So, you’ve either just bought a house and are on a tight budget or have been living in your home for quite some time but, well, are also on a tight budget. Despite this, you still want to invest in improving your home. Not only can a home improvement project help personalize your space, but it also might just up the resale value of your home.
Yet you find yourself asking if can you afford the investment. How can you plan for such a project in the midst of everything else that needs to be bought and paid for?
Luckily, there are some great ways to plan a budget—either over the course of a few months or a year—so you can slowly save up for that new appliance or the project you’ve been itching to tackle.
You’ll need to start off by looking at your income and bills that need to be paid each month. Before you start saving, you need to know exactly how much you’re bringing in each month, what needs to go to your bills, and what you can afford to save.
The last thing you want to do is miss any payments. It’ll create problems down the line that could have easily been avoided. Look at all of your bills—car payment, utilities, student loans, and credit card debt.
A budgeting worksheet is an easy way to know what you can afford to save each month toward your investment. These sheets can easily be found online and are customizable to fit your needs.
You also might want to consider downloading a budgeting app to track your money.
There are so many ways to carry your budgeting excel sheet in your pocket! Budgeting apps are abundant, so how do you know which to choose? Some popular ones (and free… we are on a budget here) include:
Your phone is most likely always on you, so being able to check your monthly spending can come in handy when you’re in a store debating a new pair of pants or shoes.
You can include your weekly/monthly savings within the app and it will give you a real number of what spending money you have left. Just make sure you update it with each purchase! The more accurate you are, the better.
Now, it’s time to save.
The goal here is to save money over the course of a few weeks to have a lump sum at the end of the month. Say you’d like to get together $1,000 for a new washer/dryer combo. Follow this savings plan over the course of a month and you’ll be ready to make your purchase before you know it.
You can shuffle the amounts around if you need to and change them to meet your savings needs. But, you get the idea. Just four weeks of buckling down can get you the money you need for your investment.
If saving that much money in that short time just doesn’t work, you can certainly stretch it out a bit longer.
With this plan, you’ll have over $1,000 saved before you know it. And you can double or triple these numbers for a bigger saving at the end of the year! The possibilities are endless, depending on your budget of course.
Still a bit scary? Break it down even more! Save small amounts each week over the course of a year. Here is an easy weekly saving plan that will leave you with more than $1,000 at the end of the year:
Again, double or triple for more savings, then make that investment to better your home.
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.