Moving in your first home is exciting. The hidden costs of associated with the move are not so exciting. From moving to decorating to maintaining your style, here are my tips for keeping costs as low as possible:
Say “No” to the Hired Help:
Sigh. I know, moving day is tough. But doing it yourself can save hundreds of dollars in expenses. Professional movers love to take advantage lazy people. They will charge you for the labor, the moving van, gas, boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and anything else they can get away with.
Instead, borrow trucks and vans, or rent a U-Haul for the day (this is still cheaper than hiring movers). Call in those favors and ask friends and family to help load and unload boxes into the house. Buy them lunch and drinks and be sure to return the favor when they are in need.
Also, save any receipts associated with your move in day. If a company is not paying you to relocate, and if you are moving more than 100 miles away, you may be able to deduct moving expenses from your taxes at the end of the year.
One of the least expensive ways to make a big change to the interior of your home is to paint. You can easily change the entire look of a room with just a few gallons of your favorite color.
Again, try doing this on your own. Unless you have cathedral ceilings that require professional painters, this is one of the easiest projects to conquer by yourself.
When buying paint, take advantage of buying in bulk. It is much cheaper to buy a gallon of one color than many small quartz of various shades.
If you fall in love with a pricier, designer shade of paint (as I did with Ralph Lauren’s selections) consider taking those color swatches and having them made with a less expensive paint, such as Bear. You can get the exact color and quality you want, without paying the designer price tag.
Reuse, Redo, Reward:
For furniture, go to yard sales, consignment shops, shop Craigslist or freecyle.org. Freecycle is an on line community which people give and receive items for free. Things are not always in perfect condition, but they can be, with a little TLC.
You can do the same thing for the outside of your home. Instead of hiring someone to do the landscaping, try doing it yourself. Often you can use what the previous owner left, but rearranged it to fit your style. It is actually very easy to transplant small bushes and shrubs from one area to another.
If you've never bought a home before, there are lots of first time expenses involved. These big ticket items might include a lawn mower, weed eater, refrigerator, and some tools. Here, the trick is to spend a little more money for quality items that will last for years. It may seem expensive in the beginning, but it will pay off in the long run.