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Tracking Your Budget Costs Through A Remodel

By Alyssa Davis

Budgeting is a great way to improve spending habits and keep spending from getting out of hand while completing a renovation. Before purchasing the first can of paint, sit down and figure out what should be spent for which part of the remodel, and be sure to use reasonable estimates. Budgeting does not mean allocating matching amounts of funds for each section, but rather estimating what you can reasonably afford for each part of the renovation project.

For example, some people wrongly assume that tracking budget costs through a remodel means that, if you have spent $100 on paint, for example, you should have $100 for flooring. Since you actually spent $80 on the paint, you now have $120 you can spend on the flooring. This is wrong, and should be avoided.

Here is a method for properly tracking your budget costs though the course of the project.

1. Establish the budget at the beginning of the project, making sure to capture your ideas on paper or on a spreadsheet. Programs such as Excel are excellent ways to design a budget. As you complete parts of the renovation, carefully plan the next step according to the budget. If budget amounts change, make sure to incorporate the change right away, especially if funds are reduced instead of added.

2. As items are purchased, keep receipts to show where money is spent and how. Add the receipts frequently, and subtract from the budget to find out how the spending is going. A checklist, or spreadsheet, is helpful for keeping up with these amounts. Consider using columns such as .Weekly,. .Biweekly,. .Daily,. etc.to delineate spending for that part of the project. For example: .Weekly Labor Costs, Drywall..

3. Items that are outside of the budget should be avoided when possible, but sometimes things that were not planned are forced to become part of the budget. Pipes are broken, glass is shattered, appliances quit functioning, and unexpected problems pop up without warning and must be dealt with promptly. Reorganize the budget to include these necessary additions, even if it means doing some scaling back somewhere else.

4. Do not be tempted to max out all credit cards and drain all of your savings account to complete the project. This leaves no wiggle room in case of emergencies. There has to be a part of the budget for .emergency situations. or .unexpected expenditures.. You will have to live during and after the remodel, and using all of your money for the remodeling budget will make this tricky at best. Make sure you include your normal monthly budget when you design your remodeling budget, or use only money that you have set aside for the remodel to make the remodeling budget.

5. As you spend for something on the budget, mark that item off of the budget and notate how much it cost. The extra amount can be put into savings, re-incorporated into the budget for other parts of the remodel, or used for living expenses. For example, if you budgeted $3000 for your appliances and spend $2,500, cross appliances off of the budget, and note the spending on your spreadsheet or written budget. Now, decide what to do with the remaining $500.

It is not impossible to stick to a budget when remodeling, and it does not have to be stressful to know that you have a specific amount that you can spend on certain things. This is a great way to maximize what has been set aside for the remodel, and get the most value out of your money. Tracking your budget costs is also helpful when itemizing for tax deductions later or to help plan for any future projects.

Home decor specialist, Alyssa Davis, is a regular writer for Metal-Wall-Art.com, and she offers many ideas on how to design your favorite rooms with unique abstract metal art and wall decorations.


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