3 Ways that First-Time Homeowners Can Save Money
Now that you’ve bought your first home, you may be overwhelmed with trying to keep up with your monthly mortgage payments, utility bills, homeowners’ insurance, and a slew of other costs associated with homeownership. Luckily, there are ways you can cut down on expenses without trying too hard. Here are three ways you can save money and enjoy your home.
1. Save on monthly bills
Whether it’s your water, cable, or electric bill, you can lower the cost of your major bills each month by following these tips.
For your water bill:
- Take shorter showers—Reducing your shower time by four minutes can save you a few dollars each month.
- Don’t hand-wash dishes—If you have a big load of dishes to do, consider putting them in the dishwasher instead. You’ll use less water, leading to a lower bill.
- Fix all leaks—If you have a running toilet or faulty faucet, you could be dumping gallons of water down the drain every day. Get leaks repaired as soon as possible.
For your energy bill:
- Install LED or CFL light bulbs—These types of bulbs can save you a ton of money in the long run, plus they last longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs.
- Invest in energy efficient appliances—These appliances use less energy and are more reliable than other systems.
- Replace your air filter at least once every three months—When you have an old, outdated air filter, your HVAC system will work harder and use more energy to pump out lower quality air.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater—Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimum temperature for your water heater.
2. Invest in a home warranty
When you moved into your new house, you might’ve bought separate product insurance plans for all of the appliances and systems within your house. While this is a good move to protect your items in the event that they break down, a smarter way to protect them is with a home warranty.
Not only are home warranties more comprehensive, but investing in a single plan as opposed to six or seven product insurance plans is a lot more affordable and easy to keep up with. Additionally, product insurance plans have an expiration date, whereas home warranties can be renewed each year and cover basically the entire cost of all repairs and replacements. Not to mention, a home warranty will cover things that your homeowners’ insurance won’t. For example, homeowners’ insurance covers structural and property damage from fires, natural disasters, and some situations out of your control—it doesn’t cover the breakdown of major appliances or systems within your home.
3. Build an emergency fund
Since buying a home might take up a significant portion of your savings, it’s always good to have an emergency fund on hand of at least three to six months of expenses. With this fund, you won’t be paying out-of-pocket or going into debt for emergencies as they arise. This fund can account for health emergencies, a job loss, home improvements, or even home maintenance if something isn’t covered by your homeowners’ insurance or home warranty.