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We Paid Cash: Master Bathroom Renovation

We paid cash!

A testimony submitted by Erin from Gourmet Frugality

When we bought our house almost two years ago, we knew that we needed to renovate the master bathroom. Besides being teensy-tiny, it was also a relic from 1976. One time in the minuscule shower told us that it was also unusable. The shower leaked into our kitchen below!

After saving up to put at least 20% down on our house, though, we just didn’t have the spare cash available to undertake a renovation. So, we waited. Over the next year, we got pregnant with our second child and we knew that it still wasn’t the time to sink that much money into our bathroom.

In the meantime, we saved up as much money as we could, not just for our bathroom but because we knew I would be staying home with the kids once our second was born. We made do with using our hall bathroom but all the while dreamed of having a nice master bathroom to use.

In March of 2011, on the day I quit my job to stay home with our kids, the company my husband and I worked for paid out bonuses to all of its employees. We were overjoyed because we knew exactly where that money was going. But that’s where the work started!

We started interviewing contractors in March. We wanted to find someone who charged a reasonable rate but who would do an excellent job. We also had to fit our “expensive” tastes into our cash budget. After four months of meeting with contractors and agonizing over materials choices, we made our decisions and went forward with the renovation.

Work started on July 1st and after four weeks it was finished. The transformation is incredible. We are so happy to have a beautiful bathroom to enjoy but we are even more thrilled that we don’t have the burden of going into debt to pay for it!

Erin Cathcart is a stay-at-home mother of two wonderful children. She blogs over at Gourmet Frugality where she helps people feed their families excellent food on a beans-and-rice budget.

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

12 Simple Things You Can Do This Weekend to Save Some Money

Guest post by Sam from Grad Money Matters

Here is a quick to-do list you can tackle this weekend to save some money:

1. Unscrew one (or two or five) light bulbs from your bathroom light fixture.

I have never understood what the fascination is with having so many light bulbs in the bathroom. Frankly, one CFL bulb on the sink is all I care about!

2. Freeze your credit cards – literally!

If you have credit cards, put them in a ziptop freezer bag, pour water until all the cards are submerged, squeeze the air out, seal, and shove it in the freezer.

3. Make some snacks (cookies, trail mix etc.) and package them into single-serving packs.

It is a lot cheaper (and healthier) to take your own snacks with you than buying pre-packaged stuff. And, if you have your children help, it’s a fun way to spend some quality time with them, too.

4. Look through your dresser for clothes that need quick mending.

A missing button can make a shirt completely useless, and it takes less than five minutes and minimal skills to stitch a button back on.

5. Ditch the phone landline.

If you tend to make a lot of calls during day time, check out cheaper options like Skype or Magic Jack. If you tend to call mostly on night/weekends, a cell phone might suffice.

6. Cook or prepare and refrigerate/freeze some food.

Having a part of the meal (or the entire meal) ready in the fridge/freezer can go a long way in cutting down the impulse to eat out.

7. Check the pressure of your tires and fill air if needed.

Keeping the tires properly inflated can result in better gas mileage.

8. Seal any leaky faucets, windows that let the draft out.

It’s time to take care of some of the items on your honey-do list that are costing you ka-ching!

9. Change the A/C duct filters, if you have not done so recently.

Clean filters not only improve the efficiency of the A/C but are better for your health, too!

10. Collect some coupons.

Sort through your Sunday newspaper and save the coupons. Don’t get the paper? Print some coupons online for things you are planning to buy on your next shopping trip.

11. Spend some time reading articles on how to save (a ton of) money at stores like CVS and Walgreens.

Be warned though, this could get pretty addictive. Don’t buy things you don’t need just because they are cheap!

12. Cancel unused subscriptions.

Have magazines that are hardly ever read or gym that is rarely used? Get rid of them and save yourself some cash!

See, its a simple list and its hardly any work at all. Even if you scratch off only a few of the items on the list, I bet you will still manage to save some money.

What are some of your quick tips for saving some money over a weekend?

Sam is as fanatical about making more money as she is about saving money. Check out the massive collection of money-making ideas she has put together on her site.

photo credit Nutiva Coconut Oil for $6.49 per 15-oz. tub

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Thanks, Motherhood on a Dime!

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read our disclosure policy here.)