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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A Little Background to the Story...When we moved into our house three years ago (in my unfrugal days), we decided to do a lot of home renovations. We got a new furnace, a new airconditioning unit, beautiful window coverings from Home Depot, ceramic tile to replace the old, chipping black ceramic tile before it, all the wallpaper taken down and entire house freshly painted, new light fixtures (the older ones were probably from the 70's or earlier), basement renovated and new carpeting in the basement and the two stairwells and our driveway widened and repaved. It all cost approx. $30,000 give or take. I should also add that we had a contracter and his assistant do majority of the work. Would I have done it over again if I had the chance...ummm...probably. Were the renos a necessity?...no. Will the renovations increase the value of our house?...probably, yes.

Current Happenings...We have about $4,500 left to pay off our LoC. The figure keeps on fluctuating because of having no budget. I've started to track what I spend this month and try to pinch every penny. However...DH got a bright idea to get a few more 'much needed' home renovations done. We just got ceiling fans/lights installed in the four upstairs bedrooms, are getting the drains in the bathrooms replaced (they're corroding), are getting air ventilation units for two bathrooms bathrooms (the one bathroom has no fan and the other bathroom has the air being pushed into the attic) and bathroom faucets to be replaced (they're all different and probably as old as the house...over 40 years). There's also a bathroom sink to be replaced (it's rusting and gross) and a couple bathroom switches to be replaced from single switch to two switches (one for fan and one for lighting).

While I was at RONA today, I noticed that the two bathrooms fans that I just purchased yesterday (for $99.99 each) are going on sale; on Saturday only there will be a 10% to 50% off scatch and save sale and the fans that I just bought will come with a $15 off RONA card. But...I noticed that the exact same CFM and higher sone (from a .8 to a 2.5) is going on sale to $39.99. The higher the sone the louder the fan. Which means if I return the fans that I just bought and buy the cheaper fans, I'll save $39 per fan. The reason for this story is...I still want the more expensive fan. Why is being frugal so hard?

Have we budgeted for these expenses?...No. The main reason why the renos are being done is DH 'wants' them done. Could we live without all this stuff?...Of course!

I'm going to buy the cheaper bathroom fan even though the fan unit is louder and it's not energy efficient. I just have to go to the store on Saturday and return and rebuy...even though my unfrugal side still wants them. :thud: I'm so glad I'm taking care of buying these things!...who knows what DH would have picked up at the store?:lol:
 

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Well....yes it can be hard. But, can you DIY these projects instead of hiring a contractor? That would be the frugal way of doing the upgrades. We've done them all before, and it's not too difficult if you learn a few wiring basics first. Hiring a contractor will be expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well....yes it can be hard. But, can you DIY these projects instead of hiring a contractor? That would be the frugal way of doing the upgrades. We've done them all before, and it's not too difficult if you learn a few wiring basics first. Hiring a contractor will be expensive.
I agree that DIY would be way more frugal; however, DH would say he doesn't have the time to do the projects or time to learn. Sad to say, DH isn't very handy.
 

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But maybe YOU have the time? Wiring is not that hard or difficult. Maybe you´ll even enjoy doing it!

Good for you for returning the expensive fans.
 
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Do You Ever Find it Hard to be Frugal? *sigh*

Yep! You bet! All the time, but it does depend on what it is. The kind of stuff you're talking about would be hard for me too. Mainly because I'm very aware that whatever redos get done is what I most likely will be living with till the day I die. So if I get something I just can't stand from the get go, it means I've got 40? more years of living with something I can not stand.

I am however far more willing (translation- happy to live with) temporary frugality, like...clothing (it wears out & you get new- or new to me), food (There is always something different I can make), cars (eventually you've got to get another one), etc. For long term choices I would much rather wait until I can have what I want, then to settle.

I'm positive that you make lots of frugal choices in your lifestyle. This just happens to be one of those harder areas, and QM, we ALL have areas in our lives that are hard for us to be frugal. For some, it's buying too many clothes, even if they are from thrift. For others it may be that they just are not willing to coupon or shop a food thrift store, or maybe they are not willing to drive a used car. Whatever that "it" thing is for other FVers, it really does not matter. We all have our areas where we find it hard to be frugal. :hugz:
 

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I just have to add, I would not be able to live with a loud fan. I've got this thing about noise pollution. It would drive me over the edge, I crave quiet, I don't think I would ever choose a loud fan no matter how much I saved. Just saying....
 
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I would probably stay with the more expensive fans since they will be quieter and more energy efficient. Nothing wrong with things being quiet and saving money. Sometimes you have to think about that.
 

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Some things are easy to be frugal about and others not so much.
Over the years we have fund DH's skills to be valuable, we barter.
He fixes their AC and they give us something they have that we need.
 
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Didn't we just have a discussion about self discipline?

Do you understand that this is the same issue?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Didn't we just have a discussion about self discipline?

Do you understand that this is the same issue?
What discussion?:lol: Are you talking about a discussion we had in my 'making a budget' thread?...Or a different thread?
 

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Yes, that thread. The same behaviors you indulge(your own AND DH's) that cause your budgets to fail give you difficulty with being frugal.

When you and DH start looking in the mirror and saying to the person in it, "This mess is YOUR fault and YOU have to change to fix it" - that's when you'll be able to make progress.

Take the home renovations you are treating as a necessity. Ceashels and I have got a basement that's half ripped out and a dining room with no wallpaper. Those rooms are staying that way - because right now it's not in the budget (money OR time) to finish.

We *could* easily borrow money and pay someone to do the work for us. We're not doing it. We're living with a house that needs work because it's more important to us to work on the rentals which will actually generate income and to do so debt free.

You and DH have got to learn to start saying no to yourselves now for the sake of the long term, otherwise you'll keep selling the future to buy the present.

Which is what's gotten you where you are now.
 

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Or you could slow down, replace one thing at a time paying cash for the supplies, and learn how to do the small stuff (faucet replacement should only take an hour or so, make sure you at least google for directions & shut off the water, lol). If there isn't a shut off at the sink, I'd install one to make future repairs easier.

Repair is a huge part of home ownership and something that's beneficial to learn how to do if you are physically capable. Don't let "I'm too busy" or "I don't know how" cause you to needlessly go into debt. 20 years ago, we had no choice but learn as we were living in a pit with no money. We learned to do everything from plumbing to drywall out of necessity, and turned into lifetime home renovators. It can be addictive once you see how much money you can save, even to the very busy (which we were/are). All I can do is encourage you to give the small, non-electrical stuff a try first, it really isn't that difficult. You might get "hooked". Make sure you start and finish a project before going on to the next one, or you'll end up with a whole bunch of unfinished projects.

By the way, as soon as my dh saw me fixing the things he said he didn't have the time to do, he suddenly found the time. Funny how that happened, I didn't even have to say a word.
 

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Yup, I struggle with being frugal all the time but I am constantly reminding myself of my ultimate goals which always get me back in check.

I'm starting to do a few home projects myself and I get a ton of satisfaction from doing them myself even if its not the easiest option.

Greebo is right, its all about self discipline. NO ONE is making you do anything with your money except you.
 

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to answer your original question.....Yes........
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
...The kind of stuff you're talking about would be hard for me too. Mainly because I'm very aware that whatever redos get done is what I most likely will be living with till the day I die. So if I get something I just can't stand from the get go, it means I've got 40? more years of living with something I can not stand.
Polly...The difference with our situations is that we're probably going to be living here between 1 to 5 years...depending on when/if DH gets transferred with his job. I'm going to get the cheaper fans because I don't think it's going to add a great value to the house and because we're used to 'noiser' fans anyways; it's really not all that noisy. We're going to have a timer switch in the bathroom where you can set the fan for 15 minutes say, and it'll turn off by itself. That's another reason why I don't care if it's energy efficient...we won't have to forget to turn it off and have it running all day while it's wasting electricity.

I get what you're saying, Greebo. It is all about self discipline. I'm work in progress...that's why I hang out on Frugal Village and try to learn. I'm getting better bit by bit. We can't become perfect overnight.:lol:

I could get the more expensive fans but I'll choose to buy the cheaper ones and save $80+. I'm also going back to the store and returning/rebuying the merchandise on their scratch and save day so if I get the minimum of 10% off, then I'll be saving more money. Another way we're saving money is that I'm doing the running around and buying the products. If I left it up to DH, who knows what we would end up with?:lol:

You guys'll be proud of me. DH asked about a town fair nearby for this weekend. I looked into it and by the time we drive there, pay admission to get in, get ride all day passes for our two girls, possibly have to pay for parking and get a cotton candy or two, it'll probably cost us approx. $100. I mentioned to DH that DD1 has been asking to go to a local rec centre and swim there; they have a waterslide there. If we went for a couple hours on the weekend with the girls, we'd be saving $80. It's all about choices. We'll see what DH thinks about my idea. :)
 

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Mahalo Greebo - always appreciate the reality check that you provide!!
 
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Well that makes perfect sense then QM. If you don't plan on staying, why put extra money into it. I know that we put in the cheapest faucet possible in the kitchen, we just didn't have the money to do anything else. ( MY DH has this awful saying, but I understand what he means. For us to put a nice faucet in an kitchen like we have "would be like polishing :poop:")

But, when we finally have enough saved to redo the kitchen we will be putting things in that we "like". We will never be able to put in the kitchen we really Want (my DH being under employed for almost 3 years and us having to exhaust all our savings, our EF, our investments and almost our retirement investments cinched that), but eventually we will be putting a kitchen we can live with.

The bathroom on the other hand, will need to be redone before we have enough saved for a redo so it will be the very cheapest we can get (a piece at a time). I won't feel bad when we rip out the emergency bathroom.

I've got an envelope for my dream bathroom started, I may only be adding $2 at a time, but I add to it whenever possible. If there's one room in my home where I want a total and complete transformation, it's the bathroom. By the time I save enough for it it will have to be designed for the elderly! It might sound crazy, but I want a really nice bathroom. I don't need a big screen TV, or designer clothing, I don't need a fancy car in my driveway, or expensive furniture, but....I "need" a really great bathroom where I can chill, and some day I'm going to have it.

Awesome idea about the water park! and you're right, I think it is all about choices.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know to many of you FV'ers this isn't the greatest accomplishment, but to me it is a step in the right direction. Last week we spent a total of $104.44 on groceries and HBA. Mind you that doesn't factor in the half a cow that we buy approx. every 9 months. If I was to divide what I think we eat in beef and add a few extra dollars for chicken and other meat that we eat throughout the week, we're probably right now looking at approx. $140 for the week. I think it's pretty good for a family of four. :) If I keep on trying, I'm sure I can do even better over time.
 
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Actually QM, I think that's pretty good. Canada's prices are higher then the US's. That's really only $35 per person, I don't think that's unreasonable at all. Besides, if it's frugal for your family, and your budget, then that's all that matters.
 
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