Home improvements? I'm proud that this (the third home I've owned in 7 years), that it'll be the first that I stayed in > 2 years so I can keep the capital gains when I sell.In this case, it's a new house (< 3 years.) Even so, there have been some repair issues already. Hmmm, maybe I should budget those "unexpected" repairs.Also, I am of a personality type that doesn't seem to remain long in one place. The longest I've ever lived at one address was 5 years, by my reckoning. Also, my first two homes were older units that did have a lot of repair or rennovation during/after my residence there, so in that sense I see the value of improving a home. Since my current home is virtually new, I will probably defer the non-critical repairs until it's time to sell it...that is probably standard practice anyway. I know that a refrigerator can die, or a pipe get clogged, or a water heater die ... because those exact things have happened in homes I've owned.I think what I was driving at in my first post was that, a form of budgeting, get an accurate picture of what the known costs are (the "lower bound" to use a college term), and then you can estimate what upkeep might be (0.1% of home's value, per month is a rule o' thumb). Similar for health insurance: I know what my annual costs are, but don't know when or if I'll have a major costly crisis. Even some fairly minor health issues have cost an extra $1000 or $2000 in my already tight budget. Add to this my current car, an old bomb ('93 Saturn) still running well, but at 180+ K miles (BTW, the odometer no longer works...), huge repair bills come with the territory.I'm a candidate to reduce my expenses, some are relatively fixed (the home), but still room to cut. In my case, I eat out a lot, even a McLunch costs something. I like to travel, but even cheap travel costs money.