The Year of the Budget
If you read my earlier post Jumping Into the Dream, then you may begin to understand why I say that I think that 2016 will be the year of the budget.
Big dreams take time and money to make happen.
Dave is fond of saying that we are on the ten-year plan here. And I think that is very true.
As I plan for the year ahead, I will be issuing myself a few challenges…
- No new debt
- Build savings
- Reduce overall debt (we only have mortgage debt and a zero interest loan for the gutters and five windows we replaced)
- Make it for free or flea
What do I mean by that last one?
Well, if you have been reading me for any time at all, you know how project-oriented I can be. I have always got a project in planning, one that I’m working on, and at least one that needs just a little more.
But any project I take on for the next year, well, actually the next 15 months since I’m starting now, has to be made with materials we already have or can get for a low, low price.
Book budget? Goodbye, $25 per month in books.
Remove trees and build fence? Not in the rest of 2015 or in 2016 (unless we have a tree emergency).
That hole I dug for a pond the first year we were here that I keep swearing I’m going to line, buy a pump and fill with water and fish? Not in 2016, uh uh.
Dreams of buying that last lot near The Cottage? Nope, not going to happen.
I’ve been strictly forbidden from buying any new furniture as well. [sigh]
So with us making everything for flea or free, life will be getting real interesting. I’ve still got some curtains to
sew hot glue. And I have tons of fabric in the attic to work with. This next year will be filled with projects that are done on a dime and look amazing. Just you wait!
Stained Glass Inspired
I’m going to start off the next 15 months off right. For the price of a couple of eye hooks and some chains, I now have this’ stained glass inspired window’ hanging in my front entry.
Created with a discarded window and a bunch of flat glass marbles I had gathered from a now-defunct aquarium, I glued these in place with E-6000 adhesive.
The girls even got involved and each arranged a panel on their own.
Voila! Privacy and visual interest, for less than $2 in purchased supplies!
Speaking of Debt Reduction
Despite adding to our debt by nearly $6,000 this year (purchasing gutter covers and five windows plus going way over the expected car repair expenses), our overall debt has reduced by over $6,000.
If we just stayed the course, we would be debt free (as in totally and completely without any debt, mortgage or otherwise) in 15.3 years from now.
As it stands, that number may be shorter if all things proceed as planned. I keep throwing extra money at our home mortgage which is our biggest debt and which puts the heftiest amount of interest on at the front of the loan. These early years, paying as much as possible means saving years and tens of thousands of dollars in interest before the loan is done.
I just keep reminding myself that debt is slavery…debt is slavery…