Decorating is fun. Sometimes necessary. But let's face it, decorating can do a job on your finances. A big purchase (that rug you're dying to have, for example) can turn your budget upside down.
We always try to pay cash for any remodel or renovation project we do. At the most we will stretch it over 1-2 months. Nothing's worse than financing those new silk drapes and deciding 3 months later that you hate them. AND that they haven't been paid for yet. This is not a lecture on finances. It's an idea on how to make your decorating dreams come true without risking your retirement.
For most of us a big remodel -kitchen, bath, new floors, etc. will be thought out well in advance and probably saved for over some length of time. But it's the little things that can add up and break the bank without a plan. Something like an impromptu trip to Target or Ikea.
I have found that at the beginning of a new season there's a slight possibility that I'll want something new for the house or garden. Springtime shouts out for some pretty annuals and pots to put them in. Fall means a new wreath for the front door. Summer calls for some new outdoor dinnerware. Christmas means, well it could mean LOTS of new decorations! Each season I try to set aside an amount of money to help freshen up my home. I base the amount mostly on the budget but sometimes I know I will just want $20 worth of fresh flowers for a month and that's all I will budget. Sometimes the budget is tight and I have to shop at home and get nothing. How do I make room in the budget for the bigger expenditures (like flowers, pots and potting soil)? It usually means taking something out. Not the mortgage, of course but there are usually some things that can be cut:
- Yes, you've heard this before - the trips to the coffee shop (or soda machine). We all know that adds up. Cut your trips to your friendly barista to 2 days a week and all of a sudden you have freed up $10-$12 a week; $40 a month. That's enough for a set of these this month!
- If you go out to dinner twice a week @ $50 a pop, cut it down to once a week and you'll have a whopping $200 this month. That will buy you this.
- Cut out movies & popcorn once a month and you can buy this.
You get the idea. These little (and not so little) things add up. Over a few months you can really transform a room.
What if you don't have much to cut? If you can cut just $5 from your grocery budget (some soda or chips, maybe) and save it until next week you can get a nice bouquet of flowers from the grocery store that will last up to 2 weeks and will really add beauty to your dining room or living room. That same $5 saved for a few weeks and taken to Michaels (don't forget your coupon) can buy you all sorts of really nice accessories.
My first suggestion will always be to shop at home but if that fails or you are just itching for something new, look at your budget and see what you might be able to give up to make room for that new pillow.
How do you make room in your budget for decorating?
I'm linking up to Frugal Friday with Life as Mom.