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15 Money-Saving Habits All Homeowners Should Follow

1. Pay your mortgage on time.

Mortgages are usually due the same time every month and paying them late could cost you. Late fees can range from 3% to 6% of your monthly payment depending on your loan, lender, and local laws. That’s a costly $60 added to your $1,000 monthly fee! Paying your mortgage on time can be incredibly easy. If you know you won’t have the funds beforehand, tuck some away in your sock drawer or savings account to use later.

Occasionally, $60 may not seem like a lot, but it can certainly add up. For example, if you’re late 100 times, you’ve paid $6,000 in late fees. That’s not a small amount. Additionally, paying your mortgage late can severely impact your credit, especially if you plan on refinancing your home or getting another loan in the future. The worst thing is that the late payments will show up on your report for years.

2. Maintain your roof.

Replacing a few missing shingles or resealing a skylight can prevent leaks that could cause deterioration of the roof or damage to your home's interior. Not only will this save you money in home repairs, but it could also help your roof last longer.

3. Fix water leaks immediately.

Running water costs you money, and leaks can destroy sheetrock, rot joists, and create an environment for black mold to grow. These are all costly fixes that could be solved with a simple call to the plumber.

4. Determine if you can do-it-yourself.

Before beginning a repair, replacement, or improvement project, watch an online video to make sure it fits your available tools and skill level. If you think you can handle it, rent any tools you’re missing. If you’re questioning your abilities, hire a professional. 

5. Organize tools and hardware.

When you can easily determine what supplies you already have, you're less likely to make a duplicate purchase. While many repair items aren’t expensive, they do add up quickly over time.

6. Get competitive bids.

Get bids from at least three reputable companies or individuals before choosing an electrician, carpenter, or plumber. It’s the worst feeling when you realize you could have gotten something done for cheaper.

7. Choose higher deductibles.

If you have some savings to cover a portion of the unexpected, choose a higher deductible on your homeowner's insurance in order to lower the premium.

8. Pay up front when you can.

You don't have to pay your insurance through a mortgage company, and many insurance companies offer a discount when you pay for an entire year at one time. While this may not be realistic for everyone, it is something to consider saving for. 

9. Tailor your entertainment costs.

It's no longer necessary to pay for TV channels you never watch. Review your actual viewing habits and match them to the most appropriate delivery service. Or, if you only watch Netflix, don’t hire a cable provider.

10. Stop watering the sidewalk.

Make sure your sprinkler heads are aimed correctly and only water the lawn when weather conditions are dry. This is a great way to help the environment and your budget!

11. Adjust the HVAC.

Turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few in the winter. Then, leave it alone. Keeping the temperature constant saves energy, which lowers your electric bill. 

12. Open the windows.

When the temperature outside is pleasant, turn off the air and open the windows. Not only will you save money, but you'll also freshen the air inside your home.

13. Hang clothes to dry.

Many clothes don't have to remain in the dryer until they're bone dry. Some can be hung wet or partially dried. You’ll save energy, money, and reduce the risk of your favorite blouse shrinking. 

14. Share the wealth.

Check online garage sales, classified ads, and recycling sites before buying pretty much everything. You may be able to buy items in good condition for cheap if you're willing to pick them up.

15. Check for energy rebates.

There are many rebates available to those who choose energy efficient appliances. When it's time for a replacement, make sure to do your research. If not, you (and your wallet) may regret it.