MoneyLife

7 Home Improvement Projects Under $500

By Kaitlyn Wolf
home improvement projects

Home improvements are a great way to increase your home’s value. For instance, sprucing up your dingy old kitchen and bathroom can improve your energy efficiency and overall maintenance costs. And knocking down an unneeded wall can expand your living space almost instantly!

But if you’re not one of the 22% of homeowners with up to $15,000 to spend on home renovations, you might be wondering, “What can I do to fix up my living space?” As it turns out, you can make plenty of home improvements under $500.

1. Declutter your home

Never underestimate the power of an organized living space. If you want to improve your home without breaking the bank, why not start by getting rid of a few things?

Whether you have too many books, a ceramic cat collection you never look at, or tons of useless odds and ends, creating more space can vastly improve the look and feel of your home. So, before you go on a spending spree, try a little spring cleaning first. 

Bonus tip: If you find anything of value, you can make a few bucks by selling it online. Use that money to fund the rest of your home improvements!  

2. Update your plush

Before you dive into the expenses and mess associated with painting, grouting, or trimming, consider making a quick home improvement under $500 with new plush. 

Instead of placing carpeting over top of ugly wooden flooring, consider investing in a few fluffy rugs instead. Not only will you minimize the sound for any neighbors below, but your living room will thank you for that splash of color! 

For windows, you can buy cheap, stylish new curtains or fancier insulated draperies at an affordable $35 per window. Plus, get a fancy, décor-matching curtain rod for as little as $13!  

Bonus tip: If you have a large rug already lying around, you can cut it into smaller rugs to place around your home. And if you’re handy with a sewing machine, consider making your own draperies! 

3. Redo your trim

Redoing your trim is another way to make your home look fresh and new for relatively low costs. For instance, the cost of door and window trim starts as low as fifty cents per linear foot as well as quarter-round molding and base molding. And fancier trim, such as crown molding, chair rails, or casing, may run you as little as sixty cents to $3 per foot. 

Bonus tip: If you have the skills, or at least a friend with the skills who are willing to work for pizza, you can afford even more trim by forgoing the high installation costs and doing it yourself. 

4. Paint your space

Repainting your home is a quick and easy way to freshen up your living space. Whether you want to transform yellowing walls by adding a bright white coat or bring a bit of color to your kitchen cabinets, a few coats of paint can cover just about anything. 

And best of all, painting is relatively cheap! A single gallon of paint can cover up to 400 square feet and it only costs between $18 and $40 per gallon. You can even find some eco-friendly interior paint on a budget, though that doesn’t account for primer!  

That said, you might not be able to paint your entire house for under $500. However, you can definitely paint a room or two.

Bonus tip: If you’re renting your space, your landlords might chip in for the cost or supply the materials if you offer to do the work. Don’t forget you’ll need paint rollers and drop cloths

5. DIY wallpaper

The work-from-home revolution has changed the way we interact with our living spaces. If you’re tired of looking at drab white walls, a few square feet of wallpaper, wrapping paper, or even an old map can make all the difference. All it takes is a little bit of color to change the overall vibe of your walls! 

Bonus tip: If you have an artist in the family, a wall-sized mural on waxless butcher paper can make for a landlord- and budget-friendly upgrade. 

6. Spruce up your bathroom

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing for a prettier bathroom, you should consider a few quick home improvements under $500. For instance, shelling out the money for a new faucet will make all the difference in your daily bathroom routine. If you go with the pros and pay for a simple design, you can expect to spend as little as $160 updating your sink.

Vanity lighting is a great way to brighten up any room. While installation costs can run high, opting for fashionable, budget-friendly fixtures can save you even more!

And lastly, on our tour of the bathroom, let’s not even think about the emotional effects of sitting on an ancient toilet. If you’re tired of going commando on your commode, it might be time to install a new one for around $275.

Bonus tip: Adding a few plants to your bathroom can make you feel fresh, clean, and green. Just make sure you choose plants suited to your bathroom’s lighting conditions, moisture levels, and typical temperature! 

7. Knock down a wall

Knocking down a wall might feel a bit extreme. But if you own your home or you have an amicable landlord, knocking down a wall is a great way to open up your living space and upgrade your home for as little as $300

But before you take a sledgehammer to your house, be sure you know what to look out for, like load-bearing walls, electrical lines, or plumbing, and consider hiring an expert.

Bonus tip: Worried about your upfront obligation? No sweat! With MoneyLion Overtime, you can easily view what you need now and pay us back in four interest-free installments.

Finance your home improvements with MoneyLion!

If you’re ready to make your home improvements under $500 but you don’t have the cash for it, you can finance your project with MoneyLion’s new Safety Net

With automatic direct deposits to your RoarMoneySM account, not only can you get paid up to two days early, but you’ll also unlock up to $1,000 in 0% APR Instacash advances. 

That’s a lot of new houseplants!

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