10 Steps to Reduce the Cost of Owning Your Home

10 Steps to Reduce the Cost of Owning Your Home

Owning a home is an excellent investment, not only for your financial portfolio but for your future and your family, as well. As amazing as the idea of homeownership might be, it comes with a high price tag. Even with a robust down payment and healthy monthly mortgage payments, owning a home is an expensive undertaking. Everything from insurance, utility bills, property taxes, repairs, maintenance and renovations will all be additional costs stacked on top of one another. These additional fixed expenses can’t be avoided but there are plenty of ways that you can reduce expenses around your home.

In order to better serve our customers, the Dino Stepic team has compiled a quick list of helpful ways that you can reduce household costs. Instead of offering the standard “meal planning cuts back on grocery costs”, “stop impulse buying” or “just change your spending habits” that aren’t effective, we have compiled a list of small, attainable fixes for any budget that will help to make a long-term positive impact. 

1.     Ditch Drafty Windows

 It might seem obvious that drafts around windows and doors are a major issue in Winnipeg but a draft does more than make you cold. Older homes are more likely to have older windows but replacing these can cost a small fortune. A large number of windows provide natural light and contribute to the overall ambiance but if they are drafty, the more windows that you have, the bigger the headache.


2. Update Your Lighting

Trading out traditional lighting options and bulbs for LED options is a great way to reduce energy consumption. This is a small investment with a big ROI (return on investment). LED lights aren’t just more-energy efficient, they also last longer and perform better.


3. Bundle Your Insurance

If you find yourself juggling multiple insurance policies and are paying monthly premiums on each, this is a great way to cut costs. Now more than ever providers are offering low-cost options for homeowners insurance, life insurance and more. You might have to put a bit of legwork into researching different providers, both locally and nationally but it will be worth it in the long run.


4. DIY Home Repairs & Improvements

Painting your home inside and out helps to boost your curb appeal and it can help to create a more comfortable environment for you to spend time in. It is easy to hire a contractor to paint your walls but a reliable and well-reviewed painting company will be priced accordingly. Taking on a simple fix like a paint job, yourself, can help to reduce costs while still getting the desired results. Now, a coat of paint is a simple home improvement but not all updates should be done with a DIY approach. For more in-depth repairs that involve electrical, plumbing or construction. It is always a better idea to leave these tasks up to the professionals. Some of the most common DIY updates include: 

•    Paint Doors

•    Paint Cabinets

•    Replace Light Fixtures

•    Add Window Coverings

•    Add Baseboards

•    Add Mouldings

•    Add faux backsplash using Peel n’ Stick tiles


5. Block Out Excessive Sunlight in Summer

In the same way that cold air sneaking in around windows can impact your heating bills in winter, sunlight coming in during summer can drive up cooling costs. On a hot, sunny day it is a good idea to use window coverings to prevent warm rays from shining in. Covering windows throughout the day while you are at work can mean coming home to a cooler space and will reduce your air conditioning costs and energy consumption.


6. Reconsider Cable Costs

Television is a huge monthly expense for any Winnipeggers and it is a cost that we can do without! With so many streaming services available on demand there isn’t any point in paying a cable provider $150-200 per month when most streaming services cost roughly $15 per month.


7. Insulate/Wrap Exposed Pipes

Older homes also often have exposed water pipes, particularly in the basement. These might add a bit of rustic charm that comes along with the visuals of exposed pipes but there is also a lot of energy loss. The goal of these pipes is to transfer water from water tanks to the faucets and showers around your property. When covered or wrapped, these pipes lose less heat than exposed ones that can lose between 2-4 degrees from start to finish.


8. Be a Big Fan of Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are low energy but create a big impact on air movement in your home. When used correctly, a ceiling fan can help to regulate interior temperatures by 1-2 degrees which might not seem like much but it makes a big difference for your utility bills and comfort. It is important to note that your fan should be directing air downward in summer and upwards in winter for the desired effects.


9. Consider Energy Efficient Appliances

Replacing older appliances with energy efficient models might not help with your cash flow in the moment but they will help you save money in the long run. It might not make sense to spend money in the moment but an old stove, outdated air conditioner or running toilet can increase your monthly payments on an on-going cycle.


10. Refinance For Your Future

Refinancing your mortgage might seem like a complicated process but at its core it is just the process of replacing an existing loan with a new one. This new loan can be with the same lender or a different one. Refinancing may be an appealing option if you find yourself dealing with high interest rate credit card debt or multiple loans. By pulling out your existing equity you can pay off multiple debts for lower and more manageable monthly obligations.

If you have done all you can to cut back on expenses but are still hoping to better manage household bills, try a few of these helpful options — or try them all!

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