I love being a minimalist. I love the freedom it gives me, and the financial power.
Over the years I’ve extended my minimalism to most areas of my life. From my wardrobe, to my furniture, to my book collection, I’ve been slowly and surely trimming away unnecessary items in my life for years now. The result is that I can live comfortably with my spouse in a 400 sq. ft. house, which helps us save all kinds of money.
There are some parts of my life, however, that minimalism hasn’t touched. In fact, there are some things I still love to have a large collection of. I know that, in these areas of my life, minimalism has failed spectacularly, but I’m ok with that. Here are my minimalism fails:
I wouldn’t say I have a huge collection of work out gear, but I definitely have more than I need. I love to work out but I’m not naturally athletic, so being active can be a challenge for me.
To help combat this, I’ve collected a large selection of high quality work out gear. I definitely don’t need as much as I have, but I love adding to this collection, filling gaps here and there and keeping an eye out for the perfect piece that will make my runs that much more comfortable.
There are lots of women out there who have several times the clothing I do, so I don’t think I’m hoarding clothing by any stretch of the imagination.
Camping, in itself, is extremely anti-minimalism. Having a large collection of camping gear that I get to use, at most three or four times a year (it’s usually closer to two) is such a waste of space and resources. The space needed to store this gear could be put towards something I’d get a lot more use out of, as could the funds required to maintain the gear!
Then there’s the sheer superfluous nature of camping. I have chairs that are just for camping, along with plates, forks, knives, a small BBQ, a cooler, tons of stuff that I already own, but have separate specific stuff just for camping.
I don’t mind though. I love camping and having this large bunch of equipment taking up space in my garage is totally worth it.
Ok, this isn’t my collection, and if I had my way it wouldn’t exist, but my fiance loves to collect DVDs of his favourite movies and vinyl records for our record player. He’s a film major, and some of his favourite movies he’ll literally watch over and over. So, for those particular movies (or TV shows) he’ll buy the actual DVD instead of just watching it on Netflix.
His collection is a reasonable size, and he doesn’t spend much money on it every year, so I don’t complain too much.
While minimalism has helped me so much to get where I am today, it hasn’t completely permeated my life. I still like to have a few small collections, that I get a lot of joy and use out of. I don’t feel guilty about these collections, because they don’t take up too much space, and they aren’t hindering my lifestyle. I’m not one of those hard-core minimalists who try to live on 100 items or less. I like my stuff, I just don’t need much of it to be happy.
Happy Monday everyone. Today’s post is all about how we want to update our house so that we can enjoy it while we live here, but to also sell our house more quickly when we put it up for sale. Usually on Monday’s I post my Extra Income and Life updates, but I figured that I talked about myself twice last week and there’s only so many times in a 7 day period that you probably want to read about my life!
Next Monday I will do a full life and extra income update and weekly roundup. I’m also going on vacation from this Thursday to next Monday and am going to the U.S. Virgin Islands with my sister. WOOHOO! Also, I currently have a Novica giveaway that you should check out because it ends this Wednesday.
There are many things that we want to do to our house. Most of these will improve the value of our house and/or help it sell more quickly when the time comes. AND there are some things that are on this list that will make living in our house more enjoyable as well. We still have at least another year in this house, so why not enjoy it?
We love our house, but over the years we haven’t been keeping up with the maintenance like we should have been. These are all things that have been on our list forever. We want to be able to sell our house quickly and with little problems, while also getting maximum value for our house.
Selling it quickly would be awesome, but we don’t want to sell it for super cheap either. We don’t mind keeping the house while waiting for the best offer.
We’re not putting our house up for sale until next year, but as I said, we still want to enjoy the house while we live in it now, and we want to be able to do things slowly.
We’ve already done some landscaping, and paid someone to clean everything up the other day. For some reason a couple of people have been using the side of our house as storage, and there was TONS of garbage that people left. A full carpet (that was actually ours, oops), 4 tires, broken ladders, crutches (yes I said crutches), a huge metal cabinet, a dishwasher and so on.
The side of our house turned into a hoarder’s house and I’m sure our neighbors hated us for it. We paid someone to just take all of that and throw it all away (our trash company will not take these items) and we also paid the landscaping company to clean our gutters and clean up all of the leaves and other debris in our yard. This way our grass and plants can actually grow.
We plan on fixing up our front yard and making the grass green again and grow flowers.
Our kitchen was brand new when we bought our house and it still looks great. However, they put really ugly gold knobs on all the cabinets, and I think if they were changed to a darker color, then the kitchen would look MUCH better.
I priced out knobs and this would probably cost around $150, or we could just take all of these knobs out and spend probably $10 on that Rustoleum paint that everyone seems to be spraying all of their homes lately on doorknobs. We will probably do that so that we aren’t just wasting all of the knobs that we currently have. Cost: $10.
We also need to touch up the paint in the kitchen because whoever repainted the kitchen after the cabinet installation did a horrible job. There is leftover glue/paint on the walls and it just looks messy. We have the exact paint downstairs so the cost for this would be $0. Cost: $0.
We need to repair the door frame in our garage. Last year when we went to Kauai, we had a friend watch our house and she got locked out. She cracked the door frame trying to get back in. This will cost around $700 from what I’ve been told. However, I have heard others say that this might cost over $1,000. Have you ever replaced a door frame? Is it easy enough for us to do? Cost: $700 if we pay someone else to install a doorframe.
There are only small things that we want to do with our bathroom. I bought a mirror a long time ago for super cheap, and we want to replace the current mirror in the bathroom with this one. We also want to touch up the paint on the cabinet. Cost: $0.
There are lots of other little things that we would like to do, such as switching out all of our door knobs in the house to a silver color instead of the gold that we have now. We’ve looked into it, and a little change like that can make a house look more modern. Some in our house are already the correct color, so only a couple need to be replaced. Cost: $75
We also need to somehow cover a pipe that we have in the basement as well. Right now our basement is finished but we had to replace this pipe last year so now it’s uncovered and doesn’t look good. Cost: I have no idea.
The garage door also needs to be replaced. When we first moved in, W pulled the truck out of the garage (it’s a classic and we never drive it), and it slipped into reverse when W put it in park and got out of the car for a slight second, and hit the garage door. The garage door isn’t horrible looking, but it definitely needs to be replaced before we try selling the house. Cost: maybe $1,500? We have been told that we could just buy the garage door ourselves for around $500 and do this ourselves.
Decluttering is a MAJOR thing on our list that needs to be done. We have way too much in storage in our basement. This of course is free to do because we will declutter ourselves.
And lastly, the carpet in the living room needs to be replaced. This is something that has been on our list for quite some time. We pulled up the carpet in the living room when we first moved in because we didn’t like the carpet. It turned out that the hardwood floor underneath was extremely ugly and whoever put the carpet down did a horrible job and ruined the hardwood floor. So we need to replace this. Cost: $600.
Should we pay off our house early? What about the next house? Don’t worry guys, we haven’t bought our next house just yet. We’re keeping our current one for at least another 12 months. However, we have been thinking about whether we should pay off our current house quickly (we have been debating whether we want to rent it out or not – if we decide to sell then we of course wouldn’t pay off the current house quickly) and even whether or not we should pay off our next house quickly as well.
Our income has increased by a lot over the past couple of years, and I talked about this in my post from last week Financial Goals and Increased Income – Many Changes. Because of the increased income, it is hard not to think about just throwing everything extra (after student loans and retirement) towards our mortgage.
Earlier this month, Holly made a post about how she wrote a check for $8,700 so that they could pay down their mortgage a little more quickly. Most people were extremely happy for her and her family, but of course there are others out there who would rather pay down their mortgages slowly. Crystal also recently made a post about how they paid off their first house recently, WOOHOOO!
I have calculated it over and over again, and we could pay off our current house early next year if we wanted to. WHATTT? Then why would you even want to buy a second house?!
This is something that I’ve/we’ve been asked often. We love our house, but we bought it when we were 20 years old. It’s a great home, but we bought it knowing full well that it was only a starter home for us.
Anyway, I do have my Finance MBA and realize that I should be using debt to my advantage, such as with taking advantage of historically low interest rates (boy, do I sound like a commercial). But there’s that nagging inside my head that keeps saying “MORTGAGES ARE DIFFERENT! Pay that baby off!”
The main advantage is that if I pay off my mortgage, at that point it would mean that we would have no other debt. That just sounds awesome.
And, I’m the type of person who keeps a large amount in our emergency fund. Even though we will probably never have to tap into it, I still want it. I like the comfort of knowing that it’s there, and that if something did come up, I wouldn’t have to run around with my head chopped off trying to solve whatever went wrong.
And this is how I see paying off our mortgage early. I see freedom, comfort and everything else. Yes, I do realize that paying off our next house completely is years away (hopefully less than 5 years from the purchase date though) and that there are other costs of having a home such as property taxes and home insurance which will still need to be paid even though we would no longer have a house payment. However, having a big chunk completely eliminated from our budget every month sounds nice.
Once my student loans are gone, which should be next month, then I of course want somewhere else to shovel my money. We do have car loans, but that is at a low rate (much lower than our mortgage), and I’m not worried at all about paying those off. I am not saying that I want to shovel 100% of all leftover money towards paying off our next house quickly. We would still save for retirement and other fun things, but we would also make extra payments as much as we can as well.
If you have a high interest rate on your mortgage, it is probably worth it to pay off your loan as well or at least get it refinanced. However, it doesn’t seem like I hear about too many people with high interest rates on their mortgage these days though.
There are many advantages of paying off your mortgage slowly or just making the normal payment every month. You can invest your extra cash elsewhere and earn a higher rate since today’s interest rates are very low, especially when you factor in inflation. If you have a fixed rate loan, then a $1,000 payment today will still be a $1,000 payment 30 years from, but with inflation 30 years from now, $1,000 will be nowhere near the amount that it is worth today.
If you don’t pay off your mortgage quickly and put it in other investments, then all of your money won’t be tied into one thing, which is real estate. This point doesn’t really apply to us, as we would be working on paying it off quickly, but we would still aim to be saving for retirement at a larger rate. But for others who shovel 100% of their money towards their mortgage, this could be a problem if they needed a large chunk of change at the last second. Then there is of course the tax factor and how you can deduct interest expense as well.
If you have loans at a high interest rate (or anything higher than your mortgage), are not saving for retirement at all, have no emergency fund and so on, then making mortgage repayment your priority might not be the best option. Pay off those high interest loans!