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How to Renovate Your Home on a Budget

It can be really nice to renovate our homes. Whether we freshen them up with a lick of paint, have a change of furniture or change everything, it can make a big difference. It can change the mood of the home, make it more interesting, trendier or a nicer place to live. The problem is though, that it all costs money. Whether you do a huge extension, loft conversion, replacement kitchen or just pain it through, you will always have to pay for it and this could be a problem. There are ways that you can renovate though and not pay out so much money. It is worth noting these and thinking about whether any of the ideas would be suitable for you so that you could save some money.

Save up do not borrow

Often when we have a large job done, we will look to borrow the money for it. Although this will allow us to be able to get the job done more quickly or perhaps have a more expensive job done it will make the job cost more. You will have to pay the interest and any other costs associated with the loan on top of the cost of the job and it will therefore make it more expensive. It is often easy to forget about the additional cost of this and it can be worth working out how much it will be so that you can see how much you will save if you do not borrow. It will take a while to save up the money and you will need to decide whether you are prepared to wait and save up and save that money or whether you want to just get on with the work.

Use second hand items

One way that you might be able to save some money is to buy second hand items. Whether you are replacing a kitchen or a sofa, there will be second hand items available and they could save you a significant amount of money. Do make sure that you check out what you are buying very carefully and make sure that it is good quality and that you really like it. If you do not know that much about the items then you might be wise to ask your builder to take a look and see what they think of the things first as they will know whether they think that they will be fit for purpose. If you do not like the idea of second hand or cannot find second hand items, then your builder might be able to direct you as to where to find cheap items.

Get lots of quotes and compare prices

It is well worth doing a lot of work with regards to prices. You may not want to buy the very cheapest things as they may not provide good value for money. It can be suspicious if you find a builder that charges significantly less than others, you may wonder whether they will add on extra charges at a later date or do shoddy work. However, it may not be necessary to pay for the most expensive either as you may find that you can get the same quality from a cheaper company. Therefore, it is wise to look at lots of places and get lots of quality so that you have a good idea of what is available. You may even want to ask around to find out whether your friends and family can make any recommendations with regards to value for money.

Do the work yourself

One way to save money is to do the work yourself. If you are decorating then this can be fairly easy for most people. If you are having a new bathroom then this will be much more of a challenge. There will be jobs that you will want a qualified person to do and some that have to be done by someone qualified, such as electrics. However, there might still be some things that you could do. If you ask the builders to quote you for decorating, for example, you will find that you can then decide whether you think it will be more worthwhile you doing the work for yourself. You might even be able to save money by doing things like trips to the tip, to save money on a skip or to save paying the builders to do it when they will be charged and will pass that charge on to you.

It is good to have a thorough think about all of your options as you could cut costs in all sorts of ways which will not necessarily mean that you have a job that is lower quality. In fact, you may find that they job is better even though you paid less.

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Tips on Tracking your Spending Easily

Sometimes we can find it difficult to keep track of the money that we are spending. This means that it can be easy to then go overdrawn without even realise it or be in a situation where we need a loan to keep us going if we do not have enough left until we get paid. By tracking spending, we will more easily be able to know what we have got and what we have not and therefore we can change our spending habits to fit in with this. It can be useful to also have a note of what money goes out of our account and when, to pay standing orders and direct debits and when any other bills come along that we have to pay, so that we can make sure we have enough money for this as well. There are various ways that we can do things which will help us to keep track of this much more easily.

  • Set up all payments to come out just after you are paid – it can be wise to sort out your bill payments to leave your account just after you are paid. If you can set up standing orders or direct debits for paying these, then you will be able to know that they will all be paid when you have the most money available in your bank account. This will be helpful as you will not have to think so hard about what money to leave in the account to ensure that everything gets paid as you will know that everything has been paid so the money in the account is available for you to spend. There will be some things that you will not be able to set up like this, so you will still need to monitor for those, but hopefully if you get it set up, it will mean that you will be able to do better at managing your money as it will be a lot easier for you.
  • Keep a note of your financial situation – it is wise to keep a record of your spending. Whether you do this by constantly checking your balance using a banking app or you write it down in a notebook or keep a spreadsheet, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you will always know how much money you have available to you so you will not spend more than you can afford. Some people like to keep on top of their bank balance by looking online. If you do not like the idea of online banking then you should be able to get a balance at a cash machine. You may even be able to print off a mini statements on some machines at your bank. If you have a branch nearby, you could go in and ask the cashier to help you.
  • Consider paying in cash – for some people it can be easier to pay for things in cash so they can keep track of their money by seeing what they have in their purse or wallet. If you draw out the amount of cash that you are able to afford to spend and then you will know what is there and what you can have. This will only work though, if you know that you will not be tempted to use a debit or credit card if you want things that cost more. It could be wise to hide these cards if you think that it might be a temptation. Of course, if you always buy online, then this method will not work for you.
  • Set a budget– it is really important to make sure that you are aware of how much you can afford to spend and you do this by setting a budget. Calculate how much money you will have available to spend and then make sure that you stick to this. It might be the same each month or it may vary if you have bigger expenses in some months. You might also want to allow some money to go into a savings account so that you have some to fall back on to should you need it.

It might seem like a big hassle to track your money so precisely like this. However, once you get into the habit of doing it then it can soon become hardly noticeable. You will also soon feel the benefits as you are more easily able to cover the costs of everything that you need and do not need to worry about how you will manage financially each month. It can really help you to have a much better relationship with money if you keep a proper track of your spending and hopefully will mean that it will no longer be a worry for you.

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