New Home, New Budget: Here’s What You Need To Know

Buying a home is a big change. New surroundings, new town and sometimes even a new state. And these things take time to get used to.

But there’s one thing you want to adjust to as quickly as possible – your new budget.

You already know that with a move comes lots of expenses and fees. However, there are a lot of long-term changes you might not realize to take into consideration until they show up in your mailbox.

One is your mortgage payment over the years. Okay, I know you know that your mortgage payment has changed. But what you should consider is how to plan to make that payment each and every month. Sometimes life happens and we don’t have a great month and sometimes we have a string of not so good months. It’s best to come up with a plan now to prepare yourself if anything should happen

It’s recommended to keep three months worth of living expenses saved and put to the side for emergencies. Perhaps you already have money set aside and need to increase this amount to reflect your new lifestyle. And if you don’t have any set-aside, it’s wise to start a savings plan now. Even if you are only able to put aside a small amount each month, your total will grow over time as you stick to the plan.

Home insurance, property taxes, and homeowner association fees/dues. If this is your first time owning a home these will all be new expenses for you and ones you don’t want to catch you by surprise. And if it’s not they are certain expenses you will need to account for. Be sure to add these to your budgeting software of choice ASAP.

Seasonal budget changes. Throughout the seasons you may find significant changes to your expenses. If you have moved to a larger home you will probably find you have higher utility bills, especially in those months where you need to run the furnace or A.C. However, there are also yard maintenance costs to take into consideration. Does your new home have a pool, lots of landscaping or a snowy climate? Ease upfront costs by estimating expenses and create an account to put money aside each month to spread these costs throughout the year.

Another account to consider building up throughout the year is for emergency repairs and renovation projects. Replacing appliances, a roof, porch or pool lining are not expenses we typically expect and can easily shell out for. At least, not without some planning ahead of time. Setting up an account to add money to each month for these specific costs can help ease your mind and feel on top of things.

The Best Dollar Store Deals for Your Home

Many people are averse to shopping at the dollar store because they assume that the quality of the items there are inferior to those at other stores. Others simply assume that since many of the products aren’t recognized name brands that they aren’t good products. However, there are some dollar store deals that are always worth the dollar.

One issue that many people have in a dollar store is that they walk down the aisle filling their carts with impulse buys thinking, “It’s just a dollar.” But those dollars add up and you’ll find yourself buying things that you don’t really need or items you could find cheaper by buying in bulk elsewhere. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most useful items that you can find at your local dollar store.

Holiday and party supplies

Let’s face it, the kids don’t read their cards or observe their wrapping paper. They’re more concerned with what’s inside. When it comes to party prep, you can save a huge amount by buying everything at the dollar store. With the exception of paper products like napkins and paper towels, you’ll get more for your buck at the dollar store. Some items to look out for:

  • balloons
  • plastic cutlery
  • large tin food containers
  • cards
  • wrapping paper

Tool kit supplies

If you don’t feel like going outside to your shed every time you need to tighten a screw, or if you live in a small space and don’t want bulky tools laying around, making a small toolkit is the way to go. And the dollar store is the place to start. Buy a small, empty toolbox and fill it with items from the dollar store. Some useful items to include:

  • nails and screws
  • hooks and hangers
  • screwdrivers
  • pliers
  • adjustable wrench
  • tape measure
  • super glue
  • tape
  • a pair of work gloves

First aid items

Every home and every vehicle should have a first aid kit. However, good kits can be expensive and the items within them have expiration dates. Rather than spending a lot on a kit you (hopefully) never have to use, fill a small box or bag with first aid items from the dollar store. Some first aid essentials to put inside:

  • assorted band-aids
  • burn cream
  • medical tape
  • antibiotic ointment
  • support bandages
  • small scissors
  • gauze
  • antibacterial wet wipes
  • aspirin
  • hot or cold compress

Cleaning products

Not every cleaning product will be cheaper at the dollar store. And for products you use often it might make more sense to buy in bulk online or from a wholesale club. However, there are some cleaning items that you will almost always save on at the dollar store.

The key to saving on cleaning supplies from the dollar store is to buy generic brands. They often contain the same ingredients and are sometimes even made by the same manufacturer. Sometimes the only difference is that dollar store products may be diluted more.

Kitchen Utensils

Most dollar stores have a large kitchen section that includes useful items like various sized spoons and spatulas. You can also find other kitchen essentials like sponges, dish scrubbers, sink stoppers and strainers, measuring cups and much more.