Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Home improvements: Want or need?

I've been struggling with wants and needs lately.
We have a beautiful home that would really look nicer with some improvements to it. But... I have a hard time spending money when my house functions just fine as is.


With Mother's day fast approaching, I had to come up with something kinda cheap so I wouldn't end up with candies or something else that is useless(I have a thing about gifts that don't serve a purpose other than to increase my thigh circumference).
So, I asked for railroad ties around my flower bed.
We found a decent deal, but it still cost $50 for all the ties. Then dh decided that he needed a new shovel and rake (because he forgot to put the old ones away last fall and now they are "icky". Whatever) That was another $30 down the drain and it earned dh one of my famous, "Take care of your crap" lectures I give when I'm really exasperated about the tool situation here.
**PS. Watch for an upcoming post on how I'm going to fix up dh's tools so he will put them away and keep them organized. It's going to be a goodie and hopefully no one will die.
Anyhow, so Total that is running me... way too much money. Sigh.

Then, the washer broke. Again. Last time we replaced the coupler ourselves for about $25. It was easy to google and Northgate Appliance was great to help us out. This time it was the transmission. Not a cheap fix and so we decided to spend the extra $50 and buy a new washer (a new tranny would be about $125ish). So we went to Northgate Appliance in Idaho Falls and bought a new to us washer. I wanted a front loader soooooo bad, but I have been told by my fellow cloth diaperers that a front loader is crap for diaper washing plus, they are just too expensive for me right now. So, used top loader it is.
So, there is another $185.
I hated to pay this, but a washing machine is a need.

In a few days we are having a custom table built for our kitchen. Remember the fold up beds from days of yore? Well, this will be a fold up table. It will keep me from cluttering it up (like this table I'm typing on is) and it will save space. It will also fit our whole family and have table legs that don't go out when we put a roast on it. It will cost us $350 for a high quality table and while I hate spending that much, I feel like it is an investment in family time and therefore a need. Plus, that puppy will last forever. A carpenter friend is making it and it is going to be niiiice.

Then we have to paint the place the table is going in to. Well we don't HAVE to, but I'd rather do it now so we don't have the table in our way, so that is another $60.

Argh! Spending too much money! But, what do you do?


Sandi said...

Home maintenance (like getting a new washer) is definitely a need, while putting in a handy-dandy table . . . not so necessary. However, I think it is AWESOME and will bring you all a lot of pleasure. Just think--with the money you save in so many other areas, it's nice that you can afford to do some things you like to your house.

There are a lot of things I think about doing to our house, but we are looking at possibly moving "up" when my husband finishes school in two years, so I try to temper my enthusiasm with the thought that I would do a lot of cool things but then have to leave them behind when I moved. If I were staying it would be different. My mom is a Realtor, so I know what kinds of things do and don't add value to a house when you are thinking of selling. (By the way, if you are not in the house you plan to be in until you die, you should always ask a Realtor's opinion before you do some MAJOR renovation, like adding on a room. It's shocking what some people think is cool--that no one else would ever want! Then, they suddenly can't sell their house!)

I guess I'll just save up my dreams for the NEXT house!

Karianne said...

I think one of the reasons to be frugal with groceries and household items is to that you can spend money on your house and yard and on doing things you love. After all, those things are supposed to be an investment, right? So I say, fork out the dough to do it right and have it last a long time. After all, what good is money saved if it is just sitting in the bank?

Natalie said...

Good luck with the paint color (and if you go with anything that has color in it, don't get it simply because you like the name. Believe me).

I think that a lot of things to update and customize the house are necessities, but they do have priorities. It sounds like you've done a great job prioritizing. Don't feel guilty for enjoying your home and making it yours!

Let me know if you need any painters.

Kimber said...

Sandi, I'm picking your brain next time!

I'm working on being picky as we improve our home (we will be here forever) but doing it good and right and as cost effectively as possible.