In the midst of decorating, entertaining and holiday parties, December is also a month to save. Yes, really. As the close of another year approaches, tackle these suggested four tasks from the National Association of Realtors for a bright (and money-saving) new year.
Clean light bulbs and fixtures
There are 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 percent less light than clean ones, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Wipe bulbs with a cloth dampened by a mix of one ounce of dish soap, a quarter of a cup of white vinegar, and three cups of water. Get to it soon so you’re ready for the curtain fall on the shortest day of this year – Thursday, Dec. 21.
Evaluate your 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.
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 a first-aid kit to patch up any boo-boos. Singing carols ‘round the flashlight might not be ideal, but it’ll beat trying to celebrate in the dark.
Buy holiday lights
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 their shelves of all that glitters.
See, that wasn’t so overwhelming, was it? Taking time for a few small tasks now will be worth it in the long-run to save money and provide some peace of mind.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors is “The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. More information: www.gcar.net; 423 698-8001.