Does budgeting stress you out? Then this guide is for you.
Yes, we actually said it: stress-free landscape budgeting. Believe it or not, it’s possible. Chances are landscape maintenance represents a complex and significant line item in your budget each year. However, with the right approach, it’s remarkably simple to develop a cost-effective plan. Follow these five steps for a painless experience.
1. Have a Vision for Your Landscape
First, identify your basic landscape maintenance requirements. Every property’s needs are different. For example, your basic maintenance requirements may include seasonal color rotations, mulch, and tree care, in addition to mowing, pruning, and weeding. Outlining your expectations makes it easier for you and your landscape partner to identify where you may also need to set aside funds for repairs, upgrades, or other enhancements to make your vision a reality.
2. Focus on Key Areas to Improve Value While Reducing Costs
Your property and budget can benefit from cost-effective recommendations, such as reducing water use, recycling green waste, and converting certain turf areas to shrubs and sustainable ground cover. Don’t forget your trees. Keeping them pruned properly makes your property safer and more attractive. These cost management measures can help you maximize savings.
3. Estimate the Possibilities
Don’t just think about the upcoming year: think long-term. List your goals for your landscape, both large and small. Your landscape partner can help map out customized budget estimates with plans for one-, two-, and three-year goals, as well as longer, five-year horizons. This approach will help you avoid the “someday” trap by illustrating how to tackle big ideas in manageable bites.
4. Expect the Unexpected
Despite the best-laid plans, sometimes you’re thrown a curve ball you couldn’t expect. Severe weather is a prime example of a common budget derailment. You may have already considered a contingency fund, and that’s wise. Your landscape partner can also help you plan for the unexpected, identifying ways in which budget can be reallocated in the event you’re unable to use the funds as originally planned.
5. Save with Smart Irrigation Technology
Have a water management expert perform a water analysis to identify areas of avoidable water waste on your property. They can make recommendations for upgrades to smarter technology that could save you money. In many cases, the water savings pay for the upgrade in the first six months. After that, your bottom line just keeps looking better.