I realize that the BAD community does not like my plan to put some money into my house these next couple of months. And I’m not putting a dollar amount there. And I won’t be. But I am not going to go crazy, I will remain frugal.
I just published my budget for October. And before everyone freaks out about the open line item for Housing spending, I thought I would tell you how that’s going so far this month.
Here’s the first update on the project list I originally published:
- New blinds in the front windows – labor DIY – DONE – no $$$ spent, but lots of frustration and about 2 days of labor as I did it 100% by myself. I will have to replace a couple of drill bits eventually as I stripped a few, but live and learn, I will do better next time.
- Paint all the trim – labor DIY – STARTED – painting the trim in the living room as I replaced the blinds. What a pain! No $$$ spent as I have almost 1/2 a gallon of the white paint and paint brushes from all the other walls we have painted.
- Trim out living room doorway which we expanded – labor DIY
- Install kitchen backsplash – labor DIY – READY TO START – I have the tile here, left over from the shower we did, but I did need a few things, spent $60 on supplies/tools but shouldn’t need anything else to finish this project except time.
- Center and install ceiling fan in kitchen – pay for help
- Change out dining room light fixture – labor DIY?
- Install kitchen light fixture – labor DIY? – DONE – contractor who helped me install my dishwasher/countertops did this as included in my negotiated price. I am so grateful!
- 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 – RESEARCHING – I have an old, solid oak dining room set with 6 chairs. It needs some love, but it’s plenty comfortable for what I want on the deck. It’s not my dream patio set but it would do for now. So I’m doing some research to see what I would need to do to make it as weather resistant as possible. If it could last 3ish years outside, that would be awesome. (I’ve had it listed for sale for $150 for months, but no takers. So I might as well put some poly on it or something and see if I can make it work for now.)
- 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 – IN PROGRESS – I spent just under $40 for what I thought would complete this project. However, I didn’t get enough curtain panels, I need two more at ~$12 each (purchased on sale so hoping they are still on sale) and the rod I got is missing a piece so I’m hoping they will just open up another one and give me the correct piece. Again, I did all the labor myself.
- Complete upgrades to hall bath & hang bar door – pay for help (already have a quote for this) – RESEARCHING – plan to finalize decisions for this next weekend so I can budget it out as this will be a bit more of a $$$ investment
- Build myself a closet of sorts – labor DIY? (have a paid labor quote for this but may attempt myself)
Total spent in the first two weeks of September = $100 and I anticipate spending less than $40 more to finish off the living room curtains this week.
Not a professional but I can do this
It wears me out to work on my house. And I’m definitely not a professional. Gymnast comment when he saw these were “are you sure you hung those right?”
But every day I grow more proud. Not in the prideful, look at me way, but that I am finally able to provide a stable place for all my kids to come to, to find rest in. It’s been 13 years since my ex-husband and I split, I have struggled with housing all that time.
We don’t live extravagantly. I’m not trying to “upgrade my lifestyle”…Except for the dishwasher, that was definitely a splurge just for me and an upgrade to my lifestyle. But I want a home where they feel safe and proud to bring their friends without mold growing in the bathroom or tiles peeling off the floor. Where there are tiles on the bathroom walls versus crumbling remnants of what used to be. Most all of our furniture are garage sale finds or DIY…did you see Gymnast bed frame when I showed you my wardrobe idea for the office. He built it out of scrap wood and free pallets. My wall art is all from projects the kids have done.
Saving $$$ by doing it myself
The thing is, I could not afford to hire someone to do all this. To make it professional. But more than I want professional, I want out of debt. And everything I do myself, I save myself literally hundreds of dollars. So for the next 3 months, I am giving myself guilt free permission to spend the money on what I need to get the house to a certain place.
I’ve got tough skin. So you can condemn my choices especially when I get off track. I appreciate the constructive criticism, the have you considered this comments and so on. But you have not lived in my shoes, see a glimpse of what we have been through.
Hope is a digital marketing manager and foster/adoptive single mom to five kids. She has run her own consulting company for over 15 years and took a leap of faith returning to the corporate world in 2021 to a job and team she loves! Hope began sharing her journey with the BAD community in the Spring of 2015 and feels like she has finally mastered the balance between family first and wise financial decisions.