Saving money is for everyone, whether you own your own home for rent. Many people are always looking for a way to save a few bucks, whether that's cutting down on energy costs, making the most of your gas mileage, or stretching your grocery budget.
Luckily for all the budget-savvy folks out there, there are a ton of DIY projects you can do yourself to accomplish all of that (and more). Follow along for ten excellent DIY tips. There are easy DIY projects for total beginners and those with a bit more handyman experience, but everything on the list is attainable and will ultimately help you save money.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Energy bills amount to hundreds of dollars each month. If you live in a warm climate, plenty of that goes toward keeping your house cool - even if it's only for a few months in summer. If you're running your HVAC system or a window unit constantly, you're familiar with how quickly the costs add up. There's a simple solution, and you can get it up and running in a single afternoon.
Ceiling fans cost about a penny an hour to run. Compare that to the $.40 (on average) it costs to run air conditioning, and you'll see how a ceiling fan will easily save money on utility bills. You can pick up a basic ceiling fan for around $60 (or less if you shop clearance and sales), and there are plenty of guides online to walk you through the installation process.
Replace Your Windows
If you're looking to cut costs, sometimes you have to pay a little upfront. Buying and installing new windows ultimately saves you money, as it increases the energy efficiency of your home. Windows in poor condition hold moisture and leak air, forcing your heating and cooling systems to work harder to keep up. If you're handy, you can replace the full frame and window yourself. For those with less home improvement experience, you can even use pocket replacement windows, which fit right inside your existing frame. Your entire house benefits from better windows (and your bank account will, too).
Make Your Own Cleaners
Commercial cleaners are often filled with harsh chemicals and they're expensive, neither of which are necessary to keep a clean home. Making your own cleaners is an exceedingly simple, easy DIY project, and you'll only need a few inexpensive items.
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Spray bottle or dish soap bottle
- (optional) Tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil
Simply add 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to your bottle and fill the rest with water. If you want a fresh, clean smell, add in 5 to ten drops of essential oil. Shake everything up and viola! You have an effective, homemade cleaner for a low DIY cost. Repurpose some old t-shirts into rags and you're ready to clean for practically nothing.
Install a Water Filter
Stop throwing away money on bottled water. Instead, pick up an under-sink water filter It'll leave your tap water delicious and you can stop spending money on bottles. You can find filters for less than $100 and follow along online if you need help with installation.
Invest in Routine Maintenance
Keeping up with the maintenance of your major home systems and appliance is one of the best ways to save money. For instance, the average cost of a roof replacement is around $10,000, but doing a yearly (or twice-yearly) roof inspection costs nearly nothing. Regularly clear your roof of any debris or growth (like algae), replace bent or broken shingles, and generally address any issues as soon as you spot them. The issue is - you have to actually go looking!
Along with your roof, consider these regular maintenance activities. You'll catch problems early and prevent bigger ones. All it takes is a few minutes of your time. Below are a few suggestions for major systems, but you can find suggested maintenance lists online to cover all your bases.
- HVAC - Replace filters every 3 months (or according to the manufacturer)
- Gutters - Remove any debris or leaves at least once per season
- Water Heater - Flush your water heater every six months to remove any sediment or mineral build-up
- Plumbing - Clear drains, flush your septic system at least every 5 years, and routinely check for leaks
Start a Garden
You don't need a green thumb to start a basic vegetable or herb garden, and doing so might make a serious dent in your weekly grocery bill. You don't even need a lot of space, so don't fret if you don't have a lot of extra square footage for planting.
You can grow staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes in containers. Herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro are well suited for the kitchen counter or a window sill. Depending on what you intend to grow, you'll need a suitable container with drainage, soil, water, and some basic fertilizer. If you're concerned you won't be able to keep up, you can even grab a hydroponic system that does practically all the work for you!
Mow Your Lawn
Stop paying for lawn care! On the lower end of things, you'll wind up paying out $180 per month to bring in someone else to mow your lawn. For the cost of a single month of lawn care, you can purchase your lawn mower and handle it yourself.
This is a great tip to use in conjunction with number 6 (starting your own garden). Use kitchen scraps like coffee grounds, vegetable peels, and egg shells to make your own compost. It acts as fantastic fertilizer, reduces your household waste (and environmental impact), and helps you grow delicious, fresh food of your own. You don't need special equipment. An old 5-gallon bucket and a bit of time will do the trick!
Wash Your Car
A trip through an automatic carwash can set you back around $20 per visit. A few minutes in an auto parts store for supplies costs only a few bucks and lasts for months. Set aside a half hour on a nice day and scrub your car and wash it down with your hose - all in the comfort of your driveway.
Installing low-flow faucets can drastically reduce your water bill. Low-flow faucets and fixtures save the average family anywhere from $50 to $170 per year. You'll waste less water and save money at the same time. Standard-flow faucets use around 2 gallons of water each minute, but low-flow faucets can cut that number down by 30% or more, depending on the brand.
If you plan on replacing every faucet or fixture in your home, it will take some time and upfront money, but a lifetime of savings makes it a worthy investment!
Even following a handful of the tips above can save time and save you money. Anything from simple projects to more hands-on DIY tasks can pay you back in spades. Comrade, the browser extension that gets brands to pay you for your attention, is another great way to earn extra money. By signing up for a free account, you'll receive relevant recommendations and get cash back every time you interact with one of them. It's simple, safe, and you can start earning today!
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