Owning a home is both a grand adventure in life, and a pain in the neck, depending on what day it is. There is the independence, the freedom to perform DIY fixes or renovations sans permission, and the overwhelming sense of achievement knowing that you have a place that you can truly call your own. But then there is the flip side, which is normally felt by beginner homeowners, in which you constantly ask yourself “what on earth do I do with this place?!”
After you have paid your monthly mortgage installment, your electricity bills, your water bills, and restocked the refridgerator and cupboards, there tends to be little money left to spend on yourself, or on accessories for your home. That is, until the next time you receive an income, and then, the monthly expenses shrink your bank account once more. But surely there must be a way to make a home your own and have some money left over as well. The answer, of course, is yes, and here are some budget friendly homeowner tips, to get you started.
First, get those bills down!
It’s nice having money to spend, but what’s nicer is not having to spend so much in the first place. Instead of looking to cut your outgoings, how about saving a little bit on them instead?
Energy bills, particularly in the UK and Northern Ireland, are seemingly on a constant hike. No sooner have they gone up in line with the annual rate of inflation, that they increase because of a tariff change or company merger. It’s a silent antagonist too, as you tell yourself that this is the last year that you will use an energy or electricity supplier, only to find that you have automatically renewed your contract with them by ignoring their quiet reminders. Change has been a long time coming, but now is the moment to put your foot down and get those bills lowered.
The good news is that there is help out there to find you a better deal on your energy charges, and it comes in the form of comparison sites like Moneygains. This is a company that lists and then compares the cost of electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland, helping residents to find better deals and make more informed choices as to which suppliers they should use. Although they are currently only covering the NI market, their growing success is at a rate that suggests it won’t just be Northern Ireland electricity that they will be comparing before long.
But no matter who you use to compare your bills, whether that be in Northern Ireland, or not, finding a new tariff that is cheaper and better for you will leave you with more money in your pocket.
Need a fancy new painting? Do it yourself.
Before we get into this, no one is suggesting that you go around your house and splash different colors of paint all over each wall, in some loose style that is more muddled, than Monet. But regardless of whether you being an artist is a pasttime or has passed its time, it is actually possible to add some colorful decor without breaking the bank, simply by doing it yourself.
Artistry websites like Paint Loose are offering more than custom paintings for you to purchase, (which, incidentally, would not be a bad idea, as they are of an incredible standard and worth more than the asking price), as well as artist supplies. In addition, the Houston-based painter sells DIY art and painting kits, and hosts online videos on how to make up your color palette.
Having artwork on the walls of your living room is one thing, and not having to spend a ridiculous amount of money on them is a bonus. But having your own artwork adorning your home, which you put together on a budget? That’s worth a try, at least.
Bring some life into the home.
Having a selection of plants, and live plants at that, is one of the most cost effective ways to spruce up a home. But fresh flowers and houseplants do far more than look beautiful, and bring life into the space. Greenery, whether that be indoor plants in the front room, or outdoor plants in the garden, have a range of other benefits. They promote mental wellbeing, as well as naturally purify the indoor air, and increase your homes curb appeal should you plan on moving home later.
Especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, florists and plant sellers such as Lively Root, are offering house plants delivery to your door, with the option for free shipping too. If the time you have to look after your new houseplant is limited, then there are variety to choose from that are considered low maintenance. Snake Plants, for instance, are indoor house plants that require indirect or low light, and not a lot of water, meaning they are easy to care for. If you have a bit more time on your hands, then get yourself some colorful Orchids and ensure they are in the best place to receive lots of sunlight, and are pest free.
But Snake Plants and Orchids are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is available for budding planters. Finding house plants that are altogether a cheap and lovely addition to any home is easy.