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Housing and money #thrifty #frugal

Property prices keep going up and rarely go down. Demand constantly outstrips supply because demand increases with the increasing money supply. This sends up housing costs for everyone but particularly for those who are renting. There isn’t much you can do to reduce your housing costs if you’re renting, except to move house or consider applying for housing benefit.

housing and money

Housing value

If you’re buying on a mortgage then your house is deemed to be going up in value but unless you actually improve it, it stays the same. The price you can sell it at does go up, however. Many homeowners, use the value of their housing as leverage to borrow even more money to get them through the first tough few years. A low-interest personal loan might be a good idea and allow you to furnish your home without resorting to high-interest credit. However, high-interest credit such as is often offered with used cars and which includes credit cards and store cards is often the road to ruin.

Interest rates

There are low-interest loans and mortgages available now but unless the interest rate if fixed you can face increasing repayments should interest rates rise which seems to be more and more likely. For most mortgage payers, inflation is literally inflating away their debt as it runs at 3% or more. Inflation also inflates away the government’s debts and so it is unlikely that the government will seriously try to control it. If interest rates are below the inflation rate, then the government is actually cutting its debt in real terms. You can’t borrow as cheaply as the government but the same principle applies to cutting your debt.

Gas and electricity

Autumn begins tomorrow and then we will be using more gas and electricity to keep our homes warm. Housing often has poor insulation and that should be something you should consider now before the winter. Basic insulation like loft insulation and draught proofing make a big difference. If you’re investing your hard-earned cash in your home, forget extensions to impress the neighbours, cut your heating costs with insulation. Cavity wall insulation and double glazing will add to the basic insulation to make your home warmer and your bills lighter. Start wearing your winter woollies now too. You can turn the heating down one or two degrees if you wear a warm jumper.

Autumn and Winter

As Autumn and winter approaches, you might be thinking about Halloween celebrations or bonfire parties or even Christmas. Consider these events in advance and you can save money. You can recycle clothes into Halloween costumes or buy clothes for a fancy dress event that can be used year after year. I have ideas for Halloween photography but I don’t intend to spend any money on it. I am starting to look for Christmas gifts because I need 4 months to decide and find suitable presents!

That’s it for this week. One housing cost I haven’t mentioned is maintenance and I’ll probably cover that another week. If you would like to subscribe and receive an email each time I post, just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates. You can also find links on my Facebook page.

Remember, the more you save on essentials, the more discretionary income you have left for luxuries like holidays.

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