Household resolutions worth making

2017-03-02 06:00
PHOTO: sourcedGet the children involved in home improvement projects.

PHOTO: sourcedGet the children involved in home improvement projects.

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EAT less. Gym more. Find that dream job. Lose the bad habits. Stop biting your nails. Start getting up earlier. Sounds familiar, yes, we’re all guilty of making New Year resolutions that are most likely going to be broken in the first week of January.

If you’re tired of setting personal goals that you know will never last, then it’s time to shift your focus from self-improvement to home-improvements – because home is really where the heart is.

Here are just six ideas that will not only inspire a fresh way of thinking about resolutions but also help you become a better person in 2017.

Goal 1: Cut your utility bills in half

We’re not necessarily talking about installing solar panels – although, if you can afford it, it’s a great idea with many financial benefits.

Save on water and electricity:

•Switch off lights when you leave a room (or when you’re not in it).

•Switch off any non-essential appliance (including computers) at the plug when not in use – electrical devices still consume energy when plugged in yet turned off at their on/off button.

•Replace your electrical heater with a gas heater; or only use your electrical heater when really necessary.

•Replace all your traditional light bulbs with energy-saving ones – it might be an expense to do this in one go, but these will last for many years and will help save plenty on your bills.

•Use your bath water to water your garden (you can even install a pipe that leads the water from your bath directly to your garden).

•Choose to shower instead of making use of a bath tub; and use a bucket to catch the excess water (this can be used to water your plants).

•Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when the load is full; and avoid doing smaller washes more often – this will not only save water but also lower your electricity bill significantly.

Goal 2: Budget for home improvements

Create an annual budget that will allow you to put money aside every month for those home-improvement projects you’ve been yearning for or any other small DIY maintenance jobs that might pop up. It might mean less Chinese takeout, but when you’re lounging in your new tub, it’ll feel like a small sacrifice.

Goal 3: Put a little extra money into your bond

Do you ever get the feeling that your monthly bond repayments are just not making any dent in your capital amount? So, this year, why not aim to eat out less or forgo those takeout coffees, and rather invest that money in your bond? We know what you’re thinking - what difference can R250 make in a month? Well, it can really save you thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of rands in interest as well as helping you cut down your loan term significantly.

Goal 4: Clear the clutter

This year, use each month to work through a different room and clear out all those things that clutter it. Also, make it a rule that if you’ve not used any item for six months to a year, that you either throw it out (if it’s broken) or donate it to charity.

Goal 5: Make your home a safe space

Replace the rusty burglar bars on your bedroom windows. If you’ve been wanting to put up that security gate outside your front door, aim to do so in the first three months of the year; and if you’ve been wanting to join your neighbourhood watch, give them a call immediately.

Alternatively, make sure your home is fitted with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in case a blaze breaks out. Also update your home insurance policy to make sure your cover is up-to-date in case of any house emergency, and make sure that your first aid kit is replenished and restocked with all those must-have emergency medical supplies.

Goal 6: Get the family involved in DIY

Including children in those simple home improvement projects are not only a fun way to spend valuable family time together, but also teaches them the importance of maintaining a home and, most likely, great motor skills too. - Supplied.

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