Moving into your new home is a feeling like no other. As you begin to settle in and decorate, it's a good idea begin making a few strategic money-saving moves. After all, with this major purchase under your belt, there is no better time to focus on your finances - and we have a few tips to help!
Make a New Budget
Hopefully, you've already been using a budget to plan your monthly expenses and savings. Now that you own a new home, it's time to update your budget to reflect your new expenses - including the ones you may overlook until they come up:
- Home insurance and property taxes
- Home upkeep-New homes in Alberta are covered under new home warranty. This means, you won't need to worry about most repairs for a long time. Still, you should plan for upkeep and basic maintenance. This includes items like HVAC filters and annual system check-ups.
- Lawn care - You may also need to make initial purchases to care for your new yard such as a lawnmower and other seasonal equipment
Start Meal Planning
One tried and tested method for helping you stick to your budget is to start meal planning. Deciding on a weekly menu will help you better manage your purchases and avoid wasting food (and therefore money!).
Other benefits of meal planning include saving time. You're less likely to have to stop off at the store for last minute items and, with proper planning, you can have easy-access leftovers for later. Meal planning is also a useful way to maintain a healthy diet and learn a few fun new recipes while you're at it.
You're undoubtedly excited to start decorating your new home to fit your style. While it may be difficult to resist the temptation to spring for all new home furniture, why not save yourself a couple of dollars by choosing second-hand items?
Remember, second-hand doesn't mean you have to settle for a beat-up velvet sofa from the 1990's. Online resources such as Edmonton Buy-and-Sell groups, Kijiji and Craigslist are great places to search for gently used (sometimes not used at all) furniture and accessories for half the cost. If you have the time, peruse a few thrift stores as well. Here you might find some hidden gems that can easily be cleaned up in no time. You might even have fun taking on a few DIY upcycling projects.
When it comes to planning your decor, have you thought about making a few items yourself? Not only is there a wealth of easy, DIY home decor ideas online, they're a fun and affordable alternative to spending who-knows-how-much on specialty items in home stores. Not to mention, you can personalize each and every item you craft with your own creative spin! You can even apply this tactic to other aspects of your new home as well - consider some stylish DIY storage options.
Plan to Make Extra Mortgage Payments
It's never too soon to plan for the day when you can own your home outright and finally pay off the mortgage. If you can make a plan to pay down the balance early, you can save on interest charges.
Your mortgage is amortized, which means the repayment is scheduled over a specific period of time. This allows your lender to calculate how much they will receive in interest and establish a timeline for the loan. During the beginning of your home loan, most of your payments will go toward interest with very little going toward the principal. As the years go by, this ratio will slowly shift the other way.
You may want to make lump-sum or accelerated payments to pay more against the principal and shorten the amount of time it takes to pay off the loan. Before making your plan, consider whether you have a prepayment penalty. Your loan may have prepayment privileges that allow you to either make lump sum payments up to a certain amount or increase your regular mortgage payment by a specific percentage without paying a fee. You can always talk to your lender for more information.