Child putting money into a car shaped moneybox

Being an owner-occupier is the Australian dream, but all those bills can add up. That’s why you may want to consider investing in improvements that ultimately leave you with more money in your pocket.

Here are seven ways you can do this:

1. Build a granny flat

Investing in property can be a great way of generating additional income. But what do you do if you can’t buy a separate property? If you’ve got the space, building a granny flat in your backyard to rent out could be the answer to your problems. And while good granny flats don’t come cheap, they can increase the value of your property.

But, as always – it pays to do your research first to find out whether it’s a viable investment. You’ll have to consider your local council’s building regulations, any tax implications, as well as the demand for rental properties in your area. You also have to check whether your state allows you to rent out granny flats or if you can only use it for yourself.

2. Install solar panels

Solar isn’t just good for the planet. It can be a great way of reducing your energy bills too. It does this in two ways.

Firstly, by having solar panels on your roof you get a supply of free energy that you can use which you would have otherwise had to pay for. Then, there are feed-in tariffs. Depending on where you live and your energy retailer, you may get paid for any excess electricity your system produces.

And while the upfront cost of solar can be expensive, there are federal and state government rebates that can help lower the cost.

3. Get solar power storage

While feed-in tariffs can help you maximise your savings, the rates you get back aren’t as good as they used to be. So rather than sell your excess electricity back to the grid, you may want to add a solar battery to your system to store it for future use.

According to the Climate Council, this can increase the amount of self-generated electricity a household uses by as much as 60%.

4. Seal and insulate your home

A simple way to save money on your power bills is by properly sealing and insulating your home. This helps you keep the heat out of your home in the summer while retaining warmth in the winter – reducing your heating and air-conditioning bills by up to 50%.

5. Grow your own fruit and vegetables

Gardening can be good for the soul – and for your wallet. And you don’t need a full-on veggie patch to save money on your grocery bills, as even a small windowsill herb garden can help. Just don’t forget to water them!

6. Install a water tank

Speaking of which, you can reduce your water bills by collecting and storing rainwater. It’s a free resource that can easily be used for watering the garden and washing your car. Save even more by linking your water tank to your toilet and washing machine – though this will require the help of a licensed plumber.

7. Hire an energy auditor

If you want to save big bucks on your power bills, it may be worth getting a professional electrician to conduct an energy audit on your home. This can help you understand what the biggest energy drains on your property are, and then armed with the electrician’s advice, you can take steps to improve them.

While Well Home Loans can’t help cut your home’s running costs, we can help you save on your home loan repayments. Our award-winning mortgages not only come with great features but also super-low rates that could save you thousands. Find out more about refinancing your home loan here.

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