While being a homeowner is rewarding, it’s not cheap. In addition to your mortgage, there are maintenance repairs that first time homeowners don’t think about. Unless you are living very far beneath your means, you may have to set aside small amounts each month to pay for unexpected repairs and larger expenses. The following are a few things you should set aside money for on a regular basis.
Your home is dry and everything is good, so why worry about the roof? The trick is, if you set aside $50 a month for roof replacement, there is a good chance you will never have to worry about it. Over time, this money will stack up until you have several thousand dollars put away — enough to redeck and reshingle most roofs. If you allow this to slide, over time it is inevitable that a major roof repair will come along and level your finances. Once you have money set aside for a new roof when the time comes, you can begin setting aside money for electrical, a/c, plumbing and other major repairs.
Major emergencies can happen at any time. When they do, you need to be able to temporarily relocate to a hotel or somewhere safe, tend to repair bills, purchase food and handle every other ordinary activity in your life. The nature of emergencies is that they can strike at any time, so putting aside a few hundred dollars a month is a great way to begin getting ready. Ideally, having three to six months’ worth of standard living expenses in cash is a great safety net to have.
You can save money by paying your home insurance in a single sum every year. Use sites like homeinsurance.com and select the best policy for your needs, you can often save 10% or more simply by making a single annual payment instead of monthly ones. This may be the easiest money you save all year — you just need to remember to save 1/12th of your annual payment each month.
Your standard monthly bills are a major part of life. You might as well accept this and allocate a portion of your take home pay for your bills before you even think about spending on anything else. Having your power or water shut off is not fun, it hurts your credit, and it tends to be far more expensive than just paying the bills in the first place.
Your family vacation may be several thousand dollars. Unless you want to go into debt and potentially spend several years paying for the vacation, it is wise to budget and save up for your trip instead. This is precisely the same for holiday gifts, birthday gifts, and any other splurges during the year you intend to make. While unexpected expenditures may catch you off guard from time to time, there is no excuse to let something you know you’re going to do financially hurt you.
Budgeting isn’t too hard when you do it properly. Just remember to account for as much as you can.