It doesn’t matter what kind of project you have planned. Big, small. Short, long. Any renovation has the power to stress you out.
It’s your home on the line — and your money!
If you want to keep a cool head all reno-long, make sure you check in with these money management tips. They’ll help keep your bills and your stress levels low.
No, You Need to Save Even More Than That
Few people but the rich and famous can take on renovations with just the expendable cash they have on hand. Most people have to save up to make any changes.
That’s normal. You probably have your own savings plan in place.
But is it enough?
Usually, the answer is no.
A reno is often more expensive than you think. That’s why most professionals recommend you tack on another 10 percent on top of your budget as an emergency buffer.
Adding another ten percent to your budget will take some work, but it’s possible.
Some easy savings come from things like:
1. Replacing rideshares with bus rides
Your phone’s a powerful tool that hails nearby drivers any time you’re too tired to walk. But relying on rideshare apps and taxis can add up if you use them often. Get into the habit of using public transit for when you can’t walk to your destination.
2. Following a meal plan instead of a takeout menu
A long workday and an empty fridge can have you reaching for the nearest takeout flyer. But you’ll want to rethink your eating habits if you want to save money. Takeout is a costly addition to your budget. You stand to save as much as $3,000 a year by committing to a meal plan of home cooked meals.
Postpone Plans Until You’re Ready
Depending on how often you use takeout or rideshares, you could save up what you need in no time. Or, it could take you months of squirrelling away cash to reach your goal.
That’s okay — it’s better to take a slow and steady approach than to rush into a project you aren’t ready for. If your budget means you’ll have to save slowly, then push out your plans.
Bulk up Your Budget with a Line of Credit
It’s easy to postpone a cosmetic upgrade, like installing a his and hers sink in the bathroom. There’s no true need for this luxury item, other than the convenience of having two taps available when you get ready in the morning.
Other renos, on the other hand, may be harder to delay. If there’s an urgent repair that directly threatens your safety, you may have to take on work regardless of your budget.
If your reno reveals there’s serious damage that requires serious repairs, a line of credit may help.
A line of credit is a convenient way to add to your reno budget, giving you the capital to take on essential repairs.
They’re even easier to secure when you go online rather than the average retail bank. Online lines of credit often involve fewer barriers that slow down in-bank options, including lengthy wait times or credit score limits. If this sounds like something you’d like, get more info on online lines of credit and how they work.
Just remember, these products are for emergency repairs that can’t be covered by your savings.
At the End of the Day, Plan Carefully
They say you should measure twice and cut once. This simple contractor’s rule of thumb applies to your finances too. It’s better to be overly prepared than to jump headfirst into a reno. You’ll save yourself a big headache and costly bill by thinking through your budget.