Monday, December 28, 2009

Budget Wrap Up

These are our last five days for working on the house before we move in.  Our plans on what we want to have done before then have been constantly changing.  Now, however, it's all being finalized and strictly directed by our last $2,500.  I'm sure you're all curious how much everything has cost us to date.  So am I.  Let's get out a pen and paper and see what we can figure out.  Here's a list of the funds we used to build the house:  $15,000 inheritance from grandma Jones and $6,500 in good old credit cards, totaling $21,500.  Then there's the $31,500 loan for the land.  That gives us a grand total of $53,000.

For the house itself, we originally planned on spending only $15,000 but that meant doing without things like interior walls, a second floor bathroom (or at least part of one) and going with sheetrock on the walls instead of pine planks.  It also didn't include purchasing all of our windows and doors upfront or unexpected expenses like upgrading the electrical wiring, well pump, and well house.  We also included in the house budget:  utilities (electricity only), monthly land payments, and the gas money to drive to and from the project all for the past six months.  This totaled approximately $3,200.  Jeff may have a few corrections to make to this little improv list but, more or less, I think that about covers it.

Take a look here to see what our initial plan was.

I think we've managed to come out ahead, depending on how you look at it.  Yes, we went over our $15,000 budget and now we have credit card debt, BUT, the house is much closer to completion and our overall debt is being so greatly reduced that it's worth it. ($31,500 for land plus $6,500 credit card = $38,000 debt versus the balance of our current mortgage of $104,000 means a reduction of $66,000 of debt!!!)  The credit card debt should be easy enough to pay back quickly and the money for the rest of the work we need to do to finish the house will come from our own pockets as we can afford it.  We're so close to the end of the line time wise as well as financially that at this point I may not have kitchen cabinets.  If I do, we'll only get lower cabinets to begin with and the temporary counter tops will be made of plywood until spring or summer when we can do our concrete counter tops.  This is no big deal to me, I'm just ready to move in.  Plus, I've lived in a house without a kitchen before (for four months, no less!)  At this point, we'll only have a toilet upstairs without walls or anything.  Don't worry, the downstairs bathroom will have everything plus walls, except the door.  (Visitors beware, but feel free to use our bucket in the woods!)  The main deal with that is, with so many girls in the house, we must have more than one toilet!  Having the toilet out there in the open will only push us to get the upstairs finished all the sooner, hopefully!  For the time being, my floors throughout the house will be painted advantech flooring, unsanded.  There just isn't enough time to sand them.  Which reminds me, yesterday, our friend Chad Miller (not to be confused with Chad, the doctor's husband) and his father-in-law, Sid, helped Jeff all day on the house.  Chad Miller also talked Jeff into painting the walls and ceilings before we move in instead of after.  (Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!)  AND, we've never even met Chad Miller's father-in-law before.  He just came to help out of the kindness of his heart!  (Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!)  Sid also works for a local cabinet company and took measurements of our kitchen to see what he can find for us for cabinets when we're ready.  I've been amazed at how kind and helpful people have been throughout this whole process!

Anyway, back to our haves and have-nots.  The second floor will not be anywhere near finished when we move in.  There won't be any bedrooms or walls yet.  But, like I said earlier, there will be a toilet up there.  The end.  Oh, and a hot water heater.  The end. We have interior doors but, for the sake of time, they probably won't be installed until sometime after we move in.  We won't have all of our light fixtures right away, but I have lots of lamps.  The fireplace flue will cost another $1,000 so that will have to wait but we only had to pay $320.00 for a never before used, pre-owned fireplace that had a retail price of $2,000.  We don't have exterior siding on the house but we have most of the materials already (our privacy fence pickets!)  There will still be a lot of work to do once we've moved in, but the biggest hurdles will all be behind us.  I consider myself blessed and my "haves" list the winner.

P.S.  Bathroom update.  I said, not too long ago, that we were going to hang sheetrock in the bathroom, but we decided to do the pine wood in there too. 

We'll primer and paint the wood, as well as, caulk between them to try to keep moisture out.  Then for the bathtub surround, we're planning to use corrugated metal like someone did in this bathroom:

Courtesy of Country Living


  1. Your blog is a delight. It keeps us grounded. We are so thankful for all the people helping you. You all are in our prayers. Aunt Alice

  2. Celeste -

    You are almost at the (first) finish line! Keep your chins up and your eyes on the prize! You are both an inspiration and fine example at what people can accomplish when they want something bad enough.

    - Deborah

  3. Thank you both! I need and enjoy the encouragement! Celeste