The key to saving money almost always comes down to preparation and thinking ahead. If you’re behind the 8-ball and are always throwing things together at the last minute, that’s when you end up paying through the nose.
Liz and I are great planners and with our mild winter here in West Michigan so far, we’re already thinking about spring and our future outdoor projects. Two years ago, we replaced all of our windows and painted the entire exterior of the house. Last year we put our money into a backyard fence (which has been fantastic by the way!), and this year we’re thinking about sprucing up the front yard.
How to Save on Those Spring Projects
So how are we prepping for this front yard sprucing? Well first, we talked about and mapped out how we’d really like it to look. Currently, the front yard has three tall arborvitaes (skinny pine-treeish like things), many pebbles, and some fake rock. We tried to class this up a bit in years passed by planting some hostas, but it’s just not working…
Here’s our step-by-step plan, and how you can save on your spring projects as well.
1) Dump Your Junk – It’s Junk
I have a tendency to hang onto stuff – even stuff that’s outside and half deteriorated. Sure, it’s great to repurpose stuff and make it into something else, but sometimes junk is just that…junk. Feel free to throw it away so you can make room for something that actually looks decent.
2) Pull Out the Landscape and Sell It
The arborvitae trees don’t look great in front of our house, but you know what? Someone else might really enjoy them – so much so that they’d be willing to pay good money for them. I figure that if we can get these trees out of the dirt (I hear they have some amazing roots), they could each sell for $25. We’ve got three of them, so I bet we could earn $75 from these trees that we don’t want!
3) Look for Accent Planters
Planters are great for adding another dimension to your front landscape. Instead of just some flowers all on the ground, it’s good to switch it up a bit by adding some planters. These planters can also help add some anchor points to your front landscape area, making a clear visual of where the visual ends and where it begins.
Liz and I didn’t mind splurging a bit on our recent planter since we wanted it to look great, and wanted it to last. We found the perfect planter at SilkPlantsDirect.com. It arrived in just a couple of days, it was packaged quite professionally, and the look is awesome! Check it out! (By the way, this will look even better in the spring time!)
If you’re looking for a planter, I would highly recommend this company.
4) Install a Hedge
Instead of a few tall trees in the front of our house, we really need something with more width and filler. We think a hedge will look nice. And, the great thing about hedges is that they’ll grow to size, so you can buy them small, which means you can buy them cheap! We’ll need about 5 hedge plants, and we can buy those for less than $20 a piece. That’s less than $100 total, which is just barely more than we’ll be able to sell our arborvitaes for!
5) Maintain It
You sure get a sense of accomplishment when you redo your entire front landscape and the look is amazing. But, the job really doesn’t end there, especially if you don’t want to spend any more money. You’ve got to maintain your new landscape. Trim the hedges, water the flowers, and weed the entire area. Without proper maintenance, your hedge won’t grow thick, your flowers will die off, and the weeds will take over.
To get the most bang for your buck, it’s best if you take 30 minutes each week to care for your new landscape. You’ll be happy you did.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.