Good Morning! We decided to take a moment from our progress on the house, to talk about the one word that makes me cringe during this whole process, BUDGET!!! As the wifey, when I was titling this post I was trying to spruce up the word “Budget” to make it glorious. Then I realized there is no word you can use that makes me smile about my husband saying “Sorry, it’s not in the budget”. My husband’s nickname has been “Dave Ramsey” throughout this whole house building process, but as we move further in our home building journey, I love him for it.
Everyone’s budget is a different amount for different reasons. Although some are lucky to not have a budget while building a new home, most of us do and we highly suggest setting a budget before you start the entire process. This may sound funny, but I swear its true, I had to repeat this a few times before it sunk in. Having a budget for your home: Staying on a budget for your home. Two totally different tasks. Does this make sense? You can always set a goals, he hard part is staying on course to achieve the goal. When we decided to share our story of building our home, we never claimed to be experts. We just want to help others go through the process and help them along the way. There is a million ways you can “stay on budget”, but we chose to use the ever so “fancy” Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is the exact one we are using to track our budget as we are building. We have broke down the descriptions to how our builder helped us divide out the allowances. We then made a column for the estimated cost, or the cost we were quoted. The next column we named “actual”. This is the exact amount you cut a check for each bill. You can add another row that shows you the difference between budget and actual, this will be how much over/under budget you are. This way when you entering your numbers you are reminded of your budget. We use the blank space on the right to jot down different bids. You can never do enough upfront research/bidding.
This sounds crazy but we sit down every other day together and make sure we are up to date on entering our dollar amounts. This allows us to see where we have overspent or underspent on the previous purchases, and then we can decide the items we can “skimp” on and save money. From our experience, you can not sit down every other week or whenever you feel, to stay on track. This needs to be a regular routine for you to sit down and both “discuss” where you are in the budget. (Notice how I said “discuss”, which can or can not be made up of louder tones and heated conversation at times). LOL! Okay, face it, you will argue! Get over it, you just will! So far, our advice is to have both of you looking at numbers and talking about it together. This way you are in tune to the process, and you both know what is going on. There should be no surprises on who spent what. Do it as a team! If you are not this far into your building process and you are still figuring out your budget, loan, and the bank process check out our itemized expense sheet we use as money is spent from our loan in one of our previous posts, “5 Steps Before Breaking Ground”.
Tips to Help You Stay on Budget
-pay off land before building
-Can lighting helps save on light fixture expenses and is cost savings
-think of countertops as being an easy upgrade later on
-save decks and patio’s for an add on later
-dry wall is cheaper than railing (stairs), you can add railing at a later time
-Shop for appliances on the best sales: Labor Day, Black Friday, and April 15th many places have a tax free day
We hope this is helping you in your journey of building! Thank you so much for reading. Please leave your questions or comments and we will share more of what we have chose during the journey of Building our Home!
Shannon and Jamie