We’d all love to redecorate and have the latest and greatest gadgets, trendiest furnishings and original works of art. However, for most of us, the reality is that we have to live within a budget and items like the house payment, groceries and gas to get to and from work have to come before new wall decor or eco-friendly bamboo flooring. However, there are ways to plan and budget for home remodeling projects so that they can be within your reach; you just have to be smart about it. Here are strategies that may help.
Set Priorities and Make Smart Decisions
No one can do every project at once and even if you could afford to take it all on, would you really like to live in a perpetual state of turmoil while your home is under construction and renovation for months on end? The smarter thing to do is set priorities: Do the most pressing upgrades first; for example, if you need a new roof, do that before you wallpaper the living room. This makes both financial and logical sense: Don’t spend money on upgrades that will be ruined by a leaking roof or bad pipes until those issues are corrected or you’ll have to do some renovations twice.
Know when to Buy Quality
When it comes to big ticket items, while you may not be able to buy the top of the line, the mid priced option is often the best choice because it provides good quality and durability with an affordable price. You’ll waste money and tax landfills by purchasing furnishings or materials that won’t last long; good classic design and durability are worth the extra money you have to spend up front, even if you have to save longer to do this.
Some purchases are not worth the higher price however, and learn to tell the difference. For example, you don’t need to spend top dollar for trendy accents and accessories that may be out of style next year. You can also spend less for items like wall art, pillows, lamps and other accessories without sacrificing the look you want. Shopping at discount home goods stores, sales and resale shops is a great way to get big style on a small budget.
Live Within your Means
While it’s important to buy quality goods, it’s also important not to buy things you can’t afford just because they are trendy or the neighbor just bought one. You’ll sleep better at night if you’re not overextended on your credit cards. Save for items in advance and build up a savings account for home improvement projects. The less you borrow the less interest you will pay, lowering the total cost of each project. If you borrow, try to go for “same as cash” deals as long as you know you’ll be able to pay it off by the deadline. Also, set a limit for yourself and live within that limit; if you start overspend, stop and pay off bills before you buy another piece of furniture or wall decor. Saving money in advance of when you need it also means that you won’t have to dip into everyday bill money to pay for a repair or emergency.
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