You want to upgrade your home. Your dishwasher makes loud clanging noises every time it runs. Your stove is beaten and old fashioned. Your cabinets are falling apart. Your countertops are outdated and your walls haven’t seen a fresh coat of paint in years.
There’s just one problem: the home renovation is out of your budget.
If you’re honest with yourself, everything that’s on your home renovation list is a want rather than a need. You can’t justify the cost of taking out a loan to cover things that are purely discretionary.
What can you do to save your sanity at home? How can you mentally cope with a house that’s driving you crazy every moment you’re in it? Here are a few tips to lessen the stress you’re experiencing.
1. Start Saving for an Upgrade
You’ll feel better when you begin taking the first step towards updating your home. That first step is setting money aside for your upgrades.
Go through your budget line by line and figure out precisely where you’re going to cut back. Perhaps you’ll eat at restaurants less frequently. Maybe you’ll buy fewer clothes. Can you skip taking holiday in France?
Figure out where the money for your home renovation is going to come from, and start a savings account dedicated towards the upgrades on your list.
As you watch your savings grow, you’ll feel like you’re on the road to that eventual upgrade. Celebrate milestones (two dedicated weeks of hitting your savings targets, for example) by planning out how you’re going to upgrade your home, right down to tiles, colors, and materials.
2. Upgrade in Stages
You don’t necessarily need to update your whole home at once.
For example, if your dishwasher is driving you crazy with its loud noise, you can get a new one before you have enough money to cover the other updates on your list. Replacing the old, dirty carpets or painting the walls can wait.
Just be careful and conscientious about the order of operations. You don’t want to put a granite countertop on cabinets you plan on replacing in a year or two. Granite countertops aren’t transferable. When you demolish the cabinets, the countertops will be demolished with them.
Likewise, if you’re planning on doing any flooring upgrades, you’ll want to save them for last. You don’t want contractors tracking dirty boots across your brand new flooring.
3. Spend Less Time at Home
Get out of the house some more if your home is driving you mad. In fact, embrace this opportunity and motivation to see if you can find some extra work on the side just for an additional 5 or 10 hours a week.
You’ll be amazed at how getting out of the house will give you some perspective. Plus, this additional work will also boost your income, which will help you build your renovation fund.
Take It One Step at a Time
Just as you don’t have to upgrade your house in one fell swoop, you don’t have to cut back or take on too much work all at once. If you’re new to saving or working extra hours (or jobs), take it in moderation. You’re already stressed about your home – don’t add onto that stress if you can help it. You’ll reach your savings goal and have the home of your dream faster if you keep that in mind.
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