Times are pretty tough. Families go through a lot together and it’s not always easy to make ends meet. For families that are fortunate enough to have their own house, there are a lot of considerations.
Owning a home is an investment that takes some ingenuity. This is a major expense that can make or break a family. In fact, personally, I don’t see the benefit of buying and previously wrote an article on why it is cheaper to rent. However, the caveat to my point was that it is dependent on your needs. I am opposed to buying a house for the purpose of gaining equity, but there are other reasons why it could be valuable.
Certainly, the bigger the family is, the more it makes sense to save a little on a mortgage to buy more space. If you are hoping for a retirement, it might be nice to have a place to live for free after you’re not making money anymore. For the people that are good with the cold calculations of economics, then playing with the equity and having a home you can get money for is nice little nest egg. Not very many people are that smart with money, but it can get you places if you know how to use it.
For homeowners who want to get the most from the investment, here are some ideas.
If you have outgrown your house, maybe the kids have moved on, consider selling and downsizing. Or, depending what your needs are, consider selling and moving to a different neighborhood where you can get more house for the money. For people that have more room in their house than they need anymore, try renting out a room or remodel part of the house into an apartment. Another choice is to rent out the house and move into a less expensive rental.
On the other hand, you can stay put in the house and refinance. There are numerous advantages to whether to shorten or extend the mortgage. The mortgage should be shorter if you think you’ll need money freed up, such as with a pending retirement. The point is to get money when you need it. Obviously, if you need money now more than in ten years, it might make sense to extend the mortgage to provide more monthly cash now.
Of course, the best way to save money is to not spend money. The preventive maintenance you do on your major appliances like AC and fixtures can save tons of money over the long term. They will also keep a house in better condition and make its resale value higher. Whether it is installing energy savings windows or an energy efficient furnace. The fact that you can save a little money now and a lot of money later makes the idea of keeping your stuff in tip top shape almost a necessity.
Owning stuff costs money. Other than the purchase price, the true cost of owning stuff is incalculable. If the item takes electricity, we must pay to power it. In any case, we have to spend time and money on upkeep. The time we spend on trivial things is time that could be spent on more fruitful endeavors.
Getting rid of all non-essentials and living a minimalist lifestyle is my preference because it frees me up to do so many more things in life. Decluttering also allows you to donate items to charity or otherwise honor the holiday spirit by giving things to people that need them more.
Suppose you are a person who is addicted to all your stuff though, maybe a little too much to the point where shelves are a hot commodity in your home. If you can’t talk yourself into a giant declutter, you might want to consider a different alternative: a storage space. Though there will more direct costs involved in keeping your belonging stored somewhere else, that may equal fewer worries (and more shelving!) in the future. Before boxing up all your well loved items though, take note of what you should and should not store to avoid later heartache down the road.
Also, if you are trying to sell your house, storage will become your best friend. Storage allows you to not only move out faster and simpler, it also allows you to stage your house for potential sale. Staging is by far the best way to get the most value from your house, particularly if it’s a nice house but it also makes lesser houses look a world better.
Think Outside The Box
Take a vacation! It might sound less than simplistic to take a vacation while trying to save money, but you need to be clear on what your objectives are. Saving money should not come at the cost of your freedom. As a family, vacations are among the most valuable things you have. No matter where you live, there is a mini vacation destination nearby. Money can be saved by taking a less glamorous vacation, you really don’t need to see the Eiffel Tower but it does help to alleviate cabin fever once in awhile.
Now, if you are not working and spend most of your time at home, the possibilities of making money are only as limited as your imagination. This blog outlines thirty tasks to make money from home. Use that clutter free zone to do more significant things like making more money.
To save money, there is no better way than to not buy stuff, but also to know where to spend money that will be profitable investments. The truest way to save money is to keep things simple, do homework, ask questions and make good decisions.