Have you recently acquired your first home? If so, congratulations! It’s a massive achievement, especially these days. But with the cost of living so high, it’s important not to overspend. So here are some tips to help you save money as a new home owner.
Track Income & Expenditure
It’s really essential to budget now you are a home owner. A simple spreadsheet or budgeting app will help you get a handle on your finances. Being able to make your mortgage repayments and other high priority bills come first and foremost.
Although card payments make life easier, you can lose track of your outgoings. Using cash gives you a better picture of your spending habits, especially over a week or a month. It may persuade you to cycle to work instead of drive and make your own packed lunch rather than buy a meal deal. Before purchasing something, always think, do you really need it and will you use it?
Save on Energy & Utility Bills
One of the regular expenses you’ll find as a homeowner is for your utilities – gas, electric and water. Shop around for good value tariffs using a comparison website. New appliances tend to be more efficient, so if you are upgrading your boiler and radiators after the inital outlay you’ll find you are saving money in the long run. A new gas fire, with a smart new surround from somewhere budget friendly like https://www.heatingandplumbingworld.co.uk/fires/sales/surrounds will be more economical to run than an old model. This first time buyer gas and electricity guide from UK power is useful.
Furnish on a budget
Avoid the high end furniture stores and head to places like Ikea or even your local charity shops to find things to furnish your home more cheaply. You can pick up some really good, well made vintage pieces that can be easily updated with new handles or a coat of paint. They help create a more individual home, too, that’s more reflective of your personality.
Cut the cost of food bills
Now you’re in your own place, there’s no excuse to go out to eat as often. Cooking in your very own kitchen is one of the real pleasures of being a home owner. You could do your grocery shopping online, buying only what you need and avoiding the temptation of impulse buys at the supermarket. Look for items in the reduced section and freeze them for another day. Do batch cooking too and if you use a slow cooker, which costs the same as a light bulb, you’ll save money by not putting the oven on so much. Cooking from scratch is cheaper and healthier than ready meals, too!
Save and learn to be patient
It seems old fashioned in this day and age, but remember that our parents and grandparents were good at saving and waiting for things. A new dining suite, for example, would be planned well ahead and money set aside until there was enough to buy one. We’re all about have now, pay later, it seems – but waiting a bit longer for something often makes you appreciate it more and if you don’t buy items with interest, you won’t be paying over the odds. Think of your home as a work in progress; it’s more fun and satisfying to ‘slow decorate’ as your style will evolve and you’re less likely to make decor decisions or purchases you later regret.
Learn DIY skills
Hiring trades people can work out expensive if you’ve got a lot of renovating and decorating to do, so why not have a go at some jobs yourself. You can paint and tile and do lots of maintenance jobs around the home for free. Get onto YouTube if you’re not sure how to tackle something and watch some tutorials. Think of the money you’ll save and you will be learning a new skill!
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