Most people who go have gone through creating their own Man Cave say they spent more than they thought they would. If you do not want to end up saying the same thing after your own Man Cave project, you need to create a realistic Man Cave budget first; one that really covers what your project needs and one you can stick to.
Setting Your Basic Budget
When you set up your budget, it is not enough to say you have a good idea of how much the whole task will cost; neither is it sufficient to say you have a certain amount and that is what you are going to use. Setting up a realistic, workable budget requires some serious sitting down and paper work so you can move from having a vague idea or a guesstimate to a solid estimate.
Start with what you can set aside for the project then begin appropriating money for only 85 per cent of this total sum. The remaining 15 per cent is going to be your contingency or flexibility fund – this allows you to address the unexpected. Set aside 25 per cent of your remaining 85 per cent for labor unless you are going to do everything yourself. Bear in mind though that sometimes hiring someone qualified comes out cheaper than doing things yourself. For one thing, the professional has tools you might still need to buy and he is able to come up with a more accurate estimate of the materials you need.
To illustrate, if you have five thousand for your project, set aside 15 per cent or seven hundred fifty for your contingency or flexibility fund. From the remaining amount, set aside a fourth for labor, which would be one thousand sixty dollars and fifty cents. Now you have three thousand one hundred eighty seven dollars and fifty cents to buy materials. All together, your contingency or flexibility allocation, your labor allocation and your materials allocation form your basic home improvement budget.
Filling in the Budget Details
Draw up a detailed list of the things you absolutely need for your project, then start finding out how much they cost. In another list, write down the things you want and start finding out the prices for these too. The “absolutely-need” list is non-negotiable while the want list is conditional; items here are not to be bought until the “absolutely-need” list has been completely purchased.
An important part of filling in your budget is coming up with a good price list. For example, if you are looking at a certain type of commode, find out how much this costs in at least three places and write that down, taking note of the merchant with the lowest price. Sometimes you can find real bargains if you shop online or try looking at recycled items.
Sticking to the Budget
Remember, there are only three budget lines that you can spend from: labor, materials and contingency or flexibility. Keep track of how these sums are moving by faithfully subtracting expenses as they come.
Do not succumb to the temptation of buying things on impulse just because they look good or are on sale. If it is not in your list of materials then simply say no. Things bought on impulse will wreck your budget and leave you hurting for funds to obtain what you really need.
Do not change plans midstream. Deciding to move your sink a foot away is not a viable step to take after you have already started work. Remember that in this instance you will have to dish out money for extra labor, piping, and other materials. Accommodating this type of change is not what your flexibility fund is for; it is for unforeseen developments like price increases in materials or the unwelcome discovery of rusty pipes and termites. If there are no such events during the course of your work then you can go ahead and get that kegerator or the wet bar.
Creating your budget need not be a daunting task today because there budget templates and worksheets that you can download free. A realistic Man Cave budget may seem like an unwelcome restriction when you are eager to get started working but it will help you avoid the nightmare of bills and debts piling up in ways you did not anticipate.