Owning a Home Doesn’t Have to Burn Your Budget: 12 Things That Frugal Homeowners Do
Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have experience running a household, cutting everyday costs can be quite a challenge for owning a home. The average US household spends $61,334 per year – which is a lot. The good news is that you can get a lovely home and not burn through your budget, not to mention that you can save valuable resources. Frugal homeowners swear by these ten money-saving tips.
1. Explore Your Tax Deduction Options to Own a Home
In 2022, the standard tax deduction for homeowners was between $19,400 and $25,900, depending on the homeowner’s status. Take advantage of tax deductions because you can save thousands each year, but only if they exceed the standard set by the IRS. Otherwise, claiming your tax dedication won’t be worth it. These are some of the things you can deduct: property taxes, mortgage interest, and even your home office costs.
2. Have a Home Warranty Coverage Before Owning a Home
A home warranty will help you protect your budget in the event of unforeseen expenses and sudden repairs. “Your major applications and built-in systems, like your air conditioner, hot water heater, refrigerator or stove, can be repaired without having to pay costly repair feed,” explains Steve Upshaw, CEO of Cinch Home Services, a cross-country home warranty provider.
And that’s not all. According to Mr. Upshaw, if your appliance is deemed irreparable or will cost more than a new appliance to repair, “your home warranty company will replace it with an appliance of similar value.”
3. Do Research on Utility Providers
Knowing who you are paying and what for is one of the most effective cost-cutting measures for savvy homeowners. Between the electricity bill and your ISP, the costs of basic utilities can vary drastically from one provider to the next. Even if you’ve done your research when you first bought your home, it doesn’t hurt to compare new electricity prices and reassess your utility choices every couple of years.
4. Avoid Wear and Tear Preemptively
It’s common advice given to new homeowners, but one we rarely follow – when something’s broken, don’t wait too long to fix it. Damaged systems and broken appliances often consume more electricity and put your household at risk of immediate havoc.
If you want to avoid spending thousands of dollars on repairs, do your best to maintain your key systems and appliances and fix them while you still can.
5. Switch to Smart Home Solutions
According to one study, your household could save 10–12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling by using a smart thermostat.
And that’s only one small thermostat in a vast network of interconnected devices. Other affordable game-changers include smart light bulbs and plugs, as well as leak sensors, ceiling fans, shades, and blinds. On top of saving energy, smart fridges can also monitor and prevent food waste.
6. Don’t Skimp on Your Wall Insulation When Owning a Home
Speaking of energy savings, most homeowners lose thousands of dollars a year due to poor insulation. When walls are not properly insulated, they let the warmth in when it’s summer and out during winter.
Your heating and cooling systems must always be on to maintain the desired temperature. With air-tight insulation, you can turn them off as soon as you’re nice and balmy.
7. Give Your Appliances a Day Off
It’s a matter of habit, but everyone can get used to relying on technology less rather than more. We live in a digital age, and many people have digital jobs.
But isn’t that a reason more to disconnect and enjoy some peace and quiet on the weekends? Try turning off all your computers, screens, and inessential tech devices one day a week. It will help you recharge your own batteries and keep a few bucks in your wallet.
8. Become Your Own Handyman
Handiwork can be surprisingly rewarding, so why not make it practical, too? With millions of detailed guides and tutorials online, you no longer have to rely on professionals for help.
Of course, some complex tasks require expertise and experience, such as electricity and plumbing. However, other tasks are unexpectedly simple and relaxing. Learn one household skill a month before owning a home, and you’ll save a lot.
9. Repurpose Old Furniture Pieces
DIY interior design has become a major online trend – so much so that thousands of blogs are dedicated to crafting furniture from scratch and refurbishing old pieces. The second option might be even cheaper and more amateur-friendly, as it doesn’t require lots of expensive tools.
The old furniture is of finer craft and higher quality, which is a huge plus. Most of the wooden tables, chairs, and beds made in the last century could still be used or repaired to perfection. And the best thing about them is that they will last longer than most brand-new pieces.
10. Develop a Minimalistic Mindset Before Owning a Home
Home organizing and interior design have become very important to us during the lockdown, but do we really need more of the same thing when owning a home?
Think about all the tiny, decorative things you don’t need – your spice jars and shampoo decanters, ceramic pots, and bookholders. All those things that IKEA wants you to think you cannot live without are just tinsels. If they make you happy, great, but keep it moderate!
11. Manage Your Subscription Fund
Do you need more than one or two streaming services?
Becoming a homeowner is a good time to learn how to manage resources. That involves recognizing your daily patterns, habits, and activities. Spend a couple of weeks on this task. Be mindful of everything you do during the day – if you watch only one movie every week, this might be a moment to unsubscribe from Netflix and spend that subscription fund on something more important.
12. Create a Budget and Stick to It for Owning a Home
Ultimately, being frugal homeowners don’t mean you have to say goodbye to every superfluous thing. It’s more about staying aware of your spending habits and curating your life. Sticking to a monthly budget aids both of these resolutions.
If you never spend more than you have to, you’ll be able to afford something nice and still put some money on the side. The trick is to be realistic and stay committed.
Do you have a cost-cutting tip you’d like to share among frugal homeowners? Let us know in the comments!
David is a dynamic, analytical, solutions-focused bilingual Financial Professional, highly regarded for devising and implementing actionable plans resulting in measurable improvements to customer acquisition and retention, revenue generation, forecasting, and new business development.