The homes we live in can be a huge drain on our budgets. If you own your home, there are always repairs and maintenance tasks to take care of every season. If you rent, just writing that rent check every month can be difficult. So how do you upgrade your home and life without taking on a second (or third) job? It’s not hard if you get creative, do your research, and make smart decisions. Here are a few ways you can save money on your living space.
Decorating – A little paint goes a long way. You can give any room or space an instant makeover with a quick coat of paint. Many paint stores will have cans of paint that were returned because they were the wrong shade. If you don’t mind the limited choices, you can steal for as little as $5 a can. Scour the internet for creative design and decorating ideas. A coat of spray paint can make an old piece of furniture look new.
Landscaping – Even if you have a brown thumb, you can improve your curb appeal. Search the internet for trees, shrubs and flowers that are native to your area, and don’t require a lot of care. You can save money by purchasing smaller shrubs and trees, and starting flowers from seeds. After the spring flowering season is over, you can get flowering trees at a discount. Fall is also a good time to plant, and most garden stores are desperate to sell their stock before winter.
Cleaning – Who wouldn’t love to hire a maid? Of course few of us have the extra cash to do so. Make house cleaning easy by dividing it into weekly “must do” chores, and monthly “can wait” items. If you don’t have time to scrub your bathrooms every week, just wipe down the sink, scrub the toilet, and spray the shower once a week. Do the thorough cleaning every month. If you have children ages 6 and up, you can get them involved in household chores.
Security – Don’t overlook your home’s security just because you don’t have a lot of extra cash. There are affordable wireless security systems that you can install yourself and which will protect your home with 24/7 burglary and fire monitoring. Renters can install these systems and take it with them when they move without drilling a single hole. Make sure your doors and windows have secure locks – it’s worth hiring a professional. Anything you can do to prevent a burglary will save you the money it will cost to replace your stuff.
Home Organization – We’d all love custom designed closets to organize our stuff, but it isn’t worth spending the cash. You can find do-it-yourself closet organizers and shelving at home improvement stores, but sometimes the best solution is a creative one. Place a shallow book shelf in the back of your closet as a place for extra household supplies. Use removable picture hooks to hang hats on your bedroom wall as decorative wall art.
The best tip for giving your home a quick refresh is to de-clutter. Go through your home, room by room, and remove the things you don’t need or can live without. If you have enough stuff, you can hold a yard sale and make some extra cash. Your home will seem bigger and more spacious, and you can use it to update your living space or do something fun with your family.
About the author: Jennifer Kurtz is a stay-at-home mom who writes about Technology and Lifestyle on her blog. She worked in marketing before her son was born, and keeps up with the tech field through her blog. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her 2-year-old son, and a cat named Einstein.