Reno Diaries: The One With The House Moratorium

The day has come. The day where we just look at each other and say: “stop”. Or at the very least “slow down, we have other priorities”.

This weekend, Pete and I had one of those conversations about money and re-arranged our to-do list. We’ve been rattling along great guns with all these house projects, it’s only July and so far this year we’ve saved and paid for the new windows, the new kitchen floor, the log burner and now our plantation shutters. Whilst we’re so happy with the progress and none of them are work we could have done ourselves, we’ve also not been able to save any rainy day money.

Old windows

new windows

My Mum and step-dad have this great procedure for things for their house, that every year they decide on a couple of big projects and then save for them and get them done. It might be slow, but likewise they’re not skimping on the end result nor are they going overdrawn or taking out credit to do it. We’ve realised that unless we win the lottery it will take us literally years to complete this house and now, finally, we’re ok with that.

So for this year, we’ve drawn the line on big house projects. We desperately need to replace the car that’s now older than our relationship (10+ years) and every June just about scrapes through the MOT at huge cost. It’s given absolutely amazing service over the years, especially lugging around all my market stuff week in week out but we’re now at the point of spending more on it just trying to keep it on the road than is worth it.

Plus, as it’s a saloon-style car we have no boot space for dogs and Maddie has to go in a pet carrier on the back seat when we go anywhere. She doesn’t mind but it would be much more ideal if she could hop in the boot and we’d then have the back seat for passengers, giving everybody more room.

Muddy Maddie

When you have a dog that likes to be this messy, you need a car to cope with it!

We need to make one final payment once the shutters are fitted probably around September time and then we’ll be done and can focus on putting money away for the car, which we need to replace before the next MOT is due in June 2016. We’re pretty good at being frugal when we put our minds to it and did the same thing when we were frantically trying to save for the house deposit back in 2014.

It’s not to say we won’t carry on with smaller things around the house and actually I’m quite excited about getting stuck into some of the more manageable jobs which will mean I might actually finish all these projects I start and that drive Pete crazy because they never get finished.

Inspired by this post from A Touch of Domesticity, I’ve decided to start a weekly updates list – it won’t be anything particularly exciting or challenging but it’s what I need to keep little bits of progress going here and there. After all, we can’t stretch to a new front door but I can certainly crack on with temporary redecorating, the staircase restoration and staining the patio furniture, and in the meantime I can keep on dreaming about our grander plans…perhaps with the help of Pinterest.

How do you manage to budget for bigger house projects? Would you be willing to learn a new skill to save money?
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  1. July 14, 2015 / 11:09 pm

    good luck with the smaller projects, I’m sure there’ll still be lots to keep you occupied. We tend to blitz things and then have a cooling down period before ramping up the work again. I think you need to slow down and focus on other things occasionally. And lovely picture of your pup x

    • Lins
      July 15, 2015 / 12:02 am

      Thank you! Yes I completely agree, taking a step back is good too to reflect rather than keep on rolling relentlessly on. Think I’ve opened up a bit of a never-ending can of worms 😉 X

  2. July 15, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    Definitely a good idea to take a break – especially when you’ve worked so hard. It’s also sometimes a good thing to take a step back – as you grow to understand your house better you might choose different things which you wouldn’t have thought of it earlier. x

    • Lins
      July 16, 2015 / 11:11 pm

      I totally agree, we had such an overwhelming urge to do everything as soon as we moved in but I’m so glad we can’t afford it because it gives us time just to live and figure it all out. Baby steps! X

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