Redecorating and remodeling is one path to staying excited and satisfied with the same living environment over the course of many years. From updating your kitchen cabinets and retiling the upstairs bathroom to ripping up carpets or adding a screened-in porch, the transformation of your living space can breathe new life into what can start to feel like hopelessly old digs.
When you’re in debt, however, changing up your living space is probably the last thing you think you should add to your checking account’s burdens. While that idea has much to recommend, if you get creative, it doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule. Being committed to paying off debt doesn’t have to keep your from a smaller-scale transformation, as these five ways to change up your home reveal.
1. Deal With Credit Card Balances
Roughly 38 percent of all the households in the United States are currently carrying credit card debt. If your household is one of them, then it’s time to look into a balance transfer credit card that can lower your interest rate and monthly payment requirements.
While transferring your debt’s balance to a credit card won’t get rid of your debt or change your need to free yourself from it, it can save you money. When you transfer debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate, you’ll save money over the long haul, and while you still need to make more than the monthly minimum payment if you want to get out of debt in a reasonable amount of time, that lower interest rate may give you just enough wiggle room in your budget to make some small changes to improve your space.
2. Go For Used
From your local thrift store and Habitat for Humanity ReStore to garage sales and sites like eBay and Craigslist, there are plenty of ways to find home goods, curtains, furniture, building materials, paint, and more at a great used price. Once you determine the changes you’d like to see in your home, set a budget for the materials you’ll need to accomplish it.
Then, keep your eyes peeled online and in person for the discounts that will enable you to get to work. Change doesn’t have to be monumental to make an impact. Finding a used shower curtain and bath mat at a garage sale can make your bathroom feel new again, and with just a couple boxes of tile bought for next-to-nothing on Craigslist, you can update your kitchen’s backsplash in an afternoon.
3. Barter It
Sometimes, what you want to do to your home can’t be achieved with a visit to the thrift store. When you want actual remodeling but you don’t have the money to pay for it, see if there are any independent carpenters who would go in for a trade. Maybe you can sew a carpenter’s daughter’s prom dress, or perhaps you can do the hard and dedicated work of putting in a garden for someone who can build you a deck. Whatever skills you have, offer them in trade to someone whose skills can get you the home changes you desire. You just might find you get your project accomplished with no money changing hands.
4. Put In Dimmer Switches
One of the simplest ways to transform the lighting in rooms throughout your house is to install dimmer switches in them. From the dining room to the bedroom, a dimmer switch can instantly transform the mood and feel of a space, and you don’t even need to buy a different light fixture.
While there’s little thrilling about the idea, getting your home decluttered and better organized will instantly make your space feel bigger and more contemporary, and you don’t have to resort to purchasing items from a container store either.
First, go through your clothes, books, any boxes in the attic or closets, kitchen items, CDs or records, and set aside everything you don’t absolutely need to sell at a garage sale in the future. Then, get creative about making space for what remains. Hang milk crates wherever you need shelves for books, towels, shoes, or knick knacks. Get a shower caddy from the thrift store, and use it to organize your office supplies. So long as you don’t mind making use of unusual items to get your space more streamlined, you can reorganize your home until it feels new again.
Transforming your living space doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Follow these suggestions, and you can remake your home and stick to your goal of paying down your household debt at the same time.