Things always seem to go wrong when you are least prepared, and home repairs are no exception. Are you feeling overwhelmed about how you will pay for your home repair? Are you weighing the risk of leaving the problem alone versus going into debt in order to fix it? Here are some suggestions to help you safely address any repairs or issues in your home while living on a budget.
PREPARE IN ADVANCE
While this option may seem unattainable when you are already struggling to make ends meet, there is sound reasoning behind preparing in advance. One of the most essential aspects of your personal finances after finding a budget that works for your lifestyle is an emergency fund. Here are a few of the basics about emergency funds.
- Six-months pay. An emergency fund is ideally equal to six months’ pay. Don’t panic; an emergency fund is a slow build savings plan, and no one expects you to have that kind of money just lying around.
- The goal. The goal of an emergency fund is that if and when you face an unexpected expense or job loss, you will have the money set aside to help alleviate the financial stress of the problem. An emergency fund is also vital in eliminating debt. Throwing large amounts on your credit card, even in an emergency, is never an ideal solution.
- Slow and study. Calculate how much you can put away each paycheck towards your emergency fund.
- Put it in perspective. Even small amounts add up. Imagine you save $10 from every paycheck; after one year of savings, that is enough to pay for an average deductible for a car insurance claim. That’s $200 or more that you don’t need to add to your credit card debt.
EVALUATE THE ISSUE
There are a few things to consider before you start dishing out money on a home repair. Ultimately the choice is yours, but a sound choice will keep your family safe and your finances under control.
- Is safety an issue? There are many times in our lives where reality means choosing whether or not to fix something we need repaired. When it comes to aesthetics, leaving it till the following year isn’t such a big deal. When it comes to issues with your heating system, plumbing, foundation and the like, it’s ever so important to consider the safety aspects. Can anyone be harmed by the issue? If the answer is even remotely yes, the financial stress is worth keeping your family safe and sound.
- Will waiting make it worse? There are plenty of areas when it comes to home repair that really can’t wait to be fixed. A leaky roof might feel manageable with the right sized pot to catch the drip, but the risk of mould and rot is an enormous cost just waiting to happen. A crack in your foundation may seem small, but the risk of leaking and further damage to the concrete would be disastrous. Sometimes a repair just needs to be done as soon as possible.
- Should you hire a professional? If you have the cash on hand, go for it! A professional will get the job done well and in less time than if you give it a go yourself. Since that’s not always an option, it’s essential to evaluate the difficulty of the task and the cost of labour. If it just isn’t a do-it-yourself type of job, you can always consider a quick online loan to get the job done and avoid further credit card debt.
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS
Even if you don’t think you have any financial aid options, it is wise to do a little research just in case. Here are a few areas that may reduce the financial burden.
- Insurance. Is the home repair due to an issue that may be covered by your insurance? Even if you doubt it, call them anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised.
- Disaster-relief. com suggests, “If your emergency home repair is disaster-related, you may want to turn to relief organizations like the Red Cross or the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA can offer funds for emergency disaster repairs not covered by your homeowners’ insurance.”
- Government programs. Are you looking at a new furnace? Get in touch with your local government or even your local supplier and ask them about available grants and tax credits. In an effort to create a more sustainable community, you could qualify for a fair amount to help update your home’s heating system. There are available programs for other areas of home maintenance as well. Make use of whatever financial help you have access to.
- Guaranteed work. Is the home repair a result of a previous professional’s work? Oftentimes professionals will guarantee their work or at least offer to repair the issue at a discount.
DON’T JUMP INTO DEBT
It can be all too easy to throw the entire amount of a home repair onto a credit card. While that may be the option you prefer, it’s worthwhile to consider the following information.
- Partial work. Can you complete part of the repair and do the finishing work at a later time when you’ve saved up the money needed?
- Finance options. Have you checked with your bank to see if you can’t finance the project over the next year or so in manageable monthly payments?
- Remortgage. Do you own your home? Consult with your financial institution in case you can actually remortgage your home and cover the repairs that way.
- Credit card alternatives. Consider taking a line of credit with your bank with a low-interest rate. You could borrow from your retirement fund, although you will want to be highly meticulous about making that decision.
- Low-interest rates. If you have to opt for using a credit card, shop around for a low-interest rate. Before opening a new card, inquire with your current card in case they will match the lower rate.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you put the safety of your family first and opt for the solution with the least negative impact on your finances.
Credito is a Canadian online credit brokerage corporation that offers loans without credit investigations. No matter what your credit report looks like, we can provide you with a personal loan. You can always count on our professional, discreet and humane service.