Homeownership can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, as well as one of the most stressful, especially when it comes to the hip pocket.
And this is often before you get into the property itself, saving up for a home deposit, especially if it's your first time, can be pricey.
If you’re a new homeowner looking to save every extra cent, here are a few tips that will help you remain financially stable in your new humble abode.
1. Do your homework on utility providers
While it might seem like hard work, it actually pays to do your research into utility providers. This includes essential services such as your internet and electricity.
Depending on your location and usage, you might be able to negotiate a better deal or added perks than what’s advertised.
2. Ensure you have good insulation
One of the major surprises for new homeowners is often energy costs. A useful tip to ensure this is kept low is to check on your household insulation.
Why? Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow and is crucial for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A well-insulated home provides year-round comfort, cutting cooling and heating bills, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
3. Try to use less energy
To minimise the likelihood of bill shock, endeavour to use less energy.
Dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers, hot showers can pump out some serious heat and energy. Try washing your clothes and dishes with cold water only and avoid the dryer completely by hanging your washing outside in the warmer months.
Alternatively, you can look to install solar and battery power in order to help minimise your energy use and optimise your home.
4. Switch off when not in use
Rather than leaving all your power points and appliances in your home left turned on at all times, strive to instill this rule: when it’s not in use, switch it off.
It’s as simple as that.
5. Make repairs now, not later
It can be easy to put off repairs, especially if they aren’t urgent or impede your day-to-day life.
However, over time these repairs can get worse with wear and tear and turn into much bigger and expensive problems. Bite the bullet and organise those repairs now.
6. Start a home emergency repair fund
Unfortunately, not all home emergency repairs can be anticipated, so it’s a smart idea to start building a fund from the get-go.
This way you can dip into it when only 100 per cent necessary and be less stressed out when issues arise.
7. Try your hand at a bit of DIY
DIY home-improvement projects, such as painting and switching out hardware, can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your new home without sending you spiraling into debt.
If you’re ever unsure of how to do something though, try some desktop research or watching an instructional video.
8. Get thrifty on your decor
While it can be fun to splurge every once in a while, there are some things in your home that are just as good thrifted or second hand.
You never know, you might find a vintage one-of-a-kind table or lamp that you can keep for many years to come.
9. Create a budget
This one is a no-brainer. Making a budget is one of the most important ways you can save money in your home.
Try tallying up your expenses against your income and calculate how much ‘play’ money you have to work with.
Don’t forget to include all of that ‘not so fun stuff’ such as utility bills, and any ad-hoc necessities that may arise.
10. Cut down on non-essential subscriptions
Finally, it’s time to pay attention to any non-essential subscriptions you might have signed up for prior to homeownership.
Do you have a subscription for every streaming service? Or maybe food delivery boxes were more your thing?
While it’s fine to keep some of these subscriptions, be stern with yourself to determine if there’s anything you can do without, especially in the short term as you build up your piggy bank.
Alya Stephen is COO at Sorted Services