Man painting walls of home

How to Avoid Spending Pitfalls with Home Improvements

Feb 20, 2020
Empower Insights

It’s easy to get carried away with home improvement projects. You paint the walls and change the curtains, which inspires new furniture…and lighting…and then flooring. Before you know it, you have a giant credit card bill.

That’s why it’s smart to make a budget for any renovation larger than painting. The budgeting process will force you to decide where you really want to spend your home improvement money and give you a target to save toward.

When prioritizing your spending, consider two key factors:

  • The project’s likely return on investment (how much of your money you’re likely to get back when you sell the house)
  • Your capacity to do some of the upgrades on your own

Return on Investment

Focusing on improvements with large returns on investment may help you recoup more of your renovation cost when you sell.

Home improvement return on investment comparison

DIY vs. Hired Help

Labor costs can account for more than a quarter of your total budget.2 Doing some work yourself can save you money — but it’s best to leave certain jobs to the pros.

Kitchen DIY tips
Bathroom DIY tips
Outdoor projects DIY tips

Open an Empower Investment Account to start saving for your next home improvement

1 “2018 Cost vs Value Report,” Remodeling, as of February 2020
2 National Kitchen and Bath Association, as of February 2020

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