After years and years of considering it, my husband and I are preparing for a small renovation to our house. We’re putting on a small addition to increase the living space in the house and also finally replacing the flooring in our basement. It’s a big project and we have been saving for so long to make this work. But now that the time is finally here, we have a lot to do to get the house ready!
One of the biggest things we’re doing as we’re preparing for our renovation is decluttering. Since we’re replacing the basement flooring, that means we need to remove everything from our basement, and that’s our main storage space in the house. So much stuff has piled up in that space, especially as our son grows and outgrows items, so we have a lot of decluttering to do.
The great thing about having to remove everything from the space is that it has really forced us to be ruthless about what we really need to keep. I have a whole bunch of paperback books from my teenage years. I haven’t re-read them in years. There’s really no reason to keep them – let’s be honest, I do the majority of my reading electronically at this point. If I ever want to re-read them, I can get them from the library or worst case, buy them again. But that’s an unlikely scenario. I picked out a few favorites and then got rid of the rest.
We also have duplicates of a lot of items. Do we need two blenders? Considering one has just been collecting dust in storage for years, absolutely not.
I recently read something that says if you own something and aren’t using it, and it would cost you less than $20 to buy it again, there is zero reason to keep it. That is a really great perspective. We have a lot of various household items that haven’t gotten use in years, and clearing out the space just makes sense.
While we have figured out how we’re paying for the renovation itself, there are additional pieces showing up that won’t be part of that budget as we’re preparing for the renovation. So we’re making a point to tighten our budget to make sure that we’ve got the funds available should we need them. And of course, once the renovations are done, there will likely be some items to buy, so we want to be sure that we’re ready.
Packing our Patience
Any time you have to have work on your home, you have to be ready for the upheaval that’s guaranteed to happen. So we’re making a point to prepare for the annoyance, prepare for the frustrations, and plan to be patient. It’s going to be a rough couple of months, but it’s going to be absolutely worth it in the end!
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Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
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