What do you do when you have “needed” items but no more budget money? How did I end up with three desks, two curtain rods, a specific couch, lamps, and nightstand with no more money in the budget?
Funny things happen when you move. No matter how well you budget, prepare for the new home, declutter, and other such things, you can still end up short. I heard about it. I read about it. I prepared for it, and I still ended up with a “need” list and no more cash to purchase them.
At the end of the Thanksgiving season last year, I had purged so much and thought I was so done that I patted myself on the back and waited for the week to arrive that we would be moving into our current dwellings. If I had remembered the camera last time I went to the “old” house I would have snapped a picture of the huge pile that is taking over the living-room that is waiting for a spring yard sale. Yep, I found it unbelievable. But, here is the more mind boggling thought, I already sold about two-hundred dollars of merchandise/things! When Dave Ramesy suggests selling lock,stock, and barrel to fund your emergency fund (excellent book by the way), I smile and think how nice it would be to have that much stuff around the house that one could sell to come up with that kind of cash– um, apparently I did! The cash from selling the amount of stuff I had was able to help us purchase the few things we needed. Now, I use “needed” in quotations because there really are only a few things we truly need in the life– food, clothes, shelter, and a whole lot of Jesus (Mom’s can add coffee in there as well) but you get my drift. Here we are in more space than we have ever had and suddenly we had opportunities open up that we didn’t have before. For starters, three bedrooms! Boys in one and girls in another. Beautiful concept! My one son loves to draw and does his best work when he is by himself. I do expect him to be with us for certain amounts of school but I also want to make sure that I am setting him up for success by realizing that he does need a certain amount of aloneness for concentration and his best work. We do not allow school work to be completed on the beds, therefore I went searching for a small desk. I have actually been keeping my eye out for some time but once the opportunity presented itself to purchase one, I jumped on it. He fell in love and has been so happy ever since. One desk $25.
I found mine that I intended to use for my laptop/job work, school work and just a general office desk for only $10 at the thrift store. I was prepared to share it with my husband so that he could do bill paying (still use the good old-fashion bills, checks, and pens method), research and other such things at this desk… however, it quite soon became clear that we were not compatible with desk sharing. He has many articles, paper notes, books, and all kinds of stuff neatly organized across his desk and I am a minimalistic person when it comes to my work-space. So we then sought out another desk for him– $45 another desk was procured.
Living-room seating was another needed item. In order to down size our living space at the other house, we gave away our couch. It was a leather one. My first inclination was to purchase a nice set at the local thrift store but hubby was adamant about a vinyl or leather couch– something that could be easily cleaned with children scampering about. I honestly had no faith that we would find such a specific thing so easily and so much in our budget. I checked every week at the thrift store and by some miracle, I found one about 3 weeks into our new home. I truly did not expect to find one so quickly and $80 later…
Now, those were the costly items. I needed a nightstand by my bedside because our master bedroom has no over-head lighting, you use lamps. We couldn’t find the funds or the sales to purchase those and to be frank I was worn out from all the previous work I had done with taking pictures and selling items, etc. I asked on my Facebook page if anyone was cleaning out and had lamps and a nightstand that they no longer needed. I did not expect how quickly those were offered up either!
My check list isn’t complete but I am working hard to just sitting and enjoying what we do have. We have tweaked things a bit and have decided we really don’t need certain items on our list. The main thing is, figure out what you do have and how you can succeed in getting it without breaking the bank, going into debt, robbing Peter to pay Paul and just sticking with the budget. It may mean that all your furniture doesn’t match or isn’t the style you would have chosen but you already have more than most of the world. WE don’t have to have everything matchy-matchy (and I know us type A personalities really struggle with that!), we can just be happy AND CONTENT, that we are loved and cherished and still ended up with items that we desired but not necessarily needed.
It is time to change our perspective on our homes. It is time to embrace what we have and to enjoy every blessed time with have with the living and not with the stuff.