How to Afford Your Home Improvement Ideas

If you love your home (and if you don’t, why not?!), then your mind is probably full of ideas for how you can make it the best space possible. Of course, it’s not your motivation that’s holding you back from getting your projects underway: it’s the financial aspect. It’s a fact of life that it takes two things to make a home perfect: time and money. Time, you have. Money? That’s harder to come by. But even if you’re not swimming in cash right now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start your home improvement journey. Below, we take a look at a few ways in which you can take money matters out of the equation.


Moving Slow


Now, if you’re even thinking of home improvement projects, then it’s likely that you have a source of income (or perhaps two, if both adults in the household are working). So you do have money: you just might not have as much as you’d like to transform your house. But to that, we say, what’s the rush? Perfection comes in time; it doesn’t happen overnight. If you have only limited amounts of cash to play with each month, then make slow and steady additions to your home. It might take longer than you’d like, but you’ll get there eventually.


Small Hacks


If the basic framework of your home is already modern and stylish, then it’s possible that you don’t need a complete overhaul. Instead, all that’s needed is a few small additions that’ll improve the overall look and feel of each room. And luckily, these projects can cost next to no money! Take a look, for instance, at Ikea hacks. You can buy second hand Ikea furniture, spend an afternoon with a paintbrush in your hand, switch out the handles, and you’ll have furniture that looks like it was purchased from some trendy vintage store.


The Bigger Projects


Of course, that’ll only work if you’re already basically happy with the layout and design of your home. If you’re not, then bigger work will be necessary, and that will require more money. But here’s the thing: people usually have access to more money than they realise. If you need to raise money, you can consider selling your unused, second-hand goods; getting an online loan; or borrowing money from friends and family. All of these options will enable you to start making the type of alterations that’ll make your home perfect.




Finally, don’t forget that you have a pretty useful tool at your disposal: your mind! If you learn the basics of DIY – which only takes a small amount of time – then you can severely reduce your home improvement expenses. While you’ll likely need to employ the experts for some aspects of your projects, much money will be saved – and much joy gained – from doing some of the work yourself.


While it’s important to consider the money aspects of your home, you shouldn’t let your finances stop you from having the home of your dreams.

Helium Comedy Club-Date Night

Last night we went to our comedy show date night! I’ve been waiting for this moment since Christmas when Match presented me with tickets to see Jon Dore at Helium in Portland. Watching stand-up comedy was one of my favorite things to do in college. I used to go watch my aspiring comic friends perform at open mics, and I love seeing anything from big headliners like Dana Carvey, to the comic contests for up and coming comedians.

I love to laugh, and I have always wanted to share that with Match. He’s never really been interested in comedy, and didn’t think he’d like it. When he got us tickets, I knew we’d have a good time.

Not only did he spring for reserved seats, we managed to get front row!

We had such a great time! Jon Dore was hilarious. At one point he made a chicken butt joke, and we were dying. Match had joked about wearing the Guess What Chicken Butt shirt I got him for Christmas. Talk about a missed opportunity!

After the show, we were both starving. We walked down a block and ended up finding a corral of food trucks, with tents and picnic tables with fires. Food truck food is delicious, especially after a couple of adult beverages, late at night.

It was such a great date night. Match said he loved it, and he would definitely go again. I am so glad I can share my love of comedy with my guy. We need more nights like this, where we try new things together.

Do you like comedy shows? When’s the last time you tried something new for date night?


Piglet’s Big Boy Bunkbed

Piglet got his very own bunkbed! I was able to score an amazing deal from my zumba friend who was practically giving it away on Facebook. Actually she was giving it away, but I told her that I had to pay her something, since this bed was way too nice to get for free. All solid wood, no particle board or laminate! I ended up giving her $50 and I still can’t believe we scored it for so cheap.

He absolutely loves it. He calls it his fort. He insisted we keep his train table in the room too, which meant that the rocking chair had to go. Sniff. I was a bit broken hearted. He’s had his glider in his room since before he was born. It’s now in our living room, and he still curls up with me in it, but it’s different somehow. We snuggle on his bed to read books now, and once we get the full sized mattress, that’ll be a cozy spot for the three of us. I can already picture the sleepovers he’ll have one day. Little boys being all crazy, playing on the bunkbed. He’s growing up so fast! But I love each new chapter. Though I’m still having a hard time with the rocking chair.


2018 To Do List

The results are in for 2017’s To Do List. I wasn’t able to accomplish everything, but overall I think it was a pretty productive year, especially considering how busy work was this past year.

2017 Goals/To Do List:


  • Save up for an SUV or all wheel drive vehicle (used, preferably something that can handle all the rough weather we get up here)  I got my super cute RAV4. I LOVE it! 
  • Save for a family trip, ideally to the Gorge  We didn’t go to the Gorge, but our family trip to Newport was amazing.
  • Start contributing to our IRA accounts again

Personal Growth:

  • Get the lead promotion this summer when my manager retires
  • Get Project + Certification
  • Go to the Gym at least 2x per week, walk the dog, wrestle Piglet, or do a workout video on other days. Goal is to lose 10 pounds, but really just get back to feeling fit. (I did work out at least 2x per week, but I also ate a ton of junk at work. I didn’t gain too much, but I definitely didn’t lose any weight.)

Travel and Family Adventures:

  • Visit the Gorge
  • Take a family trip, just the three of us, not to see family, but just for us We went to Newport, and it was such a fun weekend. I’m realizing I never blogged about it, which is super sad. We went to the aquarium, the beach, and just relaxed together.
  • Visit our California family this summer
  • Hike Silver Falls

Home DIY & Crafts:

  • Build shed
  • Build porch swing  I made my own bench instead 
  • Build built in dressers or storage in master.  I still really want to do this!
  • Landscape the yard
  • Plant a garden

Here’s my list for the new year.

2018 Goals/To Do List:


  • Save up for a trip to Hawaii and set a date to go.
  • Pay down car loan.
  • Start investing for Piglet.

Personal Growth:

  • Take part in a 30 day fitness challenge
    • Goal is to get back to Driver’s License weight by the end of the new year
  • Learn how to play at least one song on the keyboard
    • Ideally take a course someday to learn more, but I’ll be happy if I can just learn one for now.
  • Take a leadership training course

Travel and Family Adventures:

  • Visit our California family/friends
  • Go on a trip to the snow
  • Go camping with friends
  • Visit the Gorge (someday we will finally do this)
  • Go on a family train ride
  • Take a trip to Hawaii

Home DIY & Crafts:

  • Build built in dressers or storage in master
  • Build a printer cover
  • Night stand for guest room or filing cabinet cover
  • Paint the exterior of the house
  • Finish mixbook for 2017, update the 2018 book regularly.

Couples Counseling

Carrie: [about therapists] First they want you to come there two times a week, then three times a week, and eventually you’re starting every sentence with ‘my therapist says… ‘

Miranda: ” My therapist says that’s a very common fear.” -Sex and the City

Match and I have started couples counseling. I’m actually super excited about this, as we have started this proactively, as a way to keep a healthy relationship. Match has always struggled with depression, and it has definitely affected our relationship. When he’s feeling good, our relationship is so strong, and I have zero complaints. He’s an amazing father, wonderful husband and partner. He cooks, cleans and helps out with all household duties with minimal complaint.

But then there are the down days. He loses his temper. He never hits, but he has thrown things (again never at either of us) and overall just no fun to be around. He hates that he gets this way, and the good news is, he sees it. I’m not perfect by any stretch. I lose my temper right back, I swear like a sailor when I’m angry at him, and then I nag him incessantly. What’s wrong, just snap out of it, etc. All the while in no way helping someone who cannot “snap out of it” and isn’t trying to be this way.

Match was always against counseling, instead just trying to pull himself out if it, and seeking ways to improve his mood. He goes to the gym, he takes St. John’s Wart, and other homeopathic supplements. I’ve also tried to make a conscious effort to ignore the storm cloud moods. I try not to nag, and while I do make sure he pulls his weight around the house, I try not to force my cheerfulness on him. These do seem to help, but I think the issue is bigger than either of us.

Match finally opened up to me and said he’s tired of feeling sad, and he doesn’t want to be a bad example to Piglet. He wants to not be so quick to anger, and he wants to be sure we’re solid as a couple. So we found a counselor, and we’ve started some talk therapy. So far we’ve only had one session, but I’m optimistic. I am so grateful that Match is willing to work on issues, because I know most men just shut down emotionally. I’m so glad that he’s ready to make changes, and I’m hopeful he can get to a place where he can conquer his depression, rather than just putting on a show for mine and Piglet’s benefit. Besides Piglet, he is the most important person in my life, and I just want to see him happy. It’s my default setting, and I want it to be his too.

How about you dear readers? Any of you go through couples or even individual counseling? I did individual counseling in college for awhile, and I found it pretty helpful. This is my first experience going as a couple. I think it’s long overdue, especially with all we went through with losing Roo. I hope we can both gain wisdom from this experience, and most of all I hope it brings us even closer.