Congratulations, you did it. You’re a homeowner. The stress of securing financial approval, finding just the right house, and waiting for your offer to be accepted can be overwhelming. You deserve to take a breath to savor the accomplishment.
But now, as a homeowner, you may have less discretionary income than you did before. Here are five smart ways to save money.
1. Change your locks. Ideally, do this before you even move in. Lots of people potentially had access to your home. A new set of keys brings peace of mind that no one has access to your valuables.
2. Buy a fireproof safe or storage container. Immediately fill this with all important paperwork related to your home and finances. You no doubt signed what seemed like a million forms when you closed on your home. Put them in this safe and you have instant access to them in a single, secure location, at tax time, when filling out college applications or whenever else you might need them. This is also a good place for wills, passports, car titles, and other crucial paperwork. Remember: Time is money so staying organized matters.
3. Do a deep clean. Start by cleaning your clothes dryer ductwork. Clothes dryers cause nearly 3,000 fires a year and result in five deaths, 100 injuries, and a whopping $35 million in property loss. While you should clean the lint filter with every use, the ductwork should be done each year but can be easier to forget. Vacuum the coils around your refrigerator as well to maximize energy efficiency.
4. Introduce yourself to neighbors. You might not want to be best buddies or host block parties together but a familiar face in the neighborhood can alert you to suspicious activity or even things such as an outside light that flickers or, what happened to me, a nail in your tire. Attending to issues like this quickly can save money in the long run.
5. Slow down and set priorities. Don’t rush to get it all done. You likely don’t have the money yet. Put a dream list together and tackle these projects bit by bit. In the meantime, take time to savor your accomplishment. You have a house! Slowly but surely you will make it a home.
Download our free Money Management Planner and learn how to set financial goals, budget effectively, and gain freedom from financial stress. Learn more here.
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