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I don’t know about you, but I had an absolutely fabulous 2018! It had been a long time since I’ve been so encouraged by the outpouring of love, friendship, and caring that I’ve seen exchanged between people. Sure – we’ve still got our problems. Who doesn’t? But in general, I find that I had more to be excited about, and found myself filled with more hope for the future, than I have in a long time.

Now that 2018 is drawing to an end, I find myself thinking – will 2019 be just as good? I certainly hope it is. For one thing, I grew a whole lot as a person – hubby and I are closer than we have been in years. The children are doing well in school. All in all, things are good. One thing that definitely made a big difference this past year was that I really buckled down, and tried to cut back some costs that I previously had no problem spending to keep the house in order.

I’m a decor fanatic, and I absolutely will not tolerate a home that isn’t perfect. And I do mean perfect. Scuff marks on the wall; dust on the ceiling fan, mismatched drapes – I can’t stand it! It drives me absolutely insane, and until I’ve done a complete overhaul of everything that’s bothering me, I can’t rest easy.

Or at least, that’s how I was.

I still clean the house once a week (okay…twice), but I try not to let it bother me too much. More than that, though, I really tried to find ways to save money in every aspect of taking care of my home. It worked great for me, and I wanted to share what I learned with you, in the hope that these tips to save a bit more of your hard earned income will make your 2019 every bit as amazing as my 2018!

Learn to do More DIY Repairs

Okay, so a home freak I may be, but a handy-woman I am not. The minute I see water pooling in the sink, I call hubby. He’s sweet, and I love him, but his powers are limited.

So in 2018, we decided to do something about it. We crawled the web, started reading more books on the topic, and really tried to improve the amount of regular maintenance tasks we could do ourselves around the house.

And you know what? It worked!

I didn’t realize just how much money we were spending to bring in a repairman for every little thing around the house, until we weren’t spending it anymore. Now, whenever I even suspect that the sink starts to clog up, I grab a bottle of Draino, take that handy plastic pipe thing that you use to pull out the clog (yeah…I still don’t know what that’s called) and I clear it myself!

Use Alternatives to Ways to Stay Warm

If you’re like me, the minute you sense a chill in the air, and well before you can see your own breath, you’ve run to the thermostat, and have your heater working harder than a furnace at a steel mill. It definitely made me comfortable, but our heating bill was getting absolutely ridiculous! Something had to be done.

What I chose to do was twofold:

First, I cut back on the heat. Yeah, I felt a little cold at first, but instead of going to max heat right off the bat, I gradually scaled down, only turning up the temperature when it was absolutely necessary. To compensate, I just layered more, with jackets, sweaters, and the like. It’s a bit of a pain, I’ll admit, but the savings were worth it.

Second, I learned to take advantage of the natural insulators in my home. I bought a new bedding set that was a wee bit thicker, and we even bought a new area rug, that looks absolutely gorgeous, to help trap the heat in the floor.

I stayed warm, we saved money, and everyone was happy. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Buy More Used Goods to Replace Worn Out Items

Okay, confession: I’m a snob. There. I said it. I’m very hesitant to buy anything that someone’s used before, particularly when it comes to home care. If I can’t confirm where something’s been, how it’s been used, and if it’s been cleaned regularly, it makes me shiver.

This was the hardest thing I did this year, but the savings were phenomenal. When it came time to replace the curtains, I didn’t run down the shop like I normally would – I asked my girlfriends if they had any they’d be willing to part with. I at least knew that they couldn’t have done anything too outrageous, and I saved a lot of money doing it.

Now, am I saying buy everything used? Absolutely not. I’m not buying a blouse second-hand from a consignment shop, and I refuse to put my children in anything that’s been worn before outside my home. Too many germs. But for those times when I had to get a new blender, replace my poor, dearly departed tea kettle, and needed to add a few pans to my collection, I saved a ton by shopping around the consignment shops in town, and querying my friends to keep an eye out for me.

This is a contributed post



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Claire Kirby

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