During the course of being a homeowner, there are some costs you can expect every month, such as your internet, water and electricity bill. While you might not yet need heating repair or maintenance, it’s best to go ahead and budget for them anyway, especially since you’ll need a repair or maintenance eventually. Learn just how to budget for appliance repairs and replacements so you remain financially well-prepared without going broke.
Add an “Emergency Fund” Category to Your Budget
If you haven’t already, add an “emergency fund” category to your current budget. While the funds saved away in this category can be of great help should you suddenly find yourself without employment, they can also help cover the costs of emergency HVAC, washer or dishwasher repairs. Using your own funds to cover such costs is better than having to use a credit card, which comes with interest payments, or having to apply for a loan, which can come with terms and interest payments you might not be comfortable with. Even better is the fact that you can earn interest on the emergency funds in your savings account.
Know What to Prioritize
When it’s time for a routine inspection or service for your home appliances, be sure to ask if you can expect to need repairs or a replacement anytime soon. This information can give you an idea of not only when you’ll need repairs or replacement, but how much you can expect to spend as well. You’ll be able to budget and establish a timeline accordingly. Remember, minor repairs and maintenance go a long way in extending the overall life of your appliances and saving you money. With sudden emergency repairs, you’ll likely find yourself completely or mostly without the use of an appliance, which can be quite an inconvenience and necessitate you needing a repair (and payment) ASAP. You might also have to pay extra for an off-hours service visit. Make things easy on yourself and your wallet and plan ahead.
Learn What You Can Do On Your Own
Something else to ask about when a technician comes out to your home for an inspection or maintenance is what you can do to take care of your appliances on your own. For instance, when it comes to your HVAC system, simply changing your filters regularly and buying a programmable thermostat can improve the performance and life expectancy of your unit. DIY repairs and upkeep are great for saving time and money, just make sure you know when you’re better off leaving a job to a professional.
Opt for Efficient Appliances
When it’s time to buy new appliances, shop carefully. While cost is most certainly a huge factor in such matters, you also want to pay close attention to the overall quality of the appliance you’re thinking of getting. A dishwasher or fridge that’s a bit more expensive might also be more efficient than a less expensive model. You’re spending more money up front, but you have a good chance of saving even more money in the long run through lower energy costs and longer life expectancy. To make the cost of replacement more affordable, look for sales, rebates and discounts, which is why it’s such a good idea to time your replacement rather than letting them suddenly spring on you, which often leaves you with few options.
Appliance repairs, maintenance and replacement are things that are going to happen eventually, much like taxes, so you might as well start preparing and saving for them little by little. Do yourself a favor and start taking action now so you’re in a better mental and financial position when the time finally arrives.