A testimony from Liz
Shortly after we were married, my husband and I started house hunting. Our budget was pretty limited but we finally found a builder who was building houses in our price range.
The downside to a brand-new home in our price range meant that everything was budget grade. We were so excited to have a new house that we didn’t care. Fast forward 15 years, the trendy counter top I picked out was outdated and our budget cupboards had seen better days.
I was so dissatisfied with my kitchen that it was influencing the joy that I felt in my home. I constantly nagged my husband about it. It may seem petty, but I actually prayed for the discontentment to be taken away. I truly wasn’t expecting the answer that I received from my prayers.
While listening to the radio one day, my husband found out a local kitchen remodeling store was offering a giveaway for $4,000 worth of free counter tops. We both agreed that if we won we would get new cabinets.
To our delight, my husband’s ticket won!
We told the builder that we would need to wait to install so we could save money for cupboards, too. The plan we immediately implemented was to:
- Curtail our eating out 
- Cut our grocery budget 
- Significantly cut back on Christmas spending 
- Sell items we no longer needed 
We had the floor plans drawn up right away so we had an idea of how much money we would need. We wanted to get higher-quality cupboards, new appliances, a garbage disposal, and a better kitchen layout.
To keep our expenses down we:
- Re-used the existing cupboard hardware
- Had the plans fit the existing footprint eliminating the need for new flooring
- Re-used our dishwasher even though it didn’t match our new stainless steel appliances
Shortly after Christmas I found out I would be getting a nice bonus that would help pay for the cupboards. I called the builder to let them know we were ready to start.
Much to my delight the cupboards we had picked out were on sale — saving us about 15% off the original quote! At this point, the only items left to worry about were the appliances. To help pay for those we sold our refrigerator, stove, old kitchen cupboards and counter tops, and saved our tax return money.
When it came time to buy appliances, we mercilessly shopped for the best price. We watched for deals, price matched, and used a last-minute coupon to get a terrific price on a stove, refrigerator, and microwave.
It took us about nine months to save enough money. Our total out of pocket for the remodel and new appliances was about $9,000 — which (between my bonus, our tax return, the items we sold, and the money we saved) was paid for completely with cash!
In addition to being a wife and mother, Liz works outside the home and blogs at Wonder Woman I’m Not  – a home management blog for the busy woman striving to find balance in their lives.
Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here .