Today marks 15 years since we moved into our home. We have a lot of happy memories raising our kids in this home and it means a lot to us. We feel very, very blessed.
We purchased this home when we really couldn’t afford it. We did so many things wrong. We borrowed $$ from our 401K, my parents and took out two loans to make it work. We had credit card debt, car loan debt and no savings. A scenario that I wouldn’t even consider today.
After living there a couple of years, home prices began to rise. We did what everyone else was doing and ‘tapped’ into our home equity to put on a deck, add hardwood floors, refinish our basement and several other home improvement projects. We figured it was okay since we were dumping the money back into the house. Except for my husband’s retirement plan, we saved very little.
Fast forward 10 years and thanks to hubby’s job with raises and bonuses, we have paid off the 401K loan, my parents, the second mortgage, credit card debt and the home equity loans. We put two kids through college, helped pay for a wedding and went on several vacations. This past year, I was able to SAVE a significant amount of money that wasn’t earmarked for something else.
However, my savings has now dwindled down to a scary amount again, with two kids getting ready to go to college.
How did this happen?
It all started with a couch. We had purchased our family room furniture when we moved into our home 15 years ago. It served us well (4 kids and a dog worth of wear and tear), but by this past year the couch was actually causing back pain to sit in. Since we LIVE in our family room, it was time for new furniture. A new couch to be exact.
And that’s where it gets cloudy for me….
It wasn’t just the couch that was worn, it was the chair and loveseat as well. So, if we get a new couch, we’ll need a new love seat and chair. If we get a new couch, loveseat and chair, we’ll need new end tables and lamps. If we are getting all new furniture in the family room, we have to decide if we want to re-do the fireplace. If we re-do the fireplace, we have to refinish the floors. If we refinish the floors, we have to do the whole first level to make them match. If we refinish the whole first level, we have to paint first. If we paint, we should really add in the back splash to the kitchen…..
See where I’m going? Oh, and after we made all these commitments with furniture, floor refinishers, carpenter and painter, our garage doors broke.
In the end, we will have a very beautiful BRAND NEW first level, but my savings account will be empty. Again.
I have exactly 7 months to rebuild our account and start paying for college for child #3, and another 12 months before child #4 goes.
It’s time to reign in the spending, and get back to saving.
Sounds like a new challenge for me….stay tuned!