udgets and timelines are the most difficult aspects of any home project to stick with. If you're doing some serious shopping, don't step a foot outside your door without having first created a budget.
Start by being honest about what you can afford to spend. Decide that you won't go one penny above that budget. Once you have determined the amount, list all the items that must be purchased or acquired through other means. Don't leave out even the smallest item. If you need lamps, remember to add light bulbs to the list. If you are purchasing items online, remember shipping costs and if you have will purchase large items don't forget the delivery costs. Create your list of items and keep it handy. You'll be thinking of new additions constantly.
Next, break the budget down by item. Of course, the most important items in the room should be the bulk of the budget, ie sofa, chairs, tables. It's going to be impossible at this point to allocate exact dollar values to the items but try to be realistic by doing a bit of research ahead of time. Determine whether there is anything in your home that can be refinished, reupholstered or reclaimed. This could save money and keep the budget on track.
Get creative with your shopping. Unless your funds are unlimited, which is not the case for most of us, there is going to be a mix of high and low purchases. If you are a diy-er maybe you can shop your local thrift store for items that can be redesigned to suit your space. This saves loads of money but you'll need to have some extra time on your hands for painting, sewing or fixing. Shop ebay, craigslist and local newspapers for second hand items that are in good shape. Look for school sales. This is a great way to buy art in particular. Hit the garage sales on the weekends but get there early before all the best stuff disappears.
Most importantly, spend time tweeking the budget on a regular basis. If you've budgeted $3,000 for a sofa and it ends up costing $3,800 you need to reduce your other categories by that same amount. Set yourself up for success and you're new room will be so much more beautiful to you in the end.