A lot has been said about us millennials, and something else came up recently. A survey released in May by Houzz & Home, a home remodeling and design platform, said more and more millennials, especially those who bought a house last year, are renovating their homes. The cost? An average of $26,200 to $33,800. However, Hearth.com says the drawback is the financial constraint home upgrades and renovations entail. They add that only one out of four millennials have basic financial literacy. I guess this all boils down to us millennials being young and aggressive in achieving our goals of a comfortable home.
We weren’t entirely happy with our new house at first. It was the most affordable for us, so we bought it (don’t worry, no regrets!). A big chunk of our salaries still goes to the mortgage, but we also love giving our house a makeover. To get this over with, my husband and I came up with a few hacks to live by to achieve our dream home without spending more than we’re capable of earning.
Renovating Like a Pro Without the Money Woes …
A Family is a Team
My mother and younger brother live with us in our new home. We need all the support and aid we can get, so we involve them in the planning. A family is a team in any undertaking, so we need to hear other opinions and suggestions. We sit down and agree on the amount to be contributed, the renovation schedule and who would like to shoulder this and that. We exchange ideas, from the color for the walls and ceiling, to the special area for our cat and her kittens (a litter of four). Our first house renovation was a success, and I believe involving our housemates in the project made it more bearable and manageable.
A Realistic Budget
Setting aside a budget is both risky and wise. It’s risky, in the sense that your expenses often go beyond the budget. It’s wise because it’ll give you a heads-up of what to expect, as well as time to save and adjust throughout the duration of the renovation. My husband has the biggest salary among us. Mine is just fine, but my brother still is living paycheck to paycheck. My mother has a little business but doesn’t really earn that much. Looking at our finances, we really can’t start an overall home improvement plan at once. Instead, we begin small.
A Gradual Approach
We gradually renovated our new home, starting from the section that needed the most refurbishing. In our first attempt, we decided to start with the bathrooms because they gave us the creeps at night. Next were our living room and Mom’s bedroom, where we widened her window for better ventilation. After three months, we made minimal renovations in two bedrooms. The last section was the kitchen. We were expecting a lot of celebrations in the coming months, so we invested more to make the in-house chefs as comfortable as possible. It took us almost a year to complete the project, but at least it didn’t strain our finances so much.
A Much-Needed Portfolio
What makes things easier for us is our portfolio of house designs and DIYs (mainly Pinterest). We agree on the design that’s closest to our hearts before we proceed. Since trendy interiors change at a relatively rapid pace, we opt for flexible designs. Right now, we’re transforming our interior into minimalist, but I’m already envisioning an Oriental design.
We don’t like throwing out stuff. We ask for the Internet’s help for ways we can recycle or repurpose some of it and, boy, the treasures you can find online. As much as possible, we try to make a few alterations by ourselves. This way we can save money and also build a closer relationship as a family by doing DIYs together.
Thumbs-Up-Worthy Pieces and Arrangements
Along with the transformation are the accessories to complete the whole look of our dream home. We want our house to exude the 21st-century vibe, so we get unconventionally chic furniture and avant-garde wall decorations. We take time visiting shops around the area to get the best bargain. Sometimes, you really have to sweat it out.
Again, I hate throwing old stuff. So, I opt for a modern display or arrangement, giving the house a sense of convergence of two different generations.
All of us want to be comfortable in our abode, which also exudes an atmosphere we prefer. More than being up-to-date, self-gratification is the primary reason for home upgrades. Unfortunately, the usual hindrance is the insufficient budget and our no-more-debt resolve. But we don’t let those stop us from being cozy and happy – we just need to be smart regarding decisions and renovations. Besides, we don’t want the price to ruin all the fun and excitement.
Have you tried other ways to renovate your home without a hefty price tag?
Abigail is a full-time blogger and editor of scoopfed.com and a former university instructor. Having been self-supporting throughout college, she learned a lot about frugal living, wise spending and, of course, the elusiveness of money. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.