4 Things Around the Yard Wasting Money

string of exterior light bulbs

You may not realize it, but there are probably a few things going on with your yard that are just wasting your money. Make some changes, do some stuff differently and cut back on those needless expenses. By being more budget-conscious about your yard, you may actually end up with an ever nicer-looking lawn than you had when you were spending too much on it!

1. Outdoor Lights

beautiful home with pool and exterior lights

Do you leave your outdoor lights burning during the day? Do you leave them burning all night long? This is costing you extra on every single utility bill you pay. You definitely don't need to leave your lights burning during daylight hours. Instead of paying bigger electricity bills, pay just once to get a timer for your outdoor lights so they will only come on at night.

Your lights don't need to burn all night long, either, but you still want to have them for safety's sake. There's an easy solution: get a motion sensor. Add a motion sensor to your outdoor lights so they only come on when someone is near your doors and windows, instead of allowing them to burn all through the night and add big costs to your bills.

2. Sprinklers

sprinklers on lawn with palm trees in bright sun

Do you have sprinklers that come on to water your lawn, or do you manually water the lawn with a hose? You need to assess when you're watering your lawn and make sure you're doing it efficiently. Water can actually cost more in the middle of the day than it does in the early morning. Also, watering your lawn during the heat of the day actually causes the water to evaporate more quickly. You end up using more water to keep your lawn hydrated, which wastes money. Time your watering schedule so that you're watering the grass in the early morning when it will do the most good and save you the most money.

3. Your Lawn

Be honest: how much are you spending on lawn care? This includes the cost of paying someone else to do the work and it's the amount of money you spend doing your own yard work. It takes gas to power lawn mowers and it takes sweat equity to gather up and bag lawn clippings and leaves.

Save yourself some money by cutting back on that lawn care. You can let the lawn grow another week and cut back on how often you're mowing the grass. In most regions, you can wait 10 to 14 days to mow your lawn, rather than doing it once a week. This will save you a ton of money in the long run.

mowed grass lawn with long and short grass

You can also leave the clippings instead of gathering them up and definitely instead of letting someone else gather them up. Grass clippings, leaves and other plant matter make a natural mulch if you simply mow the lawn and leave all that stuff in place. So leave it instead of paying for it in money or in your own time to remove it.

You can also reduce the amount of grass you have with a groundcover. This is a great alternative to a high-maintenance lawn. Groundcovers are easy to maintain and they look nice, too.

beautiful groundcover grass substitute

If you see weeds in your lawn, take care of them right away while it's still a small problem. If you put it off, the weeds are only going to get worse and they're going to require a lot more work and money to remove. Do a weekly check around your lawn during growing seasons and pull up any weeds you find while they're still small and easy to manage.

4. Pest Control

Getting rid of pests in the yard can be extremely expensive. Hiring a professional is a huge expense that may require specialized equipment and multiple visits. Using chemical pesticides is also costly and often requires regular treatments, which then becomes a regular expense.

There are many natural ways to get rid of pests that are far cheaper. There are lots of specific plants that naturally repel deer, rodents and insects. Basil, for example, repels mosquitoes. Stop spending money on all those candles and other treatments and just place basil in all the common areas of your yard where people may gather.

fresh basil growing outside

Lavender can keep fleas, moths, flies and mosquitoes at bay. Keep rabbits away with marigolds. Herbs like sage, thyme and oregano keep deer away. Use plants to your advantage and you can spend a whole lot less on something that adds beauty and value to your outdoor areas, rather than constantly spending money on continuous pest control. Bonus: by growing your own fresh herbs, you can reduce a little bit of your grocery bill, too.

If spiders are a big problem, don't call in a pest control company. Hang up some simple bat boxes. These work like birdhouses that provide bats with a cozy living space, attracting them to your outdoor areas. Bats are a natural enemy of spiders. So all you have to do is hang the boxes and let nature take its course.

bat box on a tree for pest control

Start Spending Less

Spend less on your yard and it may end up looking even better than you ever imagined. There’s no need to waste money on your yard when you’ve got so many other expenses. Doing a little less is a little bit cheaper and it’s actually even better for your lawn. It’s much nicer to use plants instead of harsh chemicals and to make use of natural plant matter instead of spending big money on fertilizer treatments. Stop wasting money and start enjoying your outdoor spaces a lot more.