Last year I shared on this blog that my husband and I became homeowners which is a goal I’ve had for some time now. I also mentioned that we’ll be spending much more money as homeowners than we were renting.
Homeownership isn’t cheap. You are responsible for maintenance, repairs, taxes, insurance, and monthly living expenses like your utilities.
Given that fact that owning a home can be so expensive, it’s best not to allow your housing expenses to exceed 30% of your income. Still, money can be tight depending on other housing expenses and what your goals are.
Despite this, I’m determined to continue saving money. We want to pay down the rest of our non-mortgage debt, max out retirement, and increase our emergency fund.
Here are 6 ways that we’re saving money after buying a house.
1. Replacing Heating and Air Filters
Since we rented an apartment for many years, I never knew we had to change our air filters so often. Maintenance would just take care of this task. This is an easy maintenance task for homeowners, however, and it can save you lots of money over time.
Air filters are not super expensive and clogged, dirty filters just block your system’s efficiency. This means your system has to work harder to heat or cool your home, costing you more money.
By doing this simple maintenance task and keeping a programmable thermostat, we’re able to keep our utility bills lower just like they were when we were renting.
2. Staying In and Enjoying Our Home More
This is a given, but we’re staying in more and eating at home more. When I used to work a 9-5, life was busier and my son was younger so we often did a ton of running around between, errands, events, entertainment etc.
I work from home now and try to live a fairly simple life. This automatically means I’m spending less money so we pocket more savings on this end.
We eat most meals together each night and avoid dining out unless it’s a special occasion. We also invite friends over now that we have the space. During warmer months, I plan on hosting more get-togethers and potlucks.
3. Planting a Garden
A major goal of mine is to start a garden in the spring. Since we bought our home in the summer, I really didn’t have the time to grow the plants that I wanted to have. I was able to grow a few tomatoes and bell peppers but what was about it.
Now that we have the yard space and free reign to have our own garden, I want to plant more vegetables and fruits I won’t have to buy them from the store.
This will help us lower our grocery bill even more. Plus, starting a garden is relatively cheap.
I had no idea what I was doing last year and still grew some vegetables. I bought basic planting tools (some from the dollar store), soil, and some Miracle-Gro for some of the plants. I’m looking forward to keeping up with this money-saving hobby regularly.
4. Renting Out Space
Another way you can be saving money after buying a house is to become an Airbnb host. We haven’t officially started this one yet, but we’re getting our home ready to rent out on Airbnb. I probably won’t rent the whole house, just the spare room. Still, it’s going to be a unique way to make extra money.
Anything we earn from the rental will go directly toward our mortgage to supplement the cost. I like the flexibility of Airbnb because we can book guests whenever we want.
Plus, I like the fact that the site does most of the advertising. We just need to work out a few more logistics but we’re almost ready to go with this side hustle.
Some homeowners earn thousands per month with Airbnb but since we don’t live in a major city, I only expect to make a few hundred per month and that’s okay with me.
5. Savings Challenge
A savings challenge can help anyone save more money, especially if you’re competitive. Even if you think you don’t have enough to save, you need to challenge yourself to make it a priority.
Trying different savings challenges can help you make saving money fun and increase your savings rate. I’m running a 52-week savings challenge in my community Facebook group and it’s really motivating me to save $1,300+ automatically this year.
You can do the traditional 52-week savings challenge where your savings amount matches the week number for the year. Or, you can do other savings challenges – some shorter or some longer.
Try inviting someone else to do the savings challenge with you whether it’s a friend or someone in your household. This will help with motivation and accountability.
Set up automatic transfers and pay yourself first so you never have an excuse for skipping out on saving.
6. Earning More Money
Every year I try to increase my income, so this should come as no surprise. After our expenses increased when we bought our home, we knew we needed to earn more money so you could continue saving more.
This actually meant having my husband quit his job and work from home with me. It also meant switching up some of our side hustles. My husband is going to be quitting Uber soon and we’re pursuing new extra income opportunities like focus groups and flipping websites.
I’m still blogging on the side but I recently purchased two new websites that I want to monetize and sell for profit in a year or two. It’s going to be a challenge because I’m starting the sites from scratch, but I’m pretty confident that it will be a profitable extra income source.
Have you ever thought about how homeownership could increase your expenses? Have any tips for saving money after buying a house?