The Best Ways to Save Money on Your Family’s Home Maintenance Expenses

Hey there, fellow moms! We all know managing a household isn’t just about keeping the kids alive and the fridge stocked (though, let’s be honest, those are pretty big tasks on their own!). It also means taking care of our homes, which can really stretch the budget on the family’s home maintenance expenses!

So, let’s chat about some savvy ways to save money on home maintenance without cutting corners.


1. Do It Yourself (DIY)

Yes, YouTube is about to become your best friend. Simple home maintenance tasks like painting, basic plumbing, or even changing light fixtures can be learned online.

There are tons of tutorials that can guide you step-by-step. It’s empowering to handle these tasks yourself, and your wallet will thank you.

2. Stay on Top of Routine Maintenance

Prevention is always cheaper than cure, right? That makes prevention one of the best ways to cut down on your family’s home maintenance expenses. Regularly cleaning gutters, changing HVAC filters, and checking for leaks can prevent bigger, more expensive problems down the road.

Set a monthly check-up for your home; it’s like a wellness check but for your house!

According to All Better, “One of the most important reasons to carry out regular home maintenance is to keep things in good working order and ensure parts are attended to so they continue to work efficiently. Regular maintenance can also help you spot problems early and deal with them before they become bigger and costlier headaches for you.”

3. Go Energy Efficient

Investing in energy-efficient appliances or making small adjustments like adding weather stripping to doors can save a lot on your utility bills. It might be a bit of an upfront cost, but the long-term savings are worth it. Plus, it’s good for the planet, and that’s a win-win in my book!

Real estate agent Jason Jennings says, “Save electricity by shutting off your computer at night and installing energy-efficient LED light bulbs. You can minimize standby or “vampire” power drain by utilizing power strips and unplugging idle appliances.”

4. Shop Around for Contractors

When a job is too big to DIY, make sure you shop around for contractors. Get at least three quotes for any work you need done and check out reviews online.

Sometimes, local community groups on social media are goldmines for recommendations that can keep your family’s home maintenance expenses low.

5. Use Leftover Materials

Got some leftover paint or tiles? Keep them! They can be used for touch-ups or small projects, saving you from buying new materials every time. Plus, mixing and matching leftovers can lead to some creative decor solutions.

6. Join a Community Tool Bank

Instead of buying a tool you’ll use maybe once every few years, check if your community has a tool lending library.

It’s a great way to access expensive tools without the hefty price tag. It’s also a fun way to meet neighbors and exchange DIY tips and tricks.

7. Seasonal Sales and Tax Rebates

Keep an eye out for seasonal sales when buying materials or appliances. Also, some states offer tax rebates for certain home improvements, especially those that boost energy efficiency. A little research can lead to big savings.


8. Learn Basic Gardening

Landscaping can get pricey, so why not try your hand at basic gardening? Planting perennials that come back year after year can save money compared to buying new plants every season — a great way to cut down on the family’s home maintenance expenses that most people don’t expect!

Plus, gardening is a great stress reliever (until the kids run through your flower beds, of course!).

AARP reminds us, “Plants need less water than people think, Nelson says. That’s important, as water prices are surging. Nelson recommends waiting until the soil is dry to the touch, then watering first thing in the morning, using either a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system.”

Pitfalls to Watch Out For

While it’s great to save money with DIY projects, there are a few common traps we need to avoid:

  • Overestimating Your Skills: It’s important to know your limits. Electrical work, for example, can be dangerous if you’re not properly trained. Don’t be shy about calling in a professional when the task is out of your depth.
  • Underestimating Costs: DIY projects can sometimes end up costing more if done incorrectly. Always factor in a buffer for unexpected expenses.
  • Permit Problems: Some home improvement projects require permits. Always check your local regulations to avoid fines or issues if you decide to sell your home later.

How to Involve the Entire Family in Lowering The Family’s Home Maintenance Expense

Getting everyone in the family involved in home maintenance can be a fun and fulfilling way to teach responsibility and teamwork while keeping your home in top shape. Here’s how to make it a family affair:

1. Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks

Kids of different ages can handle different levels of responsibility:

Young Children (Ages 3-6)

They can help with simple tasks like dusting, picking up small debris, or helping to water plants. These tasks help them feel involved without overwhelming them.

Elementary Age (Ages 7-12)

Older kids can take on more complex jobs like helping to clean windows, raking leaves, or simple gardening.

You can also teach them to check for things like loose screws in furniture or change batteries in smoke detectors.

Teens (Ages 13 and up)

Encourage teenagers to take on more challenging projects such as painting their room, helping with deck maintenance, or assisting in DIY home improvement projects. They can handle power tools under supervision and can also be involved in planning and executing larger projects.

2. Make It Fun and Educational

Turn maintenance tasks into learning opportunities and fun activities:

  • Gamify the Experience: Create challenges or competitions, like who can weed the garden the fastest or who can clean their room the most thoroughly. Offer small rewards like choosing what’s for dinner or an extra hour of screen time.
  • Educational Projects: Choose projects that have a learning element. Building a birdhouse can teach about woodworking and biology. Planting a garden can be a lesson in botany and environmental science.

3. Schedule Regular Family Maintenance Days

Set aside a day once a month for family maintenance tasks. Regular maintenance means nothing gets too damaged, which helps lower the family’s home maintenance expenses. This creates a routine and helps everyone remember that taking care of the home is a shared responsibility:

  • Prep Together: Before the big day, sit down and plan out the tasks, gather all necessary materials, and assign roles. Make sure everyone knows what they’re doing.
  • Break Together: Keep the atmosphere light and fun. Take breaks for snacks or a quick game to keep spirits high.


4. Use Technology to Enhance Involvement

Utilize apps and digital tools to track maintenance schedules, create task lists, and assign chores:

  • Apps: Use family organization apps like Cozi or Trello to list tasks, who’s responsible, and the deadline. Everyone can check off tasks as they complete them, which gives a sense of accomplishment.
  • Videos and Tutorials: For more complex tasks, watch instructional videos together before starting. This helps everyone feel more confident and informed.

5. Celebrate Accomplishments

Always celebrate your hard work as a family. Have a special meal, watch a movie together, or go out for a treat.

This not only makes maintenance days something to look forward to but also reinforces the value of working together as a family unit.

Why It’s Important to Save on Home Maintenance

Saving on the family’s home maintenance expenses doesn’t just benefit our bank accounts; it impacts our family’s overall well-being:

  1. Financial Cushion: By saving on home maintenance, you can divert funds towards other important family goals, such as education, vacations, or retirement savings.
  2. Home Value: Keeping your home well-maintained boosts its long-term value, an important consideration if you ever plan on moving.
  3. Safety and Comfort: Regular maintenance ensures your home remains a safe, comfortable haven for your family.

Imparting Saving Habits to Your Kids

Teaching kids about saving isn’t just about money; it’s about instilling values that will serve them throughout life. When it comes to home maintenance, there are plenty of teachable moments:

1. Start with a Piggy Bank

Young children can start learning about saving by setting aside money for their own small home project, like a birdhouse or a room decoration. Discuss how saving a little bit regularly can help them achieve their goals.

2. Involve Them in Budgeting

For older children, involve them in the process of budgeting for home maintenance tasks. Show them how you compare prices, set aside money for unexpected expenses, and decide what needs to be prioritized.

3. Show the Value of Maintenance

Teach your kids that taking care of belongings, including your home, can prevent costly repairs in the future.

This can be a good metaphor for other aspects of life, emphasizing the importance of care and foresight.

4. Encourage Research

When a home project comes up, have your kids help research the most cost-effective methods and materials. This teaches them to look for value, not just price, and to think critically about what they’re buying.

5. Reward Savings

If your family saves money on a project through smart shopping or DIY efforts, consider putting some of the saved money towards a family outing or other treat.

This shows the tangible benefits of saving and sharing the rewards.

To Wrap Up

By taking on some home maintenance tasks ourselves, staying proactive about routine care, and making smart purchasing choices, we can manage our homes more affordably. Remember, the goal isn’t just to save money—it’s also about creating a comfortable, safe space for our families to grow.

So, grab that toolbox (or that phone to watch another DIY video), and let’s make sure our homes are as well-tended as our families.

Kathy Urbanski

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