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how to budget home projects & decor when you first move

When you move into a new space it is super tempting to re-do everything all at once…or is that just me?! Like I’ve said before, with this house I’m trying to be patient with certain projects and really think about what I want the space to be instead of making impulse purchases. It’s hard in the moment, but so worth it in the long run and your bank account will probably thank you later 😉 Now that we’ve moved in, I wanted to share how we’ve been budgeting for home projects.

After we moved in, we looked at our bank account and set aside 6 months of living expenses. This means, if no other income came in starting today what would we need to live off for 6 months? And yes, thinking you won’t have any income for 6 months may be a little drastic but especially right now with COVID, you just never know what could happen. Better to be safe than sorry. I’d rather have enough money in my bank account where I’m not stressing about paying our mortgage vs. being like “I’m so glad we bought that bed though!!” So anyway, once we set aside 6 months of expenses, we looked at what was left beyond that. Then we dividing that in half and said that could be our budget for home projects until more money enters the bank account LOL. Don’t feel like you need to do exactly that, there is no specific formula obviously, but that is just what we decided to aim for.

After knowing what our budget was, Nora and I made a google spreadsheet for each room & the items we needed. We won’t be getting these items all at once but it helps you keep track of what each room needs, how much the items you’re looking at cost, etc. For example, for the dining room, we have several table, chair and chandalier options added. This way we can compare prices and styles side by side as the list accumulates.

Other things to think about are projects or decor that are more cost effective but will make a bigger impact. For example, painting can make a huge difference at a more reasonable price point than some furniture might be. Most of y’all probably saw our bedroom after it was painted and the paint alone was a total game changer. Another example could be a statement piece –one that will make more of an impact in a room than some other smaller items (ie. buying a new couch before a rug, accent chairs, etc).

Something else we thought about, are what are projects we can do ourselves? For example, we chose to have our bedroom, living room and kitchen professionally painted but we are painting the other bedrooms, bathrooms, and dining room ourselves. We wanted the main areas painted quickly (and wanted them to look especially good) because those are the most used areas of the house but we didn’t need to put more money into the other bedrooms or bathrooms. This is somewhere that we saved on cost and plan to do these projects at a later date.

One another thing to consider is if you can group any projects together in order to save on technician visits and costs. For example, we had an electrician come because we needed an outlet installed where the tv was being mounted. While they were here we had them mount the tv, sound bar, and the ceiling fan in our bedroom. Granted, the mounting of the tv and ceiling fan are projects that you could take on yourself, but since we had to pay for the visit and the installing of the outlet, we had him also just mount the TV and install the fan.

Alright guys, I think that’s about it for now! I’ll definitely add to this post if I think of anything else. Soon I’ll chat about how to decide on what projects to tackle first! xxC

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