I have made a decision the BAD community is not going to like. Rest assured that I did not make it lightly or without reason…the latter I will explain. But for the next four months, other than my car payment this month. I am going to pay the minimum on everything and spend money on my house.
I am not going to go crazy. I will still DIY a bunch of it. But I am going to buy some stuff and pay for help when I need it. But I am going to complete a bunch of small projects that will 1) make me happy, 2) add up in cost and 3) improve my day to day life.
My goal is to build a life I love and I am really getting there. The gratitude and pride in my day to day life is refreshing after years and years of struggle. The relief is palpable every single day. And I do not forget the hardships. I cherish every day of this new life I am living.
Home Projects to Complete in the Next 4 Months
Here a sample of the projects I plan to complete (this is not a complete list but it’s a good start):
- New blinds in the front windows – labor DIY
- Paint all the trim – labor DIY
- Trim out living room doorway which we expanded – labor DIY
- Install kitchen backsplash – labor DIY
- Center and install ceiling fan in kitchen – pay for help
- Change out dining room light fixture – labor DIY?
- Install kitchen light fixture – labor DIY?
- Paint existing switch covers and reinstall – labor DIY
- Upcycle existing 5 interior doors – labor DIY
- Create some focal walls – labor DIY (I priced out the stick on rustic wood look, whoa, that stuff is expensive so looking for more affordable alternatives other than just paint, ideas?)
- Clean, rearrange and decorate Princess’ room – labor DIY and will use existing furniture (she’s onboard with this plan)
- Furnish deck
- Upcycle some old doors that I’ve had for ages to use as decoration/cast iron storage hangers – labor DIY
- Build barn door for hall bath – labor DIY
- Hang new curtains in the living room – labor DIY
- Complete upgrades to hall bath & hang bar door – pay for help (already have a quote for this)
- Build myself a closet of sorts – labor DIY? (have a paid labor quote for this but may attempt myself)
Now I don’t think any single project is going to be that expensive. The deck furniture will probably be the biggest purchase, but I do want a table and chairs for out there. And some the project’s material cost will be in the hundreds. It will add up.
First, if I can get my “house to dos” done, it will greatly free up my time. I seem to spend almost every weekend and evening doing something. Or being exhausted from doing something. I’ve cut back on my personal clients as a result which is weird for me and I truly miss designing and maintaining websites. But the house is my number one goal. If I can get the house to a state where I am satisfied, I can once again schedule time to work on paid projects = $$$
Second, the cooler weather is coming and that is the ideal time for me to do manual labor. This heat has about killed me. And several of these projects will help with the heat of summer next year – new blinds and curtains for sure! I can be much more efficient when I’m not poring sweat so feel like I can knock these out on weekends and after hours from my full time job.
Third, I’ve got my eye on the prize of being debt free AND having savings to get the kids through college debt free. But after YEARS of living in poverty and paycheck to paycheck, I need a breather. It’s time to do something for me. An investment in my own future. Getting this house right will pay off in the long run. And this will also lead to my next big challenge.
The Debt Free Goal
My goal for the next two years…while Gymnast is in high school is to become completely debt free. Yes, that includes not only my student loans and hearing aids but also my $98K mortgage. When he graduates, I want every paycheck to be 100% my own. And I know I won’t focus on that with these house projects hanging around my neck.
So for the next four months, I am going to spend money on my house. Not focus on debt.
But January 1, 2022, it’s a completely different story. I will tighten my belt so much that it will hurt to meet this final goal: When Gymnast walks the high school graduation stage in May, 2023, I fully intend to have absolutely $0 in debt. Every single dollar I earn will be mine from that day forward!
(By the way, I received a 5% raise effective yesterday. I would see it in my next paycheck, but have already bumped my 401K contribution up that much so nothing should change in my take home pay, I don’t believe. And I still anticipate a bonus payout in the not so distant future that should be at minimum $10,000 but not sure when or the amount.)