Owning a house equals lots of responsibilities…and costs.

As a new homeowner, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the various costs you encounter. That is why it is always useful to have a few “hacks” in your back pocket, a few “tricks” up your sleeve. So if you are looking to eke out some savings, here are some effective tips and tricks to help you save money while still keeping an orderly home.

Organise yourself to save early 

At this point, as a new homeowner, it is time for you to really organize your finances. When you know how much you are spending as a new homeowner, you can really start saving. Write down all of your homeowner expenses, for example your mortgage payment, utility bill payment, even your lawn maintenance. When you can see exactly how much you are spending overall each month, then you can begin to figure out where you can start looking for savings.

Put “extreme makeovers” on pause

The fun part of buying a house is getting it to look and feel exactly how you want it. As a new homeowner, you are definitely thinking of what must get done immediately and what can hold off for a bit. But let me offer a bit of first time homeowner advice: it takes living in a house to know exactly what you want to change so get used to living in the new house for a while so that you can plan and save for any extensive renovations or expensive purchases. The additional projects will definitely happen, the new items will definitely come… and when they do, they will be that much more exciting because you can easily afford them.

Learn to DIY

Learning how to DIY can be one of the best tips for saving money at home. Many house projects like painting are beginner-friendly and can be less expensive if you are willing to do some of the work yourself. DIY can really make a huge difference in the look and feel of your new home without sending you spiraling into debt. Stick to simple, cost-effective projects until you get a solid/better grasp on your home improvement skills.

Shop around

In Trinidad and Tobago, there is only one option/provider you have as a homeowner for your electricity and water. However, for your other expenses, you do have choices.

Shop around for your internet and television providers. Check out their costs. Another money-saving tip is to look for clearance or discounts at furniture or hardware stores. They usually drop the price of perfectly good items when they become discontinued to clear space for newer models.

Upgrading to “SMART” may actually be smart

Do you know you can actually reduce your utility bills by investing in energy-efficient appliances? Look for appliances with the Energy Star label that use less electricity and are more efficient? Washing machines are a good example of this, as Energy Star-certified washing machines use less power and less water than regular washers.

Another “big savings” that you can see over time is with your lights. LED light bulbs are much more efficient than traditional light bulbs. They have a greater variety of brightness and also last longer.

Take advantage of tax deductions

As a new homeowner filing your taxes can be scary, especially if you have no idea what to expect. Luckily, there are tax deductions for new homeowners: You can reduce your annual income tax by up to $30,000. You can claim this tax deduction on the mortgage interest you pay for up to 5 years after buying or building your first home, provided the property was acquired on or after January 1, 2011.

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