Hello, hello! Welcome to the last post in this month’s mini finance series. If you missed my previous posts on how I track my finances or how to achieve a boho design look on a budget, you can read them HERE and HERE.
Today I’ll be sharing a few simple tips to use when budgeting for a redesign.
Make a Plan
First, you’ll want to outline the scope of your redesign. What exactly are you wanting to do? What items do you want to purchase? I like to create a spread sheet (of course!) to track my planned purchases. I list all of the items I want to buy and then make a column for the associated cost. At the bottom of the list I create a cell that calculates the total spent, I enter my budget once I have it determined and then I create another cell that will calculate what I have left to spend once I start entering the prices in. I’ll check off any items that are already purchased so I know what is fixed vs variable, so to speak.
Source The Big Stuff
A redesign can be big or it can be small. Maybe you’re buying all new furniture for a room or maybe you’re just changing up the wall color, some accessories, maybe a new area rug and/or artwork.
Before you set your main budget, you’ll need to know how much your biggest element is going to cost. Sofas can run the gamut. Area rugs can too for that matter. You don’t want to set unrealistic expectations for your main budget. How much will your big ticket item(s) cost?
Then you should ask yourself two questions: are you willing to spend that much? And can you afford it? If yes and yes, awesome! If yes and no, time to start saving. If no and no, time to look for another option that doesn’t come with the sticker shock.
Set A Realistic Budget
Once you know how much your biggest piece is gonna set you back, you can formulate a realistic budget for the whole redesign. This may require some back and forth to determine what’s realistic based on scope. It may require tweaking down the line. But it’s a good starting point. I choose a nice round number. Sometimes I choose a range so that I can comfortably adjust as I go. On the design shows I believe they call this a contingency. I’d like to spend X, but I’m willing to go up to Y.
Shop Around For The Little Things
There are a plethora of options to choose from for the little things throughout your redesign. Maybe you envision a white throw blanket in your space. There are so many white throw blankets out there. If you’re open to a variety of options, you may find some wiggle room in your budget for something else. You may even find nearly identical items from different retailers with different price tags. Maybe they’re having a sale, maybe you have a coupon. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, it pays to shop around. You may find something you love even more and save some bucks in the process.
Funding Your Redesign
I highly recommend only getting into a redesign if you can afford to pay for it outright. I say it’s okay to put it on a credit card (gotta get those points!) as long as you’re able to immediately pay it off in full. If you can’t pay it off right away and you start accruing interest, then you may actually blow your budget without even realizing it. Or maybe you aren’t so deterred by interest and factor it into your budget from the beginning.
Perhaps your big purchase has financing options with 0% APR for a year. If you qualify, score!
If you’re okay with completing your redesign over a longer period of time, maybe you buy bits and pieces here and there so you can spread the cash out lay over several months. Take X amount from your paycheck every two weeks or every month and set it aside. Once you have enough for one of the items on your list, scoop it up and then start saving for the next item.
If you get cash gifts from friends or family, earmark some or all of it for your redesign. Or if you have gift card to use, that’s always a great way to feel like you’re saving some money, or you can even use it to expand your budget.
I hope these tips help you get started on your redesign and figure out what you can afford or how you can afford it. I’ll be sharing my study redesign later this month. Check back to see how it all turned out and if I was able to stick to my budget!