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It’s no secret that many people aspire to renovate either their current home or the home of their dreams. These renovations may be purely cosmetic, a point of safety, or anything in between.
Unfortunately, home renovations are often quite expensive, especially if you’re unable to do the projects yourself.
Worry not, as with proper planning and research, you, too, can afford to make the needed and wanted renovations.
5 Ways To Afford Home Renovations
1. Build A Healthy Savings Account
As a homeowner (and in general), one of the most important things to do is to build up a healthy savings account. Many financial experts recommend you have 6 months of living expenses saved in your account before you start earmarking money for other purposes.
The money from this account is helpful for when renovations and decor costs go over budget (which can happen fairly often). Or, when a critical repair needs to be made, such as heating, plumbing, or electrical failures.
Of course, there are many different tricks to help you achieve this goal.
For example, many people choose to “pay themselves first” by putting money into their savings account as soon as they get paid, paying their bills, and then using whatever is left for nonessentials. Also consider putting any bonuses, gifts from family and friends, or tax returns into your savings account.
To make the most out of your money, you can consider a high-yield savings account or Certificate of Deposits (CD) to benefit from high-interest rates. However, the most important part of any savings plan is making sure to stick to it.
2. Discover The Power Of DIY
It’s no surprise that completing renovations yourself is cheaper than hiring a professional to do the work for you. However, it should be noted that for some projects, the services of a professional are a necessity.
Examples of these projects would be complex electrical work, structural work, or anything you don’t feel comfortable doing even after trying to learn yourself.
It’s also important to make sure you have a permit for any projects that require it (your local codes officer could help you determine this), and you are well aware of where any gas or water lines are, as well as any local ordinances relating to home improvements.
Provided that you can accomplish the project safely, there’s no reason you can’t complete most home improvement projects yourself! If you’re new to the world of home renovation, there are many books and online tutorials that can help you learn how to complete the task at hand.
You can also consider reaching out to family and friends that have DIY know-how or taking classes at a local college or community center. Many consider home improvement projects a great way for family members to bond, learn practical skills, and make meaningful memories.
3. Make Your Money Work For You
All households have essential expenses, but you can reduce your living costs if you take the proper steps, leaving more money free for renovations. Consider using a budgeting app to keep track of your expenses and making a commitment to stick to the budget.
You can also try cutting out certain nonessential services, such as subscriptions and takeout, or shopping around for better rates on things such as car insurance and cable bills.
Moreover, you can also consider refinancing your mortgage to get a better rate, combining home and auto insurance to receive a discount, or setting up student loans on autopay to receive a reduction in your interest rate.
It’s also important to pay attention come tax season to make sure you’re getting back the most money you can. Some home renovations are eligible for a tax credit.
Your yearly tax bill can vary greatly depending on whether you file single, married filing separate or married filing jointly, or head of household.
Many everyday expenses can be written off during tax seasons, such as student loan interest, mortgage interest, home office expenses, some education expenses, and some child care expenses. These deductions and credits can save you thousands that can be put toward your renovation budget.
4. Work On Your Side Hustle
This opportunity may not be right for everyone, but having a side hustle is a tried-and-true way to obtain extra funds.
Depending on the schedule you normally work, many restaurant and retail jobs offer night and weekend shifts for office workers looking to make extra money.
Especially during the holiday season, hiring is accelerated and many seasonal positions are available. If you have the proper training, many schools are consistently looking for substitute teachers.
There are also jobs that can be done from the comfort and safety of your own home, such as online tutors and proofreaders, COVID-19 contact tracers, and virtual assistants.
Even with an unpredictable work schedule, gig services like Uber, Instacart, and Grubhub are an option. These allow you to earn an extra paycheck whenever you have the free time available. Other options include babysitting or pet sitting, offering lawn care services, or joining a focus group.
Of course, if you don’t have the time for a second job, there are ways to make passive income as well.
For example, consider renting out a room in your home or your garage to a renter. Consider using online apps that will pay you cashback on purchases like groceries and online goods.
For a long-term source of income, consider beginning a blog or Etsy shop.
5. Pick Renovations That Save You Money
There are many steps you can take to afford home renovations. It’s also helpful to pick home renovations that will save you money in the long-term, too.
For example, if you end up installing new sheetrock, spend the extra time and money to insulate the walls as well. If your project involves updating your home’s lighting, picking energy-efficient fixtures. Pairing them with LED bulbs will save you money on your electric bill.
Even if you don’t have the time or resources to completely renovate a room, simple changes can make a big difference. Things such as low-flow showerheads and smart home devices that allow you to easily turn appliances and lights on and off will save you money.
Winter-proofing your home is another great option.
Of course, even the home decor you choose can save you money.
Blackout curtains reduce thermal energy loss from windows, as well as blocking out annoying car headlights and streetlights.
An electric blanket can allow you to keep the thermostat lower in the winter, saving you money. Even adding a pellet stove to your living room can potentially lower heating costs.
The money you’ve saved can then be spent on more home renovations or something else entirely.
Home renovations are oftentimes an expensive necessity. However, if you plan right and pick the right projects, you can afford to have a beautiful and comfortable home.
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SarahDecember 21, 2020
Such great ideas! I’m getting my new home painted by a residential painter in January. I was going to try to DIY it, but it was actually more cost-effective to hire a professional since I would have to take time off work to accomplish the project. If you have time to do a DIY home renovation though, I would definitely say go for it!