select
|

Five tips to stay afloat financially as a brand new homeowner

Buying your first home is one of the most exciting times of your life, but there’s no denying the stress factor of such a huge financial commitment. With those monthly payments looming, having any extra cash in the bank might seem like a distant dream, but with a little work and a lot of creativity, it could be easier than you think!

“A lot of new homeowners struggle with the financial side of owning a property,” says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group. “What I find amazing, however, is the creative solutions people find to ease the pressure on their finances.”

While those solutions are as varied as the buyers themselves, Rawson has found some to be more effective than others. Below are a few of his top recommendations.

Cut back on small luxuries

Nobody expects you to eat bread and water for the next twenty years, but cutting back on little luxuries can save a surprisingly large amount of money.

“People are always surprised by how much they can save by doing simple, everyday things like taking a packed lunch to work,” says Rawson. “That deli sandwich may be tasty, and save you a few minutes of time, but it costs as much as R1000 a month. Forgoing your morning cappuccino and afternoon snack could save you another R1000, while cooking dinner at home instead of eating out will keep another few thousand in the bank.”

Budget your social life

It’s not just edible luxuries that need reassessment – socialising can also be very expensive these days, particularly if you have costly hobbies or like to party at the trendiest spots.

“Spending quality time with family and friends is extremely important, but it shouldn’t have to cost an arm and a leg,” says Rawson. “There are countless activities in every city that you can take part in for free. Try hiking, picnicking, visiting local parks or beaches, or join in a community or cultural event. Having a braai at home can also be just as much fun as heading out to a bar, and the food and drinks will be half the price – and probably twice as tasty!”

Get rid of unnecessary expenses

By the time we reach home-buying age, most of us will have signed up for our fair share of contracts and accounts. Think gym memberships, cellphone plans, store accounts and various clubs. While these may have seemed like a great idea at the time, very few of us continue using them to their full potential in the long term, and end up spending far more than we’re getting back at the end of the day.

“Take a careful look over all your monthly debit orders and expenses,” says Rawson, “and think about which items are necessities, and which are costing more than they’re worth. Cancel that unused gym membership, downgrade that expensive cellphone contract, and close the store account that encourages impulse spending. You’d be amazed at how much money you spend each month out of habit rather than necessity – all that cash could be put to far better use in your bond!”

Turn your hobbies into income

If you’re already saving everything you can, it’s time to consider earning a little something extra, and the easiest – and most fun – way to do this is to monetise an activity you already love.

“Home industries and after-hours freelancing are becoming more and more common,” says Rawson, “and both can offer very viable sources of additional income. I’ve seen many instances of people turning their part-time passions into extra cash, from home knitters and bakers to bloggers, photographers, DJs and event planners, and even curators of boutique online shops.”

Use your property to earn cash

Another way to increase your income is to leverage your brand new property. This can be done by renting out space on platforms like Airbnb, or taking in a permanent lodger or housemate.

“Airbnb has made it so much easier for homeowners to make money from extra space,” says Rawson, “whether they have a spare room, a flatlet, or even just a really comfy couch.”

Of course short-term letting can be unpredictable, so you may prefer a more permanent arrangement. Either way, it is possible to use your property to generate income that can go towards its upkeep and expenses.

“The biggest thing for new homeowners to remember is that even if money is tight at times, your property is a valuable asset that is worth sacrificing for, every now and then,” says Rawson. “Try to stay positive and think creatively, and keep your goals clear in your mind. Having control over your finances is much easier if you’re willing to work for it!”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK