Whether you’re renovating your whole house or a single room, setting a budget is often one of the first steps. For many people, however, the difficult part is sticking to it. From unexpected repairs to splurging on items you think you must have to complete the look, it’s easy to break the bank. Stay on budget with these tips.
Set realistic expectations. While popular television shows make it seem as if you can redesign a room inexpensively, it’s not always realistic. If your plan is to not only redecorate a room, but renovate it as well, be sure to add the cost into your budget. Not sure how much it’ll cost? Research the average costs for a similar renovation and adjust accordingly.
Look for less expensive options. Whether you’re making over your entire home or just a room, shop around before starting the work to make sure you get the most out of your budget. This means getting quotes from multiple contractors and decorators and searching for the best deals on new décor and furniture.
Take it one step at a time. If you’re working within a tight budget or time constraint, it helps to tackle the project in phases. If you’re doing the work yourself, do what you can when you have the time and money. If you’re working with a contractor or designer, prioritize your list of tasks and spread the overall costs over the course of a few weeks or months.
Build in unknowns. When you create your budget, include an override budget to cover any unexpected repairs you may need to make. Although the amount is up to you, keep in mind the older your home is, the greater the chance there will be unexpected repairs. Experts recommend a contingency of an additional 20 percent.
Track your spending. Setting a budget is important; however, tracking your expenses is crucial. After all, how else will you know if you’re staying on budget? Keep your receipts and invoices, and record them in a spreadsheet or an accounting program. When you frequently account for what you’ve spent, it’s easier to see where you can make cuts if you’re going over-budget, or where you can splurge if you’re staying under-budget.