9 Home Mistakes That Are Costing You a LOT of Money

You probably didn't even realize it.

Sprinkler in Yard
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Everyone, no matter how well off, is looking to save money when they can. Why spend thousands of dollars on home renovations when you can go on vacation, or treat yourself to something that's so much more fun? Like a DIY guest house, perhaps? Whether you realize it or not, though, you may actually be making mistakes at home that are costing you a lot of money. Here's exactly what to look out for (plus how to fix it), so you can invest in what really matters instead.

1) Not fixing faucet leaks.

Bathroom Faucet
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    Honestly, not calling a plumber or attempting to fix a leaky faucet is a bigger no-no than you might think. Not only is the noise of a dripping faucet completely irritating, you actually waste a ton of water. According to the (USGS), a faucet leaking just one drip per minute wastes about 34 gallons of water per year. Really take a second to think about that...Now tell me, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters Hopefully, a plumber.

    2) Using incandescent light bulbs.

    reports that each incandescent light bulb could cost you up to $180 in electricity, while a compact fluorescent lamp bulb would only cost you $41 per bulb, and an LED bulb would only cost you about $30 per bulb. Investing in energy-efficient light bulbs may cost you a bit more at the cash register, but the savings on your electric bill will make them well worth the expense.

    3) Over-watering your lawn.

    Watering garden
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    If you're wasting 34+ gallons of water from a slowly dripping faucet, can you imagine how much water you might be wasting on your lawn in the summertime? Keeping your sprinkler system on can really break the bank. Consider trying systems like Orbit's B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer to really save on your bills (and more importantly, conserve water).

    4) Not DIYing.

    Sure, some projects are not meant to be done yourself, but that also doesn't mean all are meant to be outsourced to professionals. Oftentimes—as long as you have the time to complete the project—fixes and upgrades can be done on your own! Consider Googling how to DIY different projects before hiring a professional, or check out CQ's DIY hub to get answers to some of your most pressing questions.

    5) Forgetting about roof repairs.

    Maintaining your home is key to making it last. Tackling projects little by little will help you maintain it so you're not forced to replace everything at once. Roof problems, for example, are really important to fix early on you won't have to worry about dropping so much money on an entirely new roof too soon. According to , "the average homeowner [in the U.S.] spends about $7,642 to install a new roof, and most spend within a range of $5,202 and $10,128."

    6) Using a non-customizable thermostat.

    Thermostats you can adjust when you're not around—*cough cough* smart thermostats—are key to not throwing money away when it comes to your heating and cooling bills.

    7) Leaving your vents alone.

    Whether you've thought about it or not, points out that adjusting your vents can actually help save you a lot of money. This is the case because by turning (not closing) your vents so you can better feel the heat or air blowing, you're less likely to crank the temperature up or down if you feel stuffy—or chilly.

    8) Tossing leftovers.

    Person Throwing Cooked Pasta In Trash Bin
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    Think about how much money you'd save if you kept your leftovers for future lunches and dinners. Most foods can be safely stored in the fridge for three to four days, reports the . If they're not eaten by then, freeze them immediately, and when they're ready to reheat, cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. That small act can save you plenty of trips through the drive thru.

    9) Not unplugging devices.

    Close up of cords plugged into power strip
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    "Using idle energy," as the CheatSheet calls it, is actually increasing your electric bill. The site even notes that "the average U.S. household wastes $165 per year on idle energy, which equals $19 billion per year across America."

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