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Today we have a guest post from Vincent.
With an educational background in Engineering Design, Vince West enjoys sharing home improvement tips and DIY projects on Twitter and Facebook.
In today’s modern world, everyone is more than accustomed to a lot of unnecessary expenses.
We spend our paychecks day in, day out, and we never stop to think about how much better we’d be off if we’d be more frugal.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to do just that without having to make too many drastic changes.
Being thrifty isn’t only about saving money, but also about doing it in the most convenient way possible so that it doesn’t lower your quality of life by any means.
This is true for any field you might want to apply this mentality it: diet, fashion and even things pertaining to your entire family unit, such as home repairs, décor, bills and so on.
Related: Why We Don’t Buy Home Warranty
How to Save Money
Adapting to a frugal way of living and doing things around the house isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. With a little bit of determination and a lot of patience, you can achieve this.
Here are four domestic habits that thrifty people have, and you should consider too.
1. Doing Your Own Repairs
One of the most notable household money savers is doing your own repairs when possible. Hiring professionals to do them instead will cost you a pretty penny.
You will need to pay for their handiwork along with all the other expenses that come with any home repair. Therefore, the next time you are faced with leaks, faulty wiring and so on, try taking care of it yourself.
Don’t hurry to request the help of a plumber or electrician. Do some research first and see if you can fix it yourself. You can find tutorials for anything online, from replacing a faucet to how to phase a plumbing project. All you have to do is take the time to look for it.
Most homeowners spend 3,000 dollars on average on home repairs each year. But by doing mine together with my brother, we easily managed to cut those costs in half.
However, if things get too complicated, don’t be afraid to spend some cash and call in an expert for assistance. Dealing with such damages effectively from the get-go also spares you of some unwanted expenses in the long run.
Related: 6 Ways Google Saves Me Thousands Of Dollars A Year
2. Buying Used Furniture
The trendiest thrifty habit nowadays is buying secondhand clothes. Even the most seasoned fashionistas do it, and all for good reason. After all, your local Goodwill can sometimes be a true treasure trove of forgotten goodies.
But is the same true for furniture and home décor items? Things tend to get complicated in this department.
After all, spending less than half of the amount you normally would on a sofa is an amazing way to cut back on family unit expenses.
When I first moved into my new home, I realized that furnishing it all could potentially leave me bankrupt. This all changed after I’ve attended a couple of nifty little yard sales in our neighborhood.
For instance, even in places such as IKEA, the cheapest possible wardrobe will set you back 200 dollars, and if you want to get something nice, you will need to pay 800 to 1,000 dollars even. But thanks to a friendly neighborhood seller, I managed to buy a stunning armoire for just 150 dollars.
Still, everyone knows that furniture can be a hiding spot for pests, so the best course of action here is to stick to wooden or plastic pieces only.
These are less likely to get infested, and they are also easier to clean. You can buy them from local garage sales or even eBay. Just make sure to get them from verified sellers only.
Related: How We Saved Money On Furniture
3. Reducing Heat Usage
The classic way to reduce heat usage in your household is a commonsensical one: simply turn it off while you’re not there. But if your house tends to get extremely chilly during the day with the heat off, leaving it on low while you’re away at work is also an option. In this way, you will still manage to cut back on costs while keeping your house nice and toasty.
A middle of the road solution is to set the timer on the system you use to turn on a short while before you arrive home. But not everyone has one that is equipped with this technology, and there’s no need to invest in it now.
The same is true for air conditioning. During extreme bouts of summer heat, it might seem tempting to return to a cooled down home at the end of the day. But if you want to be thrifty, you will need to avoid letting the A/C run throughout the day. From my experience, the difference isn’t that noticeable. In fact, you get used to it pretty quickly.
4. Unplugging Your Appliances
It’s no secret that turning any light source off when you leave a room is a tried and tested way to be both frugal and green. Still, there are plenty more things that can be done so that maintenance costs per family unit are reduced as much as possible.
Although not a lot of people are aware of this, the devices we use daily use up power even when they’re turned off or idle if they remain plugged into an outlet. This is known as phantom power or vampire power. While the consumption is not huge per item, when considering that most homes have at least 40 of them, the money you can save becomes considerable.
Thus, unplugging appliances when you’re not using them is a great way to reduce your electrical bill. Something as small and useless as an old VCR forgotten in the basement rec room saves you twelve dollars per year, so imagine how much you can save when you add in all of them. For reference, since I started doing this, I managed to set aside at least 500 dollars per year.
A fully functional and frugal domestic life isn’t an unattainable goal. All you need is enough dedication to make ends meet. By cutting costs on heating, electrical and water bills, doing your own repairs and getting items for smaller prices, you too can make it. Just think of all the amazing things you can do once you save up enough money and let that be your motivation.
By adding up all the money that I saved through the four easy and thrifty tips, I managed to improve the house and the quality of life yearly ever since I first moved in. It wasn’t easy, but the long-term results were worth it. And if you choose to go down this road, you will notice it too.
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9 thoughts on “4 Household Related Habits Thrifty People Have”
I just fixed a shingle that blew off my roof in the wind storm last Friday. Found it in the street and took care of it myself. Of course I could mostly do this because I’m semi-retired now I’m working part time. Being financially independent and having extra time pays off in many ways!
I don’t know why but my thrifty hubby stopped turning off the lights when we leave the bedroom to eat dinner or something. I end up double backing up to turn it off. Drives me nuts. And a lot of Airbnbs guests don’t turn off lights, drives me nuts too. Turn off your lights people!!!!!
DIY is definitely a must have!
Spent a bit of time fixing rotten under floor, boxing up pipes, floorboarding, and doing basic plumbing. All fun stuff. 🙂
Well I certainly do three out of the four, never really got round to turning lights off or unplugging things…a light with an energy efficient bulb costs pennies to run each day.
$500 a year on just unplugging appliances? Wow that’s insane, I had no idea they drew that much power.
Overtime, these ideas will save a lot of money for everyone. Buying less and minimalism would help save money as well.
$500 a year just by unplugging unused appliances? That’s awesome! I’ve been trying to be more aware of things like that and unplugging things, but getting the kids to comply is a bit trickier. I’d really like to be able to quantify the savings exactly.
I feel like I should write a thank you note to my neighbors for helping me out with #3. I haven’t had to turn on my heat all winter!
I can do all those… except for reducing heat usage. It’s just too cold here!