Making home improvements is not impossible, it just takes a plan

We were visiting friends yesterday, they just recently bought a new home. How exciting that is when you are settling in and figuring out where everything is going to go….then the gaps or wanted upgrades start showing up. This is what this family has run into. It is tough especially if you are going into a larger home, it can also be overwhelming and quite crazy because “re-decorating” can get a bit expensive. Not impossible, it just takes a little planning. My suggestion to this friend was to go from room to room and make a “wish list” of home improvements/furniture/accessories that she would like to do. Generally speaking she could put price estimates/budget on it for now until she is ready to start “window shopping” for that particular item/improvement. The next thing is going to be to figure out what cash flow she has as well as what percentage her and her husband will decide on will go for home improvement and what will go for debt reduction, this is after all the bills/living expenses are accounted for. My suggestion was to set it up automatically, set up a separate “home improvement” account that money gets funneled into from each check, as well as the “debt reduction” account. The rest of the check is for on-going expenses. This way, they are still working towards debt reduction but also have a plan to get the home improvements they want to do. Once the automatic account is set up they will know how much money they have to work with, do they want to start saving up for a big item or knock out a whole bunch of little items. This is when the list is pulled back out and now prioritized to figure out what they want done and when.

Of course the money flowing into the home improvement account will never be enough or fast enough. So some suggestions to fast forward the plan a bit would be to cut the everyday expenses so you can funnel more into the home improvement account. Also look for free financing for XX months, then plan accordingly, so when the plan comes due that money is sitting in your home improvement account. Perhaps a 0% credit card that can be paid off with the home improvement account. I would suggest working with the D2D Money calendar to make sure these options are workable, since we don’t want to create more debt doing these options. Other income sources can always boost the plan as well; i.e., garage sale, extra hours if you can pick them up, a seasonal job, eBay/craigslist listings, maybe a special talent that you can make into an income stream.

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~ by debt2dreams on November 24, 2009.

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