DIY Thursdays: How to DIY and SAVE at the Same Time

DIY projects all have the hidden agenda of saving you money. When you begin to take a look at your finances, chances are that you will begin to see exactly how much you are overpaying for everyday conveniences.

From ordering take out a few time a week to paying for a cleaning service, making things easier on your schedule can often create a strain on your finances.

Here are some Do-It-Yourself tricks that can help you keep some additional money in your pocket:

Shorten your dryer-vent hose
Disconnect the hose and vacuum it out. Trim the hose length so that it’s long enough for you to pull the dryer a few feet from the wall. A short and unobstructed line makes your fryer run more efficiently, while saving you $25 a year on electric, gas, or propane. In addition, your clothes will also dry about 20 percent faster.

Closing closet doors to can lower the square footage you’re heating and cooling. Shutting closet doors along the exterior walls help to insulate the house saving you an average of $50 a year off of your total energy bills.

Make your own cleaning solutions. Go ahead and create your own cleaning products using inexpensive kitchen items, such as white vinegar and baking soda. You can also check out The Green Guide ( for recipes. Not only will you have cleansers that don’t contain any harsh chemicals, you will also be saving $50 or more per year on commercial cleansers.

Replace central air-conditioning filters. Every month during the summer, make sure that you replace your air-conditioner filers to keep air flowing freely through the ducts and to reduce strain on the blower motor. Not only will these new filters keep dust and mold from collecting on the condenser coils, it also extends the life of the equipment while saving you at least $40 on cooling costs.

Use your laptop instead of your desktop. Your laptop runs on batteries, which uses 80 percent less electricity than a desktop computer, saving you $30 per year off of your electricity bill.

Replace your grill, lawnmower, or patio furniture during the fall. Waiting to replace these items until the fall season can end up saving you over $150 as stores normally mark down their inventory pricing to make room for holiday decorations and snowblowers. What’s better is that most of the online retailers often provide free shipping on leftover warm-weather gear.

Plug up a Smart Strip. Three-quarters of the energy that electronics burn is consumed when the equipment is turned off. Instead of unplugging them, hook them up to a Smart Strip surge protector, which automatically kills power to electronics when you turn them off. This small switch can save you over $240 a year on energy costs.

Install a shower timer. Put one in the kid’s bathroom. This battery-operated device limits showers to 5, 8, and 11 minutes saving you almost $200 a more a year on your water bill. In addition, this also speeds up your child’s morning routines of eating breakfast, brushing their teeth, and making sure they make it out the door on time.

Cancel your phone line. Cancelling your phone line and replacing with a magicJack can save you over $400 a year. This tiny gadget instantly transforms your broadband phone access into a free phone service with unlimited calling, free long distance in the US and Canada.

Install a wireless light switch. Simply attach a batter-operated device to the wall and screw its receptor into the lamp socket. It costs about $27 for a wireless light socket switch and can end up saving you $300 once it has been installed.

These are just a few small do-it-yourself projects that can help you save money.

Jessica Williams is Consolidated Credit’s Marketing Communications New Media Coordinator. As a member of the education team, Jessica focuses on helping consumers make better financial decisions while living debt-free. She has previously worked with Take Stock In Children, where she was a mentor and communications specialist, and, where she managed community relations, event planning, marketing, and public relations. Jessica attended both the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida where she received her B.S. in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications and Marketing. Connect with Jessica on Google+.