Free from Old Man Winter’s clutches, most people feel inspired to make the most of the spring and tackle the projects that went unattended for months. You can easily add too many projects to your list, burning through what little savings you have to finish everything. If you want to survive the springtime repairs and renovations without ruining your finances, keep reading. You’ll find some helpful budgeting tips to get you through the season.
Make a budget
You won’t know what you have to work with until you make this handy financial plan. Experts suggest tracking your expenses and income for at least three months, so you have a good idea of your typical spending habits. Once you have a list of all your transactions, you’ll see:
- Your expendable cash from month to month — this is the cash left over after you pay for the necessities, like your mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries
- Your bad spending habits — in outlining every expense you make, you’ll catch any patterns when you spend your money on things you don’t really need. Whether it’s a late fee on your cell phone bill or your morning coffee from Starbucks, you could use your money more wisely. The people behind GoDay offer ways you can identify these spending habits and eliminate them. Their money-oriented blog offers financial advice you can use in the spring or any other time of the year.
Search out ways to make more money
If your budget doesn’t reveal any bad spending habits, then there’s no way to recover cash from your finances as they exist now. This means you make enough to sustain your current standards of living, but any changes to them will threaten your budget. While you can use online payday loans to cover immediate financial emergencies, they don’t solve the underlying problem with your finances. Brainstorm ways you can convince your boss to give you a raise. Start looking for a new job or think about the certification you need to get a higher paying position. You can also use a side-hustle to help supplement a floundering budget.
Prioritize your tasks
Though you may have the motivation to take on everything at once, you may need to take a slow approach to your plans. Before starting a project, think about what you want to do to your home. Focus on those repairs or renovations that have an immediate effect on your finances (like an inefficient furnace wasting energy and your money) or your comfort (like the hole in your shower door that leaks water all over the floor). Leave the cosmetic upgrades to a time when you have more money to spare and focus on the function of your home first.
The spring is a busy season when it comes to cleaning, repairs, and renovations. On their own, individual projects might not be expensive. But once you add them all up, they can have a combined cost you weren’t expecting. Don’t give them an opportunity to topple your budget. Use these tips to tackle your list of chores this season — even when you’re on a small budget.