by STAFF WRITER Published June 28, 2010 Credit Unions Online
Buying that new home took a lot of budgeting, saving, and cutting back. Remember those skills after you move into your new house or you could increase your debt with purchases to fill your new home with the latest appliances, shiny new furniture, fresh landscaping, etc.
While planning on buying your first house or upgrading to another house, you might not have included the expenses of making your new house a home for your family. Whether you want to spruce up the landscaping, buy new furniture or appliances, a new home is a tempting time to accumulate new debt. The first couple of weeks and months in your new home will get you thinking about all the projects you want to do to make your home "just right." Adding more debt at this point can be financially tricky. Getting used to a new mortgage and insurance premiums can take a while for a new home owner. You will also need money set aside for when the water heater decides quit on you or a minor leak in a roof needs fast attention before it becomes very costly.
Here are a couple tips to help you stay as debt free as possible, while making the changes and updates to your new home.
Create a list of priorities after moving into your new home. What project do you want to complete first? Keep adding new project ideas during the first couple of months. Revisit the priorities of your project list and reorganize as you realize that refrigerator can wait another year so you can spend money on a different project that will bring more joy to your family.
Spread out the expenses. Concentrate on the outside of your house during spring and summer months and the inside during fall and winter months. You will constantly be involved in a new house project without feeling like you have to wait to get starting with all the changes you want.
Have a cash cushion for emergency home expenses so you don't have to rely on credit cards to cover those sudden emergencies that cannot wait.
Avoid store zero percent financing at those convenient home improvement stores, making you think everything is easier to afford. If your new home purchases are not paid off within a set time limit, the amount owed could increase significantly.
If you budgeted properly prior to buying your house, retain those budgeting skills so you can spend many years in your new home without the worries of debt. The most important part of your new home is to enjoy it. If you are a first time home owner, you will have dozens of ideas to make that house your home, just take it slowly. The wait will be worth it.