Updated: Nov 1
I love a budget! I know, that sounds like a line, but it really is true. When I was a teen, my parents gave me a monthly clothing budget and I would march into Aeropostale (which was the cool place to shop) and come out with a smile on my face, bag in hand, and exactly two cents left in my wallet. That early life experience taught me a lot about how to manage money and gave me an appreciation for the hard work that goes into successfully managing a budget and still getting what you want.
Whether you're a Rockefeller or struggling to make ends meet, there is always a budget. Home projects of all shapes and sizes have a tendency to spiral out of control because there are so many choices. Do you go high-end with the marble tile or keep it in check with porcelain? Maybe you should splurge on that high-quality sofa, but then can you afford the side tables? Whatever your conundrum, I have three simple steps you can take to be sure you're spending your money wisely.
Prioritize your list of "wants." There's the dream and then there's the reality. In some cases, the dream can be your reality, but in order to achieve it you need to be sure you aren't overspending on unnecessary pieces. Start by writing down all the things you'd like to include in your space: finishes, furnishings, and decor. Then go back and force-rank each item with regards to how important it is to you. Maybe you're planning to move soon and the goal is to have a stylish interim space. On the flip side, maybe you want to invest for the long haul. Once you have a list in place, allocate funds to each of your items. This itemized budget can use rough estimates and your numbers will likely change as you start shopping. As you make purchases, note the actual cost of each piece and then move funds from one item to another as needed to be sure you never exceed the total budget.
Don't rush to complete the project in one go. There is nothing more satisfying than a weekend-warrior before-and-after, am I right?! That said, most of us aren't DIY bloggers, so it is much more reasonable for us to take our time and make sound decisions. Start at the top of that prioritized list you made, purchasing items as you can. This also insures that you won't end up tangled in credit card debit because you redid your room in one Saturday shopping spree. Take your time and I promise you'll be much happier with the results.
Spend on staples, save on trends. Sage advice, indeed. Invest in your forever sofa or a solid, well-made wool rug and then layer in some cute, trendy pillows from Target. By investing in your staples, you'll spend less money in the long run and you can mix up your decor each season so you're always on top of the latest and greatest. If you do love a trend, I also suggest you consider keeping your larger furniture pieces pretty neutral so if the hot color goes from pink to green, you don't need to be concerned about things clashing.
Still worried about your bottom line? Get in touch! Even if you don't need the design help I can work with you to set realistic budgets so you can shop with confidence. I'm happy to help with the shopping part, too, of course!
Want more budget help? Check out my tips on setting a budget for your room makeover.