You can worry a lot about the price of being a homeowner. From having to deal with energy bills to getting your gutters cleaned out to simply buying new cleaning tools once a year – it all adds up to a lot! And the day you realize your outgoings are rapidly outpacing your incomings is the day something needs to change.
After all, it’s a right to own a home, and you should never be priced out of it once you’ve afforded the listing price. It’s even totally possible to cut your monthly bill in half when you know what you should be paying, versus what you’re expected to pay! So with that in mind, here are a few tips on how to slash the cost of owning a home in the most important places.
Cut Down on Your Mortgage Payments
The first thing to think about is your mortgage payments. Are they too high for your budget right now? Could you do with renegotiating, or refinancing, or trying out a new mortgage deal with a different lender? All of these ideas are worth considering when you consider you’re locked into this contract for the next 20 years or so!
Shop around here and see what’s out there. Even if you’ve just signed on to pay a mortgage, it’s worth it to think about the future and how your repayment plan will work out. If you’re planning to add to the family soon, for example, will the cost of caring for a pet or a child impact what you’re able to pay? Get the ideas in your pocket now and take this opportunity to work on them.
It’s also a good idea to take this time to work on your credit score. A good credit score means a good mortgage term and interest rate, and that’s more valuable than any other budget trick you could try. The higher your score, the more trustworthy you are as a lendee, so check your record and make sure it’s clear and sparkling.
Work with Local Tradespeople
If you work with local plumbers or local repair companies, you’re much more likely to get a budget friendly quote. After all, these are the people who live and work in your community too. They’re not from out of town and have no idea what prices are like in your area. Any quote you request is much more likely to be a down to earth amount you can afford without much fuss.
But of course, you should also pick up some DIY skills where you can. Working with local tradespeople only goes so far, and if you’ve had a lot of work to do, it’s best to have some skills of your own. Sure, call in a professional for a hefty job, but don’t let everything go their way. A toolbox is much cheaper than a callout, and you can come back to your own equipment time and time again.
All in all, keep your home maintenance and repair needs local, and don’t be afraid to try a fix yourself. DIY doesn’t have to be a scary world either, especially considering the amount of online guides you can benefit from.
Try to Use Less
And finally, you can simply try to use less around the house to save some money. And not just in terms of the food you eat and all the garbage you throw away. We’re talking about your household bills as well, and where the waste from these could be going. Namely, straight into your expenses column. But thankfully, dealing with this waste can be a relatively easy fix.
All the drips from the faucet in the kitchen? They could be costing you hundreds per year on your bill. Similarly, appliances being left on standby, such as the TV in the living room, will only add to that bill. So make sure things are turned off (and unplugged) when you’re not using them. And if anything is leaky or not quite attached properly, get a wrench on it to tighten it up or call someone in to secure it.
Your home is going to be a big cost throughout your life, and that’s something to be expected. However, it doesn’t have to be an expense you can’t bear from time to time. Once you’ve handed over the cash and signed the deed, you’ve done the majority of the heavy lifting, and you just need to be creative to cut costs elsewhere!