Redecorating your home can be pretty exciting, but it can also be quite expensive if you are not careful.
This is why, one of the first things to do before starting with the actual redecoration is to prepare a budget, especially if you happen to be an impulsive spender. Now, preparing a budget and sticking to it are two completely different things; a fact which impulsive spenders know all too well. To help those that need it, here are four effective ways to keep your redecorating budget under control, even when the urge to go on a spending spree is particularly strong.
Defining a Clear Budget
A very important part of creating a budget is to define it clearly and in as much detail as possible. Use a paint cost calculator for calculating the cost of painting a room in precise details, so that there is no gray area left for the final price to soar above the allotted budget. If you leave multiple sections of the budget open to changes or forget to define them clearly, there is a chance that you will end up overspending there because, as an impulsive spender, you always have the sub-conscious urge to do so.
Clear and precise allotments for each part of the project, supported by hard numbers and real-world costs keep things realistic and present the entire redecorating project as a whole and a single process, without any loopholes for money to leak out from. Psychologically, once you set a budget down officially with all the necessary particulars provisioned for, any act of overspending will feel “unethical” or even “illegal,” therefore reducing the chances of it ever happening. To make the budget even more effective, it is advised that you hand a copy of the details to a close friend or your spouse so that they can keep checking up on you. This way, the feeling of doing something wrong and the fear of being judged by someone else will likely keep you from overspending.
The Envelope System
This is an old trick which is effective for just about any other field where you might overspend. For each separate section of the remodeling project, mark an envelope with headings such as Painting, Repairs, Materials, etc. and put the preset amount of money inside those envelopes for each respective sub-project. The amount you are going to put inside each envelope should be decided in the previous step, which is laying down a clean and precise budget. Once you do this, you now have a physical representation of the budget that you prepared earlier, which will further reinforce the financial boundaries in your mind. Remember that you will not always be able to stop your impulses from being triggered, but your best defense against them is a psychological boundary that has been reinforced in multiple ways. Therefore, the mental setup from the beginning should be as if the money inside the envelope is the last dollar you have.
Follow the 24-Hour Rule
If your contractor has convinced you of something extra that was not in the initial budget or if you yourself want it really bad, follow the 24-hour rule. The rule itself is quite simple really; wait for a day (or 24-hours to be precise) and then reassess the situation. If at that point you don’t want it as much as you did earlier, you should skip it altogether, which should be easier to do this time. Feel free to stretch the 24-hour period by another 24-hours if you need to, but don’t make the choice based on an immediate impulse.
Leave it to Someone Else
Sometimes, the desire is so strong that we are simply unable to control it, and at others, we just don’t have the self-control in us, to begin with. If that is truly your situation and you have failed to control yourself from overspending on previous redecoration projects, in spite of sufficient attempts, it’s time for someone else to step in and take responsibility. Find someone you trust and who is also good with money. You can hand over the entire budget details and the money to this person so that he/she has the financial authority here. Alternatively, you can let the person handle the entire redecorating project if they agree to it. You will still be in charge of the project; it’s just that this trusted individual will stop you from impulsively exceeding the budget that you had set yourself.
Resisting impulses basically involves two major steps; cutting out the sources of temptation and resisting the impulses through a reinforced mindset. Since we have discussed the latter in details so far, it might also be a good idea to give some consideration to the former. Stop searching the net for redecorating ideas after you have already made your decision because it’s very tempting and it will confuse you further. A good rule to follow is once you have set something down on paper (or laptop!), you cannot change it.