Whether we rent it or own it, our home is a friend and ally in the increasingly fast-paced and cutthroat life of the 21st-century wage slave. It’s a place where we can barricade ourselves against the troubles of work, the perils of a capricious economy and the politics and drama of our friendship groups. Whatever trials and tribulations life throws at us, our home has our back. We take great care to decorate and arrange our home in a way that is restful and aesthetically pleasing to us. We fill it with things that are beautiful and functional and fill us with joy. We make sure that our home is a reflection of our personalities. Everything from the color of the wallpaper we put on our feature walls to the art we hang to the essential oils we place at strategic points to make sure that they smell perfect is a statement to visitors about who we are and what we love. Some of us even employ the principles of feng shui to maximize the sense of personal wellbeing our homes afford us, improve their productivity and even help us with our career goals.
But while our houses offer us a psychological refuge and physical protection from the harsh elements, it can also be a vampire; an insatiable parasite that feeds on money. We may not be aware of it, but if we’re not careful, our homes can slowly but surely siphon away our hard earned money. We may not notice the difference day by day or even month by month, but if we let it, the home can be a drain on our finances and a perpetrator of waste. Keep an eye on the following and you’ll ensure that your home is not only beautiful and well appointed but cost-effective and efficient now and for years to come…
Summer of love(ly low energy bills)
An energy efficient home is advantageous to all of us in a number of ways. It helps us to save money, it uses fewer natural resources and thus allows us to do a little more to help save the planet. In order to generate energy most providers burn finite natural resources like coal and crude oil and generate a lot of harmful environmental waste. If more and more homes embrace energy-saving technologies, less energy needs to be produced and fewer of these finite resources need to be consumed.
You might think that as we rely more on the heat and light of the sun over the coming summer, we’ll naturally be spending less on energy bills but that is not necessarily the case. No home is above utilizing a few summer energy saving tips. If you’re the kind of person who would sooner leave the air conditioner blasting all day rather than opening a window or even using a desk fan, not only could you be wasting energy you could be making your home less safe. Increased dependence on your AC unit will lead to increased wear and greater likelihood of your uncleaned or unserviced unit becoming a hotbed of dangerous bacteria and pathogens which could compromise your health.
Are you eating your food? Or is your garbage?
When summer comes around, although we like to spend a lot of time at the gym trying to get that perfect, bikini ready summer body, we also like to stay social. For most of us, this means going out to restaurants to eat out with friends, for inviting them round to our place for a pizza and a movie. The trouble with all this take out is that not only is it an unnecessary expense, it exacerbates the issue of food waste. Americans spend on average over $3,000 a year dining out. Meanwhile, their fridge full of perishable produce like fresh fruit and veggies, meat and dairy products gets increasingly unappetizing.
Even how you store your food can increase your risk of food waste. Poor refrigeration management leads to good food betting placed right at the back of the refrigerator where it is inevitably forgotten. These invisible perishables wind up going bad in our refrigerators and getting tossed in the trash. The US is a world leader in food waste with around 150,000 tons of our food going into landfills every day. That’s not good for the planet, world hunger or your wallet.
Is your money going out the window? Or through the roof?
Most of us assume that just because we have double glazed windows that our homes are energy efficient. Be advised, however, that not all double glazed windows are created equal. If you’re looking for really energy efficient windows, you might find this comparison of the top 5 illuminating. But remember that your windows aren’t the only part of your home where your energy (and your money) can leak out. Few of us pay all that much attention to our roofs but they can be another source of wasted energy. Heat rises and without adequate attic insulation or high quality roofing materials it can float right out of your home. Many advocate metal roofs as they keep the home cool during summer while helping to seal in your home’s heat in winter.
Beware! The energy vampires
Be honest now. How often do you leave your TV on standby overnight? And what about any iPod docks, games consoles or stereos scattered around the place. These energy vampires can still drain your money when not in use. Unplug them or switch them off at the wall and you could save around $20-25 a year.
Smells like savings
Even a beautiful home’s effect can be marred by the smell of cat litter that needs to be changed or a pair of smelly sneakers that someone left lying around after getting back from the gym. A beautiful looking home is far more effective when it also smells beautiful. But that doesn’t mean that you should have to spend a fortune on expensive and inefficient plug-in room deodorizers. Instead, use combinations of essential oils to create the perfect scent for each room. And don’t forget how great plants and flowers can be in keeping your home’s air clean and fragrant.
If you’re constantly vigilant, your home can save you money while still looking beautiful.