In Part 5 I’ll show you how you can save money on some of the major purchases and services you have for your home or apartment, including upkeep, energy savings, and appliances.Click on one of the links below to get started or just work your way from the top down.
Change your security service
One of my first money lessons as a home owner was to ditch the expensive national alarm monitoring services, knocking my monthly bill from $30/month to $15/month, or $180 a year saved.
Look in your yellow pages for a local security monitoring company. They offer the same reliable service at half the cost. If you’re locked into a two-year contract with a national company, make a note on your calendar 90-days before your contract is up.
You will have to follow their termination instructions to the letter to avoid being auto-renewed. Usually, that involves mailing in something in writing to cancel your contract, 60-90 days before your renewal date.
Stop paying for extended warranties
Over your lifetime if you never bought an extended warranty the total money you saved would be way more than you have to pay for all of the stuff that breaks. This includes
According to Consumer Reports, TVs fail 3% of the time in the first four years of ownership. It doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive warranty when the chance of it failing are so small.
Extended warranties have massive costs and are terrible purchases. If you get an offer in the mail for one, or to extend one on an existing purchase – throw it in the trash!
If you purchased the item with a major credit card, it most likely doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for free.
Energy saving tips you can do today
If you’re looking for some quick savings around the house, check out my infographic
Negotiate your lawn care
If you use a lawn care service, call around and get several quotes for service. It’s a competitive business, and the prices can vary by $10-$15 per visit. That can add up to hundreds per year for the same service.
If you are happy with your current service, call them and ask for a discount for being a loyal customer.
You: I’m looking to cut some of my expenses, and my lawn care is on the list. Can you give me a better rate?
Them: Hold on, let me check.
You will either get a better offer – or you won’t. If you’re happy with the company, at least, you tried. If you’re not loyal to them, call around and find someone that will beat your current price.
DIY home services
Who doesn’t love a nice green lawn free of weeds? Yearly fertilization service can cost $300/year and up for 6-8 treatments.
Google the following: ‘YOUR COUNTY extension office lawn fertilization‘
Skip over the ads and look through for the search results that say:
- Lawn care
- Master Gardners
- Extension agent
What you’re looking for is a web page/PDF with some information on when/what/how much fertilization and weed control you need to apply.
DIY Pest Control
Ants, termites, cockroaches – these are all pests nobody wants in their home. Commercial grade products are available to homeowners to keep these pests out at a fraction of the cost for what you would pay a professional to treat your residence each year.
DoYourOwnPestControl.com is a website that provides information on preventive treatment, emergency treatment, application rates, etc. You can spend $75-$100 for a sprayer and a couple of bottles of pest control that will last you for years.
Compare that to spending $250/year to have a professional spray around your home.
Check the warning labels before you buy. I look for products that are safe for use in commercial kitchens. That’s how I know it will be safe to spray around my home where I have pets and children.