Time to stop putting off big items on the honey-do list!
#10. Clear out the garage
How long has it been since you’ve parked both cars in the garage? Or even just one? Most of us know we don’t need half of what’s in the garage. Make the decision to finally just get rid of it - whether that’s done by donating items, selling them on Facebook marketplace, or just throwing stuff out.
You may still need to store some decoration boxes in the garage, and that’s fine. Lots of people install overhead storage shelves that hang from the garage’s ceiling support beams. You can fit 10+ big storage boxes on these things if you build them on all four garage walls. Check out this DIY suspended garage storage shelves project guide, or these pre-built ceiling mounted shelves from Home Depot.
This unit was designed and built by Hertoolbelt
#9. Save money by refinancing
Depending on when you purchased your home, refinancing could save some serious money. When interest rates drop below what you originally purchased the house, there's an opportunity to save with a refi. Plus, a cash-out refinance can give you cash out of what you’ve already paid for your home. That cash can be used toward other debts, like high-interest credit cards.
#8. Renovate the kitchen
Modernizing your kitchen can bump your home’s value up, and can serve as a valuable investment. You don’t have to rack up a big bill with new appliances and flooring. You can bring the kitchen into 2020 with fresh paint, new blinds, recessed lighting, and a used dining table. For larger repairs and remodels, a renovation loan or even a cash-out refinance may be a smart move for you.
#7. Go greener
Cutting out some waste not only helps save everyone’s resources, but it can save your money too. One easy way to save is with low-flow shower heads and faucets. And you can save on the electric bill in lots of different ways: turn off lights when you leave the house, use more natural light from windows, unplug unused electronic that use standby power (like modern game consoles), and lower your thermostat by 2 degrees in the winter (it’ll save 5% on your heating bill!).
#6. Create an easier meal plan
Believe it or not, it’s totally possible to cook homemade meals that’re healthy, easy, and fast. Frozen vegetables, chicken patties, burgers, fish, and microwavable steamed rice take a literal 5 minutes of work. All you need to do is wait on the oven for 25 minutes. Knowing what you’re having for dinner every night can be a big burden taken off your shoulders. With some upfront planning, it can be easy.
#5. Make a weekly chore list for the whole family
We know - easier said than done. Keep track of everyone’s progress through the week on the chores with a dry-erase board on the refrigerator. If little Johnny hasn’t swept the patio by Friday, he won’t be spending the night with his friends!
Keeping clothes and clutter off the floor is a struggle. But you can make it a little more fun for kids with this “Store & Score” laundry basket. It’ll hang from doors and light up when they hit the “backboard” as they throw clothes in. And how about those muddy shoes piling up in the entryway? You can store them in cubbies to get them off the floor and de-clutter the entryway with this 25-pair stackable shoe rack from WayFair.
#4. Pay off credit card debt
Did you know: the average American household credit card debt is $5,700? That includes households that don’t even have a credit card balance. When you take a look only at households that have a credit card balance, it’s $9,333!
The average household credit card debt in Texas is $7,692. Sound anywhere near where you’re at? This year, make a resolution to hunker down and get rid of it! Let’s assume an interest rate of 17.21%. If you make monthly payments of $275 over three years’ time, you’ll be completely done. Unfortunately, by that time, you paid $2,209 in interest alone.
#3. Finish landscaping projects
Little landscaping projects are such a great way to get everyone together. Revamping a flower bed in the front yard is an inexpensive project, and it only calls for some sweat and imagination. You’ll need to pull out the weeds, add a layer of compost, draw up a design, add new soil, and plant your flowers. Check out this how-to on redoing flower beds by budgetdumpster.com!
#2. Make repairs
If you put off some types of repairs, you can really end up paying for it later. This year, make a commitment to get ‘er done. The roof, foundation, water damage, electrical damage, and septic system repairs need to be done ASAP.
You can usually expect a central air unit to last between 12 and 15 years. So if that time’s approaching, start socking away a little savings each month to prepare for a potential repair or replacement.
#1. Create a written monthly budget
Get real about your monthly budget. As you’re working on #4 in this list, a real monthly budget will make sure you don’t go back in debt. The formula is simple: don’t spend more than you take in. Make a line-by-line list of everything single expense your household has every month. And if there’s an expense that only occurs every six months, divide it by six and add it to your monthly expenses.
Subtract the “must-spend” items like your mortgage, car payments, gas, groceries, internet, etc. Then, find out exactly how much discretionary budget you’re able to spend each week on things like restaurants, movie tickets, hobbies, etc. At first, you may need to write down everything you spend on a single sheet so you can keep track of how much you have left in the budget for the month.