Another age old conundrum with home improvement projects is the trade off of what I like versus what I can afford. Everyone struggles with this reality where finances and costs are pulling one side of your brain, versus the emotional trigger of I really want and like “this” to be a part of my project.
One method in helping resolve this debate in your head, or worse yet with your spouse, is to have developed a detailed budget for each item in your project. As an example, you might have a patio project that includes 10 key items like the following.
- Patio flooring
- Overhead patio structure
- Outdoor lights
- Patio table
- Patio chairs
If all ten items total a $15,000 dollar project budget, and you have an individual budget for each item, then you can trade one for another. Or you can add more dollars to one item if you lower the cost of another item. If you really want that patio table that costs $1,500 [which is $500 more than your budget for that item was], then you can try to save $500 in another line item. Maybe you have to go cheaper on the flooring for the patio, or buy less chairs. There are a lot of options when managing the details of home improvement projects. This does take a little skill and staying on top of budgets and communication with your contractor and your spouse.
Having budgets for each major item in a project can help in discussing those important trade-offs and still keeping the overall budget the same. This is a key strategy is trying to keep home improvement projects within the overall budget, and still getting you what you want. You just have to prioritize what is most important to you on the project. This is take understanding your logical brain and managing the emotional side of your brain.