When you're getting ready to buy real estate, it's common to pinch every penny so that you can put as much into the down payment as possible. Upon buying the residence, however, it's easy to feel that because your big purchase is behind you, it's time to change your approach to finances. This, however, isn't exactly true. In addition to needing to have enough money to cover the mortgage each month, this isn't a time to get reckless with your spending. Here are three finance-related things to do after you buy your house.
Start Making Any Necessary Upgrades
Outside of newly built homes, very few homes don't require any work after you move in. You should be conscious about starting to save some money to make any necessary upgrades. One approach is to tackle these projects systematically, starting with the things that are most needed and working your way down to those that you desire but that aren't critical. You might not have a surplus of money after buying the house, so start saving right away to get on top of these projects.
Set Money Aside For Emergencies
One of the challenges of owning a home is that things can go wrong and require a fair bit of money to fix. Unlike living in an apartment, where you just call your landlord, you're financially responsible for any house-related emergencies that may occur, whether it's a flooded basement, a broken window, or something else. After you move in, you should also be saving up for emergencies. One approach is to set a specific figure into a separate bank account every month and avoid touching it unless you need to.
Constantly Assess Your Financial Situation
You should always be cognizant of your financial health after you buy a house. In doing so, you may wish to make changes to your mortgage. For example, if you've recently finished paying off a loan and now have more money at the end of each month, speak to your lender about increasing your mortgage payments. Bumping up a payment even by $50 or $100 can make a significant difference in the speed at which you work toward paying off your mortgage. Another thing to consider is putting a one-time payment on your mortgage annually. This is often permitted under the terms of your mortgage, and can be valuable for those who are disciplined at saving throughout the year.