A testimony from ProteanMom.com.
Not long ago, we paid cash for a minivan using the Envelope Budgeting system. It was an exciting (and addicting) moment. We’ve been paying with cash ever since!
Our Fixer-Upper Home
We knew that we would need to replace our home’s wood siding – eventually. Within a few months of buying our minivan, however, we realized that “eventually” had caught up with us. Our siding still looked good from a distance, but it was molding and rotting. At best, we had a year to save up for new siding.
We decided that this was our next big-purchase project. We also determined that this was a project that we did not want to do ourselves, which meant paying for labor on top of materials.
Adjusting the Budget
We put other projects on hold, scaled back on outings, and delayed fun purchases. It was hard, but we were diligent in putting any extra funds into that new siding envelope.
It helped that we knew we had to be good, because otherwise we’d also be paying for potentially massive interior repairs, too. By adjusting our budget, we knew that we would have almost enough money by our self-imposed year mark.
Wanting to avoid debt for siding, we tried hard to cut from other areas to save even more. It was hard to forego activities with friends and eating out, but we knew it would be worth it.
By the year mark, we were *so* close to our goal. Thankfully, my husband then got a larger than expected bonus at work. Putting that into our siding envelope, we would have enough money for siding *if* we could get a great bid.
Shopping Around to Hire a Contractor
We got bids from several different companies, and the bids ranged widely. The highest bid came in at more our minivan had cost us! We chose a reputable, but reasonably priced, company to install our new siding. Their quote was *just* under the amount we had saved!
We paid half up front (and the rest when they were done) and the company got to work.
They were shocked that we didn’t need financing – or try pay with a credit card. In fact, they almost looked confused (but happy) to see a check! Our home ended up needing more siding than the contractor had originally thought, but this amazing company held to their quoted price.
They did an amazing job, our house looks great, the extra insulation lowered our power bill, and we stayed within our budget!
On to the Next Project…
Since the siding was done, we’ve moved into another home that’s closer to family. Here, we’re trying to decide which is next: replacing the roof or a getting a new-to-us car for my husband. It’ll probably be the roof. Wish us luck!
Kim loves her life; she lives with her husband, their two boys, their dog, and is happily expecting boy #3. She writes about life as a ginger, geek, Doctor Who fan, triathlete, mom, wife, nurse, teacher, and more at ProteanMom.com.
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