Everybody loves a bargain, but when it comes to home improvements it can be hard to find what you want for the right price.

That is, if you know exactly what you want. Luckily, there are loads of ideas you could be applying to your home that will not only save you money, but will also having your home looking glam!

Replacing the filters in your air conditioning unit will benefit your home, health and wallet. It will improve the quality of the air produced because of the clean filter, and having a new filter will also reduce dust and mould build up around your home. Less dust and mould around will do wonders for your health (especially if you’re asthmatic) and new filters are fairly cheap, so your bank account won’t suffer either. Another way that your bank will thank you for the filter change, is that the air conditioning unit won’t be working so hard because of the clean filters: therefore saving you money on your energy bill.

Using neutral colors throughout your home will save you money in the long run. Although having colorful rooms or feature walls is great, keeping the walls a neutral color will make it so much easier if you have to touch up any areas. If you do want color within each room, you could use the artwork of furniture to add the splash of color you desire. One bonus of doing it this way, is that if you fancy a change within the room, you can simply change the artwork and accessories rather than changing the decor in the room. Neutral colors never go out of style either, so you can rest assured that your home will stay in style.

Considering residential window tinting for your home will benefit your life in more ways than just extra privacy. It will save you money on your air conditioning bill because the window tints are designed to keep solar energy out of your home. With the replacement of your air conditioning filters, you’ll be saving loads on your energy bills. Having the protection of a window tint will also protect your walls and furniture in your home because the sunlight’s harmful rays are unable to fade your belongings. Another bonus of window tints is that they’re an unusual asset to see, which in turn, will add style to your home. Even though you may be forking out to get your window tints, they will pay for themselves.

Installing a ceiling fan is a really stylish addition to your home in this day and age. Luckily, they weren’t just created for style. Depending on which way you set the ceiling fan to turn, you could be saving money on either your air conditioning bill (again!) or your heating bill. Having the fan rotate in a clockwise direction will promote the heat to be circulated around the room, and vice versa with cooler air. Installing a fan will save you around twice as much as it will cost you to buy per year. So within six months, your fan will have paid for itself, and your home will look and feel fabulous.

Adding dimmer switches to all of the lighting in your house is a brilliant way of creating ambience in a room without having to change your light fittings, or add lamps into the room. You simply replace your regular light switch with a dimmer switch, and away your go. This will save you money on your electric bills, and also, if when you turn the light off you make sure that the light is turned down low, you won’t be blinded when you come to turn the light on next. Another great reason for installing dimmer switches, is for those of us who like to keep a light on at night, we can lower the light to save money, and again not blind ourselves if we take a trip to the bathroom. To really go all out on energy and money saving, switch your bulbs to energy saving bulbs too. They tend to be dimmer than regular bulbs and get brighter over time, but they cost much less to run than a regular light bulb.

Upcycling furniture is a great way of keeping hold of furniture that still has a few good years left of use. Just because it doesn’t match the decor of that room anymore, it doesn’t mean it should be replaced. A lick of paint, some mirrors and replacing any doorknobs will give that piece of furniture a whole new look. If you no longer have use for that particular bit of furniture (like a cot that your baby has grown out of, for example) then get creative and turn it into something that you will use like an arts and crafts table or a funky looking mini bar. If you have any neutral paint leftover, using that to paint the furniture, and then sanding off small bits of paint will give your furniture a rustic look, which is well in trend these days. Also, you will be saving money by reusing the paint you have used for your walls, not throwing away a perfectly good piece of furniture, and saving yourself from having to buy brand new.

Making your own ornaments is a fun, creative and money efficient way of brightening up your home. If you have children, getting them to make their own ornaments for their bedroom will be a great way to bring out their creative side and make their bedrooms more personal for them. For the rest of the house, you could create moulds and fill them with quick setting concrete. When you remove the mould, you will have the shape you desire that you can paint, or gloss to match your home decor. Browse online for some inspiration if needed. Making them yourself will save you money on buying expensive ornaments for your home. It also will make your home feel much more personalized.

Creating a vegetable patch is a fabulous way of becoming more ‘green’. Even if you don’t have a garden, you could grow your vegetables inside. A small row of your favorite fruit and veggies will look fantastic displayed in a big open window with the sunlight bouncing off all of the different colors from the shrubbery. It’s also a great way of saving money on your food bills during certain seasons of the year. Each year, your plants should produce larger and healthier fruit and vegetables because it matures as time goes on.

Having house plants will brighten up any room, and also ties in well with neutral walls. Going for a larger plant will create a focal point to the room. Plants will also improve indoor air quality, mood and increase productivity. They’re fairly inexpensive, and you could snazz up dingy plant pots to suit the theme of your rooms. Also, if you don’t have a garden, it’s a great way of bringing the outdoors inside.

Touching up your kitchen cupboards with an extravagant color will brighten up any kitchen in need of a bit of TLC. Head down to your local hardware store and pick out a color that will suit the equipment in your kitchen. It’s likely that you will only have to buy a small tub of paint. Go for the type of paint that can be wiped over if any spills get onto your cupboards. Then simply remove the cupboard doors on your kitchen cabinets, and refresh them with a layer or two of paint. If you’re feeling really creative, you could buy two colors that go well together and stencil a pattern onto your doors. Pair your newly painted doors with some snazzy new handles, reattach the doors and voila! Your kitchen looks as good as new, and all for the cost of a bit of paint and some of your time.

Reuse, reuse, reuse. Wherever it’s possible to reuse something, then why not do so? For example, if you’ve got some clothing that you no longer see yourself wearing, then try creating some funky cushion covers for your couch. You will have one of a kind furnishings in your home, that won’t have cost you anything but maybe a few pin pricks from the needle. There are so many things that you can reuse that you’ve probably not even considered.

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To summarize, there are endless possibilities in which you could improve your home, but if you follow these simple and inexpensive tips, your bank balance will thank you. Not only will you have a super stylish home, but you will have saved money to spend on the more important things, or even save for a rainy day! Start doing up your home today for the minimal amount. Have you been thrifty when doing up your home? Has anything been missed off this guide?

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This is a contributed article written for WhimMagazine.com

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