Tag Archive for: budget

The Beginning of Change-Budget Living & Dining Room

For years, I have been toiling over what to do with our living and dining room. I’ve gone to you all, my dear readers, in months gone by with my initial thoughts and asked for your opinions. I’ve badgered friends and cats with this subject over and over.


Living Room
Because frankly, this room was boring. Clean? Yes. Minimalistic? Yes. But, B-O-R-I-N-G? Double yes.

And although I felt ready to pull the trigger, there were many objections for change:
1. Financially I can’t in good conscience spend money redoing something we just did 5 years ago.
2. If Biceps had his way, this room would have had center seating (black), gray walls and little else. He wanted to go for the art museum feeling.
3. I hate taping and caulking.
4. I hate cutting in trim.
5. I hate cleaning out brushes and roller.
6. I’m pregnant and flat out didn’t want to.


Living Room
I decided to finally quit talking about changing the living room and the dining room and just get this thing done. Using many of these items above as inspiration, the trigger was pulled–while Biceps was at the station and couldn’t stop me. Heh heh.


I started by assessing the initial costs:
1. Paint $60
2. Blue Painters Tape, Painters Caulk, tray liners $25
3. Trim for picture frame molding $36

After buying my necessities, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. First, I pulled everything into the center of the room and started taping and caulking like a son of a gun. (I will share the reason behind this process in detail this week).


I waited for Biceps to determine the size of  the picture frame moldings. It was a long process, which enriched our marriage. (I will also show you in detail how to install your own picture frame molding this week).


TrimCut in
While Biceps was back at the station, I opened my can of paint and panicked a little. Was it really that blue? After a short stint of talking myself off the ledge, I grabbed my favorite Purdy brush and got to work cutting in the trim.

And didn’t stop for 2 days. The living and dining room is now a lovely shade of “exotic sea” blue, which Biceps and I both love (thankfully).

Don’t worry, I will show you the finished product after hanging all my lovely art work. That is another process that is enriching our marriage.

But–I’m dying to know–what do you think so far?


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Discipline is Great? Being Debt Free.

Biceps and I have been on the path to becoming completely debt free. We aren’t credit card users and we have always bought our cars cash, but we do still owe on my student loans, our rentals and our personal home.

Using Dave Ramsey’s mortgage calculator, we trimmed our budget in order to accelerate our payoff schedules on each debt that we have (student loans, rent houses and our personal home).


Trimming our budget means opting for picnics instead of fancy dinners, watching limited basic cable on our 27″ ginormous old-school t.v. …


…sharing one car instead of buying a second dream car,


…me biking almost everywhere on this cheapo deapo bike…


…and finding cheaper ways to live (making my own face wash, facial moisturizer, lip balm etc).


This also means any improvement that I do on our home (i.e. redoing our living and dining rooms with these awesome colors), must be paid for by extra income or selling something in the house we no longer need.



Lord willing, we will have my student loans paid off in two years…



our rental houses paid off in four years…



and our home paid off in six years.


This means that by the time we have one of these hooligans-our only bills will be electricity, water and cell phones. Which I am trying to figure out a way to get around paying for these, too.


I think I could live off of candle power, roof water and a tin can for a phone. Not sure about Biceps, though. He’s pretty pampered.

The reason that I’m telling you our financial goals is to help me maintain my motivation when I want to splurge on something. I will feel accountable to you and remind myself that it’s not part of The Plan.

I don’t really ever need another new shirt, a fancy bottle of wine or more camera equipment. What I need-truly needis:
to “owe no man anything” and
to have ability to serve others with my time by becoming free from the enslavement of working to own something.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we will be completely debt free in 2018.

Discipline is tough when I want to spend but am the only one that can close the wallet. It’s sometimes embarrassing when everyone else wants to order drinks and we ask for water. However, the sacrifice and the discipline will be more than worth it when I write that last check to our bank.

And on the memo line of that last check, I will write-“It’s been interesting.”


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