6 Easy Ways to Avoid Home-Related Financial Mistakes, According to Reddit

published Oct 29, 2020
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Designing a space to suit your personal style can be costly, so it’s important to recognize where you can prevent unnecessary spending. The tricky part: sometimes you don’t even know you’re making a financial mistake until the deed is done (i.e. buying a couch full priced that was also unknowingly listed on Craigslist—been there). Luckily, the Reddit world is extremely open to sharing small ways you can dodge home-related financial mistakes before unintentionally making them.

From digitally designing a space before executing it, to buying furniture with built-in storage solutions (so you don’t have to purchase those later), we gathered tips from Redditors that are helpful to know before jumping in on home items, renovation choices, etc. And hey, even if you still end up spending the money, at least you’re in the know.

Sleep on it before you purchase it.

We don’t mean this in a literal sense (unless it’s a mattress), but before you make an impulsive purchase, wait a day or at least a few hours to make sure you have strong feelings about the purchase. In the r/frugal subreddit, Redditor magicroot47 mentioned how important it is to get a good night’s rest before filling your space with a new item.

“Let purchases sit as ideas on shopping lists or your Amazon Cart for at least one night before you buy. Retailers use fancy deep learning computer algorithms that can beat Chess Grandmasters, don’t believe you won’t succumb,” magicroot47 wrote. “Give yourself a chance to reduce your clutter by creating some temporal and emotional distance between your purchase desires and your wallet. You’ll end up with more intelligent purchases and less stuff to organize.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Buy furniture with storage solutions.

One Redditor mentioned that to avoid needing to move their family into a larger space (and therefore spending a lot more money), they established a rule to always buy furniture that comes with a storage component. “When our boys graduated from crib to bed, we got them beds with drawers underneath,” u/cornfedpig said. “When we needed a new bed, we got one with drawers. When the downstairs coffee table ‘broke’ (thanks kids) we replaced it with a storage ottoman.”

Obviously, moving is a big example, but it’s never a bad idea to maximize space with something you’re already purchasing, if possible. Chances are, you’re going to need additional storage space at some point, anyway.

Use a digital design program.

There’s no harm in designing a room on your computer before spending money on the real thing. When one user asked for money-saving advice for their mom who’s redesigning on a tight budget, Redditor arizona-lad wrote, “You might want to help here out by creating her dream kitchen in a computer. That way you can play with all the variables; lighting, colors, wall removal, etc.”

A sketching program allows you to catch any design mistakes in your planning process before buying the materials and hiring the work. u/arizona-lad suggested some programs that are free, like Sweet Home 3D and Homediary, as well as Sketchup that offers a 30-day free trial.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

And when you make a decision, stick to it.

One of the largest financial mistakes you could make when tackling home-related projects is being wishy-washy with plans. Responding to the same question as above, Redditor dmtfadvice stressed that taking the time to plan will ultimately help you be sure of your decision and avoid pricey changes.

“Do your planning first. Take lots of time planning. Planning time is cheap,” wrote u/dmtfadvice. “The most expensive words in a renovation are “while you’re at it…” — don’t change scope in your project halfway through. (This is also good advice for business.)”

Check secondhand before buying new.

Before buying any home decor or furniture full price, explore all your secondhand store and additional retail options to make sure you’re getting the look you want at the best price.

Redditor ScrotieWhiskers said it best: “There’s deals everywhere if u spend time. Amazon has open box deals and they hold the same warranty, they also offer really good prices on everything from door knobs to faucets…Facebook market and Letgo and Craig’s list can turn up about anything used.”

For style purposes, it’s helpful to not look at price first and find your dream piece, then starting doing your research to find a similar looking option at a cheaper price. Just make sure to give your digging a fair chance before going the easier (and more expensive) route.

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Get several bids from various contractors.

If you’re hiring someone for a job, things can get very expensive very quickly. While it’s not always (and often isn’t) avoidable, don’t settle on the first company you get a quote from. u/beckyerocks, who works in construction, said, “Don’t forget to get several bids from different companies and compare them. Although you are (obviously) looking for the lowest price, also pay attention to if they have a physical location, if they have been in business for a while, and how willing they are to put things in writing.”

This Redditor’s advice is also a good reminder to avoid immediately going for the cheapest option, because there could be some hidden fees and obstacles that aren’t presented upfront.

Do you have any quick tips that could save a lot of money at home? Let us know in the comments below!