I've always lived in nice places and not just because I like a good address or a little beauty in my life - but because it saves money. If you don't like where you live - you end up wanting to get out of there and once you step out your front door you're bound to spend money from the minute you get in your car and turn on the ignition. So make your home a desirable place to hang out. Aside from feeling secure and comfortable, you'll probably end up with a bit of extra change in your pocket.
And while you're at it, consider sprucing up your place with the amenities you usually have to spend an arm and a leg on. Here's a few tips you might want to consider to make your home a nice place to visit.
1. Invest in Your Kitchen:
If there's one place in the home worth spending money on - it's the kitchen. Take a cooking class and get yourself some appliances like a convection oven and some high quality pots and pans. Once you learn to bake and perfect fifteen or twenty dishes - the attraction of going out for a 'good meal' quickly wanes. When your cooking beats 90% of the restaurants you frequent, you'll save a ton.
2. A Barista in Your Own Home:
Give up that Starbucks latte and learn to make your own. A couple can easily drop ten dollars for a biscotti and a double latte and you have to drive to your favorite cafe. Buy an espresso machine, set up a cafe on your kitchen counter and choose your favorite beans. If you really want to make it like a pro, take a course. Once you get the hang of it, you'll always make the perfect cup at just the right temperature. Not only will it save you money, but once you know how to operate an espresso machine, you might have a skill to fall back on if you ever need a job.
3. Home Theater:
Watch your favorite movies at home - try Netflix which allows you to order an unlimited number of movies, including streaming over the Internet, and doesn't charge late fees. That's also another reason to buy comfortable furniture. With good 46" HDTVs going for $800 - $1,000, all you will need is a cheap blu-ray player, some surround sound and popcorn and you'll put the movie theater to shame.
4. Your Gym:
You're more likely to 'forget' to go to the gym than to avoid exercising at home. Buy some basic equipment and you can pump iron right in the comfort of your own personal gym. If you're a renter, try to find a complex that has a gym and a swimming pool. Swimming pools are expensive to operate, but if you are in a complex that has one, it's a nice perk. Another idea is to get a Wii Fit and do your aerobics workout at home. Mate the Wii to your HDTV and you've got a virtual gym.