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Responsible Home Ownership: 4 Tips for Staying on Top of Home Expenses

Responsible Home Ownership: 4 Tips for Staying on Top of Home Expenses

Whether it is home repairs, home upgrades, general home maintenance or, even taxes and utilities, being a home owner can be expensive. Managing those financial responsibilities can take some work, too. But, there is often nothing more rewarding than owning your own home.

So, what can you do to stay on top of those responsibilities? Here are four tips for getting your home expenses in order – in no time!

1. Budget, budget, budget.

Getting familiar with your bank account can be a frightening thought, but it is a MUST when you are trying to create a budget or saving for home necessities. So, take it back to 1998 and balance your checkbook, i.e. quit relying on internet banking to do that for you. This will force you to pay closer attention to your spending habits. Once you’ve identified where you are spending, you will be able to identify where you can begin saving. Another great way to track your spending is to keep your receipts… every little one.

So, you know how much you spend… now what? Set limits and don’t exceed them. Easy enough, right? Well, one thing that has worked for many people on a budget is spending cash only. On a weekly basis, allot yourself a certain amount of spending cash. Once that cash is gone, so is your weekly spending! By letting yourself only spend a certain amount of cash, you are sure not to spend beyond your limits.

2. Speaking of Saving...

You CAN do this! But, it will take focus and some extra effort. One way to save money is to virtually pretend that you make less than you actually do. You can easily do this by depositing a percentage of your paycheck into a savings account. If you can’t see the money in your spending account, it will be a lot harder to spend. BOOM. Instant savings.

Allowing yourself less money to spend will also help you with our next piece of advice, which is to know the difference between a luxury and a necessity. This goes for everything in your budget, from home improvements to dinner at the fanciest restaurant in the city. When you’re choosing home projects to save for, select wisely. You should probably repair the roof before adding that hot tub!

Our final note on saving is not to account for money that you do not have. Don’t rely on your probable tax refund, annual bonus or investment gains to pay for your home improvement projects or other home expenses.

3. Pay Your Debts

Now, before you gasp and say “You want me to do WHAT?!,” consider this: we’re talking about budgeting and saving money. We’re not talking about saving your paychecks by running up your credit cards! In fact, once you get yourself on a budget and find that saving money may be easier than you thought, it is a great idea to pay down any outstanding debts that you have. You’ll increase your credit score two-fold, because you will have a higher debt-to-income ratio and more savings!

4. Make it a Family Affair

Sharing the responsibility of budgeting, saving and paying down debt will make all three tasks much easier. Make a game of it; make it a competition; do whatever you have to do to motivate yourself and your family to just do it!

Finally, think of the end result. Whether your family is saving for a new roof, a new pool or just to afford that cable/internet package you all wanted, there is a reason that you are so focused. Don’t forget that; because, when you find that you are able to budget, save, pay off debt and reap the rewards… we bet you’ll be glad you did!