Whether we do it intentionally or not, we all have little habits around the house. We do them to make our home feel more like a home, or because we’re just more laid back in our own space.
But some of these daily practices can actually cost you lots of money in the long run. Read more to find out if your little quirks are actually adding up.
It’s so easy to leave the water running, but it’s also super easy to turn it off! After doing the dishes, pouring yourself a glass of water, washing your hands, or taking a shower, do you let the water drip down the drain? It might not seem like a big deal, but every drop counts.
Another potential reason why your water runs is because of poor plumbing. So, if you have a faulty faucet, or handles that don’t turn all the way, make a small investment and repair it.
This will keep you from wasting water (and money!) unnecessarily.
Do you forget to turn the lights off after leaving a room? Or, do you leave them on, on purpose? Either way, keeping your home well lit – even if you’re not using certain rooms – is a great way to add dollars to your electric bill.
One way to break this habit is to use sticky notes with a picture of a light bulb as a reminder. You can place these on the light switch itself, or on the door of the room. This visual cue will help you develop better habits.
On the other hand, if you like to keep areas of your home bright, even if you’re not actively using that space, try to invest in energy efficient bulbs, like LED. It’s a small investment up front, but you’ll pay less with each electricity bill.
Radios and Television
We’re used to having constant audio stimulation wherever we go. We could be in the car, stores, and even in the doctor’s office. Almost everywhere we go, there’s something playing. Of course, if you’re actively listening to your favorite playlist or podcast, that’s fine. But try to turn them off when you’re no longer paying attention to them.
The same goes for television. Obviously, you’re going to watch TV from time to time. But do you leave multiple screens on in different rooms? Do you forget to turn it off before falling asleep?
You can fix this bad habit by setting a timer on the TV so that it automatically powers down after a certain amount of time.
Paper Plates and Napkins
Yes, these kitchen staples are incredibly convenient, especially for busy people. No dishes to wash up and no laundry either. Just eat and dispose.
But if you use paper plates and napkins every day, that adds up every month. Instead, purchase reusable plates. And don’t worry, they don’t have to be fine chinaware!
There are many affordable options, and our tip is to buy more plates than you think you need. That way, if you fall behind on cleaning your dishes, you’ll have back-up plates and you won’t resort to the disposable ones.
The same goes for napkins. Buy twice as many cloth napkins as you think you’d need. Then, you can easily keep up with the laundry and save some money, too.
Your Home is Disorganized
Now, we’re not saying that you have to be a neat freak, or be an avid disciple of Mari Kondo’s, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But it does help to keep your belongings somewhat organized in order to save money. Here’s why.
When you don’t see what you have, it’s easy to forget what you have. And when you don’t know that you’ve got plenty of pasta, pantyhose, or printer cartridges, you’ll probably go out and buy them.
Knowing what you have is a great way to save money. Organizing your living space is a good way to familiarize yourself with your home inventory.
You Don’t Recycle Your Plastic and Glass Bottles
Some bottles come with a deposit. This means, you can return them to your local grocery store, or bottle return center, and cash in on some moolah. Sure, it might only be 5 to 10 cents per bottle, but if you frequently use bottled beverages, it’s a good habit to develop.
Otherwise, you’re literally throwing money away!
You Always Purchase Takeaway and Prepared Foods
Boxed foods, takeaway, and pre-made meals are easy, go-to options, but they’re not always easy on the wallet. If you’re very busy and don’t have a lot of time for the kitchen, consider cutting your prepared food purchases in half.
Then, try to introduce bulk and whole foods that you can prepare yourself. It can save you lots in the long run.
Your Wardrobe is a Mess
If you have an overcrowded and neglected wardrobe, you probably don’t know what you have anymore. And when you want to indulge in some retail therapy, you fill up on pieces that are probably already crammed inside your closet.
So, try to keep your wardrobe as organized as possible. This will help you reduce unnecessary, and even impulse spending.
Smoking is already an expensive habit, but it might not seem like a costly household habit. But think about it. If you smoke indoors, your furniture, clothing, woodwork and walls will start to smell like your ashtray.
Cleaning and refreshing your living space takes time and money, and if you’re thinking of selling or renting, this can be a deterring factor for potential buyers.
Try to take your cigarettes outside whenever you can and encourage your guests to do the same.
Your Windows and Doors Are Old and Outdated
If you live in an older home, chances are, the walls aren’t well insulated, and your windows and doors might be drafty, too. If that’s the case, all the warm air that’s meant to warm your home is actually sneaking out and warming the great outdoors.
Making an investment to have sealed doors and windows and effective insulation can drastically reduce your heating bill.
Plus, it adds value to your home.
Some of these things might seem small and insignificant, but they can definitely add up. To keep your bills down and to create better household habits, start with one and watch your lifestyle improve.