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Updated December 9, 2022

12 Expenses That Sneak Up on You After You’ve Bought a New Home

It’s not news that buying a home is an expensive investment. Homebuyers go through a lot to focus on the various payments and fees along the way, and they know that they have to pay close attention to their expenses. Yet with so many important things coming and going that cost money, there are plenty of expenses that are less obvious.

Compared to a down payment, they may not seem like threats to your budget, but add them together and new homeowners can be shocked at just how much the little things cost. Here are 12 of the most common expenses that catch new homeowners off guard.

Rekeying or Replacing Locks

Expect to drop between $100 to $200 on replacing or rekeying locks for your new home, depending on whether you do it yourself or hire a locksmith.

Cleaning Supplies

Deep cleaning your new home is one of the earliest to-dos, and to do it, you’ll need a hefty amount of supplies. From sponges to power washers, a deep clean means spending more than most plan for. Wholesale clubs are made for this.

Bathroom Supplies

It’s not just toilet paper and toothpaste. Shower curtains, mats, towels, soap trays and a lot more will fall into this category. For budgeting, start with the must-haves and then move on to the nice-to-haves after you get settled a bit.


Between broken bulbs, your personal preference for certain kinds of light, additional lamps and chandeliers, and exterior lighting, this could add up to a surprisingly high cost. Although LEDs cost more upfront, they’ll save you money on energy costs in the long run.

Window Treatments

You loved that natural light during the tour, but you don’t love the idea of everyone having a clear view into your new space. Rods, curtains, blinds and hold-backs in almost every room aren’t cheap. puts the national average at just under $600.


Updating lawns and gardens is among the first ways to make your house yours. You’ll need supplies (lawnmower, garden hose, rake, shovel, trowel, wheelbarrow, etc.) and you may invest in new plants. Like many items on this list, these expenses can hit first-time homeowners harder, so consider garage sales and websites where people sell used gardening tools.

Storage Bins, Baskets and Shelves

You brought a lot of stuff and you’re buying a lot of stuff, so you’ll need places to put it. Some goes in the attic and some goes in quaint baskets next to the TV stand. Regardless, those storage solutions cost money.

Entertainment Supplies

You’ll want (and deserve) to celebrate at some point, so you’ll need to accommodate guests. That means everything from food to furniture. If you’ve never hosted 20-plus people before, you might be surprised at what you need.

Safety Kit

A worthwhile first aid kit can run over $120, but it’s going to feel worth it if you ever need it.


Again, this is likely more for first-time homebuyers, but you’ll want to invest in tools to help you maintain your home. Check out this list of Tools Every Homeowner Should Own (and Know How to Use).


You’ve got so much to do that maybe making home-cooked meals doesn’t feel like an option. Don’t be surprised if you spend more than normal on restaurants and deliveries during that first month. When you can cook, make dinners that are good for two nights.


Arguably the sneakiest expense is the gas you put into your car. No doubt you’re taking way more trips to stores, your old apartment or storage facility. You also may have a longer commute to work now. The number of your times you fill your tank is certain to go up.

Explore our Financial Literacy Hub and our blog for content that helps you make money decisions confidently.

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