Reading through HomeSpotHQ.com is like going to the toy store as an adult. Each new page you stumble across is another project you’d like to try. Unfortunately, we remember that we’re adults and we have those things called bills that need to be taken care of which sets those neat projects on the backburner.
If you’re like me, then you’re always looking for a new project for the house. You may also be in my situation where there aren’t enough additional funds to go to these projects until the bills are caught up, which is a major letdown especially when you see something that really tickles your fancy.
Instead of busting my knuckles doing over time to pay for these fun, new projects I went for the path of least resistance and had the thought: “why don’t I save on my normal expenses, keep those extra hours for myself, and have money to do all these neat things instead?”
After doing some research into the main money vampires around the house, I came to these several items that were the culprits (and the solutions to the problem):
- Cut the cord – Unless you really want sports games and the local news you can substitute services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video as your main source of income. These services run under $10 a month and have thousands of hours of content. Compare a $7.99/mo fee for Netflix versus the $50+ you’re probably paying now for tons of channels you don’t even like.
- Plan it, slow cook it, and freeze it – Grandmothers are masters at being able to open the fridge, grab a handful of random goods, and make a delicious meal; that’s the kind of thinking you need to save money but let’s do grandmum one better. Make a meal plan centered on using a slow cooker (stews, pot roasts, chili, etc), throw it all together, go about your day, and once you’re home and have eaten you can store tons of leftovers for the remaining week(s). It sure beats spending $50+ to go out to eat when you could make lunch for the month!
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle – The three R’s you’re already well aware of but it’s the reuse that I’d like to point out. There are hundreds of great ideas for items you’d normally throw away. Spark that DIY creativity in you and you can skip over purchasing a ton of new items at the store. Some of the reused items may not look chic but it sure beats spending full price when they provide the same function, right?
- Barter with thy neighbors – Let’s say you’ve cut the grass but don’t have the energy to go through the garden to trim up all the weeds around the areas you missed. Your first thought may be that you need to visit a hardware store to get a weed whacker but doesn’t Bill three doors down have one? Start bartering. It’s good to know your neighbors not just for their friendship but also because the two of you could trade items when needed so you’re not stuck purchasing the same thing that is rarely used. There’s no harm in asking.
- Know your energy options – When you moved into your home you probably went with the first set of utilities being offered and haven’t looked back since. Well, business is business and there is always competition in the market. What I would recommend is to take some time this week to look at the rates local electric companies are offering to see if you can get better deals. Click here and you’ll be able to start your search.
- Tell people what you want/need – We are so modest when it comes to gifting and receiving gifts. Half the time we either say “oh don’t worry about it” or something like “just get me a candle”. Your friends and family want to give you something great; they get enjoyment out of seeing you surprised and happy with a gift. Instead of brushing it off – make it logical – next time someone legitimately ask what you’d like just tell them you’ve been eyeballing a new sewing machine, tools for the garden, appliances at a home improvement store, and the like. You may end up with just gift cards but it sure beats the thousandth candle.
- Wiggle in some business – We use our homes to store stuff but it can be so much more than that. Why not make business something worth talking about with friends and family? If you have a skill from your job then it may also be a skill one of them may need at this time (or in the future – such as accounting, computer work, and the like). Try having meetups at your home where you teach people about your work or offer it to them to pick up little side-jobs. Then, once the deal is closed, you all can enjoy a potluck lunch and work on some fun projects together. It’s a double win for everyone!
My point is that if you’re itching to do crafts and improvements but find yourself stuck because of your paycheck then look into ways to reduce those expenses from the inside-out (instead of tacking on more work which keeps you away from enjoying your home, crafts, and improvements).
What other ways can you think of that can reduce your monthly expenses so you can spend more time doing fun projects like you see here on HomeSpotHQ?
Article Submitted By Derrick Manning