This is a sponsored guest post.
One of the best ways to maximize your budget is by doing repair and maintenance around the house on your own. Many “do it yourself “(DIY) projects aren’t that hard. Even if you’re not particularly handy, there are a lot of projects you can easily undertake yourself that will save you money.
Clean A/C-Heating Filters
While it’s a good idea to have a professional annually check your home’s heating and air conditioning system, this simple procedure can help save year round. Just find the filter on your unit; it’s usually behind a small panel. There will probably be an off switch nearby which you should throw before opening the panel. Remove the filters, hose off, and let dry. Re-install, and move the switch back to the on position. The improved airflow will help the unit run more efficiently.
Install Ceiling Fans
If you have a light fixture in your ceiling, this is an easy installation, though you made need an extra set of hands to complete the project. If there isn’t a fixture already, you will need to have junction box installed by an electrician. You can install the fan on your own. Once in place, it will not only help keep rooms cool in the summer, but help distribute heat more efficiently in the winter.
Your local home improvement store likely carries foam tubing that can easily be cut and placed around exposed pipes in your basement or garage. This can help you use less hot water, and reduce the time it takes for your water to heat up.
Install Dimmer Switches
Using dimmers instead of standard light switches can help save electricity. Simply go to the fuse box and cut power to that circuit, then remove the old switch. A flat-head (slotted) and a Phillips head style screwdriver should be the only tools you need to disconnect the old switch and connect the new one.
Wash Your Car
Don’t do this at home though. Save water and find a self-service car wash. The industrial strength vacuums will also save your home unit when it comes to cleaning your car’s interior.
Minor Car Repair
You can usually find coupons for a cheap oil change, and it’s usually only a little more than the cost of the oil. However, there are a few other repairs you can do yourself that would cost a lot if done by a repair shop. These include changing bulbs, fuses, and some filters. Windshield wipers are also fairly easy to replace.
Cook Gourmet Meals at Home
There are hundreds of resources for creating great tasting meals simply and cheaply. The Internet, magazines, the library, and family and friends can be great resources for recipes. Preparing your own meals can also be healthier too, and that can save you money in the long run.
Paint a room
With a little patience and practice you can paint a room in no time. Paint supply stores, as well as your local home improvement store, can help you with tips and pointers.
Build Your Confidence, But Take Precautions
With each project you tackle, you’ll become more confident, and be ready to take on more difficult repairs. Maybe start off small, and build your comfort level. Also, be aware of what you are legally allowed to do on your own. In many areas only certified professionals can do electrical work, plumbing, and so on. Even putting up a small fence might require a zoning permit. Check with your local government for applicable regulations.