Make Money-Smart Home Improvements this Spring

Steven BriggsFinancial Planning, Home Improvement, The Briggs BlogLeave a Comment

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Don’t leave a sofa for Murphy when you make home improvements and updates.
As we roll into springtime, many Americans are spending money to make improvements to their home.  With the housing market continuing to improve, home sellers are starting to make those key updates they may have held back on in the hopes of improving the price of their home. But many people are just staying at home more often, preferring to enjoy the comforts of their own space instead of going out to casual dining restaurants and movie theaters.
Here are some easy, low-cost home improvements that can help brighten your home without breaking your budget:
1. Plant flowers and herbs. Flower and herb boxes can add terrific color, are easily portable, and at roughly $20-$25 for each one, are a very inexpensive way to brighten your space in just an afternoon. Plus, if you’re like me and have herb boxes, you may get the benefit of fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, or hot oregano to cook with throughout the spring and summer.
2.  Paint! A freshly painted room looks and smells clean and updated. If you’re trying to sell your home, neutral colors make it easier for homebuyers to “see” all the space you have and imagine more easily how they would make the space “theirs.” Just make sure to not skimp on the tools of the trade – brushes, rollers, drop cloths, and plenty of painter’s tape!
3.  Do a Spring Cleaning of your Spending. You just got done filing taxes, so why not sit down for an hour and look through the banking and credit card accounts. Is there money that you spent that you wish you hadn’t? Think about what money you wish you had back, and what led to you spending that money to begin with. Was it a want or a need? If it wasn’t a need, how can you avoid making that same mistake in the future? Spending a little time tackling these questions can lead to making better choices that save you money.
4.  Supercharge your savings with energy efficiency! According to ENERGYSTAR, replacing your five most used light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs can save you up to $60 a year and last 6-8 times longer than conventional light bulbs.  A programmable thermostat can cycle through temperature settings at different times of day depending on whether you are home or away, saving you up to $150 a year. Even just buying a few power strips to help turn off systems of electronic devices when not in use can save you $60 a year.  You can improve your home and your wallet with some of these ideas!
5.  Show your deep roots by planting trees. Trees are an inexpensive way to provide a buffer from road noise, nosy neighbors, and depending on the specimen of the tree can eventually add substantial value to your property. Shade trees also cool off areas of your property and home, potentially lowering your energy costs – just make sure your tree is properly placed so the tree doesn’t try to root itself in your house’s foundation.
6.  Scrub your home top to bottom. Touch up scuffs on walls, scrub the tile, vacuum the floors, and put some elbow grease into degreasing the kitchen and grill. You’ll get a great workout (your core will feel it) and you’ll love the restored ordered and freshness of an organized, clean space to live and work. Consider a garage or community sale for items you don’t need anymore, or donating them to a local charity to free up space and reduce clutter.
Whatever your motivation is, making improvements to your living space can be a fun and rewarding decision, but it’s important to make sure that the improvements you are making actually do what you want to do.  Taking on debt in order to improve the home can be financially and personally very stressful, so making sure things like your emergency fund are in good shape before taking that next step is important. A great way to manage these costs is to set a budget for your home improvements, and then list the different improvements and how much they cost. Then, from that list, pick the ones that you feel are most important AND fit in your budget. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to make your physical home a more secure place only to make your financial “house” on the verge of being condemned.
For more terrific financial tips, check out the Briggs Financial Facebook and Instagram pages, and sign up for The Briggs Blog monthly email at the end of this blog post to have articles like this one delivered to you monthly. No spam, just terrific content delivered directly to you!
For more terrific financial tips, check out the Briggs Financial Facebook and Instagram pages, and sign up for The Briggs Blog monthly email at the end of this blog post to have articles like this one delivered to you monthly. No spam, just terrific content delivered directly to you!
Finally, if you feel that working with a financial coach could help you stay on track in reaching your personal financial and investment goals, schedule a free consultation or email me at steven@briggswealth.com – I would love to meet you!

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