Let me preface this post with saying that the graph comes from Remodeling Magazine. So the source may have a vested interest in these statements. Also, I read Money magazine with very open eyes...they are the ones who when giving advice to people who are looking for jobs give such advice as "You should dress as well as your superiors and better than your peers if you want to stand out." (Kathi Burns, author of 18 Essential Elements for Women and The Effortless Guide to Men's Style.) Then she lets the hammer down and suggests a handbag by Kenneth Cole for $150, pumps for $200, and a sheath dress suit for $250. The total of those three items is more than the total of half the clothes in my closet. I assume she is speaking to upper level management in the corporate world and not those of us who slug it out in the real world.
Those are my disclaimers.
However, I did find the graph below rather sensible and interesting.
Several years ago, I requested that our bathroom be remodeled. It was enshrined in Hunter green "marble"...full shower, whirlpool tub with surround, and double vanity. Horrors! I had lived with it for 13 years and thought "enough was enough". The hubster gave me X dollars to spend (" and not one cent over").
I began the treasure hunt of my life. (That's what living on two teachers' salaries does to you.)
Back to the above graph, do you see a bathroom remodel's return?
Almost as much as a major kitchen remodel.
I say all that to say this...even in tough economic times, it can be done.
I went to the high end bath shops and really looked at what I "wanted"...
NOT what I could pay for in that particular store.
Then I went online...I shopped other stores and considered shipping and freight.
THEN I went straight to Ebay and found exactly what I had seen in the store and only searched for
Buy It Now options with NO shipping.
(Make sure the seller has excellent ratings.)
Long story short...we did our own painting, we bought undermount porcelain sinks (which saved us a lot)
and did not reconfigure the plumbing.
We got skilled but reasonably priced plumbers, etc. and I ended up several hundred dollars UNDER budget. Enough to buy nice lighting, towels, cabinet hardware and fixtures.
It can be done.
It's much easier to have lots of money, but it's not nearly as satisfying.