DIY projects are not for the faint of heart. Depending on the project, there could be a lot of work involved. And let's face it, one of the main reasons you chose to do the project yourself was likely to save money. Creating a budget while in the planning phase can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars. Here are 5 considerations when budgeting your next DIY project.
When it comes to planning, spreadsheets are an invaluable tool for keeping track of all your planned expenses. It's important to not only plan but also track your expenses so that you can get a good idea of where you are and if any adjustments should be made. There are even spreadsheet apps that you can download on your phone such as Google Sheets so that you can keep track on the go.
2. Don't overlook the small stuff
When planning for a DIY project, the big-ticket items are easy to plan for, making it easy to stick to the budget. However, the small items can add up quickly if they aren't accounted for and can quickly derail your budget. Even a small tool here or an extra box of nails there can add up. Be sure to record every expenditure, no matter how small.
3. Give yourself an insurance policy
The best-laid plans often go awry. There is almost always going to be expenditures that you didn't plan for. Giving yourself a little extra cushion in the budget will help alleviate unforeseen expenses. Adding 10 or 15% to your overall budget is always a good idea to cover the cost. And at the end of the project, if everything goes as planned, pay yourself a little bonus with the extra money for a job well done!
4. Don't forget to plan for your time
Your time is valuable, so don't forget to consider your time as well. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers, but also remember that your project will be taking precious time away from your family and your relaxation time as well. Try to create a timeline for your project and stick to it as best you can. If you have a big project, perhaps splitting the project up into smaller projects would help allocate your time better and make you more productive as well.
5. Get some help if you need it
It's OK to get some help if you need it. For example, maybe you are planning to renovate your kitchen and there is some electrical work involved. If you aren't comfortable doing electrical work, call in an electrician to do the work for you. Just make sure that you get an estimate up front and add that to your budget before the work gets started.
DIY projects are fulfilling and satisfying to your soul as well as your budget. Careful planning and budgeting can sweeten the deal by saving you a ton of money and alleviating the stress of unexpected expenses and costs.