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Reduce Housing Costs

Housing is the largest expense in a budget.

A couple recently told me that they’ve lived in an apartment for 20 years. Early in their marriage, they heard Larry Burkett say that you don’t have to buy a house. That’s right! Renting provides flexibility, liquidity, and low-stress living. Buying grants tax benefits, equity, appreciation, and steady payments, but ownership also creates expenses. Here are some ways to reduce those costs.

Refinance while interest rates are low and eliminate private mortgage insurance. It can be removed once you’ve paid down enough of your principal. Appeal your property taxes if you disagree with the appraisal. You have a limited number of days to do this and you’ll need to do some homework. Shop around for homeowner’s insurance to get the best price. Some people do this annually. Keep up with home maintenance to avoid costly repairs. Make repairs yourself with some YouTube tutorials. Or recruit a knowledgeable friend who has the tools to help you out. A simple repair to an HVAC may prolong its life. Ours keeps on ticking, but we do annual check-ups, replace the filters monthly and make any repairs that our mechanic recommends. Take in a roommate or rent out part of your home. Some people rent out their home when they go away on vacation. Consider downsizing. You’ll simplify your life with having less to maintain, and you’ll reduce your overall costs. Whether renting or buying, steward what you have and reduce expenses where possible.

The body of Christ needs to be informed and prepared for future events. In my new book, 7 Gray Swans, Trends that Threaten Our Financial Future, I discuss economic trends and the challenges we face such as universal basic income, modern monetary theory, a cashless society, and others. It’s available at