What does the word budget mean to you. Is it a word you loathe or is it something you stick to because it brings you peace?
I have always lived on a ‘budget’. I like to know where my money is going and I don’t like to be wasteful. I ‘budget’ differently then others. I don’t put the allotted money in envelopes for different categories like groceries, mortgage / rent, fuel etc. Think the Dave Ramsey plan of money management. I also don’t have a spreadsheet on my computer that tracks my money. When Monte & I were first married I did track every dollar in a ledger. Thanks to my high school accounting classes I knew how to use a ledger.
Now I just know how much money comes in and how much I’m saving and how much I’m spending. Some weeks I spend a lot on groceries and other weeks I don’t spend anything. I still use the old school check (‘cheque’ for my Canadians) book register to manage how much comes in and how much goes out. There are many different ways to track money. My system won’t work for everyone but this is what works for me.
My husband doesn’t think about the budget or worry about what I’m doing with our money. We’ve discussed how much we’d like to save and tithe each pay period and live on what’s left. He trusts that I am being wise, I don’t make big purchases without discussing it with him but I don’t bother telling him how much I’ve spent on groceries for the month. Lucky for me Monte is not a spender. He has the freedom to buy what he wants but really he doesn’t spend frivolously so it doesn’t effect my money management…usually. Where he spends the most is on fertilize for grass, trees and bushes and weed spray. I always joke that he has a fertilizer addiction.
Why all this talk about budget. I love having a beautifully designed home that is unique and charming but I don’t love going into debt for ‘stuff’. I like our home to have character and be unique but I will not spend thousands of dollars on items or design when I don’t have thousands to spend. Even if we had thousands to spend I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable spending that much when I could get the same result for way less. I want the look without the price tag.
Each house we have built had a very tight budget, I knew how much we had to spend and I wasn’t going to spend anymore. If a bill came in more they expected I found somewhere to cutback. We didn’t want to sacrifice quality or design. Making sure the home was structurally sound was most important and what was left went to the fun stuff, things you see and notice when you walk into the home.
Having said that one of the biggest mistake I’ve made with money and budget is settling on something I don’t love just because I love the price. I end up not liking the result and wishing I would have spent a little more. Which usually means waiting to save the money because I’m not willing to go into debt for things that are wants not needs?
I have spent more on an item then I wanted to but I figured out how to spend less on something else. I end up with a product I love and use and enjoy for years which to me means it was worth it. An example is the duvet cover, bed skirt and pillow shams in our guest bedroom. They were purchased for the master bedroom 15+ years ago but we’ve since moved from a queen bed to a king bed and moved the bedding to our guest bedroom. I’ve had those items in 3 homes and still love them. I spent more then I normally would have but over time they have been a great value because they were amazing quality and still look beautiful. Every time I walk past the guest bedroom and see the bedding I still love it.
A final thought on budget, we have more money available to spend on projects now then we did even 10 years ago, definitely more then we did when we first were married. I have the means to have a few more options then before but I remember what it was like wanting to make a change and not having money or very little to go towards the project. Who remembers the sponge painting and rag rolling days of the 90’s. It made a difference to the room but didn’t cost much. Sometime’s it didn’t cost anything if you have extra paint from earlier projects. Who doesn’t have extra paint if you like to make and create projects? I still get excited if I’m able to create something with scraps of wood or fabric I have laying around. Just because we have more money available doesn’t mean we want to be unwise with my money. Our hope is to show you what we’ve created and the approximate amount we’ve spent to get the finished product. Getting our home to this stage has taken a few years and also time to save and figure out how to create what we wanted without costing a fortune. Ideas have had to wait while we saved or found the time to work on the project. That’s ok because it makes the end result that much more enjoyable.
We love making and creating charm in our home. Especially if we can do it without spending a lot.