Settlement is sorted, you’ve received the keys, and you’re finally in your new home – but how do you prepare for your new set of bills after buying a house?
The expenses don’t stop once you’re finally in your property, and the ongoing costs that can pop up after buying a house can often catch many people off guard – particularly for first home buyers. It’s important to remember that property ownership is a big responsibility, and you need to make sure that your finances are in order to stay on track of these new repayments as well as all of your other bills.
Staying On Top Of Your Finances As A New Home Owner
Once you’ve managed to break into the property market via purchasing your first home, you’ve no doubt done your fair share of the hard yards via budgeting and meticulous saving. However, the fun doesn’t stop there as your new responsibilities don’t just include mortgage repayments, as now you have things like rates, insurances, and utility bills to think about too. Thus, it’s still just as important to keep some – if not all – of those good money habits that you’ve spent so long perfecting.
Revise Your Budget – Now that you are a proud homeowner, your incomings and outgoings will be different to what they once were. When making a budget, ensure that it reflects all of the recent changes in your life as it will help you to spot the gaps when it comes to new expenses, those existing expenses that may need tweaking, and also help you to potentially keep saving.
Don’t Forget Food – If you’ve been living in a share house or with your parents while you saved for a house, the way your meals work will be different than they are now. Start meal prepping at the beginning of every week, write out a proper grocery list, look for specials in the supermarkets, or even consider meal kits as a way to manage your outgoings for food.
Automate Your Bills – ‘Bill smoothing’ is a payment system offered by many utility providers (electricity, gas, water) whereby you pay them fortnightly or monthly, instead of having to pay the whole bill in one go. The process can go a long way when it comes to eliminating large bills that put a dent in your finances and help to keep them in check in the long term.
Check Your Subscriptions – Many have costly subscriptions for gyms, magazines, and of course streaming services – but how many of those are you actually putting to good use? Comb through your bank statements or active subscriptions on your phone to see where you may be potentially leaking money and cancel those that you are no longer actively using if you can.
Have An Emergency Fund – If you struggle to commit to a savings plan, remove any possible chance of defaulting to spending mode. Set up a direct debit every pay day to go into a separate savings account – even if it’s one that requires you to visit a bank in person for withdrawals. Your future self will thank you for it as this will eventually bloom to become your rainy day fund.
Make Extra Repayments – While this may seem like a no brainer, it requires a conscious decision (and effort) to prioritise your outgoing bills. By rounding up your loan repayment to the nearest $50, you could save thousands in the long term. Try lump sum payments whenever you can, such as utilising your tax return, any surprise bonuses, and even inheritance funds.
Debunking Myths – One of the biggest savings myths that needs debunking is that one needs to earn serious dollars in order to afford putting some of it away for savings – and since you’ve managed to save for a home loan deposit already, you know this simply just isn’t true. If you’re able to stay on top of your finances after buying a house, it will go a long way when it comes to paying off your mortgage faster and ensuring that financial stress isn’t something you need to worry about.
Get The Right Advice The First Time
With a background in banking, finance, business development and project management, there’s no better advocate to have on your team than Nikki Berzin. As a fully qualified mortgage broker and director of Cherry Lending & Finance, Nikki is passionate about all things finance, and empowering her clients with the tools to hit their property goals is what she does best.
If you’re looking to get into your first home, purchase an investment property or even want to look at your options for refinancing, the first step is starting the conversation. Get in touch with Nikki today, or call her directly on 0427 374 155 to bring your mortgage dreams to life.
Disclaimer: Your full financial needs and requirements need to be assessed prior to any offer or acceptance of a loan product. Subject to lenders terms and conditions, fees and charges and eligibility apply.