Phew! You did it! You bought your first house. You paid the down payment, closing costs, first mortgage payment, HOA dues, and utility bills.

Then it happens.

Something breaks.

And suddenly, you’re shelling out a few hundred (or thousand) more dollars on your home.

Here’s the deal, friend.

Your home is not made of diamonds or bubble wrap. Things are going to happen. Heck, sometimes things may even go terribly, disastrously wrong.

And it’s going to cost you some money.

Yup, that’s right. While homeownership is generally more affordable than throwing fistfuls of cash at a landlord, it’s still going to cost you something. It may even feel expensive at times.

So what do you do?

🏠 Create a MONTHLY maintenance schedule and stick to them. There are some things you’re going to need to do on a regular basis. Replace air filters. Test smoke alarms. Check for leaks. Remove hair & debris from drains. Doing this regularly will prevent you from having a “maintenance blowup” that requires you to call a contractor for help.

🏠 Perform seasonal maintenance. Clear the gutters. Recalk the windows. Check the siding. Clean lint buildup. There’s a whole host of activities you’ll need to do once (but maybe more) per year. It’s tempting to ignore these tasks, but trust me when I say you do NOT want to know what happens when you don’t clean the gutters or fix your possibly-leaking roof.

Maintenance costs money. And even when you do regular preventative maintenance, problems are still going to arise occasionally and require a very expensive visit from a licensed contractor.

The best way to prevent “invoice shock” is to build maintenance into your monthly budget. Putting aside just a little bit of money each month for maintenance will prevent you from going into the red or having to pull from your emergency funds when life happens.

Tell me, what’s the most recent maintenance project you’ve done at your home?