We all wish our real residence looked more like the house of our dreams, and it’s an unfortunate fact of life that the cost of certain projects often prices us out of achieving long-standing home repair goals.

But not this year. With gas prices lower this month than they have been during any February in the past decade, you may find yourself with some extra cash in your pocket. Now’s the time to think about making an investment in your home instead of blowing that extra money on trivialities or items that won’t last.

 

A More Beautiful Bathroom

You and the other members of your family probably use your bathroom frequently, so it’s the perfect place to start with changes that you’ll be able to enjoy day after day. A few small and cheap items like shower curtains, floor mats and towels can really transform the ambiance of your spaces from utilitarian and cold to welcoming and friendly. Unless your bathroom is unusually capacious, you can probably paint the walls within a single weekend. If some of your floor tiles are chipped, it should be trivially easy to replace them, or if you feel like splurging, install an appealing, new flooring solution.

 

Work on Windows

Although they’re an often-neglected part of the home, your windows play a key role in establishing the atmosphere of your rooms and in letting natural sunlight into the premises. Blinds, awnings, drapes and window films all have a role to play in creating alluring aesthetics for your interiors. There’s no reason to go crazy with this: A few simple, affordable accessories can really make a big difference. The right combination of these elements can even improve your energy efficiency.

 

Clean House, Clean Mind

By keeping your house well-organized, you’ll cut down on the time you waste looking for easily misplaced objects. Throwing away unneeded items is something you can do for free, but there are other steps you can take that cost trivial sums. Shelves, baskets and containers are economical ways for you to keep your possessions readily available without making a mess. You can source these organizational tools from local stores, but there are also do-it-yourself options, such as making a storage space out of old book bindings and reusing food jars for similar purposes.

 

Declare Your Domain

The entrance to your home is the area through which all residents and visitors must pass, so you’ll be sending a good impression by properly maintaining it. You can put up a few decorative features on the walls near your entrance. They don’t need to be anything fancy – a mirror or two and some memorabilia or posters should do the trick nicely. Keep the space well-illuminated with lamps or overhead lights. On your porch or the steps leading up to your door, you can place a few plants to give your residence a more natural look. Attractive house numbering will permit you to showcase your personal style.

 

Your Yard Your Way

Your backyard or lawn is a part of your home, and you’d just be wasting it if you didn’t keep it presentable. You can make your own lawn ornaments and simple pieces of furniture out of wood or discarded household materials to give your exterior areas a lived-in feel. Solar lights will serve admirably as nighttime lighting, and you can enhance this effect by painting a few features of your yard with glow-in-the-dark paint. Solar power in general is a great addition to almost any home that will help the environment and lower your energy bills. In addition to solar power, other renewable resources like wind, water and natural gas have also been in the forefront in recent years, used by homeowners and big companies alike.

The price of gasoline was an average of $2.40 a gallon in 2015, saving consumers in the United States more than $115 billion compared to 2014 according to AAA. With prices now below $2.00 per gallon, we can expect these savings to continue. Ordinary people will be able to put their dollars towards more interesting or productive purposes.

By taking your gas savings and investing them into your home, you’ll be increasing its value and making it a better place to live. Whatever your budget for home improvements happens to be – $10, $100, $1,000 or more – you’ll be able to find projects to embark upon that are within your price range. Many of them are not just affordable but also entertaining, so home improvement can become a fun pastime for your whole family.

 

Contributing Author: Beth Lisanne is a freelance blogger and researcher. In her free time, she likes fixing old cameras and learning to speak new languages. She was born and raised in Michigan but now resides in Chicago, IL.