conditioning in the summer. However, these appliances cost a great deal of money to run and there are cheaper alternatives. When it gets cold outside, put on a sweater, and sit under a blanket in the evening. When it’s hot outside, keep the blinds and doors closed. Use fans instead of air conditioning most of the time. SunSetter Awnings recommends putting awnings and shades on the windows on the outside of the house. These items provide an extra shield against the sun, making it easier to keep your home cool.
It is possible to save a chunk of money on your utility bills, but doing so takes a bit of forethought as well as some specific strategies for lowering costs. By implementing the ideas in this post, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year. After all, any repairs you have to make in the name of saving money will pay for themselves over the course of time.
Looking for more ways to save money? Check out our grocery coupons.
When looking to add a new member to your family, adopting a puppy is always a great option to have. They can be sweet and cuddly, and they are very loyal and protective. Like a child, there is a lot that goes into adopting and taking care of your new pet. You have to have a specific budget set in place, and you should also prepare your home for your new companion, so if you are looking to adopt a puppy, here are a few things you should consider so that you may be prepared.
As mentioned, adopting a dog can be very exciting, but you should always consider how much it will cost. Adoption fees can vary based on the dog’s breed, age, and location. However it is possible to adopt your new furry friend for free.
Since dog shelters are not government funded, the cost to adopt your puppy depends on the owner of the shelter. Some owners may charge $200 to $500 while other owners may just want to get the puppy into a safe home quickly, so they either give the puppy away for free or charge a small fee such as $20 or $50. The shelters that charge little to nothing will usually encourage people to donate money if they are able to. Shelters that do charge higher fees usually provide everything the puppy needs to be sent to a new home. This can include vaccines and other veterinary exams. Higher fees could also mean the money is used to care for the other animals who have not found a home. Puppies typically cost more than adult dogs, but it all depends on where you go. You can use a national animal shelter database to find a puppy near you.
If the puppy breed you want costs a couple of hundred dollars or more, it is always wise to save and look for the best options. When people think of adopting a dog, they tend to automatically think of animal shelters, but you can actually find puppies to adopt in other places, and they may be cheaper. You can find Facebook groups for people who house and rescue dogs. You can also attend an adoption event. Organizations such as PetSmart Charities have a National Adoption Weekend four times a year, and Petco stores host adoption events for rescue groups.
You can also find coupons that will help you pay for your puppy and things it will need. The objective is to get these loving animals into homes, so it is possible to find a great deal. If you still need ways to raise money to adopt your puppy then you and your kids could have a car wash, start a bake sale, or even have a garage/yard sale. Another method is to become a dog sitter. This will not only help you raise money but give you valuable experience taking care of a dog.
Preparing Your Home
Once you have enough money to adopt your puppy and cover other expenses such as food, toys, and visits to the vet, you should turn your focus to your home. Experts suggest it’s vital to prepare your home and your family for puppies. You may need to make some adjustments to make your home puppy proof.
Put away any floor plants, shoes, clothing, and any other decorations that may be on the floor. Your puppy can get ahold of these and ruin them. Get your family into the habit of closing all closets and putting away book bags, shoes, and other items they may leave on the floor. Lock and put away all hazardous materials such as medicine and cleaning products. Just as these shouldn’t be accessible to your children, they also shouldn’t be in a puppy’s reach Store all electric cords and put away all small toys and other small items your puppy may choke on. Fence all escape routes in your yard and house so that your puppy doesn’t get into places it shouldn’t.
Once your house is puppy proof, you should also set rules for your family if you have children. Set a schedule for your puppy and allow your children to be apart. Set a time to walk and feed your dog and set up an area for your puppy’s bedding and bathroom. A puppy can be a great way to teach your children the concept of responsibility.
When you are ready to adopt your new puppy, you should also consider the amount of money you will have to spend each year to maintain your new family member’s needs. The average cost of expenses for a small dog in the first year is approximately $1,400. To save money, buy your puppy food in bulk. Look for coupons to help you save money on food and other essential needs. You can typically find coupons on your go-to dog brand’s website. Another money-saving option is to groom your puppy at home instead of going to a pet groomer. To avoid costly visits to the vet, keep your dog healthy by exercising and keeping up with your puppy’s shots.
One thing that ends up costing a lot is dog training. You can also attempt to train your dog yourself if you don’t want to spend the money on a trainer. There are a lot of resources available to help you train your dog. You can find books online or at your local library or use YouTube. The internet is a good resource for training because people tend to be more honest about their experiences and share the different tactics that work for them. You can also find information specific to your breed of dog and your living situation.
Once you have a budget for your puppy and have prepared your home, you are all ready to adopt your puppy. Remember to always do your research on the puppy you are interested in and the shelter you are adopting your dog from, and most importantly have fun. Congratulations on your new family member!
If you have decided to sell your house and move somewhere else, there are some steps that you should take before you list your property for sale. There are often some minor repairs and changes that should be made in order to increase the value. This will also help increase your chances of selling in a short period of time. There are some very specific things that attract buyers to your home if you’re selling.
Plenty of Storage Space
Adding storage is a great way to help your home stand out among the others on the market. The key is to make it look natural and go with the style and look of the home. A construction company can help with the construction of storage space before you’re ready to move. They can also help you get ample storage in your new location. If your current home doesn’t have a lot of closet space or pantry space, this is a great way to make your home more tempting to buyers.
Keep It Neutral
There’s nothing worse than viewing a home for sale, only to find out that there’s a ton of cosmetic work that will be needed when you close. Very bold and dark colors can be a turnoff to buyers. It might seem simple to paint over it, but there can be a lot of work involved in priming over a dark color and then painting it. It’s a good idea to keep your home neutral. This way, your home will be move-in ready.
No Repairs or Upcoming Replacements
It’s difficult to sell a home if a buyer knows that they’re going to need to invest thousands of dollars in repairs on top of the purchase price. If you know there are some parts of your home that need to be fixed, it’s a good idea to complete these tasks before you try to sell. This could include something as simple as a leaky faucet. You could also be aware that your home needs a new roof. Even though you’re going to be leaving soon, it might be wise to replace the roof now. This prevents a buyer from having to think about that expense themselves.
You don’t have to remodel and redecorate your entire home before you list it for sale in order to make for a quick sale process. In fact, some minor changes are all you need to worry about. This will make your home more tempting to someone who wants to buy and close quickly.
Here’s another article you might like: 4 Strategies for Reviewing a Mortgage Policy
You’ve been planning for the long-awaited getaway. Destination, schedule, and itinerary are coming together. Saving money while you’re at it would be amazing, wouldn’t it? Here are a few suggestions to help you plan the financial side of your vacation.
Use Credit Cards
The piggy bank image often comes to mind when people talk about saving for a vacation. However, the reality is that most people use a debit card or credit card to pay for reservations, meals and activities while on vacation. Many times, cashback and travel service options make credit cards especially beneficial for travelers. Some of the travel perks are standard features of regular credit cards. For example, many credit cards provide car rental insurance for cars rented with the card. Additional travel services are offered by travel-specific credit cards.
Rent a Smaller Car
For a road trip, it’s a great feeling to load everything into a clean, shiny rental car. It will be tempting to opt for the cargo space and legroom offered by a vehicle that’s larger than yours. But, it’s worth considering that many smaller, more efficient cars provide significant fuel savings. Economy cars can typically have a fuel economy of 35 mpg or even better. By saving money on your rental car, you can have more money in your travel budget for additional activities, pricier food, or even just to save for later. If you and your family can make a smaller car work, by the end of the trip you’ll be happy with your savings.
Plan Ahead for Tourist Attractions
When you choose your destination, start planning for the meals and attractions you’ll be enjoying on your trip. Plenty of online coupons and discounts are available to save you money if you plan ahead. Many vacation memories will be found in the new places you go and the favorite places you revisit. Look for a visitor’s center website for the area where you’ll be vacationing, and plan some activities before you go. Read a travel blog and find a blogger who’s been to the places you’re going. This can give you inside information on some of the attractions you’ll want to visit, and you can look for deals and discounts before you go.
Traveling will provide you and your family with rich experiences and special memories. Saving money on your vacation gives you the extra bonus of making it possible to do more of what you love. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a great time.
One of the most important elements of raising a healthy and secure family is ensuring that the finances are in solid standing. Here are three financial mistakes that you should avoid as a family.
Not Practicing Financial Security
Your finances should always be kept secure and protected. Keep in mind that identity theft can happen to anyone, so you should take steps to minimize your risk of identity theft. Monitoring your credit reports and other financial activity can help you to identify possible identity thefts before too much damage is done. You should also always try to use a credit card instead of a debit card when making online purchases. It is easier to recoup the charges on a credit card than a debit card should an identity thief get control of your information, and you won’t have to deal with facing a drained bank account.
Paying More Than You Have To
It is easy to pay more for goods and services than you need to if you are not careful with your budgeting. Knowing the best rates for products and services will keep you informed so that you do not spend more than you need to. Take advantage of sales and coupons in order to save money on the things that you purchase regularly. It is simple to compare prices when shopping online, ensuring that you always get the best deal. Be sure to shop around when pricing out services like internet, cable, and insurance. These prices can vary widely between vendors.
Setting a Poor Example
Kids are extremely impressionable, and their parents serve as their primary role models as they grow up and mature. One of the most common financial mistakes that many parents make is not setting a good example for their children about being responsible with money. Children who see their mom and dad living paycheck to paycheck and using their credit card as a bank account will tend to grow up thinking that this is a normal and acceptable situation. Instead, you want to model responsible budgeting for fiscal responsibility for your children so that they learn how to manage their own finances in the future.
Savvy family leaders understand the importance of putting the health of your finances at the forefront of priorities. Not only will you ensure the financial security of your family, but you will also set a good example for your children.
If you’re looking for more money-saving tips, check out this article: How to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home
While prepping your car for winter may seem easy, knowing what to focus on can sometimes be a mystery. From making sure your engine is in good condition to prepping your tires for snow and ice, there are a few specifics you need to focus on. Here are some items for you to keep in mind when preparing for cold weather.
In between the months of the scorching summer sun and the freezing snow and ice, your windshield takes a beating. Particularly, in the winter, you need to make sure your windshield can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Replace your wiper blades with ones that can clear rain and snow. In addition, check for any cracks in your windshield that could buckle under the heavy weight of piled-up snow.
Check Your Tires
Depending on where you live and how much snow you get, you might want to opt for snow tires. This is especially important if you reside in an area known for heavy snowfall. It’s never a good idea to attempt driving on tires that lack tread. Newer tires offer deeper tread patterns that not only provide a smoother ride when the roads are dry but also make your tires more effective for driving through snow. You may also want to consider adding tire chains if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow and ice. You can always have them removed when winter is over.
Energize Your Battery
With temperatures often falling below freezing, it’s not uncommon for car batteries to die. In fact, even new car batteries can lose their charge more quickly in extreme cold. Make a point of checking how much of a charge your battery has on a regular basis. Your local mechanic can do this in less than five minutes. If found to be too low, they can charge it, ensuring you’re not left stranded.
Check the Undercarriage
You also need to look under your car and make sure that everything is intact. Low-lying mufflers and exhaust systems are prone to falling off when trying to drive over mounds of snow. If you’re car-savvy, have a look at the undercarriage, and look for any panels that need tightening as well.
Whether you’re knee-deep in snow already or still waiting for the first flake to fall, it’s never too early or late to prepare your car for winter. While it’s usually better to have seasonal maintenance performed before the winter begins, you should take the necessary precautions at any time. By doing this, you can ensure your safety while driving in those harsh, winter conditions.
For more safe driving tips, read on here!