Exciting News!

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, but I promise, I have a good excuse.

*Drumroll please*

I’m moving!!!!

Two months ago, if you had told me I’d be purchasing a home, I’d have sworn up and down you were crazy. Turns out I must be the crazy one because I’m in for one crazy end of the month. In a 2 day span, I’ll be settling on my home and starting a new Masters program. Of course both of those events would happen to fall on the craziest week of the year at my job because why not just go all out crazy.

For any of you who were following along with my previous posts, yes I did get the place I fell in love with. I’ve been planning like crazy on Pinterest, and I’ve admittedly had the whole place planned out for a while now.

screen-capture

The past 3 weeks or so has been spent saving money, selling stuff, scouring Craigslist and other stores for deals, and making money in whatever way I can. My favorite find was a almost brand new queen sleeper sofa for $250.

Up until last night, I’d been feeling as though I was just doing some really expensive window shopping. It got real last night though because I submitted the loan paperwork. It really wasn’t until this morning it hit me though. I’m EXCITED.

So be on the lookout for future posts. The home’s in need of some TLC, so I’ll definitely have no shortage of projects to write about.

Here’s my first projects on the list before I move in:

  • Clean it
  • Remove all wallpaper
  • Paint all the rooms
  • Paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Remove floor to ceiling mirrors in living room.
  • Replace blinds
  • Paint
  • Replace carpet with laminate (or wood if I can find a good deal)

After I move in, I plan to do some little things like replace the outdated lighting, and install a kitty screen in the patio door so the cats can go in and out as they please when I’m on the balcony.

Pictures coming soon. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Signature Update

Advertisements

Creative Frugal Choices Pay Off

I have a bit of a confession and a big lesson learned for anyone reading this.

For the past couple years, I’ve been living at home helping my mom with her finances. Living at home definitely has it’s perks. I won’t lie. One of those perks I took advantage of was not having bills. Aside from the $900 I gave her each month, I had very few “bills” and even then they were more like conveniences (Netflix, Birchbox, etc.) The result – I blew my money away like no tomorrow. If I saw something, I bought it. A trip to the grocery store for dinner for one night might have been $40 bucks. Seriously what was I thinking?

Word to the wise: don’t do what I did. I’d be in a much better situation without the $2K in debt. Thankfully that’s all I have.

Fast forward to today, I’m looking to buy a home. If my offer on this home goes through, by the time closing comes, I’ll have nearly $13,000 in the bank to put towards a small downpayment, a part of closing costs and some minor expenses when I move in. All I can think of is had I saved my money instead of blowing it, I’d have more money to put down, and more money for repairs afterwards. But, live and learn.

So not wanting to put more money on credit cards and wanting to be as thrifty as possible, I’ve started getting creative with options, and here’s what I’ve accumulated over the past week and all for free:

– $95 in Home Depot gift cards from Nielsen Mobile Rewards and MyPoints

– a side by side fridge

– a George Foreman grill – why not?

– a blender

– a full set of silverware

– gifts of $2500 from family – THANK YOU!

Sure it’s just a start and it’s going to take work to get everything that I want done, but even so that’s significant amount of savings that I won’t need to be paying out of pocket or on credit cards when I move in, which means more money left over that can go towards the new floors and saving for other improvements and paying down the credit cards.

In fact knowing I made nearly $5 in Amazon gift cards this afternoon alone gives me hope that provided I curtail my spending {I have to…}, stop buying retail first and check out thrift stores, and find other means to do things has given me a new goal – Try to pay for everything on Amazon with gift cards and cash back offers as much as possible.

Next on the list, sell some of my old things I don’t use – tons of American Eagle Jeans and other clothes, a full size Yamaha digital piano, an acoustic guitar, some old text books, and a few other gadgets here and there.

It won’t be instantaneous, but slow and steady is going to have to win my race because as far as I know, I’m not getting a raise anytime soon {although if any of my employers are reading this, one would certainly help out the financials :)}.

Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully I have good news shortly.

Signature Update

 

 

 

Today’s a Big Day

Well folks,

I never imagined I’d be saying this, but I may soon be a homeowner.

I scoured the internet for places I could afford. I also learned afford and what you qualify for are totally different things. Somehow I could qualify for a home that costs $225,000 but of course, I’d be eating rice everyday and sitting in the dark. Not much fun there.

As much as I love the idea of owning a house, as a single woman, I knew yard work and major exterior projects were just not my cup of tea, so I set out looking at condo or at least town homes that did the yard work.

I quickly found 3 places, oddly enough all roughly on the same street

There were two 2 bedroom-1 bath condos. They had some upgrades, but nothing major, and wonderful windows. I’d still need to replace most of the appliances, redo the kitchen and tear up the carpet. Both had traffic noise AND both happened to be on the fourth floor. I was winded after just carrying my Vera Bradley wristlet up with me. I can’t imagine moving furniture in or bringing groceries up, or just walking up every day. I’d need to add another 1000 calories to my diet or something. Both had at least one balcony, but one had two. Sadly they were completely unusable because they were either too small or off the master bedroom.

The 3rd place was my favorite right away before I even saw it for the simple fact that it was a 2-bedroom 2-bath. Not everyone else agreed. From the pictures it looked horrible. Whoever lived there must have loved red carpet, mirrors, bad mini blinds, and wallpaper, and it hasn’t been touched in over a year. Thankfully, it was also the cheapest and happens to be on the 2nd floor (which is actually down a flight of steps in the building). There’s barely any traffic noise, and it’s even got a fireplace.

The last one won my heart over in an instant. Everyone noticed immediately. I saw myself sitting on the balcony either with friends in the evening or drinking coffee in the mornings, and I started picturing what I’d do to the rooms and where my furniture would go.

But let’s be real here, the reason it won me over was the second bathroom. My real estate agent may have laughed at my reasoning, but I absolutely did not want my toilet trained cats using the main bathroom. Until my cats learn to flush when they’re done (which I don’t see happening anytime soon), that’s just something that is hard to explain and definitely not pleasing to guests. Plus I really didn’t want to share my bathroom with guests.

It’s may be the smallest unit of the three (only by about 10 sq. feet), but it’s also the cheapest. It has the best layout (the others had a lot of wasted space), and with a bit of TLC, it’s the one with the most potential. (Fixed up 2 br 1 ba units on a top level have sold for $40K more than this place is listed.) I know just removing the red carpet, wallpaper, and mirrors will do wonders for this place, and I can’t wait.

Oh and did I mention it’s even closer to my work than I am now?! The location is perfect. Plus I’m excited to actually be moving back into civilization where high speed internet and public utilities exists, and even if I have to deal with week long power outages (which is unlikely) I’ll at least have running water.

So after drafting up budgets, planning to move things to my own accounts (cell phone, insurance, etc), and secretly pinning a ton of ideas to Pinterest, tonight I go to sign the contract.

I’m slightly terrified in getting my own place especially knowing it’s a fixer upper that will require new floors, paint, and a new fridge right away, but there’ll be plenty of blog posts to write if things work out.

Signature Update

Bedroom Update of Sorts… or Not

And just as I promise to get back on track with the bedroom updates, my life goes in a completely different direction…

I’m nearly finished with what seems like 2 years at least of planning and renovating my room, and I was incredibly excited to see the end result. Sadly I don’t think the stars will align in quite that way. I’ve decided it’s best to move out and get my own place to avoid any further drama at my current house.

After many unsuccessful attempts of finding an apartment in the area that will allow three kitties, and looking at the absurdly high rent rates, my best option seems to be to actually buy my own place – a terrifying thought for someone who’s largest purchase to date has been a treadmill… Actually, my largest purchase would be the hard wood floors I just installed in my room, but after that fiasco {and still not having the ones I wanted}, and now moving out, I really don’t even want to think about the money I just lost. I actually feel pretty ripped off if you ask me, but that’s another story.

So there will probably not be any more bedroom updates, but maybe {hopefully} new house updates…  I’m terrified at the idea of buying my own place, but I no longer feel like this place is home. It’s unfortunate and sad, but it’s time to go and put this chapter of my life and the people in it behind me. *Sigh*

A friend of mine is going to set up a meeting with the realtor that helped her get her house, so we’ll see where things go.

Here’s to new and exciting adventures, and hopefully a cute new place to call my own.

Signature Update

 

 

 

Bedroom Project Update

It was a little over a year ago I first introduced my bedroom remodel to this blog. I never did a great job at posting much about it after that. Today seems as good as any day to start.

A lot has changed in the past year, and I’m happy to say the big projects are slowly getting completed.

The first big change actually happened a year ago – PAINT. I do have to say, I’m still incredibly fond of the pink and green paint scheme I came up with at 15. I’m also proud of the painstaking multi-step process of painting, tracing, and then taping a level stripe around my room. It was a labor of love that I was truly sad to see go. {Plus it’s pretty hard to be sad or tired when your room looks like a bag of Skittles exploded.}PicMonkey Collage2

But we all have to grow up sometime, and bubble gum pink and lime green while still two of my favorite colors, screams high school not adult. After 8 hours of work, I wanted something a bit more relaxing. As you can see from the pictures above, I had some help from Mr. Chase, who at this point is more skilled at climbing up ladders than some of my human family members. I also committed a blogger no-no and forgot to take pictures BEFORE I started patching the walls. Whoops…

I actually had a family friend paint the majority of the room while I was at work. I ended up going with Behr’s Skyline Steel (the darker grey) for the bedroom, and Twilight Gray for the bathroom. Since my bathroom and bedroom share a wall, I needed to come up with something creative and better than the harsh vertical white stripe I previously had separating the two rooms. I opted for stripes on the wall they share which not only makes the transition between rooms work, it actually draws your eyes to the bathroom wall a bit and the wall definitely looks larger. I agreed I’d do the stripes on my own since I had experience with stripes before. These were a lot easier, and the whole thing took maybe an hour. This time around I had help {in the form of them sleeping…} from Zoey and Remington. Zoey was not impressed with the bow I made her out of painter’s tape.

PicMonkey Collage

 

With the room painted, I turned to furniture. With my wallet $1000 lighter, and 2 cars full of things from IKEA, the construction was on. That night I started putting things together. Brimnes headboard from IKEA went together without a hitch. I love how it gives me the option of storage without having nightstands on either side of the bed. {My cats have claimed that space already with their cat tower and food/water.} It went together so easy, I started on the storage base, but that was a whole different story. Hours later, after stripped screws, sore hands, and even tears, I accepted this bed was not happening, and opted to sleep on the floor for the night. The next day I put it together just enough so I could sleep on it instead of the floor, but it stayed that way for nearly 2 months. Multiple trips back to IKEA for replacement or missing pieces later, it’s finally put together although missing some minor screws because I just got tired of fighting with it.

PicMonkey Collage1

 

So now, onto a sneak peek of where things are heading… *Drum roll*

IMG_3037

 

It’s coming together nicely, but admittedly my room does NOT look like that right now. It’s actually empty, and I’ve been sleeping in another room because, tomorrow’s the big day, the day the hardwood floors go in! With three cats, I’m ready to say goodbye to the smelly stained carpet. My allergies will also surely appreciate the lack of dust filled carpet as well.

More updates soon, and I promise this time it won’t take a year for the next one.

Signature Update

{Bedroom Project} The Introduction

I’ve been talking about this room remodel for what seems like forever on here {even longer offline}, yet this is the first actual post about it.

It all started when a mischievous cat, who goes by [Mr.] Chase, chewed through a bottle of bathroom cleaner while I was at work. That’s what set this whole bedroom redesign in motion. That bathroom cleaner happened to be sitting on my sofa, and this was what I came home to…

Sofastain

My dark grey sofa was ruined. The cleaner actually ate through the fabric. Now the reason this started it all is because this is not your typical sofa. It’s incredibly small (53 inches wide, perfect for a bedroom) AND it folds out into a bed of sorts (handy for those nights when I was too lazy to move myself to the bed during a late night Netflix binge.) Now I could have just repurchased the same sofa. IKEA still makes it, and it’s only $129. I just didn’t really want to buy another insanely cheap sofa that I didn’t plan to keep long in the first place. I bought it with the idea that it’d last me until I decided to move. So with that settled, I was getting a new sofa.

BUT… there’s a catch. Apparently not many companies actually make 53″ sofas that aren’t utter crap or designed to actually be sat on for more than a couple minutes. If I wanted a decent sofa, I would have to get a larger one, and in order to do that, I’d need to make some space in my room by rearranging furniture. Thankfully my cat had me covered on that front as well. Within a couple months of the sofa incident, he decided to knock over quite a few drinks while I wasn’t looking effectively ruining my TV stand, desk, and storage cube shelf.

IKEABesta

So now I was in the market for basically all new furniture, and I designed a wall unit from IKEA’s Besta line. I came up with the design you see above which would combine my TV stand, desk, and a TON of storage in one. {You can never have too much storage right?}

Now here’s where my story starts taking a bit of a “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” twist. I figured, if I’m going to be mounting things to the wall, I might as well paint before I do that. So I went off to pick paint colors. Paint colors for my room turned into also painting my bathroom since they share a wall. Paint colors and furniture choices needed to be saved somewhere so they turned into a board on Pinterest, and before I knew it, I had everything from flooring to furniture to new lighting and drawer organizers picked out for my room and bathroom.

It’s been a massive undertaking, and while the painting is wrapping up this week, the fun really starts in the next few months where I get to start getting the furniture, and actually blogging about the process.

Signature