It’s never fun when something goes wrong with your home’s systems or appliances. You’re left scrambling to line up repairs and then wondering how you’re going to pay for them. If you’re a homeowner, then you would do well to set up a budget for home repairs. That way, when something goes wrong, you’ll have a financial cushion to fall back on.
Do Some Research
First, do some research about the costs of home repairs so that you have a good idea about current prices. It’s highly unpleasant to have your furnace go out, for instance, and realize that the furnace repair cost is much higher than you ever expected. Look around online to learn the regular rates for plumbers, heating and air conditioning repair companies, electricians, and appliance repair services. You’ll at least have a bit less “sticker shock” if you have to call in one of these professionals.
Review Your Current Budget
Knowing the going rates can also help you as you review your current budget. Take a look at your income and expenses, and see if you fall in the red or in the black. Hopefully, you’re in the black, but realize that you’ll need a bit of wiggle room if you’re going to set up a home repair budget. You may also want to look at your current levels of debt and savings. This will give you an idea of how much you have on hand and how much you may be able to borrow if the unexpected happens. Finally, come up with a figure that you can reasonably set aside each month for upcoming home repairs.
Make Some Cuts
Of course, to set that money aside, you may have to make some cuts in other areas. Start with your entertainment budget. Most people spend more than they realize here. Notice how many streaming services you subscribe to, for instance, and ask yourself if you really need them all. You may be able to cut some and put that money into your home repair fund. Also, look at how often you go out to eat in a month or how many little “extras” you purchase. These, too, might be prime areas for cuts.
Set Up an Account
Now take the money you’ve designated for home repairs, and set up a savings account for it. You’ll be less likely to cheat and spend these funds if they are safely in the bank and earmarked. You’ll have to exercise some self-control here, but remind yourself of how much this money will help if something goes wrong at your house.
Finally, get organized by putting together a list of repair services that you can consult when you need home repairs. Your earlier research will likely have led you to companies you can afford. Read some reviews, and then select options for each type of repair. Keep a paper or computer file with names, phone numbers, websites, and services offered that you can access easily in an emergency.
While home repairs can get expensive, if you plan ahead and set up a home repair budget, you may manage the costs more easily.