The year of 2016 was admittedly a pretty monumental year for us. We bought our first car together (a Subaru Legacy that we LOVE), we got married, moved to Muskegon for my job, and purchased our first home. There were a lot of big moments and many reasons to be grateful.
Now 2017 has mostly been defined as the year of the remodel. We are very blessed to have our home. It has a beautiful backyard for our dogs, and there is a workshop in the basement for Kyle to tinker and build. Plus, there is plenty of space for us to live in and enjoy. And the best part is that it is all ours.
But when we bought this house, we did so with big plans and tons of ideas about what we were going to create and change in the house (check out our Pinterest for some of our home design inspiration). The tiny kitchen needed expanded and updated (desperately). We wanted a more open concept layout in the living spaces, which called for opening up walls. And then there were all the small (and not so small) cosmetic changes we dreamed up to give the house character and style.
Well, every detail in a remodel comes with a price tag. That means some crazy budgeting on our part. When a friend asked us recently what our favorite restaurants are in our new hometown, Kyle and I looked at each other at a total loss – eating out doesn’t fit well into a remodeling budget. Birthday presents, wardrobe updates, new gadgets, even skincare products…don’t really fit in a remodeling budget.
Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t scrounging for pennies. We haven’t lived paycheck to paycheck (at least most of the time). But the funds have been tight, because we look around us at the half-demoed kitchen and the bedrooms still without moldings and the ancient appliances that barely function and we see all the plans we have for our home.
Sometimes the constant focus on saving for our new kitchen or budgeting for our updated bathroom is thrilling. I mean think of all the potential! And Kyle and I have been excited to learn and improve our building and design skills. But other times, it is infuriating when we are dealing with the daily inconveniences of living “the remodeling life.” You know, those moments when the broken dishwasher, the toilet that shakes when you sit, the cat-stained carpet in the basement, the holes in the walls, and the constant state of chaos just feel a bit overwhelming. Or that panicked feeling whenever someone asks if they can come for a visit, and you frantically run through in your mind all the excuses you can come up with to escape the embarrassment of having someone else see the state of your home.
But then we think of all the really great things that have come with remodeling our house. All those excited conversations brainstorming and daydreaming about what it will look like when we are finished with it. The celebration that followed us finding beautiful brick surrounding our fireplace. The teamwork that comes with working on such a big project together.
Sometimes it’s hard to say no to things in order to focus on saving for our remodeling projects. And we have been far from perfect with managing our finances. But all the little things we have to forego now will be so worth it when our dreams for this home are realized. And there isn’t a price that could be put on the memories we are making every single crazy day.
What are you saving for? Do you have a project you are working on that you are really passionate about? Share your stories and struggles with us in the comments below.