Protect your home by preparing for unexpected expenses with these smart saving tips.
July 2017: As a homeowner, it is reasonable to assume you will have, from time to time, repair expenses. When your fridge stops working, your roof springs a leak or you need to rebuild your privacy fence, how do you budget for these costs?
The examples above happened to my wife and me within three years of purchasing our first home. Here are four tips we used to save, which helped us pay for these unexpected expenses.
1. Set aside money now for emergencies.
The fridge that came with the house went out about four months after we moved in. Luckily, we had a few thousand dollars saved up for emergencies and were able to purchase a new fridge right away. You never know when a $500 or $1,000 expense will arise. Tuck away money now so can avoid unwanted stress and debt.
2. Use your contacts.
A few months after purchasing the new fridge, our roof sprang a leak. A couple of temporary patch jobs later, it needed to be replaced. I called a company and requested an estimate which came back around $4,000. Yikes! Who has that kind of money laying around? I looked for other companies and asked friends and family for recommendations. With their help, I found a roundabout family connection that owned a roofing company. Their estimate was about half the price of the original estimate. I had a new roof within two weeks. Whew! Always comparison shop. It’s worth the time.
3. DIY. Recruit Help.
Next on our list is to rebuild the privacy fence. We recently paid off both of our vehicles. So each month our old auto payment goes into our savings to help pay for the fence rebuild. I have recruited family members to help build the fence. By building it ourselves, we will save a couple thousand dollars. Our only expense is the material, plus meals for the crew.
4. Sell Unwanted Items.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. One way to pad your savings is to look for things around your house you don’t use and sell them in a garage sale. Consider selling more expensive items on eBay or another online sales site.
These are a few ways I’ve saved money, but there are lots of ways to prepare for the unexpected expenses of homeownership. Do what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to save. Start saving today.
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Financially Fit is published by RCB Bank to help you strengthen your money sense and provide quick and easy action plans to start whipping your money into shape. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.
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