Monday, February 27, 2012

4 Ways to Cut Your Home Costs in 2012

January labor reports reveal that the U.S. economy added 243,000 jobs during the first month of 2012.  This is a 133,000-person increase from the hiring numbers of January last year.

This data implies that many jobless Americans have indeed, gotten back to work. Yet, recent money-saving trends adopted by many homeowners show that Americans are still aiming to stretch their hard-earned money further than they did in previous years. With this in mind, I present to you four ways to cut your home costs in 2012.

Cut cable service and add Apple TV.
Digital media receivers, such as Apple TV or Roku Player, allow users to play digital content on computers or high-definition televisions.
The reason many homeowners are choosing to cut expensive cable service plans in favor of Smart TV is simply the competitive viewing selection it provides without a monthly bill!
Through the use of Apple TV, Bluray Player or Roku Player, users can view digital content originating from the following wide range of media:
  • Netflix
  • MobileMe
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • iTunes Store
  • NHL GameCenter
  • NBA League Pass
The main complaint from Apple TV users is the fact that you can’t watch live sports on the device.  However, other Apple TV users stated that going to a restaurant or bar to watch a live sporting event is both more enjoyable and less expensive than paying a high cable bill every month.

Cancel your landline in favor of a smartphone.
With the current rate technology is advancing, it’s easy to understand how the home phone line is becoming more synonymous with the bag phone of 1992 with each year that passes.
Landlines have gotten a bad rep recently due to their involvement with expensive cable bundle packages that have persuaded many cash-strapped people to do away with cable and landlines all together.
The endless possibilities that apps have given smartphone users may have provided the perfect storm for the extinction of the home phone land line.

Clip coupons and cut cooking costs.
There are a number of Americans who have mastered the art of cutting and using coupons.  These people plan ahead to the point where they rarely pay full price for anything on their grocery lists.
Here are a few tips for the novice coupon cutter:
  • Make a grocery list.
  • Thumb through the grocery ads that appear in your mailbox or daily paper.
  • Do a quick Google search to determine what items from your list are on sale at the local grocery store.
  • Print or clip the coupons.
  • If possible, delay buying items on your list that are not currently on sale.
  • Monitor and record your savings.
Couponing is a growing trend with frugal homeowners.  With a newspaper and a pair of scissors, you can start cutting money off your weekly expenses today!

Buy energy-efficient products to save on utility costs.
There are many energy-efficient household products such as energy-saving light bulbs, mica thermic space heaters, and solar radio systems that may lower your monthly utility bills.
While the higher cost of an energy-efficient furnace may persuade you to reconsider your options, reports show that these furnace owners can save $787 annually on utility costs.
Websites such as Buy Energy Efficient assist frugal homeowners in lowering their monthly utility bills by informing them about the wide range of energy-efficient household products available.
The economy is recovering, but if your home is full of energy vampires, your personal finances could get sucked dry.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know of another great way to save on home costs: refinancing. Rates are still silly low, so find out which refinance option is best for you, and your hard-earned money could last a lot longer.

The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments or external internet links are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of First Capital, we make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current, suitability, or validity of this information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Any information provided does not constitute an offer or a solicitation to lend. Providing information to purchase does not guarantee a loan approval. All registered trademarks, copyright, images, or other items used are property of their respective owner and are used for editorial purposes only.
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