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How to Create a Budget for Home Improvement Projects

How to Create a Budget for Home Improvement Projects

After a cold, bleak winter, the warmth and sunshine of spring inspires people to engage in spring cleaning and then some. You've had a few months indoors to think about ways to make your home more comfortable and inviting, and now it's time to convert those thoughts into actions.

But whether you're contemplating a $100 paint job or a $10,000 home energy makeover, you probably need to make room in your budget to pay for home improvements. If you want to know how to create a budget that lets you accomplish home improvements with a minimum of financial pain, Mint has your back. Here's how to create a budget for small, medium, and large home improvement projects.

Budgeting for Small Home Improvement Projects

You can actually do quite a bit to improve your home's looks, comfort, and curb appeal while spending under $1,000 dollars - sometimes considerably less. Here are some of the most popular small home improvement projects that can give your house the minor makeover it needs to look terrific:

•Replacing kitchen and / or bathroom faucets
•Replacing cabinet door handles and hinges
•Updating lighting fixtures
•Re-grouting or replacing cracked bathroom tiles
•Professional carpet cleaning
•New front door hardware
•Replacing scraggly landscaping features

If you have several such projects, Mint can show you how to create a budget with a monthly line item for home improvements where you set the amount you want to go toward your projects. For example, you could create a home improvement line item set to $100 monthly and do small projects one month at a time over the next several months.

Next step: Get budgeting software from Mint to help manage your home improvement project. Click to get started.

Mid-Sized Home Improvement Projects

Mid-sized home improvement projects generally cost $1,000 to $10,000. They're a little more challenging to budget for, but you have several options. You could set a fixed sum aside each month in a designated savings account, or if your credit and income make it reasonable, you could take out a loan and budget your monthly loan payments. By adding just a little - say $25 - to each monthly loan payment, you can shorten the term of the loan and save significantly on interest, as long as your loan doesn't have an early-payoff penalty. Here are some mid-sized home improvement projects that can raise the value of your home:

•Replacing "popcorn" ceilings with smooth ones
•Adding crown molding or box beams to ceilings
•Replacing your front door with an energy-efficient model
•Replacing your old refrigerator or dishwasher with a new Energy Star model

Major Home Improvement Projects

With major home improvements costing $10,000 or more, most people have to borrow money or do the work in stages. Whichever way you choose to tackle paying for major home improvements, Mint can show you how to create a budget that keeps you on track and helps you avoid getting into financial trouble.

Suppose you want to set aside $11,000 for replacing your windows. You can make a line item in your budget where you put a certain portion of that amount into a separate bank account each month until you reach your goal. You can even set up reminders that it's time to put more money into the account on a certain day of the month.

If you borrow for a major home improvement, you can track your loan repayment with a line item and set up text reminders to notify you a few days before each payment is due. That way you pay your loan back on time and avoid late fees and penalty charges.

Major home improvement projects you might incorporate into your budget include:

•Kitchen remodeling
•Basement remodeling
•Bathroom remodeling
•Replacing siding
•Adding a deck or patio

How to Create a Budget that Serves You Rather than Vice Versa

Budgeting software should work for you, and not the other way around. When your budgeting software connects with both your home computer and your mobile devices, you always have the information you need right at your fingertips to know what you can afford and where you stand in relation to your financial goals. Home improvements are popular springtime projects, and can not only make your home more enjoyable, but also increase its resale value. Learn how to create a budget for home improvements and you can maximize enjoyment of your home while minimizing financial pain.

Next step: Get budgeting software from Mint to help manage your home improvement project. Click to get started.