It may seem like the most sensible thing to do when times are tough, or you’re short on funds, is to not replace or keep up-to-date things that don’t seem like necessities. Sure, there are things that can wait—like getting your hair dyed or getting a new outfit, but what about getting new glasses when you need them, or fixing/replacing a leaky faucet? When times are tough, you have to take care of what you have.
If you own a home, take care of your investment. Whether or not you plan on selling the property right away, make sure you maintain it inside and out. As an example, I know someone who owns a house and has upgraded a few important things, like the hot water heater and furnace, and received a bit of money from the government for those upgrades. Look in to these types of rebate programs, which often are only available for a limited amount of time. These kinds of upgrades are great because you’ll end up saving money monthly, and they are things that home buyers look for when making their decision. Of course, someone looking to buy a home won’t see anything but the outside before deciding whether or not to consider the place.
The housing market definitely goes up and down, but this is relative to new areas or builds. Devaluations of homes can occur depending on the area, and how much homes are selling for nearby, but inspectors generally just look at the exterior. What can you do to inexpensively make sure your house looks kept up-to-date? Update your curb appeal! A bit of elbow grease can go a long way to spruce up the exterior. My mom’s house’s shrubs, and plants have completely overgrown—but would cost practically nothing to fix up. The stucco badly needs to be repainted (all the other homes in the area have siding), but it shouldn’t cost much, and would help keep the house from devaluating.
What if you need to sell your house quickly for financial or relocation reasons? People I know say that they don’t think that they need to do anything with their home until they are selling it. First of all, maybe things that need to be updated/replaced in a home have health benefits—like making sure your carpet its replaced regularly (or changing to laminate or similar). I know these things cost a bit of money up front, but they are necessary in maintaining your investment for so many reasons.
Taking care of what you have includes your body, too. It’s easier to spend money on things that I think might make me happy, but this year, I want to spend money on the right things. This includes health checkups, going to the dentist, etc. especially if you have medical benefits from work or school—you never know when you’ll no longer have those benefits.
The idea of taking care of what you have, when times are tough, can be translated to so many things—your car for instance. What do you own that you feel you could take better care of?