Home maintenance is pricey. I think the statistic is something like 5% of your home's value per year. For us, that would be about $9,500. I think that is a little on the high side yearly. But I would say that $3-4,000 isn't totally off the mark at times.
All of the things that need replacement aren't dead and broken....YET. They are all senior citizens, who aren't quite at round the clock care, but definitely in an assisted living situation. Legitimately, they all have lived out their lifespan. It isn't unreasonable to think that they need to be replaced.
The problem...trying to save for it all at once!!!
I sooooo wish I was more money savvy when we bought the house 10 years ago. There are so many things that I would have done differently as a whole. But one HUGE thing would have been starting a home maintenance fund. And then when things wore out, I would have a cushion. But no...we couldn't afford to save (how can you afford to NOT SAVE......ugh, lessons learned).
Things that need work around here (in no particular order):
- Pool liner (in process....the current liner was placed in 1993)
- Deck boards (also circa 1993)
- Stove/Oven (circa 1998)
- Refrigerator (circa 1998)
- Carpeting in Bossy's room (um, no idea on age, but I am guessing that you aren't supposed to see the floor boards underneath through the worn holes)
- Carpeting in Sassy's room (eh....it is really ok, but if we have an Adventure in Carpeting (starring 80's teen star Elisabeth Shue!), we might as well replace hers)
- Furnace (circa 1950's....still works but is highly inefficient)
- Windows (circa 1911...original to the house....again, works, but is inefficient)
- Living room couches (circa 1997)
- TV in our bedroom (circa 1994)
- Closet system (for the larger of the 2 closets we have...where 3 of us share it for all our clothes, and it just isn't working)
- Digital camera (circa 2004; we did get a newer one, and it doesn't work right and we hate it)
It is completely overwhelming. Where do you even start to save??? What if you aren't able to do it one thing at a time, and multiple things go at the same time? What if a larger ticket item goes sooner than expected?? ARGH!!!
Back to the saving while in debt. Yes, we have an emergency fund, and the majority of things on the list aren't emergencies (kitchen appliances and furnace really are the only true emergency items). But I don't want to deplete the EF, and then struggle to rebuild, all the while with debt and other things looming.
Right now, the I call the plan the $115 plan. This is the amount that gets transferred from our checking account to ING savings per paycheck. It is the go-to money for larger savings goals. Camp was funded this way. The kids' birthday party (almost funded!) and Christmas will be funded this way. Once each of these accounts is funded, then the $115 will go towards saving for the extra stuff, until it is time to start saving again for Camp and Christmas.
Piggy back this with gift cards and such from other savings programs (My Points, Swagbucks), and we are cobbling it together. Not a great plan...but it is the only one I have at the moment. If we can make some MAJOR headway in the debt snowball, maybe I will slow that down a little to allow for more savings for the items.
And maybe in Fantasy World...we will get to take a vacation someday.