When you finally get the keys to your dream house, the battle between lust vs. must starts. So, what is this battle about? Simply put, you go a little crazy in decorating your house and the lines are blurred between what is a necessity and what is a frivolous purchase.
You might find yourself saying, “I really want this couch set. Maybe if I cut back on some of the repairs and schedule them for later, I can fit this in my budget”. This is a dangerous game where not only will you end up broke but also with a dozen or so repairs that will cause structural damage to the house if not done in time.
Following tips will show you how to stop yourself from making unnecessary purchases and buy what you really NEED:
Make a list of your “Wants”
The first order of business should be to prepare a sort of “wish list”. Go from room to room and write down the things you want. Tell your partner to do the same thing.
Once the list is made, prioritize the wants on the list. What is more important: large windows in the kitchen or a tub in the master bathroom?
Now, compare this list with your partner and circle the common wants. Since, this want is on both lists then it carries more weight. Combine the wants on the lists and write down the top ten. These are the wants that are your needs and once you have purchased them, you can start on the others.
Highlight the Important Needs
Your “top 10” list of needs is now in your hand. It’s time to highlight what is most important and should be done first. A great way to rearrange this list is to separate DIY jobs and ones that will need a professional. Changing windows and doing roof repairs falls in the latter and lighting, paint color, wallpapering falls in the former. As you know, the latter needs require a huge investment and the former are quite inexpensive.
Now that you have rearranged the ten items, go through them once more to make sure that you are satisfied with the order. A great way to put them in perspective is to ask yourself, “Can I let go of item number 4 and head straight to item number 6?”
To be more specific: are you willing to let go of hardwood floors in exchange for a theatre room?
Keep the List in your Pocket When Shopping
It’s very hard to stop yourself from buying something when you are on a tight budget. For that matter, keep the list in your back pocket. Every time the urge strikes, take a look at the list. It might or might not curb your hand but it sure will get you thinking about whether you are willing to let go of the important things or not.
Foot Note: If you haven’t purchased that home yet, this very list that you have prepared can also come in handy as you start your house hunting. It can really help you prioritize.