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Keeping the Filipino home in good shape

GINBEE GO
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Keeping our homes clean, safe and organized takes a lot of work and maintaining it in tiptop shape is a major expense. Our homes are our family’s sanctuary, a place to relax and enjoy the company of our loved ones. It only makes sense that we spend time and exert effort to keep it in shape — no leaking roofs, clogged drainage, broken doors, peeling paint, etc. If neglected, it may affect our finances more than we think it will.

Here is a checklist to help you organize a system for home maintenance.

MONTHLY

• Examine your utility bills. Check for unusual spikes in your electric and water bills to help you identify possible repairs you may need to do. A higher electric bill may pinpoint to an appliance that is not working properly as it consumes more energy. Similarly, an irregular water bill may indicate a plumbing leak or a busted water pipe.

SEMI-ANNUALLY

• Do general cleaning. Mark a day, perhaps on a long weekend, every six months with your family, and treat your sanctuary to a proper deep clean. This applies to all your appliances, furniture, windows, doors, ceiling, stairs, carpets, and screens. Clean and vacuum every corner, nook and cranny.

• Schedule a garage sale. Purge closets and cabinets of old clothes and shoes, unworn accessories, old toys and books, replaced appliances and kitchen stuff. You will be surprised that there is treasure in there. It is also a fun way for the family to bond. You can assign roles of cashier, salesperson, merchandiser and bagger. This is a good time for the kids to learn simple math and appreciate the value of money.

• Replace batteries for doorbells, smoke detectors, flashlights and clocks. You don’t have to wait for them to blink or sound off that beeping noise when batteries get low or drain completely. With devices as important as doorbells and smoke detectors, it is generally recommended to change batteries twice a year.

ANNUALLY

• Inspect for any pest problems. Ants, spiders, and moths are all common and fairly easy to take care of. Keep cobwebs clear. Termites, on the other hand, can be a huge headache. They are actually considered the most destructive pests in the world. It is important that you hire a professional and have your home regularly checked by pest control experts.

• Take advantage of summer. Summer is a great time to do maintenance work on the exterior of your home, including your veranda, gazebo, lawn, and garden. The prolonged daylight is also perfect for repainting, rebuilding wooden parts, roofing maintenance, and clearing drainages.

Make sure you also take advantage of banks’ seasonal sales. BPI cardholders, for example, can purchase a complete tool box set, gardening tools, pipes, various adhesives, paints, garden tools, among others, with 0 percent interest for installment payment at All Home, Ace Hardware, La-Z-y Boy, Robinsons Handyman, True Value, Western Appliances, and Ogawa.

• Clean out gutters. Before the rainy season, clear gutters and drainage of accumulated leaves, trash, and other debris that can build up during heavy rains. This will prevent flooding, and water leaks on walls and roof.

• Ensure your fire extinguishers are filled. It is easy to forget this important task. Check your fire extinguishers and refill as necessary.

• Evaluate your living space and determine the need to renovate or expand your home. As kids grow up, they would want some privacy and to have their own room. There may also be a need for more storage room.

The proper upkeep of your home ultimately saves you money. It helps you run your household efficiently and allows you to retain or even increase the value of your home. Financing-wise, keep in mind that you won’t need to take out money from your savings to do this.

For one, you can use BPI credit cards without thinking of additional costs as it offers 0% interest for installment payments at any partner hardware outlet stores. For major repairs, you can opt for BPI’s Personal Loan where you can get as much as three times of your gross monthly income. If you need funds for a major renovation or a rebuild of your home, a Property Equity Loan is a recommended option.

Make sure you create a checklist like the one above, manage your budget, calendar your maintenance chores, and carry out your plan to avoid costly repairs and prevent unwanted hazards. Keep these in mind for a truly home sweet home.

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