A few weeks ago in my weekly email to my email subscribers, I sent this message and from the overwhelmingly amazing response that I received from it, I felt that I needed to share it here for everyone’s benefit. 🙂
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“I didn’t know granite countertops were part of a real life on a budget.”
That was the comment left to me by someone after seeing on my Instagram feed one of my photos that showed our kitchen countertops…, which yes, are in fact granite.
At first, I was so annoyed by this comment. I wanted to respond with something along the lines of…
“Don’t you know that my husband worked his tail off doing side hustles so we could save up the $30,000 cash to remodel our 1979 home that was purchased as a foreclosure?! Don’t you know that my husband and his best friend spent 2 weeks doing the majority of the remodel themselves and that my husband slept in our garage, inside our 1971 Wriedt boat for those two weeks?! Don’t you know that our house had to be ripped apart before we could move in because the lady that lived here before wasn’t the cleanest person in the world and there were rats, yes RATS living inside the walls and ceiling of our basement?!?!?!?!?”
Okay, yes, I’m dramatic. I was horribly annoyed but the truth is I was missing the bigger picture. The real issue with this person’s comment wasn’t the fact that they don’t know me in real life and have no way of knowing what my hubs had to do in order to get our home livable. It was the fact that this person believed the myth of living a real life on a budget. The myth that says if you budget, you’re poor.
That if you know how to manage your money or say “we’re on a budget” that somehow means you have no money. When in fact, it usually means the exact opposite.
Here’s the thing, if you’re living life by a budget, as imperfect as it may be, you’re doing something right. When we bought our house, we knew we’d have to sink a lot of money in it. Not only to upgrade the look but to also get it livable. We had to hustle big time and my hubs brought the muscle with that hustle and in four weeks, worked enough side hustles that were all manual labor to earn enough money to pay for our remodel in cash.
That would not have happened had we gone into the whole house-buying thing without a budget. We could have purchased a “custom built” brand new house complete with a mortgage payment of $1200 or more a month instead of our foreclosure with a mortgage payment of $740 a month and saved us the side hustle and the $30,000 cash. But, if we had purchased that brand new home, I’d never been able to quit my full-time job as a project manager to become a stay-at-home mom.
By knowing what our goals were and knowing what we truly desired – me staying home with our children – we were able to make the largest purchase of our lives in accordance with those goals.
That’s the whole point to this real life on a budget thing – making your money work for you.
I encourage you to continue making budgeting a priority, no matter how hard it is or how many side hustles you have to work in order to save up the money to reach your financial goals. You can do this.
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