If you're using your home equity to pay for renovations, your contractor should provide an estimate for the work being done. If the money is to pay for a wedding, you can work with a wedding planner to develop a budget for the entire event. Getting an estimate should give you a very realistic idea of how much you need.
You can also work with your lender to figure out a monthly payment that you are comfortable with. Working backwards, this will give you a total loan amount. That will help you set a budget for what you can spend.
If your expenses are less easy to define (for example, if you'll be using it to pay for a child's college costs over several years, or if you're paying for a number of smaller projects), consider a home equity line of credit (HELOC) instead. A HELOC works more like a credit card, with a set line of credit that you can use as needed over time. Our article Choosing to Tap Your Home's Equity can help you decide which is best for you.
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