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.
Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.
Katy Moss says
When we paid cash for our HVAC system a year ago, we let the companies know we’d be paying cash when requesting bids. The company we ended up going with did a great job for a fair price and gave us an extra 3% off since they wouldn’t have to pay credit card processing fees.
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. I know that we’ve been inspired by the stories you have told here; it’s both humbling and amazing to be able to return the favor.
Saidah Washington says
We’re paying cash to redo the floors in our entire home. We just completed the entire downstairs and will begin ripping out the carpet upstairs.
We been selling stuff at the flea market to pay for this project. It’s been fun learning how to install the floors ourselves and that’s saved quite a bit of coin.
We are saving up for new siding and windows. We just bought a fixer-upper.
Good luck, Jennifer! A fixer-upper can be a lot of work and it can be a lot of fun – as long as you remember to take it one step at a time.
This is such an inspiring story. It can be so hard to save for the more boring house projects like siding or a roof but MAN are they important! AND they definitely need to be budgeted for!
It looks so great!! Wonderful job!!
Awesome looks better too.
I actually got new siding we paid cash for this past summer though our reasoning is we found out we had no insulation in any of our house walls. We had aluminum siding though so you can’t really take it off and put it back on and instead of running the central and 3 window A/Cs once again we did that. In the long run it really is a great thing. I’m not sure about your home but with ours they found a wall that was rotting so we were able to take care of problems we wouldn’t have even known about and would have been thousands of dollars of damage to fix down the line.
Our luck was that we know people who know people so that kept our labor costs down. Our next project is to have the gutters redone we were warned about them but that’s yet another cost so back to saving. I make the joke I bought the ‘money pit’ and some of my younger friends look at me oddly then I pull out the movie… I think I pull that movie out every time we go under construction. 🙂
That movie is so funny – and so true! We felt like that a lot while we were remodeling. Once we were done, though, it was really great to be able to see the difference we’d made.
Of course, now that we’ve moved, we’re back to fixing small things around the house. It’s a never-ending process!
Karen T says
What an inspiration! I dream of a new roof and siding for our new-to-us home, but it will take a few years to save I think.
I wish we would have done this. We chose to take out a mortgage on our house to pay for our siding, porch and garage roof. Now we are just about to start paying at least double our mortgage to pay it off quickly and save so much in finance charges. I’ve learned that we need to save up for future improvements and big purchases. Love all these paid with cash stories!
Good job!! It’s nice to see the efforts of your labors after working so hard to save!
Last year we realized we would be in need of a new roof in the near future and wondered how we would be able to save enough for it with everything else we had going on. After a particularly bad hailstorm, my mother-in-law told me that I should call our homeowner’s insurance company to have the roof inspected for hail damage. They came out, inspected it and told us they would pay for a new roof! All we had to pay was our deductible. It was such a blessing!
I love these posts! They are so inspiring! Great job on paying cash for your siding!
We paid cash for siding too! This past spring…new gutters, porch ceilings and siding for $15,000 cash. Our home is our biggest investment so we gotta take care of it!!!