First, let us wish you a very Happy & Healthy New Year!
Every January, we not only set goals but we build an annual budget. Although things may come up unexpectedly and plans don’t always stay on track, having a general income and expense guide can help reduce stress. Budgets are commonly used for business planning but can also be very helpful personally, allowing you to enjoy your home!
It’s easy to jot down income and expenses such as the monthly mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowners insurance and utilities. But, have you really ever made a complete budget that consisted of all of your living expenses, including food, other insurance, household items, and all of those monthly subscriptions that quickly add up? Most people are pretty surprised with their spending once they start making a list. This task can actually help save money and eliminate wasteful spending.
What kind of home maintenance is needed this year? Can you do it yourself or will you need to hire it out? Setting aside funds for maintenance and repairs is part of home ownership. It can generally cost about 1% (of its value) for home maintenance annually.
Have you assessed the age of the mechanicals, roof, windows, or considered other projects like flooring or cabinets? It is good to update your home some each year so that you can enjoy it rather than sink a lot of money into it for the new buyer when you’re ready to sell. Budgeting for improvements and planning out the work during the year can also reduce the stress that comes from these larger, more expensive projects.
Take time this weekend to make a budget, then refer to it monthly as a checklist. And, remember, we’re here if you need any guidance on home improvements and what projects might be the best investments to make in your house.