As a new homeowner, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the various costs you encounter. If you're looking to eke out some savings, here are six effective ways to do so.
1. Swap older appliances for new ones
Older appliances can make life in your home less efficient. After all, who wants to wait two hours for the dishwasher to clean a single load or the dryer to finish running? Also, older appliances can run up a large tab on the utility front, forcing you to spend more, so upgrading some of your appliances could cause your energy costs to shrink.
2. Go with the (lower) flow
Low-flow faucets and toilets won't negatively impact you from a usage standpoint. In fact, you probably won't even notice a difference in the flow of water. What these home features will probably do, however, is lower your water bills significantly.
3. Upgrade to energy-efficient lighting
LED light bulbs are an inexpensive way to lower your electric bills. And the best part? You can try buying them in bulk at your local warehouse club for added savings. Not only might these bulbs save you money, but because they last longer, you won't have to be bothered with swapping them out as often.
4. Get a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat lets you customize your heating and cooling settings so you're not running your HVAC system as much when you're not home or sleeping, resulting in big long-term savings. Not only that, but these thermostats let you adjust your heating and cooling settings remotely so that if the weather changes drastically while you're out, you can arrange for your house to be nice and warm -- or cool -- by the time you return home.
5. Appeal your property taxes
Making updates to your home could result in big savings -- but so could appealing your property taxes. Many new homeowners don't realize that their tax bills -- or, more accurately, their tax assessments -- aren't set in stone. If you have a way of arguing that the value your home is assessed at is higher than what it should be, you can file an appeal and potentially get your tax bill knocked down.
However, in today's housing market, home prices are inflated across the board, so in the near term, appealing property taxes may be a more difficult prospect.
6. Install safety features for discounted insurance
Homeowners insurance is a big expense for property owners. But you might manage to lower your premium costs by putting in safety features that make your home less likely to fall victim to burglary or damage. If you install an alarm system, for example, it could result in lower homeowners premiums. And if you put in a series of leak detectors, thereby lowering your risk of water damage, your insurer might reward you with a discount.
Adjusting to homeownership can be a difficult thing to do, financially speaking. These tips could help you shave a fair amount of money off of your costs -- and make it easier to pay your mortgage, finance renovations, or do whatever it is you want to make your home more comfortable.