How to Cut Costs as a Homeowner

“We just can’t afford it.” I cannot tell you how often I hear that sentence coming from homeowners lately. There is no arguing the fact that cost of living expenses have soared higher than ever. This has many homeowners and families struggling to make ends meet and still have some left over to “enjoy life”. This has many people dipping into their savings accounts, or even worse, not enabling savings to be started. If you are a homeowner looking to save a dollar or two, you could feel like you are already doing all that you can to live simply. If you haven’t already, consider some of the following ideas on cutting costs while still living comfortably.

* First, set a budget.

Figure out exactly how much you spend on the upkeep of your home. Compare each month’s expenses with the previous month’s to get a better idea of how much to budget for each necessity. Then, see what costs you can cut. Once you set a budget, stick to it.

* Save energy.

You might be losing a substantial amount of energy dollars during the winter and summer because of air leaks. By caulking, sealing and weather-stripping all cracks and openings, you can save 10 percent or more on your energy bill.

Also, look into replacing older appliances with newer, more energy-efficient alternatives. Your light bulbs can make a difference, too. Fluorescent bulbs are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.

* Refinance.

Shop around to see if you can replace your existing home loan with one that has a lower interest rate. You can easily save hundreds of dollars each month by refinancing your home.

* Purchase a home warranty.

Most homeowners don’t account for possible repairs in their annual budget. There is a 68 percent likelihood of a home system or appliance failure in a given year. The average replacement cost of one of these systems or appliances is $1,085. A home warranty is your best defense against unexpected and costly repairs to your home’s appliances and mechanical systems.