07/07/2017

You Might Love Your Home, But Is It Ruining Your Bank Balance?

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It's pretty rare to find someone who doesn't have a lot of affection for their home. After all, your home is the place where you're meant to feel the safest and more secure, as well as the place where you get the chance to relax and escape from a lot of the stress that makes up daily life. Of course, it's not that unlikely for some of that stress to make its way into your time at home. In fact, you home may end up being a pretty significant factor is one of the largest causes of stress in your life: money. Unless you're in an incredibly lucky position, it's pretty rare that you're going to be able to get through your day-to-day life without worrying about your finances from time to time. And if there's one thing that can often be more of a drain on your finances than anything else, it's your home. As much as you might love it, your home can often be a serious financial burden if you're not careful. With that in mind, here are some ways that your home might be emptying your your bank account.

Rent/mortgage
Let's get the biggest and most obvious one out of the way first. For most people, there is no payment larger that they have to make each month than the rent or mortgage on their home. Now, this is a pretty reasonable thing to pay for. After all, you want to be able to keep a roof over your head! However, just because it's something that you can't go without, doesn't mean that there aren't ways of reducing that cost. Remortgaging can often reduce your monthly payments, with the tradeoff of having you pay off your mortgage over a longer period of time. Rental prices can be a little more difficult. You may be able to speak to your landlord about bringing the price down but the likeliest scenario, if you find yourself struggling, is to try and find a different property at a lower rate, whether that's by downsizing or moving to a different area with lower general prices.

Power
Turned on Pendant Lamp
Keeping the lights on in your home is pretty much essential, but that doesn't mean that you have to put up with paying out the nose for it every month. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you're paying competitive rates. Take the time to *compare electricity packages so that you don't end up paying more than you need to. After that, much of the control over how much you pay rests with you. After all, you only pay for what you use, so if you use less power, you pay less. Make sure that you're always turning off lights when you're not at home, or even in the room, and that you don't leave electronics running for long periods of time if you can avoid it.

Heat
Now, this might not be that much of an issue at the moment since you're probably not going to need to heat your home that much during the summer months. However, in the winter you don't really want to have to make a choice between having enough money to get to the end of the month, and you and your family not having icicles dangling from your nostrils! Of course, there are plenty of ways to stay warm without having to pay for it. Blankets and sweaters might seem like an obvious solution, but if you're struggling financially, you'd be amazed at just how much money you can save on your heating bill. If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, then it's time to start using it. It might not be as convenient as flipping a switch, but it can bring a lot of warmth into your home as well as create a really wonderful atmosphere.

Water
Water Drops from Stainless Steel Faucet
The vast majority of people simply use too much water on a day to day basis without even realising it. Ask yourself, do you really need to take those thirty-minute showers in the morning? Most of the time you could get just as clean in half the time! Not only that but you don't actually need a hot shower every day. In fact, a cold shower in the morning can be a great way to wake yourself up and get ready for the day. Make sure that you're not wasting water when you're washing dishes either. A lot of people just leave the tap running to rinse the dishes when they really don't need to. It's not going to get them any cleaner, and you're just going to end up wasting huge amounts of water.

Repairs
It can sometimes feel like you're spending time and money every single month dealing with little problems here and there in your home. Sure, the issues are often relatively insignificant and not all that costly on their own, but over time they can start to add up in a pretty big way. It might seem counterintuitive, but it might be worth paying a little extra to get the root of the problem sorted all at once. This might be structural issues or perhaps a problem with damp. Either way, if you get it sorted all at once, you might be paying more at first, but then you can avoid the trickle of smaller payments that can have such a nasty impact on your overall financial position.

Now, you're not always going to be able to avoid some of these expenses. After all, a lot of these things are simply the sacrifices that you have to make in order to keep a roof over your head and to make sure that you and your family can actually live comfortably. However, even just being aware of the fact that there are ways to reduce these bills can often make it much easier to examine and deal with your finances overall. There are few things worse than feeling like you can't do anything to improve your financial situation, but if something as significant as your home can be changed, then you're going to be able to feel much more in control of your finances as a whole.
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