Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keeping Up with the . . . Bloggers?

Since Mr. Converse Sneakers and I got married, we have been on a path to live extremely modestly.  I usually like to think we are much better off than we are, but scrambling to pay our bills has become a reality for us.  It is not because we don’t make enough money; it is because we have been trying to live above our means. 


Inspired by Leah who was our wedding photographer and now feels more like a friend and Christian role model, we have started reading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Revisited.  Budgeting and being frugal is a very common sense topic, and Mr. CS and I are common sense people.  I dream of a simple life filled with love, charity, and humility.  I have even told many people that I never want to be wealthy (as in have a very high income) because I would be tempted to strive for different ideals than the ones I know are right.  My parents raised me right, so I don’t think a lot of money would do that to me, but it happens to people all the time, so I’d rather not even have the temptation available.

Although we don’t want to be rolling around in dough that we can spend frivolously, we would love to not have to worry about paying our bills every month.  What we have learned from Dave Ramsey’s book (as well as from experience) is that many Americans no longer live within their means.  The debt in this country is disgusting.  Who can look at the overspending on a personal as well as national level and be proud?  Maybe some can, but I can’t.  It makes me sick.  I have limited power when it comes to solving national debt problems since I’m only one vote and one voice, but I can sure start by solving our own debt problems!
Our history with debt is very short and really, we have been pretty good about our spending habits, but we would like to perfect them now so when we have a house, children, and more financial responsibilities, we will not be strapped for cash and knocking on loan lenders’ doors.

Now, to get to the title, this is very hard for us.  I’m an avid décor blog reader and have been for years.  I am fascinated by all of the people who have been able to turn their homes from drab to fab with hard work and little money.  Now that I am a college graduate, I feel as though I should be able to start down this same path and create a beautiful home in no time, but now that I am a married woman, my priorities have shifted.

I feel pulled between two different theories of thought: make your home look beautiful on a budget and be happy  vs.  cut spending as much as possible and be happy.  I have realized that in order to decorate the way we would really like to, we would either have to take on more debt or would maintain the debt we already have by only paying off the interest.  We have decided that being financially at peace in a year or two (well at least more at peace than we are now) is much more important that making our apartment look like it belongs in a magazine.  As a blogger, I feel I should have a beautiful home because “every other” blogger does, but most bloggers are older than me with bigger incomes and some even decorate their home as a full time job.  We are not there (yet).  I highly respect and look up to all of the bloggers who inspire us daily with their frugal lifestyles and beautiful homes.  Right now, I am not one of those bloggers.

Where that leaves me now is at a compromise.  Decorating is one of my favorite hobbies.  So is shopping frugally and getting a good deal.  As our budget allows, we will slowly be making tiny adjustments to our little home as we pay off debt and save up for a home of our own to buy.  I would love to be the blogger who renovates rooms, paints the walls pretty colors, and tastefully decorated for each season, but that is not me yet.  Right now we will make our home look good enough and make our bank account look much better in the process.  I will share our frugal crafts and the decorating we do allow money for, and cannot wait for the day we can blog about our first house.

I’m wondering what your thoughts are on keeping up with the bloggers.  Do you feel the urge to decorate your home extensively like other bloggers have done?  Have you given up something temporarily to save money?


  1. I wish I could keep up with the big bloggers as far as organization, decorating, and always knowing the latest trends.

    I wonder how they find the time and money to raise a family, take care of their basic needs, plus turn their homes into beautiful works of art.

    Then I have to remind myself that most of the big bloggers do this as their full-time job, so the redecorating isn't taking time away from their families, and most have sponsors that 'keep the lights on' so the projects don't eat into their rainy-day funds.

    Regular people like us have to dial it back and take on projects as we can pay cash for them, and when we're not swamped with work and school. One day we'll get there :)

    I have to say - I missed your old blog and was so glad to see your are back! You truly have a gift for writing and your posts are so honest and real. All you need is a nest egg and you'll rank right up there with the Benjamins :)

  2. oh goodness.

    there will always be someone who has created a space that you perceive to be nicer than yours... and that's okay! the only home that you should worry about putting together is one that you are comfortable in and that truly represents yourself. try turning to freebies and garage sales and abandoned property. be creative and have patience. it will come together!

    one more note... making a lot of money doesn't change your priorities, it strengthens your ability to support the priorities that are you believe in. there's nothing negative about ambition!

  3. Building good financial practices is one of the best things you can do. No matter how much money you may have in your life, always stay committed to those sound principles.
    Us older people have collected many decor items over the years that allow us to decorate for the seasons. I buy one or two things each season and eventually you have a lot of seasonal decor. So buy stuff you like a little at a time and enjoy each item. I also like natural stuff Like gourds at the market that add to decor at little cost. And you don't have to decorate everywhere just one space is good. I have garage sale finds that I absolutely love and would never part with.
    Keep on doing what you love you are on a good Path!

  4. There will always be a nicer space than yours, and even though I know that, it's hard not to compare our home to others'. One thing I've learned, too, is that it takes a long time to build a home that speaks to you. We've been working on our house for about 2.5 years by now, and while we've certainly made some good headway, it's still not really "us". So go slow and enjoy the long process as finding your style and making your nest speak to you - you'll get there eventually, it might just take a while (especially if you're on a budget!). ;)


  5. NOOOOOOOOO I just had a long comment that got eaten. :( Here's your big internet high five!

  6. Oh boy, I can relate! I remember feeling the same way you did when I was 22 and fresh out of college. And you are very right - it takes time and patience and a lot of saving (and making smart choices) to get to the point where you can afford to decorate your own home in the ways you desire. But you'll get there - trust me! In the meantime, don't make any home-related purchases that don't have long term potential (like don't buy something specifically for an apartment or your current place, etc). And think about versatility of furniture and whether it would work with other colors/wood tones and room layouts. The extent of my decorating when I was living in apartments was classic looking photo frames and plants. Those two things never go out of style! The other thing I'll tell you is that your tastes and styles will change soooo much in the next 5-10 years. You won't even believe how much it will change. So carefully consider things before purchasing. Go for classic lines and looks rather than trendy patterns. Good luck!


Thank you for stopping by! I am a little crazy sometimes (it's probably the red hair), but I would really appreciate if you would leave a comment. I love getting to know my readers and reading what everyone is thinking! - Mrs. Ruffled Flats


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...