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?