Home Improvement

8 Tips for Saving More Money for Your Home Repairs

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Look around your house. See that loose doorknob and the tricky pilot light in your fireplace? What about that rotted board on your back deck or the cracked shower molding? If you’re like most homeowners, your castle likely needs some repairs — and that can be expensive.

Instead of draining your bank account to pay for these fixes, save up cash to cover the additional expenses. Some restorations (especially the bigger projects) carry a hefty price tag and may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several ways to set aside the funds to pay for it all without busting your monthly budget.

1. Use Your Debit Card

You whip out your debit card for lots of day-to-day purchases. Why not get a card that works for you, allowing you to save money to cover your home repair costs? Some fee-free debit cards help you sock money away while you’re buying groceries or pumping gas. 

These cards may have a convenient round-up savings feature. Every time you swipe the plastic, your card rounds up to the nearest dollar, funneling those cents into a savings account. Over time, those pennies add up, and the home repair bills won’t look so unmanageable. 

2. Get Accurate Quotes

Before starting a home repair project, get a good idea of how much it will cost. Contact several contractors for accurate quotes to help set a budget. If your neighbor completed a similar project, ask roughly how much they spent. The more information you have, the less likely you are to overspend.

With those assessments in hand, you can price out the materials within your budget and create a timeline. If you’re able, be sure to pad the amount you expect to spend. That wiggle room is important for covering any unexpected hiccups that often happen with home projects.  

3. Earmark Savings Accounts

Sometimes saving money is as easy as creating a dedicated bucket for the funds. This doesn’t mean stuffing it under your mattress or putting it in a cookie jar, though. Instead, open a savings account — or a second savings account if you already have one.

Set up an automatic debit from your bank account to move a portion of your monthly income directly into savings. If you don’t see the money in your checking balance, you’re less likely to miss it. You’ll also be less tempted to dip into the account for other types of purchases.

4. Create a Savings Strategy

Just having a savings account, however, isn’t always enough. You need a strategy to keep you motivated and on track. Go a step further than simply committing to saving money every month. Identify a specific amount and put yourself on a schedule. 

Look at the assessed value of your home and set aside a certain percentage of that amount annually. For example, calculate 2% of your home’s value and divide that number into 12 monthly amounts. Put that money into your home repair savings account and only use it for house projects.

5. Get Creative With Cost Cutting

If you’ve ever tried to streamline your monthly budget, this tactic may be easy for you. Look at your monthly expenses and see where you might shave off some dollars. A few bucks here and there can start to add up and pay for a new coat of paint or pressure washing.

Are you sure you’re getting the best deal for cable, internet, and phone? Call your providers about potentially lowering your bill and consider switching companies if they can’t offer better rates. Look for subscriptions you could cancel and pay attention to your electricity bill. Turn off lights when you don’t need them and adjust your thermostat — it will all save money.

6. Use Windfalls Wisely

Did you get a great bonus at work or did the IRS have mercy on you with a hefty refund? It may be tempting to use that cash for a big vacation or fun purchase like a car. Before you spend, ask yourself if that’s the best use of that extra cash.

If your refrigerator is on its last leg or there’s a leak in your roof, you should prioritize those problems. Consider using that unexpected money to fix them. Vacations are great, but repairing major troubles at home can take away worries and make you feel more relaxed.   

7. Have a Sale

If you’ve lived in your house a while, there’s a chance you have lots of unused things lying around. They could be old bikes or skateboards, forgotten stuffed animal toys, or duplicate tools. If you’re not using something, ask yourself why you’re keeping it around.

Instead of holding on to it all, consider having a sale. You’ll clear out space in your garage or attic. Plus, whatever you earn, you can apply toward your home repair fund. It’s a win-win!

8. Do It Yourself

Sure, the easiest thing to do is hire a professional for your home repairs. You’ll end up paying for materials and labor, though, so it is often expensive. Unless the project is complicated (or involves electricity), consider doing it yourself. It’s a way to save money and, potentially, learn something new.

The internet is full of how-to videos. You can learn to grout, replace tile, or repair dents and dings in your walls. Home improvement stores also frequently offer hands-on classes taught by professionals. If you slow down and pay attention to the details, you may be able to handle most home repairs yourself.  

Owning your home can be great. You have the ability to paint it any color and change whatever you want. With that freedom, though, comes the obligation of home repairs. 

Unlike when you’re renting, there’s no landlord coming to fix what goes wrong for free. As the homeowner, that bill is coming directly to you. Try these eight savings strategies to make paying for repairs more manageable. 

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