No one plans to waste money purposely…but sometimes it happens, especially when it comes to our homes. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or someone more seasoned, you don’t want your excitement over a new home to crank-up your spending.
Owning a home adds a host of new expenses, not to mention the unexpected repairs or replacements that seem to come along at the worst time. So avoid making any of the below spending mistakes to ensure you always have enough savings on hand to handle these surprises!
Keep in mind that these are great tips whether you just moved in or have lived in your home for a while:
Wanting a HGTV home right away. Do you love design and renovation shows and want your home to be like the “after” shots as soon as possible? Stop this urge and make yourself live in your home for some time with your existing stuff before you make any major purchases (i.e. sectional couch, four-poster bed, dining room table), too many minor purchases (i.e. linens, curtains, rugs), or any drastic renovation decisions.
I tell clients to give themselves a year until your house starts to feel like “home”. Spend time in it before you do too much, learn how you live in your home first, and then buy accordingly.
Don’t try to fill empty rooms with artwork, furniture, or decor “bling” like you’re in a race. Make thoughtful purchases and save up for the good stuff you’ll love for years to come. Enjoy the actual process of making over your new home by taking your time – you’ll save money along the way and your rooms will truly reflect your personality!
Bypassing Do-It-Yourself attempts. You may have a yard now that needs to be mowed or raked, or a larger home with more bathrooms to clean. Try to see if you can manage some of these new chores yourself before you hire a lawn care service or a cleaning service. That could save you hundreds of dollars each month.
Some fix-it tasks don’t necessarily need a handyman or a plumber. Learn to handle some DIY skills on your own. You can check out YouTube videos, get step-by-step instructions from home improvements websites, or attend free in-store workshops in your community.
Not updating some of your old “habits.” Do you buy a cup of coffee every morning on the way to work? You now might have more counter space for a coffee maker and can brew yourself a cup (or cups) before you head out. Did you always have the biggest cable package? There are so many choices out there that can better match your TV-watching style while saving you money.
Now that you’re a homeowner, look at your expenses and determine places where you might be able to reevaluate things. Buying a new home is like a clean slate where you can start some money-saving habits right away.
Paying for that extended warranty. Sometimes major appliances aren’t included with your home purchase or they don’t need to be replaced right away. Most of us look for sales and good deals before we buy a refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances. That’s why you should think twice before you agree to an extended warranty. That extra money could be better used or saved for your own cash flow purposes.
If something does break, it can cost less than what you put into the warranty OR that particular problem might not be covered at all. You should also check your credit card also to see if it offers a year of extended warranty on purchases.
Last piece of advice about extended warranties—instead consider a home warranty. You could pay annually for one and it will likely cover all appliances and more! I have a blog article all about it here!
Not shopping around for homeowner’s insurance. Don’t get into a rut when it comes to insurance. Look for a policy that better protects your home and your pocketbook. Many new buyers stick with their previous renters or auto insurance company. That’s great, but make sure you really know what’s being covered and the cost for their homeowner’s policies AND then compare this to other companies.
Keep in mind that having more than one policy with the same company might get you a discount. So ask about any savings if you purchase both your auto and homeowners insurance policies from the same company. We’ve all heard about bunding your coverage!
Not taking your home’s energy efficiency seriously enough. Your home can cost you hundreds of dollars a year and you might not even know it. Get yourself an energy audit to see where your home is wasting energy.
I hope these tips help you save some money and help you be a confident homeowner!
Owning a home can feel overwhelming at times. There is so much to do, so much to think about and so much to take care of. Just know that I’m still here for you after you move into your home to answer questions and help you make decisions, even if you aren’t buying or selling anytime soon.
Your home is likely your biggest investment, and I am your go-to resource for all things real estate-related, so don’t hesitate to call or email me!
I'm Mike and I love helping buyers discover what's really important in their forever home, then working to find that in Chicago's
Northwest Suburbs. I also have a soft spot in my heart for teachers and love giving back to them whenever I can. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
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