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How To Spend Less - Home Improvements

In the current economic crises, it’s obviously wise to keep spending to a minimum; especially when it relates to arbitrary outgoings like home improvement. However, we shouldn’t have to give up on this altogether, because there are several simple ways of doing it well, yet cheaply.

1. Need a new kitchen? Reuse your old cupboards, but change the doors and door handles. It’s wasteful throwing out good cupboards. Keep your sink. Replace the taps.

2. For home improvements, hire a semi or retired builder. He may work slower, but he’ll do a more careful job for a fraction of the cost. Wait until you can combine jobs and you won’t have to pay separate costs for separate jobs.

3. Wooden/laminate floors are easier to keep clean and cheaper than having carpets. Consider this when you’re choosing your new floor covering.

4. If you can make payments by instalments for material bought, without paying interest, grab this with both hands. You hang on to your money longer, thus earn a higher interest from your bank. Pay at the last possible moment (without costing yourself late fees), so your money stays longer in your account where it belongs.


5. You would be surprised at the amount of tools available for rent at your local tool shop. If you don’t have a visible one in your area ask your hardware or DIY shop, and they should point you in the right direction. If you’re capable of doing the work yourself it’s obviously cheaper than calling in the professionals. However, if you didn’t have to buy (thus maintain) large and medium tools needed to do the job, it would be cheaper still.


6. Source building material yourself so you get the discount for bulk buying and not your builders. Remember that even if they get half-price discounts on materials, the price they’re charging you will remain the same.


7. Buy white paint (cheaper than colour) and mix the colour you want yourself. DIY shops stock vials of paint colour with very detailed descriptions of how much you need for each shade of the colour you desire. All you need is a strong hand to mix it in.


8. Still on paint, matt colours may be cheaper, but they wear fast especially if you have kids or pets. Buy paint you can easily wipe down and clean with little effort. These last for years, thus save you time, energy and money over the years.

My book, 'How to Spend Less' is now out. Details on how to buy it can be found on this page.

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4 comments:

Ching Ya November 8, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

It's the little things that matter. Enjoy reading these home improvement tips. A little creative thinking can make a huge difference in the way we spend. Congrats as this post has been selected to be our weekly selected member post! ^^ yay! Will share this on my fan page.

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Anne Lyken-Garner November 8, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

Thanks, Ching Ya. I really do appreciate it. You're the best!

Luci Weston November 8, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

Thanks for these $ saving tips. Besides blogging and writing, I so some decorating/designing. It is important to be prepared for unexpected "surprise" expenses before you start a project.

A way to keep costs under control on a bigger project, like a bathroom renovation, is to have a second, less expensive product preselected. Since there will always be a glitch in any renovation, concessions will have to be made.

If your first choice of an item, e.g., a mirror is $300, also find a $150 mirror that will work nicely with the project's overall look. When the glitches start costing money, you can option the second choice on specific items. This way, you know how much money is available to correct these unexpected issues.

This keeps the project running on time, and helps bring it in on budget. It also saves a lot of stress because you are still getting items you like, and you aren't picking them in haste so you won't regret the decision later on.

Anne Lyken-Garner November 8, 2009 at 9:04 PM  

Luci, I'd never thought of that before. Thank you for a very worthwhile tip.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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