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I Paid Cash: A Viola

We paid cash!A testimony from Krysten

During my studies at college, I was required to take a strings class and learn a new instrument. My instrument of choice was the viola, and I loved it! I took the class for three semesters, and also played in a volunteer orchestra when my schedule allowed.

While in college, I met my future husband, and after we graduated, we got married, got jobs, had a couple of kids, and got busy with life. I occasionally wished that I could play the viola again, but knew that we didn’t have the money for an expensive instrument.

Six years passed in which I never touched a viola.

Last Christmas however, I received some money from a family member… and since we always use any Christmas or birthday money that we receive as “splurge” money, I decided to start saving for a viola!

My Christmas money wasn’t nearly enough, but it was a start. I checked prices and found some new low-quality beginner violas in the $400 range, so I figured that I could buy a nice used viola for about that amount.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t just scrape the extra money out of the corners of our budget. We just had another baby, so I wasn’t working at all for two months, and would only be working about half of my normal amount for the next three months, so we had already cut our budget as much as possible. This meant that I had to find an extra source of income.

I had been inspired about Crystal’s posts on living simply [1] and decluttering your home, so I decided to find everything in our home that we did not need or use, and ended up with a hefty pile of boxes.

Next, I began my mission to sell as much of my stuff as possible. I sold some items on Craigslist and joined a friend at her garage sale, but I still had less than half of the money I needed. My household purge continued, and a few weeks later, I held my own garage sale. The money from this sale put my total at $371.75. It was time to find my viola!

The only problem was, there were no used violas for sale! I had already been watching Craigslist for two months, and hadn’t seen a single viola listed. I checked around online, but wasn’t impressed by the cheap quality of the new instruments that my budget would allow. I decided to keep waiting.

Four weeks after my garage sale, I found a beautiful viola for sale that had been owned by musicians who had taken excellent care of it. There was a minor problem with the bow, and because of that, they were only asking $175 ($200 less than my budget!)

So not only did I pay cash for my beautiful viola, but I also have almost $200 to use for lessons – as soon as I find a teacher!

Krysten is a piano teacher in central IL. She has been married for five years and has two children, ages 3 and 6 months. She loves making music, good food, and fun family memories.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here [2].