Small Change Adds Up
Good morning friends and happy Wednesday! You may have noticed this week on the blog that there was no 'Monday Communique' post! Due to sickness (Amelia's and myself) I just didn't have the time that I like to spend on my Monday post to devote to it. Fingers crossed that we are over the worst of it and can start getting someone to sleep through the night again!
Today I'm discussing 10 small changes you can make around your home that will add up to big savings in the long run! Let me know how you save money throughout the year in the comments or on Instagram or Facebook! I'd love to know!
1. Turn out the lights - the simple habit of turning out the lights and electronics in a room before you leave it will add up to some big savings at the end of the year.
2. Laundry - In our area of the world our electricity costs are lower during the night time hours and early mornings. I've gotten into the habit of preparing a load of laundry and using the 'Delay Start' button on my machine so it activates around 4:30AM the day before I'm scheduled to begin laundry. Although I can only really do one load in the washing machine like this at a time, it does help bring down our electricity costs throughout the year.
3. Unplug and save - There are 'energy draining' appliances and electronics that continue to consume energy even though they are not in use. I've gotten in the habit of disconnecting any appliance that isn't in use, as well as any electronic that I've finished using.
4. Appliance maintenance - I perform maintenance on our appliances weekly. This includes deep cleaning the appliance, ensuring there are no issues that need to be addressed, no leaks, no cracks etc. Keeping on top of appliances to ensure they are working at their optimal level will save you the cost of any surprise repairs or replacements.
Keep everything in top working order
Ensuring all your appliances are in top working order, and tending to them when they need minor repairs, will save you stress and money in the long run.
5. Water: Stop the flow - Even before I moved to the drought state of California I was in the habit of conserving water as much as possible. Why? Because I didn't want to pay huge amounts of money on my water bill! By implementing a few habits, like only wetting my tooth brush instead of continually streaming water, having quick showers and using water saving settings on our fridge, dishwasher and washing machine all add up to savings each year.
6. Curtain Control - In the summer months during incredibly hot days, I close all the curtains on the sun facing side of the house. Especially if we're using the air conditioning, I don't want the cool air to completely dissipate before it hits the upper level of our home. During the winter months, the curtains stay open during the day time to absorb as much direct sunlight as possible, helping heat the upper level of our home. The, as soon as the sun sets I close the curtains to keep in as much hot air as possible. Getting into the habit of working with the curtains or blinds in your home to maintain cool or hot air will save you money every season.
7. Gas use: Combining errands - This is one of my favorite ways to save money in our home. I try and lump together all my errands in one day (usually the day that I have an extra pair of hands to help with Amelia!) and I do everything in one go. I plan out what errands need to be done, the most efficient route to take and set everything out that needs to be incorporated into errand day the night before. Then, when the errand day comes I have everything ready, the most efficient way to use our cars fuel and (most importantly) the most efficient use of my time.
Save your gas by Combining your errands
Take the time to plan out your route and errands you need to run.
8. Child Care - This one is always an interesting topic to me. I have gone from absolutely no child care, to once a week kidcare, to babysitters and now as I enter September, back to kidcare at 2 days a week. When I was working out what I wanted to do with Amelia for September on, I first looked at the overall cost. We are incredibly lucky to live in a town where there is childcare available for $14.00 for 2 hours at a community center. You can only do a max of 2 hours, but that's a total cost of $7.00 per hour which is a huge bang our buck! Two mornings a week Amelia will be able to hang out with kids her age and a bit older and I will be able to sit in the community centers coffee shop and do some writing or reading and get much needed introvert alone time. When and if you're looking into childcare, research some community centers or even a small baby sitter share. Just a couple of hours a day can make a big different in not only your budget but your mental health!
9. Sinking Funds - This is a big way we save money over the year. With just a little bit of foresight and planning, we ensure we have money set aside for expenses that may be large and can sometimes be sporadic. We currently have about 10 sinking fund envelopes, which includes birthdays, Christmas gifts, gift giving, baby sitting and several more. I've worked out how much money I need to put away into the envelopes each month to meet the goals of each envelope. Spending a little bit of time and planning ahead to ensure random and sometimes large costs are taken care of will save you huge amounts of money in the future. The tendency when you get to say, Christmas time, is to spend spend spend and sometimes we tend to go way beyond budget. Having an envelope or account that's been set up with a certain amount of money in it to spend on that item will ensure that you stick to your financial goals.
10. A Walkthrough - Im a huge fan of keeping everything in top working condition and I believe routine maintenance can save you a huge amount o money in the long run. When you're purchasing or renting a house, condo or apartment there is always an initial walk through of the premises. You want to be sure you know what your signing up for and what hidden issues there may be lurking in the future. Along This vein, I like to perform a walkthrough on our home at least 2 times per year - once in the spring and once in the fall. I slowly walk around the interior and exterior of the house and make any notes of things that may need to be looked at, repaired or replaced. With my list in hand I then start prioritizing maintenance along with budgeting any large ticket expenses. Ensuring that your home is always in the best working order that it can be will (mostly!) eliminate those sudden issues that you may not have seen coming.
Walkthrough's are always important
View your home with the eyes of someone purchasing it. What needs repair? What needs to be touched up and loved?
This is just a short list of 10 things you can do to save money throughout your year. There are dozens of other ways that you can save including couponing, using cash back apps, wholesale memberships, solar energy... the list truly goes on and on!
How are you saving your money? What small changes have you implemented in your life and home to keep as much money in your pocket as possible? Let me know in the comments!