Creating a Realistic Budget…

18 01 2010

The beginning of the year tends to be when we work on our budgets.  We make lists of what we would like to accomplish in the year, a timeline of when we want to get it done and the dreaded-where is the money going to come from conversation.  These days the purse strings are tighter than ever so we need to be making good, sound financial decisions when it comes to our homes and improving them.  I have set up some guidelines to begin estimating the cost of improving your room.

Determine the scope of the project. Are you planning to gut the space or just replace a few of the elements.  Make a list of everything you want to do within the space to spruce it up.

  • A Thing to Consider: The Value of your Home. How much is your house worth?  The project should be in line with that number.  Putting $100,000 into a kitchen remodel in a $200,000 home just doesn’t make financial sense.

Next determine how much you have to spend. Figure out where you are going to pull the money from. Are you going to save up for your project and do it all at once or maybe you already have it in a savings account waiting for a rainy day.  Maybe you plan to do bits and pieces like purchase something new and do a little project once a month.

Once you have a list of all the items, take a field trip to a store or hop on the computer and do some research. How much are the main things going for these days?  Did you know that a quality sofa goes for around $1000?  Sure, there are more and less expensive options out there and plenty of ways around spending a big wad of cash like that, but make yourself aware of the “real” cost associated with your next project and maybe the ways in which you can save.

Think about the return on your investment. How long are you planning on staying in your home?  If you are planning on staying at least another 5 years, you should receive a great return on your investment.  However, if you’re not planning on staying that long, consider a less involved project.

  • A Thing to Consider: Simple Updates for Your Kitchen. Refinish or reface your cabinets, change hardware, replace appliances, install a tile backsplash, upgrade countertops and improve lighting.  These are just a handful of ideas that don’t cost a ton of money, but certainly make a difference in the overall appearance.  Simple little fixes can make a bigger difference than you think.

So this leaves us wondering, what do you want to get done around your house in the coming year?  Any big plans in the works?  Share your vision with us.  We love to hear about new wonderful projects other people are working on.




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