Ways You Can Save Money as New Homeowners
One of the biggest accomplishments and investments you can make in your adult life is buying a home. Ownership is a great feeling and being able to provide a place to raise a family is priceless.
There is no denying that it can be a daunting task.
Nevertheless, it is something that most of us look forward to doing. Though, sometimes we forget that not only does our new home come with a hefty mortgage, it also brings a lot more expenses we often overlook.
I remember buying our first home like it was yesterday. We have been in our second home for 6 years now. Time flies but we have learned so much since then.
Honestly speaking, as many good decisions we’ve made, we’ve also made mistakes. Especially when it comes to making investments, renovations, and maintenance.
Let our mistakes be your triumphs. Read on for a few tips that will help you make the leap from renter to owner and help you succeed in new homeownership.
Take Your Time in Decorating
You’ll notice that over the years, your home’s style will change. Not only according to your taste but, also according to what you’re able to afford.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to rush out and buy everything new and of the highest quality. If you’re moving from an apartment into a family home, the odds are you may not have enough things to fill it up.
After all, you’ve most likely surrendered your life savings for a down payment and money is tight. Saving can definitely be a challenge at this time. Which means that you won’t have extra cash to get everything you want at the moment.
Give yourself some time to start saving again and in the meantime, take those hand-me-downs your family offers. You can transform your old pieces with a little DIY and elbow grease too.
Try adding an inexpensive accent wall that adds character. Maybe buy new bathroom and kitchen hardware from the local antique shop.
You’ll find that improving the lighting in your home can make a big difference. You can find nice pieces at Costco.ca, along with LED bulbs that are brighter and more economical.
Once you start to save again, make a budget and stick to it. You can definitely decorate your home on a budget and soon enough, you can start making your dream home.
Shopping smart can be easy, it just takes a little planning and researching. You can clip coupons or you can buy in bulk. I prefer the latter. That’s why I love my Costco membership, it pays for itself over the long run.
It is inevitable that you will have to make some purchases.
Whether it’s stocking up on all your everyday home essentials and a few key pieces of furniture or appliances that you absolutely need.
They have a variety of merchandise from home furniture, outdoor living, appliances and more. Plus, you can get all the essentials like cleaning products, kitchen supplies, and food. You can find some amazing throw blankets, pyjamas, and let’s not forget those delicious rotisserie chickens and so much more.
For us, it’s a great place to stock up on snacks for the kids for both school and home and for ingredients to make wholesome meals. Not to mention, we love buying them socks and clothes there too since the kids go through both incessantly.
Truth be told though, it’s all about the variety and when I can get everything in one place, I’m a happy gal.
Besides, the kids love the samples!
I recently helped my brother move into his new home and the first place I took him was to Costco. A year later and he still hasn’t had to stock up on home essentials and he makes regular trips to save on groceries there.
If you work from home like me or have a small business, you can take advantage of their business services. That alone can save you tons!
You can even pick up prescription medications or get a nice set of glasses if you need them.
All under one roof.
Consider a Credit Card That Works for You
There’s nothing more frustrating than having a credit card that costs you money when you are trying to save. The Capital One Costco Mastercard is a cashback credit card that doubles as a Costco membership.
There is no annual fee so, it isn’t costing you money to have it.
Even if you rather shop elsewhere or don’t find a benefit of buying bulk at Costco, you can earn cashback virtually EVERYWHERE. Not just Costco, though with all the specialty departments, it’s hard not to see a benefit there.
So whenever you go out to eat you’re earning 3% and 2% when you grab gas. You also get 0.5% on the first $3000 you spend that year on other purchases, and 1% after that! A great way to put that cashback to use is by putting it in a savings account as an emergency fund. As new homeowners, you’ll find that they may come up when you least expect. A good number to aim for is between $2000 to $3000.
If you are all set on that homefront, you can use your cashback to travel. The Capital One Costco Card gives you perks for this too! You can save on car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay and get travel assistance.
Plus, you can always rest easy knowing that you are covered.
The Capital One Costco Mastercard offers price protection service, purchase assurance, and extended warranty.
Apply and get $10 just for using your card
Apply between October 28 and November 10, 2019. If you’re approved, spend $50 by December 10, 2019 and get a $10 statement credit. See Capital One for more details.
Knock out two birds with one stone, cashback and a Costco membership in one.
Hire the Pros
If you’ve picked up a fixer-upper, that’s okay. Putting in some sweat and a whole lotta love into your home is fulfilling.
While re-painting the place yourself is easy enough and small repairs are easily done, it’s always best to leave anything electrical or structural to the pros.
Even if you’ve watched a zillion YouTube videos, those jobs are best left to the pros. Not only for safety issues but, what we think may be an easy DIY project could end up costing big money in the long run.
You’ll want to hang shelves or pictures frames and that’s all good, just make sure you grab yourself a $25 stud finder before drilling into walls. The last thing you want is to drill into air ducts, plumbing or anything electrical.
This is where you will want to spend a bit, especially if something goes wrong and believe me, it often does. Take it from us!
Have the Proper Insurance
This is another area where doing research can do you lots of good! Find an insurance company that can cover your new investment.
In case anything happens, you, your family, and your belongings are safe.
Most banks that offer mortgages will do so with the expectation that you purchase home insurance. Again, this is another cost of being a homeowner but, one that is super necessary.
Costco also offers home insurance! As a Costco member, you have access to a variety of services. Visit Costco.ca to find out more.
Maintain Your Home
As a homeowner, you’ll find that it’s a ritual to continuously check your home for things that need to be maintained. It’s always worth it to look into fixing them before they become bigger problems.
For example, keep an eye on your air conditioner/furnace. Changing your filters regularly can help your monthly bill and keep it running smoothly. Another important one is checking your carbon monoxide detector. Visit a Costco near you for all your appliance needs!
Other things to check are your windows, inspect the caulking around sinks or tubs, and check for any leaks or drips.
Another big one is to clean the lint in your dryer. When it is full, it can cause fires or make your dryer work less efficiently. This means it takes longer to dry your clothes and makes your electricity bill higher.
Making sure things work is a must but, also making sure things are secure is very important. Check locks, outdoor hinges, windows, and consider adding some security cameras. This can help you maintain a safe and kept up home!
Plan for Improvements That Increase Value
They call it a “starter home” for a reason. The odds are that unless you’ve found THE perfect home, you are eventually going to sell your first home.
Or if your first home is your dream home, you’ll eventually want to improve it.
Focus on improving the exterior of the home to improve curb appeal. If you’re going to update the kitchen, do it in a way that works the best structurally. Sometimes you can invest in a kitchen and spend good money and still have a kitchen that buyers may not want.
Buyers like open spaces and sightlines, so consider that. With all your cashback you earn with your smart purchases, you’ll have saved enough to do this in no time.
Taking on home improvement projects can be stressful, allow Costco to help with installations! Visit Costco.ca to read more about the services that are available.
Rock Your New Home Ownership
Now that you are armed with a few tips that can help you save money, you are ready to start the journey. Remember, what makes a house a home is those you love!
You May Also Like:
- Design Tips for Forgotten Areas of the Home
- Things To Consider When Building Your Home
- Tips for Buying Your First Home
With a little hard work, love, smart planning, useful tools and making money-wise decisions–you’ll create your dream home sooner than later!
Do you have any ways to save money as new homeowners?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.