Monday, 20 June 2016
With judicious budgeting, and despite some necessary expenses, we did manage to put $2000.00 toward a credit card in the past 3 weeks. In a way, it was rather ironic, because our debit card was declined at a store when we purchased some lighting fixtures to replace the ones in the kitchen – our bank was protecting us from fraud. So, we did pull out the credit card, rather than calling the bank right away. $400.00 went on the card, but in the next couple of days, we paid for that expense and added some as well. That is a good feeling.
My mother once said, “You don’t own a house. It owns you.” That seems to be only too true. There is work we want to get done around the house, as well as in the house, but we are budgeting that in slowly as debts are reduced. The primary goals are the debts, but there are some things that need to be done regardless. For instance, our kitchen, while a really fabulous kitchen, is dark. Under-the-cupboards lighting is a necessity.
When we bought the house, the lighting fixtures turned out to be expensive whenever a bulb burned out. One small, thin fluorescent bulb costs about $12.00. Until now, we did not really do much more than replace the bulbs because we had a number in stock. As the prices of LED lighting dropped, we did an experiment with some lighting for $10.00, but did not like the results – mostly the inconvenience and color (bluish). When 3 of our bulbs burned out and we had none left to replace them, it was time to go shopping. We found the perfect ones – a warmish light, and only $35.00 a piece. Some work and in a couple of hours, all 7 of the lights were replaced. We have one as a back up. Total cost: $401.84. Since these are good for 30,000 hours, we should get about 10 years of light . . . Thankfully, the other half can do the work. I hate to think what it would cost otherwise, beyond the parts.
We have also booked 5 days for vacation in the northern areas of the state, and are scheduling other things, such as removal of the hot tub which has died a very permanent death. (It was here when we moved in, and we used it a lot!) After that, time to remove unnecessary and excessive trees. Time . . . money . . . but we also cannot use our back yard at all because of the fact the trees are so numerous there is only dirt. Once the hot tub is gone and the trees, we can begin to plan our next step in fixing up the back yard so we can enjoy it, rather than be annoyed by it.
Well, what are they? It might appear that we are not that interested in paying off bills by the sounds of it. Vacation? Pay for hot tub removal? Fix up the back yard?
There is always a need to balance necessity with necessity. Debts are primary without incurring new ones. The back yard is worthless – dirt, old hot tub, trees that are so dense they are rubbing on the neighbor’s roof and a potential fire hazard. The hot tub blocks access to many of the trees. One third of the property has no value to us. It needs fixing for our safety and our sanity – but doing it over time is fine. And finally, a vacation. Not a big one, but one which is needed and has been planned for . . . all work and no play is not a life worth living!