The second bedroom and the cost of our decisions...

I'm not going to lie, the last few weeks I have been thoroughly over renovating.  I have been fed up, longing for a clean, tidy, fresh space.  I have been grumpy and irritable and emotionally tired from the realities of it all.  I have been ready to throw in the towel on more then one occasion. 

Sometimes I look around at friends building brand new beautiful homes, then I look at our little shabby, dusty old cottage......Sometimes the green eyed monster rears its ugly head.  Even when we know we are making the right decisions both for our family and financially, it's still challenging.  The reality is that sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side.   

Even though we know in our heart of hearts its not, it doesn't stop the mind wondering.  People look at what we are doing and exclaim how much they wish they could do it too.  Mind you - some think we are utterly crazy, ha!   

But the truth lies that underneath it all, is that there is always a cost to every single decision we make. 

We bought this house cash, so we have no home mortgage.  We are paying down our business mortgage as hard and as fast as we can.  Its tough.  When we are doing a big job, like finishing a room, we don't all eat together.  Grant works as hard as he can to get the noisy work done before the boys go to bed.  I will often eat with the kids, do the rest and work late to clean up.

We often work really long days.  We own a business and that in itself is long hours and a lot of work.  Grant works full time there and is often up until midnight working on the house.  I work and study and am often up until midnight reading or doing assignments.  Its tiring, its exhausting and its not sustainable for long periods.

But that is the cost of a big fast push.  Its how we tend to work, perhaps not ideal, but it comes out of necessity.  We focus wholly on a big project, then try to smash it out.  The catch is after its done, we allow ourselves to have a good rest and re-charge.  Now we have done the boys room, we will simply potter about on the garden for a bit.  Finish a few odd jobs, go to the beach, catch a movie, take the dogs down to the local river.  Have big hearty family dinners again and rest and chill out.

But this is the cost of being free of a home mortgage before 35.  If you choose to have a big fancy home, there is a cost to that too.  You will have a big fancy home that has an equally big fancy debit. 

All decisions we make have a cost.  I find knowing this really helpful in how we lead our lives and how we prioritise our values.  Is the cost of the decision going to be worth it to us? 

- Do I stay in a job I hate?  Or do I take a risk and find a new job and explore a new path? 
- Do we have children now or later?
- Do we buy a little house in a good area or perhaps a larger house a little further away? 
- Do we buy new and spend more or something older and do it up over time?
- Do we shop for fun?  Or do we look for fun elsewhere and challenge societies perception of what fun is?
- Do we follow the path of least resistance in our lives?  Or do we search our heart of hearts and work towards creating our own unique life that resonates with our souls - despite it looking different from those around us?

What is the cost of maintaining status quo vs the cost of change?  

For us, living in this little old cottage, working hard renovating......the cost of reduced financial pressure, of me being able to follow my call to ministry.  The cost is worth it to us.  It wouldn't be a decision that resonates with everyone - and that's ok too.  Though that doesn't mean it is easy. 

But then again, most things in life worth doing aren't easy.  They stretch us, they challenge our beliefs about us and the world we are in.  They grow us, and that growth and shaping is truly a beautiful thing.    


Grant built a simple stand to help with putting the ceiling up. 

Gussy choose orange - and it gets a thumbs up!

The boys "helping" Grant. 

I'm not sure who is more excited - the boys or I.  I was in beginning to decorate before the floor was even laid! 

It may not be Pintrest worthy, but they finally have their own cosy space.

And they are oh-so happy about it!


Much love,
Emma
xx

27 comments

  1. Wow the boy's room looks fantastic! I love the colour.

    We just turned the spare room into DS7's own bedroom. He had been sharing with DD4 and they had been ahem, bickering a bit in the mornings (usually because she'd woken him up early), but now he gets to sleep longer and DD4 loves having Miss 11 months in the 'girls' room. This means we don't have to move to a bigger house, and continue to save money in our little 3 bedroom place.
    I also sometimes find myself wanting an extra lounge room, or extra bathroom (ensuite perhaps!) or lusting after the lovely big 6 burner commercial style stoves that some people have now. But our little home fits us and I am very grateful that we can live here.
    And well done on being home-mortgage-free. When I think that the whole financial system is balancing on a debt load more than 125% of the GDP I think we're in for troubling times. You're in a great position for that.

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    1. Oh I would like an ensuite - I'm not going to lie! oh to be able to sit on the loo without checking first. ;)

      Fighting can be so tiring can't it?

      Little homes are quick to clean at least. :) They do have that going for them.

      xx

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  2. Emma stick to your guns girl. It will be worth it in the long run. Be ready for that long run. We took twenty years to finish our place. We started with a one bedroom tiny home with a separate bathroom and laundry. We finished with a large rambling home and no debt. When we sold and moved interstate we were not going to purchase a renovator. Famous last words.
    It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and energy. The green monster is a common denominator for all of us who choose to do what we can as we have the money to do so. My new kitchen will happen one day.
    Hang in there Emma. It does get better.
    PS. I love the boys new room. The colour is just wonderful. Good choice Gussy.

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    1. You know I thought the orange would make the room feel kind of crazy - but actually with the old wood cupboards, wicker baskets in the shelves....It just feels happy and warm.

      This house will not be our last - that much I know. One day we will get that farm, and no doubt there will be a house in need of some TLC because that's all our budget will allow....I'm trying not to think of that....

      There is something rewarding about creating your space within a home. To make the bones of the house suit your needs and style. Good luck with that kitchen! One day I hope to have a kitchen where I can fit a full size fancy wood oven, and live somewhere cold enough to use it all the time!

      xx

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  3. I don't think you will ever regret your choice to be debt free. It may not be new or expansive, but your home is your own and you can't beat that feeling. My husband and I made a similar decision when we bought our home. It was before marriage and children so we decided to live off his wage and pay 100% of my salary onto our home loan. We selected a small but neat little home and with all my salary and the odd lump sum saved from my husband's wage we had it paid off in 5 years, which was six weeks before the birth of our first child. During those five years we often felt bad about declining invitations for dining out and weekends away but not anymore. Our friends are now trying to juggle both partners working, having to pay day care costs and pay off huge mortgages as well as trying to maintain the lifestyle they were used to before their children came along. We are comfortable and have become so used to our simple way of life that we no longer feel we've missed out on anything, if anything we feel we are the richer for having made sacrifices and worked hard to be where we are. The sense of contentment derived from good old fashioned hard work does not have a price. Stick to your plan, you won't regret it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's is such a great thing to do - live off one income and bank the other. Such a great way to do some serious saving if possible.

      Its funny isn't it- the things you don't miss? :)

      xx

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  4. Lovely thoughts and equally lovely room. Enjoy the lives you are making together, and yes, everything comes with a price. So we have to make sure, it's the one we're prepared to live with. :)

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  5. what a room, well done Gussy on the colour too, lovely & bright for lovely bright boys!
    that sounds like a good way to go, getting stuck into a big project & sacrificing time & energy to get it done, then once finished going on a family adventure/cinema/beach to re-energize. depending on how many times a year you do it to how tired & exhausted you feel.
    old houses have character & history plus they always seem very cosy, you have a lovely charming little cottage there.
    thanx for sharing

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We don't have an amount - we just tackle what we can when we can and try and keep pushing forward. It makes the breaks all the sweeter!

      I cant wait to get gardening together again. Its looking a little wild out there at the moment.

      xx

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  6. Love the warm pumpkin colour , well done Gussy, looks lovely,
    Please be careful not to burn out, you can hit the wall and get sick, which then means not only expense but lack of income, take it easy.
    We do make choices that suit us abd impact on out future, we lived in a small old caravan for 3 years in a little fishing village, outings and entertainment were the beach, little clothing needed, fish for lots of meals.
    We only had one small child who loved the van, no housework meant more time and attention. We built the house ourselves so were debt free at 30, huge, enormous impact on our future, and as you would know there was no shortage of hard work involved.
    It is sooooo worth it if you can do those first hard years.
    You can move, travel, change jobs, whatever because you don't have a huge debt to dictate the way you have to live.
    Well done with your choices and commitment.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We are very careful about watching our energy- our family is always our priority. First ourselves, then our family. It may sound like the odd order, but only after we look after ourselves and our marriage can we really give our best to the boys.

      What an amazing story!

      And yep, I completely agree.

      xx

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  7. Most young people would love to be mortgage free at your age, Emma. You are doing so well so take a break when you get a chance. It is all worth it.

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    1. We are only home mortgage free, the business carries its own. One day!

      xx

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  8. I've been following your home renovation journey with much interest Emma. How wonderfully refreshing to know a young couple with their "heads screwed on the right way!!" ;) Bravo to you both. Your decisions and your hard work are buying you freedom, which no amount of money can buy. BTW, your home is homely and so very classy too. X

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Freedom yes, perhaps in the long haul. Right now, if I'm completely honest, it certainly doesn't feel like it some days. Others yes.

      I must say it feels amazing to have my own bedroom now, our won space and to see the boys all tucked up in theirs. I can actually walk around my bed! Last night I curled up there, with my bedside lamp and a cuppa tea reading for uni and grant came in and teased me about hiding in my room, a couple of hours he popped back in and asked if I was intending on staying there all night- I replied yes! curled up alone, with my readings. The simple things. :)

      xx

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  9. Don't worry about Pinterest-worthy....it is real life worthy! A great result and such a good idea having that trundle with the toys on it too/

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    1. ah yes, the lego tray. Its perfect and saves a lot of cleaning up. Another one of Grants builds. :)

      xx

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  10. No, it doesn't have to be pintrest worthy to be perfect. I too love the orange colour on the wall. Your and your husband are creating a family heritage together, showing your boys a wonderful example of how they too can become competent in all sorts of ways as they grow older, and that hard work can equal a wonderful sense of achievement and self-confidence.

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    1. I do hope it rubs off on them, and they don't grow to resent the fact we live more simply compared to many of their friends....Its hard to predict isn't it?

      xx

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  11. We are in a similar situation, luckily not living in the house, but also trying to do it all without getting into debt. Our renovation has been 3 years to far and still much to do, but its been done as we can afford it, with long hours on weekends. Someone at work commented "that's not much of a weekend" when I said I spent all day painting, but I would rather put the work in now than end up with a heap of debt to pay later. Keep the end in sight! You are doing a great job and it will be worth it :)

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    1. If we ever renovate again to this level, I wont live in it while its being done. It would be so lovely to come, to the dirty work and then be able to go back to a nice clean house at the end of the day. At least for the worst of it. Some things you can live around more easily then others cant you? :)

      xx

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  12. It looks awesome. I bet you feel awesome too.
    We've done the inexpensive house that needs fixing, and tackled some big jobs on our own too. I know the long chaotic days with work/kids/life...and reno! Enjoy your new room and the chance and the hours of "free time".

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    1. It is SO nice to have the boys in their own room. You know my favorite part? The little corner where Henry's play kitchen is. Finally we were able to unpack it. He has not stopped playing with it since. :)

      xx

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  13. The room looks great. I can imagine how pleased you are to have it finished.

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  14. Lovely cosy boy's room, and that orange is a great colour. I've been renovating since January, and there's still things to do, but it's the little things I find that make it worthwhile....I've just had cupboards put in the laundry and the sink plumbed in. It's not finished, still tiling and painting but I don't care, I have a sink with running water! A similar feeling I think to yours of having your own bedroom.

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