Thursday, February 28, 2008

Slow and steady, please.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that we were able to pay off almost $37,000.00 worth of debt thanks to an incredible bonus my husband received. Our 401K loan also was finished this month as well. This has freed up approximately $2000.00 in cash that was going out to pay debts. What to do with that extra money??? Well....

This is where I will have to s l o w down in my thinking....we are approaching Spring in the DC area, and that means (in my mind) home improvement....

I would like to have/do the following:

Landscape the entire back yard and put in a brick patio...(I want to make my backyard PRIVATE, so that would require lots of trees...)

Office furniture for the study...bookshelves, desk, filing cabinets...oh, and a nice soft leather chair for the corner with a reading lamp.....

Hardwoods in my family room. Right now we have ugly carpet (about 10 years old), but along with the hardwoods, I would like new furniture, new paint and a new TV (preferably a flatscreen, HD, LCD, please)

New kitchen countertops, a backsplash, and new appliances....

AND, we want a new paint in the hallway, along with refinishing the very worn hardwoods that are already in the house.

There. That's it. I figure this should come to approximately....ummm...$50,000.00!!! (Well, maybe less)

So, if I save $2,000 for 25 months, I should have it.....right? Well, patience is not one of my virtues. Because I have all of you to keep me in line, I will hold off on most of these wants, and settle on a just a few for now, but putting enough money away for a comfortable emergency account will be first.

I do need this blog to keep me on track and quiet some of the inner wants but mostly to help me realize that I could easily get back into that awful debt again if I'm not careful.


Canadian Saver said...

Sharon, that is a great list :-) I have one too, living in such an old house. This year we're doing windows and the porch....

I'll help keep you focused on the emergency fund and your HEL... see if you can't start a fund specifically for the home improvements... and you can do a bit at a time, you don't need the $50K all at once :-)

Sharon said...

Great idea. I rewrote some of this post for it to make a bit more sense. (I had just taken one of my medications before I wrote that :))

CT Mom said...

Kind of makes you giddy, doesn't it?? We're looking at a similar situation in 2 weeks - it's gonna be bonus time! We did spend some ahead of time and finally ordered some decent dining room furniture - should be ready in May.

I'd say start with paint - it's cheap and makes a HUGE difference, and then do the other things little by little. We did the den in December along with new carpet to replace the disgusting old carpet - for $600, even the old furniture looks good again!

Sharon said...

We are going to take it one step at a time, I would like to start with the study, but spring is almost here and the back yard is beckoning me to do something with it! :) So....maybe a couple of trees and some mulch...the patio will have to wait :(

Then again, there's my daughters braces...geez, it never ends!

Anonymous said...

Hello. It's me your fellow simplicity seeker here. I read your post and immediately identified with the feeling of wanting things, nice things.
I don't want this to sound judgmental because I'm exactly the same way. But just think about this. There will ALWAYS be more to want. If you get all that stuff there will be more stuff that appears that tugs on your heart and begs to be acquired.
You have been so incredibly blessed with the good fortune to be able to pay everything off in one fell swoop. If you start right up spending every penny you've freed up you might have a hard time reigning things back in and staying on track with your savings goals. Wouldn't it feel great (I wouldn't know because I don't do it) to live beneath your means and have extra cash that just sits there giving you the options and financial freedom we all crave?
When I'm having a hard time keeping my desires in check, keeping a gratitude journal really helps me recognize how much I already have, and the "wants" kind of quiet down.
Hope this isn't too harsh sounding. I really don't mean to be. I just hear myself in your words and I know that I struggle every day with money and spending vs saving and it's not always a happy place to be.

Dreamer said...

This looks like a great list of improvements. Stay focused on what's important though and make sure you have that emergency fund in place first. My fiance and I are in the process of buying our first house and we will want to furnish it with nicer stuff then what we currently have leftover from our college days. We however decided to focus on one room at a time and make sure it is all paid for in cash rather then taking out debt. It will all get done soon enough if you are patient and in the end you won't have a pile of debt to worry about for years afterwards. Good Luck!

Sharon said...

That is exactly what I needed. I know everything you are saying is true, but sometimes I need to hear it again (and again, and again). I posted it so that I would get comments to keep me in line. And THANK YOU so much for doing so. I will concentrate on one thing at a time, but only after I put a good portion away in savings. I will not blow this wonderful opportunity. (and you could never be are too nice :)

It's a good idea to do one room at a time, especially if you are moving into a new home. Sometimes when you "decorate" all at once, it ends up not being your authentic tastes. But, then again, you are way futher ahead in your thinking than I was when we purchased this home 10 years ago!