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Reduce Your Home Maintenance Expenses

by Jean Chatzky

Even if you don’t have a green thumb that doesn’t mean that you need to fork out hundreds a month on landscaping and lawn care. There are ways to boost your curb appeal while keeping spending to a minimum. Here are five.

DIY. Maybe you don’t like weeding, but you could mow, plant perennials, or trim around the edges. Any task that you don’t have to outsource is like money added back to your budget.

Plant Right. This applies to everything from the grass in your lawn (you need to choose the right variety for your locale and climate) to the options you choose to fill out your flower beds. In general, reducing the size of your lawn reduces watering, feeding, and mowing costs and saves all around. And perennials that don’t have to be redone each year save money over annuals that do.

Go Green. When you garden sustainably – by composting and harvesting rainwater in barrels for example – you’re not just saving money, you’re helping save the planet.

Plant Trees. Shade around your house reduces the amount of money that you have to spend on air conditioning during the warm months of the year. And, if you opt for fruit trees, you may also be able to eat what you’re producing.

Clean Your Gutters (and other maintenance). Lawn care and landscaping expenses add up big time when neglect sets in. Unpruned trees cause damage during storms that you have to pay for after the fact. Similarly, clogged cutters result in damage to the foundation of your house. Schedule maintenance on your calendar – including spring and fall cleanups—and don’t let them go undone.

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