Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: Making a House a Home on a Budget

Monday, November 24, 2014

Making a House a Home on a Budget

Making a House a Home on a Budget via Blissful and Domestic Blog

When Hubby and I were in the market for buying a home, we ended up doing things that were very far from the norm. While Hubby was in the military, we had saved up over $30,000 to use as a down payment on a home. We thought Hubby would get out of the military, find a job, and then we would find our dream home. We had made a lot of plans and were excited to start seeing them unfold. Then economic crisis happened and we had to change our plans. Hubby wasn't able to find a job, so he decided to go back to school full time and get his degree. We were living in an apartment and we were going to have to start tapping into our savings to cover our rent. This is what we thought was our fate until Hubby had an idea. He said that since we had money saved up, we should see what we could get in regards to a home for only what we had in our savings account. We decided to pay cash for our home. We knew that $30,000 wouldn't buy us our dream home, but it would buy us something to live in and fix up throughout the years. We went with a Realtor and told him our plan. Only a few houses were within our very limited budget. We found a home for less than what we had in cash, which left us a bit of money to fix it up. We bought a trailer, who's previous owners had recently started renovations on. It was rough, but it was ours. Hubby worked tirelessly on that trailer, day and night. He put in a kitchen and fixed that rotten flooring that was in some some of the rooms. It wasn't perfect, but it was ours. This house would become our little family project.

I remember when Hubby first told me of his plan, I was less than thrilled. This was not what I had envisioned. Then reality hit and I remembered how thankful I should be for the situation we were in. When so many around us were foreclosing on their homes, we would be able to pay cash for one and not have any monthly mortgage payments. That in itself was enough for me to get on board. I also liked the idea of having a clean canvas to create with. No matter the current state of your home, don't get discouraged. Through a bit of creativity and hard work, you can create something beautiful.

There were a few things that helped me, as we lived in our fixer upper. Being content with what we had, being frugal, and being patient all helped us in fixing up our house without going into debt. We didn't want to have to pay for renovations years down the road because we charged them on a credit card. We shopped smart and have continued to work on our home to make it perfect for us.

Be Content with What You Have

Being content is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Sometimes we get so focused on where we want to be tomorrow, we forget to enjoy today. If there are things that you would like to change about your home, that's fine, but don't let it consume you. Give yourself a “blessing check”. Have you heard of that before? It is where you count your many blessings and name them one by one. Doing this, puts things in focus. No my fixer upper was not absolute bliss, but my family was together and we were making things work. We all have been given so much and I think it is important to take a step back now and again to see all that we have been given.

I think it is also important to be ok with where you are at right now. I have seen so many people who are in a hurry to get a bigger and better thing, whether it be a house, car, you name it. Be content with what you have. Don't rush into things, just because you want that immediate gratification,

Be Patient

When you are wanting to redo things in your home, be patient, Rome wasn't built in a day and your home can't be fixed in a day either. Focus on the things you can change right now, rather than the things you can't. If you think your front door is looking less than fabulous, but don't have the cash to redo the door, liven it up with a fun new wreath. It is a little fix that can brighten up a dreary door and have you feeling better about your surroundings. This is something I learned as we have lived in a fixer upper. When we had cabinets without doors, I got creative and used suspension rods with curtains. When we couldn't afford that new hardwood floor I wanted, we got creative and painted our existing flooring. It is those little things that create a homey inviting space. A house does not have be dressed to the nines to become a home. It is the people living within those walls that make it home. Never forget that.

Be Frugal

When you are planning to upgrade things in your house, do it with a frugal mindset. Going into debt to fix our house, was not something we wanted to do. When we have wanted to fix things in our home, we figure out how much it will cost to complete the project, plus a little extra for the unexpected, and save up the money. Being able to pay cash for the upgrades, is a relief. It is no fun to charge an upgrade and continue paying it off months after the project is done. Be patient. It will feel even greater if you know you are not still paying for whatever project you just completed.

There are a lot of places where you can find discounted items to fix your home up with. Thrift stores sell all kinds of home goods that you can use to decorate your home with. THe majority of our home is decorated with items I made or found at thrift stores. Another place you can go to is The Habitat For Humanity Store. They sell all kinds of items to help you with your home projects. Hubby has found fencing, cabinets, tiles, and light fixtures there. Buying used and saving the difference really helps keep the cost down on projects around the house.

When we first moved into our home, I wanted to paint the hallway, but we didn't have enough money for paint. I shared this with my family and it turned out that many of them had paint cans in the garage leftover from when they painted there own homes. The paint also happened to go with our color scheme. Reusing something that someone else was going to throw away really helped us stay within a limited budget. 

No matter what, give yourself a bit fo grace. Don't try to keep up with those around you. Do what is right for your family and do it on a budget. You will never go wrong when you set a budget, pay cash, and create beautiful on less:)

I hope this gives you a bit of a glimpse into what has helped me as we create our house into a home.

XO Danielle
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