The cost of homeownership includes paying a mortgage and other related bills. You also have to keep your home in a good state of repair, that is if you want to live in it comfortably or at least break even when you go to sell.
Then, there are the utility bills that come monthly. Payments for sewer and trash removal are due on a quarterly basis, while taxes are generally paid annually. Yes, there are quite a bit of costs that homeowners have to deal with, and these costs inch up slowly, year after year. So, whether you are hoping to retire and have no out of pocket costs to maintain your home or have just bought your house and are overwhelmed with the bills, here are some ways to offset the expenses. Get ready to consider some pretty unconventional methods that will absolutely make homeownership less costly.
Make Money with Your Land
The days of landowners literally striking oil have pretty much passed, but residential property and land still has other ways of generating cash. Homeowners sometimes luck out and are able to capitalize on the resources present on their land. If you own a few acres, consider building some stables and renting your land to horse owners. Other homeowners have been able to rent their land for parking purposes, especially if they are nearby major festivals. Realize that your land can only be used in accordance with local rules and ordinances, so do the research before you start spray painting out parking rows.
Surveys and Opinions
Surveys, sweepstakes, opinions panels – they all have something in common. They promise consumers some prize or form of compensation in return for their personal information. And while doing a bunch of surveys definitely isn’t going to make any homeowner rich, it can all add up and help tremendously. Taking surveys and participating in research studies can also be quite a unique experience as a homeowner. Companies and advertisers are consistently looking for specific consumer groups, of which homeowner are considered to be quite valuable. Get on the right lists and you could be completing surveys that pay out a lot more, on average. There are hundreds of reputable online websites for surveys, opinion panels, and research studies, all specifically tailored to get homeowners interested in participating for cash.
Rent Out a Room or the Entire Home
You could join the legions of millions of homeowners who have taken to decorating their homes and renting them out to strangers – through a safe and verified third party platform, of course. If you live in an area where there are few accommodations or simply offer a sweet deal in the middle of a major city, you could make a lot of money just by renting out single rooms for the night. Homeowners can make even more if they rent their entire homes, but then there is the consideration of where they will stay. Utilize an online platform like Airbnb so that your bases are covered financially and legally. Otherwise, remember that renting out part of your home to people you don’t know can come with risks.
Donating Plasma and Other Medically Related Ideas
Back in college you might have donated plasma just to get access to the free snacks. Today, donating plasma is an even bigger business and if you can maintain a donation schedule, you can make a good bit of cash. Donating plasma literally requires you do nothing more than show up at the plasma collection site. You have to be in good health, and you can’t do it too frequently. During plasma collection, you get to sit back, listen to music, read a book, or quietly chat with your neighbors. Plasma can be donated multiple times a month, indefinitely. This is not recommended for the squeamish, but if you have a strong resolve and an even stronger constitution you can donate some plasma each money and at least be able to pay a household bill.
Banking on Solar Energy
Every homeowner would love to find new ways in order to make money off of their homes – without selling them. So, if you happened to have an orchard in your backyard you could potentially collect the fruit and sell it to local residents. Homeowners who take advantage of solar energy are simply harnessing another free resource available on their property. Yes, you have to be willing to invest in solar energy to get a major payday. Visit westcoastheatcool.com to see how solar energy can be used in conjunction with your existing HVAC system. With West Coast Heating Air Conditioning and Solar, homeowners are encouraged to select a solar energy system that works for them. If you would like to lower or eradicate your power bill, you need to have solar panels installed. After a while, those same solar panels might actually be making you money.
Growing Your Own Food
Whether you have land outside of your home for a nice sized garden or you choose to grow a horizontal garden inside of your place, you can make homeownership convenient and cost effective. The reason that you pay your mortgage and utilities is so you can have a place to store all of your essentials – including your food. People generally go to the grocery store a few times a month, purchasing fresh produce often. Believe it or not, those carrots and heads of lettuce add up over time.
Cut down on food costs with a home garden of your own, where you can grow a lot of the same foods that you get at the store. Potatoes can be grown in almost any kind of soil, and when they are stored in a cool and dry environment, they can last for months before going bad. Growing your own fresh herbs will give your food more flavor while eliminating the need to buy expensive manufactured varieties at the supermarket. If you haven’t grown a garden before, you will need practice getting your edible plants to take root.
Home Water Conservation
The bill won’t come very month and it probably won’t be that big. At the same time, homeowners are aware that every expense adds up and added expenses can drain a budget. So, look to water conservation to keep at least one bill at bay. You will need water at home for personal hygiene of course, but you might also utilize water to wash your clothing and the dishes. What about water for keeping those veggies green and growing? Well, you don’t actually have to pay for that water. If you set up a water collection system or just set out a rain barrel, you can start saving some cash on that water bill. Taking shorter showers and coming up with an alternative ‘flushing’ system can help take that water bill down a few extra dollars a month. Have an energy efficient clothing washer installed in your home and stop using the dishwasher altogether. You can be much more efficient with the amount of water that you use and see a big change in usage levels. Anything that you do to save water can be a major and long-term change. Try out similar methods when it comes to conserving electricity and reducing your power bill every month.
Providing Daycare or Other Home Care Services
Do you have enough space to let a few dogs roam around free in a fenced in backyard? Why not set up a dog sitting service? If you are friends with enough working parents with toddler aged kids, you can possibly run a very lucrative daycare facility too. In fact, daycare facilities are regularly operated out of homes and in residential neighborhoods. Parents enjoy the fact that their children can go outside and get fresh air without having to venture out. So, if you have the room, then you can petsit, babysit, or run a different home care service. Of course, just like with other business ventures, you need to get properly licensed and have your home inspected for safety purposes before you can just run a daycare. Equally important, you need to have a calm and steady temperament in order to work with kids or animals. Be ready to have new clients sign contracts, pay deposits, and perhaps pay for services in advance. You are going to be a busy homeowner if you have a care service operating out of your home.
Entering the Cottage Food Industry
Not every state allows homeowners to sell food that has been made in their kitchens, but the ones that do give homeowners a truly wonderful opportunity. In the cottage food industry, home chefs and bakers whip up batches of food to be sold to the public. In general, baked goods sell best as they last longer and don’t have to be refrigerated. As long as you have a venue to sell your homemade foods, you can make more than enough cash to cover supplies and labor. Some members of the cottage food industry sell their goods online, going through avenues such as Etsy. A highly motivated homeowner might design their own website and fulfill order via postal mail. If you enjoy cooking and you want to make some additional money to pay household bills, start working on your recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
Work Full-time – From Home
So, other than the fact that working from home offers some real major benefits in the form of convenience, there is a super important advantage that homeowners should be aware of. Anyone who works from themselves and has a home office is able to utilize a few hefty tax deductions. First, measure the space that you use to work from home. It needs to be in an enclosed room that is solely earmarked for that purpose, and don’t be afraid to get creative – a converted dining room or even a semi-finished basement will work just fine for now. Then, calculate how much money in energy costs you spent powering up your computer, take a look at your phone bills, and take out a portion of your internet bills too. Small business owners and service providers working from home find homeownership to be more manageable, based on the amount saved on taxes.
The Wonderful World of Couponing
Couponing is easy in concept but very difficult to execute in practice. You have to know what coupons are available in which newspaper, and you have to be quick on the draw in order to snatch up all the
circular flyers you need. Couponing requires you to cut with precision and to budget down to the very last penny. It must be done with regularity, so you can keep your cabinets well stocked without ever paying full price. In short, couponing is more than having a time intensive hobby. You have to be organized, and you have to be dedicated. A lot of faithful couponers end up needing to find extra room in their house just to store the goods that they purchase. So, it can be time consuming and even a little frustrating, but if you learn how to coupon efficiently, then you can see a huge improvement in your overall budget.
Even after a mortgage has been satisfied, there are going to be costs such as state and county taxes due on the property each year. If you are not living off grid, then there are also going to be energy bills due regularly. Homeowners must also pay for repairs associated with leaky roofs, broken toilets, flooded backyards, and missing aluminum siding.
Find one or even several ways to keep your costs down, whether it be with couponing or by driving an Uber on the weekend. Work on making homeownership cheaper for you in the long haul, and be certain that you have a good amount of money saved at all times. Sometimes, emergencies will occur and homeownership related costs will come up that simply can’t wait to be paid. Keep yourself in a position so you can always take care of your home and it will take care of you.