Owning a home is incredibly exciting. You actually own a piece of U.S. property that you are free to do what you wish with — within reason. There are so many advantages to owning a home, however, millions of Americans regularly struggle with their housing expenses.
From staying on top of home utility bills and repair costs to making sure your house is stocked with enough groceries each week, all these payments can feel overwhelming. In a new study by NerdWallet, the average U.S. homeowner spends $1,443 a month on housing, including mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, and homeowner association dues. Roughly 30% of all homeowners consider that monthly payment of $1,443 to be expensive.
If you’re not constantly looking for new ways to save money, both in larger and smaller ways, you, too, will likely find yourself struggling to get by each month. Even something as small as drafty windows can make your energy expenses skyrocket almost 25%!
The average time to sell a property in many markets right now is between 6 and 12 months. But no matter when you purchase your next home, you’re going to end up spending a significant amount of money on other expenses. Thankfully, there are always things you can do to keep your household expenses low and much more manageable. Here are some excellent tips to save money each week, month, and year:
- Consider public transportation — It’s going to take some time to get used to, but switching to public transportation can lead to all kinds of savings. You’ll save on auto maintenance, parking expenses, and certainly gas costs. Sure you should probably keep a vehicle at your home for emergency reasons or when public transport isn’t accessible, but consider changing the way you get around if you want to save much more money.
- Upgrade your HVAC systems — The total HVAC industry in the U.S. is projected to see roughly $60 billion in revenues over the next 12 months. HVAC expenses can be very expensive if not handled properly. By combining proper equipment maintenance and HVAC upgrades, you’ll be able to save about 30% on your monthly energy bill.
- Refinance your home and/or vehicle — If you’re eligible to refinance your mortgage at a lower rate, start asking around. Locking in a lower interest rate will lower your monthly payment, increase your monthly cash flow, and save you a lot more money over the length of the loan. Similarly, if your credit is better than it was when you first purchased your vehicle, you could get a better interest rate on your auto loan, as well. The average selling price for a midsize car during the second quarter of 2018 was $26,336 with an average monthly finance payment of $462 (and those number skyrocket for trucks) — refinancing your auto loan could certainly help with your monthly savings.
- Landscaping upgrades — Although certain landscaping projects can be quite pricy at first, they can offer significant returns on your investment. Plus, proper landscaping can reduce the need for central air conditioning inside your home by as much as 50%.
- Take quicker showers — A nice, long, hot shower might feel great every morning, but you’re not doing your wallet any favors taking your time. Simply trimming two minutes off your daily shower time can cut your household water usage by as much as 10 gallons.
- Make important phone calls — Staying on top of all your homeowner responsibilities is essential for both legal and financial reasons. You should call your cell phone company, mortgage company, Internet service provider, insurance agent, TV provider, and other subscription services regularly in order to make sure you’re not wasting money on unnecessary expenses every month.
It’s not going to be easy. But as long as you’re aware of your spending habits and are looking for ways to responsibly handle your finances, you, your family, and your home will be in much better shape — good luck!