How to renovate on a budget

Track costs as you go

To keep the price tag from spiraling, “Write everything down so you can stick to the plan,” says Katie Hubert, business development consultant at MacKenzie Collier Interiors, a design firm based in Phoenix.

Consider putting together a detailed spreadsheet to track the project. In it, list the estimated cost of each item and task. As you make purchases, add the actual price to the spreadsheet. Also note the unexpected items and jobs that come up. Keep a running total of the overall cost to make sure you stay within budget.

Having a spreadsheet can also help you cut costs. "Pay attention to sales," Hubert says. "If you see an opportunity come up for an item on your list, you could save even more."

In addition to helping you monitor costs during the current project, having a spreadsheet will give you something to look back on — and use as a reference — the next time you tackle an area of your home.