We should all strive to be this person:
· Willing to get hands dirty
· Finding ways to save money around the home
These two traits go a long way especially when it’s as simple as fixing a plumbing problem or undertaking big projects that save money. You know, money that’s better spent on the “big wins” which increase the home value and give financial stability.
It got me thinking about the other ways you and I could save money around the home. So, here are a few obvious (and not so obvious) weekend projects that could pay for themselves:
Window Film (i.e. Keeping Cool)
Lowe’s and other retailers carry adhesive window film. This product is a reflective film that works for privacy and to keep the house cool. It reflects the heat during the summer and retains it during winter months. Prices range depending on window size but expect to pay around $30 – $50 for good coverage.
Installation is as easy as cleaning the surface, cutting the film down to size, applying the solution, and smoothing the surface. I did this last summer in about 20 minutes and have since seen a significant drop in temperature in the rooms that have direct sunlight all day.
AC & Heating (i.e. Big Win!)
Regular air conditioning maintenance plans can save thousands each year. A quick phone call can usually lead to same-day service testing, inspecting, and fixing valves, motors, ventilation, and coils. These routine services range from $70 – $100 and about double for a contract/membership throughout the year. Compare that to the cost of repairs due to poor maintenance. Otherwise, roll up those sleeves and those vents to clear a blockage, patch any leaks in the ducts, and spruce up those registers.
Also, consider installing a smart thermostat while you’re focused on the HVAC to save an additional 10-15% throughout the year.
Concrete Blocks (i.e. Cheap DIY)
Cinder blocks are dirt cheap (usually $1.22 at Home Depot but prices vary) and literally make for fantastic building blocks for a variety of DIY projects in outside the home. You’ll find the savings building up with the use of these blocks versus expensive, vanity alternatives.
A few projects could include using the blocks for:
· Raised garden beds and planters (paint them for extra flair!)
· “Posts” for a low-lying fence (with 4×4’s in between)
· Sturdy legs for a DIY desk (considering using a door as the top)
You’re not going to win any design awards but hey… you’re saving a ton of money instead! And in the case of the garden, you’re saving extra by growing fresh fruit and veggies on your own.
Lighting (i.e. Bright Ideas)
A lot of household saving is accomplished by doing something today to benefit later. Lighting is one of those things that has an upfront cost but can save thousands – and not always in the obvious ways.
These savings (from simple to complex) include:
· Reducing energy usage with lower watt bulbs
· Providing proper visibility that helps to avoid trips & falls
· Increasing the security and deterring home invasion
You see? Lighting goes way beyond saving a few extra bucks each year by switching to LED. It leads to big savings (especially in the theft department). This project takes little more than a trip to the store for new bulbs or a few security features added in the yard and attached to the home.
Reuse (i.e. Crafty Upgrades)
Last, but not least, is making due with what you have (AKA giving a second use to items). These are money-saving weekend projects and all you need to really do is a touch of fresh paint, reworking an item for new usage, or salvaging old materials.
· Reusing glasses/bottles as planters
· Turning old crates into tables
· Modifying old plant pots into organizers
It’s less waste and less spent at the big box stores.