Last week we looked at the finer elements of budgeting and purchasing furniture and decor for your new home as showcase on ‘Win A Home’ currently airing on Thursday night at 8pm, SABC 3.

‘Owning your dream home need not be a daunting experience or overnight journey, always ensure you save for a deposit towards your home loan not only to bring your repayments down but to also make it easy for when you want to apply for a re-advance to spice up your home with some décor pieces – and make it the dream home you want it to be,’ says Timothy Akinnusi,  Head of Sales and Customer Value Management from Nedbank.

The interior design competition which forms part of ‘Win A Home’, where young designers – mentored by established industry doyens – kit out four apartments, provides great tips on how to decorate your new home affordably. All the designers registered for MyFinancialLife™ online personal financial management tool which they used to plan wisely and make every cent count.

For Jonathan Avnon, one of the four young designers, the variance in the budget he was allocated per room made planning essential for him to achieve the desired outcome. ‘Notwithstanding the budget, I also had to ensure the same level of quality and style throughout the apartment,’ he said.

Initially, he used MyFinancialLife™ to estimate budget, list items needed per room, and affordability. ‘When I went shopping, I knew exactly how much I could afford to spend on a bed or sofa, to ensure I didn’t overspend on one item to the detriment of another,’ he said.

Fellow young designer, Jason Sandows, admits that budgeting is not his forte, but that MyFinancialLife™ acted like an accountant at his side. He said, ‘This tool is so cool, I could determine my budget for each room before I did any shopping, track my spend to stay on budget, and so make make the most of my money.’

When decorating your home, always budget for less than you can actually spend, so that you are covered in the event of price variances and last-minute must-haves. A few vases here, some candles or an ornament can end up costing you much more than you budgeted,’ explains Jonathan.

Decide on your preferred style before going shopping via platforms such as Pinterest, magazines and mood boards to formulate the aesthetic you want to go for – ensuring not only do you select items in your price range but also choosing cohesive pieces that complement your chosen theme.

Tim reiterates that home owners often feel they need to decorate the entire house in one go, which may leave them with a home that looks like a shop display. He added,

By taking your time to shop around and adding quirky family heirlooms, your home will be more personal and your budget manageable.

Jason agreed that without effective budgeting, a new home owner’s chances of it panning out as planned are drastically reduced. ‘You need to anticipate how much you are willing to spend on each item of furniture, or else you are sure to spend money on things that are beautiful but unnecessary, causing financial mayhem,’ he said.

‘Win A Home’ has taught me much about myself as a designer, and a small business owner. I know what areas I need to focus on, and what areas I’m really strong in. The show has also opened my eyes to the opportunity for a great networking and peer-learning experience.’

Speaking on behalf of one of the primary sponsors of ‘Win A Home’, Timothy Akinnusi says, ‘As part of our commitment to empower clients to own a home and grow the home ownership pool in South Africa, we offer innovative solutions such as the online home loan channel – a fully automated online home loan application which allows you to apply for finance in a seamless and convenient manner from start to finish within hours; anytime, anywhere, on a variety of devices such as tablets, laptops or personal computers.’

Clients who wish to renovate their home can apply for a further loan or re-advance through the online home loan application.

For more property investment advice and creative decor and budgeting tips, tune into SABC 3’s ‘Win A Home’ on Thursdays at 8 pm. ‘Win A Home’ is the only show which gives viewers the chance of winning the biggest-ever home prize in the history of South African television – a luxury, designer multimillion rand two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse apartment in the country’s premier lifestyle estate, Steyn City.

To be part of the conversation follow @WINAHOMESHOW and #WinAHome.