Buying a home is a great investment, but keeping up with all of the maintenance, repairs, and improvements can put a strain on your bank account. You can choose the right time to install new light fixtures or new flooring, but other items pop up out of the blue and can take you by surprise, like a busted pipe or a broken air conditioner. If you do some planning and put money aside each month to cover large expenses such as new windows or a roof replacement, when the time comes you won't be scrambling around to scrape up the funds.
Create a Budget for Home Repairs and Improvements
You first need to figure out how much money you need to set aside for different repairs and projects each year. You can either set aside between 1-4% of your home's value each year or base your calculations on the size of your home. If your home is worth $300,000 and you decide to save 3%, you should put aside $750 each month. Using the second method, if your home is 3000 square feet, you should set aside $1 per square foot, so $3000 per year or $250 per month.
If there are specific home improvement projects you'd like to save for on top of building your emergency fund, plan accordingly. Determine a time frame for the project and estimate the future costs for the project. Divide the costs into monthly amounts to set aside along with your amount for emergency repairs and replacements. For example, if your HVAC system is 12 years old, you should plan on replacing it within 3 years' time. If the top price for a comparable system is $7500 you should plan to save around $210 each month so you'll have that amount saved when the time comes to replace it.
Meeting Your Budgeting Goals
It's fairly simple to determine how much money you need to save each month to be able to fund all of your projects and be prepared to cover unexpected costs, but it's not always easy to stick to your budget. Take a very close look at your monthly income and expenses and create a household budget that is realistic. Once the necessities are covered, such as bills and groceries, take a look at your disposable income. How is it being spent? Look for ways to trim your spending on things such as technology, entertainment, social activities, and eating out. While you may have to sacrifice new clothes or a new cell phone, you'll thank yourself when the time comes to fork out the dough to replace your roof.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can best budget for a roof replacement, please give us a call at (205) 942-8374 or fill out our contact form.