3 Sacrifices I've Made Since Becoming a Homeowner

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Owning a home is expensive. Here are some of the things I've had to cut back on to afford it.

When my husband and I set out to buy a house a little more than 10 years ago, we knew we didn't want to take out too high a mortgage. We actually made a 50% down payment on our home to keep our monthly mortgage costs affordable.This gave us enough money left over to not only cover our remaining expenses but enjoy ourselves, too.

But since becoming a homeowner, I have had to give up certain things. Here are a few specific sacrifices I've made to carve out more room for my mortgage payments and the other costs that come with maintaining a home.

1. I've scaled back my vacations

Before buying our current home, my husband and I traveled a lot. We went to Europe several times, spent a month in Australia and New Zealand, and took several trips to different islands and corners of the U.S.

Since buying our house, we've continued to travel, but we've had to reduce our vacation spending in light of our many expenses. Granted, we've had children since buying our home, which has also impacted our travel budget. But we lived in our home for several years before having kids, and even then, our trips started to get shorter and less grand to allow for the expenses of home ownership, including:

  • High property taxes
  • Hefty insurance costs
  • Plenty of maintenance and repairs to cover

2. I've cut back on dining out

Before we moved into our home, my husband and I liked to dine out or order in meals several times a week.

Once we bought this house, though, we knew we'd need to be more sensible. And while we still eat at restaurants, we hardly ever go to the fancier places we may have frequented years back. We also tend to treat ourselves to inexpensive takeout that leaves us with leftovers, as opposed to $40 or $50 orders that only last a single night.

3. I've taken on more work

The good thing about being a freelance writer is that you get the option to take on extra work and earn extra money. I'm grateful to have that option, but it hasn't always been easy.

Some weeks, I find myself working until 11:00 or so at night when home repairs pop up and I don't want to raid my savings to cover them. Other times, I'll work on weekends or on holidays rather than give myself the day off. Before buying this house, I put in fewer hours as a freelancer, and working on weekends was a rarity for me.

Owning a home often means having to make sacrifices. The upside? The financial security that comes with having a place of your own.

Don't get me wrong -- there are times when I bemoan the fact that I own a home and wish I didn't have to give up so much to make it financially feasible. But at the end of the day, there's something to be said for owning an asset that's also allowed me to put a roof over my family's head for many years.

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