If you’re a homeowner, you know one of the best and worst parts of having a home are the improvement projects. When my husband and I first bought our home in 2018, it was livable, but there was a lot I wanted to change.
We worked tirelessly the first few months by replacing old carpet with wood flooring, working on the landscape, painting, and more. I purposely saved extra money to fund initial projects that I knew would take place once we moved in. Then, I realized home improvement projects don’t just stop after the first year.
Most people are constantly working on their home and maintaining it. This costs money so it’s important to budget for home improvement projects on a consistent basis. If you want to do more with your home but are unsure of where you’ll get the money from, here are some tips that can help.
Start By Gathering Quotes
I like to base any budget I create on real numbers and estimates. A good rule of thumb is to estimate spending 1% to 5% of your home’s value on repairs and maintenance each year. You can get even more specific than that.
Make a list of all the home improvement projects you want to work on. Then research and gather quotes on how much they’d cost. Find out what materials you’d need and where you can buy them from. Do you need to hire a contractor? Which contractors in your area offer free quotes?
Add a Home Improvement Budget Categories
It’s helpful if you create a budget category for home improvement projects if you want to successfully be able to set money aside for them. Having budget categories is all about planning ahead and preparing your finances.
You can’t just spend money all month however you want then expect to have something left over for projects. Create a specific category and budget for home improvement projects first. You may not spend all the money each month either, but it’s important to get into the habit of setting funds aside.
Whether it’s $50 or $100 per month, be consistent so you’ll know how much you can afford when your next project comes up.
Move Money Around
If your quotes and research indicate you need to set aside more money for projects, try to move other things around in your existing budget. Start by seeing where you can save and cut some expenses.
Are you spending less on travel this year? Have you been thinking about cutting your gym membership? Can you reduce your dining out budget? Making small tweaks here and there can free up more money that can be dedicated to your home improvement projects.
I don’t think you have to give up fun and having a life just to budget for home improvement projects. But, be realistic and honest about your priorities. If you’ve been dining out three times per week, maybe you can cut it down to once a week. That way you can still enjoy restaurants but also work on your home.
Or, maybe you can plan a fun road trip with your family instead of flying to a beach for vacation one year if you have a big home renovation coming up. Find what works best for you.
Budget More of Your Time
Another way to budget for home repairs is with your time. If you don’t have a ton of money to contribute to a project, see what you can DIY. Whether it’s doing some light plumbing work, painting, or doing a little woodworking, you can spend more of your time and possibly less money on the project.
See Where You Can Save
There may be other areas that you can save in as well when improving your home. See if you can take advantage of discounts or even rebates or help with the demo when working on a larger project with a higher price tag.
You can also consider starting small, searching for warehouse deals and going at your own pace. When we first started redoing the floors in my home, we didn’t do all the flooring together.
We started with bigger spaces first like the living room and family room. Then we moved to the bedrooms but took several breaks in between. I also asked my dad to help with the project since he is experienced, and it saved us a ton of money. If you have a friend or family member who’s handy and can teach you along the way for a small fee, this can make all the difference in your budget.
Earn Extra Money
Don’t count out the opportunity to earn extra money to fund your home improvement projects. See if you can get a side hustle or pick up a few more hours at work.
Can you sell something online for extra cash? Whenever I redecorate my home or paint, I try to sell some of the older decorations and unused items in my home to help supplement the cost. Even earning $100 extra per week can be helpful when trying to budget for home improvement projects.
If you love fixing up your home, projects can be fun but also costly. It’s important to budget for them and find ways to save. That way, you can work on your home but still enjoy other areas of your life.
No one wants all their disposable income going into their house. So, get creative when it comes to finding ways to save and earn extra money for projects.