Fund your next big project without going into the red
Getting the estimate for your home projects can be an eye opener, making you realize just how costly improvement or renovations can be. Before you consider going into the red to pay for them, take proactive action by building up your savings to help finance those needed projects. Here are a few creative ways to help you fund your next endeavor.
1. Set up a dedicated account for home improvements
When all of your money goes into the same pool, it can be more difficult to stay focused on your savings goals and progress. Eliminate temptation and set yourself up for success by opening a dedicated account for home improvements.
Whether your account is a checking or savings account, make sure that you are getting something for your money in terms of interest rates. While the rates on most interest-bearing accounts is currently fairly low, anything is better than nothing.
If you have the option, don’t order a debit card for this account at all until you are ready to start your project. If you automatically get a card, stash it away somewhere so that you won’t be tempted to use it for other purchases. Removing the possibility of spending will help you achieve your savings goals.
2. Direct deposit a pre-set amount into your account every pay period
Take a look at the budget for your project and the timeline for when you would like to begin. This will help you get an idea of how much you need to set aside each month to achieve those goals.
You and your partner will need to determine what amount you can reasonably afford to set aside each pay period to help you meet these milestones. Talk to your human resources or payroll department about automatically having that amount direct deposited from your check. The fewer roadblocks to getting your money into your account, the more likely you are to reach your target savings.
3. Let your trash become another man’s treasure
We all have boxes of old stuff cluttering our attics, garages, and basements. Put your trash to work for you by hosting a yard or garage sale to help fund your project.
When sorting through items in your home that might be candidates for inclusion in a sale, follow the 12-month rule. If you haven’t worn it or used it within the last year, it can probably go. Use sites like eBay, Craigslist, and Angie’s List to help you determine how much to price your items. Increase your success without spending by putting out signs at major intersections (where allowed), listing your sale on Craigslist and Facebook, and by encouraging your neighbors to hold sales on the same weekend since neighborhood garage sales draw more potential buyers than single ones.
Be sure to get adequate change for your sale prior to its start. If you have higher dollar items, you may want to consider accepting PayPal as payment. Take your earnings for deposit in your designated account immediately after your sale. If the sale ends after banking hours, use the night deposit or ATM deposit.
4. Put your hobbies to work
We all have some hidden talents, and no matter how insignificant they may seem to us there is someone out there who could use those services. Utilizing your hobbies or skills is a great way to start a side hustle and put aside even more money for your home projects.
If you can sew, knit, or are good at handy crafts, check out Etsy. The online retailer lets you set up a digital storefront for your wares with no front-end expense. Sites like Taskrabbit let you offer your services doing household chores or running errands for people and can net you a surprising amount of money. Wordsmiths can check out sites like Upwork or Freelancer to offer up their writing skills. Fiverr is a great place to take on quick tasks that can add to your savings quickly.
5. Cut back
Of course, adding to your savings will mean cuts to your expenses. Make a list of all of your household expenses and determine if there are any cuts that you can or should make to help free up money for your project.
Cable is a surprisingly high percentage of most household’s monthly expenditures. Consider cutting the cord and switching to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu that can offer a significant savings over the cost of cable. Call your internet provider to see if they are offering specials or to discuss if a downgrade in your speed will work for your family. Talk to your utility providers about budget billing programs that can help reduce your overall costs per year.
Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee from a coffee shop on your way to work, brew a cup at home and put it in your travel mug. Rent movies instead of going to the movie theater. Instead of a happy hour after work, invite friends over for a potluck dinner and cocktail evening. Of course, any reductions in spending you see from cutting back should go directly into your project account.
How are you putting aside money to fund your next big project? Leave us a comment below and tell us all about them.
EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates is Murfreesboro’s most innovative real estate team.
EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates
2630 Memorial Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129