Friday, April 22, 2011

Stuck in the Mud

Do you ever feel like you are just stalled?  I have pretty much become guest blogger because I have nothing to contribute right now!  Rachel is doing all sorts of cool and creative things to her house and I'm so excited about them, that, believe it or not, I'm not even reading ahead.  Meaning, I don't cheat and look at the posts before they publish.  How 'bout that for integrity?

Basically, right now, I need to get my priorities straight.  There are so many things that I want and not enough money to go around (why am I humming 'Material Girl' by Madonna?).  If I'm honest with you-I've already been honest with myself- they are just that, wants.

Without further ado, here is my list of wants.  I will follow it with my short list of needs.

1. Slip cover for my sofa

2. Fun pillows to change up the look.  You can see what I'm going for here

3. New camera (this could fall under the "need" category since I have two extremely cute and photogenic children.  My flash is broken and J's solution was to just take pictures outside during the day.  I told him they still do cute and funny things at night in the dark. Stalemate.)

4. iPhone.  I have a Droid but I'm tired of putting people on mute with my chin.  I also just did something that gave me the bug for an iPhone, but it's a secret for now.

5. Housekeeper twice a month.  I had a housekeeper twice a month from the day we got married until I took my new job last May (8 years for those counting).  We had to make some big lifestyle changes in order for me to start my new career and Cleo got sacrificed.  We are finally in a place to have her back but twice a month will be a stretch unless I can negotiate her price with her.  Is it appropriate to do this?  I'd welcome feedback.

6. Trip to New Zealand.  J and I both want to go but it's going to be wicked expensive.  We're planning on March 2013 which should give us plenty of time to save.  He's going to hunt in WINE COUNTRY for 2 days while I wobble my way through the wineries!  Then, together, we'll see what else NZ has to offer.

7. A few more tops for spring and summer.

Here is my short list of needs.

1.  Pay off our new mattress.  (this is truly a blog in itself, but I'm so tired of talking about it.  Short version-we are awaiting mattress number 3. With toppers and pillows we've tried, it will be version 6.  I feel like Goldilocks, "this one's too hard, this one's too soft!"  The one coming next week better be just right because they won't let us exchange again!)

1. New brakes on my car

2. New tires on my car

3. Repair the hole in the side of the house.  It's small, maybe 6 inches in diameter, but J and I have visions of that entire side falling off into the driveway.  Actually, this may not be a bad thing...I would extend the basement and enclose the garage.  Then, I would add on a garage with a bonus suite above it!  See how my "wants" list grows?

4. Grill.  This is a need because I'm tired of eating burnt food.

For a while, J has been taking the "saving" burden on alone.  It's time for me to start helping out, now which means the "wants" list will take some time.  Luckily, we stumbled our way into some good decisions when we bought our house.  We didn't buy more than we could afford and truly, we aren't extravagant people.  We Groupon and Scout Mob our meals out most of the time.  I have an app on my phone for locating the nearest restaurant where kids eat free.  It takes us FOREVER to decide to make a big purchase.  Mainly because I'm all over the internet reading reviews and trying to find the best deal while J is grappling with parting with money.  Crazy fact:  I logged into his bank account and he went an entire pay period (15 days) and only spent $14.  We do have his, mine, and ours, but still, that's bizarre, right?  I had 19 transactions in the same period. Mostly lunch and allergy medicine.

After 11 months in our new life, I'm still adjusting to having to plan and wait for the things I want.  When commercial real estate was good, it was GOOD, baby!  I will say that taking the job at Ascot Diamonds was the best thing I ever did.  I'm happy, the kids are happy, and Jamie is happy. cute!

I guess the next step in tackling both of these lists is to figure out what is most important and make a spreadsheet of costs and a time line.  I adore making budget spreadsheets.  I like being able to look back and see if we were under budget.  Even if I can't locate the overage, I still feel like I won.  Crazy logic, I know.

All in all, we are in a good place.  It just happens that there are a lot of things that need to be taken care of in a short period of time! How do you plan for big purchases?  Or even small ones?

Marlene Pin It

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