5 Renovations That Can Save You Money

Where you spend your money on your renovation projects for your home matters. Some renovations pay you back. Choosing renovations that can save you money now and in the future is a smart investment. Here are five home renovations that will help you to save money.

1. A New Roof

If your roof is 20 years old or older, investing in a new roof will save you money. A new roof will improve your home’s energy efficiency and provide better protection. Improving energy efficiency will save you money on your energy bills as well. Ensuring your roof system is protecting your home can reduce risks and costs associated with water damage. According to Angie, a new roof offers the highest return on investment. You can recoup up to 107% of your cost when you sell your home. A new roof is a good investment to help you save money and have peace of mind.

2. New Windows

According to the Department of Energy, windows account for up to 30% of energy losses. New windows can help you to save money on your energy bill. Energy savings is only one of the reasons that homeowners decide that new windows are a worthy investment. New windows also add value to your home. Some estimates say you can get up to a 25% return on your window investment. Of course, new windows also improve your home’s aesthetic and curb appeal. They can keep your home quieter with noise-canceling properties and are very easy to maintain.

3. Upgraded Lighting

Lighting is another home renovation that will save you money over the time you live in your home. Today’s LED lighting fixtures are available in a wide range of styles. LED lighting options can reduce energy consumption by more than 50%. The bulbs last longer, which means you will pay less to maintain this type of lighting over time. Energy-conscious homeowners upgrade their lighting to save money on usage. If you have not looked lately at LED lighting options, you may want to take a look. LED lighting has come a long way in recent years.

4. Solar Panels

According to the Department of Energy, solar energy has ranked first or second every year since 2013 for capacity. Solar energy has become very reliable. Investing in renovations that add solar energy options to your home is a great way to save money in the future. In some cases, solar power can not only save money, but it can add to your income. If you generate the energy you are not using, you can often sell it back to the energy company. Solar energy is a sustainable form of energy that can be a game changer for your operating costs.

According to the Department of Energy, there are 1,382,569 million miles of pipelines in the United States carrying gas and petroleum products. The United States is highly dependent on fossil fuels, even as the cost is skyrocketing. You could be part of the solution by opting for solar energy for at least part of your energy needs.

5. Upgrade Your Appliances

If you are planning on a kitchen or bath renovation, don’t skimp on upgrading your appliances. Energy Star-rated appliances will save you a ton of money. Energy Star-rated water heaters, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more are all certified to use less energy. In the bathroom, install low-flow shower heads and toilets to conserve water. Upgrading your appliances and fixtures (especially if your appliances and fixtures are 15 years or older) will make an immediate difference in how much money you spend on running your household.

On-demand water heaters and other appliances that are designed to cost less to run should be a part of your kitchen and bath renovation. It may cost a little more upfront, but you can recoup your costs fast.

Home renovations are a great way to add value to your home. If the renovation can add value and help you to save money, all the better. Learn more money-saving tips today.

Considering Starting a Garden to Save Money? Here Are 5 Tips to Help!

Starting a home garden can help you save money and get closer to nature. Even a few basic homegrown herbs and vegetables can positively impact your budget and overall health. While there’s no way to go around certain upfront costs, there are steps you can take to maximize savings from your garden after the initial setup. Here are five tips to help you save money on your home garden.

1. Sow Seeds Instead of Seedlings

While seedlings save you time, seeds save you money. You just need to be organized and plan ahead because it takes time for seeds to germinate and grow to a point where you can transplant them. However, you can harvest more plants from a packet of seeds compared to a punnet of seedlings. Although seed packet prices vary, most edible flowers, sprouting seeds, microgreens, herbs, and vegetable varieties go for two to four dollars on average. For some varieties, you can get hundreds of seeds in a packet, enough to last a lifetime or to swap or sell.

2. Choose the Right Spot for Your Garden

Regardless of where you decide to put your garden or the plants you intend to grow, there are two fundamental requirements your chosen spot must fulfill for the best success: light and water. Vegetables, like other plants, rely on the sun to initiate photosynthesis. Vegetables that grow fast generally require at least six to eight hours each day in direct sunlight without obstruction from fences, shrubs, or trees. According to Arbor Day, areas under a tree’s shade can be 20 to 45 degrees cooler. That’s why planting sun-loving vegetables in shady areas won’t yield much.

If your garden receives partial shade, plant herbs, and vegetables that can withstand those conditions. These include thyme, parsley, cilantro, chives, spinach, chard, kale, and lettuce. If your chosen spot gets at least four hours of sunlight a day, consider root vegetables such as beets, radishes, and carrots. If you have a sunny patio, container gardening is a better fit. This approach allows you to place sun-loving herbs and vegetables like rosemary, dill, basil, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes, where they’ll thrive.

3. Mulch Your Garden

Mulching your garden can work wonders for your budget. It conserves water and prevents weeds from sprouting, so there’s less weeding and no need for herbicides. To protect your established trees and shrubs from the effects of weather, surround them with a layer of two to three inches of brown compost, birch chips, wood shavings, or dried leaves.

4. Attend Plant Swaps

Plant swaps are events where plant enthusiasts come together to trade specimens. Attending these events allows one to swap a plant you don’t want for one you love for free. You can also find free plants by logging on to your town or neighborhood online forum for local gardeners.

5. Pick Plants with Multiple Functions

If you’re working with a small space, make cautious plant selections. Grow plants that serve at least two purposes, which means you’ll need fewer plants. For instance, blooming herbs such as chives, basil, and mint taste great. When they bloom, they attract helpful insects like hoverflies, ladybirds, and bees that feed on pollen and nectar. In turn, these insects provide crucial ecosystem services, such as pollinating food crops and managing pests such as aphids.

You don’t need lean beef to get your recommended daily amounts of 10 key vitamins and nutrients, including B vitamins, riboflavin, selenium, niacin, zinc, magnesium, and iron. You can get your nutrients from your garden! You should also consider planting oilseed rape, cotton, soybeans, and maize, which make up 99% of global crops worldwide. Get started on your vegetable garden today and it won’t be long until you start reaping the benefits.

Moving-Saving Tips for Couples Who Want to Buy a House

Money and relationships are often a tangled web. About 40 to 50% of married couples divorce, according to the Family Council. Many of those divorces are linked to financial problems or disagreements. Saving money for a new house can be a stressful time for a relationship if you don’t have a plan. Here are some tips to help you and your partner save for a new home that can reduce stress.

Get Real About a Budget

How much money do you and your partner need each week? Money can “disappear” when you aren’t diligent about tracking where it goes. The first thing you and your partner should do is sit down and evaluate your budget. Track spending for a month. You may be surprised to find that it isn’t the big bills that are killing your finances; it’s the small spending that’s dinging your finances the hardest.

Come up with a budget you can both live with and stick to it. You may have to sacrifice your morning coffee on the way to work and eat more lunches from home, but in the end, it will build your savings faster.

Cut Back On The “Extras”

Take a closer look at your subscriptions. Some apps can do the work for you. That extra $20 to $50 a month that you’re spending on duplicate streaming subscriptions can add up when you’re trying to save money. How often do you go to the gym? Can you justify the expense of your gym membership? Take a look at all the things you’re paying for every month, and start cutting the fat.

Saving money to buy your first home is well worth giving up the extra streaming entertainment or exercising at home instead of going to the gym. The more you cut back, the more you’ll save.

Don’t Change Your Standard of Living

If you get a raise, a bonus, or a nice-sized tax refund, don’t change your standard of living. Save all the extra windfall money you get. Saving any windfall will help to build your savings account quickly. A couple of thousands of dollars can pad your savings nicely.

Stick to your budget and make sure the windfall money goes right into your savings account. You can’t miss what you never had.

Stay Home More

Have a date night at home. Watch movies at home. Cook together. Invest in little things at home that will be enjoyable, but that won’t dent the budget. About 88% of homeowners report that they enjoy staying home after painting the interior of their home, according to House Grail. Make your current home a place you don’t mind being.

Staying home more often will help you to save in many ways. Forgo vacations and functions that will cost money. Instead of dinner out, consider inviting friends over for a potluck meal.

Plan For the Added Expenses

When you’re saving for a new home, plan for the potential “hidden expenses” of buying a new one. While adding a new roof to a house will provide you with a return of about 85% when you resell, according to the Realtors Association, you still need an emergency fund to cover the costs. Don’t just save towards a down payment; save to have enough money to cover moving costs and make repairs during the first year. It’s better to wait until you have a nice savings balance before you buy the house.

Money can be a tough subject for many couples, but it’s a conversation you should have frequently. Be sure to keep the above tips in mind as you and your partner form a plan of action for buying a new house. Good luck, and happy saving!