Most of us grow up dreaming of buying our own homes. It’s an incredible achievement to purchase a property, but it’s not always easy to manage a household. If you feel like you’re constantly swimming against the tide, or you’ve got a never-ending to-do list, here’s a guide to help you minimize homeowner stress.
Balancing the books
It’s expensive to buy a house, maintain a home and cover living costs. The cost of living is increasing, and for many people, money worries are a source of stress and anxiety. According to a 2022 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 87% of US adults are worried about rising inflation rates. Balancing the books has become more difficult for homeowners, especially those whose earnings have plateaued.
It’s no secret that running a home costs a lot of money, and in many households, costs are going up faster than wages. The good news is that there are ways to save money. The first step to take is to analyze your current financial situation and make sure you know how much money you have saved, how much debt you’re carrying and how much you have in your checking account. Check balances, go through statements and start working on a household budget.
Budgeting is a quick and simple way to get a grip on spending and identify areas where you could make cuts. Once you’ve noted your income and earnings and regular expenses, add one-off costs for the budget period and calculate your disposable income. Use this money to clear debts or put it in a savings account or an emergency fund if you don’t have debts.
It’s very easy to lose track of spending if you shop online, you use your phone or a contactless card to pay rather than cash, or you have direct debits. Take time to analyze your expenses. Highlight outgoings you can cut out or reduce as a priority. Examples include memberships and subscriptions you don’t want or need and luxury items. You might not realize how much your morning coffee costs or how much you’re spending each month on dining out, for example. Once you’ve got the numbers in front of you, set spending limits. Update your budget regularly and use accurate figures.
Another golden rule for homeowners is to shop around for the best deals. Compare prices for insurance, utilities and TV and phone contracts online and take advantage of offers and discounts on items you need to buy. Bulk buying can often save you money in the long term.
If you are worried about debt, it’s beneficial to seek advice as soon as possible. There is help available and tackling issues early can help to prevent them from snowballing. If your debt burden is increasing rapidly, or you can’t afford to pay bills, for example, there are solutions. Try to avoid adding to your debt by borrowing money and using credit cards.
Organizing your home
They say that a messy home makes for a messy mind. Many of us have hectic schedules, and it can be hard to keep up with cleaning, tidying and maintaining an organized home. If you’re familiar with issues like clutter, or you’re fed up with trying to locate your keys or your phone when you’re rushing to get out of the door, simple steps can make a big difference.
Start by scheduling a clear-out and getting rid of clutter. Set aside a few hours in the evening or a weekend afternoon to go through your home and remove items you don’t want and find homes for things you want to keep. Donate or sell anything that is in good condition and use storage solutions to keep your home tidy. If you’re short on storage, visit stores or shop online to find shelves, wall-mounted units, hooks, racks and rails. You can save money by buying second-hand items or upcycling old furniture.
Implement systems and processes to encourage organization and save time and stress. Put your keys in the same place when you come in from work and try to get ready for the next day the night before. Get an outfit ready and make lunch. Check that your keys are in your pocket or bag and make sure you’ve got your phone and anything you need for work before you close the door. You can always call a 24 hour locksmith if you leave your keys indoors or misplace them, but it’s best to get into the habit of doing simple checks every morning. If you have kids, you can prepare their lunches in advance and get their school uniforms ready. This will save you time in the morning.
To make organizing your home easier, make time for household chores daily or weekly. It’s much easier to keep your home tidy and clean if you embrace the little and often mantra rather than leaving everything for weeks or months. Do a quick tidy before you go to bed, wash the dishes and wipe down surfaces every day and sweep and vacuum the floors regularly.
Creating a relaxing environment
Most of us would love our homes to be soothing sanctuaries that make us feel relaxed and safe. The problem is that many people are so stressed that they don’t get a chance to enjoy being at home. If this scenario sounds familiar, and your home isn’t the heavenly retreat you crave, try to be proactive in creating a relaxing environment. Set aside tranquil areas and zones where you can unwind and enjoy quiet time. Make space for your hobbies and interests, and if you have children, consider setting up adults-only zones where you can read, watch TV, meditate or exercise without being surrounded by buckets of toys or bright colors.
One of the most important considerations for creating a calmer living environment is designing a serene bedroom. Your bedroom should be a peaceful space, which makes you feel calm. Make sure your bedroom is dark, use soft, ambient lighting, add soft furnishings and choose soothing colors. Shades of green, purple and blue are proven to make us feel calmer. Neutrals and pastels are also great for bedrooms. Avoid clashing colors and prints and ensure you have a comfortable, cozy bed. Keep tech to a minimum and set a bedtime routine to help you get enough sleep. Exports recommend 6-8 hours of sleep for adults.
Maintenance and upkeep
Most homeowners feel like there is always a DIY job to finish or a problem to tackle. When you buy a house, you assume responsibility for upkeep and maintenance. Keeping up to date with maintenance is beneficial for two key reasons. Firstly, it lowers the risk of damage and helps to keep the property in good condition. Secondly, it saves you time, money and effort in the long run. There are lots of maintenance jobs you can do yourself, but in some cases, it’s wise to seek expert advice or call companies that offer specialist services.
Examples of essential home maintenance and upkeep tasks include clearing gutters, washing patios and driveways, scheduling regular heating system checks and services and testing smoke detectors. It’s also beneficial to have electrical appliances tested frequently and to inspect your roof each year.
If you detect any warning signs, or routine checks flag issues, it’s usually advantageous to act quickly. Minor problems can develop into major issues relatively quickly. If you address early indicators, you could prevent further damage and save yourself a substantial sum of money.
Promoting health and well-being
Our homes are places to sleep, eat and work, but they can also play a part in nourishing and protecting our health and well-being. A happy home environment is instrumental in boosting mental and physical health.
To promote health and well-being, prioritize safety and be proactive in preventing accidents. Create areas where you can relax and de-stress and make space for socializing and spending quality time with friends and family members. Use interior design to celebrate your personality and style and choose colors, accessories, furniture and statement pieces that make you feel happy.
Keep your home clean and tidy, stay on top of clutter and make the most of innovative storage solutions. Put your stamp on your home and design a base that caters to the needs of your family. Maximize natural light, highlight your favorite features in each room and add vibrancy with plants and flowers. Personalize your home and add touches that make it unique and special.
Try to ensure that your home allows you to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Make space for exercise, bring the outside in and turn your bedroom into a cozy, peaceful retreat to aid sleep.
Being a homeowner has a lot of advantages and benefits, but it can also be stressful. You might feel like you have to spin a lot of plates or that your to-do list is never-ending. If you’re stressed out, follow these steps to minimize homeowner stress. Try to be proactive in balancing the books and budgeting, create a safe, relaxing environment and get organized. Promote health and well-being and keep up with essential maintenance tasks.