Home security doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are actually a number of ways you can secure your home, protect your belongings, and keep your loved ones safe from harm — all without spending a cent.

Do you want to protect your home, but don’t have a lot of cash to spend doing it? Here are some low-cost (and some free) ways to make it happen:

Get a big (or even just loud) dog.

A dog can be a serious deterrent to a thief — even more so than a security system. Just think: an alarm system will call the police, sure, but not for a few minutes at least. A dog? They could attack on the spot. Most burglars aren’t willing to risk their physical safety to steal a few TVs.

Best of all? If you adopt your pup from a local humane society or shelter, this security measure might even be free. (Plus you’ll get a lifelong friend in the process!) Just make sure to choose a dog that looks big and scary — or at least sounds that way to a potential thief.

Cost: Free

Put an alarm sign in your yard.

You don’t necessarily need a security system to look like you do. You can pick up security company yard signs for just a few dollars on Amazon or, if you’ve got a friendly neighbor with an extra, you may even be able to swing one for free. You can also add security stickers to your windows to make it look even more official.

Cost: Free

Park your car in the driveway.

You’re significantly less likely to have a break-in if you’re home, so why not let those burglars think you are? Make it a point to park at least one car in the driveway whenever possible, and talk to your family members about parking within eyesight of the house, too. (Just be careful not to store any valuables in your car — especially ones that are visible through the windows). 

Cost: Free

Install motion-detected lights.

A motion-activated floodlight can easily scare thieves away when they try to approach your property — particularly at nighttime. All you need is one pointed at your doorway, one at the driveway, and another at any sidewalks in front of the property, and you’ve got an instant deterrent. 

Cost: As little as $15 on Amazon

Add a striker plate to your door.

It might be surprising, but it’s incredibly easy to kick open a dead-bolted front door — especially a wood or vinyl one. All it takes is one serious hit to the frame, and bam, a thief is in your home in seconds. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this vulnerability: simply install a striker plate. These reinforce your door frame and spread the force of the impact across a larger area, thus decreasing the thief’s chance of success. Best of all? They’re only a few dollars on Amazon.

Cost: As little as $3

Start a neighborhood watch group.

Your neighbors likely want their homes safe just as much as you do, so come together and set up a neighborhood watch group. Sign up volunteers, and dole out weekly assignments to patrol the neighborhood, reporting anything suspicious. You can even have car magnets printed that help identify neighborhood watch members while they’re out and about. The more visibility they have, the safer your community will be.

Cost: Free

Install a storm door.

Adding a storm door to your property adds yet another barrier for a burglar. Not only do they have to break through two doors going in, but they also have to manage their way back out of those doors carrying all the items they’ve stolen. It’s a lot of extra work for a thief and can go a long way in warding off potential burglaries.

Cost: $100+

Install a Ring (or another brand) video doorbell.

Ring video doorbells can be a great, low-cost way to protect your property. For one, they offer you at-home visibility even when you’re not on the property. On top of this, they also detect and record movement. Both of these can make your home significantly more secure. If you add on Ring’s various other security tools and services (cameras, sensors, lights, professional monitoring), it can help even more.

Cost: $99 for the doorbell

Are You Securing Your Home on a Shoestring Budget?

As you can see, a fancy security system or professional monitoring isn’t the only way you can secure your home and everything that’s in it. If you do want to go all out in keeping your home safe, though? A cash-out refinance may be able to help you pay for your efforts. Just contact an Embrace loan officer today to learn more about your financial options. We’re here to help.