A small budget is a considerable hurdle when you’re planning a renovation, but it doesn’t have to be a brick wall that puts a stop to your dreams. You can scale most financial obstacles when you keep the following tips in mind. They might be simple, but they can help you take on renovations without breaking the bank.
Be realistic and make sacrifices
When you have limited funds, you have to be realistic about your financial reach. You won’t be able to do a full-house renovation (something that, on average, costs more than $36,000) no matter how hard you scrimp and save. While drastic changes to your budget are unlikely to happen without the help of a generous benefactor or a winning lottery ticket, you can maximize your small budget by making realistic sacrifices.
Most people don’t realize they’re making bad spending choices that can harm their ability to take on renovations. The only way to find out if you’re spending your money poorly is by going over your finances. Monitor your bank account, taking note of small purchases you make on frivolous things. They can add up over the weeks and leach money away from your project. Once you know your worst habits, you can try to limit how much you spend in these categories.
The most common sacrifices include:
• Ignoring takeout coffee: The markup on coffee and more elaborate lattes is considerable. You can be spending anywhere between $2–5 every time you satisfy your caffeine fix at Starbucks. If you grab a coffee before work and during your breaks, this adds up. When you learn to make cold brew coffee at home, you’ll only spend $0.20 per cup.
• Cutting cable: The average cable subscription costs $100. This could be $100 wasted if you spend most of your time streaming content from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Cut the cord and you’ll free up considerable cash for your reno.
Be prepared for the worst
Any seasoned DIY-er or professional contractor will tell you renovations rarely go to plan. There’s always the chance that something unexpected will happen during the project, no matter how big or small it may be. You might find black mould after tearing up the shower tile, or you might need a booster shot when you step on a nail. The possibilities are endless. While you may not be able to accurately predict what throws off your plans, you can figure out how to deal with these issues (and their financial consequences) ahead of time.
When crafting your contingency plan, keep in mind the following tricks:
• Inflate your overall budget: Some experts suggest adding a buffer of up to 25% to your expected budget. That means if you want to spend $1,000 on upgrades to your home, budget for an additional $250 to cover any potential issues you didn’t foresee. Though you might not end up using it, this $250 would be there in case you need it.
• Use a financial stopgap: When your project is small, it’s easy to cover an additional 25% on your own, but this cushion can be a challenge to create when you’re working with larger budgets. If you can only contribute a portion of this buffer on your own, an online payday loan can make up the difference. There’s no need to secure these short term loans before you need it when you deal with a company like MoneyKey. As a payday loans direct lender in most of the states they lend in, they can offer online personal loans in as little as one business day. That means you can learn about direct payday lenders, fill out an application, and receive your loan as soon as your emergency arises and not delay your ability to pay your bills.
Don’t let your small budget stonewall your big plans. While it limits the extent of your reno, it doesn’t mean you can’t take on simple tasks. When you follow money-saving tips, you can refresh your home even when you don’t have a fortune to spend on your plans.