Last month, we took a couple of friends out for dinner to celebrate a special occasion — they picked the place, we paid the bill. All (cough) $441 of it ... with tip.
Paying that bill for two hours of eating got me thinking — what could a person do with $441 that would last a longer than a foie gras appetizer? Turns out there are quite a lot, including a bunch of improvements that could boost the value of your home (and help you enjoy it more). I found so many ideas that I had to narrow down the list to seven that I really think could make a difference (and that I think I’ll try myself).
Paint: There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to put a new spin on a tired room. One can costs about $42 at your local store — pick up a couple of those and you’ll still have money left over for pizza.
A rug and accent cushions: Our living room is probably the biggest victim of life with two small kids: the coffee table is a banged up, the couch has been exposed to all kinds of suspect substances over the years. But for under $500, we could change all that — we could pick up a great throw rug and some accent cushions to add colour, cover flaws, and give a living room new life.
A garden: If your house looks less than inviting from the sidewalk, buy a few potted plants for the porch and walkway, or plant your way to a better-looking front yard. Plants are relatively cheap — make a budget and a garden plan ahead of time and put in some sweat equity. You’ll feel better about the walk to the front door in no time.
A new shower curtain: If you have a small bathroom, the shower curtain is probably the thing people notice most when they walk in. At least that’s how it is in our house. You can pick up a great looking shower curtain at Ikea for under $20 — that leaves you with more than enough to buy new towels and a bath mat to complete your bathroom makeover.
Fresh sheets: There’s nothing like luxurious bedding to boost the quality of your life at home; for under $500, pick up a down feather bed or new duvet to make your sleep extra comfy. Use any money leftover to buy high thread count sheets and make life complete.
Weatherproofing: There are a few cheap things you can do to reduce your energy consumption and save on your monthly bills. With winter nearly here, invest in weather stripping to put around your doors. Also, investing in a smart thermostat can allow you to track your heat use and turn it on and off remotely.
Better lighting: Whether it’s a fancier light fixture or better bulbs, new lighting can help you see your living space in a new way. Pick up a few good table lamps and make every room in your house a little brighter and funkier.
Content courtesy of http://www.thestar.com
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