For most people, it’s not a calendar date but the reappearance of the pumpkin spice latte that marks the unofficial start of fall. At which time homeowners, when they’re not busy consuming all things pumpkin spice flavoured, are getting their property ready for the changing seasons. Preventative fall maintenance can be daunting to anyone on a small budget, but don’t let your financial anxieties stop you from taking on these essential chores. You can prepare for the cooling temperatures without breaking your budget if you follow these tips:
Know what you can afford
There’s a difference between saying your broke and knowing exactly how little you have in your bank account. When it comes to taking on essential tasks like fall maintenance, you need to know exactly how much you have to work with. Use a spending spreadsheet to keep up with costs and know exactly what is being spent. Vague ideas aren’t enough. Take the time to review your finances to see what you can afford. This thankless task can be tedious, but it’s a critical step towards financial security.
Reduce your spending
Once you’ve monitored how much you spend during the average month, you’ll be able to identify how you’re spending money in ways that don’t amount to much. Things like getting takeout every weeknight, taking advantage of Cyber Monday, and splurging on a boutique ingredient to make a new recipe may not seem like much on their own, but their cumulative effect on your finances can be disastrous. Re-evaluate why you’re making these purchases and consider cutting them out so you can add more funds to your renovation.
This only works if the universe is willing to help out. As long as there are no surprise bills or repairs in your future, you can easily set aside some extra cash by cutting out non-essential spending. However, if the universe decides to send you to the clinic unexpectedly or if you have to pay data roaming charges, these financial setbacks will prevent you from saving normally.
If you have a problem covering these emergencies on your own, you can rely on a cash advance from an online lender like MoneyKey. They offer convenient short term loans online for those facing urgent bills and repairs. Convenience and speed are important factors when choosing an online lender, so make sure you find one that issues a cash advance that fits your needs.
Prioritize your tasks
Now that you have a definitive amount you can spend on your fall chores, you need to figure out what this number covers. Make a list of all the tasks you want to get done this season and rank them in order of importance. Tasks that improve the safety and comfort of your home should take priority, regardless of their price.
Something like turning off your outdoor water valve is free, but it’s potentially one of the most important tasks if you live somewhere that experiences cold winters. It can save you from dealing with burst pipes and flooding later on. Something like servicing your furnace is more expensive but also an essential task if it ensures your appliance is ready for its busy season. Meanwhile, tasks like raking the lawn or resealing your driveway — though free — aren’t as significant. You can postpone these or ignore them entirely to prioritize your energy without harming your home.
Learn to DIY
You can do most of the tasks on the average list of fall maintenance chores. Head to YouTube to see how others repair caulking, clean eavestroughs and downspouts, winterize an air conditioner, and prepare a furnace or fireplace for the winter. The Internet is a great resource for learning how to do these simple tasks, so you don’t have to pay a professional to do it. That being said, don’t start a task that you aren’t confident you’ll be able to finish. A DIY approach can end up costing you more if you exacerbate an issue by bumbling your way through repairs. Not sure how to tell the difference? While most people can clean their furnace without trouble, fixing that clicking noise is usually out of the average homeowner’s abilities. Know where and when to draw the line.
When it comes to home maintenance, you can’t afford to ignore your chores — even if your bank account is chronically low. These tasks can prevent bigger issues from developing, saving you considerable money down the line. Luckily, you don’t have to go broke in order to prevent the worst. Learn to budget and take on DIY-solutions to completeessential fall maintenance without going broke.