On Saving for Home Renovations: A Lesson in Patience
My husband, Adam, is a Millwright. After high school, he completed a 1-year college program and then started working on his apprenticeship hours, getting paid while he was at it. Meanwhile, myself and most of our friends were away completing 4-year university degrees and many of us, including me, also pursued advanced degrees. This path was absolutely right for me, just as Adam’s was for him. The bonus for Adam? Those extra years of work in a decent paying job allowed him to purchase his first home at just 21-years-old.
He had just moved in when he and I started dating at 22. I moved in a year later, at 23. That was four years ago. Minus an 8-week break two years into our relationship, we’ve called the house our shared home ever since.
It’s a well-built, 30-year-old home on a 1-acre country lot. It was completely liveable, but quite dated. As soon as he took possession, Adam ripped out some old carpeting and gave the entire place a fresh paint job. But, he’s more concerned with the outside work, like upgrading our landscaping, and until we were married I wasn’t in a position that I wanted to invest a lot of money in permanent home renovations. Plus, I had (and still have) a significant sum of student debt. So, upgrading our home’s interior got put on the back burner.
More recently, especially since getting married last October, we’ve been making internal home renovations a priority – albeit slowly, starting with the living room. Four months ago, we didn’t even have proper flooring in there; it was just plywood. Now we’ve completely remade the room, along with installing flooring in the baby’s room and the spare bedroom. I’m so happy with how it turned out.
But, so far that’s the extent of it. The kitchen remains dark and dated. Our bedroom and bathroom could use a face lift. And, our basement is unfinished.
To be honest, many days pass where I don’t care, or even notice, that there’s so much more work I’d like us to tackle to beautify our home. You simply get used to living in your house as it is. Other days, though, especially when I’ve spent too much time on social media, where everyone seems to be either in the midst of tackling an extensive home renovation or already living in a picture-perfect home, I get down about it. I wish we could give the whole house a makeover all at once, but right now that’s not in the cards financially.
Of course, we all know that social media houses curated, filtered images that only represent one moment in time. I myself have been guilty of shoving a pile of laundry aside so I can Instagram the new flowers currently sprucing up the living room. Meanwhile, the rest of the house is a mess and our kitchen hasn’t been updated since 1982. But, my followers only see the pretty images. It’s no surprise that we all want to put our best foot forward and display our happy moments. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, at times, I have to remind myself that social media doesn’t show the big picture, nor does it indicate one’s overall happiness.
What’s more, talking about how we’d like to transform our home in both the near-term and long-term is one of our favourite conversations to have between Adam and I. We lay in bed scheming about what we’d like to accomplish and how we’d like the place to look 1, 5, 10, and 25 years from now. Sometimes, it’s realistic and sometimes it’s more far-fetched, but they’ve become some of our most enjoyable conversations.
So, for now, we’ll keep saving, tackling one project at a time. Who knows how long it will take to have our house feel “complete,” aesthetically. But, one thing’s certain: it’s always been the perfect home because we share it with each other. That matters much more than aesthetics ever will. Plus, whenever everything finally does come together, I think the fact that we waited and worked for it will make us appreciate the changes that much more.