Sorry to break it to you, but draining your CPF funds and cash savings and signing up for a 30 year mortgage are just the beginning of your responsibilities as a homeowner. Once you actually move into your new home, you’ll discover that the additional expenses you take on are a bit heftier than you might have envisioned when you were still living with mum and dad.
But before you decide to cut off the water and electricity and survive by collecting rainwater and illuminating the house by candlelight, try these tips that can help you to reduce household costs.
Reduce aircon usage with blackout curtains and a good fan
While saving a few drops of water isn’t going to save you much money, altering your air conditioning usage patterns can. Powering your air con is very expensive, and if you can stop yourself from sleeping in an air conditioned room every night, you will see the difference in your electricity bill. But with daytime temperatures at a crazy high of 34 degrees these days, we’re not suggesting you should simply wake up in a puddle of sweat each morning.
Other than getting a good fan, purchasing custom-made blackout curtains helps a lot. These curtains keep your room dark and cool even at the height of the afternoon. I got mine from Jimmy Textiles and have to say they were totally worth the cost. Another alternative is to get shades or blinds installed.
Air dry your clothes
Other than the air con, the clothes dryer is also quite expensive to operate. If you have many loads of laundry to do each week, you can save quite a few dollars by air drying everything instead—more than $15 a month in electricity alone if you do multiple loads a week.
In addition, you also save money on dryer sheets, which cost about $6+ per box of 40 sheets, and having to maintain the contraption. If you haven’t furnished your home yet, you might choose not to buy a dryer altogether and instantly save the $400+ to $1,600+ a new machine would cost.
Get rid of cable TV and landline
Unless you’re a TV addict, you probably don’t need cable TV. Most people I know just stream programmes on their computers these days, so subscribing to cable channels is a waste of that $20 to $100 a month.
A landline is pretty much obsolete, so unless you work from home as a telemarketer, don’t bother signing up for one or cancel your existing line. Landlines cost a little under $10 a month, and you’ll also have to pay an activation charge of about $50+.
Install energy and water saving lightbulbs and taps
When your parents or your landlord are paying for utilities and water, you don’t think twice about how long you leave the lights on or the tap running. If you want to reduce your monthly utility bills, installing energy-saving lightbulbs and water-saving taps can be a fuss-free way to do so.
LED lighting tends to be the cheapest option. This website shows how much you can save by switching to LED lighting, and okay you won’t exactly be saving thousands of dollars a year, but every little bit counts, and besides, it’s not as if you’ll be required to put in any extra effort—nobody’s asking you to produce your own electricity by pedalling on a bicycle hooked up to a generator.
While you might pay a little more upfront, you’ll soon recoup the cost. Energy-saving lightbulbs tend to last longer than regular lightbulbs.
Admittedly, water saving shower heads are not that cheap. But PUB gives out free water saving kits that include thimbles which you can use to regulate water flow from showerheads and taps.
How do you save money around the house? Tell us in the comments!