Once you move into your very first home, you’re likely flooded with emotions. Relief that you finally have a place to call your own. Excitement for starting a new chapter in your life. Maybe even apprehension from all the money that you spent during the entire home-buying process.
It’s true your pockets might feel a little empty post-moving, but that doesn’t mean you have to see more money fly out the window. There are several ways in which new homeowners can save money. And, honestly, who doesn’t want to save a few extra dollars?
Right after you move into a new home, it is the perfect time to walk through your new digs and add a few small tweaks that will instantly help you save money. From conserving energy to saving on maintenance, here are 7 ways new homeowners can save money.
Create a maintenance checklist.
First things first – get organized. Walk through the home and create a list of everything you need to maintain on a regular basis. You can create different lists of tasks that need to be checked or completed based on a monthly, a quarterly, or an annual basis. Include tasks such as checking the water heater, changing air filters, looking for leaks, etc.
File it away or keep it on your computer so you can take it out and check it when needed. If you make it habit to keep up with the various parts of your home, you’ll end up saving a load of money in the long run. Plus, you’ll extend the life of appliances and components of your home.
Check faucets and toilets for leaks.
It’s easy to overlook a leaky faucet or running toilet in all the excitement. However, if you can help it, be sure to check all the toilets and faucets in the home before you fully settle in.
Take a look under all the sinks to ensure there are no puddles. Be sure to fix any leaky faucets. Also, address running toilets. It’s surprisingly easy to fix a running toilet yourself.
While these things may seem like no big deal, constant running water, even in small amounts, will send your money down the drain. It’s also a good idea to fix any exterior spigots as well. When you address them promptly, you’ll save yourself the trouble of wasting money.
Check the attic’s insulation.
This is an important step that is extremely easy to forget about. If you have an unfinished attic, be sure to take a look around before you store anything in there. There should be insulation between the beams, but make sure there is at least six inches’ worth.
Keeping your attic properly insulated is one of the simplest ways to stabilize the indoor temperature of your home. Plus, it’ll save you big bucks on your heating bill. Luckily, adding insulation is a relatively inexpensive and easy task to complete. If you’re the DIY type, you’ll likely be able to finish it in a weekend.
Install LED or CFL light bulbs.
LED and CFL bulbs have longer lives than regular bulbs and use less energy. So, while they might cost more upfront, they actually save you money in the long run. It’s understandable if you don’t want to replace all your lights bulbs with these, but consider replacing the bulbs in rooms that are in constant use, or rooms where you need more light.
Replace air filters and clear all vents.
It’s always a good idea to replace the air filters in your home’s furnace or AC unit when you first move in. Old filters have a harder time cleaning the air, and cause your unit to work harder and use more energy just to dispel poor quality air. Save yourself the money and improve the air by replacing the outdated filter with a clean one.
When the air vents are blocked by dust or debris, the cooling or heating system has to work harder, which costs you more. Ensure this doesn’t happen by regularly checking and cleaning the vents in all rooms.
Lower temp on hot water heater.
Check the hot water heater and adjust it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Chances are you don’t use water hotter than that, and it’s especially dangerous to small children. Plus, when you lower the temp, it’ll save you money on your monthly energy bill.
Install ceiling fans if you don’t have any.
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep the air circulated without using much energy. This is because the ceiling fan’s effect on air circulation allows you to keep the thermostat slightly higher or lower (depending on the weather) while still feeling comfortable. Be sure to install some if you don’t have any in the home.