Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How Your Family Can Save On Housing Expenses This Year

Housing expenses can quickly eat away at your budget if you’re not careful with your spending. By finding ways to save money around the home, you’ll be able to afford to pay other bills and expenses in your life easier. Here are a few great ways that your family can save on housing expenses this year.

Conserve Energy

Cutting down on the amount of energy that you consume is one of the easiest ways to save money on housing expenses. By simply turning off lights, appliances, and other pieces of equipment that run on power that are in rooms that aren’t currently being used, you’ll see a big difference in your energy bill. Compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, are among the best energy-efficient light bulbs and can be used for many of your fixtures to provide light throughout your home. You can also save money by replacing your old windows with energy-efficient ones that can help regulate indoor temperatures better and prevent energy from escaping your home. If you can afford the initial investment, you may even want to consider switching to solar energy or another alternative power source, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Use Lower-Cost Building Materials

Being mindful of the types of building materials that you use to complete home renovation projects can help you save more. There are many types of prefabricated panels and concrete sheets that are known to be easier on the budget and can be used for a variety of projects. If you want hardwood floors, consider installing laminate floor panels that look like real would but are less expensive. Some clever homeowners have even found smart ways to repurpose old shipping containers to make new guesthouses or other home additions. If your home needs new insulation to save on energy use and make the indoor temperatures more comfortable, cellulose and spray foam insulation are among the cheapest options.

Consider Refinancing

Refinancing on your home loan can be a great way to secure a better rate that saves you money on your monthly payments. This can give you some additional cash flow that can be used to pay for some of your other expenses. You may also get the chance to own your home outright sooner if you switch to a mortgage that doesn’t have as long a term (for example, switching from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan). Another great option is to consider a cash-out refinance, which will allow you to get cash for the difference when your property’s value increases and/or the rates have dropped. If you’re having trouble making a decision over whether to refinance, talking to a financial advisor can help make the process easier.

Examine Your Home Insurance Policy

There may be ways that you can lower the cost of your home insurance, and reviewing your policy carefully can help you identify areas where you might be paying more money than necessary. If possible, you can try having your deductible raised so that you can pay lower monthly payments. Bundling your home insurance policy with your auto insurance and any other plans that you need can also save you money if your insurance offers these specific policies and allows you to bundle them. If your current home insurance provider isn’t able to give you a better rate, you should consider shopping around for a new carrier that can give you the sufficient coverage that you need at a lower cost.

Look for Tax Deductions

Certain household expenses can often be deducted from taxes, which will reduce the amount that you owe the government. Mortgage interest is usually a deductible expense and should be noted on your tax forms. IRS.gov states that you may qualify for residential energy credits if any improvements were made to your home to save energy. Mortgage debt forgiveness is another possible deduction if certain terms are met. Points that are charged by mortgage lenders are also usually deductible. If you work at home for a living and use a home office, this also qualifies for a tax break in most cases.

Finding ways to save money on your housing expenses can give you more of the financial security that you crave. Going over all your spending details carefully and finding ways to cut costs even more can make a huge difference in your savings.

            

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Integrated Family Community Services is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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IFCS’ Tax ID # 84-0579740