Every homeowner knows it’s a lot easier to add repairs and improvements to a to-do list than actually check them off the list. Part of the challenge is saving enough money to complete the projects while simultaneously staying on top of life’s everyday expenses.
We put together some pointers to help you save for your future home Improvement project like building an addition to your home or a small update like repainting the bathroom, it’s important to save a little bit here and there to reach your goals and save money for unexpected expenses.
Next to your house payment, your grocery bills typically the next biggest line item in your budget. You’d be surprised how much you can shave off of food costs with a bit of preplanning.
Create a Meal Plan
Never hit the grocery store while you are hungry, and avoid making a stop each day on your way home from work or in between after school activities.
Instead have a plan in advance and go shopping no more than once per week. Create a meal plan for one week, two weeks or the entire month. Then make an ingredients list and decide what you can buy during the major shopping trip, like canned goods and what needs to be picked up weekly, like fresh produce.
Minimize waste by using fresh ingredients first. Also plan to use leftoves for lunch the next day, or work in a left over night to use up what you already cooked.
Shop for Sales
Pick one or two stores you prefer to shop at and take advantage of their weekly discounts. Stock up when you see a great price, only buy in bulk if you plan to use all the product before the expiration date.
You can see significant savings by using coupons. Look online and in stores. Also watch mailings sent to your house. Similarly, look for coupon codes when ordering online.
Sign up for the Rewards
If your favorite market has a reward program, using your membership card will save you money on Items you buy often and provide special perks like gas discounts as well.
Cook at Home
Eating out or stopping for a morning coffee are two budget killers. Use your meal plan prep dinners ahead of time. Even daily $4 brew adds up to about $80 a month, which will pay for a can of paint and supplies for painting project on your list.
Order Groceries Online
Yes, there are canned and packaged goods yu can order from Amazon and others, but were talking about placing an online order for pick-up at your local stores or even delivery. Remember to enter coupon codes. Plus being able to review everything before you pay makes you more aware of what you’ve actually bought and spent.
Make a List a nd Stick to it!
Before heading out to the store, whether it’s a major trip or a small fill-in trip, make a list of everything you need and stick to it when you’re in the store. Put yourself on a timer to get in and out as fast as possible. The more time you spend in the store, the more you’ll spend.
In addition to the food you eat, include household supplies in your budget. Start by reviewing receipts, bank statements and Amazon orders for the past three months. Write down the amount you paid for toilet paper, laundry detergent and coffee filters. If you know how much you’ve paid in the past, you’ll be able to identify a good deal in the future. That’s when it’s time to stock up.
Ditch Single-Use Products
Once-and-done items like bottles water, paper towels, and disposables cups are not only hard on the planet, they take aim at your budget, too. Trim back on the expenses by relying on cloth napkins instead of paper towels and napkins. Invest in a water filter, either inline beneat the faucet or a water pitcher for drinking water. Drinking more water also saves you money both at home and when eating out.
Save on Utilities
Heating and cooling your home is a significant epense. Lower the bill by closing blinds at night during the winter and during the day in the summer. Run the clothes dryer and turn on the oven on cool days, but the grill and clothesline on hot days. Swap out old light bulbs for new and more efficient models, and rely on motion-ensored security lightd that only turn on as needed.
For water savings, put the irrigation systems on a timer and shorten showers indoors. For optimal water recycling, collect water in the shower or use water left in the bathtub or pasta pot to water indoor and outdoor plants.
For long-term savings, look into solar, wind, and geothermal heating for the home or even foe one appliance, such as a water heater or hot tub.
Pay Off Debt
It’s challenging to set aside money for home repairs and even more so when you’re also making debt payments. Whether you’re still paying off education loans and credit card bills, make debt reduction a priority so you have more financial freedom. Not only will you be out from under the debt, but you’ll be able to invest the money yu were paying interest toward home improvements that increase the value of your home.
Seeing your progress is inspiring! Don’t wait for once-a-month payments. Instead, make a small payments as you have a bit of extra cash. When you return a $30 item, get online and make a $30 online payment. Put your debt on paper and adjust the amount with every payment. Cancel cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, lawn and cleaning services until your debt is paid off. These are short-term sacrafices with long-term benefits.
Make your Savings Visible
You’re working hard to shave dollars here and there, so put the money where you can see it. This is motivation toward your bigger goal. Use a glass jar, a separate savings account or an envelope. Each time you add to it, give yourself a pat on the back. For a tangible measurement, go old school with a vertical bar on poster board you can color in until you reach your goal.