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By: Charlestien Harris

May is a popular time to tackle home improvement projects. Not just because the weather is nice, but because you can often find great deals on materials. Whether you want to install a new deck or update the siding on your home, you will likely save money by purchasing your materials now, rather than in the middle of the summer.

But just like any big expense, it’s important to have a plan so you don’t end up paying more than you should. Here are a few simple tips to remember when deciding if this new renovation is practical and affordable at the same time.

Create a Budget

Whether your budget is big or small, the cost of a home improvement can quickly get out of control! Whenever you spend money, it is a good idea to know how much of your total income or savings is allotted for the purchases you are planning to make. Knowing how much that new stove will cost will help you to stick to your budget. If you are planning to do work on your home, I recommend starting with a dollar amount that you are able to spend before you begin making design choices.

Pay with Cash

I know it sounds simple but paying for your project with the funds you already have will save you a significant amount of money by not having to pay interest on a loan. The same principle might also apply to putting things on a credit card because you might not be able to pay it off immediately. If you think you cannot afford it now, begin thinking about ways you can trim your household budget to save money for your project.

Take Your Time

Waiting for the money to start a home improvement project is not always a bad thing, time can be your friend when it comes to planning a renovation. By rushing things, you will most likely regret some of the choices you make or the money you might spend on a costly mistake.  Planning a project can be half the fun, so take your time, consider every detail, and you won’t waste time and money later when you’re unsure of your decisions.

Try to Reuse Materials

One of the biggest ways to save money is by reusing materials, cabinetry, or appliances you already have. You could also sell those appliances and use the money earned to by a new or more modern style.

Get Plenty of Bids

You don’t have to accept the first bid that you receive to carry out the job you need done.  You want your home improvements to look amazing; however, that doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for the most expensive contractors in your area. You can shop around and get multiple bids from as many contractors as you see fit. This will help you find a professional and inexpensive contractor that meets your needs and could save you a lot of money over time.

Believe it or not, it is possible to save money on your upcoming home improvement projects. You must be willing to do things a little different to get the outcome you desire. Take advantage of sales when the opportunities arise and hire good but inexpensive contractors to help with the renovations.

For more information on this and other financial topics you can email me at or call me at 662-624-5776.  Until next week—Stay financially fit!