Now that you are in your first home and getting settled, your major expenses should be dropping, right? Making a home purchase and seeing big dollar signs in front of you, coupled with the cost of new appliances or furniture, the moving company…well, it can all be a little overwhelming.
While you may not be shelling out large amounts as much once you are finally settled, owning a home will always come with expenses. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to keep your costs down and build your budget back up.
Once the Home Is Purchased
Regardless of where you moved from, your expenses in a new house will be different than they were prior. Sit down and update your budget with your loved ones after the dust has settled to make sure you are accounting for all the new costs that will be associated with your living arrangements.
This should include your new mortgage payment, updated utility costs, insurance costs and any added fees, like an HOA payment. This doesn’t have to feel like a drag, either—it is a great time to revisit ways to save as well.
Keep your costs low with energy-efficient lighting and HVAC controls. Consider automation to set timers on outdoor lights and avoid anything running long-term.
If the new house has a bigger pantry, catch sale prices and stock up on nonperishables. Incorporating simple savings will make a huge difference in building your budget back.
Once you have covered all the new set costs you will incur in your new property, make some room in your budget for any upgrades you plan to complete over the next five to 10 years. If your home was move-in-ready and you don’t have any updates planned, you should still seek out ways to save for both unplanned situations (like the wind storm that pulled down your shed) and appliances that will reach the end of their life while you are in the home.
Make sure you have updated your insurance as well for maximum coverage, especially if this is your first home.
Be Prepared for More Expenses Than Anticipated
Purchasing a home is generally more of a financial burden than most anticipate, especially if you are a first-time homeowner. When you work out your budget, don’t expect to build the savings you tapped into back quickly, but instead make small sustainable goals and stick to them.
You may have to cut back on how much is flowing into your savings in order to funnel more into an emergency fund that could cover you when the water heater suddenly stops working a month after moving in.
When you create your utilities budget, consider the season and prepare for when the weather changes. If you moved in during the spring, your heating and cooling expenses might be quite low. Plan now so that you aren’t shocked when the reality of winter or summer costs set in.
The biggest key to managing your finances as a new homeowner is to be flexible. If you were a renter previously, your monthly expenses likely fluctuated very little.
Managing a house can come with many more ups and downs that could lead to very different financial situations each month. Plan ahead and allow yourself wiggle room to avoid becoming overwhelmed while you enjoy the home you have dreamed about for so long.
Ready to purchase your first home? Contact us to get started.
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