In the category of house and home expenses can be broken down into repairs, appliances, climate control, and furnishings. The simplest way to save money maintaining your home is to have a small house, condo or apartment. With a small living space not only is the initial cost smaller, but every ancillary item is also smaller - and less expensive.
When something breaks around the house the cheapest option is usually to fix it yourself - depending on your level of skill. Some tasks have small consequences if you make a mistake - drywall may not look perfect or your paint may have a few drips. But for others, like heating and air conditioning repair, calling in a professional may be the best bet since a mistake could ruin thousands of dollars worth of equipment. On mildly challenging tasks, like laying tile or doing simple electrical repairs, buying a book and some new tools is well worth your money. Once you have the tools and experience the next time you have to make a similar repair all it will cost you is your time and materials! For example most plumbers charge between $50 and $100 to repair a clogged drain- but you can purchase a plumbers snake for $75 and fix the problem yourself. You have potentially already saved money on this repair, but in the future you will save even more money because the plumber's snake has already paid for itself!
The three things to consider when shopping for appliances are how long it will last, how much energy it uses, and if it is appropriate for your needs. Saving a few hundred dollars by buying a cheaper appliance won't save you money in the long run if it only lasts half as long as a slightly more expensive unit. It is important to check if replacement parts are available for the appliance you are considering. Repairing your appliances yourself will save you lots of money - and keep your appliances working for decades! Spending extra money to get the most energy efficient appliance possible is well worth the investment. Since you are going to keep your appliance for a long time the energy savings efficient appliances provide can add up to considerable amounts! Finally it is important to determine what the minimum requirements for any given appliance you are shopping for. If you only do 2 loads of laundry a week you could probably get by with the smallest washing machine available. In this case you might not even need a dryer.
Climate control costs are steadily increasing as energy costs go up. Having the most efficient possible furnaces and air conditioners can save you thousands of dollars every year. Central heat and air conditioning are not necessarily the most cost-efficient solutions to climate control. Not every area of your house really needs to be climate controlled. Having a window AC unit in a bedroom keeps you cool while you are resting - but you don't waste money air conditioning your bathroom or your kitchen. Another way to save money is to just turn your thermostat down during the winter. This can significantly reduce your heating costs. Just wear a sweater or snuggle under blankets to keep warm.
When you need new home furnishings avoid ever buying any new items. Search yard sales, thrift stores and the classified ads for the items you need. Even picking up items off the side of the road can be great. If you find something you really like but it is in rough shape - don't be afraid of having it re-upholstered. You can wind up with some very nice furniture for cheap this way.
Another way to keep your house fixed up and save money at the same time is to always use coupons when you MUST buy something online.