Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wantin' & Havin' It All

So here's what's on my mind, or I guess let's start with why it is there. Today I had a local electrician come out and give us a quote on completely rewiring our house. Remember my post about poor service? Well it is a good thing I had already written about that or I would have yesterday. I have been in touch with 5 electricians and the guy who came out is the only one who even returned my calls!! I have such a hard time believing "there are no jobs" when no one wants to work.

Anyway, this electrician is GREAT! It was Dave from Affordable Electric for readers in my area. I spoke with him yesterday and he came right out this morning, showed up early, offered us a reasonable price, and was super friendly. I had no idea what to expect and was guessing it would cost around $3-4 K to rewire our whole house. I was way off - turns out it will cost more like $7,000, and I think that is a pretty competitive rate. I would really like this done because A)I am paranoid about fires now for obvious reasons and B)we would like to have our home insulated with spray foam and that would make it almost impossible to rewire later. I think we're going to start with setting up a new fuse box, installing all new light fixtures on the main floor, new lights and a switch in the basement, and a new outlet for the washer & dryer. Then we can do the rest later on as we can afford it.

Okay - here's the real point I'm getting at. I heard something said once about all these 20-somethings trying to have everything there parents have and going in to debt to get it instead of realizing that it took there parents 30 years to get all those things. I don't want to be one of the people! I don't mean we're going in debt, we've managed to pay for everything so far except our mortgage, some of my college, Brian's truck, and a very small operating loan for the farm.

Really I feel like now IS the time to spend spend spend because we're both working full time. Hopefully someday I'll be home at least most of the time with our children and we'd love for Brian to be home too (not sure that will happen though). So it seems that if we could get the major stuff done now we could live well on a lesser income someday. Major goals for us include: rewiring, building an animal barn, adding 2 rooms and a garage on to the house, buying a loader tractor & stock trailer, and maybe buying more of the land that we currently rent. That all calls for some major spending.

I'm a saver by nature and feel a little extravagant lately spending all this money. Then I think, well, that's crossing one more thing off our list. What do you think? How has your spending changed with your age? Have you ever stopped to think that it might take you 30 years to get what your parents have? What are your theories on money? Do you think we'll ever get there or will our list just keep growing? I would love to hear what you think and how you handle this.

I hope this post doesn't make it sound like I'm addicted to stuff. What I want the most is to be at home and all this "stuff" is all that stands in the way of that.


Farmer's Daughter said...

I completely understand what you're saying. Since this is a safety issue, I think it is a totally justified expense.

Our only debt right now is our mortgage. Fortunately, I went to college on a full scholarship so I didn't have any loans, and we worked hard to pay off Ed's truck before we built our house. We don't have any credit card debt, and we prefer to do without the unnecessary items. My grandfather's advice to everyone in our family is "when you get in the hole, dig like hell!" And that's what we're doing, haha.

My advice would be to make valuable investments, instead of wasting money on useless things. Which I'm sure is what you're already doing :)

Joyce said...

This doesn't seem unreasonable to me at all. Older homes will always have things like that to take care of.

What we always tried to do was make sure that we could live on one income, even when there were two. The second income was used to build savings or make one time purchases or investments. That way, when we had children I could stay home. The main thing would be to not have too many monthly payments, so that you could quit working when you need to.

We had our house re-wired, and I'm so glad we did! There was only one outlet in the kitchen! You had to unplug the microwave to use the mixer, etc. Now we can safely use our appliances.

Misty said...

It's so difficult to separate wants from needs, and in such a grabby society, hard to remind yourself when "good enough" should BE enough. I am having that conversation wtih my husband all the time lately. We stupidly bought a huge house thinking we were going to have 3 kids, before we even had the first one. Now we're pretty sure we want just one, and have way too much space. We were also pretty sure I would want to be a working mom, and well that changed some... so we feel stretched. I guess my advice would be to try to keep your purchases to those things you NEED or really really REALLY want and will use right now, and tuck everything else away for your future - because as much as you think you know what it's going to be, it's really just your best guess. Material possessions depreciate over time, money in the bank in theory should appreciate...

Jena said...

FD - I think that was a smart move to pay off Ed's truck before building the house. Now you guys can kick butt on your mortgage and save some interest! We too avoid credits cards like that plague and I am so glad. I feel guilty enough sometimes spending money we have, I can't imagine ever charging up a card like that. I'm glad you can relate to where we're at.

Joyce - thanks, your comment is very reassuring! I do feel like we could pay all or nearly all of our bills with one income and the other goes towards a lot of these one time expenses. Of course we have farm finances thrown in the mix which makes it hard to say for sure. Lol - I know what you mean about the one outlet. Right now our freezer runs on an extension cord that goes right through our entryway, and to run the washer OR the dryer I have to unplug the freezer! That is the main reason I was able to convince Brian that this needs to be done. Plus, I can't stand looking at the light bulbs hanging from the ceiling anymore.

Misty - Thanks for your input and welcome to my blog. Your comment reminds me of the saying, "If you want to see God laugh tell him your plans." I do fear that maybe we won't be able to have children at all and that would be really hard. I'm also very prepared for something to happen to Brian. It isn't that I'm a negative person, I just want to be prepared and, well, he just has really bad luck! :) Anyway, I hope you find what works for your family!

angie said...

I think you are a very financial responsible person. I see a lot of my co-workers that are those 'live to shop' types. Ick!

I agree that funds spent on home repairs are always money well spent.