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I’ve been a renter my entire adult life, but lately I’ve been itching to buy my first home. When I bring the topic up with fellow renting friends, I’m always hit with the same argument. If you’re renting and something goes wrong, you can just call your landlord to fix it.
Though all renters aren’t immune to home maintenance costs, homeowners particularly feel the pain. Bankrate recently did a survey on home service costs. It found the average homeowner spends about $2,000 a year on home maintenance costs. While some home service charges are pretty essential (like paying for trash and recycling collection at an average of $55 a month), others are more of an added convenience. Homeowners spend an average of $285 a month on housekeeping services and $144 a month on landscaping service, according to Bankrate.
Paying someone to do services you could do on your own might make you happier, but if that’s not in your budget, don’t sweat.
Reduce Your Home-Maintenance Costs
Instead of dropping hundreds a month on maid service, tackle the tasks yourself.
Don’t splurge on tons of cleaning products. Make your own with simple ingredients, or get creative with items you may have around the house. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with denture cleanser and dryer sheets.
Make your kitchen shine with this step-by-step guide to cleaning kitchen appliances. See this post for other house-cleaning hacks.
Save on landscaping costs with these tips to maintaining your yard on a budget. Or just turn your yard into an edible garden, and you won’t have to pay someone to mow it.
Lacking handyman skills? This post shares resources that’ll help you learn DIY home-repair skills at no cost — like free workshops hosted by Home Depot.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Even if you’re cutting costs by doing home projects on your own, you may still encounter situations that require paying for a professional.
Kevin Mahoney, CEO of financial advice firm Illumint, told Bankrate he recommends homeowners put money into a savings account to use for home maintenance expenses. Mahoney said he sets aside $100 to $200 a month to fund unexpected repairs or wear-and-tear maintenance services.
That way when something comes up, the money is already available to cover it. Smart advice.
Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.