This Calendar Is Going to Save You Thousands

By the time you put in to own your own home, you're thinking on a different financial timescale than you once did. Maybe student loans were the biggest long-term money issue in your life. Property, however, could be a decades-long game.

That often means that the best ways to save big money are actually sometimes the smallest. Apartment Therapy brings this to light with one simple suggestion: Consider keeping a home maintenance calendar.

It's not as cute as a bullet journal, but it could help you spot a little problem before it becomes an expensive one. Monthly rounds can keep you on top of worn-out air filters, nasty stovetop hood vents, and the first signs of water damage. You don't have to make it a binge-cleaning-style event, but if you can integrate small checks into your routine, all it takes is a log to make it big-picture responsible.

Not all checks are weekly or monthly, though. Different household features wear out at different rates, some on a scale of years. If you know the average optimal lifespan of something like a water heater, you can both budget for a replacement and maintain that utility to stretch out its performance. (It's between eight and 12 years, by the way.)

Finally, keeping household maintenance in mind also makes it easier to set aside money in your budget for eventual, inevitable repairs and emergencies. Set up a fund just for maintenance. When it comes to home expenses, it's much better to be safe than sorry.