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Browsing posts in: Home Ownership

Losing Income…

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One of our roommates is moving out on September 1st. We set aside money to cover the loss of rent for the month so we’re still on schedule. I was looking forward to having a quiet month with some alone time with my husband but it looks like I’ll be serenaded by the sounds of hammers and saws. We are using this time to tear down an interior wall between our bedroom and the guest bedroom to add insulation and soundproofing before the new roommate moves in at the end of September. If I want alone time with my man, I’ll have to throw on a hard hat, a ratty t-shirt, and an old pair of jeans. You can count me in whenever sledge hammers are involved.

I’m fortunate to be married to a hardworking construction genius who can do the work himself (plus, my husband looks irresistible in safety goggles). We only have to pay for the materials which should run about $100.

Why are we insulating? Our house was built in the 1950’s and no insulation was used on any interior or exterior walls. Our heating and cooling bills are much higher than they need to be. The initial expense of the upgrade will be quickly paid for in lower electric bills plus, it’s better for the environment. And… our new roommates are newlyweds – that’s reason enough in itself.

It always seems like when we have an opportunity to get ahead, the necessities of life burn through the cash. Between tuition costs, new dog vet bills, and the two weddings, we have had to pony up more than $3,000 in the last two months.

These expenses would have buried us in the past, but careful planning and frugal spending have kept our heads above water.


High School Reunions and Financial Success…

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Yesterday, my husband notified me we would have guests – one hour before their expected arrival time. I think he does this on purpose because I keep a clean house but I tend to go a little over the top when we have guests over. I wash the baseboards, scrub the fan blades, clean the oven… you get it. The more time I have, the more likely I am to get to cotton swab level.

Then, he casually mentioned that the guests were old high school buddies and this was really important to him.

On the inside, our home is nice. On the outside… well, let’s just say we usually wait until the sun has set and our guests have had a glass or two (preferably three) of Chardonnay. We can’t afford landscaping so our yard is a grouping of well mowed weeds and raked dirt piles.

Before we went on this recovery from debt diet, we had planned to landscape our backyard and remodel our 50 year old kitchen. Take out another loan – it would have been so easy. But now, we’re living within our means and paying off debt. It will likely be another 5 years before we can pay cash.

It’s hard to deal with the pressures of keeping up with our peers. It’s hard to not feel a little embarrassed at our less than presentable yard (though to be fair, his friends had nothing but nice things to say).

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel frustrated but…

It’s not hard to feel relief from the lifting debt. Seeing we’re only about a year away from being debt free is like breathing again.