Create a space you’ll love

These days, more often than not we’re choosing to upgrade our homes over upping sticks and moving somewhere new. Re-inventing an old space can be exciting as you set out to create something brand new.

To make sure the end result is exactly as you had imagined, it’s definitely worth keeping a tight rein on your home improvement plans but more importantly, on your budget.

Big bang or bijoux?

Whether it’s a big kitchen extension or the re-jig of a smaller space, knowing the extent of your renovation task means you can place a marker in the sand in terms of timelines and then set your budget.

For big jobs, you’ll need to secure definitive costs for plans, building contractors, materials and whether you’ll need to move out how while the work is being done, paying rent somewhere else.

For smaller, quicker jobs, it’s definitely worth doing some research on the cost of similar work so that you have a clear view on what to expect from local trades people.

And as any popular home renovation TV show will highlight, you’ll always need a contingency for the unexpected things that may pop up.

Set a SMART savings goal

With your specific goal and dates firmly in your sights, the next step is to work out how much you’re going to need to put by month on month to reach your goal. Pop some figures into our online calculator to see how you’re fixed. Remember, saving is a long term plan so to be practical about timings and realistic about how much you can afford to save. Home renovation can be stressful, so make sure you keep it manageable.

It’s time to get serious

There’s no doubt that being a regular saver is hard. It requires will power, patience and honing some intelligent money management skills.

  • Pay yourself first: With ambitious plans, you’ll need to make a commitment to pay yourself first each month. If you diligently put by the amount you know you’re going to need to reach your goal in to a GoalSaver Account, it’s less likely to be spent.
  • Grab a loan: Where costs become overwhelming, you might consider borrowing a lump sum to get you started while you continue to save for the smaller things to accompany the renovation, things you know you can afford. Check out our loan rates here.
  • Clear unnecessary debt: Make sure you do a review of your current out goings and clear any debt you can afford to so that you’re not paying unnecessary interest.
  • Know your limits: Be realistic with your renovation plans. Don’t go too mad. Think about the absolute ‘must haves’ you need in order to make this home improvement work for you. Leave the ‘nice to haves’ till a later date.
  • Review, review, review: Renovation projects have a reputation for spiralling costs. Develop a spreadsheet outlining all costs and review constantly to make sure you’re not veering off track.

Home Improvement Savings Hacks

  • Shop sales: With your home improvement come fancy new fixtures and fittings. Keep your eyes on the goodies you want and then swoop in as soon as sale season starts. With often up to 70% off, you’ll make huge savings.
  • Shop salvage: If you’re a sucker for antique or vintage furniture, there are lots of great items to be found online if you’re willing to be patient. Elbow grease and a fresh coat of an expensive eggshell paint can transform a dining room table and chairs or bookcase.
  • Help from friends: If there are smaller jobs that don’t require too much expertise, like the painting of re-plastered walls, invite a few pals around to give you a dig out. Reward them with a home cooked meal and a glass of wine, or beer and pizza!
  • DIY and save: If you or your other half is handy with electrics, tiling or general interior design, get to work and stash what you’ve saved.
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