Tips to Plan for your Home Improvement Budget
So…how do you save money for your dream kitchen or bath? First and foremost, closely examine your family’s financial resources, bills and existing commitments to determine how much you can afford to set aside per month in order to meet your savings goal by the targeted date. You will need to formulate the best strategy to budget for this without strapping yourself. Here are some money-saving tips and budget planning strategies that will help turn your home improvement resolutions into a reality:
Determine Needs Over Wants
Home improvement projects can be divided into needs and wants. Determine the reasons behind your renovation. Is it because your cabinets aren’t functional? Your appliances aren’t working? You don’t have enough space to store all of your stuff? Or you need to landscape your front yard? Reasons like these could prove that your renovation is a need. If your kitchen is still functioning properly, it could be a want that can wait.
Hire a Professional for an Estimate
Unless you are a professional contractor, most homeowners who have undergone a renovation will say they went over budget. Having a realistic estimate upfront on the cost of materials, labor and timing will help you to set a solid budget for your home remodeling project, and enable you to determine how much you need to save each month in order to reach your budgeted amount.
Budget a ‘Cushion’
The reality of a home remodeling project is that unforeseen circumstances will almost always arise that you didn’t plan on or budget for. It is therefore always wise to save more than your estimate, so that you have a cushion. It can be a life saver and help reduce the stress of being faced with higher costs that you didn’t expect.
Take On Smaller Projects First
If you’re planning your first home renovation project, budget for a small one first (like a porch addition or a front door replacement). This will get your feet wet, and help you understand how the construction process works and how much labor and materials typically cost. Once completed, you will be armed with the experience to effectively negotiate with contractors on larger projects in the future.
Streamline Personal and Lifestyle Spending
While saving for your remodel, limit your spending on needless items – ask yourself if you really need what you are buying. Expenses such as dining out on a regular basis can be real budget-busters. If you typically have Friday date night with your spouse, rent a movie or make a special dinner at home instead of going out. It can save you a lot of money over time. Even bringing your lunch to work as opposed to buying it every day can help you save more money for the “renovation fund” more quickly. Again, determining needs over wants will help keep your goals in check. You’ll be watching your money add up in no time!
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