4 Ways to Stop Financial Waste in the Home

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Our homes are our personal castles, those places where we’re meant to be able to retreat from the annoyances of the world and settle into a state of extreme relaxation and contentment.

If all goes well, this is exactly the role our homes do indeed fill in our lives — allowing us to chill out, recharge our batteries, and focus on the things we find most important in life, like family, or a particular hobby of ours, instead of what’s going on in the office.

Of course, there’s plenty of stuff that can go wrong in the home, too, and besides all of that, it’s also possible that through our inattention or unfortunate habits, our homes might actually be an ongoing source of financial waste in our lives. And, of course, there’s nothing relaxing or fun about losing money for nothing.

For the sake of helping to safeguard your sanity and the sanctity of your home — not to mention your wallet -- here are some ways to stop financial waste in the home.

Be very conscientious about addressing any leaks

If you have a pipe that’s leaking a considerable amount of water directly onto your kitchen floor, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to notice it and get the problem addressed in pretty short order.

The thing is, pipes also run underground and through walls, and you could be losing a lot more water, and money, than you might think if there’s even a small leak in one of these pipes.

Consider, for example, that leak detection experts warn that even a 0.5mm hole in a pipe can result in a loss of 475.2 litres of water per day.

If you have any reason to suspect that you might have a leak — or even if you’re just cautious by nature — it could be well worth your time to contact an expert to assess the state of your plumbing.

Turn off the lights and electronics when you leave a room

You’ve probably heard this one from your parents on and on while growing up, and yet a huge number of people will still routinely leave lights on in a room when they go to another part of the house, even if they should know better.

Of course, this is a sheer waste. You’re not benefiting from the illuminated room that you’re not in, and no one else is, either. Really the only benefit to you is going to be that you don’t have to exert the bare minimum of effort required in order to flip the switch back on when you re-enter the room.

Meanwhile, your electric bill will be shooting up.

It’s simple enough, but it bears repeating. Turn off the lights when you leave a room — and the electronics, too. Ok, so you don’t need to switch off your computer whenever you go to the bathroom, but exercise your common sense here and try not to be needlessly wasteful.

Err on the side of minimalism, instead of constantly shopping for new ornaments

Some people are compulsive shoppers; they anchor a good chunk of their emotional well-being to their visits to the store in order to acquire new items. A lot has been written about the psychology behind this, but it goes without saying that if you routinely find excuses to buy things, and then don’t really get much, if any, use out of them — it’s a waste of money.

Shopping for home furniture and ornaments is one of the big ways in which this kind of compulsive spending often manifests itself. If you find that you’re constantly on the lookout for new trinkets and ornaments, consider adopting more of a minimalist home decorating ethos, to reign yourself in a bit.

Keep things organised so you always have a good overview of what’s going on

This point is pretty closely related to the previous one in this article, but it’s simply the case that when you have a tidy house, you have a much better overview of what’s going on in the home, which belongings you do and don’t have, and so on.

This level of organisation will naturally have a ripple effect on your mindset, and on the rest of your life as a whole, and can contribute to making you more attentive to detail, and more mindful of the actions you take — both in and out of the home — financial decisions included.

On a primitive, psychological level, it can seem a lot like a waste of time to carefully monitor your spending, or attempt to impose structure on your life in general, if your home environment is chaotic.

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