Becoming a homeowner is a significant milestone, whether you live in a bustling metropolitan city or a quiet rural town. Owning a home is one of the most significant purchases you’ll make and has a noticeable impact on your finances, both individually and as a couple.
As homeowners, your monthly budgets have likely changed significantly. Now, you have a mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and repairs to consider. No matter the size of your home, these costs are largely unavoidable and when they’re not paid on time, they can compromise your financial health and your ability to maintain your home.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to learn how to become a responsible homeowner and take charge of your finances. Understanding where your money is being spent and your savings goals are the first steps to making actionable changes to your current habits.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the five important spending and saving solutions that you should consider in order to streamline your finances and build a strong foundation as homeowners. With these essential tips, you can feel confident and secure knowing you’re making the right choices for your family and your long-term financial health.
1. Spending: Invest in Energy-Saving Appliances
When it comes to your budget, you may have found that your utilities are eating up a significant portion of your expenses each month. If that’s the case, it could be because your appliances are outdated and are using too much energy to run.
Energy-efficient appliances are an upfront cost that offers long-term benefits. These appliances are designed to use significantly less energy than models of the past, which in turn can help homeowners lower their energy costs every month.
Additionally, if you’re interested in taking the next step, a smart thermostat and water monitoring system can help streamline your expenses by helping you program optimal temperatures for various times of the day.
2. Saving: Start a Home Reno Fund
As much as you take care of your home, unexpected leaks or damages can occur and wreak havoc on your budget if you’re unprepared. A home renovation emergency fund is a helpful way to manage your expenses and relieves the financial burden off your shoulders.
It can be difficult to make the mental change from renter to homeowner. As a renter, if any damages occurred, all you had to do is ask your landlord to fix them. As a homeowner, you’re now responsible for those costs. Preparing yourselves for these possibilities is the best way to feel confident and at ease.
While it may not be reasonable to set aside a large chunk of money every month, seeing as you have other expenses to account for, any amount that you’re able to set aside is helpful. If something were to occur and your emergency fund couldn’t cover the full amount, an alternative loan website like FlexMoney would be able to provide a fast and convenient renovation loan with a flexible payment plan — allowing you and your spouse to focus on the repairs at-hand.
3. Spending: Shop the Sales
Shopping the sales is an important mindset to adopt as homeowners — whether it’s weekly trips to the grocery store, purchasing clothing, or even big-ticket items such as a car. Knowing how and where to find the best deals is an easy way to slash your budget and can leave more room for your savings or to enjoy together on a vacation you’ve always wanted to take.
Grocery shopping is one of the biggest areas where you can save money each week. The key is to browse your local supermarket flyers and identify which items are discounted that weekend. Planning your meals around the sales will help you avoid spending unnecessarily.
A similar approach can be applied when purchasing a big-ticket item such as a car. There are plenty of dealerships that offer a wide range of pre-owned models that have been thoroughly inspected and passed every safety check at a fraction of the cost of a new vehicle. If you’re able to take your time and negotiate with the dealership, you have a better chance of saving thousands of dollars — and your budget will thank you.
4. Saving: Plan for the Future
As partners and homeowners, the future should always be top of mind when planning your finances. No matter what your goals are, whether you’re looking to raise a family or you’re already planning for retirement, having savings in place for your future is the optimal way not only to enjoy your present but to take comfort knowing you’re as prepared as can be for what lies ahead.
Don’t forget to think about your short-term savings. If something were to happen with your job or your spouse’s or an unexpected medical expense occurred, would you feel prepared? We recommend aiming to set aside three to six months of your earnings, which will act as your safety net and allow you to focus on your long-term goals.
5. Spending: Be Frugal With Your Furniture
Purchasing new furniture for the home is a significant expense that many homeowners will simply engage with, not realizing that there are opportunities to save without sacrificing necessity and style.
Shopping secondhand hasn’t always had the best reputation, but thrift stores and consignment shops have come a long way over the years. Today, secondhand shopping provides a range of benefits to homeowners. First, by avoiding purchasing brand-new furniture, you can easily save hundreds of dollars which can be allocated to more important areas of your budget.
Second, secondhand shopping is better for the environment and doesn’t come with the excessive amount of packaging you’ll find with new items.
Lastly, spending time thrifting for your furniture is the best way to find those unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that you can’t get at a department or furniture store. Secondhand shopping offers homeowners a cost-effective way to add personality to their homes.