8 Surprising Ways Your Neighbors Can Actually Help You Save Money

Realtor.com

How well do you now your neighbors? Do you have to rethink your their first name and awkwardly wave hello when you see them? Or do you occasionally grab a cup of coffee and catch up? Learn why not knowing your neighbors is a mistake and how they can help you save money in this Realtor.com article by Stephanie Booth.

Nearly 30% of Americans don’t know their neighbor’s first name, according to a 2017 survey by home security company Safe Home. That’s a shame! Especially since being friendly with those on your block has a range of benefits ranging from boosting your mood to actually protecting you from a heart attack.

And did you know that being neighborly even has advantages for your bank account?

“Neighbors can help you save here and there, and every dollar adds up,” says consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch.

After all, your neighbors don’t just conveniently live nearby; they also have diverse talents you can tap. (“Hello, doc! So glad you moved in next door! Can you look at this thing on my arm?”) They have appliances you can borrow. (Why not test the Instant Pot before you actually buy one?) And if you’re lucky, they’ll offer invaluable kindness that will extend much further than the occasional cup of sugar—and save you money in the process.

Here are a few ways that knowing your neighbors can help you increase your cash flow.

1. You can save big bucks on house sitters, baby sitters, and pet sitters

We’ll start with the more obvious benefits: When you need someone to watch your loved ones, keep an eye on your house, or check your mail, it’s easiest—and cheapest—to head next door.

“When we go on vacation, my neighbors and I watch each other’s house, so no cost for a house sitter,” says Sheena Nancy Sarles of Marblehead, MA.

On several occasions Amanda Ponzar has turned to her neighbors for last-minute baby-sitting needs. (They’ve asked the same of her.)

“Each time, it saves me $25 to $50—possibly more,” says the Alexandria, VA, mom. “But it’s not just the money. It’s someone you trust watching your kids.”

If your dog makes some furry friends nearby, you’ll save a veritable fortune on pet-sitting and boarding fees, too.

2. You can save money on bills

Over 165,000 neighborhoods across the country use Nextdoor, a private social network for communities. The platform offers regular updates on what’s top of mind with your neighbors—yard sale notices, complaints about late-night noise, and folks trying to offload furniture are just part of the fun.

But if you’re savvy, you can use the discussion forums to your financial advantage.

For example, residents in one neighborhood shared that they’d received a higher-than-normal water bill and asked if anyone else had as well.

“The entire community discovered their bill had increased, then used Nextdoor to organize and work to get the bill lowered as a group,” says Anne Dreshfield, a spokesperson for Nextdoor.

Moral of the story: You’ll never know how much less you could be paying until you ask around.

3. You can save money on rides and rooms

If you’re friendly with your neighbors, you might be able to hit them up for rides to and from the airport or other places you need to go. If you’re really friendly with your neighbors (and if they’re forgiving souls), you might be able to take their hospitality a step further.

“We’ve given each other rides to the airport and used each other’s extra bedrooms when we have lots of guests, which save us hotel costs,” Sarles says.

Your dotty Aunt Irma may drive you nuts as a houseguest, but your neighbors may find her perfectly charming. Your emotional cost savings? Too large to be calculated.

Continue Reading “8 Ways Your Neighbors Can Actually Help You Save Money“.

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