Owning a house is one of life’s biggest luxuries. You get to live in a place you call home, and there’s never any worry about paying rent or being kicked out because the landlord wants to sell. More importantly than that, owning a home helps you create a stable place for your children to grow up. You’ve put all your eggs in one basket and settled down in a nice family-friendly location, making it easier for them to go about their life. As if all this wasn’t already enough, you’ve also got a very valuable asset that can come in handy for you when you retire and want to downsize to a smaller property elsewhere.
But, with all these positives comes a massive negative; being a homeowner is expensive. You may not have rent to pay, but there’s still a mortgage, endless utility bills, tax, and general maintenance costs too. As a consequence, many homeowners end up with money problems that never go away. In fact, quite a lot of people end up in debt as they struggle to deal with the financial burden of homeownership.
If this all sounds very bleak, then don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be like this for everyone. There are many smart things you can do to help you save money as a homeowner and not live in fear of a pending financial crisis. So, to help you out, here are some of my top tips:
Working out your mortgage helps you save money in the long run. Flickr
Figure Out Your Mortgage Repayments
Most of you will have a mortgage loan that needs to be repaid. As such, this is going to be responsible for a lot of the money that leaves your bank every month. But, to help you save money all year round, you should figure out what your mortgage repayments will be. Search around for the best house loan calculator before you buy your house and see how much you’ll approximately have to pay every month. This will ensure you don’t end up getting mortgages that you simply can’t afford. Plus, you can use the monthly repayment figure to help structure a budget for your family.
Take a look at how much you need to pay each month as part of your mortgage, and subtract it from the money your home makes every month. Then, factor in other bill payments, and you’ll soon be left with some disposable income. This is free for you to spend – or, you can save as much of it as possible to help you in case of an emergency. But, all of this is made possible thanks to you finding out your mortgage repayments and seeing how much you’ll have to pay each month. If you don’t do this, you end up buying a house you can’t afford, and the repayments become too much to handle.
Never Automatically Renew Contracts
Every family will have numerous contracts that it’s signed up for. In our house, we have a phone/internet/TV contract, contracts for our smartphones, and the energy contracts too. We’re signed up to a particular company for a set amount of time – usually a year/two years. Contracts can be good as they often end up being more affordable than paying as you go – which is possible for some of these things. When you pay as you go, it makes it harder to budget as the money you pay can fluctuate month to month, whereas a contract will stay the same and make it easy for you to create your budget.
However, my top tip is to ensure you don’t automatically renew your contracts when the term is up. Why? Because over the course of a year or two, you may find there are now better deals than the ones you’re already on. A rival company could offer a deal for new customers than saves a fortune on your monthly bills. So, before you renew a contract for any service, always shop around and see what other companies are offering. Then, tell your existing provider that you’re thinking about moving, and see how they respond. Most of them will start sweating and claim they have exclusive deals for you. So, listen to what they offer, and if it’s better than any of the new companies, then stick with them. If it’s not, sever your ties and sign a new contract with someone else.
It’s a simple idea, and it’s also something you only have to do once every year/two years – depending on the length of your contracts. But, this little tip can save you a fortune!
Regular maintenance helps you save on costly repairs. pxhere
Don’t Neglect Regular Maintenance Tasks
I know, in this busy world where you have to juggle a career and a family, the thought of cleaning the home every week feels like daggers to your heart. No one likes doing all the regular home maintenance tasks, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways you can save money as a homeowner. Something as simple as cleaning your bathroom after you shower will have a profound impact on your financial situation.
You may think I randomly chose any task there, but I didn’t. When you clean up after you shower, you help dry the tiles in your bathroom and get rid of any excess water. As a result, you stop things like mold from developing. Mold can quickly cause damage to your bathroom tiles and ceiling that require professional removal. As you can imagine, this will cost you a lot of money!
It’s not just this either, something as simple as cleaning your carpets is also necessary and can save money. If you leave your carpets or upholstery unmaintained, then what will happen? They’ll deteriorate quickly to the point where they either need costly repairs or you have to pay a lot to replace them. But, if you simply kept up with general maintenance, you wouldn’t have this issue.
Yes, maintaining your home and finding the energy to do these tasks can be difficult. But, just think of the money you save on possible repairs or replacements. Something as simple as cleaning the leaves and muck out of your gutters can stop a serious problem from occurring. It may not seem like it now, but it’s well worth it!
Don’t Hold On To Things You Don’t Use
Every single one of us is guilty of holding onto things that no longer serve a purpose in our lives. Yes, I’m talking about that guitar you bought and played for a few months then left collecting dust in your basement. I’m talking about the blender you no longer use because you got a new one for Christmas last year so this one is hidden away in a cupboard. We’ve all got things lying around our house that are no longer being used, and will never be used again. So, instead of hoarding them; sell them!
When you think about it, all of us have dozens of items that are basically just money waiting to be reclaimed. Sure, you might not get a lot for some of the stuff, but it will all add up. Thanks to sites like eBay and Amazon, anyone can become an online seller these days. Just create an account, list your items, and someone out there might buy one. If worst comes to worst, then either have a garage sale or go to the local pawn shop. Now, you’ve got some money that your family can use to help build a savings account or put aside for a rainy day.
If you have kids, then you’ve definitely got loads of things that can be sold on. Old toys, old clothes, pushchairs, and so on. Obviously, some things you should keep for sentimental values. But, a lot of stuff can be sold so you can earn some cash and put it away in your savings. The great thing is, you can repeat this whole process every year as we always accumulate so much unwanted stuff.
Collect up all your spare change. Max Pixel
Keep Change Pots Around The House
How many times do you or your partner come home and empty your pockets, only to realize you’ve got some spare change lingering in there? It’s a daily occurrence, right? Okay, what do you do with your spare change? You probably just leave it lying around, where it eventually gets lost or forgotten about.
Now, this is a tip I’ve stolen from my dad as he always used to have a little change pot in his bedroom. Basically, he’d put any spare change in that pot, and it would accumulate over time. Then, we started adding different pots and piggy banks around the home so everyone could put their spare change in them if you had some in their pockets or wallets. At one point, all these pots were full, so we counted up all the change and took it to our bank. You will not believe me when I say there was around £100 worth of change.
So, heed my advice and start putting change pots around your house. At the very least, this encourages you to save money every single day. It may only seem like a few pennies here and there, but what else are you going to do with them anyway? Save them, wait until the pots are full, and then see how much money you’ve saved by doing pretty much nothing at all!
Hopefully, you’ve found these tips useful, and they’ll help you and your family enjoy life in your home without worrying about money!