Have you ever thought about how many things in life are completely necessary but are also hated with a passion? I'll suggest a few that come to mind. How about shots and surgeries and some medications? Then there are mammograms, colonoscopies, strenuous exercise, interviews, unavoidable confrontations...maybe even your in-laws (hope not, and does NOT apply to me!).
I'll take this picture one step further and say that, even though they're truly and completely necessary, I do indeed absolutely hate them...and I would be talking about budgets! Yep, I said it, I HATE to be on a budget. In a perfect world, there would always be plenty of money for everything our hearts would desire, but we all know that scenario would get us in a heap of trouble because it's in our human nature to desire things that we don't really need or that we know wouldn't be good for us. Such is life.
It seems as though my entire existence I've been on a budget. John Romain purses were all the rage when I was in high school, but my folks couldn't afford the real-deal at Christmas so I got a knock-off! Made me a better person because of it. Today's children think they're entitled, and you know what? They're not! (And whose fault do you think that is?) As a young mom, I lamented the fact that I had X number of dollars to spend when I went to the grocery store. But I knew deep down it was good for me; otherwise, I would've left the grocery store with a cart full of -- well, nothing that really mattered in the scheme of getting a decent meal on the table every night for my family. I did manage most times to squeeze in a large bundle of fresh flowers for my table which I considered completely necessary for my sense of wellbeing. But it was a good lesson for me even though I didn't know it then. Because I've found that today when I go grocery shopping I come home with groceries, not a lot of fluff -- just meats, veggies, fruit...only items that fall squarely into the "healthy meals" column. Unlike my hubby who, when he goes to the grocery store, returns with about the same five or ten objects every time in the form of bread, bananas, peanut butter, coffee, milk, half & half (if I'm out), ingredients for spaghetti (he LOVES spaghetti), and almost every single time -- cookies & cream ice cream! But I've learned over the years that budgets are a necessary evil for most any and every project or operation in life. Without a strict budget sometimes, businesses would fail, families would go without at the end of the month, and my checkbook would show a zero balance more times that I want to admit.
As our project has picked up speed lately, we've had a few changes in the structure of things and I find myself being the main one in charge of the construction budget. From pretty much day one I've been in charge of keeping up with all the expenditures (hence, the notebook), but recently the actual process of keeping the project ON budget has been handed to me as well. What, are they crazy -- me, with the hatred in my heart of budgets?! If it were up to me, I'd spend lavishly and decorate this house with all the things my little heart desires but for which I would never, ever get my money back. Since most of our "big ticket" items have been accomplished (roofing, insulation, new drywall, flooring etc.), I am left with a somewhat limited budget for what I call the finishing touches that will take this project from plain-Jane to fabulous! The finishing touches include the right shades of paint, the right lighting, hardware for cabinets, bathroom vanities, and all those little things that make the house sparkle. I think of these things as selecting beautiful jewelry to finish off the outfit! It's the same concept!
But, alas, the dirty "B" word keeps cropping up. Is what I see for this project just my wild fantasy or would a more sensible choice shine just as well and keep us on budget? It's a question I've found myself asking almost daily as I search for those things that will take this project into the final stages and a daily wrestling match ensues as I ponder to buy or not to buy. The last week or so has seen major accomplishment as we are finishing up with structural changes (as in moving a couple of walls), a LOT of new drywall, and all final demolition required to move in replacement cabinets and vanities and such. And I am starting to get excited! We are not at the end of the project, but I can totally see it from here! But I know better than to get too excited because, as I've said before, the devil is in the details. While it might take an entire two weeks to complete a huge drywall undertaking, it might take an entire month or more to cover this little gem in paint, flooring, and sparkly jewelry. And we do wanna get it just right.
And then...there's that dang budget who is my enemy but also my closest friend right now.
It is totally keeping me out of trouble...and that's a hard thing to do.
Work hard...play harder! Couldn't agree more!
Posted by CC
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