Your Santa Cruz home is your castle, but living like a king can get expensive. If you find yourself digging in the sofa for change to go to the store, read these tips on cutting household expenses:
• Use less energy. Turn off the lights before you leave. If you're going on a two-hour trip and you spend one minute turning off all the lights, you're earning the equivalent of $50 an hour, or $0.83 a minute.
• Install CFL or LED light bulbs. They both have a longer life and use less energy than regular bulbs. CFLs use about 25% of the electricity of a normal light bulb, while LEDs use about 2%.
• Install a programmable thermostat. These regulate the temperature in your Santa Cruz home according to a set schedule. These thermostats can cut your energy bill by 10 to 20%.
• Buy reliable appliances, not cheap appliances. Okay, so a reliable, energy efficient washer and dryer may cost more than you want to spend now. However, if it saves energy on a continual basis and you don't have to by another one for fifteen years, you're saving a significant amount of money in the long run.
• Maintain your current appliances. If it's not time to replace your appliances, take a good look at them. Check to make sure dust isn't clogging them. Use your vacuum to clear away any dust that is there. Check the vents of refrigerators, dryers, and heating and cooling units. The less dust you have, the more efficient, and longer, they'll run.
• DIY instead of Hire-It-Done. Many times, the things that break can be easily repaired. Get a handyman's book or look on the internet for information. See if it's possible for you to fix it before you call a repair person.
Most of these tips are long-term strategies. If you need additional mental backing and support to follow them, get out a calculator and add up the savings. You'll find yourself pleasantly surprised, and may even go looking through your Santa Cruz home for other ways to save!
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If I can answer any home or real estate related questions for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 831.662.6522.