5 Simple Ways to Secure Your Home on a Budget

by Sean Bryant on April 3, 2015

Secure your home on a budget

Your home is the safest place in the world. Or it can be. But many home security systems are expensive and have a monthly subscription that can simply cost more than your budget allows. So how do you keep the most important things safe on a budget? Here are 5 simple and inexpensive ways to make your home more secure.

Deadbolts and Locks

Thieves take what is readily available. They’ll grab something from an unlocked car, an open garage or an unattended house. They usually won’t break anything to get what they want, aside from the occasional window.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’ve just bought a new home, it’s a good idea to replace the locks. A deadbolt is enough a deny an opportunist the chance for an easy scoop and go, whether it’s your smartphone or just some cash you’ve left behind on the counter. It’s also important to remember to lock up any windows, ground floor or not.


Thieves never want to be caught in the act. They’ll avoid confrontation at all costs. They’re only interested in easy takings, which is why the best deterrent is just an appearance. Leave a couple lights on in your house to look like you’re home. With some energy-saving light bulbs, this is an affordable way to keep your house safe. Also, a beware of dog sign can be enough to keep most burglars out.

Home Security

Home security services can be expensive, but there are affordable, self-monitoring alternatives out there. One company, Lorex Technology, manufactures a variety of full-featured outdoor wireless IP cameras so that you can keep an eye on the things that matter most. These types of home security systems have no monthly subscription fees and often offer remote-monitoring apps for smart devices. This type of feature allows you to make sure your property is secure, from wherever you are. Security cameras on the perimeter of your house are also an impressive visual deterrent.


Know your neighborhood. Being involved with your community is a good way to stop burglaries. Let your neighbors be your home security, and you can be theirs. Tell your neighbors when you’re going out of town, and make sure they do the same. Establish a neighborhood watch and post signs, which are also a deterrent.

Know Your Enemy

Most burglars spend between 8 to 12 minutes in a home they’ve broken into. If a burglar does get into your home you can protect your belongings by making them harder to find. Closets, dresser drawers and freezers are the most common places people store valuables, and so the first places thieves look.

Instead hide your valuables in an unexpected place. Better yet, get a safe to store valuables. Another strategy is to leave out something that looks expensive but isn’t. An old laptop is a good option because with Prey, an anti-theft program, you can track the thief and recover anything else that he or she might have taken.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and his wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his two kids and dog Charlie.

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  • When we moved to our new house 10 years ago, my late father didn’t put a securely installed deadbolts and locks to all our doors. He told me that it’s better to make sure that we are safe always.

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