Lifestyle

3 Must Have Checklists to Save Money

I love checklists. I have a checklist for just about everything we do around the house for maintenance, I have checklists for things I do at work, I even have checklists for going on vacation, computer upgrades, and our electric tooth brushes. Below I am going to give you my 3 MUST HAVE Checklists to save you money.

This is what works very well for us and hasn’t let us down. We aren’t contractors, tech experts, or mechanics so please use your best judgement if this will work for you.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist

There are things you should be doing around your house every month that will help you save money by keeping the expensive things in your house clean and working properly. Here is what I do every month:

  • Change air filters for the A/C system
  • Clean out the washing machine drain pump filter
  • Run the washing machine cleaning cycle
  • Clean the garbage disposal
  • Clean the dish washer filter
  • Clean the dish washer
  • Walk around the exterior of my home to see if anything needs attention
  • Check the air level in my vehicle tires
  • Check the fluid levels in my vehicles
  • Check all computers/phones/tablets/other electronics for updates
    • Including Apps

Semi-Annual Maintenance Checklist

There are things you should be doing around your house ever six months that will help you save money by keeping the expensive things in your house clean and working properly. Here’s what I do every six months:

  • Run electric toothbrushes until they die
  • Run beard trimmer until it dies
  • Descale my coffee making equipment
  • Inspect the coils/fins on my A/C units to make sure they are clean and clear of debris
  • Replace windshield wipers on all vehicles
  • Clean vacuum cleaner beater bar
  • Replace batteries in smoke/CO2 detectors
  • Clean out gutters
  • Clean deck furniture (Beginning and End of season)
  • HVAC inspection (Fall and Spring)

Annual Maintenance Checklist

There are things you should be doing around your house every year that will help you save money by keeping the expensive things in your house clean and working properly. Here’s what I do every year:

  • Clean out the clothes dryer exhaust
  • Drain and flush hot water heater
  • Wash exterior of home including windows
  • Inspect Plumbing for leaks
  • Chimney Inspection
  • Annual Vehicle Check-Up with Mechanic
  • Full Exterior and Interior Detail of all vehicles
  • Pull out refrigerator and clean coils

How Checklists Save You Money

It might not seem like doing all of this saves you money, but it really does in the long term. A hot water heater can cost $1,500 to replace. Imagine if doing an annual chore would extend the life of that device for another 2 years? Or if cleaning the gutters 2 times a year prevents costly water damage to your home?

In the moment these little chores aren’t going to add much money to your pocket and in some cases you will need to spend money each time you do them. Over time, however, your expensive items will last longer, cost less to operate, and should there be a problem you will catch it before it becomes an even more expensive problem.

Bonus Checklists

Here are a few bonus items for your checklists that don’t fit in the schedules above:

  • Rotate tires and change the oil in our cars every 5,000 miles
  • Replace toilet and washing machine supply hoses every 4 years
  • Replace all smoke and CO2 alarms every 10 years
  • Clean A/C ducts every 2 years

Here is our Vacation Checklist:

  • Turn off water supply to washing machine
  • Set A/C and Water Heater to Vacation Mode
  • Set timers for lights
  • Ask neighbor to check for packages that might be delivered
    • We try to not have any deliveries while we are away
  • Check all exterior windows and doors are secured
  • Discard food that will go bad while we are away
  • Open dishwasher and washing machine to encourage air flow
  • Unplug any items that are not essential (computers, lamps, television, chargers, etc)
  • Stop mail if gone for more than 1 week

These checklists have saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years. Our vehicles, appliances, and home systems have been reliable through a combination of buying well crafted items and routine maintenance made simple by checklists.

The first thing I do when I buy something new is to look at the recommended maintenance schedule and add it to one of my checklists. I encourage you to do the same.

Do you love checklists? What don’t I have on my check list that you would suggest I add?

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