You stretched to save your down payment.
You stretched more to pay for the closing costs, which ended up costing more than you thought.
You stretched even further to complete some unexpected repairs the week you moved in.
Somehow you managed to pay that first massive mortgage payment and set of utility bills … and now you are out of money and tired.
Good news: you can put a smart financial system in place right now to help ease the continued pressure of home ownership and start saving again. Here’s how.
Save on utilities
Heating, cooling, water, electricity, waste pickup, internet and cellphone: These items can easily add up to half of your mortgage payment. Traditional utilities costs be trimmed by keeping your home a few degrees cooler in the winter (wear a sweater) and running the air conditioner less in the summer (open the windows). Take shorter showers and draw a bath a few inches lower in the tub. Turn the lights out and unplug what’s not being used. If you pay per garbage bag, waste less by meal planning, reusing and recycling. Then negotiate your internet and cellphone bills and cut the cable for the time being. (It can help to bundle your telecom services together.)
Now, automate ALL your bill payments! That way you won’t forget to pay them … there are A LOT when you’re a homeowner.
Maintenance for the win
If your weather stripping has seen better days, prioritize replacing it in order to regulate the temperature in your home. Budget in a maintenance check on your furnace (duct cleaning can help) and hot water tank (turn this down a few degrees, too). Fix any water leaks and replace old, inefficient shower and sink faucet heads and fix your running toilet, too. According to NerdWallet, these quick wins to save water can easily trim your water bill — and are helpful to the environment. Also, if you have extremely old appliances (which definitely impact your electrical and gas costs), you may want to plan to replace them with energy- and water-efficient ones — try the second-hand market for these.
Throughout your property, maintenance is going to be key. If you let something linger too long, it’s inevitable that the problem will get worse and cost you more. Pick away at repairs and maintenance each month.
Save on insurance
You probably rushed to find some home insurance in order to close …….