How to Budget for Heating Repair
It’s pretty commonplace for most American families to be working with a budget. Sometimes that budget can be pretty tight between monthly housing costs, groceries, bills, car payments, gas, and whatever else you need to get by. Too often, people find themselves strapped for repair money when something in their home needs work. When it comes to HVAC systems, it’s not really a choice – you can’t go without heat in the middle of winter. How do you make sure you always have enough on hand for heating repair costs?
Here’s our advice for maintaining a good family budget and keeping money in reserve for home repairs of all kinds, not just heating and cooling.
Do what you can to reduce your credit card activity to a single card account.
With family plans, each family member who needs a credit or debit card can get one linked to the same account. A major step toward keeping your debt in control and always knowing where your money is going is to pay off all those stray accounts and reduce your spending to a single account. This makes it super easy to keep track of and reduces your risk of missing a bill or letting a bunch of smaller cards add up over time. Plus, you can keep an eye on everything you’re spending since your electronic billing is all in one place.
Sit down and figure out your fixed monthly expenses.
These are payments that you absolutely have to make every month, like car payments, credit card payments, mortgage costs, transportation, utility bills, and other monthly bills. In order to create a budget, you have to know how much disposable income you have and how much will have to go to expenses.
Look at your disposable income and save a portion of it every paycheck.
Now that you know exactly how much money you have to actually spend on whatever you want for the month, you should start making a plan to set some aside with every paycheck. Create a separate savings or checking account, whatever you need to do to make that money separate from your “spend pool.” This is now your reserve fund for emergencies, repairs, and other unforeseen issues.
Create a priority list for home repairs.
Some things are simply more important than others. You should be directing money toward those important repairs first, rather than lots of little things. Heating repair can be pretty important, so it should be high on your list. Getting it taken care of early can help prevent a bigger catastrophe (and higher repair bill) later.
Consider investing into energy saving appliances or updates.
Once you have your budget and repair schedule set, it’s time to start considering whether it’s a good time to upgrade to a more energy efficient furnace or improve the insulation on your ductwork. You could find significant savings that way. Invest in an annual Planned Maintenance to keep your system clean. A clean system will not breakdown as much because it doesn’t have to work as hard.
There you have it, a straightforward way to budget for your heating repair and make sure you always have funds on hand for those types of costs. Have other questions about financing and other similar options? Let us know!