Home Hacks That Will Save You Money

Episode 4

This episode has one goal in mind: helping you save money while creating a home you love!
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Show Notes

Home Hacks

Something strange happens when you’re five episodes deep into a “Fixer Upper” binge on Netflix: You look around your home and realize everything must go. The furniture, the décor. . . the whole house!

And it’s not just TV that makes us feel this way. A scroll through social media, a visit to a friend’s house, or the realization that you’re running out of space might just make you long for demo day.

Home hacks to the rescue! In today’s episode, we’re talking all things house related with one goal in mind: helping you create a home you love.

The Best of All Home Hacks: Gratitude

We all play the comparison game from time to time, don’t we?

Unfortunately, we’re often the ones who lose.

You know how it goes. First, you start thinking, She’s got more than me and better than me—and probably had an easy time getting it all. And before you know it, you’re feeling depressed and desperate for an upgrade.

Of course, if you really want to love your life, you have to quit comparing yourself to others, especially when it comes to the place you spend most of your life: your home.

Our houses, as imperfect as they may be, serve a greater purpose than simply looking good. They provide needed shelter, hold precious memories, and give us a place to welcome friends and family. In many ways, your home acts as a foundation for relationships.

To give your home an instant update, choose to see it in a different light. Maybe you’ll reframe your thoughts a bit and look for evidence of love in each room instead of finding the flaws that need fixing.

With gratitude comes contentment. And when you learn to be content with the home you’re in, you can begin to make changes with a clear head.

Let’s talk about some of those changes you might want to make!

Home Hacks to Save You Money

Not all home hacks make waves on Instagram or come up when you search YouTube. But sometimes the simplest fixes can save you the most money—especially if you already love the home you’re in!

So here are four home hacks that are easy to neglect, but could save you money in the long run:

1. Keep up with pest control.

2. Schedule regular HVAC maintenance.

3. Get a programmable thermostat.

4. Check your homeowner’s insurance.

What I love most about these hacks is they don’t actually require YOU to do a lot of work. All you have to do is find someone you can trust and let the professionals do the rest. Then you can sit back and enjoy the savings.

And I’ll even make the “finding someone you can trust” part easy for your homeowner’s insurance. Connect with an insurance professional in your area who I recommend. On average, these professionals save customers $731 a year on insurance premiums.

Marci even wrote in about her experience working with an ELP and said, “Great service, and I have to admit, I was blown away by how much we saved. $2,400 per year. I will definitely get updated quotes every year now from my Endorsed Local Provider. Thank you!”

Give your budget a boost and contact a trusted pro today!

Real Talk With Rachel

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, Sure, Rachel, this is good advice for people who live in lovely homes already. But it’s going to take more than that to help me have a house I love.

Well, let me say a resounding, “I FEEL YA!” to that.

A few of my closest girlfriends are in the process of upsizing their homes. And you know what? It got to me. I found myself itching to do the same.

I told Winston I wanted to move. But I knew deep down we don’t really need to move. Our house is just fine. I got caught up in the comparison trap.

Any guesses as to how that conversation went down? You might be surprised to hear what he said and what we did because of that conversation. And I’m more than happy with the results.

Watch the episode to see for yourself!

Designer Tips for Creating a Home You’ll Love

You’re in for a treat, friends. Flo Miklich, who was named Best Designer in the Nashville Parade of Homes, joins me on today’s episode to give us some incredibly helpful tips and tricks for successful do-it-yourself home hacks.

We talk about:

• Which room you should redecorate first

• How to find inspiration and create a simple, easy plan of action

•When to hire a decorator or a contractor, plus finding someone you can trust and making the most of your professional relationship

• Where to spend the bulk of your renovation budget

• Where to shop for affordable, stylish décor

So. Much. Fun. And so doable, you guys. You’re going to love Flo.

Term life insurance is a must for every parent.

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This Couple Went Radical With Their Home Hack!

When we’re hoping to enjoy our homes more, what do we do? Most of us either update or upgrade—we change the décor, or we change the house.

But Stephanie and Taylor Shivers took things a big step further with a radical home hack that totally changed their lives.

The couple was pretty much drowning in debt. Between student loans, medical bills and living expenses, they owed $142,000—which would take them 25 to 30 years to pay off.

Even the happiest of moments in their home were paired with an undercurrent of fear, anxiety and hopelessness related to debt. You can imagine, right?

I sit down with Stephanie and Taylor to understand what this situation meant for each of them as individuals and how it affected their marriage. And then, of course, we get to the good part . . .

A debt payment plan like no other

A little bit of research and a meeting with a financial coach prompted one big idea: Sell the house. And not for the purpose of buying a new one. Nope.

Just sell the house, pay off as much debt as possible, and then rent a home. Talk about radical!

You’re dying to know how it went down, aren’t you? I was too! I’ll give you the basics here, but you need to tune into the show for all the exciting details. Ready for some numbers?

• Their house sold in under 24 hours.

• They accepted an offer at $5,000 over the asking price.

• They left closing with more than $100,000 in their bank account.

In one fell swoop Stephanie and Taylor wiped out all but $37,000 in debt. And they plan to pay the remainder off in just two years. Incredible! But that wasn’t the only benefit of their decision . . .

Paying off debt means so much more than just paying off debt

The numbers are amazing, but it’s not just about the numbers. Not even close.

Remember the fear, hopelessness and anxiety Stephanie and Taylor experienced before paying off their debt? This is what life looks like for the Shivers family now:

•They feel hopeful and excited for the future.

•They take great comfort in the fact that their kids will never know the stress of debt.

•They know their monthly budget is both manageable and a powerful tool.

You know what’s even better? After they sold their home, they found a rental that beats their old place in just about every way. It’s nicer, it’s more spacious, and it has a playroom for the kids! Unreal.

If you’re thinking about making a huge step toward life-change just like Stephanie and Taylor, I encourage you to contact a local real estate professional who I recommend. On average, they get their clients $4,950 more at closing, and the homes they list are only on the market for 10 days! Don’t wait to kick your debt to the curb!

She Works Hard Saving Money

And, as always, the best part of the show is hearing from all of you! I keep seeing SO MANY great money-saving stories! Share yours on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney.

Here are a couple home-related posts featured on today’s show:

“Took down two walls, hardwood floors installed through the whole house, stoned the fireplace, and stained the cabinets! All cash flowed—no debt!” — Angela

“Little patio heaven. Under $100. Made possible because I’m debt-free. I plan to do yoga and drink a lot of coffee out here.” — Go Budget Girl

Share your story so we can celebrate with you!

Thanks again for watching and remember: Take control of your money and create a life you love.

Zander Insurance pays the producer of this show, The Lampo Group, LLC, advertising fees for mentioning their services in our programing.  Advertising fees are not based upon particular insurance products sales or business transacted between any consumer and Zander Insurance. 

Read the full transcript

– Your home is where you spend majority of your time, and maybe your itching for something new, or you wanna update the one you have. Well, today’s show is all about creating a home that you love, and to find out why this little guy’s here. He’s so close. Well, it’s May. And if you’re like me, you’re seeing for sale signs in people’s yards everywhere, and it may be inspiring you to make a change. But first, before you get ahead of yourself, no matter where you are, remember to be grateful for the roof over your head, whether you wanna remodel your house, or even buy a new one, remember to be grateful. Don’t compare your house to everyone else’s. Be content. But no matter which lane you fall in, whether you wanna do some remodel, or maybe you wanna sell your house, we’ve got a great show for you today. We’ve got a couple that did something crazy to get out of debt. And you’re gonna find out what that is later in the show. I also stopped by the home of an amazing interior designer here in Nashville, Flo Miklich. And she’s giving us some great tips on how you can love the home that you’re in. I needed that, so good. But first, we’re going to talk about four ways that you can save money in your current house. My Papaw always said, the cheapest day you’ll ever spend on your house is on closing day. It cost more to maintain it. Wise words from Papaw. So, if you’re someone who loves the home you’re in, and you’re like, hey, I don’t wanna sell or remodel, here are four things that are so easy to neglect, but could end up saving you money in the long run. Number one is pest control. It’s like so gross to think about. ‘Cause when I think of pest control, I’m like, gross. Like ants in your house, or these guys.` He’s like looking at me. Oh, it’s so gross. He poops in the cage too. You don’t want that in your house. But the hard thing is too, you may not see these things. ‘Cause you do think about ants, and bugs, and like those guys. But I actually had a friend, and a snake got stuck in their HVAC system, and it stunk up their house for days. Alright, pop quiz, if you were on Fear Factor, and you were like in a big tub of snakes or these guys, which one would you rather be in? Comment below. I’m so curious. Mine, snakes, for sure. Okay, so gross. Okay, let’s go back to talking about HVAC systems. HVAC systems, very important to maintain these because this really can extend the life of your unit. You need to treat your HVAC system like your car. You go get your oil changed on a regular basis. So this is the exact same thing. You need to get a professional to come out and check out your HVAC unit every year to make sure that it’s running properly. So this’ll cost you around $100 a year, but it’s so much better than spending thousands of dollars on a new unit all together. Winston’s dad owns a heating and air company. And so, I called him, and I was like, I need all your tips. So he said, do that for sure, and also, change out your filters. If you do this every 90 days, every six months, it keeps it flowing easily as well. That’s what I got from our conversation. I don’t really understand how it works, but change your filters. Another great way to save money is to get a smart thermostat that you can program. According to energy.gov turning the thermostat back just seven to 10 degrees while you’re at work or on vacation, can save you up to 10% on your energy bill. And last but not least, the thing that’s going to save you the most money is to make sure that you’re not overpaying for your home insurance every month. Most people just put their insurance on auto pilot, but it could be costing them. So if you’re looking for a quick way to save money, there are people on my website that I recommend in the insurance world, and they’re saving their customers, on average, $731 a year on insurance premiums. So to find one that I recommend, click the link in the description to get a quote today. And make sure you have these basics covered if you really wanna save money on your home, and make sure that it’s in good shape over the long-term. I can’t keep going with this thing. Oh my gosh. I’m sorry little mouse. I’m sure people love mice. I don’t like them. Can you get this, sorry. Thank you. Okay, let’s go back and talking about our home, because if you’re like me, it may take something a little bit bigger than just calling pest control or looking at your HVAC, to make your home a place that you love. So, like I said earlier, we have Flo, an interior decorator coming on the show. But first, I just hit this moment, you guys, where I talk about like, don’t compare your life to others, if people are going on vacation. Be grateful for where you are, your home, be grateful. I found myself in this comparison battle just a few weeks ago. Three of my best friends are all moving. One of them is going like the dream of a renovation. They’re going in and like gutting, and tearing down walls, and making a laundry room, and all these things. And then my other friend is upgrading houses, not like majorly. Like another bedroom and a bigger living room. And then one of my friends is just getting this awesome house. And I was really happy for my friends. I mean, it’s great. But I just got this itch of like, okay, it’s been years since we’ve been in our house, and like we just need to change something. Should we sell our house, Winston? Should we sell our house? He was like, no, we don’t need to sell our house. What are you talking about? But I just found myself being like, okay, I just need to do something different. And so, what I realized is, okay, you can do something semi inexpensive to make your house feel new and fresh, right? So I was cooking the other day. That’s right, I was cooking. And I looked up, and I realized that the paint in our kitchen is like a puke brownish green. And so, I realized, okay, I kinda want something like light and airy. And so, we said, okay, we can spend a little bit of money and paint our kitchen. So instead of selling the entire house, which would have been crazy, and we didn’t need to do that, I could actually paint it this color, and it could be beautiful and light. So we’re doing it. That’s why I’m so excited for this next segment with interior design expert Flo Miklich, who’s going to give us some tips on creating a home you love.

– This is Autumnflora. And she is an amazing designer here in Nashville. And we’re friends, actually.

– Yes.

– We’ve known each other for a while.

– Long time.

– Yes.

– It has been.

– I know. So I’m so happy to have her one, because I want you to give us some tips on when it comes to our house, how we can create really a home that we love.

– Thank you so much for having me here.

– Yes.

– This is really a treat to be on the show with you, and to be able to give some good tips and advice to people who aren’t working with a designer. So one thing is, find out what room you want to remodel. Do you wanna do a remodel? Do you wanna do a redesign? What’s gonna make the biggest impact for your family in your life?

– Okay, so to create a home that you love, you can either go do a remodel, right?

– Right.

– Where you hire a contractor,

– Yes.

– and like rip stuff out. You could hire a designer, and just do a redesign. But, Flo, that’s also so expensive. Like I hear that, and I’m like, oh my gosh.

– Yes.

– How much is all that gonna cost?

– Yes.

– So what do you do?

– It can get really expensive, and you can do it on your own too. That’s completely fine as long as you know what your budget is.

– Yes.

– And if you’re working with a professional, make sure you give them your budget. They need to know what it is they’re working with, how much money you’re comfortable with spending, so they can stay within that. So really, you need to focus on one or two areas. Start there.

– Okay.

– A lot of times for people, it’s their main living space.

– Yes.

– So it’s their kitchen, and their great room. It’s the two areas that, as a family, they spend time in, or they entertain in.

– It’s amazing. I’ve heard that whatever room is connected to the kitchen is where most people congregate.

– I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had friends over, a party. Everyone is around the island where the food is, where the beverages are. And then people will trickle off into somewhere else.

– Yes.

– But everyone ends up. You have 20 people in one space.

– In the kitchen, yes.

– No matter how big or small it is.

– So if people don’t have a huge budget, and they’re not able to go and hire a Flo. Go hire a wonderful designer

– Right.

– To come in, what do you suggest people do?

– There’s so many ways that you can find inspiration that’s not from designer instructing you. We have such great resources now online, or even still print. I still love all my magazines.

– Yes.

– So if you love magazines out there, you’re okay. So go through a design magazine. Rip out a photo that you love. Go on House, find some photos, create a mood board on Pinterest, find things that will help you inspire yourself.

– Yes.

– And also give you a visual on what you’re trying to achieve.

– That’s so good. So how do you find someone that you trust? Like who’s a professional in your area that you know, okay, this person’s gonna be legit?

– Good question. Obviously, if you’re in the Nashville area, I can tell a couple of great names to use. But if you’re not in the Nashville area, which not everybody watching your show is going to be,

– Sure.

– There’s some great websites to go to. Angie’s list has been around for years.

– Yes.

– I know people who have found great painters, even contractors on that website. So I highly recommend that. Another is House. A lot of people think that it’s just something where you go and find photos on there, and you can pull ’em in and have

– Yeah, that’s what I thought.

– Kitchen inspiration, or living room inspiration. But there are professionals listed on there. I’m listed on there as well as a professional.

– Okay.

– And another is Takl. There are some wonderful services on there, from painters to somebody to go pressure wash something. If you’re looking at doing at doing an outdoor area.

– Yes. Okay, you mentioned the budget.

– Yes.

– And I love a budget.

– Thanks.

– So for you all, I created a cheat sheet so that you can visualize your numbers, and it’s broken down per room. So you can figure out the money you’ve saved, how much you’ve spent, track it all. So make sure to click the link in the description below after this show. Okay, when I think about clothes, I think about having like the investment pieces where you spend more money than you normally would on certain items.

– It’s funny that you say that.

– Is it true?

– Yes.

– In design.

– Yes, it is true.

– Okay.

– It’s funny that you say that because that’s how I reference something for my clients. If they’re saying, well, I don’t now how much to spend. I don’t know what my budget is. I think about when you’re going to a store, and you’re going to an event, how much do you have to spend? In your kitchen, you wanna invest in your cabinetry, and your countertops. So those are gonna be your two big ticket items in there. A back splash, even faucets, even lighting. Those are things that you can find online and be able to save some money, or go to a Home Depot or a Lowe’s. Upholstery, your sofas can take up most of your living room or chairs. So for different people, they’re gonna have different wants, different needs. If you have pets, you’re gonna wanna have something that’s going to stand up to the test of time with them.

– Yes.

– If you have children, and you’re thinking about markers and crayons, you’re gonna wanna get a Crypton fabric.

– Okay.

– You’re going to want to get something that has some scrub-ability, some wash-ability, something that’s not gonna have to be dry cleaned.

– Okay, so what are the best places for me to buy the more expensive things? Like what are those expensive things that is worth buying.

– Exactly. Let’s talk about just a redesign.

– Okay.

– Cause if you’re not wanting to get into all the structural changes and all that, most people are wanting to just refresh with fabrics and furnishings.

– Yeah.

– So when I’m thinking about investment pieces, one thing that I highly recommend is always investing in your main upholstered pieces. But you want to not spend money that you’re just gonna end up throwing away later on.

– That’s right, that’s so good. Okay, so those are like the pieces that, okay, we’re gonna invest heavily in.

– Right.

– So what are the things, let’s say just like accessories, like more inexpensive things?

– Right.

– Where are your favorite places to get those?

– Hands down, Home Goods. If you have a Home Goods in your town, go to Home Goods.

– I love Home Goods.

– They’re wonderful. It’s always changing. So no matter if you need something that’s seasonal, they have it. If you want something that is with your own color scheme, it’s color coordinated. It’s not hard to do by yourself. So go, go there and look through the blues if you have blue in your house. And you can find things that are gonna be inexpensive enough. I like to change things out with the seasons too.

– So good.

– Yeah.

– I love it. I want this. Flo, thank you.

– You’re so welcome.

– Seriously, so helpful.

– You are so welcome.

– I mean, to create a home. ‘Cause home is a place that you’re gonna be all the time, right?

– It is.

– Before you leave work, after work.

– Yes.

– With the kids,

– Yes.

– Your family. I mean, it’s a home you really wanna create something that you love. Okay, I’m gonna take your tips, use them in my life.

– Good!

– When I get my kitchen.

– Good.

– A beautiful white.

– Good. A beautiful white.

– So, thank you so much for coming on.

– You’re so welcome.

– Guys, let’s be real. Being a parent is hard work. Now that I have two daughters of my own, it’s feels like the to-do list never ends. And as every parent knows, your priorities change, and you have to make important decisions for your child’s future. That’s why Term Life Insurance is a must for every parent. It’s so easy to get, and it’s affordable. What you’re looking for is 10 to 12 times your annual income to make sure everyone in your family’s taken care of. Winston and I use Zander insurance. They do all the work for you to find the best prices and options. So go to Zander.com to get started on a quote today, because that’s who we trust to take care of our family. Next, is an amazing story about a couple who did something radical, you guys. They sold their house to pay off debt. So let’s take a brief look at their story before I have them come on.

– [Steph] We were poor when we were first married.

– My card got declined at a fast food restaurant one day. So we met in college.

– Got married in October 10th, 2009. I didn’t really have knowledge about what that meant to have student loans. So we lived off of student loans.

– We went through Financial Peace University within six months of being married. So we finally got on a budget, and we’ve been budgeting for seven years. Well, one of the things we never talked about was how much debt we had. And I would try and present it to Steph, and she just brick wall.

– Yep.

– Just, no, I don’t wanna know the number.

– I felt a lot of shame, because I was the one that carried the bulk of this debt.

– With student loans we had $137,000. And then last Fall, our daughter was having trouble breathing. We ended up being a three night stay in the Vanderbilt ICU. And so that racked up about $5,000 worth of medical debt.

– Even though I was obviously very present with my daughter, in the back of my mind, I was still thinking, oh, no, I know this is going to be an expense, and we already have this huge amount of debt.

– A couple months later, we were looking at how we were gonna debt snowball this thing, and what could we sell? What do we do? And then she came to me.

– I just had this, I don’t know if it was vision, or what it was, but just this thought of, what if you sold the house?