The year's coming to an end. Time to do four small tasks for a bright (and money-saving) new year.
#1 Clean Light Bulbs and Fixtures
Two great reasons to clean your light bulbs: You want as much light in your house as you can get as the days grow shorter, and, you'll save money.
Dirty bulbs apparently shed 30% less light than clean ones, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Wipe bulbs with a cloth dampened by a mix of 1 oz. dish soap, ¼ cup white vinegar, and 3 cups of water. Get to it Dec. 1 so you're ready for the curtain fall on the shortest day of this year: Dec. 21.
#2 Evaluate Homeowner's Insurance
The holidays. You love them, but they do seem to eat up more cash than other times of year. Sure, you can scrounge around for change under your couch cushions, but that's not going to offset much.
Why not get a home insurance checkup? Call your agent to go over the type of coverage you have, how much you really need, and how you can lower your premiums before your next monthly installment.
#3 Pack a Home Emergency Kit
The last thing you want during the holidays is for an emergency to chill your family's cheer. Prepare for power outages and weather-related emergencies with an easy-to-find emergency kit.
Some items to include are bottled water, a hand-crank radio, a flashlight, batteries, a portable charger for your phone, warm blankets and, of course, a first-aid kit to patch up any boo-boos. Singing carols 'round the flashlight may not be ideal, but it'll beat trying to celebrate in the dark.
#4 Buy Holiday Lights (After Dec. 25)
It's tough to think about next Christmas when you're still stuffed from a holiday dinner with all the trimmings. But think you must if you want to save on next year's holiday. From Dec. 26 through year's end, big-box stores try to clear the shelves of all that glitters.