Save Money on Your Home Expenses
You can easily save thousands of dollars a year with very little
effort by following even a few of the cost-saving measures in
the "Save Money" series. The more money-saving measures you
adopt, the more money you'll save. Potential savings will vary,
depending on your personal situation. See the links to the right
for more money-saving ideas.
Consider refinancing your mortgage. For every $10,000 of your
mortgage loan, 1/2 % difference in the interest rate saves you
over $40/year or $3.40/month in interest expense. A $100,000
loan at 9 1/2% refinanced at 7 1/2% saves $142/month or $1,704/year,
for a total of $50,991 over the life of a 30-year mortgage.
Potential Money Savings: $1,700/yr. For even more dramatic long-term
savings, consider a 15-year mortgage rather than a 30-year mortgage.
$1,000 - $7,000 Per
A $100,000 mortgage at 9 1/2% over 15 years saves $114,747 over
the life of the loan compared to a 30-year mortgage at the same
interest rate. At 7 1/2%, the savings between a 30-year and
15-year mortgage of $100,000 would be $84,854. A 9% loan of
$100,000, refinanced for 15 years at 7 1/2% would add $86/month
to your payment but would save you a whopping $135,845 over
the life of the loan. Potential Money Savings: $84,000-136,000
You can achieve similar results by paying an extra principal
payment on your 30-year loan each month. (In the early years
of a loan, the principal portion of your payment is very small.
On a 30-year $100,000 loan at 7 1/2%, the monthly principal
payment in the first several years is approximately $75 to $85/month).Potential
Money Savings: $85,000-136,000.
Still another way to achieve these results is to pay one half
of your monthly mortgage every two weeks. Potential Money Savings:
SAVE MONEY ON UTILITIES: ELECTRICITY
Install the new type of fluorescent bulbs in lights you leave
on for long periods. They provide four times as much light and
last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. Potential Money
Lower the temperature on your hot water heater to between 110
and 120 degrees. It's not necessary to have it any hotter and
wastes energy. Potential Money Savings: $20-40/yr.
Find out if your utility company offers free energy audits,
where they inspect your home for energy effectiveness and recommend
inexpensive ways to cut energy costs, such as insulating hot
water heaters, weather-stripping, etc. Just insulating your
hot water heater could save you $25 a year. Potential Money
Set thermostats no higher than 68 degrees in winter and no lower
than 78 degrees in summer. Turn your heat down even further
at night or when you're not home (unless you have a heat pump,
which operates more efficiently at one consistent setting).
Each extra degree in winter can increase heating costs by 3%.
In summer, each degree can raise cooling costs by 6%. Potential
Money Savings: $325 to $500/yr.
Cut back on the use of your clothes dryer. Not only is it a
big energy drain, it can also suck heated air out of your house
very quickly in winter. Hang clothes on a clothes rack to dry
and use the dryer for towels and other heavy items. Potential
Money Savings: $25-50/yr.
Use your microwave instead of your oven whenever possible and
save up to 50% in energy costs for cooking. Potential Savings: