So last week I posted a blog on how we are going on a spending freeze. While that still is very true, what I didn’t expect was us having to spent quite a bit of money over the past couple of weeks from when I started writing that article.
Of course, it would happen that as soon as I announce a spending freeze and get all pumped up for paying off debt that things would break in our home. As some of you may already realize, home maintenance is never on your schedule. It happens when it wants to which is why planning is essential. Having sort of an emergency fund is huge. Budgeting for home maintenance from the get go is also another great, and I would argue necessary, thing to do.
With us focusing so much on debt the past 8 or so months, I intentionally dropped our emergency fund down to $1,000. This is something that Dave Ramsey mentioned in step one of his baby steps. The idea is to have a small emergency fund while focusing on your debt payoff and then build it up more after you’re free from debt. That $1,000 plus the amount of money we’re putting toward debt means that we should be able to handle most emergencies (fingers crossed).
Well, I’m happy to say that has held true with our home maintenance we needed to perform. While I’m grateful that we were able to handle the maintenance, I’m a little bummed that it did take some money from our “destroy debt” budget.
So what did we have to do to the house over the past couple of weeks? Here’s a look.
New Garbage Disposal and Faucet in the Kitchen – $250
Ok. So we’ve actually needed a new faucet for quite some time. It basically was moving around like a limp noodle since the bolt rusted off that held it to the counter. We also had a very bad leak on the hot water side so we kept it off. Every time we needed hot water we’d have to reach under the sink to turn it on and then turn it back off when we were done. Annoying!
Then a little over a week ago our garbage disposal started leaking out of the bottom of unit. While I was doing the dishes some water was getting my sock wet. I was like, “Oh, I need to be careful and not splash so much water.” Then more started coming out. Sure enough, the entire area under the cabinet was soaked because of the leak.
Luckily, my brother in law is a licensed plumber. I bought the parts and then he put it in for us a cut us a huge deal on labor. We also had about $55 worth of gift cards to Lowe’s so that helped bring the cost down a little bit. Very thankful for both of those!
Tree Shrub Clean Up and Stump Removal – $225
A few weeks ago, my good friend and I took down a tree in our backyard. The shade was nice, but it was really good for getting bird poop all over my deck. It had to go!
Luckily, there weren’t really any issues getting the tree down. Clean up, though, was a pain! I filled two yard waste containers at my mom’s after loading a bunch of the branches into my step dad’s truck. I also filled my large garbage can twice with shrubbery. The result after all of that work?
That photo is about half of the total shrubs. It was ridiculously time consuming trying to cut them all down and fit them into our garbage can. And that only took care of about half!
And then we couldn’t finish the job because the stump was still there. So we called someone to take care of the shrubs and finish taken care of this guy.
The chair is in each picture for size.
I think next time I am just going to pay someone to take down the tree in its entirety instead of staring at branches for 3 or 4 weeks. But anyway, that’s more money that could have been used for Debt.
Weed Control – $228
Last but not least comes one more item of lovely home maintenance. Lawn care (thank you, house)! So…half our backyard…is weeds (facepalm again). We have so many dandelions, crab grass, and wild violet that there really is no grass on half of our backyard.
It. looks. terrible.
I cut the lawn, er, weeds a few days ago and there is just nothing underneath them. I’m a little scared that it’s all going to be dirt when the lawn care company comes out and takes care of the weeds.
I’m excited to get rid of them, though. As much as my daughters love the little yellow dandelions, THEY’RE KILLING MY LAWN! (Takes deep breath)
Sorry about that. Rant over.
I looked into managing this one myself but I would have to spend probably about $100 as well as a decent amount of my time. To me, it’s worth it to pay a little over double more to get this taken care of by someone else. That being said, once it’s under control this year, and depending on the results, I may try and do this myself next year when it’s a little easier to manage.
So yes, there it is. A spending freeze that resulted in more spending. Not off to a good start.
On the bright side, the spending freeze wasn’t as a result of indiscriminate spending on whatever we want. These were legitimate needs that needed to be taken care of in our home (some of which I put off too long already).
Either way, I’m thankful that our budget was able to handle these setbacks while only delaying our debt payoff just a small amount.
Have you been there before?
Have you had any moments where you got all fired up because things were looking good and then BAM, something breaks? How did you handle the situation?
Please, share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!