For those of us with limited funds, budgeting correctly can be a large part of actually being able to finish the job. Yet, it can be hard to make concessions when you’re dealing with a bathroom creation you’ve dreamed about for years.

Luckily, there are some ways to take a bit of the guesswork out of budgeting for your bathroom project. Due to the diverse nature of bathroom situations, it’s hard to give firm figures for a remodel. Yet, no matter what you have budgeted, it’s always a good idea to plan for unforeseen expenses. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry recommends saving 10 to 20 percent of your budget to allow for items added to the scope of the work [source: National Association of The Remodeling Industry]. So, only plan on using a portion of your budget upfront, then you have a cushion for those unexpected costs.

To decide how to spend your money, start by making a list of your priorities. Then make a list of must-haves based on the function of the bathroom. A large bathtub with super-powerful jets might be one person’s top priority, while double sinks might rank first for another.

After you’ve narrowed down your must-haves, a trip to your local home-improvement store or a chat with your designer is a good idea. This way you can start to put some tentative prices on some of those items on your list. For most products, you can choose from a range of price points. Take a bathtub; you could go with the deep-soaking version with jets, or you could opt for a more stream-lined model and save a few dollars.

by Jessica Brown (source)