Cutting Back

by Cait

This is not an easy post to write.*  I hate admitting we don’t have everything together, and I don’t like talking about overly personal things on this blog (which is why instead of writing about it before I just said we were taking a break).  This is a house blog, and I want it to remain a house blog.  However, you might have noticed that there has been a lot of talk from me about what I’d like to do to our house but not a whole lot of actually doing anything.  (And if you hadn’t noticed, or you recently started reading, I just called attention to that fact.  Dang it!)  In an effort to “keep it real” as the big time bloggers say: there is a reason for that (beyond when we said we were going to need to here thanks to a minor roof leak). 

Robert recently moved from his previous company to a competitor, took quite a pay cut, and picked up a part-time job to help make ends meet.  I won’t go into details of the move, but suffice to say it was spurred by what my mom likes to call “a witch-hunt”.  He may also have to cut back on the number of classes he is taking, we’re not sure yet, but it’s a bummer because he is thisclose to graduating.  Also, my company was bought out by a larger competitor (which happens to be inconveniently located up north), so we really don’t know what that means for my employment status over the next 18 months- which is how long the proposed “changes” are supposed to take to kick in.  They tell us that they are keeping our office in town and that the management will run it as it has always be run, but we shall see what happens.  I’m trying to be very Pollyanna about all of this, rather than freaking out.

In the panic from not getting to talk to my “in case of emergency person”** about this because we’re in a fight all this, I did think about pimping out the blog for sponsorships, but I still don’t know how I feel about that and, uh, it’s a tiny blog so I doubt it would get sponsors. Or starting a print shop or an Etsy shop, but I don’t know that there is any interest in that  (also I’m a chicken).  I even briefly thought about offering to make headers or graphics for blogs, but with the stress of Robert’s job situation I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing a terrible job of working on Heidi’s (I’m so sorry, Heidi! I emailed you a few things to look at, hopefully we can work from there!), so that’s probably an awful idea.  So, as a result of all of my hairbrained ideas not panning out, we have done a few small things to cut back. 

image seen on YHL

1) iTunes – We don’t have cable, but we love our Apple TV, especially when it isn’t football season.  We have the previous generation one where you can buy directly from the couch.  Hello impulse purchases.  My parents gave us an  iTunes gift card for my birthday and we have been hoarding it while we try to decide what to spend it on.  And then our season passes for our two favorite shows ended, so now we’re watching a lot of the (gasp) DVDs we already owned, and I am wish listing a SuperDrive so we can add those shows to our digital collection and possibly sell the hard copies.  On the plus side: Cutting out/down on iTunes purchases also means we are spending more time bike riding, walking the dogs and working on small projects around the house that we already have supplies for.

2) Cook Meals Using the Food in the Pantry & Freezer –  Similar to what YHL did before moving to their new house, we made a list of all the things in the pantry & freezer and have challenged ourselves to make meals using those things and only shop for basics, like milk, eggs and produce.  Seems obvious I know, and we are pretty good about using what we have, but we definitely don’t menu plan.  Generally spealing, we make the decision of what to eat for dinner spur of the moment, and sometimes that means an unplanned trip to Publix (or our favorite Chinese take out place).  So we started this in an effort to both cut out impluse grocery purchases and to focus on what we bought that we don’t really eat.  On the plus side: This should help our grocery shopping tendencies, because we will know if there are things we bought just beacuse it they were BOGO and never ate.

3) Work on House Projects We Have Supplies For – We have been trying to do this for a while, but we keep changing out minds about things like interior door hardware (ie- the Tea House doorknobs on the sidebar wish list).  Since I do not want to quit blogging, we have to focus on projects from the top section of our To Do List (and maybe the outdoor shower, if we can budget that well).  We have been talking about how much we think it will cost to paint our house’s exterior, and we aren’t sure when the best time to take that on will be.  Maybe we can work on it in stages as we have the available funds.  On the plus side: This will help us clean out the shed, we have doors, an outdoor fan, and many other things piled up.

4) The Blog – As I said, I don’t want to quit blogging, but the nature of cutting back and things like #3 mean that this blog may change a bit.  I will probably go back and work on tutorials I forgot to post about things like the lamp in our guest bedroom, or hanging curtain wires.  We may also work on the layout, the blog sections, organization, floor plan (darn you Floorplanner for making me want to yank my hair out!) and things like that.  On the plus side: Tutorials, yay! (Right?)  And also, hopefully a prettier, easier to navigate blog for y’all.

5) Credit Card Points – Though we prefer to buy things with cash or debit cards, our credit cards get a workout from time to time.  Our credit union has a nice rewards program that allows us to choose between the pretty standard credit card “gifts” (7000 points for Pyrex containers? no thanks) and merchant gift cards.  They offer ones for some places we wouldn’t use, but we like the Home Depot and Williams-Sonoma options (especially since the Williams-Sonoma one can be used at Pottery Barn and West Elm).   So although we still don’t want to use our credit cards much, on the plus side: We have a gift card to Williams-Sonoma on the way.

6) The CJ – We may have to sell our ’81 CJ-7 that “I bought Robert” as an anniversary present last October, and just when it’s becoming beach weather, too.  I really don’t see a plus side to this.  We have a neighbor who wants it, but then we’d have to see it every day and not get to drive it to the beach on a sunny summer day.  Kind of like how he sold his ’99 Suzuki Bandit 1200s to a friend when we were saving for a house; we get to hear about all the work being done to it, but we don’t get to (finally) take it to Deals Gap in May.  Major bummer.

I certainly don’t hope that y’all can relate to this, but I do hope that you have patience with us while we cut back and budget so that we can continue sharing our DIY projects with y’all.

*Since this is not a topic that  I enjoy covering or even cover very well, check out other budget cutting posts by YHL, such as their Life on Less post, and others filed in their Save Some Moolah category.  Also, feel free to comment with links to your favorite posts on budgeting.

** Blatant Grey’s Anatomy reference.

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48 Responses to “Cutting Back”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear all this! But, on the plus side, necessity is the mother of invention, right? As long as you keep dreaming, and doing things within your budget, hopefully you’ll still get the inspiration and happiness you want out of your home. And your life, for that matter. I’m thinking only good thoughts for you, and I hope you don’t have to sell the CJ!

    • Thank you, Sara!

      I completely agree, Robert and Ryan (and my dad, and my granddad before he passed away) are the kings of “making things work”. Ryan saved our leaky roof with a $20 patch job (though he was offended when I jokingly said “How Not to Fix Your Roof”, he doesn’t always get my humor), and it has allowed us to take on other projets when we thought we were going to have to drastically cut back. I’m thankful that Robert was able to move to his competitor so easily, but I know it isn’t a job he enjoys. Ever practical, Robert is pretty much set on selling the CJ, but I’m hoping that cutting back in other ways can save it. There is nothing (in my opinoon) quite as head-clearing as driving to the beach in the CJ and taking a long walk. Skiing might be that way for you and Mike, since you don’t live near the beach?

  2. I think the fact you can admit that you might need to make some changes is really admirable. Most people would just blindly continue doing what they’re doing and think the money will take care of itself. This is why so many people are really broke right now!

    Sounds like you have a plan. I hope y’all don’t have to sell CJ but that call might have to be made.

    Jordan and I are cheap by nature and would love to have y’all over for Netflix and home cooked meal nights! We could trade off nights instead of our Wednesday night go out to eat event :)

    • Thanks Lisa! The new Wednesday plan sounds great! :) (Notice that I completely forgot to mention not eating out, or something like couponing… It’s all a process isn’t it?) We would love to come over for nights of Netflix and home cooked meals! And of course we’d also love to have y’all over to watch reruns of what we have on iTunes (like Top Gear) and maybe make spinach&tomato grilled cheese (or whatever). Maybe we can make up for having to miss the past couple of Wednesdays with something the weekend?

  3. I have so much to say about this post!
    1. I did get your email. I’ll email you later.
    2. I am so sorry about Robert and the jobs and everything. Uh, I’m super broke now too and I’m having the same problem, a lot of talking about doing things, but not doing them, mostly because I can’t afford them, crafts in particular.
    3. Eating from your pantry is fun. I had to do this too. Beware of the BOGO you’ll never eat.
    4. I’ve never used iTunes TV, but I do use netflix for around $10 a month. It has a lot of watch instantly, so my bf and I usually watch our favorite tv shows that way.
    5. I subscribe to lots of budgeting blogs, they’re really helpful in times like this. It’s also comforting to know everyone is facing hard times.

    Good luck with your “life on less.” sometimes it’s a nice challenge.

    • Thanks Heidi!

      1. Ok :) I didn’t think you were ignoring me, I just wasn’t sure how often you check your email! haha
      2. Not being able to afford projects is the WORST. Sorry you are super broke :(
      3. We learned a while back that we were buying way too many of some BOGO things and not taking advantage of others that we should. So much oatmeal…
      4. We really wanted to try Netflix, but our generation of Apple TV doesn’t play nicely with Netflix, and the media tower we wanted to build has been shelved, and I won’t even get into the issues with trying to use my laptop for that, haha!
      5. I may have to ask what budgeting blogs you read! I like the tips that I see on YHL from time to time, and whatever I happen to Google, but I’m sure I’m overlooking a lot of things.

  4. Sorry to hear about this! I’ve just recently started reading, but I understand how tough cutting back can be and how it’s hard to find extra money everywhere you can.
    I can tell you that opening an etsy shop might be something to consider, but you have to factor in cost of supplies and the time you have to allocate to it. I opened up a shop in January and have been pleasantly surprised that people actually want to buy what I make, but it is a lot of hard work and time. I hope things start getting better! :)

    • Thanks Rachael! (And thanks for reading!) That’s encouraging to hear! I’ll have to weigh the cost of supplies and things like that, of course, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised, too. And of course I’ll have to check out your Etsy shop once things start getting better in the “extra money” area.

  5. What a bummer. I’m sorry you’re going through all of this. It sounds like you’re going about cutting back in the right ways though. Good luck!

    • Thanks Kate! I hope we are going about it the right way! We try to live well within our means anyway, but we sometimes fall into ruts. I guess maybe that isn’t uncommon, though.

  6. Cait, I sure hate to hear that your family is in a bit of a rough patch. Your encouragement has meant so much to me and I hope that I can also be an encouragement to you. Tim and I have definitely had our times when money was tight but I can honestly say that the Lord has always taken care of us. We couldn’t have everything we wanted, but we had everything that mattered. You know what I mean? :) And I know this next part may not make since, but I really feel that we’ve always been able to make it because we tithe. If you’re not a religious person, you may have no idea what this means but basically the Bible says “Our heart follows our treasure” and God really wants our heart so he asks that we give him our treasure (the tithe- which is 10% of our income). God PROMISES that if we are faithful in our tithe, he will give us everything we need. I sure hope this doesn’t seem super weird to you or too personal, but I only tell you because I truly believe in this principle and in a God that keeps his promises!

    PS- I have REALLY been wanting a Jeep if you guys decide you have to sell it. How much are you asking?

    • Thank you, Kara!

      We are not especially religious, I guess you could say we are more “spiritual”, but saying that gets a often bad rap. Perhaps we have not found a religion that speaks to us, I don’t really know. Your explanation of why to tithe makes sense, though. I know it isn’t the same thing at all, but we try to give back in other ways- giving to charity when we can, and things like that. The “paying it forward” idea, when we have excess we pay it forward to those in need, I guess in hopes that good karma will come back our way.

      I’m not sure how much we would ask for the Jeep. I haven’t really wanted to get into that conversation with Robert, in part because as selfish as it might be I want him to be able to keep something that makes him happy (He works so hard to provide for us, both at his jobs and in school, and I feel like he has sacrificed too much for our little family already), and also because it needs work before it can be sold. As with most old cars it is cantankerous and has its good days as well its bad. The carburetor needs work, the gasket in the back that we just had repaired is leaking again, and probably a laundry list of other things I’m forgettng. You and Tim might be better off looking for something a little newer; maybe a Wrangler? The problem with buying Jeeps is that they seem to hold their value pretty well, so finding one that is affordable and in good shape is tricky. Ours is drivable, but it was beat up on by some serious rednecks before we bought it and is definitely not a daily driver. I hope that makes sense and that you and Tim are able to find a Jeep that works for you!

  7. I stumbled on your blog and have been reading for a few weeks. I really like what you’ve done to your house and appreciate your sort of “breezy” style. I’m sorry to hear about your job situations, but can totally relate with having to cut back. I know in our house, everything keeps going up but our incomes. We also ended-up with a $755.00 repair bill in our home that was unexpected and a major set-back to my plans. Your idea of working on projects that you have supplies for already is a good one. I’ve been doing that myself and it helps to keep my decorating tantrums/depression at bay. There’s so much I want to do and so little I can afford. I’ve learned to appreciate the small things. I did just finish my closest project over the weekend. My love made me a nice big shelf in the dead space above my clothes rack and I used some old closet modules I had from our previous house. It’s not the prettiest but the organization is a huge boon and I’ve been doing my closet-happy dance for the last couple of days. I’ll work on the pretty as the resources come along and my next project is the hall closet. Keep up the good work and I, personally, love tutorials, so I’ll be looking for those. Things will get better, I promise, because they always do ;-)

    • Thanks Jenny! So sorry to hear that you can relate! It seems times are tough for everyone right now (not that I was blind to that fact before, just that it doesn’t seem to be something people talk about much). I’m so glad your closet project has brought you happiness! It really is the little things, isn’t it? I find myself getting excited about little things because we can’t really afford to do the big overhauls we want to tackle. I like to say we have West Elm taste on an Ikea budget. I will try to get some more tutorials up soon! We have a lot of pictures taken that I need to edit and get uploaded.

  8. Don’t worry about the blog Cait! (Like I have room to talk, haha.) The beautiful thing is that most people have Reader, so they’ll be notified when you post, even if it’s been a long time. We’re not going anywhere!

    As for everything else, I’m sorry you guys are facing all these uncertainties and trials. I’ve read all those YHL posts and they are all good. Dave Ramsey is also amazing at helping people budget. And I’m not sure if you caught my post about mint.com, but it is a serious butt-kicker when it comes to budgeting (but it’s also kinda fun haha).

    Move at your own pace and try not to stress. We’ll all be here when you feel like posting! (Unless we’re taking breaks ourselves, of course. :-)

    • Thanks Amanda! That is so true about Reader. (On an aside, I was trying to figure out how many people read my blog through reader once, but I gave up I figured it out, Feedburner tells you, go figure.)

      Thanks for the tips about Dave Ramsey and Mint.com! My friend Lisa (who commented above) has been Facebooking about both of those recently and I’ve been meaning to check them out.

      Haha to the “unless we’re taking breaks ourselves”!

  9. Cait, I’ve been following for a few weeks, not sure how I even got here…the blogging world is crazy though, huh? Meeting so many people and learning about new topics, etc. I am new, but I love it! Although I’m sorry to hear about your worries, your honesty is refreshing. When I read someone’s blog, I feel like I’m not only subscribing to a particular topic, but I’m subscribing to a part of the writer’s life.

    Posting about your woes every now and then, doesn’t make me want to hit the unsubscribe button, but shows me you’re not perfect and I can relate to you more. I’m 26, single, with two crazy dogs…I bought my first house, at the top of my budget last April, because I just couldn’t say no! Anyway, as soon as I moved in, my water heater rusted through and went all over my finished basement, my dryer broke and the pipes to my bathroom sink started leaking!!! This all happened in my first month of living in my house and all in one week! Wowza :) Sometimes things hit us hard, but it definitely made me appreciate my working applicances a little more!

    I really enjoy the blog and hope the honest posts keep coming! Good luck with everything!!

    -Alana

    • Thanks Alana! I know what you mean about not even knowing how you find certain blogs! So glad you’re enjoying it though!

      I’m glad the honesty doesn’t make you want to stop reading, I’ve been finding a lot of comfort in the kind responses I’ve gotten today. So sorry about your water heater and your bathroom sink pipes! That must have been very overwhelming! I plan to “keep things real” and share as much about our personal lives as I feel comfortable with.

  10. Hey Cait- I really want to just reach through the Blogosphere to give you a hug! I’m really sorry to hear about everything. Unfortunately, the economy is such that you shouldn’t feel alone in this (though I know that doesn’t make you feel any better). I know things are a bit bleak and up in the air right now, but I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason…” and “everything always works out in the end.” As for the blog- life is every-changing and evolving, and it can throw a lot of curve balls, so don’t be afraid to let your blog follow your journey and evolve along with you. On this note, I just want to share this with you… my mom and dad read it at our wedding, and every now and again, when things get crazy, I just reread it…

    “TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

    But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination– for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, ….waiting, waiting for the Station.

    “Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

    Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion– it constantly out distances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today ………..is there light enough to love and live.

    So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

    So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. It’s not the end of the journey that counts… it’s the ride.

    The Station will come soon enough.”

    With that said… I absolutely love your posts, but what I love more is your personality, and that will come through no matter what you’re writing about! (I’ll still be loyally following… :)) Also, if it might help, DO some of your considerations: add ads/sponsors to your site (I like seeing ads and sponsorships- they give me ideas too); do some freelance graphic design; make an etsy shop; past tutorials are great too!; etc. You are wonderful and you will be successful in any an all of these. Like mentioned above, take solace in the fact that you and your husband have a wonderful marriage and a beautiful life together.

    Also, I love the “emptying out the pantry” idea, and I try to execute it occasionally. Here’s a great website I found where you can enter your ingredients and it will give you recipes! http://www.supercook.com/

    I can’t wait to see what comes next for you!

    • Thank you for such a sweet comment, Ashley! I love the piece your parents read at your wedding, especially the last two paragraphs! And I do have a wonderful husband :) I just feel like I need to figure out how to better support him, since I feel like he is constantly supporting me (I hope that makes sense).

      I might do a few of the things I was considering, I know that would help take some of the burden off of Robert, which would be a big plus. Not that our plans have worked out, but “The Plan” was for me to get a higher paying job after college so that he could work less and go to school more. I would take a second job, but my company has a lot of overtime, and it’s often sporadic and hard to plan around, I think the problem with ads/sponsors is that I don’t know how to go about getting people to sponsor us. I would love to take on more freelance graphic design, but I have trouble finding clients for things like that. Maybe I just need to learn to pimp myself out better, haha.

      Supercook sounds awesome, I will have to try that out!

  11. Sorry to hear about the job situations and cut backs. But you’ll make it through! Your blog is what you make of it and your readers will always stick around. Just stick to the basics, if needed! :) hang in there!

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about your problems. As someone who has lived on a very limited income for years now, I know that you will find very creative ways to deal with this. Your budget plans sound very practical – you’re on the right track. What saves me and allows for decorating on a budget is yard sales, estate sales, rummage sales, etc.. I look at them like a treasure hunt and have found a lot of great things.
    You’ll come through this better, stronger, and with valuable life learning. A big hug goes out to you.

  13. Cait-
    I know it is always hard to share problems… but you seem to have such a good attitude about it. Sometimes something like this can give you a push to be even more creative!

    A few tips of my own for you:
    1. Use Mint.com. This is a website that you can link all your bank, credit cards, car loans, etc to. It tracks everything you spend and you can put it into categories. My husband and I did this a few years ago, and it was a life saver. It makes you really notice all the little things, and how they add up. Which can help you save a ton of money over the long run. You can also create your own budgets, my husband and I have a house projects budget, and if we want to do a big one, we ‘save up’ our budget from month to month until we can do it.

    2. Jump in and start your own Etsy shop! I did just 2 months ago. I too was chicken, that I would put myself out there and would fail. In just under 2 months I have had 11 sales of the pillow covers I make. That is about 2 a week, and the perfect amount for me to be busy, but not stressed out. I know that you can do it! (http://www.etsy.com/shop/99Twelve)

    3. Don’t worry about not having a ton of projects each week for readers – tutorials are great, and more realistic for 99% of the people than having a new project each week!

    4. Selfishly (for me) – Keep blogging… I love your blog!

    Good luck – I know you will do great!

    • Thanks Megan!

      A few other people have suggested Mint.com, I’ll have to check them out. Also, I think I am going to start and Etsy shop. Hopefully I am pleasantly surprised :)

      I know that not having a ton of projects is more realistic, but I worry that never having any follow through will make people stop reading. I know I do things at my own pace, but I guess I put unnecessary pressure on myself. I will definitely keep blogging, I’m just not sure what direction it will take for a while.

  14. Props to you for opening up and getting it all out there! This is never an ideal situation but I think a lot of people have experienced it and personally, for us, it turned out for the better. We had racked up some silly debt when we lived in Northern VA, but after my husband got laid off we moved 400 miles away and paid off all that debt making half the income. Of course, that was extreme (one month we spent 1000 total – including our 650 rent) but in the end we slowly chipped away at our jobs, started making more, and begun to emerge from our cave again (and bought a house to boot!) But a LOT of money-saving skills we learned stuck with us.
    We’re also both very grateful people and this really helped us along our rocky road. Do we still have our health? Yes. And our house? Yes. And friends and family and a lot of STUFF? Totally!
    The beauty of this blog is you can keep at it from home! Without spending! Now’s the time to make inspiration boards for EVERY ROOM, and art for EVERY ROOM. :D And I think you should totally open an etsy store! I’ve found it’s a lot easier to make whatever you want and then sell it, instead of commissioning stuff (which makes it feel more like work.) And as for sponsors on the blog, start small! Look up Google Adsense – you can insert a snippet of code into your sidebar – Google generates the ads (it will be relevant to your blog) and you’ll make a couple cents every time someone clicks your ad. It might only bring in 50 bucks a month but hey – that just paid for your internet! Hah.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Elisa! I am definitely going to do some things people have suggested, like make an Etsy store. I have been thinking about Google Adsense, I didn’t think you could use it with WordPress, but maybe now that I have a domain name that will be different.

  15. I’m sorry your going though all this, but I admire your ‘Pollyanna attitude’! Way better than being a The Debbie Downer :) There have been plenty of times we planned on talking a house project, when some unforeseen event happens – so annoying. But on the bright side like you we diy a lot of projects using what we already have, and it feels good and it gets you more creative, trust me! lol

    We also painted our house by ourselves (with the help of my dad) in a weekend — big drastic change for only few hundred bucks – so worth it. So budget budget. The whole situation will work out in the end. And Coupons are a blessing :)

    • Thanks Katrina! It’s encouraging to hear how others deal with budgeting :)

      So good to hear that painting your house was do-able and only a few hundred bucks! We’ll have to check our budget, but that should be something we’re able to take on if we plan it right.

      Love coupons! We’ve been using them a bit, but I am thinking of having my friend write a guest post on budgeting and couponing. I know it would be helpful for me, and hopefully others would find it helpful, too.

  16. I just sold my CJ7 jeep. It needed a lot of work and I just didn’t have the money to do it. I had it since I was 15 (18 years!). I cried for a whole weekend and still get upset about it. Jeeps are the best! Sorry you may have to sell yours.

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Cara! I’m so sorry you had to sell your CJ! Robert was really upset when we had to sell his motorcycle (and I wasn’t exactly happy about it, but we were saving for our house), so we can kind of relate. Although he didn’t have his bike as long as you had your CJ.

  17. I am so sorry to hear you guys are going through all this. We have had to cut back on what we’ve been doing to the house since I am trying to finish up my MFA and supplies are costing way more than we had anticipated so I completely understand. So we aren’t doing anything to the house unless we have the cash in hand. I’ve found that clearing out stuff we don’t need/use and selling it brings in enough money for me to get my “update fix.” I’ve also noticed that taking away things in the house and changing colors is a super cheap way to update. For example, our bathroom was looking mighty small and cramped so I took off the doors to the cabinets and, using a free paint sample and some $10 paint, our bathroom looks completely different. Oh, and spray paint is my friend :) You can spray paint a ton of decor stuff from garage sales/thrift stores for just a few bucks. Love it! Good luck with everything!

    • Thanks Alisa!

      I completely agree with you on taking away things and painting! I’d love to take the closet door out of our hall bathroom (kind of like YHL did here) but we have a new-to-us door to put on it. If that doesn’t work out we’ll use the new-to-us door for the other bathroom eventually and go with the no-door look.

      I love spray paint, too! Robert just spray painted the chair I’m sitting on (well, ok, he did it a week ago, I am not sitting on wet yellow paint), and I have a few frames I want to spray paint, too.

  18. I actually sold my motorcycle ( a 97 CBR F3) a couple years ago to pay off debt so we could buy a house too so I totally understand how that goes. I also sold it because my husband was scared I would get killed on it. His family wasn’t into bikes like mine. Good luck with the job situation.

  19. Oh man, I can totally understand what you’re going through. Or so I think. It’s never fun to have to cut costs. .

    As a jeep loving girl, I feel your pain on having to let go of that awesome toy. :( Although here’s a thought – if you bought it with cash, then hopefully you can hold onto it and only sell it as a last resort.

    I think you absolutely should have an Etsy shop! Although look into BigCartel instead. I’m no longer using Etsy because I’m building a *free* shop on BigCartel now. (they don’t charge for each item sold the way Etsy does)

    I know everyone is crazy about Dave Ramsey, but Ryan and I swear by a different budgeting / money making/ cost saving approach which is the book I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Also a website by the same name).

    Anyway, I don’t have much else to chime in on. . . other than good luck, hang in there, and just blog about what you need to to keep yourself sane :)

    • Thanks Jane!

      We’re hoping that we can keep the Jeep and only sell it as a last resort. We’ll see.

      I’ll definitely look into BigCartel, and the book/website you recommended.

  20. I personally think the best bloggers are blogging about what they love…not blogging to try to bring in extra income.

    Keep doing what you are doing and I think things will turn in your favor!!

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