How to Save Money After You’ve Bought a Home
Buying a home is a big expense and, for many people, it means depleting a large percentage of your savings plus taking on an expensive mortgage. This means that, once you’ve bought your new home, you likely want to try to reduce costs and cut your spending a bit so that it’s easier to make ends meet (and rebuild your savings).
Here are a few tips for saving money as a homeowner.
Be Smart About Furnishing
When you move into a new home, it’s tempting to get all new furniture right away. After all, you’ve been waiting and dreaming about this purchase for a long time and now it’s finally your chance to have the dream home you’ve always wanted! However, it’s a good idea to wait at least a little while before you furnish your entire home.
If you wait, you’ll be more likely to find a sale or a good deal on the items you’re looking for. Plus, sometimes it can help to live in a home for a while before you rush out and buy furniture. If you do, you’ll get a better idea of where you could use a new table, chair, etc. This can save you from buying things that don’t actually fit in your space.
Sell Your Old Things
If you do get new furniture, don’t just put your old stuff out on the curb. There’s a good chance that you could get some money for your old table, chairs, dresser, etc. by selling them online through various classified sites. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll avoid sending more items to a landfill or storing them in your basement.
Look for Ways to Save Energy
One of the best ways you can save money as a new homeowner is looking for ways to reduce your energy costs.
- If you have an unfinished attic, take a look and make sure there is adequate insulation between the beams.
- Consider lowering the temperature on your hot water heater and make sure it’s properly insulated so the water inside stays warm.
- It’s also a good idea to insulate exposed hot water pipes so they don’t lose heat as the water travels throughout your home.
- Install a programmable thermostat and make sure you know how to use it. Remember, setting the temperature a degree or two warmer in the summer and colder in the winter will barely be noticeable, but it can save you a lot of money.
- Replace the air filters in your air conditioning unit or furnace. This can be done quickly and easily and it will save you a lot of money on cooling or heating.
- Take a look at all of the plumbing in your home and check for leaks. If you find a leak or anything that’s running constantly (like a toilet), you’re likely wasting a lot of water. Fix these issues as soon as you can.
- Consider changing the light bulbs in your home to more energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs. This will save you a lot of money as they use a lot less energy. These bulbs also last longer than old-style incandescent bulbs.
- If you decide to replace any of the appliances in your new home, strongly consider more energy-efficient models. These may cost slightly more money upfront, but they’ll save you a lot in the long run.
Use the Right Contractors
If you decide to do any renovations or upgrades in your new home, make sure to choose the right contractors. Going for the cheapest option or working with someone who takes payment “under the table” in cash isn’t always the best option. The cheapest contractor might do substandard work or they might do work that you’ll have to redo in a few years. If you pay someone in cash to avoid paying taxes, they might not offer any sort of warranty or guarantee on their work.
When it comes to finding a contractor, read reviews and ask friends and family members for suggestions. It’s often worth paying a little bit more for higher-quality work and renovations that someone will stand behind. Otherwise, you might end up having to do another fix up a few years down the road, and frequent renovations and repairs can get costly.