Three ways new homeowners waste money

Just bought your first home? Congratulations! But, before you start poring over interior style magazines, and booking tradespeople to work on your new home, here are some tips to help you save money.

Expensive furniture and decor

One of the most enjoyable parts of buying your first home is the freedom – finally! – to do exactly what you want with it.

You no longer need to keep a landlord happy, which usually means looking at magnolia walls night after night. And this freedom can be heady – but it can also be dangerous.

One of the first purchases many new homeowners make after signing the contract on their home, is interior style magazines. And, as inspirational as they are, many of the ideas are often out of the budget of new homeowners.

This can lead to some new homeowners spending all their new home budget on the latest, must-have, statement raspberry sofa that looks amazing – but out of place in a small terrace.

It also dates quickly, once next season’s satsuma, mid-century-style sofa of the moment comes out. And as comfortable as your achingly stylish (and expensive) sofa is, it’s not much consolation when you can’t afford to fix the leaky kitchen roof.

So, by all means, get inspiration from the luxury interior design magazines, but when it comes to actually buying items, try to stick within a reasonable budget. This can be made easier by visiting secondhand furniture stores or even using things like a Lowe’s coupon to save money on the pieces of furniture that you wish to buy. 

Expensive handymen (and women)

One of the downsides to owning your own home is that there’s no landlord to call when something goes wrong. And no landlord to pay for the repairs, either!

So what do you do when the toilet blocks, or the oven stops working? The first thing NOT to do is panic. Stay calm, assess what’s wrong and then start making calls.

If you do need to hire a professional to fix something, it’s always good to go with personal recommendations. So find out if any one you know, knows someone who can help.

If not, start looking on local forums and Facebook groups for recommendations. If this fails, look online for a local tradesperson who can help. Do try to find a local person – not only are larger, national companies probably going to charge more, but you’re missing the chance to support a small, local business.

There is another choice too. If the repair is simple enough, you can research how to fix it yourself. You can access pretty much everything you need online usually, and buy plumbing parts available from Heating and Plumbing World, to provide you with your DIY building materials.

Not only will this save you money, but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve fixed it yourself.

Inefficient use of energy

Every home needs energy to run – from cooking and heating, to powering appliances. But not every home pays the same amount for their energy.

Today there’s a wealth of options available to homeowners. So don’t simply stick with the supplier you inherit with your new home. Instead, shop around and find the best deal for your needs.

And it’s not just the amount you pay for your energy – but the amount you use too. If your bills have previously been included with your rent, finding out how much it costs to tumble dry clothes every day, for example, might come as a shock.

You also need to ensure your new home is as well-insulated and energy efficient as possible, so you’re not inadvertently wasting energy and paying too much this way, either.

Photo by Ken Treloar