Save Money On Your Regular Home Projects
After a few years of staring on the same design day after day, it is just natural that you want to update the look of your home and try out a new one. But with the continuous effect of a tight economy, you don’t want your conscience to bother you in getting involved in unnecessary spending.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Because what you can do is just trade some icing for the cake: give up a few of your regular frills and cut back, pack from home, or do without for a bit, until your project's paid for. Who knows, you may make saving a habit and find yourself stashing more than ever into your rainy day fund once you’ve paid for your decorating improvement(s)!
Of course, you can’t put your work on hold just so you can tackle on fabulous upgrades for your abode. Read on for instant updates that can freshen up your home fast, with payment strategies that won’t break the bank.
- Add up to your curb appeal. Buy a pair of porch planters, approximately $60, based on standard seasonal arrangements in resin urns, available at garden centres and large supermarkets. It will instantly make people feel welcome upon approaching your home. A duo of blooming porch planters is refreshing, inviting, and relaxing to look at.
- Skip your gourmet coffee every now and then. Turn your workday latte habit into an every-other-day latte habit, by rotating between Starbucks and office coffee (I know, it’s hard). By halving your premium java habit, you’ll save approximately $10 per week, paying for your planters in 6 weeks. Best part: you’ll enjoy your lattes more when you do have 'em!
- Haul a bunch of junk out of your house. Whatever’s lurking in your basement, attic, garage, etc. – if it has been there for ages, then it is time to go. And that would be approximately $400 based on one small truckload from 1-800-Got-Junk. Getting rid of useless clutter (mould- and mildew-covered items, broken things you’ll never fix, old mattresses or furniture in unsalvageable condition, boxes and bags of "mystery clutter", etc.) liberates your storage spaces and makes your property both more functional, and, if you plan to put it on the market in the future, more open-house friendly.
- Leave the car – at home. Whenever the weather cooperates, leave your car at home and walk, blade or bike to work. Your $10/day parking savings will leave you healthier and possibly leaner, too! If you don’t like getting all sweaty when you arrive in the office, try carpooling with your work buddies, then.
- Do not trust your hormonal instincts. You're expecting – congratulations! But there's no need to go nuts to go completely over-the-top for your nursery. Your preschooler will be clamouring for a "big kid room" makeover in no time, anyway.
But it is necessary to get basic amenities and provide a pleasant retreat for your little one. Buy basic IKEA-issue, non-designer nursery (crib, dresser with change pad, tub chair, area rug, paint), instead.
Go cheap on your maternity clothes, too (and in solidarity demand the dad-to-be also cool it on the clothing shopping). Although there's great designer maternity wear on the market, if you can get away with it, there's no reason not to stick to comfy jersey maternity pants, leggings, skirts, dresses, and even non-maternity oversize tees from the moment you start showing, 'til the moment you’re ready to pop! Save even more by buying used maternity clothing online.
- Spruce your kitchen a little bit. You can get a new backsplash in crisp, ever-stylish white tile, because they are cheaper but would look as clean and invigorating as those in the high end. Even if you can't afford a major kitchen renovation, small changes like a lighting upgrade will give your space a nearly instant nip/tuck effect.
- Pack your work lunch every day for one month. On weekends, swap brunch dates for alfresco picnics (DIY, not from the deli)! This can save you about $10 a day, more on weekends.
- Get ready for a powder room makeover. Instead of undertaking a full bathroom renovation, just buy new vanity, toilet, paint, etc. instead, to get a modernized powder room. It is also a strong selling point if you put your home on the market. Smaller scale means smaller budget. Faster results, too!
- Cancel your annual getaway. Times are tough and one or more of your pals may have to cut back anyway. If so, don’t make a smaller, glummer travel party; just wait 'til next year so you can all go. Invest the trip money into sprucing up your bedroom rug instead.
- Opt for a deluxe closet organization kit. Having it all organized and laid out in front of you makes “shopping your own wardrobe” a breeze. No more buying duplicates or triplicates of stuff you already own. Better storage means no more creased clothing, either. You think your monthly budget won’t allow you to buy for one? Skip eating out after work this month. Based on a weekly $60 per dinner (with a dining companion), one month of serving pasta at home will pay for your closet system.
Of course, nobody wants to feather their nest by threatening the nest egg. But if you're willing to give something else up, improving your home’s look and function can still make perfect sense in this economy. So, what are you waiting for?