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These money saving ideas will help you create your dream home without breaking the bank. IMAGE: 123RF

How To Save Money On Your Home Renovations

Savings? Checked. Dream house? Checked. You’re just one step away from enjoying home sweet home. But first, you’ll have to get through another big-ticket expense that you’ve been saving for years – that’s right, it’s me, reno, I’m the problem, it’s me.

Managing your home renovations can be daunting, especially when it comes to your budget. Here are some money saving ideas to help create your dream home.


Decide on a budget, then lower that number

Have you ever heard from your friends that they overran their reno costs and they’ll now have to eat the proverbial grass for months? Well, it’s not a myth for sure – it is incredibly difficult to assess the true costs of a renovation project at the start due to a multitude of reasons. For one, a feature of your home that you’re previously not aware of may throw a spanner in the works and incur a couple more hundred bucks to rectify. Or you decide to upgrade to those pricey scallop tiles for the aesthetic.

Whatever your true budget is, shave 25-30% off that number and give your ID or contractor that figure. Chances are that your final expenses are likely to be near your initial budget. Oh, and don’t forget about that 9% GST.


Opt for loose furniture

Yes, built-ins are the dream, but it can also make your reno costs balloon unnecessarily. Categorise your built-ins into necessity and wants. Think about it: do you really need that built-in wine rack, or is it just going to sit there looking pretty? Try and avoid non-functioning built-ins that are solely meant for visual appeal and go for loose furniture or décor items to spruce up your place. Opting for loose furniture also gives you the flexibility to switch things up later.


Devise a credit card strategy to maximise value

One thing’s for sure, you’re going to spend a large sum of money on revamping your home. Why not derive the maximum value out of it? Whether your preference is for frequent flyer miles, cashback, or a combination of both, come up with a strategy on credit card usage before you start spending.

Most miles cards have a cap on miles earned, so be diligent in tracking your purchases on each card so that you know when to switch to another card to avoid swiping in vain. For cashback cards, focus not on the cashback percentage but on the cashback cap – those with higher cashback rate tend to have a low cashback ceiling so opt for an unlimited cashback card for big-ticket items. There’s also a card that’s perfect for spreading your costs across a longer time horizon and gives you cashback, albeit at a slightly lower rate.


Hunt for cheaper big-ticket items

When you're splurging on big-ticket items like appliances and fixtures, don't settle for the first price that comes your way. Search online for warehouse or clearance sales where you can buy quality branded items at a discount. Hit up your friends who’ve recently done a reno if they have any lobang to share. Additionally, consider joining WhatsApp or Facebook group buys in your area. And don’t worry if you missed out on a sweet deal on Lazada or Shopee, another sale is bound to pop up sooner than you think - it might even be just a few days away!

Give pre-loved items a chance

Don't sleep on second-hand furniture spots like Carousell or these cool vintage stores. You'll be amazed at the treasures waiting to be discovered, from vintage statement pieces to modern furnishings in mint condition. Not only does buying second-hand furniture contribute to reducing waste and environmental impact, but it also offers unique character and style to your home. And let's not forget the vibe it brings to your space! With a bit of patience and a sharp eye, you can deck out your space with unique pieces that have stories to tell and heaps of personality.


Re-use or refurbish old furniture, DIY

Hold up before you toss out your old furniture! With a bit of creativity and elbow grease, you can transform tired pieces into stylish accents that complement your renovated space. Sanding, painting, or reupholstering can breathe fresh life into worn-out chairs, tables, or cabinets, allowing you to customise them to match your desired aesthetic. Not only is your wallet happy, but it also provides a sense of accomplishment and personalization. There are plenty of online tutorials to get you started.


Negotiate for discount

When you're dealing with vendors, there's always room to nego for a discount. Tip: Ask if it is cheaper to pay via cash or PayNow – it may incentivise vendors to offer discounts or waive additional fees associated with credit card transactions. Don't be shy about requesting a GST waiver or asking for free transport and installation. Trust me, those savings might seem small at first, but they'll add up when you look at the final budget at the end of the day.

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