40 Ways Property Owners Reduce Monthly Overhead

By Shannon
40 Ways Property Owners Reduce Monthly Overhead

If you own a house, you already know that there are so many things to pay for that you may not have ever anticipated before making your purchase. Thankfully, there are tons of ways to save as a homeowner. Here are some of the tips and tricks to cut back and save money around the house.

It’s possible to refinance your mortgage to get a lower monthly rate. Credit: Pexels

40. Saving Thousands on your Mortgage Payment with HARP

If you want to lower your monthly mortgage payment, you may want to shop around at your local banks to see if you qualify for refinancing. The US government also has their own program to help people called the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It is only eligible for people who are still current on their mortgage. There is no minimum credit score required, and you don’t need any cash up-front, so it’s worth checking out how much you can save.

Covering your windows and doors in plastic can help keep out a draft. Credit: YouTube

39. Cover Your Windows with Plastic in the Winter

If you have older windows around the house, or if you keep an air conditioner in a window all year long, it’s very likely that a cold draft is leaking into your home in the winter time. It’s very cheap to buy large sheets of plastic from stores like Home Depot, and all you have to do is tape it to your windows and doors.

At the end of each season, everything goes on clearance. Credit: KrazyCouponLady

38. Stock Up On Household Items At The Best Times of the Year

Household items go on sale or clearance in cycles throughout the year. For example, sunscreen is expensive in the beginning of summer, but it goes on clearance in the fall. KrazyCouponLady breaks down the best deals from each month of the year, so that you know when to stock up on non-perishable items and save them for next year. If you do this on a regular basis, this can save you hundreds of dollars per year.

Close your closet doors to save money on energy. Credit: HomeDepot.com

37. Close Your Closet Doors

When your thermostat is set to heat or cool your home, it will not stop running until it knows that the house is maintaining that temperature. The more nooks and crannies the air has to travel into, the longer it will take for your HVAC system to maintain that temperature. Whenever possible, close your closet doors to cut down on draft, and it will save more money over time.

Make sure you only shop for the items you need. Credit: Pexels

36. Make a List Before Grocery Shopping

A lot of people make the mistake of going to the grocery store without planning ahead of time. This results in a lot of unnecessary food that will go bad and have to be thrown away, or you might buy something that you already had in the pantry. If you want to save more money on your grocery bill, it is best to take a good look at your pantry and refrigerator before you go to the store. Make a list of the meals you plan to make, and what items are missing in order to accomplish that.

Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean your house. Credit: Merry Maids

35. Clean with Vinegar and Baking Soda

If you run out of cleaning products, try using vinegar and water to clean, instead. It’s cheap, and free of any harmful chemicals that may be in store-bought products. Baking soda also helps to eliminate bad odors and it can be used to create natural cleaning solutions.

LED light bulbs help save energy over time. Credit: USA Today

34. Use LED Light Bulbs

Replacing your standard light bulb with an LED bulb will cut down on your energy cost, and they also run cool, which is less of a fire hazard. They also often stine brighter than a standard lightbulb, so you may need fewer lights on in a room. Since LED light bulbs can be expensive, it takes a while to actually break even with the up-front cost to replace them. According to MoneyTalks, it is best to replace the light bulbs that you use the most often, if you really want to take advantage of the savings.

Painting is an easy DIY project. Credit: Pexels

33. Do Your Own Home Repairs

Before you call a handyman to fix a small problem around your house, do a quick online search on YouTube to see if there is a tutorial on a DIY repair. The problem may be a lot easier to fix than you might imagine, and it could save you a lot of money. However, if the problem is more complicated (like roofing or plumbing) it’s best to call a professional.

You can shop around for contractors. Credit: Pexels

32. Get Quotes From Multiple Contractors

If you are trying to get a repair or renovation done to your home, make sure you get a quote from more than one contractor. You are likely to find a better deal by shopping around.

There is so much to watch on Netflix, you don’t really need to pay for cable. Credit: Pexels

31. “Cut The Cord”

Major cable companies like Verizon and Comcast usually allow customers to pay for a service bundle on TV, phone, and internet with a special one-year deal before jacking up the price, in hopes that you will be too lazy to switch the service. If you get rid of your cable TV and phone line, you can usually get internet for a fraction of the price. If you have Netflix and a Smart TV, it is just as good as watching cable.

You can use coca cola to clean a lot around your home. Credit: YouTube

30. Clean with Coca Cola

Since coca cola is high in acidity, it’s actually perfect for cleaning stainless steel, and it can be use for a number of other things around the house. It can descale your kettle and your clothing steamers, as well as clean your tubs, grout, and toilets.

The US government gives grants for solar panels. Credit: Pixabay

29. Use Government Grants To Install Solar Panels

Installing solar panels can be expensive, but there are several government grants available to help pay for the cost of installation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Agriculture are just two examples of government programs that are willing to assist qualified homeowners. For more information, check out Let’s Go Solar.

Deduct your interest payments on your taxes. Credit: Pexels

28. Deduct Your Mortgage Interest Payments on Your Taxes

When it’s time to file your taxes, make sure you remember to include all of the interest that was paid towards your mortgage. This can be deducted from your overall income, and it may mean that you pay less towards your taxes at the end of the year.

If you never go to the gym, it may be time to cancel your membership. Credit: Pexels

27. Cancel Your Unused Monthly Memberships

Monthly membership subscriptions can be tempting, especially if your favorite show is only available on Netflix or Hulu. But did you know that Netflix allows you to “pause” your subscription? They will hold on to all of your favorite shows for you while you’re on a break. And if you are done watching a show on a particular service, why not save some money by canceling it until the new season comes back again? Same goes with the gym, makeup sample boxes, and any other monthly memberships you are subscribed to.

You can take ordinary furniture and upcycle it into funky styles. Credit: Pinterest

26. Repurpose Your Old Items Instead of Buying New

If you are getting tired of your old furniture, consider giving it an update instead of buying new pieces. Try sanding and painting your wood furniture, and replacing the knobs. For cheaper particle board furniture from IKEA or metal pieces, try spray paint and adhesive stickers. Pinterest is a great place to get inspired for furniture rehab.

Homegoods sells almost everything for your house. Credit: Asbury Park Press

25. Buy Your Kitchen Goods at Discount Outlets

Discount stores like Marshall’s and Homegoods have great deals on high-quality kitchen items that will last much longer than cheap items from stores like Walmart. Outlet malls may have good deals on brands like Correll as well.

Credit: Pexels

24. Fix Carpet Dents With Ice Cubes

If you want your carpets to last a long time, it’s good to get them cleaned every so often. But if you notice any annoying dents, all you really need is a few ice cubes. Let them melt into the carpet, and then use your fingers to fluff up the fibers.

Your HVAC system needs to be maintained every once in a while. Credit: Entrepreneur.com

23. Maintain Your HVAC System

Change the filters, and consider paying for a maintenance package, so that professionals can check your HVAC system once a year or every two years. This will guarantee that your system will be tuned up as time goes on, which will prevent you from having to replace a larger part in the future.

Buying in bulk is only worth the money if you buy non-perishable items. Credit: Business Insider

22. Buy (The Right Things) In Bulk

When some people get a membership to a big box store like BJ’s, Costco, or Sam’s Club, they go hog wild and buy everything they could possibly need in jumbo size. Before you go shopping, ask yourself if it is actually possible for you and your family to consume these food items before they expire. It’s best to stick with non-perishable items like toilet paper and laundry detergent.

If you landscape with perennials, they will grow back every year. Credit: Pexels

21. Landscape With Perennials

Perennial plants grow back every single year, which means that you only have to pay for them once, and they will come back every season. Just a few examples of great perennial flowers are daffodils, phlox, and hydrangeas. 

You can find free stuff on Craigslist. Credit: Young Adult Money

20. Check Out the “Free” Section on Craigslist

Under the “for sale” category, there is a “free” section full of stuff that people just want to get rid of. You can find literally anything you might need for your house in the “free” section, from furniture to landscaping materials. Keep in mind that in the spring and summer, you will find much more listed than the colder months.

In most cases, people will leave their address and request that anyone can pick up the item off the front lawn. The only catch is that you will have to pick it up and bring it home by yourself. So this really only works for someone who had a pickup truck and friends to help them lift heavy things.

You can cut down on space and spending too much on clothes by creating a capsule wardrobe. Credit: PhillyVoice

19. Try Out Your Own Version of a “Capsule Wardrobe”

A lot of people wish that they had a huge walk-in closet like Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But in reality, most people open their closet door, and have a feeling that they “don’t have anything to wear”, even though they have dozens of different outfits to choose from.

If this sounds like you, start out by going through your closet and donating any pieces that are damaged, no longer fit, or you simply do not look good in anymore. Once you have narrowed it down to only your favorite pieces, it becomes easier to find clothes without the urge to buy new ones. If it is difficult to access all of your clothes, consider buying a closet organizational system if you feel that it will help you save money in the long run. And if you really do need to buy more clothes for work, search Pinterest for “Capsule Wardrobe” for inspiration on how people use just a few pieces to mix and match into dozens of different outfits.

At Dollar Tree, you can find just about anything you need for only $1. Credit: DollarTree.com

18. Buy Household Items at Dollar Tree

Everything at Dollar Tree only costs $1, and you would be shocked by just how much they have to offer. You can get cleaning supplies, kitchen items, picture frames, and so much more.

Coupons can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Credit: Reuters

17. Start Using Coupons

A lot of people don’t seem to think that coupons are worth their time, but if you start to imagine that a $5 coupon is like a 5-dollar-bill, you will realize that it really is like getting free money. Using a coupon may only save you a few dollars, but if you learn how to combine them with sales, you can start getting some household essential items for less than $1, or even free. Start getting your Sunday newspaper, or visit Coupons.com to see if you can print a coupon before you go to a store. Check out websites like TheKrazyCouponLady, where they explain which coupons to use every week.

Groupon can save you tons of money on all kinds of things. Credit: MoneyCrashers.com

16. Check Groupon In Your Local Area

Groupon.com is best known for local restaurants and entertainment, but it also has a section for services that may help improve your home. You may be surprised that you will find coupons for things you already pay for, as well.

Most generic house cleaning products are just as good as name brands. Credit: CampaignAsia

15. Stop Using Name Brands

For most household items, name brand products are just as good as popular brands. In many cases, they contain the exact same ingredients, as well. If you’re having trouble finding a store brand, remember to look down. The cheapest items are usually hidden on the bottom shelves in places like Walmart and most grocery stores.

Having your septic system cleaned every year can help keep it lasting for years. Credit: The Family Handyman

14. Maintain Your Septic System

Septic systems should be flushed at least once a year, but most people do not bother to do it that often. Make sure you are using septic-safe toilet paper, and schedule maintenance to be sure it continues to work properly. If you put it off for too long, and something goes wrong, the cost to repair or replace a septic system is thousands of dollars, so it’s best to not let it get out of hand.

You can find great things at thrift stores. Credit: GoodwillAZ.org

13. Shop At Thrift Stores

Some people get grossed out by the idea of shopping at a thrift store, but there are actually so many new and barely-used items that get donated all the time. For the best deals, drive to a more affluent area and check out their Goodwill. You are more likely to score a great deal on furniture, art, and other household supplies.

You can save hundreds of dollars by making your own art. Credit: Pexels

12. Make Your Own Art

Hanging art in your home gives it a lot of character, and it’s a way to express your individuality. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive accessories to buy. Maybe you have seen a painting, and you think, “I can do that!” Well…Maybe you can! Craft stores sell blank canvases and paint. If you’re a talented artist (or if you find a great tutorial on Pinterest) you can make your own replica of artwork you want for roughly $20. You can also print your own posters at Walmart, but they will not print anything that is copyright protected.

Don’t buy things just because you are comparing yourself to your friends. Credit: Pexels

11. Don’t Try to Keep Up With The Joneses

At some point as a homeowner, you may feel tempted to “Keep up with the Joneses”, or buy something just because your neighbor has it, or because you are trying to flex and look more successful than they are. Buying things out of jealousy usually leads to debt. So just try to focus on what you really need.

Ceiling fans can help regulate the temperature in a room. Credit: Pexels

10. Install Ceiling Fans

Using ceiling fans help to circulate both hot and cold air, so it will reduce the cost of your energy bill at any time of year. In the summer, run your fan counterclockwise to have cool air blowing through the room. In the winter, reverse it so that it runs clockwise. Hot air rises, so the fan will help to push the warm air down into the rest of the room.

Sun block curtains can help keep your home cool. Credit: HighEndCurtains.com

9. Install Sun-Blocking Shades

If you have large windows that get very hot in the summer time, consider installing thick sun-blocking curtains. This will significantly cool down your home, and it will also help block the light if you need to sleep in the morning.

Regulating shower temperature can help save money. Credit: Pexels

8. Adjust Your Shower Temperature

Your water heater should have a temperature gauge. Turn it down to about 120 degrees. In the summer time, if it is hot enough outside to have a cooler shower, you should make it a bit colder. If your shower is so hot that it steams up your mirror, then your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool down the bathroom once you open the door.

Air drying can save energy by skipping the dryer. Credit: Pexels

7. Hang Your Clothes to Dry

Using a clothes dryer takes up a huge amount of energy. Not everyone has the ability to hang their clothes out to dry, but if you can, you should try it. There are also clothes drying racks that you can use indoors.

Filling the cracks on the outside of your house can help cut down on drafts. Credit: Ecodry Basements

6. Caulk The Cracks Around Your House

If there are cracks in the side of your house or around your windows, this can be bad for a number of reasons. Bugs are likely to crawl through the holes, and it can also cause a draft. Caulking is actually a very simple and cheap job to do on your own, but if you have never done it before, check out a YouTube tutorial.

Amazon reviews can help you decide whether to buy an item or not. Credit: Publisher’s Weekly

5. Look Up Online Reviews Before You Buy Anything

Everyone is guilty of buying at least one thing that they later regret. When it comes to buying appliances and other household purchases, a bad decision can sometimes mean wasting hundreds of dollars. Before you go out and buy a big household purchase, take some time to read Amazon reviews and see if anyone is talking about those items on YouTube.

Remember to maintain your fridge to make it last longer. Credit: Pexels

4. Do Regular Maintenance on Your Refrigerator

If you take care of your refrigerator, it will last much longer. Clean the coils on the back of the refrigerator of any dust, and check if the seal at the bottom of your fridge needs to be replaced.

Remodeling is not always necessary right away. Credit: Entrepreneur.com

3. Don’t Get Carried Away With Remodeling

With all of the home improvement shows on HGTV, you might be tempted to knock out a wall and completely renovate the house. However, when you first buy a home, you have to put up tons of money for the down payment, closing costs, and so much more. It’s fine to aspire to turn your new house into a dream home, but don’t get carried away. If you do everything at once, it is likely because you got into debt in order to do so. If you can take your time to pay for remodels in cash, instead, you will save hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars in interest.

Save your household receipts. Credit: Chicago Health Magazine

2. Keep Receipts For All Of Your Home Improvements

When it is time to sell your home in the future, you will have to pay taxes on the capital gains you make on the sale. This is why it is important for you to keep every single receipt for everything you spend on improving your home. These expenses will be deducted from the future sale. Those receipts will add up, and you will pay less in taxes.

It’s wise to get homeowners insurance. Credit: Epokmagazine.com

1. Get Homeowners Insurance

When you have homeowners insurance, you can have the peace of mind that if anything catastrophic happens to your house, or if someone breaks in, you are covered for your lost or damaged property. Just be sure to read your policy thoroughly to make sure you are covering the most important needs.