I’ve been wanting a new kitchen since we purchased this house but there’s always been something else that we wanted or needed to do. Frankly when faced with a big sum of money or a lot of little things it’s easier to spend on the little things. That’s meant going on short vacations, purchasing some furniture, fixing the washing machine, buying new mats for the bathroom. You get the idea.
This year we’ve dubbed the year of the house. Since the kitchen is a huge project we asked our favourite contractor to visit us with the aim of saving for to do it next year. He’ll be providing a detailed quote but he estimated somewhere between $15,000 – 20,000.
I must confess my heart clutched at that number. I’m determined to do the kitchen by next April. This means saving $1,600 per month in a year if I want to do this.
The only way to do this is if I slash my spending considerably and stop saving for everything else:
- vacations: I need these, even if it’s $200 to go visit a friend or look around my neck of the woods.
- Life Happens: giving this up would mean I’m just throwing myself into debt if something were to happen, like an appliance dying.
- Car: this can be reduced but the whole point was to have a sizeable down payment if my 2007 vehicle is no longer feasible as well as to ensure that I’m maintaining her properly
- Gifts: I give a lot of gifts because I have lots of people to treat. I shop frugally and put a great deal of thought into my gifts so this is not budging
- House Insurance: this is non-negotiable
- Medical – this is also non-negotiable it covers those needs that aren’t covered by insurance and since I have to wait for insurance to reimburse me it also helps me not go over budget.
- Sky is Falling Account: I have two of these. One is liquid and the other can easily be liquidated. I treat one as a job loss account and the other as retirement savings. My aim is to have 6 months savings in one so that if I were to lose my job I’d have breathing room.
- Mortgage additional payments – I’ve got money being set aside so we can pay the mortgage sooner.
- Leftover Fund: money that was budgeted but wasn’t used gets put here to be spent on fun extras.
- Home Improvement: for any non-kitchen related upgrades we want this year.
- Kitchen: I currently have ~$100 going into this. So you know, just $1,500 more needed per month…
My sky is falling Job Loss account has a little less than 25% of my goal in it. To help my heart, I’m going to act as if the money currently in that account is being put towards the kitchen. This will allow me to not stress too much while still building the job loss account.
DECISION: I’m going to keep saving as I do with the knowledge that next April all my savings lines may be pressed into service. All extra money, ML’s side hustle or my staying below budget, will be siphoned into the kitchen fund.
REALITY: To save $20,000 in a year is definitely a stretch goal. I’m not sure it’s reasonable. So this year is every month is going to have to be uber-frugal month. ML is on board so I know I can count on his support. We’re going to aim for $20,000 and work with the contractor to get it in as close to $15,000 as possible. We don’t want to scrimp on the kitchen as it’s a large job and want to pay upfront for quality products.
We’re not going insane but as the room needs to be gutted and all appliances replaced it’s going to be a big job and we need to realistic about it.