How to Budget for DIY

A huge reason that people DIY is for cost purposes. I can go to Restoration Hardware and find this GORGEOUS solid wood, distressed table that would look perfect in my dining room, SOLD! But wait, it’s $3,395 ($2,546 if you’re a member).

Yeah that’s a lot and I just can’t see spending that much money on ONE table. All I can imagine is how many other things I could get for that amount of money. But I love this dang beautiful table so what else can I do? Why not make it myself for a fraction of the cost? So, with that said, I’m sure there are a lot of people who DIY for budget reasons. Then you have the people like me who like the process of doing it myself, too. I’m going to go through some of the tips that I have for budgeting and planning for my DIY projects. Hopefully some of them will help in your future DIYing!

Check out the end of the blog for some style inspo with some amazing World Market finds that I styled in my bedroom nook!


Plan not just one project at a time but a few. Right now I have a laundry list of all the projects I want to do, seriously there’s like 20+. Sometimes having such a long list is overwhelming because you don’t know where to begin. But the thing is that if you have at least a good idea of a few projects you want to do and the main components of those projects so that you can be on the lookout for sales on what you need in those projects.


Finding a good sale is a big one for me. Take my Brick Paver Patio project for example, it was a project I definitely wanted to do but had no intention of doing it as soon as I did. The reason I went ahead with the project is because I noticed a sale at The Home Depot on the brick pavers that I wanted to use. That was the largest expense of the project. So, buying the brick pavers for 50% off was a huge savings. I had to jump on it sooner than expected. Another example is that I just purchased some frames from Michael’s for a simple DIY that I’ve had in my head for months and months. I finally found a sale for buy one frame, get 2 free. For real. And 3 frames is exactly what I needed, so I jumped on it. Of course you do have to have a little extra spending money to be able to jump on good deals when they hit.


I will always shop the supplies I’m looking for from different avenues. For example the lumber I needed for my Raised Garden Bed project was almost the same price at The Home Depot and Lowe’s but The Home Depot had it for a couple dollars less. I want to save anything I can, where ever I can so I purchased all my lumber from The Home Depot. Another alternative would be to think a little outside the box for where you can purchase the supplies you need. You don’t always need something brand new when you’re DIYing. A pre-loved dresser or mirror or whatever it is adds character to projects. So compare purchasing what you’re in need of on Craigslist, Goodwill or other places like those.


DIY is usually not too large scale. It might be hard to find bulk discounts but going back to my Brick Paver Patio, if I had not gotten the bricks on super sale, I could have also gotten a bulk discount because of how large of an area I was covering. It wouldn’t have been as good of a deal as 50% off but I really was lucky that I was able to catch those bricks on such a great sale.

I am also planning the landscaping for my front yard right now. I’ve gotten bids from professionals because it’s a larger scale project that I would prefer to hire out. When the bid comes back upwards of $10k, that turned into a future DIY project real quick! So, what I’ll be doing is searching out landscaping supply companies instead of the landscapers themselves. When you get into a large amount of supplies like I will probably have for this landscaping project (supplies by the ton) I will say that paying extra to have it delivered to your front door is worth the money. Just make sure to take that into account with the price.


More recently, with the amount of projects I have going on and coming up, I started building budget spreadsheets. I use them to see how much I will need to spend to complete a project. This does take a lot of effort to think through every little thing you will need: wood, screws, paint, construction adhesive, gloves, etc etc etc. I may have a project in my head and I’m only thinking of the cost of wood to complete the project but without writing it all down. I need to plan and budget for. Easily I won’t think about all the smaller costs that add up quickly and, if not planned for, can easily break a budget.

Below is my Raised Garden Bed budget that is in progress right now. When I’m in the planning stages, I’ll enter in what the prices are of things in the “projected cost” column. Then when I actually purchase those items, I’ll enter the actual cost. Maybe it’ll be less if I was able to find something on sale or maybe it’s more (hopefully not). I underestimated the amount of supplies I needed. At this point, I would rather over estimate and have left overs that I can possibly return instead of underestimating and going over budget.


Like I touched on above, it’s easy to not account for every piece of the puzzle when you’re planning for the project. It’s important to keep in mind that if your projected budget is $500 that you leave some room for last minute purchases that you didn’t think about or that came up as the project progressed. A good example is my Raised Garden Bed Project. I have a small breakdown of the costs of this project above. It looks great because I’m a little under budget according to the spreadsheet (not real life) . BUT what I didn’t consider enough in my budget was the cost of all the soil and plants. I told myself that I would worry about that later.

Well the beds are built. Now I have to go buy a crap load of soil to fill the beds with. Then add in the plants themselves (which are more expensive the more mature you want them to be). AND then all of the various little sprinkler attachments to run the sprinkler through the beds. My point is that extra costs come up every time, even if you have it perfectly planned out. Life isn’t perfect so things come up.

I hope these simple tips help with planning your future DIY projects. Let me know if these help you and how! I’d love to hear from you.

Now that you’ve listened to me ramble on about budgeting and planning, I put together some style inspiration with a few World Market finds that I love! Check them out!


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