Friday, April 22, 2011

Finding Balance

I think the honeymoon with the house is officially over. I was looking over my bank statement for this month and realized, oh <insert your favorite curse word here>! I am poor. After painting, getting rid of mold in my crawlspace, cleaning up the yard, buying some new appliances, replacing gutter guards, and completing thousands of other mini projects the house slush fund has finally run out. Granted, my house is now in decent shape physically and mechanically (although I do have money in savings for that inevitable emergency that might pop up)  but there are still a million little things that I would love to do such as buy new lamps for the living room or buy a grill for the backyard. These things, I am realizing are just going to have to wait and this, my friends, makes me a sad, sad, girl. There is nothing more frustrating than having this new house and not being able to make it perfect right away.

And I am trying to be patient about that, I really, really am. Fortunately the bank seems to be helping me out in this department as it (as well as the good little angel constantly whispering in my ear) keeps telling me no.  Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of money to pay my bills, mortgage, necessities, and even a bit to put into savings but I am beginning to see that there is not much left over after that for, you know, “the fun stuff”. I know some of you naysayers may be snickering to yourselves and thinking “well, maybe you should have thought of that before you bought a house” (this would be exactly something my ex would say) but I really don’t think it’s the house that is the problem. When I made the decision to buy, I made it knowing that I was going to be paying as much or more than what I am making in mortgage payments every month to be renting in a decent place in a safe area. Yes, I probably wouldn’t have had to make a million repairs to a rental but then again at the time I was making repairs to the house I had the money to do it—it wasn’t like I was using credit. In a rental, I would still be facing the same monthly expense problems I am now and I would be paying a bunch of money to someone else instead of building equity for myself—something that just didn’t seem to make sense to me.

I think the real issue in my case is being on my own for the first time in several years and learning to balance my finances again. For the past three years when I was living with my ex, we were splitting everything 50/50 and it is much, much, different trying to handle all of those same bills on one salary. I’m definitely having to keep a closer eye on things like eating out for lunch during the week (I was doing this almost every day) and cutting back on buying things for myself like new clothes. I know that it’s probably going to take a few months to get used to this new lifestyle but once I get the hang of it I think I’ll be okay. It’s just the initial feeling of “oh god where is this money going” that has me a bit sick at the moment. Do any other new homeowners feel this way?? Surely they must…

On a side note, let me just take a moment to thank the universe for trying to screw me over in my attempts to be virtuous in my spending. Yesterday a new Home Goods store opened mere miles from where I work. There is already a TJ Maxx close by (my self-proclaimed Kryptonite) that gets used to get a good chunk of my pay check and it has been hard enough for me to stay out of there but now the cruel gods from above are offering me yet another discount home retailer??? <sigh>

It’s times like these where I remind myself how much I love my little house and how worthwhile it is to be a homeowner. “I love my house and am so lucky to have it..” and repeat.

1 comment:

  1. It's a never-ending battle, the desire to fix something in your place vs the fact that there is very little $$$ to go around. I have owned my house for 3.5 years now and it does not get any better. It may sound backwards but i pace myself with the thought that there is always going to be something to spend money on. I think the lie we tell ourselves as first time home buyers, or buyers of a "new to us home" is that there is only 1 or 2 things left, and then it will be perfect, then I will be happy. It is not true, its a lie, there is always another project to be done whether it is a desire project like a new deck/patio or painting or if it is a repair. No matter how many things I cross off the "honey-do list there are always 10 more on there.

    I enjoy reading the blog, hang in there with the projects and congrats on the house and the other "changes" in your life.